Blizzard sues Pocket Gnome World of Warcraft bot creators

first_imgBlizzard Entertainment does not like bots operating in World of Warcraft, and demonstrated that by taking the company behind WOWGlider to court a few years ago, winning damages, and shutting the bot down. Now a new bot has appeared, and Blizzard is attempting exactly the same thing with another lawsuit.This new bot is called Pocket Gnome and is offered by Ceiling Fan Software (run by Brian Becker and Statnton Fraser). The number of players that can actually take advantage of Pocket Gnome is limited as it seems to only work on Intel Macs. Even so, due to the automated functionality it offers, Blizzard wants sales of the bot stopped and damages paid.As you can see from the interface image below, Pocket Gnome allows the player to automate a whole load of repetitive tasks in the MMO. If used effectively, you could leave WoW running all day and return to find your character has leveled up significantly without any direct input from you.Blizzard is arguing that such functionality is detrimental to the game as a whole, and “frustrating” for legitimate players. They even claim Pocket Gnome is “diverting revenue from Blizzard to defendants” in this case Ceiling Fan Software. The amount made off sales of Pocket Gnome (which includes both an up front fee and monthly charge) is speculated to be between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.Ceiling Fan know that Pocket Gnome is breaking the terms of service for WoW, and they even openly acknowledge it does on the bot’s website. It is followed by a warning that if you get caught you will be banned, but also that bans are avoidable if the bot is used in a smart way.With WOWGlider losing out to Blizzard’s lawyers, I suspect Pocket Gnome will suffer a similar fate. How long it takes before the bot disappears depends on how much cash Becker and Fraser are willing to spend on their defense, and if they have anything to counter the lawsuit with.We must point out that not all MMO bots are bad. In 2009 a WoW bot was shown off at the Defcon security conference that had been created to act like a human player. It was not developed further, but the API was made available for anyone interested in using it. I wonder if Pocket Gnome includes any of the tech released for that bot at Defcon?via Courthouse News Servicelast_img read more

Tauck has unveiled its 2017 roster of Tauck Bridge

first_imgTauck has unveiled its 2017 roster of Tauck Bridges trips designed specifically for families, and for the coming year, lucky guests on three special departures of the company’s eight-day Castles & Kings: London to Paris itinerary will enjoy a true once-in-a-lifetime experience when they tour the legendary Louvre museum after it’s been closed to the general public for the day.Home to the Mona Lisa and countless other treasures, the Louvre is the world’s most popular museum, drawing well over nine-million visitors annually. By special arrangement, guests on next year’s 2, 9 and 23 July departures (from $5490 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare) will tour the Louvre at their leisure and without the customary crowds. Tauck already offers a similar after-hours experience to its guests at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, on its tours visiting Rome. Like the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel tours, the after-hours tours of the Louvre are built into Tauck’s all-inclusive prices.In all, the Connecticut-based guided tour and cruise company will operate a total of 19 Tauck Bridges family itineraries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Africa next year, including a new family river cruise on the Seine. First announced in March (when Tauck unveiled its 2017 European river cruising plans), the company’s new eight-day Family Fun Along the Seine: Paris to Normandy river cruise begins with an included two-night hotel stay and guided sightseeing in Paris.A subsequent five-night cruise along the Seine aboard Tauck’s newly reconfigured ms Sapphire riverboat includes a full-day excursion to Normandy’s D-Day Beaches and a guided excursion to Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. Several additional days provide a choice between a more active option (such as a hike to a medieval chateau or a bicycle tour highlighting the gardens of Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s farm) and a more relaxed activity (a walking tour in the village of Les Andelys or a tour of the Palace of Versailles).‘Family Fun Along the Seine’ (from $4290 per person, plus airfare) will be Tauck’s fourth river cruise designed specifically for families, along with its other family-focused itineraries on the Danube, Rhône and Rhine. For the coming year, Tauck is doubling its family river cruise departures from 10 to 20.Tauck has also added enhancements to a number of its other existing Bridges itineraries for 2017. The company has upgraded three of the four featured accommodations on its eight-day Costa Rica: Jungles and Rainforests journey, for example, and replaced an extended motor coach transfer between Tortuguero and Arenal with a time-saving flight. In Europe, an after-hours visit to the Oetzi Village archeological park in Umhausen, Austria, has been added to Tauck’s Alpine Adventure itinerary. That same Bridges tour now also boasts a two-night stay in nearby Längenfeld at the Aqua Dome hotel, which features a children’s water park with water slides and two swimming pools.Tauck’s Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise on the Rhône River has been bolstered with a guided bike ride in Paris and a chocolate art demonstration, while the Grand European Family Holiday in England, France and Italy now features an included dinner at chef Alain Ducasse’s modern bistro Champeaux in Paris. Finally, on the Tauck Bridges exploration of Majestic California, family travellers will now enjoy a guided visit to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, and learn about San Francisco sourdough bread traditions at a bakery dating back to the Gold Rush era.last_img read more