Crypto Exchange Admits ‘Missing’ CEO Has User Funds Access Amid Exit Scam Fears

  • IDAX’s many problems continue to stroke suspicion.
  • The exchange finally admits “the truth”.
  • Is this all a cover-up for an exit scam?

In a story reminiscent of the QuadrigaCX scandal, crypto exchange platform, IDAX Global, has no idea where its CEO is, plus, he holds the exchange’s private keys…

Oh boy, it’s been a pretty lousy week for crypto exchanges; first Upbit reveals a $50 million hack, and now it turns out that IDAX might be in trouble as well.

IDAX: The Story So Far

These past few weeks haven’t been kind to IDAX. An ongoing crusade against the exchange has been forming. Angry users citing worsening withdrawal issues have continued to demand a response.  On November 24, they finally got one. IDAX blamed the problems on increased withdrawal requests, stating:

The channel that causes the withdrawal of the mainstream currency is in a congested state.

Then, on the very same day, the firm shut down opperations in China.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, the IDAX Token (IT) went kaput, literally falling to zero.

crypto IDAX exit scam
User quips about a potential IDAX exit scam | Source: Twitter

Understandably speculation of an exit scam was starting to engulf the exchange. Rumors circulated of the CEO, Lei Guorong, allegedly doing a runner. Citing sources close to the CEO, Chinese crypto media highlighted that user funds might have been appropriated by Guorong:

Assets may be lost and the CEO hid. Among the employees nobody knows about his whereabouts except the boss’s confidant connecting through external channels.

The Truth or a Cover-Up?

Now thanks to the pressure placed by its scorned investors, IDAX has finally admitted the alleged truth. The CEO is gone and with access to the exchange’s cold wallets.

IDAX conveyed news of Guorong’s disappearance via an “urgent announcement”: 

IDAX Global CEO have gone missing with unknown cause and IDAX Global staffs were out of touch with IDAX Global CEO. For this reason, access to Cold wallet which is stored almost all cryptocurrency balances on IDAX has been restricted so in effect, deposit/withdrawal service cannot be provided.

This statement will likely not allay many fears, especially given the shady way in which the exchange has conducted itself over the past few months. For now, at least, it’s a case of he-said-she-said.

This comes after yet another crypto exchange scandal as Upbit users are still reeling from the exchange’s recent $50 hack. On November 27, Upbit announced the loss of 342,000 ETH following the exploitation of Upbit’s hot wallets.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Dow Futures Slide Rings a Black Friday for the Stock Market

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are swimming in the red this Black Friday.
  • The stock market might have a bad day today if there is no clarity regarding a U.S.-China trade deal.
  • Black Friday sales numbers are expected to be weaker than last year, and this could spark more panic.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are in the red Friday morning as the U.S.-China trade war continues to rage on. President Donald Trump’s move of supporting Hong Kong protests by signing a controversial bill into law took a heavy toll on the stock market yesterday.

The effects of that decision are spilling over into Black Friday morning as Trump’s latest move could invite the wrath of Beijing and derail a potential trade deal that was reportedly very close to being signed.

BBC reports that China is reportedly miffed with Trump’s action of signing the bill into law as it will embolden the protesters in Hong Kong and disturb the country’s domestic affairs. But Beijing might not let Trump’s decision get in the way of a potential trade deal as China is all set to face another round of tariffs on Dec. 15. The stock market will be hoping that Beijing doesn’t nix the trade deal, and that will be critical to where the Dow Jones ends the week.

Dow futures swim in red amid rising U.S.-China trade tensions

Dow futures are down 62 points, or 0.22 percent, to 28,087 points at 5.29 am ET. Dow futures plunged early in pre-market today as they were hovering at 28,045 points at 3.17 am ET. It appears that the chance of Beijing not walking away from the trade deal to avoid the next round of duties has given the stock market some hope.

chart showing dow jones futures.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are swimming in the red this Black Friday, indicating a bad day lies ahead for the stock market. | Source: Yahoo! Finance

Futures on the S&P 500 are also down 0.21 percent, while Nasdaq Composite futures are down 0.28 percent.

A Black Friday ahead for the stock market

On a day when all eyes should be on Black Friday retail sales numbers, the stock market and the Dow will be desperately looking for signs of a trade deal. The BBC report adds that China’s anger with the U.S. over supporting the Hong Kong protests is nothing more than posturing.

Beijing might be more than willing to sign a deal to revive China’s flagging economy. But it remains to be seen if Chinese negotiators will give in easily as they can leverage the fact that American soybean farmers are eagerly waiting for a “phase one” deal to be signed before the availability of South American crops in 2020.

Soybeans from Brazil and Argentina are expected to hit the market in February next year. If a trade deal is not in place, American farmers could lose out and their stocks might remain unsold. Beijing could use this to its advantage to counter Trump’s decision of supporting Hong Kong protests.

In such a scenario, the Dow and the stock market will take a hit as further negotiations could push back the trade deal that the two sides are close to agreeing upon.

[embedded content]

Meanwhile, Black Friday sales numbers are expected to decide the course of the Dow and the stock market for the ongoing holiday shopping season. The bad news is that Black Friday sales this year are expected to drop to $87 billion from $90 billion a year ago.

That’s despite the fact that there’s expected to be a jump of 12 percent in the number of Americans that are expected to take part in today’s sales. This indicates that Americans are going to remain tight-fisted this holiday season thanks to the ongoing economic uncertainty and the potential of a recession. The anticipated decline in Black Friday sales can also be attributed to the four straight months of decline in the Consumer Confidence Index.

In all, the Dow and the stock market could plunge once again today as there are a ton of headwinds to ensure a sad end to the week.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

#TulsiMediaBlackout Explodes on Twitter: Real or Excuse for Dismal Poll Numbers?

  • Tulsi Gabbard supporters and detractors sparred on social media over the weekend on the hashtag #TulsiMediaBlackout
  • Her critics say her campaign is astroturf, and most of her supporters are actually “Russian bots” unleashed by the Kremlin.
  • Her supporters say the media is ignoring her because she’d actually shake up the status quo. Are they right?

[embedded content]

Starting late Friday night and building to a crescendo Saturday, #TulsiMediaBlackout is trending on Twitter.

The hashtag refers to claims by supporters of Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that the media is sweeping her presidential campaign under the rug.

tulsi media blackout tweet
Source: Twitter

Tweets on the trend appear to be an even mix of Gabbard supporters and Democrats saying there are no Gabbard supporters.

Their theory is that even the trend #TulsiMediaBlackout is the product of “Russian bots” and a Kremlin conspiracy.

tulsi media blackout russian bots
Source: Twitter
russian interference tulsi gabbard tweet
Source: Twitter

This line of attack echoes comments about Tulsi Gabbard that Hillary Clinton made on a podcast last month. One of Tulsi’s supporters fired back.

He argued that Tulsi’s platform sets her further apart from the policies of Donald Trump than the rest of the Democratic field.

tulsi gabbard supporter tweet tulsimediablackout
Source: Twitter

Another pointed out that the Russian interference conspiracy theory is full of holes. There is no credible evidence of a Tulsi Gabbard connection to Russia.

If there were, how could she pass the vetting process to be DNC Vice Chair? Or serve on the House Armed Services Committee?

no tulsi gabbard russia connection tweet
Source: Twitter

Is there really a #TulsiMediaBlackout?

Tulsi Gabbard has consistently polled in the single digits throughout the 2020 Democratic Primary. So far, her numbers have trailed behind the three front runners– Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

But she does hold a solid place in the middle of a crowded pack of contenders. And it turns out the corporate press doesn’t cover Gabbard in fair proportion to her poll, search, and social media numbers.

In June a study of the available data from Spectrym, the Vanderbilt News Archive, and Google confirmed a #TulsiMediaBlackout.

Tulsi Gabbard ranked 14th by corporate media mentions, despite ranking 8th in terms of Google search interest.

A self-described “Tulsicrat” crunched the numbers, but you can check them for yourself. And before anyone suggests this individual is a Russian bot, they have been on Twitter since December 2014.

In September an Axios study of the polling and media coverage data also found Tulsi Gabbard under-indexes in corporate media mentions. Despite polling in ninth at the time, Gabbard ranked 13 in online corporate media mentions, and 14 in cable news mentions.

Gabbard has also received the seventh most tweets during the most recent Democratic debate at the time. And the gap between media coverage and Tulsi Gabbard’s popularity may be widening.

At the end of October, a national survey by Suffolk/USA Today found Gabbard leading Sen. Kamala Harris by one point.

That same week a CNN poll found Gabbard leading Sen. Kamala Harris by two points in New Hampshire, and Cory Booker by three.

Gabbard also led Beto O’Rourke by three points in the CNN poll, a candidate the September Axios study found over-indexes in corporate media coverage.

Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign gathered strength in the following two weeks. A YouGov/Hofstra University poll conducted in the middle of November placed her solidly fourth behind the three top-tier candidates.

Confirming a #TulsiMediaBlackout, 64% of respondents to a Quinnipiac poll released Nov. 18 said they “haven’t heard enough” about Gabbard to form a positive or negative opinion about her campaign.

The Tulsi Gabbard Smear Machine

Studies have found the establishment press has done more than merely snub Gabbard. When it does cover her, its coverage is overly negative.

In May, non-profit media researcher Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) said that reports on Tulsi Gabbard’s non-interventionist foreign policy platform “primarily use it to negatively characterize” her campaign.

After Tulsi Gabbard announced her presidential campaign earlier this year, NBC News published a hit piece claiming that Russian automatons were stirring up support for her campaign.

It was quickly followed by a bombshell revelation that NBC based its report on data from a firm that had already been caught faking Russian social media support for Roy Moore in the 2017 Alabama Senate election.

This shows a major lapse in editorial judgement at NBC News, to use such an ironically discredited source to build a political narrative against Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe #TulsiMediaBias will start trending next.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

New Snap of PlayStation 5 Dev Kit Appears Online

  • New image of PlayStation 5 dev kit appears online.
  • Offers first look at PS5 controller.
  • Unlikely to be the final retail design.

We’ve known what the PlayStation 5 dev kit looks like for a few months now.

Late summer spawned patent documents registered by Sony before an in-the-flesh image found its way onto the internet in mid-October. The image wasn’t what you’d call well-framed and didn’t give us a good look at the overall design of the unit.

PlayStation 5 Dev Kit & First Look at Controller

Today, a Twitter user sporting the handle ‘The Drunk Cat’ posted a much clearer picture of the PlayStation 5 dev kit alongside what appears to be our first look at the console’s haptic feedback controller.

New Snap of PlayStation 5 Dev Kit Appears Online
Source: Twitter

Sadly, the snap captures the controller from the side. The blurred angle makes it hard to pick out any noticeable differences from the existing DualShock 4 – other than it appears heftier and the thumb sticks slightly raised.

The eagle-eyed among you may notice the PS4 and PS4 Pro dev kits nestled behind the significantly larger PS5 kits.

Not the Final Retail Design, Probably

Before anyone jumps the gun and calls foul on a design reminiscent of what the future was expected to look like in the 1950s, we can almost guarantee the final retail product won’t look anything like the dev kit.

Dev kits very rarely resemble those of the actual shipped consumer product. Sony doesn’t design them for their visual merits. They are functional prototypes for studios to develop games in time for the launch of the console proper.

Of course, that doesn’t distract from what is one hideous piece of technology. The emphasis on broad vents and the V shape suggest sufficient cooling stands as a priority for Sony.

It will be interesting to see how this translates into the final product. My only hope is that the PlayStation 5 doesn’t sound like a concord taking off as the PlayStation 4 so often does.

As always, keep your salt shaker at the ready. Neither Sony nor anyone resembling an official source has confirmed the unit is real. We can’t discount that this may turn out to be an elaborate troll.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Earl Thomas Has Doomed Ravens With Super Bowl Promise

  • Ravens safety Earl Thomas has predicted that Baltimore is going to be in the Super Bowl this year.
  • With a 9-2 record and a win over the Patriots, it looks like the Ravens may be the team to beat—at least in the AFC.
  • But bragging about making it to the Super Bowl or predicting a win is almost always a bad idea.

Right now, it is hard to say who even has a shot at beating the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl or who could stop them from getting there. Lamar Jackson is playing well, and the defense is certainly getting the job done. The Ravens do look like the team to beat.

So, it is not hard to understand why Ravens safety Earl Thomas is feeling a little confident about his team. The Ravens do appear to be the team to beat this year. But acting like it is a foregone conclusion that they are going to be in the Super Bowl is a mistake.

Earl Thomas Predicts Super Bowl for Ravens

Thomas made his comment when asked if Sunday’s game against the 49ers could be a Super Bowl preview:

Anytime someone makes a Super Bowl prediction, the media likes to get as much mileage out of the statement as it can. As could be expected, one of the first people asked about it on the 49ers was a former teammate of Thomas, Richard Sherman:

Sherman’s response is about what you would expect it to be—measured, thought out, and logical. Anything could happen from Sunday until it is time to play the Super Bowl. But predicting your team is going to get there is definitely a bad idea.

Why?

Karma

Joe Namath may be the only guy ever to predict his team was going to win the Super Bowl and actually win it. But he didn’t make the claim until his team was definitely in the game.

It just doesn’t happen. Whenever guys tend to make those kinds of predictions, they almost always end up being wrong.

Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson predicted a Super Bowl appearance for the Bears this season after the team went 12-4 last season and won the division. Lamarr Houston agreed with him. While they are still in the hunt at 6-6, it is safe to say that the Bears will not be in the Super Bowl this year.

He wasn’t alone, though. Trey Burton made a similar claim.

Former Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery promised a Super Bowl victory following the 2016 season—which obviously didn’t pan out. But it wasn’t like anyone took him seriously with the Bears coming off a 3-13 season.

Ryan Kalil promised Carolina Panthers fans a Super Bowl win back in 2012 and even took out a full-page ad in the paper but failed to follow through on that one. Another Panthers player, Mario Anderson, predicted a Super Bowl win a few years later. But he too was wrong.

Dak Prescott told a couple of kids he’d be in the Super Bowl last year and sent them there with tickets. As it turned out, he could have used a ticket himself.

Whether it is a humblebrag or a not so humble brag, predicting a Super Bowl win is never a good idea. Such comments are always going to put a spotlight on a team. When the spotlight hits, guys start thinking they have to be perfect. Rather than just play the game, they start to over-analyze and second guess their instincts.

In short—they make mistakes.

Mistakes lead to losses. Should one come during the postseason, that means the promise will go unfulfilled.

There is no sense in making the game any harder than it needs to be. It is okay to feel confident your team will make the Super Bowl, just don’t tell the media.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Major Twitch Star Reveals Tempting $1.2 Million Offer to Change Sites

  • Twitch star Trainwreckstv reveals he was offered $1.2 million to leave the site.
  • He was forced to turn the deal down because of his Twitch exclusivity deal.
  • If he had moved, Trainwreckstv would be one of several other popular Twitch streamers to leave.

In an episode of his Scuffed podcast, Twitch streamer Trainwreckstv revealed that he had been offered $1.2 million to leave the site. Trainwreckstv, who has 411,514 followers on Twitch, didn’t name the site but did confirm that it was a Chinese streaming company.

That is a huge amount of money, but Trainwreckstv said that he was forced to turn the deal down. The Chinese company said that he could stream twice a week with them for a year and keep streaming on Twitch. The streamer said:

I was thinking of doing no camera streams and not telling Twitch, but I can’t because they want to keep me exclusive.

Source: TwitchMetrics.net 

Trainwreckstv also criticized Twitch for his deal, saying:

At the same time, they don’t want to back me, give me any deals. If they don’t want to back me, and think I’m too toxic or not brand-friendly, then take my exclusivity out.

Twitch may be glad that Trainwreckstv didn’t find a way out of his deal. The site has lost several of its most popular streamers. Destiny streamer Gothalion left for Mixer, and FaZe Ewok is also a Mixer streamer now. Some other Twitch streamers have left the site for YouTube and Facebook.

However, the site may need to make some changes to keep its most popular streamers on the site. After Ninja moved to Mixer, the streamer said that his exclusivity deal, which prevented him from being able to take brand deals, was a reason why.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Democratic 2020 Hopefuls Won’t Beat Donald Trump if They Can’t Beat Baby Yoda

  • Baby Yoda, the fictional character from “The Mandalorian,” is taking over social media feeds.
  • Even with the entry of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the Democratic aspirants trail the adorable alien in terms of social media interactions.
  • Baby Yoda’s dominance may be a sign that Democratic candidates are no match against Donald Trump.

Baby Yoda is taking social media by storm. The uber cute character from Disney+’s hit series “The Mandalorian” is capturing the imagination of millions of Star Wars fans. The breakout star is out-trending all Democratic 2020 candidates on Facebook and Twitter. If they can’t beat Baby Yoda, it may be hard beating Donald Trump.

The doe-eyed green creature that maybe the clone or the offspring of Yoda made its debut on Nov. 12. The character’s appearance coincided with the entry of two new Democratic candidates: Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick. The candidates were the beneficiaries of thousands of articles since their arrival at the Democratic stage. Yet, both are trailing against the Jedi Master look-alike in terms of social media interactions.

On top of that, Baby Yoda is driving nearly twice the number of social interactions per story than any Democratic 2020 aspirant. This is bad news for the possible contender who wishes to dethrone Donald Trump. The POTUS is a social media savant.

Tale of the Tape: Baby Yoda Is a Social Media Heavyweight

The diminutive character from the Star Wars spin-off is taking over Facebook and Twitter. According to NewsWhip data exclusively provided to Axios, Baby Yoda leads all Democratic candidates on average social interactions per story. On average, the adorable alien drives 1,671 social interactions per story, which is almost double the number of Bernie Sanders (850).

Other candidates fare much worse. Joe Biden’s interactions per story stand at 839 while Pete Buttgieg ranks fourth at 600.

The force is strong in Baby Yoda
The force is strong in Baby Yoda. | Source: Axiom

Baby Yoda may be behind in terms of media saturation but the delightful star has managed to spark reader interest. Axiom reported that Bloomberg was the subject of 7,650 articles since Nov. 12 to rank second among Democratic hopefuls. Patrick comes in at number four with 4,044 articles. Meanwhile, Baby Yoda takes the tenth spot with 1,368 articles. Nevertheless, the character has bagged ten times more social interactions than both late entrants.

Donald Trump Has Twitter Eating at the Palm of His Hands

Democratic candidates are in big trouble if they can’t even compete against a fictional character. Keep in mind, Baby Yoda isn’t tweeting or actively doing something to inspire social media traffic. It’s difficult to imagine how they can stack up against a marketing genius, Donald Trump.

The POTUS is masterfully using Twitter to boost his presidency. One tweet from Trump can send the stock market soaring. A few targeted tweets is enough to influence the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. Trump is so effective in delivering a message on Twitter that each tweet has a market value of $82,140.74 and an engagement value of $935,189.67.

The monetary values of a Donald Trump tweet
The monetary values of a Donald Trump tweet. | Source: Twitter

In addition, the president is a tweet machine. In September alone, Trump tweeted 797 times. By actively voicing out his thoughts on the microblogging site, the president is making a strong effort to stay relevant.

Democratic seekers are up against a social media behemoth in Donald Trump. The fact that they’re getting overshadowed by a 50-year-old alien that looks like a baby doesn’t bode well for their presidential prospects. They would be outgunned, outplayed and outclassed by a billionaire entrepreneur who stole the presidency from Hillary Clinton by leveraging social media. Brad Pascale, Trump’s digital director said,

Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

This GTA V ‘Pleasure Bot’ Is the Best Thing on Twitch Right Now

  • The Grand Theft Auto role-playing scene is a rich world of colorful characters.
  • MiltonTPike1 is among the most recognizable faces in the GTA V RP community.
  • His latest character is unexpectedly wholesome.

You may have stumbled across the entertaining Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) role-playing scene on Twitch.

An elderly Englishman heading a gang of geriatrics known as the Prune Gang? A wedding ceremony involving a tractor? Courthouse scenes descending into a flavor of madness US court TV shows can only aspire to?

It’s a strange and alluring world of petty crimes and interweaving narrative arcs that can last for weeks on end.

GTA V Roleplayer MiltonTPike1 Is a Genius

Among the scene’s cast of colorful characters is the ever-affable streamer MiltonTPike1. He’s among the most prolific and creative RPers out there, best known for impersonating Kiki Chanel.

[embedded content]

It’s hard to describe Kiki without witnessing her antics first hand. She’s got more sass than a Hollywood starlet, a penchant for creative criminality, and the uncanny ability to get herself out of the stickiest of situations, yet hides a softer side.

There’s a multi-faceted depth to the character, which is a testament to Milton’s craft and the broader RP community.

This Pleasure Bot Is Unexpectedly Wholesome

In recent days, MiltonTPike1 has been test-driving a new character – Pleasure Bot Br3nd4.

MiltonTPike1's GTA RP Is The Best Thing On Twitch Right Now
Pleasure Bot may sport a skintight bodysuit, but this android is surprisingly wholesome. | Source: Twitch

Although the name raises connotations of an android dishing out lewd favors to Los Santos’ role-players – a notion exacerbated by a skintight pink bodysuit and a neon motorcycle helmet – it is a clever guise for something far more wholesome.

Instead, Pleasure Bot parades around Los Santos, raising the self-esteem of other characters.



MiltonTPike1 lures in unsuspecting players with the promise of carnal favors, before getting to work raising their spirits. Br3nd4 demands they list what they like about themselves while adding in profound takes on self-worth and the state of the world at large.

Affirmations from the city’s down and out residents trigger Pleasure Bot’s power-up sequence. The sequence is brought to life as a synth-laden electronic track that slowly crescendos.

When Pleasure Bot reaches maximum power, the song drops, and MiltonTPike1 erupts into dance, spewing off yet more self-esteem raising nuggets. More often than not, the whole affair ends abruptly with Pleasure Bot storming off. But, not without usually imparting one final nugget of wisdom.

The Best Thing on Twitch Right Now

The beauty of these improvised situations is that they are non-scripted, unexpected, off-the-cuff performances. While it’s all fantasy role-play, there’s a palpable sincerity that gives you that special warm feeling inside.

[embedded content]

Twitch isn’t exactly a bastion of positivity due to the cesspit of memes and casual bigotry that Twitch chat can be – not to mention its own brand of controversy. But, MiltonTPike1’s channel and community, and especially Pleasure Bot’s wholesome quest to raise the spirits of GTA’s RPers, is hands down the best thing on Twitch right now.

As Pleasure Bot says, that mustache does not make you, my friend, you make the mustache.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Josh Shaw Suspension Is Proof NFL Wants to Look Tough, Not Be Tough

  • Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for gambling on NFL games.
  • Shaw has been forgettable as an NFL player, but fans may remember him as the USC player that injured his ankles jumping from a balcony.
  • He claimed he was trying to save a drowning nephew. But he eventually admitted that he was trying to avoid the police. A neighbor had called them because Shaw and his girlfriend were arguing.

Whenever it can, the NFL likes to flex its muscles and throw the book at someone. It’s why Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the season earlier this year. It is why Myles Garrett isn’t going to play until next season at the earliest.

It’ also why John Shaw is not going to play until 2021 at the earliest.

Josh Who?

Two of those three names are pretty well known, as is what they got suspended for. Burfict can’t seem to stop making dirty hits on people. Garrett’s now-infamous helmet swing will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Josh Shaw (whoever he is) must have done something serious to get hit with a more substantial suspension than both of those guys. The truth is, he did, but he didn’t—and the NFL made sure to say that when it announced Shaw was being suspended indefinitely for gambling on NFL games.

He can apply for reinstatement in February 2021.

For the first time in over 30 years, the NFL has suspended someone for gambling, Cardinals DB Josh Shaw : Twitter

The Case Against Josh Shaw

The NFL actually had almost nothing to do with building a case against Shaw. He did it all for them. According to Ian Rappaport, Shaw went to Vegas with some high school buddies earlier in the season. Thinking it was legal, he placed a few bets on games.

He didn’t try to hide it and even used his own ID and casino player’s card. Once he realized he made a mistake, he flew to New York, where he cooperated fully with the NFL.

Shaw did not use any inside information, his team (the Arizona Cardinals) were not aware of his gambling, and he didn’t impact the outcome of any games since he has been on the IR the entire season.

We don’t know if he bet on any Cardinals games, how much he bet or with who. Since the league has not had a history of gambling issues (or at least guys caught doing so), there isn’t much precedent for Goodell to follow.

Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for a season back in 1963 for betting on games (never on their team and usually $100). It didn’t happen again until 1983 when then-Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter bet so much he couldn’t pay off his bookies.

He, too, was suspended for a season.

But since Roger Goodell wants to look like he is cracking down, he is breaking with precedent and dinging Shaw for two seasons—or so it seems.

The Real Reason For Josh Shaw’s Heavy-Handed Punishment

It sounds like Shaw is going to plead ignorance in his appeal and ask for leniency. If the league had a heart, it would listen to what he says and give it to him – but it doesn’t have a heart.

The league needs a scapegoat, someone it can use as proof that gambling may be an issue in the NFL. Said scapegoat has to have the book thrown at him, of course. With a minimum suspension of two seasons, it looks like they threw it at Shaw—but not really.

Shaw has been out for the entire season this year, making getting suspended for this season a moot point. The Cardinals only signed him to a one-year deal for $895,000; he is not likely going to be a priority to resign in the off-season.

Since he can’t play next season, no one is going to sign him. Even if he were eligible, he very well would have gone unsigned anyway.

So, the NFL just threw the book at a guy who already couldn’t play this season and likely wouldn’t have been playing next season anyway. Way to flex those muscles, NFL.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Battleborn Shutting Down Showcases Problem With Online Games

  • Battleborn is a free-to-play online FPS game.
  • Battleborn is being fully shut down in 2021.
  • This shows that online-dependent games have less value than offline ones.

Battleborn is an online FPS game with a heavy focus on a colorful cast of characters. It released back in 2016 and was trying to capitalize on the massive popularity of MOBA games. Thanks to mediocre reviews, the implementation of micro-transactions post-launch, and numerous other factors, it didn’t sell terribly well.

Dwindling player numbers and a lack of income seem to have finally taken their toll, as Battleborn is on its way to the grave. Gearbox Software recently announced that in January 2021, the game will finally be killed off for good.

[embedded content]

The Long Drawn Out Death of Battleborn

Battleborn has basically been in long, drawn-out death throws since it came out. It didn’t have a massive user-base in the first place, it was unfavorably compared to Overwatch, and then it alienated people. Micro-transactions were followed by massive price drops, and eventually going free-to-play managed to annoy all those who had paid the full price for the game.

Moving forward there’s not much to do with Battleborn but try to learn some lessons from it. The main lesson in question is actually for consumers rather than game developers: Online-games are inherently worth less than offline ones.

I feel like I could hear the sound of thousands of gamers’ veins popping on their foreheads when they read that last sentence. To explain, I’m not saying that online games are bad, far from it. All I am saying is that online games should cost less to buy because unlike offline ones they come with an expiration date.

Battleborn - Nosgoth
Nosgoth was another online game that just disappeared. | Source: Twitter

Online Games a Ticking Time Bomb

When you buy a game that is dependent on a server being live, you know it’s going to die. It’s even worse if, as in the case of Battleborn, the single-player modes also get killed off. I can’t imagine being someone who has paid $60+ for a game only to have it taken away a few years later – let alone someone who also invested in the micro-transactions as well.

Eventually, when the player-base for these games dries up, they will die. This is the case with every single online game going, even the long-lived ones.  At least when you buy a single-player offline game you know you’re going to be able to play it for potentially decades to come. Even if not you can at least trade it in for a return on your investment.

The major takeaway here is not to buy a full-price online game. Online games are temporary. If they’re going to charge the same price as a game which will last forever, then they’re trying to trick you. Just look at Battleborn. It had dropped in price within a few weeks. The same can and will happen with other games.

Battleborn - Paragon
Paragon was an Epic Games-backed online game which still died in a few years. | Source: YouTube

Weirdly, Free-to-Play for Online Games Is Much Better

The best way that games can avoid dying like Battleborn is by being free at release. It won’t save a bad game, but it gives a great boost to well-made titles. Being free means that anyone can try a game. If they like the game, most players don’t feel too bad about investing in micro-transactions at least a little – as long as those micro-transactions aren’t loot boxes.

If Battleborn had been free when it came out, it might have done better. As it goes it couldn’t stand up to the competition and its eventual move to free-to-play just annoyed early adopters. In truth, no matter how bad micro-transactions can get, it’s got to be better than forcing full-price for a transient game.

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.