Developers put game on Pirate Bay to help cash-strapped players

Game studios normally bend over backwards to discourage pirates and keep titles off of any piracy sites, but don’t tell that to Acid Wizard. When the studio saw that a young player asked for a refund for its horror game Darkwood out of a fear that his parents wouldn’t like the cost of the game, it decided to offer a safe, unprotected copy of the game on The Pirate Bay. It wants to offer you a chance to play Darkwood if money’s simply too tight. There are only two requests: think about buying the game when you can, and don’t buy it through key resellers like G2A.

That last part is crucial to the decision. Acid Wizard sees resellers as “cancer[s]” that hurt the game industry as a whole and make it “impossible” to give away free copies an a more controlled way. After all, what’s to stop recipients from selling their free keys? The developer might be leaving money on the table, but it argues that this is better than letting cheaters and resellers profit at a studio’s expense.

There’s no doubt that this is as much a shrewd business move as it is a kind gesture. After all, it publicizes the game and builds up a player base that Darkwood wouldn’t have obtained through sales alone. At the same time, though, it’s also a reminder that the game key system has some endemic problems that hurt creators — even those creators that have no problems giving away their work.

Giphy will tell you what the most popular GIFs are

For the first time ever you’ll be able to see how many times a GIF has been viewed, so long as it’s hosted by Giphy. That sounds pretty useful for internet professionals and social media celebs. As for the rest of us, well, it’ll at least be easy to figure out the best reaction GIFs — and we’ll have a pretty good indicator of which memes have jumped the shark.

At this point in time, Giphy’s counter only works for the database’s official artists and partners, such as MTV and NBA. Further, it will only take a view into account if a GIF is viewed on or through one of its distribution networks, including Facebook, Twitter, iMessage and WhatsApp. Every time a GIF is loaded, the platform considers that as one view, even if you close it quickly after it’s served. However, Giphy doesn’t count loops like Vine did. To see how many views a GIF has, you must look at it on the platform’s website and find the count on its right side under the share icons.

The company has revealed its most viewed GIFs along with the announcement, and as you’d expect, they’re the reaction GIFs you’ve frequently been seeing on online forums and social networks. Taking the number one spot with over 152 million views is the blinking man meme by Mashable. BB-8’s thumbs up also did exceptionally well with over 88 million views, while Rihanna’s dab of approval (shown above) now has over 14 million views.

Tom Smith, Giphy’s director of product, explained:

“Behind this simple feature is a lot of complex engineering. We are counting several billions of views happening on Giphy, as well as those happening across the thousands of platforms powered by our API. Whether in messaging apps, social platforms, or sites across the whole internet, we power expression — and all that is reflected in the GIF view count.”

Google accidentally broke the internet throughout Japan

Last week, nearly half of Japan briefly lost access to the internet because of an error made by Google. The mistake was noticed and corrected within just a few minutes, but its effects led to hours of slowed internet connections. The impact was so large that Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry initiated an investigation into the issue.

The problem occurred around noon on Friday. A mistake on Google’s end made it appear as if a large chunk of IP addresses were available for internet traffic to be routed through Google. However, those IP addressesactually belonged to Japanese internet service providers. So a large amount of traffic that was meant for Japan was suddenly sent towards Google by major internet service providers like Verizon. But Google isn’t a service provider and isn’t meant to route traffic, so all of that traffic destined for Japan was basically just sent nowhere.

Connectivity was restored within the hour, but persistently slow connection speeds resulting from the mistake affected industries like finance, where online trading was halted, and transportation — East Japan Railway Co. riders weren’t able to buy tickets or board trains. The internet service providers impacted the most were KDDI Corp. and NTT Communications, the latter of which provides service to well over seven million people.

A Google spokesperson told Asahi Shimbun, “We set wrong information for the network and, as a result, problems occurred. We modified the information to the correct one within eight minutes. We apologize for causing inconvenience and anxieties (among Internet users).”

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Facebook will block ads from Pages that spread fake news

In its latest attempt to fix its fake news problem, Facebook will now block Pages that spread fake news from advertising on the site. “If Pages repeatedly share stories marked as false, these repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook,” it said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Facebook began flagging fake news posts and promotingmore legitimate content over sketchy articles. It also began deprioritizingcontent shared by individuals who post over 50 times per day when research showed that in those cases, the shared posts often included misinformation and sensationalism. In a more direct challenge of fake news, the site recently began publishing fact checkers’ takes on articles labeled as potentially fake and making it easier to get to different articles related to any given post.

The company has already banned fake news websites from generating ad revenue on Facebook and blocked ads that link to fake news stories. It says its latest update is to take the fight against fake news a step further. “Today’s update helps to disrupt the economic incentives and curb the spread of false news, which is another step towards building a more informed community on Facebook,” it said.