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The Courts

US Couple Gets Prison Time For Internet Obscenity 574

angry tapir writes "The husband and wife owners of a California company that distributed pornographic materials over the Internet have been each sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Extreme Associates and owners Robert Zicari, also known as Rob Black, 35, and his wife, Janet Romano, aka Lizzie Borden, 32, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute obscene material through the mail and over the Internet."

When Politicians Tax Violent Video Games 315

talien79 writes "Taxing video games has a storied history in state legislatures. The reality is that video games, violent or otherwise, simply make too much money to be stopped. But taxing them is a viable compromise, a 'sin tax' of sorts similar to that levied on cigarettes. This article reviews the time-honored tactic of politicians pandering to their base: taxing violent video games."

Sony Hit With $1M Penalty For COPPA Violations 85

coondoggie writes "It really isn't a big enough penalty, and the company admitted no guilt, but Sony BMG Music Entertainment today agreed to pay $1 million as part of a settlement to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that it knowingly violated the privacy rights of over 30,000 underage children. Specifically the FTC said the company violated the agency's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC did say the penalty was its largest ever in a COPPA case. To provide resources to parents and their children about children's privacy in general, and social networking sites in particular, the penalty order requires Sony Music to link to certain FTC consumer education materials for the next five years."

Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters 224

mask.of.sanity writes "Outraged aussies will hold simultaneous protests across Australia in opposition to the government's plans for mandatory ISP internet content filtering. The plan will introduce nation-wide filtered internet using blacklists operated by a government agency, away from public scrutiny. Politicians and ISPs will join protesters in the streets to voice their opposition to the government's plan, which has ploughed ahead, despite intense criticism that the technology will crippled internet speeds and infringe on free speech. Opponents said the most accurate filter chosen by the government will incorrectly block up to 10,000 Web pages out of 1 million."

Annual Video Game Report Card Is Positive, For Once 75

Every year, the National Institute on Media and the Family releases a report card which grades various aspects of the video game industry on how well they keep "inappropriate" games out of the hands of children. This year's report was largely positive, which is surprising given the history of strong criticism by the Institute. They acknowledged that gaming is becoming a much bigger part of family life than it was in the past, and they're making an effort to shift the focus onto the parents to keep their kids' gaming habits under control. The full report is available here (PDF), and Game Daily has an interview with Entertainment Software Alliance CEO Michael Gallagher which touches on some of the same issues.
Social Networks

Irish Gov't Seeks To Rein In Cyber Bullying 211

An anonymous reader points out a story on the Irish Times that says "the Irish government is looking for ways to combat 'cyber-bullying' after data indicated that a significant percentage of young children are subjected to this kind of abuse via their mobile phone and popular social network accounts. The industry has been asked to come up with solutions for this problem and a government office is due to publish a guide on the issue in the near future. Surely this is a problem faced by children in all developed countries these days." Add "for the children" to the list of reasons to track the Web-site habits of mobile web users in Ireland.