Just three days after filmmaker Simon Klose started a fundraiser to complete his upcoming Pirate Bay documentary, the seed funding goal of $25,000 has already been reached. The Pirate audience has been extremely generous, with a full 27 days left the counter currently sits at $28,099.

tpb-afkA few days ago we reported that Swedish filmmaker and producer Simon Klose had begun to raise money for his upcoming documentary about the founders of the site titled ‘TPB-AFK’.

“TPB AFK is not a fan movie about the Pirate Bay, neither is it a journalistic piece on copyright conflict,” said Klose when describing his film. “It’s an observational, character driven film about three guys whose hobby homepage became the embryo of a global political movement.”

Although the three Pirate Bay founders who star in the documentary are no longer affiliated with the site, it appears that the new Pirate Bay owners would also like to see the documentary released.

Over the past days the fundraiser has enjoyed a prominent link on the Pirate Bay homepage, which in part explains the success of the campaign – the required $25,000 was raised in just three days.

At the time of writing, a massive $28,099 has been pledged and this figure is increasing by the hour.

TPB-AFK Trailer

Now that the funding is in, Klose can hire a professional editor and studio to complete the film. That said, the final premiere date depends on several other factors, most importantly how the upcoming appeal of The Pirate Bay trial plays out.

“The process of documenting processes is unpredictible. If the Swedish court process doesn’t miraculously speed up in The Pirate Bay trials, we’re at least a year away from the opening night of TPB AFK,” Klose comments in a blog post.

In other words, you can expect TPB-AFK to be released sometime in the coming years. Those who want to support Klose and TPB-AFK can still pledge their donation at Kickstarter, as there are 27 days left.

This post has been written by Ernesto on August 31, 2010 couresy of torrentfreak.com.

Kansas City-based startup Neighbortree checked in to tell us about their efforts to grow a fledgling network of hyper-local neighborhood community websites operated by residents. The company has just raised $120,000 from an undisclosed regional angel investment firm, notably a mere month after launching its service.

Neighbortree provides free, full-featured, interactive neighborhood websites to any type of residential community, including traditional neighborhoods, subdivisions, condominiums and apartment buildings.

Since this requires a hyper-local approach (we’re talking physical, not virtual communities), its business depends on developing partnerships with other companies that can execute its network model at the metro or state level. The startup says most of the angel funding will be allocated towards establishing these types of partnerships.

Evidently, the company aims to generate the bulk of its revenues from local businesses advertising on neighborhood websites, which can be equipped by locals with news updates, photos, a local events calendar, discussion boards and more.

Other possible revenue streams include leveraging the services offered by Neighbortree sister company Kansas City Website Design (which, obviously, designs and develops websites, mostly for small businesses).

Interestingly, the young company says it has already been approached by two unnamed companies interested in licensing its “site of sites” treetrax platform for other markets (one for real estate and one for schools).

You can see a demo site here. Alternatively, check out a live example.

This post has been written by Robin Wauters on couresy of techcrunch.com.

Last week, NCsoft gave us a peek at one of the new zones in Aion’s upcoming Assault on Balaurea expansion; today, we tour the Asmodian occupied land — Gelkmaros. With fissures ripped in the very land itself and areas devastated by ancient battles (including the ancient city of Maravas), the Asmodians will find their stronghold treacherous, but not without surprising new allies.

Stranded in Balaurea since before the Cataclysm, the Reian tribe knew nothing of the war between the Asmodians and the Elyos until recently. These Daevas who stand watch over Subterranea, home of the evil Dragonbound, enter into a tentative alliance with their lost brothers and sisters from Asmodae.

As hostile as the land and creatures may be, the Asmodians must be ever vigilant to defend both the Vorgaltem Citadel and Crimson Temple against the assaults of the Balaur and Elyos forces, lest they lose the ability to travel with in their enemy’s stronghold.

Once again, Massively asked Chris Hager, Producer of Aion, NCsoft West, a few questions about this new area.

Fly past the cut and through a video tour of Gelkmaros, then check out Chris’ answers.



Massively: Will flight be restricted to the wind streams, or will there be flight-capable pockets, such as are currently around the main fortresses in each land?

Chris Hager: The new zones will have a combination of the new wind streams in addition to flight capable pockets, so players will find familiar free flight areas in both of the new areas.

How many wind streams are present in each area? Can either race utilize these streams?

While I don’t have a specific number, there are several wind streams for both Gelkmaros and Inggison. Also, because these zones were built with the idea of PvPvE and that each race can have access to the other’s area once certain conditions are met, both races can use one another’s wind streams.

Noting the Asmodians in the video, are the new zones restricted by race, with rifts being the only access between them? Or will travel between the zones be unrestricted, with Elyseans and Asmodians mingling freely?

Actually it will be a bit different than any mechanics we currently have in game. Each race will have two fortresses on their map that will initially be controlled by the Balaur. By taking over these fortresses, the races open up a passageway to Silentera Canyon, which is the map that joins Gelkmaros and Inggison. Through this map, each race has access to the others. As long as you control your own race’s fortresses, you have an open path to the other race’s zone. You always have to be on your guard though, because the opposing race, once in your map, can take over your fortresses (much like the Abyss) which would cut off access for your race to enter their map, but would leave the door open for them to invade.

Are there any instances where Asmodians and Elyseans have to cooperate and work together against the common threat?

With as much as the Asmodians and Elyos get along? No way… There’s just too much bad blood between the races to work together for a common goal.

Thank you so much for your time!

This post has been written by MJ Guthrie on Aug 31st 2010 at 12:00PM couresy of massively.com.

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It We’re surrounded by gadgets that demand our attention, constantly fragmenting our ability to properly focus on the task at hand. Living with technology doesn’t mean we have to live with an addiction, however. Here’s how to beat tech burnout.

Image by Wallpaper-9

When new people come to my apartment there’s usually a point in the visit where they stop and ask, "wait, how many screens do you have?" That’s when it’s time to play Guess How Many Screens Adam Has. We play by the Price is Right rules and everyone is always afraid of guessing too high. They never do. There are always more they haven’t considered. Aside from being pretty ridiculous, being surrounded by so much technology poses a problem. How do you stay focused when there are so many things that are designed for you to interact with them?

Most of us aren’t going to choose extreme tech minimalism and toss our heap of electronics. Instead, let’s first take a look at why tech burnout, addiction, and other tech-plus-human issues occur. Then we’ll figure out how to avoid the problem altogether.

The Problem

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It

Developing an Addiction

It isn’t news that studies are finding that video games trigger dopamine releases in the brain. While Dopamine has a few uses, the one that matters here is how it acts as a reward system for certain things we do. For example, dopamine is released when we eat and have sex because the body considers those things to be necessary to our survival as a species. Certain types of video games have managed to pull the dopamine trigger as well. What else can do it? Pretty much anything we find stimulating. Nicotine causes dopamine release. So does Caffeine (in a somewhat indirect way).

Like video games, we can develop a dopamine release from many kinds of addictive behavior. Checking email is one in particular. You may not like spending long amounts of time in your inbox, but you probably think about checking it pretty often. When you hear that ding (or vibrate), you know there’s something waiting for you. To make things worse, because you do not receive email at set intervals and you don’t know if that email is going to be something you want, your curiosity is peaked the moment the ding occurs just so you can find out if you’ve received something you want or if it’s a waste of your time.

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It Back when we were tethered to desktop computers, this wasn’t such a problem. First of all, technology had yet to proliferate in society at the enormous level it has nowadays, but more importantly we didn’t have little computers (read: smartphones) that we could stick in our pockets. Previously we might check out email at a few convenient intervals during the day. Now these tiny little multitaskers are requesting our attention wherever we go. We have many more opportunities to interact with information and so we run into two more dilemmas: filtering an information overload and using our technology appropriately.

Filtering Information Overload

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It We consume three times the information now as we did 50 years ago, but the problem of information overload isn’t new. Thanks to the Gutenberg press, by the year 1500 there were more books available than the average literate citizen could ever read in their lifetime. We’ve had a ridiculous amount of information available to us for a long, long time and it keeps growing. We keep looking at the growth, and the increasing rate of growth, like it’s a new epidemic. In reality, we’re allowing information overload to happen to us. As Clay Shirky points out, the problem has more to do with filter failure:

As Shirky illustrates, the filters we’ve been using prior to the Internet are now breaking as they don’t apply to the massive amounts of information we encounter online. Because information overload isn’t a new problem—and maybe isn’t even a problem at all—we need to find new ways of filtering in order to actually focus.

Tech Etiquette

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It

Information isn’t the only thing we need to filter—our behavior can often be an issue when we pull out the laptop or smartphone. The last decade has bombarded us with new devices and there aren’t too many rules to suggest when we should and shouldn’t use them. You’d think that texting while driving would be an obvious behavior to avoid, but it seems that a lot of us do it anyway.

If you’re spending time with another person, etiquette has always dictated that you give them your attention. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of debate over whether or not it’s appropriate to, say, check email over dinner. It’s not okay to talk in a movie theater, but is it okay to shine your glowing screen in the eyes of other moviegoers? Is there a reasonable solution? The trend seems to be heading toward giving first priority to our devices, and this isn’t just a social problem but a problem that works hand-in-hand with the dopamine triggers you develop from frequent use.

Tech etiquette isn’t just important when dealing with other people around you; it’s also important because it serves as a means of limiting and governing your use. We do not need to respond to every message immediately at any time during the day, but our new brand of etiquette has given us a social obligation to text or email back as soon as humanly possible. If real life gets in the way, we cover it up with our phones. Neglecting to prioritize the real over the digital is only making matters worse.

The Solutions

So what do we do about it? Overcoming a tech addiction and avoiding burnout requires work. There aren’t any magic tricks that’ll pave the road to freedom, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It

It might seem great to have a device that can do just about anything, but becoming reliant on a single device has its own set of problems. Consider this scenario: you take out your phone to check what time it is. You figure since your phone is already out of your pocket, you should check your email. You end up spending a few minutes debating whether or not to reply to an email now or save it for later. It can go on and on from there, making what should be a pretty quick operation (checking the time) into a series of tasks you don’t necessarily need to do. It’s cases like these where it’s not always best to rely on a single device. It’s convenient, however, and so the ideal situation would be if you could train yourself to stay on task when pulling the phone from your pocket. More realistically, however, is training yourself to just keep the phone in your pocket more often. Find other ways to check the time. Decide to check your email a little less. If it gets problematic, don’t take the phone with you or turn it off when you go out at night. Technology exists to make things easier, but if you’re making your life more difficult by interacting with your devices too, often it ends up being more of a problem. Figure out ways you can avoid using your technology for everything and you’ll become accustomed to using it less.

Stop Multitasking

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It At this point it shouldn’t be a surprising that multitasking is really just a myth. While we can act like we’re doing several things at once, we’re really just quickly shifting our attention between different activities. Listening to music while you run or watching television while you sort your mail are the sorts of tasks you can combine without a problem, but when more technology comes into the mix we can’t necessarily live by those rules.

Maybe you’ve tried to get through your email inbox while watching television. If you have, you’ve probably noticed the difficulty in concentrating on both. If the television is on for some added noise, you probably don’t have too many problems. If you were hoping to watch a show you enjoy while getting some work done, you probably found yourself pausing—frequently—during your work. Fortunately the technology in our time allows us to save TV for later and interact with the majority of our entertainment whenever we want. A feeling of immediacy encourages us to think that everything has to happen right now, but that’s not the case. In general you will be more productive by doing one thing at a time.

While doing anything while trying to pay attention to something else can be problematic, introducing tech can end up making matters worse because it increases the unfocused time you spend with your devices. This overlap creates a behavioral pattern of pulling out your technology whenever you feel like it. In doing so, you neglect the fragmentation it causes in your ability to focus on the one thing you really ought to be doing. Bring this into a social context and we have the tech etiquette issues previously discussed. If you want to form good habits with your technology, consider interacting with one device at a time to avoid multitasking and the poor prioritization of digital interaction over real interaction.

Never Apologize

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It Maybe you’ve said something like this before: "Hey so and so. Sorry I didn’t answer the phone/your text. I get bad reception at the gym." In that scenario, you’d have not only apologized for being unavailable during exercise but for your phone’s inability to get you the message immediately. At some point we’ve probably all apologized for missing a call/text/email even when we’ve responded in a short amount of time. If this is a frequent action for you, you’re a slave to immediacy. Stop apologizing and welcome the freedom of responding when you can and when you feel like it. If you create the expectation that you’re not always going to respond at the precise moment of the call/email/text, people will begin to assume that you’ll respond when you can. You don’t want to neglect your friends, family, and coworkers by not responding for long periods of time, but you do want to let everyone know that you respond on your time. Breaking free of these social obligations will help you feel fewer obligations to constantly check for messages.

Get Organized

Why Technology Is So Addictive, and How You Can Avoid It

One effective way of dealing with information overload is actually organizing information. This may be an obvious one, but most of us think more about organization than actually doing it. You’re going to get organized at some point, so you might as well start now (if you haven’t, that is). Email is one of the toughest things to get under control and there are more solutions out there than you could ever really try. Google’s new Priority Inbox is a great new way to focus on the important messages in your inbox. A Chrome and Firefox extension called Boomerang lets you schedule when you send and receive emails. Communicating through speed appropriate channels rather than funneling everything through email can help, too. You can even offload distractions to an iPad, or another device you have, so you can focus on specific things on specific devices. However you organize your information, just be sure to evolve your system to fit changes in the way your information flows.


How do you avoid tech burnout? Let us know in the comments.

This post has been written by Adam Dachis on Aug 31, 2010 09:00 AM couresy of lifehacker.com.

The video game pinball wizards at Zen Studios are bringing Pinball FX 2 to the Xbox Live Arcade, with free graphical updates and new achievements to every Pinball FX table released so far.

Pinball FX 2 sounds like more of a dashboard update to the first game than a full-blown sequel. Perhaps that’s why Zen Studios is releasing the game as a free download for everyone, whether they’ve purchased the original game or not.

Those who have purchased the original Pinball FX will simply download the new client and import their existing tables into the new dashboard, where they’ll receive a little bit of polish to keep them competitive with the new tables like Pasha, seen below.

Players who haven’t purchased the original can download the full game as a demo, purchasing tables as they choose directly from the menu system.

"We have been listening to our fans and building the pinball game that they envisioned," said Zsolt Kigyossy, Managing Director for ZEN Studios. "It took a little longer than expected, but we have designed a game that unifies the online community, and takes all the social features to the next level."

What’s the next level? Leaderboards that combine your score across all tables is a start. Pinball Wizard adds your score to your friends’ scores for even more leaderboard goodness. Add simultaneous online multiplayer competition and – a pinball first – split-screen local multiplayer, and you’ve got something much more social going on.

Zen suggests we stop thinking about FX Pinball as a pinball game, and start thinking of it as a pinball platform. That platform launches on October 13.

Pinball FX 2 Is Xbox Live's Pinball Platform

Pinball FX 2 Is Xbox Live's Pinball Platform

This post has been written by Mike Fahey on Aug 31, 2010 09:40 AM couresy of kotaku.com.

Pogoplug USB Cloud Sharing Device Can Soon Do Web PrintingWe enjoy Pogoplug, small device that lets you attach any USB disk and make its contents accessible anywhere to the cloud, when you’re not home. Now they support printers!

You can connect any HP printer or any Epson printer made since 2005 and Pogoplug will let you print to it, no matter where you are. You don’t need to install extra drivers on the device you’re printing from, and will even work on iPhone, iPad, Android and other smartphones that Pogoplug supports.

The update is free and will be released later this summer. If you don’t already own a NAS that can do its own NAT-traversal and file sharing, this is not too shabby a solution. [Pogoplug]

This post has been written by Jason Chen on Aug 31, 2010 12:00 PM couresy of gizmodo.com.

GameStreamer Execs File Lawsuits Over Trade Secrets, Religious Discrimination

After being sued in May this year on multiple counts, Tim Roberts and Terrance Taylor, former CEO and CFO of digital distribution provider GameStreamer, have filed a countersuit against the company’s current board chairman and majority stakeholder, Ronald Westman.

Roberts and Taylor, who resigned from the company in May 2010, claim Westman used predatory loans to gain his majority share, according to court documents received by Gamasutra.

In a strange twist, the suit claims that he fired the pair in part because they would not convert to Seventh Day Adventists. The suit also alleges that Westman intended to misrepresent the company’s value in a presentation to blue chip giant Cisco by inflating it by some $20 million.

GameStreamer is a PC and Mac digital download store which currently includes titles spanning Popcap’s Plants Vs. Zombies through WB’s Lego Harry Potter and 2K’s Civilization Complete, and which competes with download stores such as Valve’s Steam, IGN’s Direct2Drive and GamersGate.

The company once focused its promotions on its claimed progressive download technology, allowing "a ready-to-play stream that eliminates the need for consumers to install games".

However, this precursor to the ‘cloud gaming’ video-based approach taken by OnLive and Gaikai is not currently the focus of its current business, in white-label PC digital download game stores.

Roberts and Taylor’s countersuit arrives three months after Westman’s GameStreamer sued the pair on multiple counts. These include cybersquatting, trademark infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriating trade secrets, and violation of the Florida anti-trust act, among other accusations.

GameStreamer’s Allegations

The GameStreamer lawsuit, which occurred in May and has gone unreported until also obtained by Gamasutra, claimed that Roberts and Taylor worked together in allegedly holding GameStreamer domain names hostage and registering for GameStreamer-owned trademarks.

Following his resignation, Roberts also allegedly threatened GameStreamer that he would publicly reveal confidential company information that would damage the firm’s business, according to a revised version of the original May complaint, released last week.

In particular, GameStreamer claims a few days following Roberts and Taylor’s resignation from the company in spring this year, the two formed a digital distribution company called "Platformz," a name that GameStreamer "planned to use for its new brand and website." The company said the ex-executives had the intention of competing with its former employer.

The complaint also accused the two of registering for trademarks that their former employer already owned, including StreamPlay, PCGameStore and GameSpeedTest, alleging Roberts also purchased several domain names related to GameStreamer not under the company’s name, but his own name using company funds. GameStreamer claimed that Roberts did not transfer the domain names to the company until two months after the original complaint against him was filed in late May (GameStreamer issued a revised complaint last week).

GameStreamer additionally said that Roberts’ services came through his financial services company called CEOSavvy, to which GameStreamer said it paid a monthly fee plus expenses to Roberts. GameStreamer claims that Roberts racked up nearly $300,000 in expenses for which the company has no receipts, and that Roberts and Taylor "improperly diverted" GameStreamer funds for their own personal use.

Roberts was founder or co-founder of tech companies Infinium Labs and Phantom Entertainment, primarily known for its Lapboard hardware and for the development of the much-discussed digital distribution-based Phantom console hardware that never saw launch.

A turbulent history, including an SEC charge that was subsequently settled, surrounded his firms and their dissolution. The 2008 settlement with the SEC included $60,000 in fines, with a judge barring Roberts "from acting as an officer or director" of any publicly traded company for five years from the date of the settlement.

Taylor, Roberts’ Allegations

Roberts formed GameStreamer in 2008, bringing with him tech he created at Phantom, and shortly thereafter took out a loan from Westman, a businessman who’d loaned Roberts funds once in the past during his time at Phantom.

According to the claims Taylor and Roberts made against Westman, the chairman made several loans to GameStreamer, and through them gained a seat on the Board of Directors — from there, Roberts and Taylor claim he made repeated high-interest loans to the company so as to "extort" the company and increase his share until he gained full control of the Board.

The complaint also claims that Westman made a total 31 loans in the total amount of $8,850,000, debts the pair said they "had no choice" but to accept, since Westman had defined terms that prohibited them from seeking funding from anyone but him.

The pair also claimed that Westman asked Roberts and Taylor to "cook the books" when representing the company’s value to Cisco for an unspecified business interest. In the planned presentation, the pair alleged, Westman wanted to tack on $20,000,000 on to the actual value of the company and its technology, assigning it to Phantom technology that had cost $100,000 to buy.

Among the other allegations in the suit is the pair’s claim that Westman practiced religious discrimination, promoting or hiring to executive roles only those who practiced the Seventh Day Adventist religion. Roberts and Taylor say their refusal to convert made their work environment "hostile" and eventually led to their wrongful termination, as did their unwillingness to participate in accounting practices they claim are illegal.

In a trial by jury in the state of Florida, in their countersuit the pair are seeking back pay and benefits, interest on their back pay, lost wages, "compensatory damages" and attorney’s fees.

This post has been written by Leigh Alexander, Kris Graft on August 31, 2010 couresy of gamasutra.com.