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China

+ - Chinese forced labor in WoW->

Submitted by
Adkins1984
Adkins1984 writes "As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells.

Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money."

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China

+ - China: Teenager 'sells kidney for iPad'->

Submitted by arisvega
arisvega (1414195) writes "A teenager in China has sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2, Chinese media report.

The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet.

The story only came to light after the teenager's mother became suspicious.

The case highlights China's black market in organ trafficking. A scarcity of organ donors has led to a flourishing trade."

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Crime

+ - Google Disrupts Phishing Attack Against Activists->

Submitted by Orome1
Orome1 (1901578) writes "An attack apparently coming from Jinan — the capital of China's Shandong province — against personal Gmail accounts belonging to hundreds of users has been spotted and disrupted by Google. Among the targeted individuals are a number of senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists."
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+ - Embed A Video... Go To Jail?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A few weeks ago, Slashdot had a post about the new bill in Congress to make streaming infringing videos a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail if just 10 people watch the video. As more details come out, the bill keeps looking worse and worse, as it appears that the definitions used in the bill would mean that merely embedding or linking to an infringing YouTube video could put you on the hook for jailtime. Obviously, supporters of the bill insist that's not who will be targeted with this bill, but just the fact that they could be should be worrisome enough. We've seen other laws "misused" in the past."
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Education

America Losing Its Edge In Innovation 757

Posted by Soulskill
from the chickens-coming-home-to-flip-burgers dept.
jaywhybee writes "Forbes has an interesting article about America losing its edge in innovation because engineers and scientists in the US are not as respected as they are in other countries, and thus fewer youths aspire to become one. Quoting: 'I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering. In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the US, but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the US, almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.'"
Books

Book Piracy — Less DRM, More Data 304

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-bring-logic-into-this dept.
macslocum writes "Ambiguity surrounds the real impact of digital book piracy, notes Brian O'Leary in an interview with O'Reilly Radar, but all would be better served if more data was shared and less effort was exerted on futile DRM. 'The publishing industry should be working as hard as we can to develop new and innovative business models that meet the needs of readers. And what those look like could be community-driven. I think of Baen Books, for example, which doesn't put any DRM restrictions on its content but is one of the least pirated book publishers. As to sales, Paulo Coelho is a good example. He mines the piracy data to see if there's a burgeoning interest for his books in a particular country or market. If so, he either works to get his book out in print or translate it in that market.'"
Google

FCC Commissioner Blasts Verizon On Net Neutrality 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the brutal-honesty dept.
destinyland writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski says that net neutrality rules 'will happen,' promising the FCC 'will make sure that we get the rules right... to make sure that what we do maximizes innovation and investment across the ecosystem.' But the same week, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps announced that the public should not stand for deals 'that exchange Internet freedom for bloated profits,' mocking the tiered-data plans of the 'Verizon-Google gaggle' and accusing them of wanting 'gated communities for the affluent.' Speaking at a New Mexico hearing, the commissioner warned the audience against proposals that would 'vastly diminish' the Internet's importance, blasting 'special interests and gatekeepers and toll-booth collectors who will short-circuit what this great new technology can do for our country.' (The text of his speech is available as a PDF file at FCC.gov.) He concludes by acknowledging that 'you can't blame companies for seeking to protect their own interests. But you can blame policy-makers if we let them get away with it!'"
Music

Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the dog-eat-dog dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others' work as those who are downloading illegal media."
The Courts

Newspaper May Have Given Implicit License To Copy 175

Posted by timothy
from the this-way-to-the-lawsuit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on the story of Righthaven, the 'copyright troll' that is working with the Las Vegas Journal Review to sue lots of websites (including one of Nevada's Senate candidates) for reposting articles from the LVRJ, a judge in one of the cases appears to be quite sympathetic to the argument that the LVRJ offered an 'implied license' to copy by not just putting their content online for free, but including tools on every story that say 'share this' with links to various sharing services (including one tool to 'share' via Slashdot!)."
Patents

Patent Office Admits Truth — Things Are a Disaster 278

Posted by timothy
from the but-that-dashboard's-a-good-idea dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For years the US Patent and Trademark Office has published data to show how well it and the patent system were running. Under new leadership, the USPTO has begun to publish a dashboard of information, including a new look at questions like how long does it really take to get a final answer on whether you will receive a patent or not? The pat answer was, on the average, about 3 years. But with the new figures, it's obvious that the real number, when you don't play games with how you define a patent application, is six years. The backlog of patents is almost 730K. And the Commerce Department under the Obama administration wants the average down to 20 months. How does this happen? Only if everyone closes their eyes and pretends. It's time to take drastic action, like ending software patents. As it is, by the time companies get a software patent, there's little value to them because, after six years, the industry has already moved on."
The Military

Top Secret America 502

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-have-a-secret dept.
mahiskali writes "The Washington Post published an immense interactive website today, detailing the companies and government agencies currently doing top secret work in the United States. Everything from counter-IED operations to human intelligence is touched upon. Citing various interviews with 'super users' and through exhaustive analysis of public records for over two years, this interactive site allows users to peer into the guarded world of top secret intelligence. With more than 854,000 people currently holding a TS clearance, has the defense and intelligence world grown too big, too fast? Or has this large growth served us well, exemplified by no successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11? How can we judge the success of these programs, when much of it will never be known by the general public?"
Patents

USPTO Lets Amazon Patent the "Social Networking System" 265

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-your-farmville-are-belong-to-us dept.
theodp writes "After shelling out a reported $90 million to buy PlanetAll in 1998, Amazon shuttered the site in 2000, explaining that 'it seemed really superfluous to have it running beside Friends and Favorites.' But years later in a 2008 patent filing, Amazon described the acquired PlanetAll technology to the USPTO in very Facebook-like terms. And on Tuesday, the USPTO issued US Patent No. 7,739,139 to Amazon for its invention, the Social Networking System, which Amazon describes thusly: 'A networked computer system provides various services for assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users. For example, in one embodiment, users can identify other users based on their affiliations with particular schools or other organizations. The system also provides a mechanism for a user to selectively establish contact relationships or connections with other users, and to grant permissions for such other users to view personal information of the user. The system may also include features for enabling users to identify contacts of their respective contacts. In addition, the system may automatically notify users of personal information updates made by their respective contacts.' So, should Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg worry about Amazon opening a can of patent whup-ass?"
Image

Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-bought-the-law dept.
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."
Government

J. P. Barlow — Internet Has Broken the Political System 773

Posted by kdawson
from the citizenry-who-knew-too-much dept.
MexiCali59 recommends an account up at Hillicon Valley on a speech by John Perry Barlow to the Personal Democracy Forum in New York. "The deluge of information available on the Web has made the country ungovernable, according to EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow. 'The political system is broken partly because of Internet,' Barlow said. 'It's made it impossible to govern anything the size of the nation-state. We're going back to the city-state. The nation-state is ungovernably information-rich.' ... Barlow said there is too much going on at every level in Washington, DC, for the government to effectively handle everything on its plate. Instead, he advocated citizens organizing around the issues most important to them. 'There is a circle of fat around the Beltway that is incredibly thick. We can no longer try to run this country from the center. We've got to run it, just like the Internet, from the edges.' Barlow also said that President Barack Obama's election, driven largely by small donations, has fundamentally changed American politics. He said a similar bottom-up structure is needed for governing as well. 'It's not the second coming, everything won't get better overnight, but that made it possible to see a future where it wasn't simply a matter of money to define who won these things. The government could finally start belonging to people eventually.'"

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