Freezenet’s Podcast: January 2023: Twitters Fire is Out of Control

In the 51st episode of the Freezenet official podcast, “Twitters Fire is Out of Control”, we take a look at the news and reviews we covered in January 2023.

Welcome to the public version of the Freezenet Official Podcast for January 2023. This month’s episode is entitled “Twitters Fire is Out of Control” because of all the chaos and destruction being brought onto Twitter thanks to Elon Musk’s bad decision making.

This month’s episode also features stories about the mass layoffs at even more tech companies and the increasing warnings from the US to Canada about Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and the Digital Services Tax. This along with the white paper from the CCIA.

This episode also features many other stories, all the usual music and video game reviews, and more.

What follows is a transcript of this months episode.

You can check out our official podcast on Anchor. Alternatively, you can take a listen below:

What follows is a transcript for this months podcast:


Twitters Fire is Out of Control…

… and Musk is gonna burn this platform, burn this platform.

Hi, I’m your host, Drew Wilson.  Welcome to episode 51 of the Freezenet official podcast for January, 2023.  Here are your top 3 headlines:

The Top 3

The flames grow higher as Musk continues to pour gasoline on the Twitter fire

More mass layoffs announced as Amazon and Microsoft joins in the pink slip epidemic

… and as the US warns Canada about Bill C-11 and Bill C-18, CCIA issues white paper further outlining those trade violations.

Top Stories

Elon Musk’s incompetence was on full display this month.  In fact, you could say that it’s something of a miracle that Twitter remains online still.  This after all the punishment it received from Musk’s brutally bad decision making.

This month started with a bang of a facepalm worthy development.  Musk posted a poll asking if he should step down as the CEO.  The final results, with over 17.5 million votes, showed that 57.5% voted for Musk to step down with only 42.5% saying that he should stay on.  Shortly after the results came in, Musk said that he will resign as soon as he finds “someone foolish enough to take the job”.  Yeah, and this is only the beginning of this weapons grade level of idiocy.

As that was going on, questions were being raised over whether Twitter was still in compliance with the FTC Consent Decree.  The Consent Decree was the result of a major security incident with Twitter prior to Musk taking over.  Musk, apparently, was not only unaware of the Consent Decree when he bought Twitter, but remained unaware of it after he took over.  What’s more is that reports suggest that Twitter had been violating the Consent Decree ever since Musk took over, suggesting that Musk is packing on even more legal liability onto himself over this.

As these developments were happening, Mastodon, a platform that has been the main beneficiary of users fleeing Twitter, got close to reaching 9 million users right after.  In fact, large spikes in growth since late October can be traced back to Musk doing something particularly stupid.

Of course, Musk wasn’t done yet.  Musk also boasted that he pulled the plug from a major server and everything seemed to be running as per normal.  This was shortly followed up by a massive outage for the whole platform.  For most users, the downtime lasted nearly five hours, starting at 3:43PM and seemingly ending at around 8:28PM.  While websites do, indeed, go down all the time for brief periods of time, this large of an outage is almost unheard of for one of the biggest platforms.

Shortly after the outage, Musk seemingly just made up the excuse that there was some major architecture upgrade and that everything should feel much faster now.  Spoiler alert: Twitter didn’t get any faster.  Performance was just as sluggish as before.  The only real good news was that what remains of Musk’s team managed to get the website back online.  So, he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

You might be thinking at this point that maybe Musk would just lay low for a while and stop attracting more bad publicity towards himself.  Yeah, that was wishful thinking.  There was more.  Musk apparently decided that since Twitter is losing billions of dollars, that maybe there was another cost cutting measure to be made.  So, Musk decided to stop paying the bills for the office building.  Generally speaking, not paying your bills is usually not a good way to save money, but hey, this is Musk we are talking about.  So, of course he was going to try it anyway.

Well, the story progressed exactly how you would expect.  The owners of the building filed a lawsuit for breach of contract after Twitter failed to pay the rent.  So, legal liability for Twitter is continuing to climb as a result.

Now you might be thinking that this is the end.  Wait!  There’s more!  Musk also reportedly started cutting staff who were fighting disinformation and misinformation on the platform.  Shortly after, there was the Brazilian insurrection where right wingers stormed various government buildings.  This was a scene eerily similar to the January 6th terrorist attack.  While Brazil was having to deal with their own insurrection, investigations suggest that Twitter wound up being an instrumental platform in the planning and organization of this insurrection.

As moderation continues to get more lax, some reports were also suggesting that Twitter was failing to fight CSAM, or exploitation material as well.  This on top of the massive spikes in hate speech that has been noted as exploding on the platform.

But wait!  There’s more!  Twitter is also having to deal with a massive 200 million account data breach.  While the breach happened prior to Musk taking over, the issue is now Musk’s problem to deal with.

In addition to that, Musk’s decision to stop paying the bills continues to attract more and more lawsuits.  One company suing Twitter is Imply Data Inc.  The company said that Twitter has failed to pay a recent quarterly bill.  Separately, a private jet company also sued Twitter for failing to pay for flights.

Another lawsuit was filed by Canary Marketing.  They said that Twitter has decided not to pay the bills for its services.  The lawsuit is seeking $392,239.11, plus interest.

Additionally, several janitors suddenly had their jobs terminated effective immediately.  Those janitors are considering options including potential legal action.  While those janitors were considering legal action, several other employees have already consulted with a company called Winckworth Sherwood LLP.  Those British, now former, employees are already threatening Twitter with a lawsuit of their own.

The damage is already being felt as Twitter’s value has since plummeted.  Reports say that loans used to pay for the buyout would not even fetch 50 cents on the dollar.  It’s a pretty steep loss for a $13 billion loan.

The losses have also affected Musk personally.  Apparently, Musk has lost $200 billion in 2022.  Reportedly, that is a world record loss as no one has ever lost that much money in a single year.  Journalists note that Jeff Bezos is the only other person who has enough money to even be able to top that record.  So, the loss is quite the remarkable, uh, accomplishment?  I guess?

But wait!  There’s more!  One way Musk had attempted to distract from all of Twitters problems was to release the so-called “Twitter files”.  The file dump was supposedly going to be this massive expose about how the government was colluding with the platforms in an evil plot to silence conservative voices.  Well, that ended badly with not really even the slightest shred of evidence to back that up.

At most, there were e-mails from governmental organizations reporting accounts that might be violating Twitter’s community guidelines, but leaving it up to Twitter to decide whether or not to take action.  As it turns out, more than half of the time, Twitter ended up not taking any action.  So, yeah, it wound up being a pretty massive flop in the end.

But wait!  There’s more!  Third party apps suddenly started to lose functionality with Twitter.  This includes Tweetbot, Twitteriffic, and others.  Many power users use such apps to make posting on the platform easier.  However, that functionality was lost early on in the month without explanation.

Questions were cropping up more and more as to why this was happening.  Initially, people suspected that Musk must’ve chewed through the wrong wire again.  More and more, however, began to think that this move was intentional.  After being faced with intense questioning, Twitter quietly changed the rules surrounding access to its API.  Days later, Twitter announced that the platform was enforcing it’s “long-standing” rules about access to its third party API.  So, they began banning various apps that helped make Twitter more useful.  Many users expressed outrage and started calling it quits from the platform in response.

At any rate, Twitter’s experience seems to continue to deteriorate and the problems facing Twitter are continuing to stack up.  All Musk has done is pour gasoline on this dumpster fire.  The flames keep growing higher and higher on the platform.

The economic outlook for 2023 hasn’t been looking good.  Many have feared that a recession will hit in the early parts of the year.  As a result, advertisers have been pulling back thanks to all of this uncertainty.  The pain of all of this uncertainty has already been hitting the tech sector hard.  Already, Meta announced that it would lay off 13% of its work force.

This year, the pink slips continued to flow with Amazon announcing that it was laying off 13,000 employees.  The announcement meant that Amazon joined a growing list of large tech companies cutting costs by hacking off portions of its own labour force.

The news was followed up by Microsoft also announcing major layoffs.  For that company, they were laying off 10,000 employees.  Some treated the news as confirmation about the fears of an up and coming recession.  For others, the takeaway is that, contrary to popular belief among some supporters of Bill C-11 and Bill C-18, the cash flowing within these companies is not exactly unlimited.  As a result, it increased the probability that companies like Google and Facebook would rather block news links altogether rather than pay the link tax.  After all, if you are shedding jobs and reducing cost, the last thing you want to do is throw money frivolously out the window by paying into schemes that add no value to the platforms.  That’s… just common sense.  Obviously, no final decision on that front was made, but it isn’t looking good for the publishing giants who are hoping to get a free payday off the backs of these platforms for, what amounts to, no real good reason.

The prospect of a massive trade war between Canada in the US grew this month.  This all sourced to Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and the Digital Services Tax being pushed by the Canadian government.  Already, the United States has warned Canada twice about the trade issues surrounding all of this.  So far, though, Canada continued to try and ignore the issue and pretend that the US never even raised these issues in the first place.

This month, the governments of Canada, the United States, and Mexico all met to discuss trade between the three countries.  While other issues were, in fact, discussed, one issue that was conveniently not talked about by many members of the mainstream media was the issues surrounding Bill C-11 and Bill C-18.  So, the question is, was this increasingly hot topic discussed?  As it turns out, it was.

The United States, for a third time, raised the trade issues surrounding the bills.  A US embassy spokesperson said, “We have … concerns it could impact digital streaming services and discriminate against U.S. businesses”.  The reports also indicate that the US is holding consultations with businesses about how Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 could affect their operations.

So, when you line up all three warnings, there is a very noticeable trend of raising the heat on Canada.  For the first one, it was a general warning that the US was not happy about the legislative efforts.  For the second one, there was explicit mention about the bills in question.  Now, we are seeing them say how they are now in active consultation with businesses affected by these bills and figuring out how to move forward in dealing with Canada and their ill-advised bills.

At the very least, the US government seems to take these issues extremely seriously.  The government didn’t seem to want to raise a big stink out of it and, instead, opted to try and settle these matters behind closed doors.  Clearly, the efforts to quietly sort out these issues failed.  Now, the country is seemingly gearing up to go ahead and begin planning for the next, more public, steps to take.  An issue that isn’t going to go away because the Canadian government is just wishing these problems away, that’s for sure.

If that weren’t enough, it appears that the CCIA, or the Computer & Communications Industry Association, has now released a white paper showing in explicit detail why Bill C-11 violates CUSMA.  The funny thing about this is the fact that the trade tensions being brought up was part of the Bill C-11 Senate hearings.  A senator, and witnesses, were all trying to say that these trade issues being brought up are mysterious because no one has been able to explain why there is a trade issue.  There are obvious answers, but just for fun, I’ll play you back that clip in question.

[Norouzi Clip]

I still laugh at that.  This clip was played back in November’s episode.  I explained at the time that all it takes is a 5 minute Google search and sifting through the agreement to find your answer.  The answer, of course, is Article 19.4 of CUSMA which explicitly bans unfavourable treatment to digital services operating in another country.  Bill C-11 demands that these foreign owned platforms pay into various culture funds controlled by the government.  This while favouring specific kinds of content over others.  Supposedly, this only affects the largest platforms which all happen to not be owned and operated in Canada.  This is supposedly because only platforms that have a “material” impact on the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, as silly as that sounds since we are talking about the internet, would be regulated in this manner.  Most of these platforms, like Google and Facebook, are US owned.  The trade violations are obvious… except for those people in the Senate meeting room at the time as it turns out.

Now, some die hard Bill C-11 supporters might look at my conclusions and say that since I’m not an international legal expert, my analysis can be treated with a grain of salt.  After all, how credible could such comments be in the first place?  I mean, a 5 minute Google search schooling a whole Senator’s team, a ‘top law firm’, and all of these really smart people at the Senate?  There’s no way that could be credible at all, could it?

Well, as it turns out, that story could not only be really credible, but downright prophetic as well.

The CCIA published a white paper explaining that, yes, Bill C-11 does, in fact, violate CUSMA.  The white paper says, and I quote, “While the text of C-11 is subject to change and many of the more prescriptive requirements that C-11 envisages must be implemented through future CRTC rulemaking, the outlines of the proposed regime are clear, and its inconsistency with core trade obligations is beyond dispute.”

The white paper goes on to cite, drum roll please, Article 19.4 of CUSMA as a major point of evidence bolstering their argument.  The white paper says, “The digital products rule of USMCA is more straightforward in its application, obligating Canada to ensure that it does not discriminate (i.e., accord less favorable treatment) to “digital products” on the basis of, inter alia, place of production or nationality of authorship, the very factors Canada uses to define content that is Canadian. The rule reads:

“No Party shall accord less favorable treatment to a digital product created, produced, published, contracted for, commissioned, or first made available on commercial terms in the territory of another Party, or to a digital product of which the author, performer, producer, developer, or owner is a person of another Party, than it accords to other like digital products.”

All three provisions cited above—3 (1) f (1), 3 (1) (q), and 3 (1) (r)— are clearly and specifically designed to provide more favorable treatment to content deemed Canadian and are thus inconsistent with this rule.”

Somehow, ‘I told you so’, just doesn’t quite say it.

So, now you have the US government issuing no less than three warnings about these concerns.  On top of that, you have a large technology trade group spelling out exactly how Bill C-11 – and Bill C-18 for that matter – violates CUSMA.  This obviously raises the prospect of billions in trade tariffs in the process.  Unless Canada makes an immediate and significant course correction with Bill C-11, how exactly is Canada and the US not headed for a trade war – a war that Canada is all but certain to lose?

Another “Drew Wilson was right” moment, what can I say?  Yes, I wasn’t the only one pointing out the trade issues, but two and a half months ago, I explicitly cited the Article of the trade agreement in question and laid out why Bill C-11 violates it.  Now, we are seeing a major organization basically agreeing with me on this.  For those doubting me about my analysis, “whoops” would be an appropriate response in all of this.

So, quite the interesting month already.  Let’s check out some of the other stories making news this month.

Other Stories Making News

The US has been another country contemplating link taxes.  However, that piece of legislation was effectively stopped dead in its tracks after considerable backlash.  This along with Republican efforts to turn it into a moderation ban bill.  The legislation effectively died in the process.  Despite the overwhelming backlash, efforts were made to put the JCPA into must-pass legislation called the National Defense Appropriations Act or NDAA.  That effort, mercifully, fell flat, putting further doubt that the bill will become law any time soon.

There’s more developments in the Rogers Shaw merger case.  After hastily pushing through a decision to greenlight the merger, the Competition Tribunal posted their findings on their website.  While the speed was controversial, that speed also led to a major embarrassment by the governmental organization.  In the process, they posted confidential information as well.  While the information was quickly pulled from the website after, the Tribunal made the bizarre decision of threatening to disclose the IP addresses of anyone who happened to access those files.  The decision sparked major questions about the privacy implications of such a move.  We haven’t heard anything since about that particular development to date.

While 2022 has seen a lot of stressful things happen, the year did manage to end on a particularly hilarious note.  Former kick boxer, Andrew Tate, was recently unbanned by Elon Musk on Twitter.  Shortly after being reinstated, Tate decided to harass environmental activist, Greta Thunberg.  He started by bragging about his 33 gas guzzling car collection, posting a picture of him filling one of his cars with gas, and asking for her e-mail so he could send her a complete list of his car collection.  Thunberg replied, “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at [email protected]“.

The response clearly angered Tate who turned around and posted a video response with a very mad, not mad vibe.  He bragged about how he was going to eat some pizza and ensure that the pizza boxes were not going to get recycled.  As it turned out, that video would be his own undoing.

Apparently, Tate, and three others, were wanted in Romania on human trafficking charges – forcing women to perform in adult video’s allegedly against their will.  This, according to Romanian authorities, for considerable profit for Tate and others.  Authorities, however, needed evidence that Tate was in the country.  The pizza boxes clearly had “Jerry’s Pizza”, a well known Romanian pizza chain, printed on them and clearly visible to the camera.  Reportedly, that was just the tip authorities needed that Tate was back in the country.

24 hours later, video surfaced of authorities hauling Tate off in handcuffs.  Reports surfaced, shortly after, confirming that Tate was arrested by authorities.  As a final burn, Thunberg posted a response to the events that unfolded by saying, “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes”.  Absolutely priceless.

This month saw a rather unnerving development in the online harms proposal story.  Canada’s forthcoming online harms proposal would see the government demand websites take down content deemed “harmful” within 24 hours.  Failure to comply would result in, at minimum, $10 million fines.  What is considered “harmful” is left to the interpretation of any anonymous reporter.  Further, overseas websites that do not comply with such requirements would be ordered to be blocked at the ISP level.  That is only a small sampling of why Canadian website builders are having collective heart attacks over the very thought of this forthcoming legislation.

Reports have surfaced that the consultation the government held, the consultation I personally participated in, was not the outcome the government wanted.  Internally, those who were opposed to the proposal were considered “non-allies“.  In response, the government worked on creating separate surveys designed explicitly to filter out anyone who doesn’t necessarily agree with the governments approach.  It’s one more piece of evidence that suggests that the government didn’t want feedback, but rather, full public support of the legislation that they came up with.  The information was unearthed via an ATIP request.

Age verification laws have been occasionally pushed in various jurisdictions around the world.  Generally, the laws would require potential internet users to verify their age with some sort of central authority or approved authority before viewing pornographic material online.  Such proposed laws have been frequently, and rightfully, pushed back on because of the major privacy implications such laws would have on average, every day citizens.  After all, in order to do so, users would be required to divulge even more personal information to online, third party sources.  For many observers, such personal information is especially sensitive since it could theoretically lead to ransoms should that information fall into the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, one does not even need to imagine what the internet could look like if such laws become the norm.  This is thanks to Louisiana passing law 440.  One resident posted a screenshot of Pornhub asking the user to verify their age.  The request takes the user to a third party website where the website demanded the user fork over their drivers license to continue.  The user remarked, “It’s getting awfully surveillancey in here”

Bell Canada, one of Canada’s big telecom monopolies, faced tough questions this month.  This after the company began blocking access to HD footage for its customers, then selling an upcharge just to access such content.  Observers questioned whether or not this violates Canada’s network neutrality laws given that this is about the kind of content being carried, not the data quantity.  Matthew Gamble noted the change and filed a complaint with the CRTC.

Over the last two years, I’ve had no shortage of complaints about how mainstream media is handling its reporting.  Many reports surrounding Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 have been terrible, ranging from horribly misinformed about the issue to outright propaganda pieces, purposefully designed to mislead readers and make them believe outright lies.

The thing is, once in a while, major media outlets actually do something good.  Case in point was CBC’s Marketplace special on cell phone and internet bills.  The report and special, what we were able to see, that is, actually touched on the root of the problem: a government unwilling to do anything about these problems, leaving customers paying some of the highest rates in the developed world.  They even worked with citizens in other similar countries around the world to compare notes on what is charged and connection speeds.  Many people in those other countries expressed shock at how much Canadian’s are forced to pay.  While the report could have delved deep into the lack of competition by highlighting the Rogers Shaw merger, the overall lack of competition in the sector was well highlighted.  They showcased the ownership of fake competitors like Koodo, Virgin, Fido, and others whose ownership were are all traced back to the same big three players as well.

So, if there was any doubt before, yes mainstream media, if you actually do a good job on a tech related topic I happen to cover, it is certainly possible you will get kudo’s from me.  I’m not about only bashing the media.  So, in this case, the kudo’s is definitely deserved.

CRTC Chair, Ian Scott, is now, mercifully, a former CRTC Chair.  Scott’s term recently ended.  Scott’s tenure saw numerous hits to the CRTC’s credibility.  This included acting as cheerleader to Bill C-11, the notorious CBC N-Word ruling, rubber stamping the Rogers Shaw merger, the disastrous MVNO reversal, and many other controversial decisions.

The new CRTC chair, Vicky Eatrides, began her tenure this month.  She noted her concerns with consumer prices with cell phone’s and the internet.  Additionally, she commented that she will be seeking public input on Bill C-11.  The fact that she didn’t just echo Roger’s talking points and didn’t scream about how Bill C-11 is badly needed and needs to be passed yesterday, in my view, is certainly an improvement so far.  Yes, the bar is that low these days.  While other critics were much more luke warm to her early days, I consider these early developments to give, at least, marginal reasons for optimism at least.  We’ll, of course, see how this all plays out in the end.

Finally, I posted an article that seemed to go viral this month about big media’s big lie.  When large news organizations publish an article on Bill C-18, one of the early paragraphs often reads as something along these lines:

“Bill C-18 is designed to require web giants to compensate journalism publications for reposting their content.”

This example came from the CBC.

This so-called explainer always annoyed me because everything about it is either a total lie or highly misleading.  At the same time, it is presented as if it’s just an undisputed fact.  It is one of the many reasons why I so often say that the media is straight up lying to you on this subject.  So, I did a whole separate article explaining, in great detail, why this is a false or misleading statement.  Additionally, I explain how news articles are shared on social media platforms in the real internet world.

Since I don’t want to turn this into another hour long podcast with this explanation, I’ll just offer some quick notes on this here.  I’ll also encourage you to check out the article as it is complete with citations in law as well as a huge number of screen shots to prove my points.

First, if platforms well and truly were copying and pasting whole articles without the permission of publications, and profiting off of it after, then publishers can use the existing Copyright Act to seek damages.  Additionally, since most of these platforms operate in the US, publishers can also file a DMCA takedown notice which the major platforms do comply with.  All of this to say that no Bill C-18 is even required at all.

Second, it’s not the platforms themselves that are actively posting links to news articles.  In reality, it’s the publishers themselves who actively share those news articles on those platforms.  If this was such a huge problem for the publishers, then it is well within the publishers power to stop posting their own news links to these platforms.

Third, when articles are shared on platforms, it isn’t whole articles being posted, but rather, a small snippet, a thumbnail, a link, and a reference naming the source of the article.  Fair Dealing very easily applies here.

Fourth, the publishers themselves, embedded in articles they publish, also typically have share buttons right at the top or near the top of each article they publish on their own websites.  Put it another way, the publishers are actually begging their readers to share their articles on social media platforms.

Fifth, publishers are so desperate to have as many eyes on the posts linking to their news articles as possible, they will pay platforms like Facebook hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars to “boost” their content.  This in an effort to further encourage the sharing of their news articles.

Sixth, the text of the bill itself goes well beyond whole articles being shared.  Bill C-18 also covers “any portion of it” or “is facilitated by any means, including an index, aggregation or ranking of news content”.  Those quotes are, indeed, from the text of the bill itself.  Put it another way, if it’s a snippet, a link, or so much as a mere plain text reference to the source, then that is covered in the bill.

To paint the situation as platforms “stealing” whole articles, republishing them without permission, and profiting off of it after is a complete fabrication from my standpoint on things.  Unless publishers uncover evidence that actually backs up these wild claims, then it’s safe to conclude that the publishers are pushing outright disinformation when they make these wild claims.

Video Game Reviews

So, if you were hoping for a more “normal” podcast this month, well, hooray!  You got it this month at least.  Let’s keep things going by turning towards entertainment.

Before we get into the video game reviews, I wanted to point out the video’s we’ve posted this month.

For this month’s Steam game, we played Dragon Age – Origins.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

Now, ordinarily, I would carry on down with other first impression video’s.  However, in January, the video’s end up being quite a bit different in nature.  Case in point, the hardware reveal I posted next.  That hardware is a Playstation 4.  Mixed in with that reveal is the announcement that I’ll be changing up the release schedule this year.  This year, the four video’s posted each month will be a Steam game, a Playstation 3 game, an XBox 360 game, and then, finally, a Playstation 4 game.  The last game hinges on me being able to fix a technical issue.  Should something go horribly wrong, I’ll fill the Playstation 4 slot with another Steam game as before.  Hopefully, though, this will be the new schedule moving forward, starting in February.  Anyway, the surprisingly popular video can be seen on my site and on YouTube.

Another tradition we are carrying through this year is the retrospective video’s as well.  Last year, we only had the Playstation 3 retrospective.  This year, we had two of them.  This started with the XBox 360 games retrospective.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

Finally, we wrapped things up with the 2nd Playstation 3 games retrospective video.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.  Worth noting is the fact that we linked to the first retrospective.  So, if you were wondering what the first one was like, it’s easy to just follow the links.

One thing is for sure, 2022 was definitely an interesting year for me in playing these games.  With the Playstation 4 now in my possession, I hope that this adventure into gaming gets even more interesting.

As always, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications to get realtime updates on what video’s we’ve posted.

Now, here are video games we’ve reviewed this month:

First up is We Love Katamari for the Playstation 2.  A game that takes what was great about the original and amps things up.  Added themes and objectives adds to the variety.  Nice graphics and great soundtrack means this game gets a fantastic 92%.

Next, we played Need for Speed: Underground 2 for the Playstation 2.   Great variety of tracks and solid graphics.  However, the game also has a steeper learning curve and the soundtrack is a bit of a step back for me.  Still, this one gets a solid 70%.

After that, we played Call of Duty 3 for the Playstation 2.  Lack of innovation and stripped down features leaves a lot to be desired.  OK maps and plain storyline means this game flopped with a 42%.

Finally, we played World Series of Poker for the Playstation 2.  Very steep learning curve for new players.  High difficulty and dated graphics don’t help much.  Still, interesting variety in the games and a rather authentic tournament experience does give players a taste of what tournaments are really like.  This game winds up with a fairly average 64%.

Music Reviews

As for music we’ve listened to this month, we’ve got…

Sugar Ray – RPM

Smash Mouth – Walkin’ on the Sun

Jesus Jones – The Next Big Thing

The Tea Party – Babylon

Creed – My Own Prison

The Crystal Method – Keep Hope Alive

Incubus – New Skin

… and finally, Elton John – Recover Your Soul

Picks of the Month

So, that leads us to our pick of the month.  This month, our pick of the month belongs to We Love Katamari for the Playstation 2.  Also, be sure to check out Sugar Ray – RPM.


If you’d like to get your hands on some behind the scenes stuff, exclusive content, and early access material, you can check out our Patreon page at  Through this, you can help make Freezenet just that much better all the while getting some pretty cool stuff in the process.  That’s!

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…and that’s this months episode for January, 2023.  I’m Drew Wilson for Freezenet.  Be sure to check out our website at for all the latest in news and reviews.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Mastodon.  Thank you for listening and see you next month.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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