bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.
bobmorning writes "EVE Online's largest player-controlled virtual bank, Ebank, just can't seem to catch a break these days. A few months after it was revealed that the company had been defrauded of a staggering amount of virtual cash, it turns out that the institution's digital vaults are far more barren than many realized, leading to an in-game freezing of accounts for any individual or organization that happened to have invested any InterStellar Kredits (ISK) with the bank. Early this summer, it came to light that a veteran EVE player (known only as 'Ricdic') had embezzled — and then sold in the real world — over 200 billion ISK from Ebank, causing a run on the virtual financial institution. However, this was just the beginning of the problems for the player-owned bank. Recently-installed Ebank Chairman Ray McCormack admitted that the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced. As a result, it's been revealed that Ebank is 380 billion ISK poorer thanks to a number of defaulted loans. Because of the aforementioned mismanagement, it apparently took the bank's new officers a while to figure out just how far in the red their institution is."
Massively is running an article discussing the trend in recent MMOs to enable and encourage solo play. Where the genre's early offerings, like Everquest and Ultima Online, were heavily dependent on finding other people to interact with, it's common for today's games to allow players to experience most of the content by themselves. Quoting: "It is human nature to want to be the center of attention or at least feel like the hero on some level. It's also not too far of a stretch to call members of our species generally selfish. How can you really deliver this experience if you force your players to ask for help all the time? I think this was simply a natural progression of the genre in trying to appeal to our natural traits. ... Finally, I believe it all comes down to the mighty dollar. Audiences grew and so followed the market and competition. Suddenly, you couldn't make MMOs on the cheap anymore (though a stalwart few still try). Not only are game studios focused on appealing to the solo casual gamer to maximize earnings, they also want to build in artificial time sinks to make players stick around."