Jakarta Taxi Drivers Are Protesting Against Uber

Recent years have seen the rise of apps that sometimes disturb common practices, things that have been going on for many years already. One of the things disturbed has been Taxi’s with many apps offering similar services, often for cheaper fares. Taxi Drivers in Jakarta have had enough and are now protesting against Uber and similar apps.

Taxi drivers in Jakarta are saying that apps such as Uber and grab have impacted their business, resulting in reduced salaries. The impact they say is because unlike Taxi companies, the apps are not affected by the costs and regulations that Taxi companies have to pay.

The protests have been less than calm though with reports of violence erupting. One man stated that he saw a passenger being threatened with rocks when a taxi driver accepted a passenger and footage has shown taxi drivers being threatened and attacked for not taking part in the strikes.

No matter what their opinions on the matter, attacking other taxi drivers does nothing but harms their reputation, arguments and relationships with fellow workers as they fight for the “good of the group”. The protesters have taken to blocking roads outside many government buildings, including the ministry of communication and parliament, resulting in heavy delays in the capital.

With apps like Uber offering features that taxi’s simply can’t, such as the new Family ride service, are taxi’s able to keep up with the apps or are they sticking to a model which technology has made dated? Do you use Uber or are you a Taxi person? Which is better in your opinion and why use one when the other is available? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below

Anti-Violent Video Games Senator Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Former California state senator, Leland Yee became a household villain in the gaming industry for outlandish claims regarding the link between video games and violent behaviour. In an absurd move, Yee attempted to pass a bill banning the sale of violent games to children. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and he was unsuccessful, but this rightfully angered a great number of people. There’s no clear evidence linking games to violent activity, and some scholars argue it has the opposite effect. The ability to quash one’s frustrations in a virtual world reduces the probability of doing the same in real life and causing harm. Despite Yee’s apparent impeccable moral compass and crusade to help society, it appears he isn’t a law-abiding citizen.

Last July, Yee pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in connection with two criminal enterprises and weapons smuggling. Recently, he was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement. According to a report from San Jose Mercury News, Yee was facing a 20 year prison sentence and fine of $250,000 plus restitution. However, his plea dramatically reduced the sentence to 5 years. Prosecutors in the case said Yee demonstrated “a venal attitude toward his position as an elected public official” “and had no qualms abusing his position to the detriment of his constituents.”

As you can see, it was pretty hypocritical for Yee to make sweeping statements regarding violent video games considering his terrible character. I do feel the sentence is awfully lenient and the justice system should be setting a better example for politicians in office. At least this is a sweet moment for gamers, who felt the brunt of Yee’s ridiculous claims. It’s clear he was trying to use gaming to further his own biased agenda and cover up any criminal activity. Clearly, the violence in video games debate always gains a lot of media attention and involves discussion from politicians without any knowledge of the industry.

Image courtesy of Polygon 

Obama Orders Study Into Smart Gun Technology

Smart guns are nothing new, they are the concept of using technology to not enhance guns but to make them easier to track and ensure they are used by the correct people for the correct reason. It would seem though that President Barak Obama hopes that smart gun technology can be used to stem gun violence in the U.S.

In a memorandum, the departments of Defence, Justice and Homeland security were told to look into smart gun technology. Obama is rumoured to be using his authority to push forward extra gun control measures in his last year, within the statement he stated that “developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority”.

Smart guns would allow guns to be outfitted with radio frequency trackers, or even fingerprint scanners, which would allow lost or stolen weapons to be traced more easily and then require authorisation to use the weapon in the way of a fingerprint scan respectively. Alternatives include having a small watch device on your wrist, with the gun only discharging when the watch and the weapon are within a certain range, thereby limiting the number of people that can pick up and use the weapons with ease.

With 90 days to report their findings on the study, the concept has already come under fire from the national rifle association with a spokeswoman Jennifer Baker saying that “there is nothing in this set of proposals that would improve public safety“.

With these requirements and the idea to licence anyone selling firearms, not just in store but also at events or online, the idea of limiting or tracking firearms more effectively seems to be at the core of the new proposals.

It will be interesting to see the results of the studies and the subsequent comments from the NRA and government authorities regarding Smart weapons as upgrading anything with technology is often seen with sceptical eyes from everyone.

Image courtesy of the Verge.

Scholars Ask US Psychologists to Stop Demonising Video Games

A recent study by the American Psychological Association suggests that there is a connection between video game violence and real-world violence. The inflammatorily-named “Task Force on Violent Media” paper, released by the APA, states:

“The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behaviour, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”

The APA, however, has a sordid history of attacking video games, and by using less than scientific methods to facilitate its smears. Thankfully, a group of 230 academics have been paying attention, and have written an open letter to the APA asking it to stop its biased attacks on video games, calling its accusations “misleading and alarmist”.

The letter accuses the APA of cherrypicking data to support its pre-existing position, a trick that is not only unethical but fundamentally unscientific:

“The entire article of studies absolutely ignores all the contrary studies – something that seems wildly ethically unsound. It’s certainly relevant to gather together studies on the subject, but such selective choosing implies something else is afoot.”

Amongst the ‘papers’ cited by the APA study, very few were related to its conclusion, while one wasn’t even a scientific paper but rather a parents’ guide to Christmas shopping for their kids. The objecting scholars also attack a 2005 paper published by the APA, entitled “Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media”, which served as a jumping off point for “Task Force on Violent Media”:

“We express the concern that the APA’s previous (2005) policy statement delineated several strong conclusions on the basis of inconsistent or weak evidence. Research subsequent to that 2005 statement has provided even stronger evidence that some of the assertions in it cannot be supported.”

The letter, though polite and non-confrontational (the writers don’t play video games, obviously), absolutely owns the APA, exposing its bias, poor science, and unethical behaviour, and all without writing a paper called “Being a Member of the American Psychological Association Makes People Lie”.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GameSkinny.

Metro: Last Light Trailer Recreated in GTA V (Updated)

Creator’s view update at the end of the article.

Grand Theft Auto V is such an incredible open world game with stunning graphics which makes almost anything possible. Nicky Sierra, a YouTuber took it to a whole new level by recreating the scene called ‘Genesis’ from the gameplay trailer of the Metro: Last Light in the world of Grand Theft Auto V. He has managed to pull off such complex scenes by utilizing the built-in Rockstar Editor which assists in making and shooting the gameplay from various angles and provides the cinematic-like result.

The video is about the week of the creation of the life on the planet Earth by the God. It starts from Day 1 when the world witnesses light, next day “the majestic sky” starts existing. On the third day, God plants trees on the planet and a day later, the day and night is separated. On the fifth day, God creates birds and smokes a new life in the sky followed by creation of glorious creatures, animals and makes the Humans Beings dominant, “To Nurture, To Rule”, but on the final day of the week, as humans starts killing “they say, the God rested”.

I would recommend you to take a look at the original Metro: Last Light “Genesis” gameplay trailer before watching this re-creation so you can fully appreciate the effort that’s gone into it.

It is one of my favourites, we have already witnessed creative work done by various players such as Furious 7’s Paul Walker Tribute and the Breaking Bad Scenes. What are your thoughts on this video? Let us know in the comments section.

Update: The creator has used mods to set the specific time of the day, weather and character animations. The most challenging part, according to him, was finding the right animations due to the presence of thousands of character animations; which are needed to be tried out manually as some of them have misleading titles.  It took the creator and his friends about 5 hours to get the video ready including filming to editing.

Metro Logo courtesy of VboxArt.

American Gamer Who Flew to UK to Kill Woman Receives Life Sentence

Shane Coffey, a 20-year-old American gamer who attacked a British woman in a chaotic knife attack, has been sentenced to a life sentence. After pleading guilty for attempted murder and grievous bodily harm, the American will have to serve at least eight-and-half-years.

Coffey was from Boston, Massachusetts, and broke into the 19-year-old woman, Farha Dowlut’s, home in Epsom, Surrey, on April 18, and then attacked her with a hunting knife. The victim’s 23-year-old brother was able to intervene to stop the attack before local police arrived.

Coffey and the victim first began communicating online when she was 14-years-old, and the blossoming relationship began to fizzle out after Coffey reportedly hacked her computer. He had her address because they exchanged several Christmas gifts with one another, and began chatting again in November 2013.

However, in March 2014, Dowlut told Coffey to “get out of her life,” and that is when the online relationship took a sinister turn – Coffeey already had a ticket booked for the UK, and passed through customs with cable ties, tape, and a hunting knife. Shortly thereafter, the attack took place, and the victim sustained cuts to her arms, legs and chest, along with post-traumatic stress from the incident.

A Surrey Police spokesman noted:

“This case was extremely complex and involved a set of unusual circumstances which could never have been foreseen by the victims. Coffeey had previously been in contact with the two victims through online gaming. He persisted in harassing them even after they tried to break off communication and in April travelled to their address from America without their knowledge or invitation.”

(Thank you to Daily Mail for providing us with this information. Image courtesy of YourLocalGuardian)

9yr Old Boy Taken To Court For Taking Gun To School, Minecraft To Blame… Wait, What!?

We’ve all heard the stories of video games causing violence, no doubt you’re sick of them as much as I am too! Yet one stood out this morning that just didn’t add up to my mind, one child has been taken to court over a video game that you wouldn’t normally associate with “violent video games”, I am of course talking about Minecraft.

Minecraft is a global phenomenon, a huge wave of gaming craziness that has become the play thing of millions of gamers of all different ages, but this is easily the first time I’ve heard of someone partaking in anything even remotely violent because of it. OK I admit there may have been one or two drunken arguments about it at the occasional LAN gaming event, but even then it is highly unlikely.

The nine year old boy in question hails from Orlando, Florida. He was taken to court and sentenced to home confinement by a judge, even though it is said that the boy could barely see the judge over the podium! The charges brought against the boy were unfortunately pretty serious, especially given that he was only 9. He was found carrying “an unloaded handgun, a magazine with six bullets inside, a steak knife and a small-handled sledge hammer” according to reports from WFTV-TV of Orlando.

“They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies,” said the boys father.

I’ve only played about 5 minutes of Minecraft in my life, personally I’m pretty sure there are no guns in there? Correct me if I am wrong. I also doubt that Minecraft was the only game this kid played, he’s nine and has access to a computer and from the sounds of it, his gaming habits are not that closely monitored either.

The boys father said the guns firing pin had been removed, so there was no chance of it being fired. However, he still found it, as well as live ammo, not to mention the knife and hammer that he took with him!

We’re all used to the video games cause violence scapegoat, but Minecraft hardly fits the bill does it. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, sound off in the comments section below.

Thank you WFTV for providing us with this information.