Facebook Looks To Eliminate User Voting Rights

Perhaps giving ideas to poorly run democracies everywhere, Facebook is giving users one last chance to keep the right to vote on data use policy changes. If too few voters turn out, all users lose the right to vote on future changes.

Facebook users have always had the right to vote on data policy changes, as long as 30 percent of all users submit a vote. That’s never happened. Now the site is following advice from regulators, such as the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office, on how to legally eliminate the process entirely. Facebook’s worldwide operations are run by Facebook Inc. in the U.S. and Facebook Ireland Ltd.

Elliot Schrage, Facebook VP, Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, responded to concerns in a blog entry, writing, “We’ve revised this proposal to make it clear that the sharing of information among our affiliates is and will be done in compliance with all applicable laws, and where additional consent of our users is required, we will obtain it.”

The proposed changes cover governance, data sharing with affiliates, user ownership of content and privacy controls, and advertising policies. They are described in detail by Facebook Site Governance {link no longer active}.

Voting has already begun {link no longer active} and ends on December 10 at 3 p.m. EST. If 30 percent of users submit a vote, as tabulated by an independent auditor, the vote is binding. Facebook calls the vote “advisory” should fewer than 30 percent of users participate.

At the time of this writing, nearly 92 percent of votes were in favor of keeping existing data use and governance policies, but with fewer than 135,000 votes cast.

Source: Facebook

A Hobbit Feast

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has opened a site called Recipes of Middle-Earth which features official as well as fan-submitted takes on what delicious meals and snacks one might encounter during a journey through Tolkien’s world.

Fellow travelers, we welcome you to sample this collection of recipes for authentic Middle-earth cuisine cultivated by the Dwarf Company’s heartiest appetite. Give each dish a rating, and submit your own recipes for others to enjoy and appraise too!

Recipe categories include:


Appetizers & Sides

Soups & Salads

Main Course

Sweets & Treats

So far, available recipes range from main courses titled ‘Gollum’s Stuffed Liver Fish’ and ‘Dragon’s Strength’ to treats such as ‘Bilbo’s Biscuits’ and ‘Dwarves’ Dumplings.’ The site features Bombur, a food-loving member of the treasure-hunting band Bilbo joins with in his unexpected adventure.

One Big ‘Farcebook’ Scheme

An Arizona man may have been trying to bring wishful thinking into some semblance of reality when he posted a shopped photo claiming to hold the winning ticket in a record lottery jackpot. He ended up setting a different record when his post went viral, shared by more than 2 million Facebook users.

Nolan Ryan Daniels put a photo of himself with a ticket supposedly showing the winning numbers from a $588 million Powerball drawing. He included a caption saying he’d never have to work again and asked Facebook users to share the post for the chance to get $1 million, which he offered to reward to a user at random. According to news reports, the post continued to spread at a rate of 100 shares a minute even several days after it had been revealed as a hoax. The 2 million shares it managed to drum up beat out Facebook’s previous record holder, a 2011 New York Times interactive post on the Japan tsunami that was shared by 600,000 users.

Trying to explain Daniel’s motivation, his brother Derek Daniels told a local paper, “I think he craves the love from people.”

Source: Savannah Morning News

Nintendo America President Undaunted By Wii U Launch Issues

The launch of the Wii U has gotten off to something of a rocky start, with reviewers unimpressed by the offering of launch titles and many griping over the long firmware download required to take the system online. The ever confident Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime is not worried about the criticism coming from the enthusiast press, however.

“Reviews of a system or review of a game really come down to the quality and capability of the reviewer,” he said. “There has been a range of comments and commentary. But when I go on Miiverse and see how consumers are reacting to games like ZombiU or … Call of Duty, that tells me we’re doing something very, very positive. Similarly, when I go on other consumer social networks and see other consumer reaction that is positive, I know we’ve done well.”

There are also fears that the Miiverse will be brought down on Christmas Day as families plug in their Wii U for the first time. Fils-Aime is confident, however, that launch day troubles for the social network will not be repeated on Christmas.

“Without getting into a lot of technical details, the Miiverse [problem] was not purely driven by capacity,” Fils-Aime said. “That gives us confidence that come Christmas morning, those servers will not be challenged in the same way. Come Christmas morning, the Wii U will be available globally. We know there will be a lot of consumers utilizing their Wii U for the very first time. So we’re working very hard to make sure the initial customer experience is a good one.”

“Every time we launch a new system, there are significant challenges,” he added. “There’s everything from supply to making sure the new offering meet our expectations. In the digital, connected services area, much of what we’re doing is groundbreaking, so we are having to learn as we go to make sure the consumer has the very best experience possible.”

One major feature that has been delayed is Nintendo TVii, though Fils-Aime is confident it will launch in December. “On launch day for us, Nintendo TVii wasn’t at a point where we wanted it to be,” he said. “It was not the compelling innovative product we wanted it to be and we needed it to be.”

Source: Gamasutra.com

PS3 Top Netflix Device In The World

Netflix is claiming the PS3 is the movie streaming service’s lead platform. Netflix says that the PS3 is their primary development platform and is the world’s most popular device for using Netflix to view movies and TV shows on a television.

“PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall,” said Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. “PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3.”

“The PlayStation and Netflix communities both share a strong passion for high quality entertainment,” added Jack Tretton, CEO and President of SCEA. “Netflix provides a fantastic experience for watching TV shows and movies on PS3, and our joint development will continue to produce innovations for our customers that further demonstrate PS3 as the true home for entertainment in the living room.”

Green Throttle Games Sees $6 Million In Funding

Green Throttle Games has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Trinity Ventures with participation from DCM; Trinity general partner Ajay Chopra is joining the company’s board. The funds will be used to help the company create games and devices that will support mobile gaming on TVs.

“We believe a large percentage of consumers will use their phones or tablets to play games on a TV, and mobile-to-TV gaming could quickly grow to surpass the console market,” said Charles Huang, co-founder and CEO of Green Throttle Games. “By building a straightforward way to enjoy mobile games together with your friends, we hope to revolutionize how mobile games are played.”

“The ability to play mobile games on a big screen TV is very attractive, and Green Throttle’s leadership is well poised to bring in the kind of top quality games and industry connections that are needed to turn the Atlas controller and Green Throttle’s solution into a household name,” added Chopra. “I have always surrounded myself with entrepreneurs who know how to delight their end users and Green Throttle aims to do just that.â”

Skyrim Dragonborn DLC Emerging On PS3

Bethsoft today confirmed that the Dragonborn DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will indeed be coming to the PS3 in early 2012. This comes right before the third DLC pack will release on Xbox Live.

The company was asked if the first two expansions were coming to PS3 and why Dragonborn was coming first. “We think Dragonborn is our best add-on for Skyrim yet, and we didn’t want fans to wait long, so that’s our current focus. Each platform takes a lot of time and attention,” Bethsoft responded. “As noted in our blog post, we’re not done with content for Skyrim. When we’re ready to share more details, we’ll update everyone.”

Source: Eurogamer.net

Star Wars Anime Dogfight

This impressive little animation calls back to both a previous age of anime and of Star Wars, with a hand animated fight between the Imperial Navy and the Rebel Alliance. What’s more impressive is that it’s the product of one man, YouTuber Otaking77077, with sound effects and music added afterward by the video uploader.


Irrational Hires Cosplayer For BioShock Infinite Promotion

Irrational Games announced today that it is hiring Anna Moleva to be the official face of Elizabeth for BioShock Infinite. Moleva, who sometimes goes by the moniker of Ormeli, is a veteran cosplayer whose pics of her cosplaying Elizabeth in an outfit she made went viral and caught the attention of Irrational.

“We were so amazed by her dedication and her resemblance to Elizabeth that we decided to ask her if she’d like to be involved in helping bring Elizabeth to life in our box, our key art and our upcoming television ad,” announced BioShock creator Ken Levine.

Source: IrrationalGames.com