Gaming Scholarships?

Posted: March 27, 2015 by Nancy in Among other things
Tags:

Hi Tracey! I survived the wifi outage. It was a painful week. Since we’re going through the whole college/scholarships process, I want to show you scholarship I recently found out about.

League of Legends is the most popular online video game by far with 67 million monthly players, and last fall, Robert Morris University in Chicago became the first college in America to accept competitive gaming (eSports) as a varsity sport. In fact, the college is offering athletic scholarships for League players. The University of Pikeville has followed Robert Morris’s lead in offering scholarships for eSports.

This is great. Most people have the chance to obtain scholarships for doing what they’re passionate about. Getting scholarships can be a struggle, though, when others don’t take your hobbies seriously. This League scholarship is a great change in an era when gaming has become more popular among the public.

However, the Pikeville scholarship and the Robert Morris scholarship has received some backlash from the gaming community on Reddit. Neither scholarship has received glowing praise, mainly because they appeared to falsely offer tuition-free education. The scholarships shouldn’t be avoided by any means, but gamers should carefully consider what the scholarships actually offer. This is a progressive time for eSports, and while these scholarships aren’t well received, I hope other universities develop scholarship programs that appeal to those with a strong interest in competitive gaming.

–Nancy


Sources:

Forbes

Time

Advertisements

Hey Nancy, hope you’ve been enjoying this weekend even though your wifi is not working right now.

My last post was about the FCC’s decision on new net neutrality rules, which is a big win on our part since they’ve voted for an open internet. However, it seems like these new rules will get their first test soon. There have been reports of providers of HBO and Showtime trying to buy a separate channel from cable and broadband providers to avoid the congestion on the internet. The reason for entertainment companies wanting this is because it would provide better quality of service to their customers. The cable companies are a reluctant about making these lanes because of the cost and it will potentially get them in trouble with the FCC.

The FCC has stated that they will not crack down on dedicated traffic flows for traditional cable tv channels, cardiac monitors, e-readers like kindle but they did state that they will look out for evidence “these types of service offerings are undermining investment, innovation, competition and end-user benefits”.

I’m interested in seeing how this plays out whether the FCC will intervene at this or not but also if the cable companies will accept the deal from the providers of HBO and Showtime. If the FCC let them get away with this then that means other companies might try to build fast lanes also, and that in the end is going against net neutrality since not all data will be treated equally.

That’s all I have for today, wish you luck on getting your wifi back.

-Tracey


Source:

Forbes

Tracey, the FCC ruling!

The FCC ruled for an open internet, which is beyond great, but you already know the Republicans are doing everything in their power to change this. Republican representative Marsha Blackburn reintroduced the Internet Freedom Act in Congress to stop FCC from forwarding net neutrality. She has introduced similar bills before, but now that the commission has come out with a decision, this bill pointed addresses the issue: “The rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission … on February 26, 2015 (relating to broadband Internet access service) shall have no force or effect…”

Please note that Marsha Blackburn is a legislator that receives a lot of money from telecom companies.

We can’t say Republican opposition to the ruling was unexpected. Republicans are also ready to fight the decision in courts. With the Republicans holding a majority in Congress, it is feasible to think that the Internet Freedom Act or a similar bill will be passed. Right now, that concern can be overlooked; Obama would surely veto a bill that specifically overrules the FCC net neutrality decision.

But clearly, the fight isn’t over yet.

–Nancy


Sources:

The Huffington Post

Slate

Great news Nancy! I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the FCC ruling on net neutrality about a week ago.

The Federal Communications Commission voted on February 26, in favor of an “open internet”, meaning it would have rules to ensure that all data on the internet is treated equally and no website is treated better or worse. It also means the internet service providers can not have fast lanes or paid prioritization. This will also reclassify the ISPs as public utilities, therefore they have a set of regulations that they must follow in order for their customers to get fair access to the services.

Now this is great news for all of us, unprivileged people out there but for ISPs and pro-business people out there, not so much. ISPs would not be able to charge more money from both the consumer and the content provider and for pro-business people, the claimed that net neutrality will stifle innovation. One of these people is former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, and it seems that the other Republicans aren’t too happy with the FCC ruling.

In my opinion net neutrality does not stifle innovation at all, if anything it promotes it. If there were fast lanes then only the companies with a lot of money will come out on top and the future facebook, youtube, twitter, and tumblr will never emerge and rise. With net neutrality it ensures that everything is treated equally online and businesses can grow because of that.

Well, I’m going to go and enjoy the last day of my weekend before going back to school tomorrow. See you later.

-Tracey


Sources:

Time

USA Today 

Video Game Piracy

Posted: February 23, 2015 by Nancy in Digital Rights
Tags: , ,

Hi Tracey! Chinese New Year was awesome this year; there was lots of good food. I hope your week-long family dinners were more exciting this year.

A lot of people, especially people our age, have pirated something, be that a movie, a song, or a piece of software. Most industries fight this through copyright laws, but as you know, copyright laws aren’t as strict in America as they are in, say, Japan. So piracy remains. Video game developers, however, have taken an aggressive approach to piracy. A trap ending had been coded into Skullgirls that would be activated if the game was pirated. In Game Dev Tycoon, developers coded a failstate into the game that forces a player to see their in-game career end in bankruptcy for player who obtained the game illegally. These are smart ideas, but bigger publishers have turned to invasive Digital Rights Management (DRM) policies to stop piracy. This includes online authentication so invasive and unreliable that paying players are forced to access the game through torrent sites.

The most common argument in piracy in digital entertainment is that it undermines the rights of the creators. It’s a fair argument, but the video game industry isn’t known for its standard of living and working conditions. Employees are often under short term contracts and underpaid, forcing them into hours of overtime to make a living. Ethically, neither side is right, but it is very difficult to support an industry that does not have a history in petitioning for humane living standards for its workers.

–Nancy


Sources:

Forbes

At Least They Agree on Something

Posted: February 22, 2015 by Tracey in Digital Rights
Tags: ,

Hey Nancy, it’s been awhile and I hope you’ve been enjoying the snow. Happy Chinese New Year by the way. Did you know that there was something call an internet tax? I’ve never heard of it until today when I was looking up topics to write about this week.

Internet tax is well taxing on the internet. It’s a state and local tax on internet access and you might wonder but we don’t have that, what are you talking about? That is because thanks to the Internet Tax Freedom Act passed in 1998 that bans state and local taxation on internet access. This act is not permanent so every now and then, Congress has to pass the act again to extend it. But recently the Senate has passed a legislation that will make this ban permanent. This legislation also bans discriminatory and multiple taxes online.

What is surprising and what caught my eye about this piece of legislation is that both parties support it. It has thirty eight senators sponsoring it (28 republicans and 10 democrats), in addition to the two senators that introduced this legislation, Senator John Thune (R) and Senator Ron Wyden (D). Sen. Wyden who was also the original author of the 1998 bill said that it’s needed to protect the individual freedom online while Sen. Thune stated that it is needed to encourage businesses to flourish on the internet.

Both parties may have different motives for passing the bill but it’s surprising to me that they actually came together and passed it without any troubles. Rarely does both parties agree on something and it causes a lot of gridlock in Congress where barely anything gets done when that happens. So to see both parties united on this legislation is great. It also shows that even though there’s a lot of things that they don’t agree on, there are some that they do and this is one example of it.

That’s all I really have for today. See you tomorrow.

-Tracey


Sources:

The Hill 

New York Times

The Cyber Attacks Continue

Posted: February 8, 2015 by Tracey in Among other things
Tags: ,

Hey Nancy hope you’re enjoying your weekend. This week has been really fun in school with International Day and Central’s Got Talent. Remember that post I did around a month  ago about the cyber attacks and what the White House to planning to do to strengthen cyber security?

Well, the executive branch urges Congress to pass legislation that will strengthen data protection fast! This was due to the data breach on Anthem Inc. Anthem is the second biggest U.S. health insurer and the security breach earlier provided the hacker personal information of millions of their current and former customers. Anthem is not the only one dealing with cyber attacks, there’s also Sony, JP Morgan, etc. These security breach is a big problem not only for the companies but for the millions of people that have their personal information stored in these companies. Due to this the White House urges Congress to act fast, the legislation would establish a standard of notifying customers of breach within 30 days and how data collection online will proceed.

As for Anthem they notified all their customers about this problem  and promised to provide credit and identity-theft monitoring services for free. I really hope Congress does something about this soon because this is a really big problem and if this continues then everybody can be in danger of identity theft, no one will feel safe anymore.

-Tracey


Sources:

Bloomberg