Sunday, May 14, 2006

EA Sports Sued Over Madden NFL Game Feature - I Know The Person Who Filed The Suit; He Has A Case

I just saw this web information while in search of something else:

"EA sued over Madden feature

Electronics Arts, the world's largest game publisher, is finding itself in a legal battle over one of the features of its popular Madden NFL 06 game. Pernell Harris, owner of Virtual Jam, has sued the game maker over breach of contract and confidentiality violation.

According to Harris, he met with EA in 2003 to discuss some ideas he had concerning a football game titled Heart of a Champion. In the game, players take a high school athlete from the preps to the pros, making sure they get passing grades and even picking their parents to assure an optimum gene pool.

Legal papers flew when Harris noticed some of these features were included in this year's edition of Madden NFL 2006. Harris is seeking unspecified damages, restitution, and lawyer's fees.

EA doesn't seem bothered by the allegations. A company spokesperson told Reuters, "We have read the complaint and the allegations are completely without merit."

Madden NFL 2006 was released in August, and is one of the top-selling games of the year."

Actually, the EA spokesperson is wrong. I know the person who fied suit. In fact, I just wrote about him. He's ex-24 star Pernell Harris.

EA sports isn't taking Harris seriously and I believe it's for a set of reasons that boil down to race and style. Pernell's African American, and not of the style one would associate with a game-making geek. That's less true for me. But the point is that's no reason for EA to doctor the truth, yet that's what they did.

Pernell showed me the evidence EA presents as valid: an email they gave to his attorney that's obviously doctored in such a way that the contents of some email was placed on another sheet of paper, but leaving off the date the email was written and the email adress. This email is suppose to show that the person Pernell talked to who was with EA gave the other staffers some idea but before he met Pernell. But the trouble is the email has no real date on it -- it has a doctored one. Some content was copied onto another sheet of paper, and the paste job is obvious.

In other words, you know what an email looks like when it's printed out. It's got not only the information you need, but all of the other code information, too and a date that doesn't appear in memo form. Microsoft outlook's date stamp doesn't appear as if it were a form letter. This doctored paper does.

EA should be ashamed. They basically think Pernell and his attorney can be had by a simple shop job like that. Fortunately, Pernell has friends who understand how the game works, and -- as a game maker -- I'm one of them.

EA should stop haging with Tiger Woods and pay attention to this case. Pernell has a gripe, and EA's statements to the contrary are without merit. That I can state, because someone in their office is playing fast and loose with the truth.

Stay tuned.

NFL / Disney Collaboration Produces "Invincible" - Video Of Press Conference For Movie

As part of the events for NFL Draft week in New York, a press conference was held at Gustavino's and on "Invincible", a new Disney movie about Vince Papale, a walk-on who became a star for the Philadelphia Eagles. Mark Walburgh (who plays Vince), Papale, Grer Kinnear (who plays Dick Vermiel), and producers Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray (The Rookie) are in this, as are the NFL's head of marketing, Phil Guarascio.

I was part of the media covering this event, and so arrived a bit early. With few people around, I decided to get some scenes of the set up before the press conference. After it, I was able to talk with Guarascio and one of the film's producers, Gordon Gray.

Here's the video:

A Walk In New York From Chelsea Piers To Gustavino's In The Queensborough Bridge

While I was in New York City for the NFL Draft, I decided to take a walk to Gustavino's from the NFL Draft luncheon at Chelsea Piers. Because it was a warm late April day, and I had about 20 blocks to go, I hailed a cab. While in the cab, I spotted some bald guy in a top-down Mercedez driving with a dog almost on the steering wheel. Finally, I got to this neat place called Gustavino's which is built into the base of the Queensborough Bridge.

All of this is on video here:

What I like most about the video is New York City: the noise, the architecture, the feel of the World's Greatest City.

Sen Barbara Boxer Calls For End To NSA Spying Program - Oakland Tribune

Boxer rips into NSA at Mills graduation
Senator says U.S. security agency's phone spying must be halted
By William Brand, STAFF WRITER - OAKLAND TRIBUNE Sunday, May 14th, 2006

OAKLAND — The National Security Agency telephone spying program must be stopped, Sen. Barbara Boxer told graduating students Saturday morning at the Mills College commencement.

"If our government begins spying on our telephone conversations without any reason, then the terrorists have already won — because we will have lost the essence of America. If we allow this to continue ... we will have lost what makes us free," Boxer said.

Later, Boxer, D-California, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, spoke to reporters about the vast telephone project.

Lee said she intends to introduce a resolution of inquiry in Congress. "We want to know whose phones were involved and we want the administration to give us reasons for that," she said. "The problem is, we justdon't know what the facts are right now and we need answers."

Boxer told reporters that the Senate will have its first opportunity to inquire into the NSA project when Gen. Michael Hayden appears before a Senate committee over his nomination to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

"Gen. Hayden has a lot of questions to answer; we have to be very challenging," Boxer said.

Hayden is believed to be the architect of the operation, which involved searching phone calls made by millions of Americans for patterns relating to terrorists.

Boxer said she believes the operation clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. "People are not allowed to be searched without a proper warrant issued by a judge," she said.

She said she believes if the operation had been taken before a judicial panel for approval, a warrant would not have been granted.

Asked about the Iraq war, Boxer said America needs to withdraw, starting by sending National Guard troops home to their families and jobs. "The fact is, our presence in Iraq now is nonproductive. Our presence is feeding the insurgency."

When you have Iraqis saying it is better that you leave, it is time



to go, she said.

Boxer, the Mills commencement speaker, drew cheers from the moment she arrived.

Mills President Janet Holmgren awarded her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and noted that Boxer has been a courageous advocate for the rights of women, children and families. "She sponsored the Violence Against Women Act and shepherded it through Congress," she said. "As Democratic chief deputy whip, Ms. Boxer is poised to be the president of the United States, don't you think?"

Graduates — 217 women received bachelor's degrees and 194 men and women received master's and eight were awarded doctorates — stood and cheered.

Boxer, 65, is in her third term in the Senate. She was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1977, then served in Congress from 1983 to 1992. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1962 with a B.A. in economics.

Holmgren told Boxer she would like the Mills podium, which she had shortened so the senator would not have to stand on a box as she often does at speaking engagements. Both Boxer and Holmgren stand 5 feet tall.

She said Boxer demonstrates that if your goal is to change the world and make things better, size is not important.

Lee, a 1973 Mills graduate, introduced Boxer. She noted that when set out to run for the state Assembly in 1989, Boxer backed her strongly when she was unknown.

"If the White House and the administration were run by a woman like Barbara Boxer, we'd be in greater shape than we are today," Lee said.