Campaign to Return Spyro the Dragon Underway

A new campaign has appeared online and caught our attention, to bring back Spyro the dragon. The campaign has been ongoing for a few months now on the popular petition website, change.org and is hoping to get enough supporters to make Sony acknowledge the fans and bring back the adorable little purple dragon to our consoles.

The petition was made by a fan page available on Facebook called Spyro HD Collection who have been trying to raise awareness about the iconic dragon for the past few years. So far the petition has 374 supporters out of their 1000 goal.

Spyro was born in late 1998 (I was one year old then!) and has since appeared on 4 generations of console, with his most recent appearance in the Skylanders series from Activision. This appearance, however, has caused big controversy amongst Spyro fans. Although the character is rumored to be moving back to Sony alongside his rival, Crash Bandicoot. In a set of interviews in 2014, the CEO of Sony stated that they were considering attempting to bring back both Spyro and Crash Bandicoot. He said that the iconic characters are “never off the table” and “we shouldn’t close the door on that one yet.”

If you fancy bringing back the iconic purple dragon to our consoles, sign the petition here.

Dreamcast 2 Project Getting “Inviting Response” From SEGA

I have many fond memories of SEGA consoles, having owned the original SEGA Master System, the Master System II, Megadrive I and II, SEGA CD, 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast, Game Gear and finally, I was hoping to get my hands on the Dreamcast 2, but that plan never really saw the light of day. Some of you may know that when SEGA threw in the hardware towel, the Xbox from Microsoft was the next thing on the horizon and was released as a spiritual successor to the Dreamcast, which is why we saw games like Shenmue released on the system.

Project Dream have been working hard to revive SEGA consoles for real, not just in spirit, pitching the idea of a new Dreamcast and they’ve even gathered over 27 thousand petition signatures. Now they’re getting some more important names to support them; people who work at SEGA.

Two of Project Dream’s leaders, Bertie Wiseman and Joanne Freeman, spoke with Twinfinite about their involvement with SEGA, saying interactions so far have been fairly inviting. “It went from me ringing up to pester them for not replying to our mail and the receptionist asking for a full lowdown on what we wanted to talk to people about,” said Joanne. After multiple pitches, contacts and phone calls, the team says they have made contact with multiple SEGA names, including a senior member of SEGA Sammy.

“It all kind of happened quite quickly, and by the end of it, he finished chatting with me on the phone and sent one of our team members a message to say ‘send what you got through when you’re ready, and I’ll make sure it gets to the right people.’”

“We’ve been messaging a few other people. Some have gotten back to us and some haven’t,” Joanne continued, “but we haven’t had a negative response from SEGA, I can 100% say that. It’s been a mildly inviting response.”

“We don’t know what’s going to happen, but hope it’s a situation where it all goes well and they say ‘yep, great, we love the idea we’ll run with it.’” Should SEGA decide not to associate with the project, the team “would like to carry on with a spiritual successor to the console.”

Project Dream are getting ready to present their ideas to SEGA and see if they can get a real product and a real business idea together. The fact SEGA isn’t shutting them down at the first hurdle is promising, but there’s still a few major hurdles to cross.

Fan Starts Petition for an HD SEGA Dreamcast

Petitions used to be political tools as a show of strength by the proletariat, signing one’s name to a formal document in protest at, say, a local park being sold off to Barratt Homes. The age of the internet, though, has turned the humble petition into a medium for spoilt children to throw their toys out of the pram.

Do you want a sarcasm font on social media because the concept of the absurd flies over your head? Start a petition! Think that Taco Bell should give a minimum of two hot sauce packets with each meal? Petition away! Have an irrational hated of sporks? This is what petitions were made for! Want your favourite band, S Club 7, to reform? After all, there ain’t no party like an S Club party. You know what to do…

In that vein, Australian gamer Ben Plato has launched a petition for SEGA to release a Limited Edition, HD version of its Dreamcast console, because there is a massive void in the world that only such a box can fill.

“The new console should have a new but similar design, wifi, wireless controllers (4 maximum) 720p or 1080p HD upscaling and HDMI output, internal 500g Hard Drive and a GD-Rom drive,” Plato writes.

“The console should be able to play original Dreamcast GD-Roms and also have the ability to connect online to a Dreamcast Classics Store to purchase and download classic Dreamcast titles in digital form where it can be played directly from the Hard Drive,” he adds.

It should also have a cup holder, a picture of my favourite fictional dog (Snoopy, by the way), and tell me that I’m lovely every 30 minutes. Are you listening, SEGA?

The petition already has 19,273 signatories on Change.org.

“By making the console made to order,” Plato asserts, “there is less risk of financial loss.”

Cue a second petition when SEGA releases its Limited Edition HD Dreamcast with Go-Faster Stripes for £2,000 in order to claw back the R&D costs of producing such a console for only 20,000 people.

Mark Zuckerberg Plans To Connect Refugee Camps Via The Internet

Mark Zuckerberg has built a powerhouse in the form of Facebook which has both revolutionized the notion of a social network for consumers and also provided a platform for discussion and quick responses to world events. The recent statements from the famous CEO, who always seems to clad himself in the same coloured T-shirt, have included phrases concerning the Internet being “a force for peace” and “an enabler of human rights”, has announced that his company would offer its assistance to the United Nations with the aim of supplying internet connections to refugee camps.

Mr Zuckerberg responded to suggestions that Facebook are aiming to offer this service with the knowledge and expectation of drawing new consumers to the company’s platform by stating that it’s “not all altruism”. This, according to Wikipedia is defined as the “principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others”. Facebook have yet to firmly state how and when they would be offering their assistance to refugee camps, or indeed how the internet connections would work.

This has coincided with a petition which Mr Zuckerberg has created with the entertainer Bono, the philanthropist Mo Ibrahim and others to expand connectivity, calling internet access “essential” to achieving the development goals. This is all well and good, but there has yet to be clarification on the subject of net neutrality or internet censorship.

I have a feeling this gesture is being driven in its entirety by share price and company growth, Facebook wants to break into developing markets and are viewing the current displacement of people as a business opportunity. Mr Zuckerberg believes “We all benefit when we are more connected.” Indeed, so do the advertisers and corporations. There is also another issue which I can think of, if these refugee camps are connected via the Internet, surely this would make them easier to be tracked or hacked into by governments, your average Joe Militia or terrorist organisations.

It will be interesting to track, see what I did there, the progress and potential outcomes of these projects on the wider world.

Thank you nytimes for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of bnr.nl

White House Responds to Edward Snowdon Petition

Do you remember when 167,000 people signed a petition calling for Edward Snowdon to be pardoned? Not even Pepperidge Farms recalls this considering this was two years ago. The US government is known for hanging many decisions out, but I will give them credit for finally responding to this petition.

Once a petition reaches 100,000 signatures via the government’s official platform, under their rules they are duty bound to respond to it, which they have, eventually. So will Edward Snowdon receive a pardon? No, no he won’t according to Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco who accuses Snowdon of “running away from the consequences of his actions.”

A shortened redacted version of this statement is below, at least I have summarised the point unlike many US documents which have one word visible.

“Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.

If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions”.

 This is the cliché catch 22 situation, if Edward Snowdon had of spoken out and challenged the status quo, this would have been quickly and silently shot down. One has to remember when scandals are broken; they are not publicized by establishment officials but journalists and external investigators, how do you challenge behaviour in-house?

I do feel that Edward Snowdon has placed a target with which to discredit via his asylum in Russia. It’s a bit of an irony to live in a country for speaking out against violations of democracy, when said new residence has the uncanny habit of hunting down perceived dissenters. I also don’t believe Snowdon will receive a fair trial at all in the US, one thing to consider concerning this aspect is this, during the somewhat recent trial of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the jury was made up of individuals which favoured the death penalty. Lawyers had the ability and are allowed to dismiss any juror who is opposed to the death penalty, thus in a roundabout way influencing the nature of the sentence.

The above example is just that, an example to show how the word “fair” could be slightly deviated for a desired outcome.

Thank you whitehouse petitions for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of freigeistblog

 

UK Privacy and Apps Under Threat

Let me just jump on my soapbox for a minute with regards to this subject, according to reports, the newly elected Conservative Government wants to again reintroduce the Snoopers Charter, sorry, I mean the new fangled “Investigatory Powers Bill” which if enacted would allow the government and security services for example M15 access to everyone’s communications.

To add insult to injury the plans would also make end to end encrypted apps for example Snapchat and WhatsApp technically illegal, unless a backdoor is installed or communications are handed over. All in the name of terrorism and extremists, now I am not being flippant and I am aware that groups such as IS exist, but I do not believe everyone’s communications should be spied upon.

This bill if passed would also require all ISP (Internet Service Providers) to retain all information on every citizens browsing habits, sites which are looked at and information which is sent, with the aim of making this information available to the security services.

So what do the tech experts believe? They have stated that these laws are draconian, anti free speech and would put the whole Internet at risk from hackers. Who would be able to crack any backdoor laid before them by the powers that be. Opposition includes Tim Cook who is the boss of Apple who said citizens should be entitled to a private life; academics from MIT and the UK have both dismissed these proposals as a disaster.

So what can we do about it? The only thing as citizens we can do, make our voices heard, I believe there should be a limit to what governments can collect, innocent people should not be spied upon in their own homes, I do think we need to track for example suspected terrorists movements, but I think in order to be under surveillance, you need evidence and a court of law to approve this, not simply cart blanch can we have your data and monitor everyone.

The mantra for governments is quite clear, “let us spy on you or you can only use certain communication tools approved by the state”. I think it would be impossible to ravage the internet of encryption, but I do think this bill is designed and will be able to collect more information on everyone.

I have started a petition on this over at change.org if you are interested in checking It out, link is below, will it work?  Hell I will be damned if I am going to lie down quietly and let the state turn into a whole new animal which polices everyone, which notion is brought to you by the good folks in China, North Korea and Russia among many.

Petition at Change.org

Thanks to BBC News, Huffington post  (who plan to encrypt their website further) and Facebook trends

Image Courtesy of automation

 

 

Konami Confirms Silent Hills Death; Petition to Save it Hits 60,000

Konami has confirmed our greatest fear: Silent Hills is no more. The horror reboot, co-directed by Metal Gear Solid’s Hideo Kojima and acclaimed film director Guillermo Del Toro – feared to be at risk after the game’s demo, P.T., was pulled from the PlayStation Store – “will not be continued,” according to a statement from Konami.

As well as marking the end of a game many were excited about, it also provides us with further evidence that the relationship between Konami and Kojima is not long for this world, with the Metal Gear creator rumoured to be leaving the game developer once he is finished developing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Konami’s statement reads “Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic Silent Hills project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued.”

Hideo Kojima’s name is rather conspicuous by its absence in that statement – akin to the removal of his name from all current Metal Gear Solid publicity materials – and rather childish on the part of Konami, should it be motivated by its falling out with Kojima. By all accounts, Kojima was the primary creative force during the development of the game, based around the Fox engine that he developed.

However, fans who enjoyed P.T. – which was downloaded over a million times, and is being sold on eBay (with PlayStation 4 included) for £1,000 a pop – have started a petition on change.org to save Silent Hills. The petition, which has a target of 75,000 signatories, already has over 61,000 supporters.

Thank you VG24/7 for providing us with this information.

Unhappy Gamers Start Petition Against Paid Content in Steam Workshop

Valve is doing a lot of restructuring in Steam at the moment. First there was the added limitation for people who haven’t spent any money on the service and yesterday they announced that it now was possible for modders to set their own price for their work and sell it in the Steam Workshop instead of just sharing their work as it was up until now.

But it looks like a lot of users aren’t happy with this new addition to Steam and a user named Cyand Wondel started a petition on change.org to stop it again. The petition was started about 12 hours ago and over 15 thousand have already signed the petition out of the 25 thousand petition goal.

The comments people give on why they are signing the petition all look very similar, a fear that this could ruin a great modding community on Steam:

“This has the potential of ruining the mod community, it has to be stopped.”

“This should have never happened in the first place Valve. I mean no 1 would pay for this, they are not DLC’s they are mods and they are supposed to be free.”

“Many of the mods currently being sold require the Skyrim Script Extender and that team of people won’t be seeing a single penny from this the way you have it set up. Also modding is a hobby, not a career. You will ruin the modding community by going about this in the fashion that you are”

In short, the fear is that this could ruin the modding community as it is, by turning it into a marketplace rather than just a forum for sharing your own creations with fellow gamers and get some feedback on items that you’ve put so much work into.

But it isn’t an entirely new scheme from Valve, just an extension. People have already been able to sell items for Valve’s own games and it is estimated that 1500 users have made a total of about $57 million in these games over the previous three years.

What’s your take on Valve’s newest initiative, do you think it’s a good or bad thing?

Will Stig Delivering a Petition in a Tank Be Enough to Get Clarkson Back?

Ok first thing is first, that’s not the real Sstig. Although admittedly, for all we can actually tell, it may as well be. What it is, is a fantastic effort in the campaign of bring back Clarkson. Now, I’m not going to get drawn into the debate on what happened, because quite frankly, it seems like no one really knows the truth, but as far as getting your petition noticed is concerned, turning up in a freaking tank certainly adds some clout.

I’m a big fan of Top Gear and it’s a very entertaining show, there’s a lot of rumours kicking around right now that it could be returning, which is great news to me personally, but I guess we’ll have to see how this all plays out before we get our hopes up.

1 million signatures may be enough to help convince the BBC to open its doors, but it remains to be seen if Jeremy would be willing to return, despite the best efforts of many to persuade him. Still, it must have been a lot of fun pointing a tank at New Broadcasting House. What a fracas that must have caused!

Thank you Telegraph for providing us with this information.

Facebook Bans ‘Feeling Fat’?

Facebook users know that you can post a vast number of activities on your timeline, from what you are doing, like watching a certain movie, to how you are feeling at a moment in time. But have you ever wanted to post that you are feeling a bit ‘fat-ish’ after a big meal?

Well, whether you were aware of the ‘feeling fat’ emoji or not, Facebook has recently banned it after a number of complaints. It is said that the rosy-cheeked, double-chinned emoticon got banned after activists started a petition against it for its negative impact it might have for those struggling with eating disorders and general issues regarding body weight.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Sims 4 Fans Angered By Omission of Toddlers and Pools – DLC Gone Too Far

Anyone who knows anything about the Sims series knows that EA take the absolute biscuit when it comes to DLC. They release a slimmed down base version of the game then milk the living crap out of Sims fans through DLC after DLC after DLC after…….and so on, you get the idea. For reference Sims 3 had 11 expansion packs, 9 stuff packs and 15 different game versions. As if that wasn’t enough they also offer a store for each of the games where they sell additional random items and bits of DLC for fairly hefty prices. I wouldn’t be surprised if it costs over $1000 to buy all the Sims 3 content at MSRP pricing, and I’m sure some die-hard fans have done that.

Enter Sims 4 arriving this autumn where EA is going to do it all again, except this time they are taking it even further. Instead of adding more things back into the base version of the games like fans had hoped, EA are taking more things out of the base game meaning you’ll be even more short-changed than Sims 3. EA and Maxis will be removing the toddler phase of Sim development and relocating that to some DLC and they are removing iconic elements of the house building system, such as the swimming pool.

“While we recognize that some of you will be disappointed that pools and toddlers won’t be available when The Sims 4 Base Game launches in September, you should know that we’re building an incredibly strong foundation that is capable of fulfilling every one of your desires in the years to come.” Said Maxis in a blog post.

It is fair to say Sims fans are pretty cheesed off, and rightly so. I don’t buy into the whole Sims series at all, it is way too time-demanding for my gaming style. However, I totally stand with the game fans on this one: EA are taking the biscuit and really need to listen to what fans want. You can check out the petition the fans have created to EA here, it only has 3400 signatures at the time of writing so let’s see if that can be changed!

Image courtesy of EA/Maxis

White House Asked To Deport Justin Bieber After 100,000 Signatures Collected

The internet can be a wonderful place sometimes, when it comes to voting for something online we find the online community can come together to do great things, or at least do stupid things that make us all giggle from time to time. For example, we’ve seen someone offer a vote on how they should name their child, only for it to almost be Megatron Allspark. More recently, Justin Bieber is in the sights of the internet once again, 4Chan have already tried sending his world tour to the middle-east, but now they’re trying to get him out of the country entirely!

A petition was submitted to the White House and gained the required 100,000 signatures that are need, this means the White House has to give it an official response. We highly doubt anything will come of it, but it’s still a good giggle and I don’t doubt that many of the people who signed it genuinely want him gone from their country, especially after recent events that saw him being sent to prison.

The WeThePeople platform is a great way for people to voice their opinions, almost all of which have been more serious than the Justin Bieber issue, but we can only hope it sends a message to the little brat that he needs to get his act together… or else the internet is coming to get kick his butt!

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.

Grand Theft Auto V For PC Petition Tops 650,000 Signatures

Since the release of Grand Theft Auto V on consoles, PC users hoped that Rockstar will have some news on a PC version as well. They were wrong, but that was something to be expected since the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV (which was released on PC eventually, only a bit later on). Even so, petitions were bound to pop up from somewhere.

This was the case of Mike Julliard, the man who started the GTA V for PC petition, after he saw an interview with Dan Houser, Rockstar Games’s Vice President, in which Dan pointed out the possibility of bringing the title to other platforms. This is due to Rockstar being a third-party developer, entitled to the freedom of deciding when and where to launch it.

With no news of the PC version under way, Julliard started the petition well ahead its launch. By the time it was released on Xbox, the petition had reached 500,000 signatures, with it having more than 650,000 today. The petition’s target is to reach 1 million signatures and afterwards present it to Rockstar. However, some people think that the current petition and signatures alone served its purpose, and it’s hard to believe Rockstar hasn’t heard about it.

The question now remains if the game will be out sooner, rather than later. But the most important think to ponder about is if the game will simply be a cheap porting of the console version or a whole new PC-oriented release. The petition can be seen (and signed if you are a PC gamer and are currently eagerly awaiting the PC version release) here.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Petition Launched To Get Google To Change YouTube Comments System Back

Change.org is playing host to a new petition which is targeting Google’s recent YouTube comments modification. The petition is requesting that Google reverses its policy on forcing people to make Google+ accounts to use the YouTube comments system. The petition claims that forcing people to make Google+ accounts to use YouTube is “invading our social life to comment on a youtube video and trying to take away our anonymous profile”.

The petition claims that Google has suspended the accounts some users who have shared the YouTube comments petition. It is recommended by the petition that you use a different Google+ account to your main Google account in preparation for the fact Google might suspend your accounts. Of course if Google is caught and proven to be suspending accounts because of “dissent” towards their YouTube comments changes this will no doubt be more damaging than the negative reception to the new comments system itself.

Currently the petition has racked up 61,190 signatures at the time of writing. If you dislike the new comments system then you might want to consider signing it here. I myself actually think the new comments system is an improvement over the old one, though I agree that there should be some kind of mechanism to allow for anonymous comments. I think Google should revise the new comments system to include an anonymous option.  What do you think of the new YouTube comments system?

Image courtesy of YouTube”

The “Bring GTA V To The PC” Petition Passes 500,000 Signatures

The Change.org petition to bring Grand Theft Auto V to the PC platform has now passed 500,000 signatures sitting at 520,000 at the time of writing. Of course if you believe any of the recent speculation (see here and here) then you’ll believe that GTA V is already coming to the PC – so the petition has done its job.

The expected release date for GTA V on the PC platform is November 22nd or December 6th, and anytime now Rockstar Games are expected to announce it because the longer they continue to deny it the more they are set to irritate PC Gamers. If you haven’t had a chance to sign the petition and would like to, then you can sign the GTA V petition here.

Image courtesy of Rockstar Games

Petition Launched To Prevent PC Version Of GTA V Appears On Change.org

It seems not everyone wants Grand Theft Auto V to come to the PC, despite the fact the game is already selling via pre-order in the millions and is expected to make billions in profit for Rockstar, as well as providing one of this gaming generations biggest games.

The petition was set up on Change.org as someone tried to talk Rockstar out of the consideration of a PC release of the game “So PC gamers learn their lesson and stop stealing games.” Now while I believe that is a noble idea, it is also completely ridiculous as ANY steam user will tell you, we don’t all pirate our games!

Trevor Phillips and a small bunch of signatures (88 at time of writing) Vs The World then it seems, but what are you thoughts on this, do you think Rockstar should send a message to the pirates by slamming all PC gamers with a ban on the potential GTA V release? I know I don’t.

It is a shame that there is no PC release date, or announcement for this game and I’m not really surprised by that fact, since Rockstar had a lot of issues with piracy and GTA IV a few years ago. Lets hope they change their mind soon and that the PC release date is coming in the near future. Especially given that hundreds of thousands of supports signed the petition to bring the game to PC, not cancel it it, take that Trevor Phillips!

Grand Theft Auto V is released next week, on September 17th.

Thank you Gamesreview for providing us with this information.

National Federation Of The Blind Attacks CAPTCHA

The BBC brought to our attention recently that there was a petition created on the WhiteHouse.Gov website for the government to “Side with the blind over obstructionist companies to secure a Treaty for the Blind that makes books accessible globally.” which is more about books not being available to the blind. As well as the National Federation of the Blind attacking CAPTCHA.  Being visually impaired doesn’t mean that you are 100 percent blind, and to be legally blind does not mean that you can’t see. It could just be that you cannot see without glasses, or even with glasses things are extremely blurry to the point where you can only really see shapes. Making reading words extremely difficult.

People who are blind are still people, they just aren’t able to see things clearly, making them rely more on other senses. Though you are not always able to rely on your senses when CAPTCHA doesn’t function properly. Websites want to prevent programs from easily gaining access to their websites and spamming them with junk, with many of us we can figure out what a CAPTCHA says, but someone with a disability, it might not be so easy, being able to view a blurry word or words, can be extremely difficult for some. And then if you can’t understand what it says you can click to hear, which doesn’t necessarily sounds like the letters or words presented in the CAPTCHA.

Image courtesy of Captcha.tv