I’m up in arms over ham radio legislation and BioWare’s back-ends, while Australia’s up in arms over cyberwarfare and nobody in particular seems upset about the massive onslaught of Star Trek in Discovery’s final voyage. But whatever side you take on the major stories, there’s no denying it’s been a particularly interesting week in geek. Let’s jump in.
FAIL: Everything About the Following Story
So, an alleged troll gets all up in BioWare’s thang on their forums. NBD, right? Happens all the time. BioWare sent the troll scurrying back under his bridge with a forum ban. The kicker? A back-end option in Dragon Age II permitted BioWare to ban his access to the single player game for the duration of the forum ban. I suppose this is by way of teaching a lesson, but really, banning his access to the single player game for his online activities? How much trolling can he do on a single player campaign? When one is being a troll on a forum associated with a multiplayer game, a simultaneous forum/game server ban might be justified. This is not such a case. This is a whole new ballgame.
WIN: Cyberwarfare Dundee
When it’s not banning people from activities in which they couldn’t cause trouble if they tried, I’m all for reasonable security measures. So I consider Australia’s recent decision to create an official governmental cyberwarfare response team a win. But I can’t help but imagine Paul Hogan at a PC, knife between his teeth, all leather and grit as he furiously punches Alt+Ctrl+Del. (There’s a reference for the ragtag band of us “Get This” geeks that remain. You’re welcome.)
WIN: Captain Kirk Calling
This is a win only if you’re not a Discovery astronaut who happens to hate Star Trek. On their final day before returning to Earth, William Shatner treated the Discovery astronauts to a very long-distance wake-up call. The Star Trek shtick abounded on this flight, with the theme from the show waking up the astronauts earlier in the voyage. Shatner reprised his famous narration from the opening of the show, tailored to Discovery. As far as memorable wake-up calls go, this might just take the cake.
FAIL: HR 607
Ham radio operators everywhere (of which I am one – how far into nerd-dom does that sink me?) take note: Representative Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has introduced a new bill that aims to sell the popular 420-400 MHz range to make way for a Public Safety broadband network in the D-Block. The bill, HR 607 or the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011, would pay for the network by selling off 420-400 MHz which is a range commonly used by amateur radio enthusiasts, as well as satellites and the military.
On a more serious note, I’d like to extend my thoughts and sympathy to the people of Japan during this tremendous tragedy. Some of the greatest developments in geekhood have hailed from that beautiful country. May recovery be swift.