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+ - US Officials Rebuke India's Request to Summon Facebook, Google->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Officials over in the US have told the Indian Government that they will not be able to serve summons to the executives of companies like Google and Facebook because they are not convinced that the content hosted on these sites can cause violence and that these summons impact "free speech principles". The reply comes as a response to India’s request to the US to help serve papers to 11 Internet Companies as they were accused of hosting content on their sites that was meant to fuel communal hatred and violence. The US authorities said that there are limitations when it comes to protection on free speech – when the speech comprises of a true threat or provokes imminent violence but, in this particular case there is not sufficient evidence of either of these."
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Science

+ - Universe May Be Infinite->

Submitted by afree87
afree87 (102803) writes "Analyzing the latest observations of the visible Universe, astronomers have found it is at least 250 times bigger than anything we can detect, and may indeed be infinite: "They say that the curvature of the Universe is tightly constrained around 0. In other words, the most likely model is that the Universe is flat. A flat Universe would also be infinite and their calculations are consistent with this too." In an infinite universe, every anime is real."
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The Internet

+ - Australian ACMA blacklist on Wikileaks

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "As reported in the Australian Press, the blacklist compiled by the ACMA seems to have been posted on Wikileaks.

Many Australians have been fiercely opposing the imposition of mandatory ISP level censorship for some time. Please note that many of the sites are not safe to access depending on your location. The list includes Christian sites, a dentist, a tour operator, wikileaks pages, gambling and euthenasia related sites. This follows the leaking of the blacklists from several other countries. There is no confirmation that this is the current blacklist and there is some mention that censorware vendor filter lists may have been included. The list contains 2395 sites. ACMA said its blacklist, as at November 2008 that the list included only 1370 sites."
The Courts

Harlan Ellison Sues For "Star Trek" Episode 483

Posted by kdawson
from the dangerous-visions dept.
Miracle Jones writes "The ever-quotable speculative fiction writer Harlan Ellison has launched a lawsuit against Paramount and the Writer's Guild West for rights to residuals surrounding his famous and award winning 'City on the Edge of Forever' episode for the original Star Trek series. Ellison, recently featured in the documentary 'Dreams with Sharp Teeth,' said that 'The Trek fans who know my City screenplay understand just exactly why I'm bare-fangs-of-Adamantium about this.' Regarding his lawsuit, he had this to say: 'The arrogance, the pompous dismissive imperial manner of those who "have more important things to worry about," who'll have their assistant get back to you, who don't actually read or create, who merely "take" meetings, and shuffle papers — much of which is paper money denied to those who actually did the manual labor of creating those dreams — they refuse even to notice... until you jam a Federal lawsuit in their eye. To hell with all that obfuscation and phony flag-waving: they got my money. Pay me and pay off all the other writers from whom you've made hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars... from OUR labors... just so you can float your fat asses in warm Bahamian waters.'"
Sci-Fi

Sci Fi Channel Becoming Less Geek-Centric "SyFy" 798

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the or-you-could-quit-cancelling-good-programs dept.
narramissic writes "According to a TV Week article, NBC Universal has decided to change the name of their Sci Fi Channel to SyFy. Why? To pull in a more 'mainstream' audience. If you're unclear what 'more mainstream' means, TV Historian Tim Brooks spells it out for you: 'The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular.' Yes, we should probably all be offended. And telling us that a crack marketing team came up with the name because that's how tech-savvy 18-to-34 year-olds would text it really doesn't help."
Sci-Fi

David Tennant Stands Down From "Doctor Who" 245

Posted by timothy
from the no-really-who dept.
Dave Knott writes "After winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the British National Television Awards, David Tennant announced that he will be quitting the iconic role of The Doctor. Quoting Tennant: 'When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won't be with me. Now don't make me cry. I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair.' Tennant will appear in a Christmas special, titled The Next Doctor, before filming four more specials in January. After that, the search will be on for the actor to play the 11th incarnation of The Doctor."
Role Playing (Games)

Further Details On the Star Wars MMO 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the +1-lightsaber-of-smiting dept.
Now that the recent announcement about Star Wars: The Old Republic has had time to sink in, specific details about the game are beginning to come to light. Massively, in particular, has a variety of interviews and in-depth looks at the classes, the combat, and the setting of the game. "When you play like a Jedi from 1 to max, and then decide to start as a Sith, you won't see any content that will be the same." They also discuss the leveling, questing and companion characters. "We want you to think of them as actual companions on your journeys throughout the game. Your actions are going to change how your companion characters develop." Eurogamer is running a preview of the game, and a wiki has sprung up to catalog all of the new information. Other tidbits: support for Star Wars Galaxies will continue; the new game will be PC only; and LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base.
The Almighty Buck

Bandwidth Use In MMOs 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-always-more dept.
Massively is running a story about bandwidth costs for MMOs and other virtual worlds. It's based on a post at the BBC on the same subject which references a traffic analysis (PDF) done for World of Warcraft. Quoting: "If you're an average user on capped access, the odds are you have roughly 20Gbytes per month to allocate among all of your Internet usage (it varies depending on just where you are). For you, sucking back (for example) a 2GB World of Warcraft patch isn't something you can just do. It's something you have to plan for — and quite often you have to plan for in the following month. Even a 500MB download has to be handled with caution. MMOGs as a rule don't use a whole lot of bandwidth in actual operation. However, the quantity definitely rises in busy areas with lots of players, where there are large numbers of mobs, or on raids, and takes quite a much larger jump if you're using voice as well."

Blizzcon Begins, Diablo 3 Wizard Class Unveiled 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the zap dept.
Blizzcon is officially underway today, starting with a presentation showcasing the Worldwide Invitational tournament held earlier this year. A company spokesman went on to talk about the tournaments being held for World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena, Warcraft 3, and Starcraft 2, followed by word that Starcraft 2 was not yet ready for beta, but that Blizzcon attendees would be included in the first round of testers when the beta program starts. The big news of the presentation, though, was the unveiling of the Wizard class — the third such class to be announced, along with the previously mentioned Barbarian and Witch Doctor. Read on for some more details.
Handhelds

Hands-On With the PSP-3000 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the upgrades dept.
Eurogamer got a chance to take a look at Sony's latest hardware revision for the PSP. Their overall impression of the new model is positive, finding that a redesigned screen offers noticeably better graphics and higher brightness without affecting battery life. They also say the button pads may be slightly different, and the unit comes with useful firmware upgrades. "Elsewhere, our side-by-side comparison of the current PSP/PSP-2000 firmware, 4.05, and the new 4.20 firmware on the PSP-3000 reveals a 'USB Auto-Connect' option, which promises to automatically switch the handheld to USB mode when a cable is connected. It will do this from anywhere on the XMB, but it won't interrupt gameplay. ... The new-model PSP also allows you to play games on a TV by hooking it up with a special adapter (sold separately) and a composite cable, whereas the old one would only allow composite cables to display video, with gaming reserved for component output."
Games

Ask Blizzard Employees About Things That Matter 504

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the opportune-moment dept.
In just a few days, some of us will be making the trek to this year's Blizzcon event in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the interesting announcements, sneak peeks, and other distractions, we will be sitting down with several Blizzard employees to answer any questions you might have. So far we have scheduled some time with Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II; Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft; Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III; and Paul Sams, Blizzard COO. Please address your questions to one (or several) of these candidates and try to keep them civil and on topic. Questions about Diablo III's art style will most likely be omitted since we have limited time and that dead horse has already been beaten into submission. The usual Slashdot interview rules apply, but beyond that, the sky is the limit.
Upgrades

Steam To Begin Hosting Game Mods 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the upgrades dept.
Valve made a brief announcement on Friday that they will be allowing the download of user-created game mods directly from Steam. "Once installed, these MODs will appear in your 'My Games' list and will receive automatic updates just like other games on Steam. Also, these MODs now take advantage of Steamworks, which provides stat tracking and tighter integration with the Steam community." Mods will be available for five different games to start, and more in the future.
Classic Games (Games)

PC Historian Finds Puzzling Game Diskette Image 232

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the golden-age-of-programming dept.
This past weekend, Trixter — a self-proclaimed IBM PC historian — picked up some old software for his archive. What he didn't count on was a couple of additional Avantage titles that had never been released into the wild. If this weren't enough of a find, one of these titles provided Trixter with an interesting puzzle: the diskette for Mental Blocks is apparently hand-formatted to work on both C64 and IBM (on a single side, not the "flippy disks" of old). Quite an interesting little piece of history.
Media (Apple)

Software Update Makes iTunes Accessible To Blind Users 148

Posted by timothy
from the rockbox-already-has-voice-guidance-note dept.
rickthewizkid writes "Recent updates to the iTunes software allow blind users to access the program without assistance. From the article: 'The new software — which transforms the written information on an iTunes-linked computer screen into speech or Braille — stemmed from an agreement between Apple, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company, the National Federation of the Blind and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.'" It's not just the actual iTunes app, though; the article notes that this update makes iTunes U useable as well.

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