PINE A64 Creators Receive Death Threats over Kickstarter Campaign

The creators of the PINE A64, a Raspberry Pi-esque single board computer, which demolished its $31,416 Kickstarter funding goal, raising a whopping $1.7 million, have received abuse and death threats – with one person even showing up at the company’s office, threatening to kill staff if he didn’t receive his $22 board – over minor delivery delays.

In an e-mail to Kickstarter backers, PINE64 co-founder Johnson Jeng revealed that the company has, understandably, been overwhelmed the sheer number of orders and that the demand has put a strain on production and shipping:

“Imagine if someone tasked you to run to the supermarket to buy them 10 cases of drinks because they have 100 people coming over for a party,” Jeng explains, “so you took your minivan and went to the store to buy 10 cases of drinks.  When you are there, they called you and said nevermind, they misread the number. It was actually 10,000 people attending, and now then need 1000 cases of drinks.  You’re there by yourself with a minivan, how can you physically bring 1000 cases back by that night?”

Jeng adds that, while many backers have been understanding regarding the delay in delivering pledges on time, an unpleasant few have taken to harassing the company with abuse and threats. “Some of the worst included people showing up at our office threatening to kill us if they didn’t get their board, (this resulted in an arrest),” Jeng writes. “He had pledged $22.”

Another irate backer sent abusive messages, both via e-mail and the PINE64 forum. While his board was due to ship that week, his behaviour earned him a cancellation and full refund of his order:

All this, over delays of just two months.

“And no, we did not receive $1.7M from Kickstarter, as things are not as easy as it seems,” Jeng stresses. “I want to show this to everyone so everyone understands running a Kickstarter project and pre-selling $1.7M is not as grand it as it looks.”

“We netted a total $1,559,658.83, which I agree, is a great number, and we still had to pay our advertisers, marketing firms, PR firms, and more, but easily over $250,000 in third party fees were immediately gone,” Jeng says.

The owners of PINE64 have even mortgaged their houses in order to meet the financial demand of the project.

Play nice, kids.

Street Fighter V Ragequitter Punishment Not as Effective as Hoped

Last week, Capcom revealed that they were aware of the issue of ragequitters damaging the online mode of their recently released Street Fighter V and announced there would be a “severe punishment” for those who continued to cheat by doing so. Now a blog post from the developers has declared that around 30 players had been penalized for ragequitting by docking some of their league points. They also stated that there would be weekly checks on accounts that were seen to have abnormally high disconnect rates (particularly at the end of matches) and reset their league points.

The community’s response to Capcom’s call for the submission of evidence of rage quitting has been a great success, with the article stating “we’ve received a ton of videos both here on Unity and our social channels which we’ve been able to cross reference with our data and put together a clear picture as to which players are abusing the system.” They were reluctant to make punishments too widespread or harsh immediately, as the current system of discovering ragequitters still has the chance of catching players with legitimate connection issues. Those who are flagged as rage-quitters by Capcom’s systems are those with a disconnect rate of between 80-90%, far beyond what typical connection issues would cause.

Unfortunately, this system will have to make do for now as there is no current ETA for a permanent solution to the problem, however hopefully the news that punishments are taking place may deter would-be ragequitters and go some way to improve the quality of online play for skilled players.

Capcom to Add “Severe Punishment” for Street Fighter 5 Ragequitters

Street Fighter V’s online play has a big problem, rage quitters. Players who wish to retain their winning streak despite losing can simply leave a game or disconnect just as they lose in order to both preserve their own win streak and deny their opponent the win. This has led to distrust online for those who have large winning streaks, as they are often the result of abusing disconnections. Now Capcom has announced that they are moving to punish the worst offenders in the next few weeks.

A post on the Capcom Unity blog by the Street Fighter V developers, they stated that they were aware of the current blight on the game’s online play and that they will soon be putting an end to it. Exactly what the changes and punishment will be as well as the date that they will be implemented were not part of the announcement, but direct action is set to begin next week, with more details on the subject to be made clear in the coming days. Of course, until a proper system is in place, Capcom cannot fight the problem alone and are asking players to record every instance of rage quitting they encounter. The suggested method is via the PS4’s “share” function after the match, but any other video evidence, such as Twitch archives will serve the purpose for PC players.

On a more positive note, Capcom has also stated that they have rolled out some matchmaking improvements, however, some regions such as Europe, the Middle East and some others are still having problems with the system. They are continuing to address the problem in these regions and monitor the quality of the matchmaking, with more announcements to be made when additional fixes are in place.

It is good to see Capcom addressing one of the problems that are making a very key part of the latest Street Fighter annoying instead of fun for good players. Capcom may take some flak should the punishments be too harsh, however, I am sure that the majority of the fighting game community will welcome anything that makes the online play better for legitimate players instead of abusers.

Microsoft Ends Unlimited OneDrive Storage Due to ‘User Abuse’

Microsoft’s cloud storage service has proved to be incredibly popular due to its unlimited data policy. However, reports from The Wall Street Journal suggest some users have taken advantage of the unlimited storage and forced Microsoft to cap the data to 1 Terabyte. Additionally, Microsoft decided to remove the 100GB and 200GB options and implement a basic 50GB tier for £1.99/$1.99 per month. On another note, the service’s free storage is now being cut from 15GB to 5GB.

Microsoft released a statement regarding the revised OneDrive policy and said:

“Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 [terabytes] per user or 14,000 times the average,”

Although, the rollout shouldn’t affect existing customers:

“If you are using more than 5 GB of free storage, you will continue to have access to all files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect in early 2016. In addition, you can redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription (credit card required), which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.”

“Current customers of standalone OneDrive storage plans (such as a 100 or 200 GB plans) are not affected by these changes.”

This isn’t a surprising revelation as unlimited storage usually involves a fair usage policy. Microsoft’s was quite naive in offering truly uncapped storage and should have known how some users might behave. Although, I strongly believe if a company advertises unlimited storage, it shouldn’t restrict the amount of data allowed per month.

Twitter “Sucks at Dealing With Abuse,” According to CEO

A leaked memo reveals that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recognises the company’s failure to deal with abuse on the social media platform, and that he takes full responsibility for it.

Costolo’s memo, dated 2nd February 2015, reads:

We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.

I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.

We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.

Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.

@dickc

Costolo issued another memo the following day, reaffirming his position on the matter:

Let me be very very clear about my response here. I take PERSONAL responsibility for our failure to deal with this as a company. I thought i did that in my note, so let me reiterate what I said, which is that I take personal responsibility for this. I specifically said “It’s nobody’s fault but mine”

We HAVE to be able to tell each other the truth, and the truth that everybody in the world knows is that we have not effectively dealt with this problem even remotely to the degree we should have by now, and that’s on me and nobody else. So now we’re going to fix it, and I’m going to take full responsibility for making sure that the people working night and day on this have the resources they need to address the issue, that there are clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and that we don’t equivocate in our decisions and choices.

Dick

Twitter is suffering an abuse problem, with most of the threats and harassment directed toward women. Last week, video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, producer and host of webseries Feminist Frequencyposted a week’s worth of abuse she received over Twitter to her blog; it makes for a harrowing read. Add a laborious reporting system, and it’s easy to understand why so many people are concerned about the matter.

Twitter has declined to comment on the leaked memo.

Source: The Verge

Gaming Reviewer Contacts Mothers of Trolls

Alanah Pearce, an Australian gaming reviewer on the radio and on YouTube, has come up with a novel method of getting back at her online trolls and harassers.

In a Guardian article, she says that she discovered that many of her online bullies were young boys, not 40-year-old men.

“A while ago, I realised that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males,” said Pearce from her company’s Brisbane base.”

So, she decided to take it to where it’ll hit them hardest – their mothers. Instead of blocking them or reporting them to the authorities, she told their mothers to have a good old word with them.

She posted one of her exchanges with a mother on Twitter, which has since received over 20,000 retweets.

Source: Jezebel

Online Trolls Can Now Receive up to 2 Years in Jail

The UK government is ramping up efforts to tackle online abuse. Internet trolls are nothing new, but with more people spending more time online than ever before, online abuse and trolling is being taken more seriously than ever before.

There have been several high-profile cases in recent months, such as abuse towards the daughter of Robin Williams on Twitter after her fathers death, Judy Finnegan and her family receiving threats and more. In fact, it seems any major tragic event spawns some form of hatred and it’s not long before the abuse starts to flood in one direction or another.

Freedom of speech may be one thing, but the right to say almost anything you want doesn’t make you unaccountable for your actions. An amendment will be made to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that quadruples that maximum prison sentence for online trolling and abuse from 6 months to two years.

Mocking someone for owning an iPhone, joking around with your friends on Facebook or trying to reason with people in the YouTube comment section are still safe enough. Just remember to use some common sense before you take a joke too far.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information.

Woman Arrested for Child-Trafficking on Facebook

Every corner of Facebook these days has a local buy, sell and swap page and mostly you’ll find reasonable items on there that are harmless and have a genuine reason for sale. However one woman in Oklahoma has taken the idea of selling on Facebook to a whole new level by putting her CHILDREN up for sale.

The woman in question, put her two children up for sale on the social networking site after her boyfriend got arrested and thrown into jail. Whats more, is the woman could be in more trouble than she first though as someone actually offered the $1000 asking price for a ten month old baby girl plus all of her clothes. A message to the willing buyer reads:

“Just come to Sallisaw, it’s only 30 minutes away and I’ll give you all of her stuff and let y’all have her forever for $1,000”

To top this off 22 year old Misty VanHorn even offered up her two year old child in a ‘bundle’ deal for $4000. Considering the woman’s boyfriend was only being held on a $1000 bond, it leaves us to wonder what the extra money was for. Either way though she is going to need a lot more help herself now after a $40,000 jail bond was placed against her as the case gets looked into.

As the potential sale has spread out of the woman’s home state, this is now looking to become a federal case, however the chances of seeing her children again are slim after they were taken into custody and safe care of Oklahomas department of human services after they alerted the state police.

So before you think about putting your kids up for sale on Facebook, take a step back and think about the consequences as its pretty certain that child trafficking will be against the terms and conditions that you abide to when you register your account.