Category Archives: Off Topic

Cosmo The God

Like most lads my age I play Call of Duty. I have a love hate relationship with it. I enjoy playing it from time to time but I find the more time I actually do spend with it the more infuriating it becomes. There has been times where I have had to turn it off through fear of a stroke. Anyway the point of this article is not to discuss how much I hate noob tubes and campers. You see if you don’t play Call of Duty then its hard to understand just how big the community around it is.  A lot of people earn money from COD, not just the developers and publishers, although they do make a lot! People play professionally and are sponsored to enter tournaments, which pay out big money. Others produce content on the internet, mainly in the form of YouYube videos. These people are called commentators or codcasters as Activision have cleverly entitled it. Its these guys that make some of the most money.

Commentators do videos of expert play and give tips and advice on how to play better. Some, as you can imagine, are a bit less helpful but never the less, these guys get some serious hits on YouTube and earn big money from advertising. SeaNanners is one such commentator with 1,394,929 subscribers and 235,662,970 video views (as of 06/12/12). Whiteboy7thst is another commentator with 1,625,152 subscribers and 474,604,837 views, making him one of the most subscribed to COD commentators (again as of 6/12/2012). Not quite Gangnam Style but still that’s pretty impressive for people who just play video games. If you would like to see just how fanatical there followers are then watch this. I honestly tried to pick out on single moment from that video as the ‘best bit’, rather then link the whole thing but I couldn’t, just watch it. I think clip 2 and 3 are the best.

I’ve been aware of these commentators for a few years but I can honestly say I have never really paid any attention to them until recently. In the run up to the Black Ops II launch, I started watching one commentator called WoodysGamertag because he had info on the game before it came out. One of his videos I found more interesting other. You can see it here. In the video he discusses how his Xbox Live account (the one he uses to make a living) was taken over by a hacker know as Cosmo The God.

Cosmo The God is hacker that brought down sites such as NASDAQ, CIA.gov, and UFC.com, he has redirected other sites to his own twitter account and wired.com has quoted him as “pioneering social-engineering techniques that allowed him to gain access to user accounts at Amazon, PayPal, and a slew of other companies”. These are no small feats.

After a multi-state effort from the FBI, Cosmo was brought to justice in June 2012. He was banned from using the internet for the next 6 years. I should mention at this point that Cosmo is only 15 years of ages. I was shocked when I discover that. Shocked a child had brought down major government websites and taken over seemingly secure accounts. His raised lawyer raised and interesting point saying he felt that his punishment was a little on the harsh side:

“…they could have locked him up for three years straight and then released him on juvenile parole… But to keep someone off the Internet for six years — that one term seems unduly harsh. You’re talking about a really bright, gifted kid in terms of all things Internet. And at some point after getting on the right path he could do some really good things. I feel that monitored Internet access for six years is a bit on the hefty side. It could sideline his whole life–his career path, his art, his skills. At some level it’s like taking away Mozart’s piano.”

-Jay Leiderman, a Los Angeles attorney

I don’t agree with what Cosmo did at all, but in some ways I can see what his lawyer is saying. If he was guided he could probably do something really good with his life but just how do you guide someone like that? If ta person is willing to take down government websites and stop people from making a living who is to say that if they got on the right path they wouldn’t regress?

Anyway I found this story interesting and I hope you did too. You can read the original article here if you like. There is also a longer more detailed article, that goes into specifics about how these hacks are done here. The longer article also gives an insight into the strange life that he leads.

Update: Since first sitting down to write this I have found that despite being prohibited from using the internet, Cosmo has actually used his knowledge to hack the twitter account of the Westboro Baptist Church. I don’t condone the hacking of anyone’s accounts but the WBC are not the nicest people and in my opinion, stopping there message of hate can only be a good think. Read the update here

Google Zeitgeist 2012

Shortly before Christmas Google released its annual Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist roughly means the ideas and beliefs shared at a point in history, so the Google Zeitgeist is the most popular Google searches made over the year.

The Zeitgeist show huge trends in society, some of which are really interesting. The most popular search in the world was for Whitney Houston who died in February of 2012. It’s interesting to see something that happened so early on in the year could dominate other huge major events

Officially the most viewed video on the internet ever and recognised by Guinness World Records as the most liked video on YouTube

Officially the most viewed video on the internet ever and recognised by Guinness World Records as the most liked video on YouTube

such as the Olympics. The most popular image searches were all for pop stars apart from the iPhone 5 coming in at the 3rd most popular search and surprisingly Minecraft ranking at number 8. Minecraft has been around for a number of years now but its only placed on the Zeitgeist in 2012, this is possibly due to it being released on the Xbox 360 in 2012. The most searched video was clearly Gangnam Style, which was the first ever YouTube video to hit a billion views. Psy, the artist behind the song, and Gangnam Style literally came out of nowhere and exploded over night. I think its popularity may be due to the fact that its a South Korean song and it may have not been so readily available to purchase on popular music stores like iTunes, or it could be just a really catchy song.

The Zeitgeist show social trend and changes in society but what I think it also does extremely well, is show the power of Google and how it brings people and ideas together. Google aids the sharing of news help promote new content faster then anything before. Would Gangnam Style have been just as big 10 years ago? ComScore, a internet technology company that measures what people do on the internet, claim that as of April 2012 Google had a 66.5% share in the search market. The rest being made up by Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask and AOL. You can see this statistics here. Google also has around 4 billion searches a day, bringing new information to people and organisations more then any other form of media.

You can see the Zeitgeist for yourself by following this link http://www.google.com/zeitgeist/2012/#the-world. Also watch the “Year in Review” video I’ve put at the bottom of this post. It was also made by Google and highlights some of the major events of the past year.

My Work Space

I sat down tonight to do some work on my newly built chair at my newly built desk. I’d picked up a bargain at IKEA a few days ago and this was my first real time using them. It got me thinking about other work spaces that people use. My one is pretty humble to be honest and especially in comparison to some that I found online.

I came across The Vodafone office in Portugal which is particularly impressive, it looks like something from a film. The Google office in Zurich is totally insane. I’m not too sure I could work there, its just too much. My favorite has to be Selgas Cano Architecture in Spain. It looks absolutely amazing and I would love to see all the different seasons through the year and how they chance the office.

If you’re interested in checking these out for yourself then follow these links to see some pretty amazing offices and work spaces

My work space at home. Humble I know, but amazing things can grow from small beginnings