The playing field has officially been levelled.
According to a post by Gizmodo this evening, Microsoft has officially backpedalled on their Digital Rights Management (DRM) philosophy for the Xbox One.
An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.
This brings the Microsoft philosophy right in line with Sony. While these DRM features won’t be requirements of either console, it does leave the option of DRM to game publishers. Hopefully, however, game publishers have been paying attention to the great fuck up that is Electronic Arts, and learned something from it.
I was genuinely concerned for the Xbox One after E3 last week. After seeing the strong reactions online regarding Sony’s PS4 announcements, and Microsofts seeming inability to properly communicate their vision, I wasn’t so sure their philosophy was going to have a place in the next generation console market. But this changes things.
I have no doubt that the great majority of us, whichever console we choose come Fall, will maintain a consistent connection to the internet and our experience will be richer for it. But for those who are not afforded such a luxury, the Xbox One should now be on you radar.
November can’t come soon enough.
Amidst the chaos that is Rob Ford Crackgate, I see one of these four possible scenarios playing out in the City of Toronto right now:
I believe the first scenario is the most likely. Chief Blairs statements this week felt way too carefully crafted and deliberate. He knew exactly the kinds of questions he was going to be asked, and he came prepared for them because they they have evidence of a crime being committed by the Mayor of Toronto and they don’t want to:
If the police are not in possession of any evidence that might implicate Mayor Ford in a crime, why not say so? If in the course of Project Traveler the alleged crack video didn’t come into their possession, would it really hurt the current investigations standing to say that? I don’t see why they wouldn’t exonerate the mayor if they could, given the fact that his name keeps popping up in a major criminal investigation. The whole statement just felt like Chief Blair wanted to say more, but couldn’t for the fact this is an incredibly sensitive issue that needs to be handled carefully and by the book.
Point 4 is probably the most unlikely. For the most part, the TPS are professionals and with the large number of officers involved in something like Project Traveller, keeping information of such calibre under wraps within the department would be incredibly difficult. Mayor Ford has made many enemies across the City of Toronto, and this kind of information would leak out immediately.
Of course it also remains possible that Toronto Police are not in possession of any video, and don’t have plans to bring changes against the mayor. Indeed the video might really be “gone”.
But there is another scenario we need to consider. Given the fact that only a small handful of people have seen this alleged crack tape, we need to consider the idea that this entire thing is a hoax. To fake an iPhone video of Mayor Ford smoking crack really wouldn’t be all that difficult for someone who knew what they we’re doing. I mean, remember Human Bird Wings? This scenario remains entirely plausible.
Hopefully one of these scenarios (or a variation of such) plays out soon, so the City of Toronto can finally put this matter to rest.
In the meantime, let’s not assault the man.
Last week was a week of revelations.
Early Thursday morning a series of raids unfolded across the GTA targeting two Toronto gangs, the Dixon City Bloods and the Dixon Goonies, and a network of drug and gun smugglers. The investigation, dubbed Project Traveler, has been ongoing since last summer. Through the raids Police seized 40 firearms, over $3 million in drugs, and more than $500,000 in cash. 43 suspects are facing over 300 charges, including charges of murder and attempted murder.
Policing are calling this investigation a significant blow to the organizations involved, leaving them “significantly downgraded”.
The raids themselves are not that unusual. They happen pretty regularly in the GTA, at least a few times a year, and very often on the same scale as we saw Thursday.
What’s unusual about this investigation is it’s possible connection to Mayor Rob Ford.
According to CTV News sources Toronto Police became aware of the alleged Rob Ford crack tape during the course of Project Traveler, weeks before the story became public. Individuals who were under surveillance during the investigation openly discussed the video and Rob Ford’s presence in it.
We know a major area of focus for Toronto Police during the Project Traveler investigation was an apartment block located on Dixon Rd, the very same apartment block that Rob Ford reportedly stated to his staff the video could be found.
And we know that two of the individuals pictured in this now infamous photograph have been arrested as part of this investigation. The third individual, Anthony Smith, was shot and killed outside a Toronto nightclub earlier this year.
Police Chief Bill Blair held a press conference following the raids on Thursday, and as you can imagine all the media wanted to talk about was Rob Ford. Chief Blair had a very carefully worded statement and refused to answer media questions regarding a possible connection to the mayor. He dismissed their questions stating it would be irresponsible for him to comment on the situation and that “All of the evidence will come out in court, where it belongs.”
He did however confirm in a interview with CBC News that the infamous photo of Ford and the men tied to Project Traveler is indeed real.
I know that many of us, myself included, have been very quick to believe these drug allegations despite the fact none of us have had the chance to see the alleged crack video. You can believe that I will be one of the first to offer Ford an apology should these allegations turn out to be false.
But as it stands, we know that three out the four men in the infamous photograph have been arrested or killed. We know that two (generally) respectable media outlets have confirmed the existence of this video, and we know that Toronto police have been aware of it for some time. The fact that Chief Blair has offered no exoneration of Mayor Ford in his public statements is in itself a powerful statement.
We know Project Traveller has been ongoing for sometime, and I’m not going to argue that the raids have a direct connection to the Mayor. We know they don’t. However, the question of what evidence against Rob Ford might have been accidentally uncovered during the course this investigation is a valid one.
The Mayor of Toronto’s name has been brought up numerous times in connection to major criminal investigation, and plenty of valid questions stand without answers.
Hopefully someone starts answering them soon.