Pokemon Go down: Hacking group claims responsibility for bringing down game’s servers ‘with DDOS attack’

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HYPEBEAST/Independent:

If you’ve been having a little trouble connecting to Pokémon Go today, take some solace in the fact that you aren’t the only one: fresh off a rollout in Europe, the beloved mobile games servers have gone down across both Europe and North America.

Due to the incredible number of Pokémon Go downloads, some trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!” explained developer Niantic on its website. However, something slightly more sinister may be at play here: according to reddit, PoodleCorp — who has previously targeted the likes of popular YouTuber Pewdiepie — is actually responsible for the downed servers thanks to a DDoS attack.

PoodleCorp has recently targeted high profile YouTubers such as Pewdiepie, according toGearnuke.

A DDOS, or Distributed Denial of Service, is a way troublemakers crash servers by flooding them with so many requests every second that they cannot cope.

On Saturday, users across the US and Europe complained they were unable to access the game, or that it was freezing.

When news spread of the attack, players took to social media to voice their outrage.

This guy quit his job to travel the world catching Pokémon

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VICE:

Sure, Pokémon Go may be kind of boring and riddled with bugs, but who cares? How else are you going to venture into the world, catch 500 Weedle, and then go home to drop a lucky egg and just evolve like crazy to gain XP to become a master trainer?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find the time to commit to a serious Pokémon regimen, what with the jobs and responsibilities and laundry or whatever. That’s why one brave soul in New Zealand has done what so many around the world don’t have the guts to do: He quit his job to travel around, playing Pokémon Go full-time.

I have been working for six years, and I was desperate for a break,” 24-year-old Tom Currie told the Guardian. “Pokémon gave me the chance to live that dream.”

The Guardian reports that Currie has already hit six towns in New Zealand, and has bus tickets to keep going for the foreseeable future.

Tom is a very spur-of-the-moment, independent kid, he always has been,” Currie’s mother told the Guardian. “His nana and I don’t understand the game, but I remember him loving it in his childhood. I am just glad he is out enjoying his life and seeing so much of New Zealand.

Currie has been on the road for a week now and already bagged 90 of the original 151 Pokémon. That means that if you are holding a gym somewhere in New Zealand right now with just a lame-ass 500 CP Pinsir, Currie is probably on his way to give you a very rude awakening.

Pokémon fan creates spectacular 3D hologram battle dome entirely from scratch

 

RocketNews 24 (by Scott Wilson):

Who hasn’t wished that they could have a Pokémon battle in real life? Nintendo 64 game   and its successors were fine and all, but they were basically just glorified Game Boy battles; we want to see Pokémon slamming into each other, breathing fire and ice, and maybe — just maybe — actually touching one ourselves.

And now thanks to Reddit user kennywdev, the world is one step closer to that dream

Kennywdev wanted to create a 3D game to move holograms around using QR codecards. However, what started out as a generic project suddenly got interesting when they decided to use Pokémon as the test subjects.

German toy-maker Steiff is launching a $340 limited edition stuffed Pikachu doll

German premium toy-makers Steiff are launching a limited edition stuffed Pikachu doll that measures at 11 inches tall and is made with the finest natural mohair for an added luxe touch.

The adorably plush Pokémon will be priced at $340 USD with a limited Japan-only release of only 1000 units.

Preorders are available via GoodSmile right now, with a February shipping date.

TIME Magazine: Why Nintendo president Satoru Iwata mattered…

TIME (by Matt Peckham):

Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata has died at only 55 years old after battling cancer for over a year. His unexpected passing marks the end of a wildly inventive and broadly celebrated 13-year stretch helming the iconic Kyoto video games company.

Iwata, born in Sapporo, Japan in 1959, was only the fourth person to lead Nintendo since its inception as a playing card company in 1889, and the first president unrelated to the founding Yamauchi family. His ascent to the topmost Nintendo position in 2002 was unusual as it followed a career in software engineering, making him one of the industry’s only corporate luminaries with substantial hands-on game creation experience.

In an exclusive interview with TIME this spring — Iwata’s last with a Western media outlet — he talked about how personally involved he remained in helping drive and evaluate the company’s hallmark unorthodox inventions. He called Nintendo “a company of Kyoto craftsman” and joking “this is where my background in technology is quite helpful, because it means that the engineers can’t trick me.

At Tokyo-based Nintendo affiliate HAL Laboratory during the 1980s and 90s, Iwata helped develop some of Nintendo’s most memorable games. That list includes Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, the opening salvo in a critically lauded and financially lucrative fighting series starring Nintendo characters like Mario and Donkey Kong that’s since sold in the tens of millions for the company. After he was promoted to president of HAL Laboratory in 1993, he continued to work personally on the company’s products, including several titles in Nintendo’s wildly popular Pokémon series.

Iwata’s move to Nintendo came in 2000, when he assumed management of the company’s corporate planning division. Just two years later, then-Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, who had helmed the company since 1949, decided to retire, allowing Iwata to step in and steer Nintendo through its most inventive period yet.

It was under Iwata that Nintendo ushered in the Nintendo DS, a dual-screen gaming handheld that succeeded the popular Game Boy, eventually going on to challenge Sony for the title of “bestselling games platform of all time.” Nintendo’s wildly successful Wii, now arguably the most recognizable video game system in the industry’s history, arrived in 2006, another Iwata-led gamble that paid incredible dividends following the company’s lackluster GameCube, which launched in 2001. And while Iwata’s critics often accused the company of reacting too slowly to industry trends, Iwata wasn’t afraid to enact radical change: after years of financial downturns (exacerbated by the company’s poorly received Wii U game console), he unveiled plans this March to develop games for smartphones and tablets. The world will now remember Iwata as the Nintendo leader who tore down the wall between the company’s heavily guarded iconic IP and non-Nintendo platforms.

But it was Iwata’s playful, almost mischievous and refreshingly candid personal style that so endeared him to the company’s fans. In 2011, he helped launch a video series dubbed Nintendo Direct, personally emceeing the company’s biggest surprises, often with quirky framing twists, like an effects-laden mock kung-fu brawl with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé for E3 2014. At Nintendo’s E3 2015 presentation last month, he appeared as a Muppet designed by The Jim Henson Company.

Iwata’s other significant public relations innovation was “Iwata Asks,” a remarkable series in which Iwata interviewed members of Nintendo’s many development teams, delving into the anecdotal history of some of the company’s best loved projects. It was a Nintendophile’s dream come true.

Above all, Iwata established and maintained a decorous tone often at odds with his competitors. In lieu of visually splashy, clamorous stage-led events at annual game shows, Iwata chose charmingly simple, almost dignified presentational vignettes. When fans responded negatively to a new Nintendo idea, Iwata’s reaction was often swift and direct: after an upcoming Nintendo DS game built on a hallowed Nintendo franchise was waved off by fans at E3 last month, Iwata tweeted his thanks to fans for their feedback and promised to meet their expectations.

Iwata’s health problems were first aired just before E3 in June 2014, when Iwata, who had been planning to attend the show (I was scheduled to meet with him), mysteriously backed out. At the time, Nintendo said Iwata’s doctors had warned him against travel, but didn’t say why. A few weeks later, the company disclosed Iwata was battling cancer, specifically a tumor in his bile duct. At that point he’d had surgery, and his prospects sounded hopeful because the doctors had apparently found the tumor early. When he resumed appearing in Nintendo Direct videos following E3, he was clearly thinner, but seemed otherwise unfazed. Though he again missed this year’s E3, he remained publicly active to the end, participating in Nintendo’s last shareholder meeting just a few weeks ago.

BEAMS (Japan) x Pokémon x New Era Pikachu fitted cap collection

McDonald’s Japan releases Doraemon Happy Meals!

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RocketNews 24:

It’s no secret that McDonald’s Japan has been enthusiastic about collaborating with various anime and character franchises to come up with goodies for children. In the past we’ve seen toys featuring Pokémon and Yokai Watch, as well as Pretty Cure, Super Mario and Transformers, among others, being offered with their Happy Meals, and kids certainly seem to be, well, happy with their Happy Meals, since almost 100 million of these sets are apparently sold in Japan each year.

This month, none other than Doraemon, the time-travelling blue cat robot, makes an appearance as six different Happy Meal toys, and they definitely look ready to delight children across Japan!

The Doraemon toys have just been released from McDonald’s this past Friday, in collaboration with the new movie Doraemon: Nobita’s Space Heroes that is currently being shown in theaters across Japan. 

There are three types of toys available at this moment, and a different set of three toys will be offered starting March 20. Some of them feature Doraemon gadgets we know well (and wish we owned), and we can see how these baubles may get kids excited!

▼ These are the three toys currently available: the “Anywhere Door Game”, “Doraemon and the Spinning Burger” and “Look into it! Scope”.

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▼ And from March 20, these three will become available: the “Run! UFO”, “Exciting! Space Camera” and the “Memory Bread Drawing Kit”.

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Here’s a closer look at each of the items.

▼ The “Anywhere Door Game (Dokodemo Door Game)” is actually a miniature pinball machine in the shape of the Anywhere Door, which has to be one of Doramen’s most popular tools. There’s a different game on each side of the door, so you get two games in one toy.

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▼ The “Doraemon and the Spinning Burger (Doraemon to Kurukuru Burger)” features the Burger Director character that appears in the new movie. With this toy, when you place Doraemon and Burger Director close to each other, the Burger Director will start spinning.

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▼ This “Look Into it! Scope (Nozoite! Scope)” acts as a periscope, and you can look through the lens from the back of the planet on which Doraemon is sitting.

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▼ You can wind up this “Run! UFO (Hashire! UFO)” to propel it forward. What’s neat about this toy is that it can detect and avoid obstacles and also avoid falling off the edge of the table.

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▼ This “Exciting! Space Camera (Dokidoki! Space Camera) lets you see four different Doraemon movie scenes by looking through the lens and turning the dial on the side.

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▼ The “Memory Bread Drawing Kit (Oekaki Anki Pan)” contains five picture cards that you can copy and trace to create 10 different types of illustrations.

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In addition to the toys, the Doraemon Happy Meal comes in three adorable types of boxes, which should also put a smile on kids’ faces.

▼ The boxes all look cute, but we think Dorami-chan in the middle looks particularly charming. The boxes with Doramon’s and Dorami-chan’s face have a bit of a pop-up shape on the top. dora-box

Well, we think these toys actually look quite nifty, and we can easily imagine kids who’ve seen the Doraemon movie begging their parents to take them to McDonald’s for the trinkets. Hmmm … we wonder how many parents will be forced to make six trips to McDonald’s for all the items.

The Happy Meals are available at prices between 432 yen (US$3.56) and 504 yen ($4.15) depending on the food item you choose, but we expect the Doraemon toys will go quickly, so if you plan on getting your hands on one – or a few – of them, you may want to get to a McDonald’s sooner rather than later!