People and journalists often compare new products and services to an existing company that does something similar. “It’s a StitchFix for umbrellas,” you might say about a new venture. “It’s like GrubHub, but for freshly-prepared cat meals. It’s Netflix for woodworking tutorials.” A few startups have launched a new business model that could actually work: they’re like Uber, but for snow plows and lawn care. [More]
Some Chicagoans who were snowed in during the area’s recent bout of awful weather received a little surprise when they went out to check on their vehicles — $75 parking tickets.
Winter has not been kind to the states on the eastern seaboard, and the current snowstorm closing in on the mid-Atlantic has already wreaked havoc in the snow-averse state of Georgia, where three to five inches of the white stuff was enough to send people rushing to stock up at Walmart.
Reader A was minding his own business, raiding orcs and hording alliances or whatever it is World of Warcraft players do, when he says a hacker started selling in-game items for real cash, spurring Blizzard to cancel his account. A says Blizzard is aware that the nefarious activity wasn’t his fault, but stopped him cold anyway, bringing out his wrath of the Lich King.
After accidentally sharing the email addresses of gamers who complained about having to use their real names on World of Warcraft-maker Blizzard’s forums, the Entertainment Software Rating Board offered this mea culpa:
If you want to use certain official World of Warcraft forums, you’re going to have to come out. That is, you’re going to have to make your real full name visible on forums. No, not your character name: your real name. No, it’s not a severely delayed April Fool’s joke. And no, Blizzard, the company behind the game, doesn’t seem to care that their players like to post on forums but also might have problems with stalkers or identity theft, and also occasionally seek gainful employment.
Anonymous writes about his friend who subscribes to World of Warcraft and had his account hacked. He says publisher Activision Blizzard has frozen the account because its rightful owner is in dispute, and thus the friend has now been separated from the virtual hammer he slaughtered many an orc to attain.
One of the bloggers at BoingBoing attempted to install World of Warcraft on his Ubuntu Linux laptop, but first he had to agree to… something. Full picture inside.
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
Reader Zach is having some trouble with Blizzard and is wondering what he should do. He tried to download a copy of Diablo II from their digital store, but the download didn’t work. Blizzard’s customer service then tried to download it again — which also didn’t work. Finally, they told him to buy it at an actual store — which he did. Now he’s bought the game three times and would like some money back.
If you have a problem with Blizzard Entertainment, makers of World of Warcraft, among other diversions, and contacting regular customer doesn’t help, try some of the contact info inside…
Jeff Simmermon, the Digital Communications Director for Time Warner Cable, has responded to the charges that TWC is responsible for the lags and disconnections plaguing East Coast World of Warcraft players. He took a look at the traceroutes posted on Blizzard’s user forums and sent the response.
We don’t play World of Warcraft, but if we did, it looks like we’d have to cancel Time Warner Cable and install FIOS in order to guarantee a connection to Blizzard’s servers. That’s what some East Coast WoW players are saying—they’ve been suffering disconnections and game-killing lags for months now, and Time Warner Cable seems unable to solve the problem. They swear they’re not doing anything to disrupt or throttle gamers, and say that “customers who are having problems on the local level should contact customer service.” Based on the 24-page thread on Blizzard’s forums, TWC’s customer service has yet to resolve the issue.
The above-pictured blizzard is hitting Denver right now, and if you’d like to avoid connecting through that airport on United, they’re waiving fees. Up to 3′ of snow is expected in Northern Colorado. Brrrr. Customers can check the status of their flights at united.com or calling 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) for automated, up-to-the-minute flight arrival and departure information before leaving for the airport. —MEGHANN MARCO
Speaking of virtual sex, Lambda Legal has gotten involved in the Blizzard debate over whether or not gay and lesbian friendly guilds (clubs of players who enjoy playing with one another in online games, for those unfamiliar with the jargon) are allowed to advertise in their wildly popular game, World of Warcraft. Lambda Legal is an activist group aimed at protecting the civic rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans, and they’ve sent Blizzard a friendly letter, asking them to cave on their current policy: citing gay and lesbian players for mentioning their sexual preference, ostensibly because it makes them targets of bigotry.