PlayStation 4 won’t block second-hand games, but if the Xbox 720 does, it’s game over for Microsoft

In light of Sony’s patent application last year for a system in which discs contain an embedded chip that permanently and exclusively associates them with a specific device, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that the PS4 wouldn’t play pre-owned games. However, following its launch (and I use that word loosely here) yesterday, Sony have quashed that rumour, telling Eurogamer that it will be able to. Meanwhile, there’s been much speculation this month that Microsoft’s successor to its Xbox 360 console won’t play second-hand titles. The head of Eidos Interactive, Ian Livingstone, seemingly confirmed such rumours in an interview with an Indian gaming website.

It’s obvious why Microsoft would want to do this, as there can be no doubt that the second-hand video game market is seen by both them and publishers as an enormous cause of lost revenue. But for Microsoft and its consumers, it’s an utterly terrible idea for so many reasons.


Why we’re about to discover more Wikipedia hoaxes

Wikipedia articles and burgers from the supermarket – unless you examine them both in great detail, you can’t be 100 per cent sure what you’re getting. The article on the Bicholim Conflict – a supposed war between Portugal and the Indian Maratha Empire – was deleted last month after one editor assiduously demonstrated that the entire thing was an enormous and elaborate hoax. The article achieved “Good Article” status, and was even nominated to be a Featured Article (That’s Wikipedia’s equivalent of Tesco’s Finest range).


Facebook Graph Search: now you can spy on your friends

As The Telegraph reports, Facebook has overhauled its internal search engine to allow members to easily search through their friends’ posts. The Graph Search tool will allow users to quickly retrieve friends’ mutual interests, such as films and music; Facebook suggests searches like “Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter” for planning a film night, for example.

Well, who wouldn’t want to go to a film night where the host invited you not from his knowledge of your taste in films, but because of the results he got in a database query?


In trying to ‘unpublish’ Julie Burchill, The Observer displays its ignorance of the internet

The Observer’s takedown of and apology for Julie Burchill’s controversial piece on transgender women is a completely pointless action.

Simply putting a sentence from the piece in quotes into Google brings up hundreds of results, which in turn contain fuller excerpts and whole paragraphs. These would of course show up in a blind search – that is to say, if one did not have access to verbatim excerpts of the piece as I did – and these results in turn can be used to retrieve the whole article. This is not particularly difficult: I saw it hosted indefinitely on at least one pastebin site, a type of site devoted to hosting text for almost any purpose. Then again, that doesn’t even matter, not until Google’s cache updates itself at least, because a copy of the whole page on theGuardian (sorry Alan Rusbridger) Observer website remains there.


Internet fraudsters are faking messages by Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza. What lies behind this sick fetish?

Several newspapers have speculated that Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza may have anonymously revealed to the internet what he planned to do. Screenshots purportedly of posts on a 4chan message board show a user intending to kill himself in a way that will make the news on Friday morning, saying only that he lives in Conneticut (sic). The post is accompanied with an uncensored photo of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine school killers, after they had committed suicide.

However, the screenshots are unquestionably fakes.


Wikipedia vandals will be stopped in their tracks as ‘pending changes’ safeguard goes live

In a small but fundamental change to Wikipedia, a tool which protects articles from malicious vandalism while simultaneously permitting good-faith edits has gone live on the English Wikipedia.

When a page under ‘pending changes’ protection is edited by a new user or a user without an account, the edit does not go live until it has been reviewed by a more experienced editor.


Call of Duty: Black Ops II – more evidence that games manufacturers are rewarding addiction, not skill

It’s that time of year again, when vast numbers of men around the world ignore their girlfriends (at least, those with one) in favour of having 13-year-olds scream profanity at them over the internet – all in the name of a video game. Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the latest game in the enormously successful Call of Duty franchise, has been released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.


Star Wars VII: Disney has the scope to make an awesome new film. Don’t knock until you’ve seen it

I just felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly said: “What, what?” As the Telegraph reports, Walt Disney has agreed to buy Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars films, for $4.05bn (£2.5bn) in a cash and shares deal. A seventh Star Wars film will be released in 2015.


Gawker’s unmasking of Reddit troll Violentacrez uncovers new layers of internet hypocrisy

A few forums of the social news aggregator website Reddit have blocked links to Gawker, in response to Gawker journalist Adrian Chen’s unmasking of the internet troll known as Violentacrez, a 49-year-old Texan who specialised in sharing images of scantily-clad women taken covertly – many of them underage. He was also responsible for the distribution of reams of incestuous, racist, and sexually violent material in other Reddit forums, or “subreddits” as they are known.


The iPhone 5: the more glass screen there is, the more there is to break

The American independent reviewers’ group Consumer Reports has given Apple’s iPhone 5 its blessing – a stark contrast to its assessment of the iPhone 4 in 2010, which it notably could not recommend due to signal degradation issues. The consumer watchdog considered the maps app “competent enough, even if it falls short of what’s available for free on many other phones”, and complimented the phone’s profile, speed and display, stating that it is the best iPhone to date.

Personally, it’s just not for me.