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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 5 declined, 4 accepted (9 total, 44.44% accepted)

Government

+ - Sugar is More Addictive than Cocaine->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "

An enduring fixture of prohibitionist literature is the claim that, given the option, animals will self-administer cocaine until they overdose or starve to death by selecting it in preference to food. Research supporting this contention frequently involves animals placed in unnatural conditions (isolated, immobilized, starved, etc.), and removing these stresses generally reduces cocaine self-administration.

Researchers have previously found that providing rats with sweetened water significantly reduced their voluntary cocaine intake, and a recent study has reported that rats overwhelmingly prefer water sweetened with saccharin or sucrose over cocaine. When presented with an either/or choice eight times a day, 94% of test rats selected the non-caloric sweetener saccharin over a "behaviorally effective" dose of cocaine (0.25 mg, i.v.). While it took the rats eleven days to develop a statistically reliable preference for selecting cocaine over nothing, it took only two days to develop a statistically reliable preference for saccharin over cocaine.

According to the researchers, "the preference for saccharin sweet taste was not surmountable by increasing doses of cocaine and was observed despite either cocaine intoxication, sensitization or intake escalation--the latter being a hallmark of drug addiction". Pointing out apparently contradictory findings from previous primate studies that offered solid pellets instead of sweetened liquids, the researchers speculate that important differences may exist between the research methods or could be a result of inter-species differences between rodents and primates.

Given the highly addictive properties of sugar and the deleterious physiological effects sugar has on the human body; sugar causes diabetes, obesity (which is responsible for heart disease), dental cavities, hyperactivity, amongst various other highly dangerous medical conditions, it is surprising that sugar has not been outlawed a long time ago. Considering how dangerous sugar is, and its addictive properties, one would suspect that child advocacy groups and social welfare organizations would be pressuring governments to outlaw this substance and have harsh jail sentences for people who use and sell this highly toxic product. Let's hope their aren't corporate or personal interests that would bias any regulation of this poison."
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Education

+ - MPAA Allows Teachers to Camcord for Fair Use->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "From the I-Want-To-Control-You department; the MPAA will let teachers have their already established legal right of fair use with media files, but only if certain conditions and rituals are met first. From the article:

Teachers don't need to rip DVDs to get clips for classroom use--they should just use a camcorder to record the DVD playing on a TV screen! So says the MPAA in a video it showed to the US Copyright Office in an attempt to argue that nobody should be ripping DVDs, even for educational use.

The MPAA was even kind enough to supply a demonstration of how to videotape a television set with a camcorder, http://vimeo.com/4520463."
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Music

+ - Neverending Copyright Extensions coming to Europe->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "

After a UK government-led commission said that the current 50-year term for musical copyrights was fine, and the government last year publicly agreed that there was no need to extend the term, culture minister Andy Burnham yesterday made the logical follow-up announcement that yes, the government would now push for a 20-year extension on copyright.... by framing the issue as a "moral case," Burnham gets to sidestep the entire issue of logic.... the move has been pushed largely by fabulously wealthy musicians and the music industry... While the UK says it will work to extend musical copyright from 50 to 70 years, the European Union is considering a plan (backed by Commissioner Charlie McCreevy) to extend musical copyrights to 95 years.... The Open Rights Group, which is bitterly opposed to extension, claims that 80 percent of all artists would receive under 30/year from the EU plan, while music labels would share 90 percent of the cash coming in.

"

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Privacy

+ - Bill 85 - Photo Card Act to track Canadians-> 1

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "The Canadian province of Ontario will be one of the first to require US mandated universal ID's so that Americans can keep track of Canadians who enter their country. These ID's will come in the form of mandatory "enhanced" drivers licenses. Among the features of the card will be easy access to biometric data and facial recognition systems through unencrypted RFID.

"The current DHS standard for the RFID chip on 'enhanced' ID cards is without security protections, such as data encryption, is designed to be read at distances of at least 10 metres, and is widely used in the livestock and supply chain management fields," says Andrew Clement, professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. "This long scanning range allows surreptitious location tracking and there is nothing the Ontario or Canadian governments can do to stop U.S. security officials from storing our biometric and other information on parallel databases where Canada's privacy laws do not apply."

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2008/20/c7542.html

You can listen to a CBC podcast explaining the Bill 85 and the ID card at http://www.idforum.ischool.utoronto.ca/?q=node/80"

Link to Original Source

Censorship

+ - Senate wants to empower parents to be censors->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "

The United States Senate has unanimously passed a bill that requires the Federal Communications Commission to explore what "advanced blocking technologies" are available to parents to help filter out "indecent or objectionable programming."

The text of the bill notes that the average child watches four hours of television a day. It also observes that "99.9 percent of all consumer complaints logged by the Federal Communications Commission in the first quarter of 2006 regarding radio and television broadcasting were because of obscenity, indecency, and profanity."

The probe should also look at apps that can filter closed captioning language, and "operate independently of ratings pre-assigned by the creator of such video or audio programming."

The negative attitudes that people have towards children and freedom in general are spawning these movements. People feel the need to control their environments, and so they seek out the most vulnerable to control and manipulate."
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Government

+ - Profiling the Internet Savvy as Morally Unfit->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "The government has conducted studies "identifying those [behaviors] that may be associated with risky or problematic cyber behavior...". Social networking, file trading, playing World of Warcraft, using the Internet too often, and "on-line contact with foreign nationals" could mean you are disqualified from joining the CIA. So if you've ever responded to a post on Slashdot from a "foreign national" you could be morally unfit to work for The Man."
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The Military

+ - US Fighter Jets Intercept Two Russian Bombers->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "In what is remeniscent of the Cold War, US fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying towards a US aircraft carrier over the weekend. According to the article tensions have been heightened do to American plans to put a missile-defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic. It seems that just like in physics, so it is in politics; for every action there is a re-action."
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Privacy

+ - Your Private Photo's Are on BitTorrent->

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "Another social networking fiasco. According to Wired News "A 17-gigabyte file purporting to contain more than half a million images lifted from private MySpace profiles has shown up on BitTorrent, potentially making it the biggest privacy breach yet on the top social networking site." This episode involves the ever present issues of privacy, piracy, vulnerability disclosures, intellectual property and security. It would seem that if you don't want things to be private, then they should not be on the Internet, Period."
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Privacy

+ - MySpace Age Verification for Parents

Submitted by unlametheweak
unlametheweak (1102159) writes "North Carolina thinks of the children by passing a law http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2007/Bills/Se nate/HTML/S132v3.html requiring parents to verify they are parents before letting their children onto social networking sites http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070528-mysp ace-age-verification-for-parents.html. Notwithstanding the whole concept of an Internet ID for people in general; children are now being tracked by cellular phones with GPS, spied upon with Parent Controls (MS Vista has built-in parental spyware), and also strategically placed Nanny Cams, keyboard loggers, etc. Is the zoo-like Minority Report world in which children are growing up in today doing more harm than good? How will this affect a 14 year old, much less a 17 year old "child"?"

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