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Google Earth Raises Discrimination Issue In Japan 457

Hugh Pickens writes "The Times (UK) reports that by allowing old maps to be overlaid on satellite images of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, Google has unwittingly created a visual tool that has prolonged an ancient discrimination, says a lobbying group established to protect the human rights of three million burakumin, members of the sub-class condemned by the old feudal system in Japan to unclean jobs associated with death and dirt. 'We tend to think of maps as factual, like a satellite picture, but maps are never neutral, they always have a certain point of view,' says David Rumsey, a US map collector. Some Japanese companies actively screen out burakumin-linked job seekers, and some families hire private investigators to dig into the ancestry of fiances to make sure there is no burakumin taint. Because there is nothing physical to differentiate burakumin from other Japanese and because there are no clues in their names or accent, the only way of establishing whether or not they are burakumin is by tracing their family. By publishing the locations of burakumin ghettos with the modern street maps, the quest to trace ancestry is made easier, says Toru Matsuoka, an opposition MP and member of the Buraku Liberation League. Under pressure to diffuse criticism, Google has asked the owners of the woodblock print maps to remove the legend that identifies the ghetto with an old term, extremely offensive in modern usage, that translates loosely as 'scum town.' 'We had not acknowledged the seriousness of the map, but we do take this matter seriously,' says Yoshito Funabashi, a Google spokesman." The ancient Japanese caste system was made illegal 150 years ago, but silent discrimination remains. The issue is complicated by allegations of mob connections in the burakumin anti-discrimination organizations.

Comment Re:The Year of Linux on the Ultraportable? (Score 1) 395

How do you play mp3s on one of these Linux "computers"? You don't.

You have to use your brain. Best of luck.

I'm pretty sure it can be done, because I'm doing it right now. And I don't possess the encyclopedic inventory of Linux skills assumed necessary to get any basic functionality from a Linux system.

You do need to learn for to use Google. I guess you need to be able to read too. And then you have to be able to reason a little. And type a bit too.

But back to the point of the article, I think it's a great point they're making. I'm only using Linux now because I got sick paying for Windows. I don't think Linux (Fedora in my case) is the greatest OS ever, but then neither is Windows. It has more potential to improve over short periods of time. I've seen this in the year and a half I've been using it. Since I'm using a massively improved version compared to the one I started on (which worked well BTW) and I'm still using XP on my other system. I do have the luxury of two desktop computers, so I can keep one aside for games and the other for everything else. The functionality of the gaming system improves enormously because of this, and the other system improves by virtue of using a "better" OS.

And it's free.


Submission + - New Duke Nukem Forever Teaser (

6-tew writes: "Saw here that there's a new trailer out for Duke Nukem Forever. Confirms it! From 3d Realms:

As promised yesterday (actually an hour earlier than promised), we are proud to finally bring you an all new teaser trailer for Duke Nukem Forever. I'm sure you don't want to read us blab about it, you want to go watch the video. We will try and update our list of downloadable links when we can, but with our server so swamped it might be difficult.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - DNF Teaser Video to be released 19/12 (

An anonymous reader writes: DNF Teaser Video coming tomorrow

Last Saturday we had our annual company Christmas party. It was a lot of fun as usual but it featured one special surprise. It turns out that several people had been secretly working late nights and into the wee hours of the morning preparing a special video for those at the party. They created a short teaser for Duke Nukem Forever.

After seeing the teaser we thought it was something we should share with all of you and while it's just a teaser, rest assured more is coming.

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 19th, around noon CST, we will release the first teaser trailer from Duke Nukem Forever. To tide you over until then, there has been a screen shot taken from the teaser and posted in our forums. Check it out here (

Thank you for being fans of the game and for your continued patience.

We'd like to thank the people on the team that worked so hard to create this teaser and the friends of 3DR that helped create it (Jeremy Soule and Julian Soule, Frank Bry, Jason Evigan and of course, Jon St. John).

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