NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "With her trial coming up on June 15th, Jammie Thomas has received a motion by her lawyer to withdraw from the highly publicized case, Capitol Records v. Thomas. Ms. Thomas said in a written declaration (PDF) obtained from her by her lawyer that she was not opposed to the lawyer's withdrawal, and waived any hearing on the matter. The court papers submitted by the lawyer (PDF) also indicated that the RIAA was not opposed to the withdrawal — i.e. it graciously consented to Ms. Thomas having no legal representation — but was opposed to any continuance (i.e. the RIAA wants to make sure that Ms. Thomas does not have sufficient time to find other legal representation, or to prepare to handle the trial herself, or to enable new counsel to prepare to handle the trial). Nice of them."
The cancellation of Six Days in Fallujah seems to have stirred up almost as much debate as its original announcement. Given the popularity of World War II games, it seems clear that the main concern about a game focusing on modern war events relates to how recently they happened. Kotaku takes a look at some of the obstacles such a game would need to overcome to achieve broad acceptance. "When approaching a game that realistically depicts a modern combat situation, one criticism that often arises is the subject of fun. Can a realistic military shooter be fun? According to Ian Bogost, that's the wrong question to ask. 'We use the word fun as a placeholder, when we don't even really know what we mean when we look for some sort of enjoyment in a serious experience,' he said. Fun and entertainment aren't mutually exclusive, especially when it comes to entertainment based on real-world military conflicts. As Bogost explains, fun isn't the key word in this situation. 'It may not be possible to make a realistic war game that is fun — war is not fun — but it is possible to create an experience that is informative, appealing, and startling in a positive way.'"
macson_g writes "Students from Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland) once again turned one of their dormitories into huge display. The project is called P.I.W.O. (B.E.E.R.). This time they converted a 10-story building into 4-color, 12x10 display. The business was used to display animations, and to play interactive games as well. On the project page (in Polish, Google translation here) you can watch an almost hour-long video, featuring music videos, a Tetris session, a dancing Michael Jackson, Duke Nukem and Mario."
coondoggie writes "Robocalls are a scourge, and the Federal Trade Commission today took action against one outfit by asking a federal court to shut down companies that have been bombarding consumers with hundreds of millions of allegedly deceptive robocalls in an effort to sell vehicle service contracts. According to the FTC, the robocalls have prompted tens of thousands of complaints from consumers who are either on the Do Not Call Registry or asked not to be called. Five telephone numbers associated with the defendants have generated a total of 30,000 Do Not Call complaints. Consumers received the robocalls at home, work, and on their cell phones, sometimes several times in one day. Businesses, government offices and even 911 dispatchers also have been subjected to the calls, the FTC said." Reader powerlord points out that another such company, not named in the FTC filing, raised the ire of thousands of internet-goers, who struck back by rickrolling the company's voice mail and digging up personal information on the company's president.
IndianaKim writes "I have been asked if I can host or assist in hosting a highly inflammatory document that reflects poorly on a Police Department. I want to help, but I also do not want the headache and possible subjection to search warrants and/or illegal searches. The document is so inflammatory that it could interest the FBI and DoJ and cause them to investigate the government officials involved. I live in the same county, but not the same city, and therefore could be subject to a search (legal or not) by some of these government agencies. I have been asked to host it on a server outside of the US. At this time, I do not have the ability to do that, but I could set it up if I needed to. My question is: would you host it if you were asked? How would you go about protecting the document and yourself?"
pha7boy writes "The Cold War International History Project just released the 'Vassiliev Notebooks.' The notebooks are an important new source of information on Soviet intelligence operations in the United States from 1930 to 1950. Though the KGB's archive remains closed, former KGB officer turned journalist Alexander Vassiliev was given the unique opportunity to spend two years poring over materials from the KGB archive taking detailed notes — including extended verbatim quotes — on some of the KGB's most sensitive files. Though Vassiliev's access was not unfettered, the 1,115 pages of densely handwritten notes that he was able to take shed new and important light on such critical individuals and topics as Alger Hiss, the Rosenberg case, and 'Enormous,' the massive Soviet effort to gather intelligence on the Anglo-American atomic bomb project. Alexander Vassiliev has donated his original copies of the handwritten notebooks to the Library of Congress with no restriction on access. They are available to researchers in the Manuscript Division."
volume4 writes "A couple of days ago, the folks over at Ajaxian introduced the world to UIzard, an awesome creation by a Korean developer using YUI. There is actually a heck of a lot more about it, and the excitement about the app caused the UIzard website to go down. Most people could not interact with the app or learn more. A day or so later, the website was back but I could still not access the app. I went on a search to find the creator of UIzard to learn more about it, and finally, through Jinho.Jung on Flickr, I got ahold of his email address and hooked up with Ryu Sunt-tae to learn more."