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by Rob Crossley for GAMESPOT

People who abuse and harass others online could face up to two years in prison, if tough new measures are introduced in the UK.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling proposed the new laws in a Mail on Sunday article, claiming he would "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob."

If enacted, the changes would allow sentencing of internet trolls to be taken to crown court, where the maximum penalty would be two years imprisonment. Under existing law, the maximum sentence for internet trolling is six months.

The proposals were outlined amid regular attacks on celebrities and public figures via social media. Though Mr Grayling was speaking generally about online abuse, his comments also come in the wake of a protracted two-month abuse campaign against female game critics and developers.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Mr Grayling wrote.

"No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence."

Rape threats were made against the model Chloe Madeley last week, apparently in response to comments by her mother, Judy Finnigan, who spoke out against about the convicted rapist Ched Evans.

"As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion," Grayling added.

‘This is a law to combat cruelty – and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

Within the games community, the feminist essayist Anita Sarkeesian has been subject of sustained abuse from her detractors. She has previously had to vacate her home following death threats, and on at least two occasions there have been threats of bombings and massacres made against event organisers who have advertised her attendance.

Other female games industry figures, such as Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn, have also been subjected to death threats.


By Phil Savage PCGAMER




Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is certainly at the more serious end of Valve's multiplayer services—being about guns and terrorism, rather than gravel or wizards. Nevertheless, they're getting in on the Halloween spirit with the temporary addition of masks, ghosts and zombie chickens.

"Each of our hardened operators have decided to have a little Halloween fun by wearing masks," explains the CS:GO blog. Masks are coming across from Payday 2 and Team Fortress 2.

In addition, there's a chance you'll see fallen teammates as ghostly figures haunting the map. And, of course, there's the chickens. "For too long the chickens of CS:GO have idly watched as their brethren were slaughtered by the droves," Valve write, "and on All Hollow’s Eve there is no more room in Chicken Hell." Basically, if you kill a chicken, it will resurrect—but green.

The changes come as part of a more general patch—filled with spooky notes like "fixed wallbang inconsistency through closed window in apartments near Bombsite B."
By Mark Walton for GAMESPOT

Nvidia claims the GTX 980M and GTX 970M offer around 75 percent of the performance of its desktop chips while also significantly boosting battery life.
 

Following from the launch of its desktop-based GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs, Nvidia has taken the wraps off the mobile versions of the same chips. The company claims the GTX 980M and GTX 970M offer around 75 percent of the performance of its desktop chips, or twice the performance of the GTX 680M, enabling games to be played at high and ultra settings at resolutions up to 1440p.

The GTX 980M and GTX 970M are based on the Maxwell architecture, and includes full support for features such as MFAA, Dynamic Super Resolution, and VXGI, which Nvidia recently used to debunk conspiracies surrounding the moon landing. Both chips will also support DirectX 12 when it launches.

In addition, Nvidia is promising a marked increase in laptop battery life thanks to the power-efficiency of the new chips, and its Battery Boost software. A new feature added to GFE will allow users to one-click optimise a game's settings for running on battery, which includes capping the frame rate and diverting power to the components most used during a particular game.

The company claims battery life increases of up to 40 percent, without the performance hit that usually comes from playing games on battery power. There's certainly reason to be optimistic for the battery-boosting power of Nvidia's new laptop chips, with GameSpot's review of the Maxwell-based GTX 980 noting its impressive power efficiency.

The GTX 980M and GTX 970M launch today in laptops such as the Asus G751 and MSI GT72. Pricing for these laptops has not yet been announced.





by Rob Crossley @ GAMESPOT

A games developer has demonstrated how easy it is for scammers to pose as YouTubers and receive numerous Steam game codes for free.

Leszek Lisowski, the owner of Poland studio Wastelands Interactive, claims he sent 46 emails to fellow developers--whilst masquerading as a YouTuber--and asked each one for a free Steam code of their game.

"In reply, I got 16 keys for 15 games, which is worth more than $400," he said.

For marketing reasons, developers often give free game codes to YouTube personalities in the hope that they will be covered on their game channels.

Lisowski was spurred into investigating the matter after he realised that his own team was being scammed by fake YouTubers. He hopes that his report, which was self-published on Gamasutra, can help inform fellow developers of how easy it is to trick companies into supplying free Steam games.

Driving the point home, he writes: "Allow me to underline this: I spent three hours sending out emails to almost 50 developers simply asking them for a Steam key, claiming that I was a YouTuber with 50k subscribers. In return, I received Steam keys worth over $400. This means I could have theoretically made close to 150 bucks an hour."

Adding: "If I had spent some more time on making my identity feel credible, or just sent more messages, I feel confident that this ratio would have been higher. However, with just one message, 25 percent of the developers had been robbed."

Lisowski was alerted of the scam after discovering that one of his own games in development, called Worlds of Magic, was being sold on reseller websites without his authorisation. Suspicious of how this had occurred, Lisowski decided to purchase one of the games.

"I went to the store and bought a key using my credit card. Then I discovered that the key was one of those sent out to YouTubers. Initially I thought that the guy had taken three keys, kept one for himself and sold two of them, but after I checked it was clear that the guy had received only one key. It took me a while before I realized what is going on."

After further investigation, Lisowski believes that "roughly 70 percent of the keys we had given out were taken under false pretenses, or to use a more direct term, stolen."

Now, when asked for a Steam game code, he asks for verification.

"From about 20 additional game requests, I received only two YouTube channel confirmations," he wrote.



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