Delete Your Blizzard Account Today

As politics and gaming merge, gamers have to think hard about where they spend their money.

Back in the early days of the gaming industry, the games were developed by passionate developers who focused on the product. They wanted to make the best game possible, which often resulted in long working hours, physical and emotional exhaustion, and financial catastrophes.

Today, that have changed. Those small game developers have turned into multi-billion companies with thousands of employees. The primary driver is no longer make the greatest game ever, but rather how to squeeze as much money as possible out of their customers as possible.

Blizzard Entertainment is a great example of such a company. Founded in early 1991, the company had their breakout release with the genre-defining real time strategy game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. The game was the first game in Blizzard’s popular Warcraft series. The company went on to create several other hugely successful gaming franchises as well, like Diablo and StarCraft.

The Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft games brought in a lot of money, but the company’s first real money press was the World of Warcraft MMORPG. Launched in 2004, WoW became the most popular MMORPG to date, and by 2017, the game had grossed over $9.23 billion in revenue.

Blizzard used to be a down-to-Earth company that focused on their games, and their customers. But now the company find itself at a crossroad where corporate greed and human ethics meet.

Fairphone 3

The Fairphone is an ethical mobile phone that’s making a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle.

I’d never heard of Fairphone until I accidentally stumbled across the company on the Fediverse. Initially, I thought they were a bunch of hippies with a grand plan on their merry way to certain failure. My experience with the likes of Navdy (bankrupt), SuperBook (vaporware), and the Jolla Tablet (cancelled) has made me a bit weary of new hardware projects.

But as it turns out, Fairphone is a well-established company that was funded back in 2013. And this isn’t their first phone, either. The company shipped just south of 200,000 units of their first two phones, and just recently revealed their third model, Fairphone 3.

The Fairphone 3 is made from recycled and fair materials, and has a modular and repairable design. But what does this actually mean?

The Solar Panels Adventure

A month ago we had solar panels installed on the roof of our house. Let me tell you how that is working out…

Last year I published a post called Why Not the Sun? where I argue that everyone should switch to solar power to cover the world’s massive – and growing – energy needs. In the post, I write that we’re considering putting solar panels on our house. This summer, we actually went ahead and did it. We now have a 7kW solar power plant on our roof.

The plant has been operational for about a month now. It was offline for a few days because of an inverter malfunction, but for the rest of the month the solar panels have worked like a charm. Here’s a graph showing how much power we pull off the public grid in a typical week since the plant came online:

A graph showing our typical public power grid utilization after the solar panels came online. Some days we don't use any electricity from the public grid.
Our typical public power grid utilization after the solar power plant came online.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

2019 Norwegian Municipal and County Council Elections

It’s only two weeks left now until you can drop your ballot at the 2019 Norwegian Municipal and County Council Elections on September 9. Have you decided yet?

Once again you have the chance to make a difference by voting in an election. Two years ago, it was the Norwegian Parliamentary Election, this year it’s the municipal and county council elections.

I’m not a very politically active person, but I make a point of voting in every election. If you don’t I’m sorry to say that you’re a moron. It’s your duty as a registered citizen in a democratic country to make an effort to show up at a polling station. In some countries, people die for the right to vote, and to decide who’ll make all the high level decisions that affect their everyday lives. And you’re just going to sit on your ass, complaining that the government does a terrible job? Then fuck you.

If you can’t find a political party that aligns with your believes and opinions, you can at least go to a polling station and cast a protest vote.

Google Bans Gab app

Just as the Gab app hit the #1 trending top spot on the Google Play Store, Google banned it. Will this potentially make life hard for the entire Fediverse?

The far-right social network Gab has now completed its transition to Mastodon. The main motivation was to make a foothold in the mobile app stores. Gab’s previous attempts at distributing a mobile client failed because Apple and Google both removed the it from their respective app stores. The companies cited violation of their policies against hate speech as reason for the removal.

By moving to Mastodon and the ActivityPub protocol, Gab no longer needs to distribute their own mobile client. Instead, their members can, at least in theory, download a generic Mastodon client, and log on to Gab’s Mastodon instance. This prompted some client developers to change the application code so that their client doesn’t work with Gab’s Mastodon instance.

But Mastodon clients are mostly FLOSS. Gab simply copied the source code, removed the blocking code, and compiled their own version of the Mastodon client. This happened to Tusky, and a Gab-branded version of Tusky was available in the Google Play Store.

At least for a short while.