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Comment: Swedish manga case (Score 1) 467

by BobbyWang (#48195395) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

There was a similar case in Sweden which highlighted many of the problems with current child pornography laws. It was a manga translator who was accused but was finally declared not guilty in the final instance (högsta domstolen). The picture in question depicted a topless (relatively realistic looking) manga girl standing alone on a field.

So what is child pornography exactly?

1) It depicts a child. A child is someone, real or fictional, under 18. This includes an adult pretending to be a child (also called age play). And also an adult looking like a child (willingly or not), for example by dressing in childish clothes. One tool to decide if someone looks like a child is the Tanner scale (which was used in court).

2) It is pornographic. This is of course very subjective and defined as what is commonly perceived as pornographic. An obvious problem with this definition is that something needs to contains adults (or at least teens) to be commonly perceived as pornographic to begin with. So one has to imagine to be a paedophile in order to make the decision. Which is only unnecessary sexualisation of children (for example pictures children playing on a beach becomes commonly perceived as pornographic).

The laws tend to get more and more inclusive to include more and more as child pornography. And no one wants to pull the breaks since it will get them accused of liking child pornography and being pedophiles themselves (an open goal for political opponents). While in reality the real child pornography (with real children being real victims) simply gets dwarfed by the vast amount on cartoons and teens taking pictures of themselves. Which makes it difficult for the police to legally focus their resources.

These laws are expansions of laws against indecent behavior. You are not allowed to have sex in public -> you not allowed to publicly display pictures of people having sex, or other pornographic images -> some pornographic images you are not allowed to distribute -> some pornographic images you are not allowed to possess.

It would make much more sense to instead expand the laws of sexual assault, to forbid images of those. There is not much point in determining of someone may find them pornographic or not (from a legal perspective).

One key question here is of course what the relationship is between child pornography and pedophiles committing sexual assaults. One possibility is that the pornography inspires pedophiles to commit more sexual assaults. Another is that the pornography keeps the pedophiles occupied so they commit less sexual assaults. The studies made on serial offenders point to the conclusion that pornography lessens the risk of repeated offenses. But it's uncertain if this is also true for the first offense (which isn't as easy to study for obvious reasons).

Comment: The solution (Score 1) 354

by BobbyWang (#47851583) Attached to: DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins
The whole world isn't as relaxed about legal issues as Mojang. So these legal issues has to be taken seriously. CraftBukkit is not the first open source project tightly tied to a non open source one in this way. The usual solution is to release the project under a modified version of the open source license which explicitly allows what needs to be allowed. If CraftBukkit was released under a license which allowed it to be distributed linked to the Minecraft server code then the problem could be avoided. Developers who would not accept their code to be relicensed in this way would probably not accept the premise of the project to begin with.

Comment: Re: PolicyKit (Score 1) 533

by BobbyWang (#47008069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?
ConsoleKit is no compile time dependency (it's interface is DBus and a bunch of files in /var). The systemd library in question (libsystemd-login) would be required even at runtime (but not require systemd to actually run), at least with the current implementation. (Perhaps the library is just a wrapper around a DBus interface, I haven't looked into that.) Another, slightly more complicated, way of doing it would be to have loadable modules for PolicyKit. I would love to see the javascript-part go into a kind add on loadable module since it's adds a lot of overhead and isn't even needed at all in the common case (it's only for "System Administrators [and] Special-purpose Operating Systems / Environments and those audiences only" according to the documentation). But I wouldn't be surprised if PolicyKit gets moved into systemd instead (the way it's written it would be an easy thing do do).

Comment: Re: PolicyKit (Score 1) 533

by BobbyWang (#46978445) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?
It would be very easy to modify PolicyKit to automatically choose between systemd and ConsoleKit at runtime (of course I read the source to draw that conclusion). The reason PolicyKit needs systemd or ConsoleKit, by the way, is simply to find out if a (logged in) user is local and active (the default policy is to only let local active users mount an USB-drive for example). If someone invents another way to find out if a user is local and active, support for that could be added to PolicyKit as well.

Comment: Re:You can do this in Java already? (Score 1) 149

by BobbyWang (#42656601) Attached to: JavaScript Comes To Minecraft
But then you are creating a game you usually never write all the code from scratch. Instead you base it on some game engine or game library (LightWeight Java Game Library in the case of Minecraft). If the game library works on a certain platform it's very likely that your game will too, if it was written with basic portability in mind and no unnecessary platform specific assumptions were made, At least it requires very little effort. Especially if it was tested on either OSX or Linux it will probably work on the other since they are almost identical (from a programmers point of view). With C++ you have to compile one binary for each target (OS/processor combination) apart from that it's not very different from Java in practice.

Comment: Re:Need more sub-definitions (Score 1) 602

by BobbyWang (#42169477) Attached to: No More "Asperger's Syndrome"
Research has lead to the conclusion that the current categorization between Asperger Syndom, Kanner Syndrom (infantile Autism), Atypical Autism and High-functioning Autism is flawed. It might be beneficial to people with an AS diagnose, but not so much to some people with an HFA diagnose. There is actually no evidence supporting separate conditions. What first appears as Kanner Syndom can develop into HFA, which is indistinguishable from AS (apart from the language development history). So individually tailored treatment based on the current categorization is suboptimal compatred to the new model, based primary on two variables: intelligence and langauge development. Of course everyone who works professionally with this has to relearn (which I guess is the downside of all progress), but among professionals this change in DSM has been expected for a couple of years.

Comment: Re:Developers not using Linux (Score 1) 94

by BobbyWang (#42150537) Attached to: Notch Expands On 0x10c, Microsoft and Quantum Computing
Unlike locked down systems (like xbox or iphone) Linux, OSX and Windows let users download and run whatever they want. It's true that Linux distros usually also has some kind of packaging system for distributing updates, managing dependencies and let users easily browse available software. How can NOT having that be considered a feature? It's not like Apple or Microsoft are willing to push updates for third party games through their official operating system updates any faster, or even at all. Instead games can, after being manually downloaded and installed, update themselves in exactly the same way on any Linux distribution, OSX or Windows. For example Minecraft does this and it works just fine.

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