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Journal Journal: Newgrounds accessible in China, but there is a catch

Reguardless if today's Chinese theme on the flash portal Newgrounds.com is an April Fool's prank or not, Tom Fulp has pulled out all the stops when it comes to making the Chinese happy. Fulp reports that they are now accessible in China, but they had to make certain concessions.

Notibly, if you type in "Tibet" it is replaced with "great province of the People's Republic of China" and "America" is replaced with "Capitalist Pig".

The forums have also become moderated, as you are greeted with the following message:

Please Observe This Message from the Ministry of Communication.

Your personal information, associates, and past activities are currently under review by the State Council Information Office.

You will be able to post in Communication Forums once you have been cleared. Until that time, please submit all comments to user pages.

Also, please note what others are saying about approved activities and non-inciting discussion.

The Internet

Journal Journal: Tier-based Bandwidth Caps come to Charter

As if Charter's problems weren't bad enough, Tim Barker of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Charter is taking the low road that Comcast is following and implementing tiered bandwidth caps.

"Charter tells me that on Monday it will change its Acceptable Use Policy to establish limits on monthly residential bandwidth consumption. Customers with service speeds up to 15 mbps will have a 100 (GB) per month limit. Those with speeds between 15 and 25 mpbs will have a 250 (GB) cap. There is no limit for those people who buy the company's luxury Ultra60 service."

A local gaming blogger has critized this adjustment.

Charter has a monopoly on cable service in much of the St. Louis area.


Journal Journal: Arthur W. Burks, ENIAC computer theorist, dead at 92

Acoording to the New York Times (via CNet News) Arthur W. Burks passed away May 18 at a nursing home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Though he has a PhD in philosophy, Burks was a member of the team that designed the Eniac computer, a frequent collaborator of John von Neumann and a pioneer in computing education. Professor Burks served as Chair of the Department of Computer and Communication Science at the University of Michigan until 1986 when he retired. He was 92.

Journal Journal: Carly Fiorina Vying to be McCain's Running Mate

Carly Fiorina, who lead HP into a time of bad marketting and mediocre products until her resignation and who previously was the president Lucent Technologies and AT&T, is vying to be John McCain's vice president. The problem is that Fiorina gave 7,000 employees at HP the axe during her tenure while buying private jets and stealing the American Dream from alot of people in Silicon Valley by taking a $21M severance package.

Is America willing to bet the house with Old Man McCain and the Wicked Witch of Silicon Valley?

Journal Journal: Turn-off-TV week becomes Mental Detox Week

While the concept of Turn-Off-TV week is pretty straight forward, the culturejamming group Adbusters has extended it to other forms of electronic media calling it Mental Detox Week. While I personally am cool with not being part of the iPod clique or sending text messages to the point that my phone bill comes in a box delivered by FedEx, The Media Foundation has begun to shift gears given the change in technology and the fact that most parents look at the Xbox as an electronic babysitter. There really is nothing that requires being connected or teathered to the internet for.

Go outside and play, kids! You're fat bodies and blank stares are giving the new technology a bad name! You too, Mom and Dad! Take the kids fishing. Road trip...even if gas is $3.75 per gallon. Find a nearby river or lake that is in walking or bus distance and get outside for a while. CELLPHONES OFF! Leave them in the car. Do some IRL stuff!
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Want to REALLY call the President? Pose as a foreign leader

According to ABC News, a Icelandic 16 year old teenager called the White House main switchboard (202-456-1414) posing as Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, The President of Iceland. After answering some questions about President Grímsson, the switchboard operator connected him to a high security private phone number that he wasn't suppost to connect to but Bush's secretary said that they would call him back later. Instead, the police showed up, took him down to the police station, and questioned him for several hours. The police say they were ordered by the American government to "find the leak" or be he would banned from ever coming to America. (To the Icelandic people: If this is how our government treats you, then you are not missing anything. Go visit Canada instead.)

Strangely enough, the boy had the phone number for a few years now. (He should post it online.)

I bet if he would have used Lech Kaczyski as his alias, they would have treated him differently.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: MS Explorer Hits an Iceburg!

A shipwreck is no laughing matter, unless an ironic twist of fate is involved. The shipwreck on November 23rd in the Southern Ocean had the good fortune that everyone aboard the MS Explorer was safely evacuated and in good spirits.

Journal Journal: Movie Piracy May Be an Inside Job

As if the writer's strike isn't the least of Hollywood's troubles, Larry Carroll reports that bootleg DVD copies of American Gangster were released before the movie but how it was bootlegged has changed the rules of Internet Piracy.

Unlike such piracy favorites as the 2004 thriller "Mindhunters," the copies of "Gangster" are crystal-clear, with none of the "property of" burn-ins that typically indicate its origin. Aside from a few minor audio pops here and there, it seems no different than the eventual DVD that Universal would release itself.

Such events may be a sign that pirates are working at the studios.

The Internet

Journal Journal: 4chan shut down due to a bomb threat.

On Tuesday, October 16, WHDH-TV in Boston reported that their city was under siege by another bomb threat, this time posted on the 4chan website.

4chan was closed this weekend. At the time this article is being written, it recently reopened. So far, no word as to why they were shut down.

As if all the things that have occured this year with Boston and 4chan were not enough, the combination of both Bomb Scares and Internet Hate Machines is ironic.
PlayStation (Games)

Journal Journal: Sony Bans PSP Homebrew Talk, Fails to stop PSP Slim hacking

Someone at Sony just doesn't get it. Last week, Kotaku reported that Sony would ban talk about homebrewing on their website. Surely this would prevent people from hacking the PSP for making their own programs right? WRONG! Kotaku also reported last week that while Sony was banning homebrew hacking, someone hacked the PSP Slim.

When will Sony get a clue and realize that whenever they say no, hackers will do it anyway just to piss them off?

I'd certainly like to use a homebrew of a PDF reader for the PSP and find a way to upgrade that tiny piece of memory that makes using the browser just about useless.

Journal Journal: PETA game infringes Nintendo copyright

If you could find a picture next to the phrase "copyright infringement" in the dictionary, a screenshot of the Super Chick Sisters would be right next to it. This foul play has gamers fuming, not in disgust like PETA wanted, but angry because PETA commited the most clear definition of copyright infringement in what is yet another attempt by the extremist animal rights group to brainwash children.

The game was orignially a protest against Kentucky Fried Chicken, but Nintendo executives may cook PETA extra crispy when the cease-and-desist papers are written.

Meanwhile, this game has entices meat-eaters to eat more animals instead of let them live. As this post is being written, I'm having a tuna sammich. Mmm...killing Flipper sure is tasty.

Journal Journal: Big TechCos cheating H-1B visa laws, American Workers

Acording to Paul McNarma of NetworkWorld.com A conference was held in May this year by a marketing firm Cohen & Grigsby to on how to NOT hire American tech workers but hire foreign workers WITHOUT stating benefits and intial pay intentionally. The goal was to undermind the H-1B visa immigration laws enforced in this country.

"Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified U.S. worker ... our objective is to get this person a green card," Lebowitz tells his audience.

And how does an employer go about doing that in light of the legal obligation to first search for a qualified American? It's all about where you search, he says.

"Clearly we are not going to find a place where the applicants are most numerous, we're going to find a place where - again we're complying with the law - and hoping and likely not to find qualified worker applicants," Lebowitz says.

And if despite looking in all the wrong places a gem of an American candidate pops up anyway?

"If someone looks like they are very qualified, if necessary schedule an interview; go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them," he says.

That's just a taste; there are lots more.

Lebowitz prefaced that first remark - the one about the objective being "not to find a qualified U.S. worker" - by saying, "this may sound funny."

Don't know about anyone else, but I didn't even crack a smile. It doesn't sound funny. It sounds like it ought to be illegal. At the very least, it sounds like Congress should be tightening the screws on current law before increasing the number of H-1Bs.

If that doesn't boil your blood, there is a YouTube video where he and a few other people talks about breaking immigration laws and leaving American tech workers unemployed!

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Net Authority Bans Slashdot.org 2

Oh God fearing, Christian America. Creating a long list of websites to protect children from the "many dark places that may lead their souls astray from the path of God" including Lego.com (for Blasphemy), The Florida Marlins (for Beastiality and/or interracial relationships) The First Ammendment of the US Consititution (Offensive political material) and Slashdot (also for Offensive political material and Blasphemy since 2005). It's a world of sin out their and it seems Net Authority does a better job protecting the evils of the Internet for lazy parents than the good of the internet where parents are present.

Who ever runs their little Jesus Camp needs to get a life...oh wait that's right. It's a sin to have one. Sucks to be them.

Journal Journal: RIAA tells YouTube to remove free guitar lessons 341

Is it so wrong to learn how to play the guitar? According to RIAA: Yes. According to NPR, a record company ordered YouTube to remove videos of a man who offered to show people how to play the guitar because the songs he was teaching violated copyright infringement rules. How could this constitute as infringement if most musicians usually experiement to find something that sounds familiar? I've never had a guitar lesson in my life but I know how to play Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Does that make me a music pirate? I can play of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" (which is listed as #205 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time) on piano but don't own a copy of the music sheets or the record. Does that make me a pirate?

The thing about education that RIAA forgets is that they can take away these videos but it is too late to stop others from teaching their friends for free. You can take a away a man's instruments but you can not take away the knowledge of how to use them to play music.

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