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Bill Would Declare Your Blog a Weapon 780

Mike writes "Law prof Eugene Volokh blogs about a US House of Representatives bill proposed by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez and 14 others that could make it a federal felony to use your blog, social media like MySpace and Facebook, or any other Web media 'to cause substantial emotional distress through "severe, repeated, and hostile" speech.' Rep. Sanchez and colleagues want to make it easier to prosecute any objectionable speech through a breathtakingly broad bill that would criminalize a wide range of speech protected by the First Amendment. The bill is called The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, and if passed into law (and if it survives constitutional challenge) it looks almost certain to be misused."
Social Networks

The Sims 3 To Mesh With Social Networks 25

Electronic Arts has released a good bit of information about the online aspects of The Sims 3, which is due for release in early June. The game will have downloadable content available on launch day that includes a second, separate town called Riverview. They'll also be revamping the game's website to allow the sharing of content and integration with social media. In addition, EA mentioned that the game will make use of micro-transactions, which players can use to buy things like furniture, clothing, and other items.

Senator Arlen Specter Becomes a Democrat 1124

Akido37 was one of many readers letting us know that US Sen. Arlen Specter has changed parties to become a Democrat. This gives the Democrats 59 seats in the Senate, and 60 if and when Al Franken gets seated from Minnesota. However, Specter said in his announcement that he will not be an automatic 60th vote for breaking Republican filibusters. While the senator's move seems to have surprised many Republicans, it is understandable to moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who said, "You haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words of how they [Republicans] view moderates. Either you are with us or against us." Specter noted that in his home state of Pennsylvania, 200,000 formerly Republican voters switched party allegiance last year.

Exploring the Current State of Beta Testing 82

Karen Hertzberg writes "Since the earliest days of MMO gaming, beta testing has played a pivotal role in the success or failure of our persistent worlds. We've come a long way since the initial tests of Ultima Online and The Realm, but what role do our current beta tests play in the potential outcomes of unreleased titles? To answer this question, Ten Ton Hammer turned to current and former beta decision makers at Cryptic Studios, NetDevil, Sony Online Entertainment, Funcom, and Mythic Entertainment. Some of their answers — and the information they reveal — may surprise you."

Comment Misread (Score 1) 111

When I first saw the post, I though it said how Facebook RUINS its LAMP stack.

I think that has to do with my experience with the apps and how often things timeout in that regard. It's a little frustrating and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the guys at Facebook, but it is interesting to find how that third-party experience affects my subconscious.


Quebec Says 'Non' To English-Only Video Games 554

daveofdoom writes "The French-Canadian government of Quebec is saying 'non' to English-only video games if French versions are available. 'It's causing a lot of consternation among retailers and gamers alike, who fear the rules will lead to delays in video games arriving in the province, and may not accomplish what the law intends, which is to promote and protect the French language.' This is a ridiculous rule, as game companies can simply stop creating French versions of games to bypass the restriction."

Comment What is there to watch anymore? (Score 2, Insightful) 798

I haven't watched much of Sci Fi in a while. I used to watch Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, but they're done. I would have continued watching Battlestar Galactica, but it kept jumping around, so now I'm waiting and just getting it on DVD.

Nothing else had really jumped out at me lately. But then again, ever since the whole Farscape fiasco, it's been clear that the management doesn't have a clue how to run a channel that is targeted towards a particular interest group and then use that for better advertising prices.

The more this crap goes on, the more likely I am to stop watching a lot of TV and just buy stuff on DVD or watch it on the Internet.

Comment Re:Cost of fighting global warming is worse than G (Score 1) 1061

As a libertarian, I'd be more inclined to simply sue you for polluting.

Just because it is 41 does not mean that an average temp for January indicates a lack of global warming. You look like someone who knows little about the weather and are mathematically ignorant.

To make a realistic argument, you have to look at the data, the source of the data, etc. A real analysis would be nice. I'm currently in a place where some winters are colder than others. Sometimes we get snow only once, and other times we get dumped on. Back in 1994, we hit around 20 below Fahrenheit.

Yeah, the medication issue sucks, but it's not just the laws, but the laziness of pharmaceutical companies. I take a ton of meds, and they piss me off too.

Comment Time to plan for a different location for retiring (Score 1) 1061

So, again, as much as I never wanted to live in FL for the hurricanes, it's going to be interesting.

The problem with trying to find the right place to live within the concept of global warming is that while the average global temperature goes up, the temperature swings in some places should increase. Summers may well be hotter and winters cooler.

Since I want to live in Scotland, my concern is regarding any shift to the Gulf Stream and the effects that would have.

Comment Not surprised (Score 1) 369

Belkin is one of those companies that managed to piss me off years ago. They offshored their customer service and then provided crap equipment.

I lost well over $50 on Belkin hardware for which they never reimbursed me after I sent the defective crap back.

So, like most companies with no ethics, I'm not surprised they'd pay people to write reviews that are worthless.

Comment Not enough crunch (Score 2, Insightful) 242

Having written, albeit small bits, in the gaming industry, we often talk about crunch, the real rules and meat that you can really grip onto and take and run with. I mean, the backstory is nice on some products, but the crunch is the stuff I can use as a player or gamemaster.

Gleemax never had much in crunch. It was all fluff and drove me crazy. It had a crappy name. (Seriously, the concept of maximum glee brings up either the image of a hyperactive 5-year-old or a massive of singing sweater vest people - either way, not attractive.)

It also seemed to try to be everything to everybody, which is a failure.

They SHOULD have tried a scaled back thing oriented towards a product line and then expanded slowly to guarantee enough content and interaction. The way it was, when I first checked it out, was that I couldn't do anything, and there was rarely enough new to see, so I stopped coming back.

And seriously, if I play an MMORPG, then I already HAVE a community. I don't need a second. I play a few single/multiplayer games (Civ IV, NWN2, etc.) and one MMORPG (EVE).


Infringement 'Detrimental To the Public Health, Safety' 348

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has declared that copyright infringement 'substantially interferes with the interest of the public in the quality of life and community peace, lawful commerce in the county, property values, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the county's citizens, its businesses and its visitors.' You might laugh, but that means they can close up a property for up to one year for violations of the anti-infringement ordinance [PDF] and the owner can be fined $1,000 for each infringing work produced on site. Not to mention the penalties in the PRO-IP Act, which just sailed through the House."
User Journal

Journal Journal: New life

Well, long time since my last journal entry.

I live in Georgia now, not California. I have a synagogue I like here. I'm no longer married and that relationship is over. I'm happier now. I'm in a wonderful, loving relationship with someone who really likes who I am.

I find myself growing frustrated with the way things are in this country. Too much divisiveness. No one is getting anything done in D.C.

DS Games for Pre-readers? 256

ProfJonathan writes "My daughter just got a DS from the grandparents for her 6th birthday. She's only beginning to read, but wants a bunch of games of her own rather than just playing her older brothers' games. She got Nintendogs with the DS, so that's taken care of, but other relatives are asking what she might want. Can anyone recommend some good DS games that don't require reading skill, that might be age-appropriate and interesting for a 1st grade girl?" Wouldn't it be creepy if the kid had a really good brain age?

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"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown