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Posts with tag canada

Rogers Communications violates Canadian net neutrality rules over WoW bandwidth throttling

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission recently ruled that Rogers Communications, one of the largest internet service providers in Canada, has violated federal net neutrality rules. Last year, I wrote a few Lawbringers about the subject, which discussed what Rogers had to actually do to escape violation of certain internet traffic throttling complaints. Basically, Rogers was making WoW players' internet access slower because WoW looked like peer-to-peer traffic on their network.

Rogers is finally going to have to answer for the throttling issues, even after all of the requests and demands to change their packet inspection protocols. The communications company has until Feb. 3 at noon to respond to the complaints about internet throttling or face a hearing with the CRTC board.

Hopefully, the same type of rules can make their way to America, where internet service is abysmally slow and throttled like crazy. Prior to the Cataclysm launch, Blizzard released the new WoW client, which used a peer-to-peer system to upload and download information, patches, data, and all that jazz. This data accidentally triggered internet service providers' bandwidth alerts for torrent traffic and was subsequently throttled to lower speeds. After realizing that many users were experiencing lag issues with the new launcher and their ISPs, Blizzard began its outreach to ISPs in order to work together to fix the problem. A year later, people are still having problems, and Rogers in Canada has admitted to throttling WoW bandwidth.

Filed under: News items

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 6.0 and Rogers updates

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Welcome to another exciting edition of The Lawbringer, where your questions about the esoteric topics revolving around WoW and MMOs potentially get answered, usually if the question is compelling. You know the drill -- ask a question, and maybe I can hash it out or at least point you in the right direction to get things under control.

Mailbags are fun, and updates are even more fun. This week, we have a couple of questions from the mailbag and an update to the situation with Rogers Communications up in Canada. Remember back a few months ago, when the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission demanded that Rogers find a way to stop the admitted throttling of World of Warcraft data because it appeared to be peer-to-peer traffic? Well, the Canadian government wants a plan by Tuesday. More on that in a bit. Questions first, yes?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Letters to Rogers, letters to Congress

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

We've got two stories to talk about on The Lawbringer today, both interestingly involving letters. That's right -- letters. To you from me, that sort of thing. These letters, however, are instruments of change in a world where we as consumers seem not to have much control or ability to change the big picture concepts that dot our path to consistent entertainment. The amount of energy that we have to put into just getting in a decent WoW session is staggering at times.

The first story revolves around Rogers, one of the largest Canadian internet service providers, famous for its lame bandwidth caps and my old Canadian guildmates shouting "Rogers sucks!" as much as they could on Mumble. Yes, it is another chapter in the Mathew McCurley Guide to Awful Bandwidth Throttling -- but hopefully, this new information and story chapter will get us on the path to better WoW experiences in the face of the immense throttling of WoW data as peer-to-peer traffic.

The second story is all about letters that you will want to send. Last week, I wrote The Lawbringer about Senate Bill S.978, colloquially being referred to as the anti-streaming bill. While not directly prohibiting video game streaming or even mentioning video games anywhere in the proposed legislation, video games are nonetheless obliterated in the crossfire of the entertainment industry and would-be illegal streamers making millions off of pirated entertainment, movies, music, and more. The Entertainment Consumers Association has begun a letter-writing campaign to inform and implore Congress to not pass a bill with such broad and language lacking description.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Teen runs away to meet older WoW soulmate [Updated]

Before we delve into this story, I just want to say that everything turned out alright. No Canadian laws were broken. No authority figures taking advantage of underage people in their care. The teenager is home safe and his online lover is allowed to return home whenever she likes. Here are the facts:
  • A 16 year old boy in Ontario had an online affair with a 42 year old mother of four in Texas.
  • They met in WoW, but much of the affair took place in MSN chat.
  • The parents knew of the relationship for over a year.
  • The boy told the woman that he was 20.
  • The consenting age in Ontario, Canada is 16.
  • The boy had a history of addiction to WoW, had seen a counselor and was given computer privileges again as a reward for good behavior.
  • She came to visit him for the Christmas holidays and asked him to meet her in a hotel.
  • He asked his parents for permission. They said no.
  • He snuck out at 2 am and went to her anyway.
  • The parents and local authorities made a plea to the public for his safe return.
  • The boy and woman were spotted together in public two days later and brought in.
  • Again, the boy is home safe and the woman is not being charged with anything in Canada.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items

Blizzard helps authorities track fugitive

Blizzard helped an Indiana sheriff track an allegedly drug-dealing, definitely WoW-playing fugitive to Canada. Sheriff's Deputy Matt Roberson, who used to play World of Warcraft, discovered that Alfred Hightower aka Rastlynn, was an avid player. So he contacted Blizzard with a request for help in locating his quarry. Three months later, Blizzard sent Roberson a package containing Rastlynn's IP address, billing address and other info. After finding out the fugitive's latitude and longitude from his IP, Roberson used Google Search to pinpoint Rastlynn's exact location. With the cooperation of Canadian authorities, Hightower has been deported and now awaits his fate in the U.S.

Usually it is Blizzard that is calling the police for help, as in the cases of:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Enter to win five Creative WoW headsets for your 5-man group


So we've been doing these Creative contests to give away their shiny new World of Warcraft-branded wireless gaming headsets for a few months now. But if you haven't won one yet, worry not: today, we're giving away five headsets to one lucky instance-running group out there, so you can all talk to each other while you're wiping in Heroic Old Kingdom.

To enter, you've got to send us a .JPG-formatted picture (no bigger than 800px please) of your favorite five-man group -- you and four friends -- to contests@wow.com by 5pm October 29, 2009 (that's one week from today!). Make sure you put "Creative 5-man contest" in the email subject so we can recognize what it's for, and while you can take it wherever and however you want to in-game (or even in real-life!), just make sure there are five people in there. Because one lucky random entry will win five Creative World of Warcraft wireless gaming headsets, one for each member of the group, at a value of $150 each, or $750 total. That's a lot of headsets! You must also be 18 or older, and live in the United States or Canada excluding Quebec -- full official rules can be found right here.

Please note: in addition to emailing us the .jpg picture, you will also need to copy and paste the form below (filled out) into your email -- it was put together by our legal department and simply says that you understand and will adhere to the rules of the contest. You need to include the names and e-mail addresses of all five players in your group so that we can contact you all about prizes if you win.

Good luck to everyone who enters -- we can't wait to see what your five-man groups look like! And stay tuned, because we've got an even more epic contest planned out soon.

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Filed under: Items, Odds and ends, Instances, Contests

Enter to win a Creative World of Warcraft wireless headset


Creative has announced their brand new World of Warcraft wireless headset, and you lot are the lucky ones -- they've set up a deal with us to give away one of these headsets every single week up until the actual release in November. So here's your first chance -- leave a comment on this post before next Wednesday, September 23, 2009, and we'll be picking one lucky commenter to win the best-looking WoW-related headgear since Warlocks rode single file.

The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), and everyone who enters must be 13 or older. To enter, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, September 23rd at midnight eastern, and please be sure to use a real email that you check often to enter, so we can contact the winners when we choose them. You may enter only once, and each winner will get a Creative World of Warcraft Wireless Gaming Headset, with a retail value of $150. Please note: winners will not receive the headset until it is released later this year. Click here to read the official contest rules.

Good luck to everybody, and make sure to come back next week -- we'll be giving one of these headsets away every single week all the way up until their release later this year, so you'll have even more chances to win coming up.

Filed under: How-tos, Odds and ends, Contests, Hardware

Mountain Dew pets not for EU gamers


This was going to be a post about how EU gamers can still attain the Mountain Dew Battle-Bot pets even though the warning above says they're for US folks only, but never mind -- Blizzard's server alert says they are putting out a hotfix on the EU realms to remove any and all pets that made it through their guard. Some people could get the pets just by clicking through, and some people couldn't, but Blizzard says no -- the Mountain Dew promotion is apparently for US folks only, and anyone who has one on the EU realms won't for long. Players are understandably frustrated, though some of them are happy that if they can't have one, no one can. MVPs on the forums are saying that the pet is also available in Canada, even if the soda promotion isn't, but that may change as well.

Pretty poor show. Sure, Mountain Dew's rules say US-only, but they definitely should have realized that there were plenty of EU players who would want in on the promotion. We doubt this is over -- it would certainly be a mark on their campaign that would engender a lot of ill will, and Blizzard will likely try to find some way to get the in-game pet up and running on the EU realms.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Europe

Reminder: Enter WoW Insider's Guild of the Month contest


Don't forget: if you haven't entered our Guild of the Month contest yet, do so now -- we'll be choosing April's winner in just a few days. All you have to do is send about 200 words on how awesome your guild is to guildofthemonth@gmail.com, and be from either the US or Canada (excluding Quebec -- sorry Quebecois and EU folks, them's the legal rules). The winner will get a profile of their guild right here on WoW Insider (our first group of winners, back in March, was doing some amazing things with both raiding and professions, but we're awarding the prize every month based on the criteria of performance in raiding, originality, and community), and they'll also pick up a raid pack for their officers from our friends at Warcraft.Swagdog.com.

If you entered for March, you've got to enter again for April (we want to give everyone a chance every month), and official rules are right here if you need them. Good luck to everyone who enters -- we've gotten some terrific submissions already, and we can't wait to spotlight one of the best guilds in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Contests

Reminder: Enter WoW Insider's Guild of the Month contest

Don't forget -- we're just a few days away from the end of the month, which means we're going to be wrapping up the first month of our new Guild of the Month contest. If you think your guild is overly exceptional, really original, or just generally awesome, let us know about it: we're asking for 200-word entries, which you can send along to guildofthemonth@gmail.com (remember also that you need to be in the US or Canada excluding Quebec -- official rules are here), and next week we'll be choosing our first winner.

They'll be profiled right here on WoW Insider, and they'll even pick up a raid pack from our friends over at Swagdog. Even if you don't win, you can go over to Warcraft.Swagdog.com and pick up customized guild gear, both shirts and hats with your guild's logo and name on them. Very cool.

If you haven't entered the contest yet and think your guild can be chosen as the best of the month, please do enter. And stay tuned -- after the first of the month, we'll reveal the winner for March, and then the contest starts all over again.


Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Odds and ends, Contests

More Wrath deals around the world

We've rounded up a few more Wrath of the Lich King deals if you haven't pulled the trigger on a preorder yet.
  • Newegg has the game available for the low price of $36.99 with free shipping, which is a couple bucks cheaper than Amazon. (thanks, Lîlîth of Crushridge!)
  • Reader Tyler G tell us that Gametraders, a chain in Australia, will be selling the game with a 60 day timecard and poster for AU$79.95. Usually the game is AU$60 and the timecard is AU$40, so it's a deal.
  • Commenter Rey tells us that Canada's Futureshop is offering 40% off if you trade-in two games. We don't see that on their site (there is a $100 costume contest though and a free hat!), but we'll take his word for it. A free hat!
A few more after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Best Buy Canada not looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King


Hawkawkari of Khaz Modan sent us this one -- apparently somebody on the Best Buy Canada site is a little miffed about some expansion news, and it's showing up in their description text for the game. There's some QQ in there about siege vehicles ("1% chance to drop, bind on pickup"), a "hairstyling" profession for Blood Elves and Night Elves, and a special "Unbalance Game" power for Death Knights "on a one-patch time limit cooldown." Pretty funny.

I thought this was just a case of Best Buy cutting and pasting from another more informal site, but Google doesn't find the same text anywhere else, so this might actually be a disgruntled WoW player in their system writing out a fairly biased description. The text still says a release date hasn't been announced (and of course it has) so look for the text to change soon (just in case it does, the full text is after the jump). But wherever you are, disgruntled WoW player, thanks for the laugh.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Humor, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Write Blizzard an essay to PvP... if you're Canadian


Tipster Mike posted an unusual tip: apparently, to take part in the 2008 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament, residents of this great and potent land to the north, this utopia on Earth, this... Canada (I'm sucking up to my wife here, okay? She's Canadian.) do not have to pay for the privilege. No, no transactions of anything so tawdry as money need stain their hands. Rather than pay to play in the tournament, Canadians must simply write a small essay.

No, seriously. Stop laughing. That's actually how they enter.

"Instead, Canadian residents may enter by submitting a 250 word typewritten essay comparing the video gaming culture in Canada to the video gaming culture in the United States on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper and mailing their essay to Essay Entry for The North American Blizzard Entertainment Arena Tournament, P.O Box 18979, Irvine, CA 92623." It's in section four of the legal for the tournament.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Contests, Arena

Midnight launch event: your launches edition


Several of you sent in your midnight launch photos, and we managed to get a tiny cross-section of this event from around the world (any players from Europe or Asia care to send your photos? we'll add them in!) -- the US, Canada, and Australia. Click on for some photos from your launch events.

[Above photo courtesy of Alec Paden]

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Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Expansions, Features, The Burning Crusade

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