By Graham Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.
I’ve had a copy of ZZT by Anna Anthropy – a book about the game of the same name – kicking around for six months, but I haven’t yet had the time to read it. That prompted me to almost instantly scroll by news that the same publisher was Kickstarting a second series of books in the same vein: small, independently published, and each focused on a different game.
Then I saw that one of the books in the second series is about Spelunky. And it’s written by Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky. And the project is already funded anyway.
The pitch video is either awkward or endearing, depending on how your mood.
The other books in the second series are pretty interesting too, of course: Metal Gear Solid by Ashly & Anthony Burch; Baldur’s Gate II by Matt Bell; Bible Adventures by Gabe Durham; and World of Warcraft by Daniel Lisi. Backers of the Kickstarter can also suggest the subject and author of sixth book, which the publishers will then try to make happen.
But who cares, here’s part of the blurb about the Spelunky book Spelunky book there’s a Spelunky book I want to read it:
But how is a “perfect” game made? This time, Boss Fight is going straight to the source. Spelunky the book is our first autobiographical game development history: the story of a game’s creation as told by its creator. Spelunky is a game design manifesto in which Derek Yu uses his own game to discuss wide-ranging topics such as randomization, creative process, team dynamics, the philosophy of challenging games, and player feedback. Grab some ropes, a mattock, and your favorite pug—this book is going to dig deep.
Here’s Robert Yang’s write-up of ZZT which prompted me to buy the book I then haven’t made time to read.
Werewolf Simulator (The Dreaming Djinn/Top Ten Software - C64 - 1988)
Petit Computer and SmileBASIC are two fun looking applications that let you program a Nintendo DSi or 3DS handheld in BASIC! Both were created by SmileBoom and are distributed in Nintendo’s eShop. You can check out Petit Computer on the DSi today, and SmileBASIC on the 3DS later in 2015. These bring back fond memories of programming games in QBASIC!
We have brought back BASIC, a programming language fondly remembered by anyone who programmed computers back in the day. In the golden age of BASIC, it was easy for anyone to write a program. Now we offer you this exact same capability, but this time with the advanced features of the Nintendo DSi™ system. Everyone can easily enjoy creating their own original programs, from those who ever dreamed of being a programmer when they were younger, to the young programmers of today. Many programs are included to ensure that you can fully enjoy using BASIC. The included programs were also written in BASIC, so you can add new features to them in order to enhance your games. You can also take the programs and data you create and convert them to QR codes that can be shared with friends who also have Petit Computer on their Nintendo DSi systems.
Roughly three months ago, Fried added an Othermill to Adafruit’s workshop and says, “Our testing procedure is much faster now. We can design and revise our circuit boards in-house within hours instead of weeks.” Adafruit backed Othermill’s Kickstarter campaign and promoted it to their community the very day it launched. Fried asserts, “This is the first high-precision PCB mill we’ve seen, with great software too!” She adds, “I can now make precision circuits and prototypes for manufacture without getting a vat of chemicals. It’s also allowed many Adafruit staffers to learn PCB design and manufacture because of the fast turnaround times and low barrier to entry.”
And GamerGate just keeps on churning. The last time we wrote about it, mainstream news organizations like CBS, PBS, and The New York Times were starting to get in on the action. One such publication is The Boston Globe, which ran a piece called “Gaming’s summer of rage” in late September. In it, author Jesse Singal identified the core of GamerGate as not concern over journalistic integrity, but instead “insecurity—profound insecurity—on the part of some male gamers reacting to their hobby of choice becoming more diverse and nuanced and, I dare say, emotionally intelligent.”
Surprisingly, GamerGate took this frank assessment of the hypocrisy of their movement to heart. Nahhhh, just messing with you. Singal was told that, to see what “the real GamerGate” is all about, he’d have to check out the subreddit KotakuInAction. Which he did. And then.
Ohhhh, and then.
The takedown to end all takedowns. That’s reposted below—I tried to snip some of the best bits from it, but honestly, it’s all so on-point—but to get you in the mood, here’s a little aperitif from Joss Whedon and some other excellent internet people:
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) October 20, 2014
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) September 4, 2014
@AdamBaldwin please stop supporting this stupid cause.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 15, 2014
.@assclit I'm not a gamer. The misogyny of "GamerGate" sickened me, which you could have learned with two clicks of research.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 14, 2014
Methinks it’s time to share this comic again:
Take it away, Singal. This in response to his Boston Globe piece being linked-to on KiA as “another poorly-researched hit-piece” [sic]:
Uh huh. That’s why at this very moment three of the top six posts on KIA—the subreddit I was explicitly instructed to visit if I wanted to see the real GamerGate—are about Wu and Sarkeesian (oh, I’m sorry, LW1 and LW3 [or is Wu 2? I can't keep track]) and social-justice warriors.
So, to recap:
Me: I don’t think this is really about corruption as much as it’s about discomfort with feminism. After all, a lot of the heat seems to be aimed at small female devs/commentators of a feminist bent.
GamerGaters on Twitter: Not true! So unfair! Go to KIA!
[Goes to KIA. Suspicions appear to be mostly confirmed.]
This has happened over and over and over again (I also looked into the 8chan board and some other “approved” places). As a journalist trying to be fair-minded about this, you can’t fucking win. If I’m arguing with someone from the NRA or the NAACP or some other established group, I can point to actual quotes from the group’s leadership. With you guys, any bad thing that happens is, by definition, not the work of A True GamerGater. It’s one of the oldest logical fallacies in the book.
So what is GamerGate “really” about? I think this is the kinda question a philosopher of language would tear apart and scatter the remnants of to the wind, because it lacks any real referent. You guys refuse to appoint a leader or write up a platform or really do any of the things real-life, adult “movements” do. I’d argue that there isn’t really any such thing as GamerGate, because any given manifestation of it can be torn down as, again, No True GamerGate by anyone who disagrees with it. And who gets to decide what is and isn’t True GamerGate? You can’t say you want a decentralized, anonymous movement and then disown the ugly parts that inevitably pop up. Either everything is in, or everything is out.
Anyway, faced with this complete lack of clarity, all I or other journalists can do, then, is journalism: We ask the people in the movement what they stand for and then try to tease out what is real and what is PR. And every every every substantive conversation/forum/encounter I’ve had with folks from GamerGate has led me to believe that a large part of the reason for the group’s existence is discomfort with what its members see as the creeping and increasing influence of what you call social-justice warriors in the gaming world.
I’m not just making this up based on the occasional Tweet or forum post. After my HuffPost Live appearance, I was invited into a Google Hangout about GamerGate by Troy Rubert, aka @GhostLev. I accepted, and when I got in just about everyone who spoke openly talked about how mad they were that progressive politics and feminism were impinging on gaming, which they saw as an area they had enjoyed, free of politics, forever. They were extremely open about this. A day or so later, another GamerGater, @Smilomaniac, asked me to read a blog post he’d written about his involvement in the movement in which he explicitly IDs as anti-feminist, and says that while some people claim otherwise, he thinks GG is an anti-feminist movement.
I believe him; I think GamerGate is primarily about anger at progressive people who care about feminism and transgender rights and mental health and whatever else (I am not going to use your obnoxious social-justice warrior terminology anymore) getting involved in gaming, and by what you see as overly solicitous coverage of said individuals and their games. And that’s fine! It’s an opinion I happen to disagree with, but “at least it’s an ethos.”
But this is only going to be a real debate if you guys can cop to your real-life feelings and opinions. You should have a bit more courage and put your actual motives front and center. Instead, because some of you do have a certain degree of political savvy, as is evidenced whenever GamerGaters on 8chan and elsewhere try to rein in their more unhinged peers, you’ve decided to go the “journalism ethics” route.
Unfortunately, that sauce is incredibly weak. There was no Kotaku review of “Depression Quest,” and fair-minded journalists will see through that line of attack right away since ZQ was receiving hate for DQ long before her boyfriend posted that thing. Journalists donating to crowdfunding campaigns? I bet if you asked 100 journalists you’d get 100 different opinions on whether this should be inherently off-limits (personal take is that it isn’t, but that journalists should certainly disclose any projects to which they donate). Collusion to strike at the heart of the gamer identity? Conservatives have been arguing that liberal journalists unfairly collude forever—I was on the “Journolist” that people wrongly claimed was coordinating pro-Obama coverage when really what we were doing, like any other listserv of ideologically like-minded people, was arguing with ourselves over everything. What happened was Gamasutra ran a column, that column went viral, and a lot of people responded to it. That sort of cross-site collusion doesn’t happen the way you think it does. When everyone’s writing about the same thing, that’s because the thing in question is getting a lot of discussion, which LA’s column did.
You guys know as well as I do that a movement based on the stated goal of regaining gaming ground lost to feminists and (ugh) SJWs would not do very well from a PR perspective. But you’re in a bind, because the ethics charges are 1) 98% false; 2) complicated to follow for the layperson; and 3) pretty clearly a ruse given the underlying ideology of the folks pushing this line forward.
(Important side note: A lot of the people calling for “journalistic ethics” quite transparently don’t know anything about journalism — to say that sites should clearly label what is and isn’t opinion, for example, is just plain weird, because a) that distinction is less and less relevant and is mostly a relic of newspaper days; and b) it’s a basic reading-comprehension thing; anyone who reads on a daily basis can tell, pretty simply from various cues in the narrative, whether they’re reading a work of “straight” journalism [outdated, troublesome term], “pure” opinion [again, bleh], or some combination of the two [which is what a lot of games coverage is].) [Editor's note: Emphasis mine, because booyah.]
So I’d make a call, one last time, for honesty: Stop pretending this is about stuff it isn’t. Acknowledge that you do not want SJWs in gaming, that you want games to just be about games. Again: I disagree, but at least then I (and other journalists! you do want coverage, don’t you?) could at least follow what the hell is going on. If your movement requires journalists to carefully parse 8chan chains to understand it, it gets an F- in the PR department.
You guys need to man and woman up and talk about what’s really on your mind, or stop whining about “biased” coverage and/or blaming it on non-existent conspiracies. And that’s my overlong two cents about your movement and why I’m having a lot of trouble taking it seriously.
(Edited right away to fix some stuff; more edits surely to come given that I wrote this quickly and in an under-caffeinated state. Feel free to snap a screenshot—I won’t be making any substantive changes.)
The comments are filled with a predictable number of screeds about how GamerGate really is about journalistic ethics, “my intellectualy dishonest friend.” But it’s Monday, and Monday doesn’t need my help being bad for the soul, so I’m not going to share any of that crap with you. At this point, you know what it says. I will, however, share my favorite comment, posted by glassspiider:
One thing about this that keeps causing little parts of my brain to die is the idea that the special snowflakes of the GG activist front claim to want objective reporting about video games. Doesn’t like 95% of VG “reporting” consist of reviews? I.e. critical reviews? Don’t those require the writer to take a position and/or state an opinion on the quality of the thing they’re reviewing? How do you make objective something that by its very definition is subjective?
It’s like people don’t even think about what they say befo— oh, wait.
Previously in GamerGate
A reminder to everyone in the comments section: please read and respect The Mary Sue’s official comment policy, as we do enforce it and will delete comments or ban users accordingly. I draw your attention to the following excerpt: “[Comments will be deleted if they contain] personal attacks against another commenter or the writer of the post. This can run from name calling to sentences that include the words ‘people like you’ or statements that begin ‘I bet you’ or ‘you must/probably’ etc. This is regardless of what ‘side’ you’re on.”
Hey redditors, my workplace was the victim of a pretty suave and cunning con man. It's a long shot, but if anyone has any info, please pass it on to us or the cops.
It was at the end of the workday on Saturday, September 20th. We were midway through a multi-week renovation of our front office and the con man posed as a painter to my boss while simultaneously posing as an IT guy to the real painters. He parked at the front of the building, strolled in casually dressed, shook hands with my boss and even got some coffee from the break room. He snuck into the server room and attempted to break the surveillance system, but he mistakenly left a large section of the system running. This is how we ended up having video of his methodical casing of our office.
He stole computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones - pretty much anything and everything of value, even including Star Wars Pez dispensers. (That last one being a particularly irritating offence.)
You can reach our front office at 503-236-7378. Anonymity requests eagerly respected.
Police Contact and Case number forthcoming (thanks).
'New Line President of Production Richard Brenner tells Deadline that he pushed the duo towards a “broad comedy” with a “larger footprint” than their initial concept, industry shorthand for “is there any way we can make this dumber and more expensive?”'
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have greenlighted their first movie, and it has nothing to do with substitute teachers with anger management issues. In fact, it has nothing to do with any of the projects they said they were working on in their Entertainment Weekly interview last month, a skillful bit of misdirection that is making us feel a little silly in hindsight.
Instead, the project is called Keanu and will star Key and Peele as two guys who pose as drug dealers to retrieve their eponymous stolen cat, a premise that still allows for plenty of goofy wigs and funny mispronunciations of peoples’ names. New Line President of Production Richard Brenner tells Deadline that he pushed the duo towards a “broad comedy” with a “larger footprint” than their initial concept, industry shorthand for “is there any way we can make this dumber and more expensive?” Keanu was co-written by ...
At Apple’s latest Town Hall event—you know, the one livetweeted by Dr. Ruth—developers Jeff Boudier and François Lagunas faced an autocorrect faux pas while showing off the capability of the iPad Air 2′s Replay App. I think they handled it remarkably well. It could have been a lot ducking worse.
(via Death and Taxes)
Previously in Apple
The BBC is doing the U.K. primary educational system a big break, setting the Doctor up against his biggest challenge yet: teaching the U.K.’s new programming core requirements.
The game comes as part of an initiative on the BBC’s part to engage in a different large-scale educational project every year. This year’s was World War II, but starting in 2015, the BBC will shift focus to support England’s new Computing curriculum for primary and secondary schools through a variety of multi-media programming. And that includes The Doctor and the Dalek, an online game featuring the voice of Peter Capaldi and plenty of characters from Doctor Who. The game was written by Phil Ford, whose previous credits include “Doctor Who and Wizards vs Aliens,” and will feature the Doctor in an uneasy alliance with a Dalek (a somewhat familiar situation for viewers of this season’s episodes).
The game will also feature a bevy of logic and programming puzzles, so start planning your 2015 procrastination schedule. The real question is: will it become a new generation’s The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis?
Previously in Doctor Who
"Not even FKA twigs can make it look cool, and she’s, like, the coolest person on the planet right now."
Google got super-wicked-cool artist FKA twigs to star in and direct this “concept film” showing off Google Glass and what it can do. Google Glass is both featured in and used to create the film. Which, yeah, no one’s ever used Google Glass to create a wacky art film before, so that’s cool. But also, will Google Glass ever be cool? Not even FKA twigs can make it look cool, and she’s, like, the coolest person on the planet right now.
(via The Verge)
Previously in Google Nahhs
Cable bills have a way of starting out expensive and then getting even more expensive as time goes on. This is especially true when cable companies offer promotional rates that last a year or two without telling customers what they'll actually have to pay once the discounted rate expires.
No cable customer is immune from this phenomenon—even outspoken telecom analysts like Bruce Kushnick are in for bill shock. Kushnick, a frequent critic of Internet service providers, signed up for a Time Warner Cable "Triple Pay" package in 2012 and is now paying more than double the advertised rate.
"When I signed up, less than two years ago, it was advertised at $89.99 and today, less than two years later, the actual price is 110 percent more—now $190.77," Kushnick wrote today in the Huffington Post.
Brandon Bird beat
I’ve made a brand-new Nicolas Cage Colorforms-style Adventure Set. You get 9 reusable vinyl cling stickers, and a double-sided backdrop to arrange and re-arrange your scenes. The accessories this go-round are rocket boots, keytar, sombrero, Gryzzblyzzyx, golden idol, and basket of kittens, and the play environments are “outer space” and “jungle ruins.” And it’s fully-compatible with the original 2009 set!
AND I have a whole new storefront too (store.brandonbird.com). It’s now possible to browse by item type, search by keywords, use payment options other than Paypal; basically everything a store on the internet made in the last five years should be able to do. It’ll also make it easier for me to track inventory, send shipping notices, etc. Check it out!
does not mean
Frans Hals, Portrait of an unknown man with a skull in his hand, ca. 1611
Johann Georg Leinberger, 1729 – 1731
man, when even Patton Oswalt thinks #GamerGate is misogynistic horseshit, that's a high bar. That's olympian
— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) October 16, 2014
In recent days, #Gamergate has gone from being covered mostly by niche sites to gaining full cultural awareness by the mainstream media. Yesterday, Anita Sarkeesian’s story of harassment hit the front page of The New York Times.
You can read the story in full here, in which they also speak with the man who coined the term #Gamergate, Adam Baldwin. Sarkeesian, like game developer Brianna Wu, is still calling for major players in the gaming industry to speak up against harassment.
“Game studios, developers and major publishers need to vocally speak up against the harassment of women and say this behavior is unacceptable,” Ms. Sarkeesian said in an interview. Representatives for several major game publishers — Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software — declined to comment.
Additionally, the New York Times has put out a call for any women who have experienced sexism in gaming to come forward and speak with them about their experiences “related to gender.” If you are interested in speaking with the NYT, be aware that your name and location may be published alongside your comments.
Sarkeesian also appeared on CBS This Morning to speak about #Gamergate, which she calls a “sexist temper tantrum” from “mostly men, male gamers, who are attacking women” because “they’re afraid we’re going to take their toys away.”
And Wu is still standing up to her harassers on national media. Here she is speaking with PBS NewsHour about the “war on women in this industry.”
Of course, while she continues to be vocal about her experiences, Wu is continuing to receive threats such as this:
It is, of course, of the most supreme irony to say, “We don’t harass people on this message board! Let’s prove our good name by mobilizing a massive harassment campaign!”
And though Baldwin is firmly on the #Gamergate side of the debate, Sarkeesian and the #StopGamergate2014 crowd do have some large cultural figures standing up for them.
TERRORISM ISN’T BLOWING THINGS UP. IT’S USING THE FEAR OF VIOLENCE TO COW US AND CONTROL OUR ACTIONS. http://t.co/piK9w1cqNC
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) October 15, 2014
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 17, 2014
Finally, as a follow-up to our post yesterday about Eron Gjoni, the man who sparked the #Gamergate movement, you might recall that his interview with BuzzFeed ended with this statement:
I can’t deny my letter was the spark. I guess I feel compelled to offer an apology to them. But also I don’t know how to do that without taking the responsibility away from people who are actually doing the harassment. But, I guess, let me know how I can make it up to you?
But unfortunately it seems as though he may not be as open to suggestion as previously claimed.
s o c i o p a t h pic.twitter.com/qObm59PrQx
— Killizabeth Simins (@ElizSimins) October 16, 2014
Previously in GG
Here's what's happening right now on net neutrality:
The FCC's comment period is over and 3.7 million people weighed in — that means even more people are concerned about net neutrality than Super Bowl XXXVIII: Wardrobe Malfunctiongate. And, yes, America, it's totally reasonable and appropriate to be mad at the FCC. It has screwed up on net neutrality for years from cowardice and simply by using the wrong words. But Americans who want to protect net neutrality should also start being mad at Congress.
Americans who want to protect net neutrality should start being mad at Congress
It's Congress that has largely turned net neutrality regulation into a partisan charade that occasionally results in threats to the FCC's budget and authority via Congress' telecommunications benefactors. The FCC's dithering on net neutrality has been enabled for years by this nonsense and it's now reflected even by the agency's bench, which seats some commissioners who have advocated stripping themselves of power to avoid going against corporate interests. Even the FCC's chairman is intimately familiar with those corporate interests; Tom Wheeler is a former telecom lobbyist and was appointed by a president who promised that lobbyists wouldn't run his administration in a distant magical time called "Before He Was Elected."
If you want a clear example of Congress' ineptitude on net neutrality, look no further than a letter sent to Comcast today by Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D, VT). Leahy, who is an influential supporter of net neutrality regulations and has significant power in his congressional seniority, has resorted to politely asking telecommunications monopolies not to harm the internet. If anybody thinks monopolistic entities like Comcast and other companies will voluntarily pass on easy cash they're high.
A Comcast spokeswoman told The New York Times the company is "reviewing the letter," which I have no doubt means it was laughed at and promptly recycled.
Make a good law, you could use the publicity
The FCC was created as an "independent" agency to insulate it against the partisan games of Washington. In hindsight, that seems naive and laughable. In practice the FCC isn't independent from the whims of Congress or even from the industry it regulates. Time is running out for the FCC to save net neutrality, and it may soon be time for Congress to act.
Do your job, Congress. Make net neutrality the law of the land. You could really use a win.
"La Canfora cites the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots as potential destinations, since both teams have had their share of running back problems this season."
~it just works~
via Russian Sledges
It's been eight years since Sleater-Kinney played their farewell show in August 2006. And after side projects (Wild Flag, which featured two of the band's three members) and television shows (hello, Portlandia), the band's getting back together. They've announced a U.S. tour, which starts next February, and a new album, No Cities to Love, out January 20, 2015. Here's the first song off that record, "Bury Your Friends."
Read more posts by Gilbert Cruz
DO NOT GIVE OR GET ANY VACCINATIONS FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR KIDS………..
Ok, lets break this down nice and simple.
Formaldehyde is from the purification of the vaccine. 99.9% of which is removed. The reason it doesn’t give a dosage is so minuscule that it can’t be measured without going into picograms. That’s one trillionth of a gram. You breathe in more formaldehyde by driving down a busy road than in a vaccine.
Thimerosal is NOT elemental mercury, It is a molecular compound made up of carbon, hydrogen, mercury, sodium, oxygen, and surfer. This is used as a preservative for the vaccine. Thimerosal is used in a variety of other things, like tattoo ink, facial creams, nasal sprays. It’s toxic to humans only in fairly large quantities but highly toxic to aquatic born organisms like infectious bacteria. In short, it makes sure you don’t get salmonella from a stray bacteria from the chicken embryos.
As for the dosage of the Thimerosal. That is the most laughable point in this post. It says 25 mcg, that’s micrograms, or one millionth of a gram. To put this in perspective, a dollar bill weighs roughly 1 gram, the average human eyelash is around 80-90 micrograms. The box also says that it contains a 5ml (milliliter/cc) vial which leads me to my next point.
A little simple math and we find out that 25 mcg = 0.00003 ml and a little more math we find that 0.00003 ml is 0.00006% of 5 ml. Let me put this another way. By the age of 5, an American child weighs about 50-55lbs and their body contains 55 mcg of Uranium. I don’t see any kids running around with radiation sickness, so I think they’re safe with a preservative in them.
TL;DR: This is like saying you don’t want your child eating their baked birthday cake because raw eggs were used to make it and you don’t want your child getting salmonella from it.
not vaccinating your children is child abuse and it should be illegal.
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
OLIVER IS WINNING IT ALL
Comedian newscaster John Oliver has aired some hilarious and incisive sketches so far throughout the first season of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. But there's a new top dog among them: last night's bit featuring an all-animal Supreme Court. Inspired by Keyboard Cat, the sketch — which features dogs as the nine justices, a duck as an assistant, and a pitch-perfect pecking chicken as a stenographer — is meant to mock the absurdity of the US Supreme Court's refusal to allow its proceedings to be televised, despite permitting audio recordings. Using actual audio of the nine Supreme Court justices (from the ongoing case Holt vs. Hobbes, about whether prisons can force Muslim prisoners to trim their beards), Oliver's crew, "spent an incredible amount of time and an almost immortal amount of resources to produce an entire Supreme Court featuring real animals with fake paws." The resulting sketch (above) is even more amazing than it sounds.
But Oliver and his team went even further: they've made a full 10 minutes of video of their adorable animal SCOTUS sketch free for public use. Oliver said during his show that he hoped serious broadcast news organizations would use this animal recreation footage in place of the boring still illustrations that they currently use to accompany Supreme Court audio. "What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to," Oliver said during his broadcast. It's hard to argue otherwise, with SCOTUS's recent decisions covering female contraception, gene patents, warrants for cell phone records and other major aspects of modern life in America. Let's hope that his show's animal Supreme Court footage is enough to bait Americans into paying closer attention.
CVS apparently has a plan to make up some of the $2 billion in annual profits that it's losing from cutting off the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products last month. According to The Wall Street Journal, the plan takes advantage of the fact that CVS also owns Caremark, one of the United State's largest pharmacy benefits managers — which are intermediaries between insurance companies and pharmacies. CVS' reported plan is to have Caremark begin raising certain customers' copays by up to $15 when they fill a prescription at a pharmacy that sells tobacco products.
Other pharmacies won't be happy about this
The result would be twofold: other pharmacies may begin feeling pressure to cut off tobacco sales, and CVS would become a more appealing place to fill prescriptions. When CVS originally announced its plan to end tobacco sales, it said that it wanted to focus more on health-related services, and this would play right into that. CVS may find itself making more money filling prescriptions, as customers head there to save money — or, worryingly for smaller pharmacies, head to CVS because they aren't sure if they'll be charged the additional fee elsewhere.
CVS did not respond to a request for comment on the plan, though the Journal makes it sound like it received some degree of confirmation on the upcoming policy. It's not stated exactly who would receive the surcharge or when it would go into effect.
The policy does seem to play into CVS' stated goal of promoting good health. CVS points the Journal to a study it ran that found that banning tobacco sales in pharmacies reduced the total number of people buying tobacco products by 13.3 percent in Boston and San Francisco, which implemented citywide bans toward the end of the 2000s. That said, CVS is using its ownership of a related business to disadvantage its competitors, which there's little doubt other pharmacies will be unhappy with. The merged company has occasionally been the subject of antitrust concerns, though not to any substantial results.
remember to feed Wee Bey's fish while he's gone
Picture of The all in one box aquarium feeder
Hi i am Brian from Belgium
For several years now i owning a large 400 liter aquarium.i was always fasinated by fish in all colors and shapes.keeping fish happy wil require a bit effort.like keeping the thank nice and clean.trimming the plants.the once in a week water change. ect…
also fish like to eat
But i have a pretty bussy life.Sometimes i am away for the entire week.Water changes can wait.And the plants can survive a skipped trim job.But fishes do need food once a day.And there is no one to do that in the house so i purchased a automatic fish feeder.