Back in February, the US Court of Appeals shot down a California law that banned the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Shortly thereafter, State Senator Leland Yee petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case. Now, along with California's Psychiatric and Psychological Associations, Yee has filed an amicus curiae brief with Court that elaborates on the reasoning behind the law. Within the brief (PDF) are some interesting quotes: "Parents can read a book, watch a movie or listen to a CD to discern if it is appropriate for their child. These violent video games, on the other hand, can contain up to 800 hours of footage with the most atrocious content often reserved for the highest levels and can be accessed only by advanced players after hours upon hours of progressive mastery. ... Notably, extended play has been observed to depress activity in the frontal cortex of the brain which controls executive thought and function, produces intentionality and the ability to plan sequences of action, and is the seat of self-reflection, discipline and self-control." The video game industry has filed its own amicus brief to dispute Yee's claims.
OSCON isn't just a gathering for talks on topics like Creating Location-aware Web 2.0 Applications on an Open Source Geospatial Platform and fightin' words from the stage; it's also an excuse for some interesting social gatherings, like this year's Community Choice awards (organized and sponsored by the corporate overlords at SourceForge, as you might recall, and with Slashdot's own special category), at which, among other festive activities, attendees were offered the chance to get open-source-related tattoos. There are shots of some of these up on the SourceForge Community pages, and — with some overlap — even more in this set at Flickr. (My pasty bicep^h^h^h^h^h shoulder is the one now adorned with a circled head of a happy Tux ala IBM; I was expecting it to hurt more than it actually did.) Anyone with techie tattoos, please disclose below.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite all the media reports that your Facebook profile is giving the wrong impression, a psychological study shows people really can understand your personality from your online profile. Turns out you're not giving the wrong impression with your profile; you're giving the right impression to the wrong people. You can actually learn more about someone's Agreeableness from their online profile than from a first date."
An anonymous reader writes "A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions. The employee Adam Dicker isn't just any GoDaddy employee; he's head of the GoDaddy subsidiary that controls the auctions. Dicker won some of the domains he bid for, and pushed up the bid price on auctions he didn't win. The conflict of interest is unethical, but could this practice also be illegal? Said a representative for a competitor, 'Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it.' This comes hot on the heels of news that despite earlier promises to ICANN to end their 60-Day ban on transfers, GoDaddy quietly circumvented it by forcing customers to agree to the ban anyway. ICANN doesn't appear to be investigating or asking follow-up questions about this. What can be done to force ICANN to police the registrars for which it is responsible?"
An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA must be celebrating. According to the BitTorrent news site Slyck.com, the Department of Justice is proclaiming their first P2P criminal copyright conviction, against an Elite Torrents administrator. The press release notes, 'The jury was presented with evidence that Dove was an administrator of a small group of Elite Torrents members known as "Uploaders," who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group. At sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2008, Dove faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.'"
KentuckyFC writes "Water is the most abundant solid material in space. But although astronomers see it on planets, moons, in comets and in interstellar clouds, nobody has been able to show how it forms. In theory, it should form easily when oxygen and atomic hydrogen meet. The problem is that there is not enough of it floating around as gas in interstellar dust clouds. So instead, the thinking is that water must form when atomic hydrogen interacts with frozen solid oxygen on the surface of dust grains in these clouds. Now Japanese astronomers have demonstrated this process for the first time in the lab in conditions that simulate interstellar space. That's cool because all the water in the solar system, including almost every drop you drink on Earth today, must have formed in exactly this way more than 5 billion years ago in a pre-solar dustcloud (abstract)."
mrbadbar writes "Gentoo Linux founder Daniel Robbins says Gentoo's leadership is in crisis. 'the Gentoo Foundation's charter has been revoked for several weeks, which means that as of this moment the Gentoo Foundation no longer exists.' Robbins offers a solution: his return as President of the Gentoo Foundation. According to Robbins: 'If I return as President, I will preserve the not-for-profit aspect of Gentoo. Beyond this, you can expect everything to be very, very different than how things are today.'"