Tag Archives: Next
At least two Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers have ended up at BioWare as leads on the next Mass Effect, according to their LinkedIn Profiles. Colin Campbell, former lead world designer at Big Huge Games, and Ian Frazier, former lead designer, are listed with the new series lead BioWare Montreal, Kotaku discovered.
Campbell and Frazier give their current positions as lead level designer and lead gameplay designer, respectively. After the painful bankruptcy of Big Huge Games and 38 Studios, they and many others moved on to Epic Games’ Impossible Studios to work on Infinity Blade: Dungeons.
Epic Games shut Impossible down just half a year after its creation. With Campbell and Frazier’s hiring at BioWare Montreal, it looks like at least some of the beleaguered Big Huge developers have finally found a steady home.
UPDATE: Bethesda’s mystery game is the next title from Shinji Mikami’s Tango Gameworks, IGN has revealed. We’ll know more about the Resident Evil creator’s latest project tomorrow morning, but until then you can check out the creepy bit of art above. The original story follows below.
Bethesda will reveal the subject of its mysterious Vine video clips tomorrow, the publisher teased… with another Vine clip. This time we’re looking through a tall window with some objects peeking into and disappearing from the foreground, and the typical scratchy sounds being all creepy.
We can all agree it’s about time for some more Fallout, but Bethesda VP Pete Hines says to “guess again.” That leaves a new Wolfenstein or whatever Shinji Mikami’s Tango Gameworks has been working on as frontrunners, but you never know.
We’ll let you know as soon as we see what Bethesda has cooking.
These are just some of the signs of a marijuana grow operation residents should look out for in their neighbourhood, police repeatedly warn.
According to a 2007 Royal Canadian Mounted Police report on drug offences, 60% of offences related to marijuana production occurred in a residence.
And an Ipsos Reid study in 2012 – prompted by the Ontario Real Estate Association – said almost a quarter of Ontario residents have “seen or know of homes in their neighbourhood that have been used as a marijuana grow operation.”
No one wants to live in a mouldy ex-drug lab. A past history of drug production can lower a property’s value for years by 15-20%, and make home insurance a pain to maintain.
That’s why Markham realtor Cathy Innamorato did not buy a grow-op home, despite the fact that it had been remediated, leaving little concern for mould.
A conversation with her insurance company left her walking away from the home, she said, because she ran the risk of increasing premiums in the future.
“And you have no recourse,” Innamorato said. “So because of that I decided against purchasing this property.”
Despite remediation – the process of eradicating mould and other damage done to a building following it’s use for illicit drugs – a grow house never truly shakes its drug-related stigma, she added. Remediation reports often don’t guarantee the home’s condition 100% and insurance companies are reluctant to accept them.
“How is the buyer protected?” Innamorato said.
A central grow-op registry would have all grow-op houses listed, making it easier for realtors to be open and for buyers to be confident of their purchase.
The Ontario Real Estate Association repeated its call for the registry in early March, supporting Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod’s recently tabled Clandestine Drug Operation Prevention Act.
“I think that there’s an appetite to protect our community and also crack down on this illicit activity,” MacLeod said.
The theft of hydro is a major related concern, as house grow-ops steal energy by rewiring, often risking electrical safety.
MacLeod said law-abiding customers wind up footing the bill for dollars lost to hydro theft.
“It’s quite significant, its a cost to our communities,” she said.
One man has made stigmatized properties his personal mission.
Barry Lebow, a GTA realtor and an expert in real estate stigma, said grow-ops can become long-lasting problems for homeowners and landlords when they try and sell their property in the future.
“Do you realize how many houses are stigmatized in this province?” Lebow said. “Because the law is that there’s no such thing as a statute of limitations on stigma in Ontario. It has to be reported forever.”
While he makes it clear he dislikes stigmatizing properties for housing as few as three or four marijuana plants – therefore causing no damage done to the home – he agrees a central registry disclosing grow-op homes ruined by organized criminal behaviour can help realtors and buyers.
“Where there’s been a professional criminal organization, that’s where I draw the line,” Lebow said. “We have to quantify what they did to the house.”
There should be a difference between a home where a person has grown pot for recreational uses without touching the structure, and a home that has to be gutted after a massive grow operation, Lebow said. Because the two aren’t the same.
“Therefore you have a problem on your hands because you’re stigmatizing people for something that really shouldn’t be stigmatized,” he said.
Lebow said he knows the impact of grow-ops on property owners. He’s heard many stories of landlords who have returned to find tenants have ruined their investment homes by running grow-ops. They take a huge loss of up to 20% in property value.
“Most of the houses that I’ve come across … have been hardcore blue-collar people who have bought a house, put all their money in, and find out that they’ve got a 20% loss in value across the board,” Lebow said. “Nobody can afford it but these people ( can afford the loss ) even less.”
Taking over an old Curves Gym location on North Capitol Street just thirteen blocks north of the Capitol Reflecting Poool, Capital City Care is set to be the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in Washington D.C. roughly three years after medical marijuana laws were passed in the district. Capital City owners say they’ll open sometime mid-April with four strains, hash and a few accessories for patients. You read that: four strains.
Capital City Care owners say a quarter-ounce will sell for between $ 100 and $ 120. So, it’s really not much better than buying a quarter of herb on the street on the east coast financially. Hopefully the prices drop for D.C. like they have out west, though.
Washington D.C.’s medical marijuana law – which was approved in 2010 – does not allow Patients grow their own medicine and will be allowed to purchase up to two ounces at a time from dispensaries.
According to the Washington Post, medical marijuana laws in D.C. require plants to be in the ground for at least two months but also limit grow operations for the state’s four dispensaries to no more than 95 plants. Applications for dispensaries had to – among many other things – describe how they would be able to maintain a steady supply of cannabis as well as what specific strains they are going to grow.
As for the risk of opening up a marijuana shop under the noses of the federal government that still considers medical marijuana illegal, Capital City Care founder tells the Post that he’s concerned – but says he’s putting patients first.
“You have to remember marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug,” he said. “But our thought is — and we’ve given it a lot of thought — that we’re doing this for the patients. It is a risk that we run, but we do have a very tightly run program.”
Below, check out a news report on the dispensary from WJLA Channel 7 in DC.
More links from around the web!
It’s always interesting to see the take on American medical and recreational cannabis from our friends across the pond. This recent report from the BBC on legalization in Colorado is proof of that, with the reporter singling out the ski resort town of Breckenridge as the potential American version of cannabis-friendly Amsterdam in the Netherlands. As a Coloradan, I highly doubt that will be the case — but the report does bring up a few interesting ideas.
The report hinges on the fact that Breckenridge decriminalized marijuana possession in 2010 – well before Amendment 64 was passed in the state legalizing possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana. And while it would be interesting if it happened, I think the report as a whole is somewhat overblown. For starters, the reporter keeps saying that medical marijuana shops will convert to recreational shops without mentioning that the Feds might nix that idea or that the Colorado legislature still has yet to pass any laws about the recreational industry.
That said, even this report makes Breck sound like the perfect getaway for the ganja-puffing, adventure-vacationing traveler.