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Privacy

Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums 833

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, Blizzard Entertainment implemented a Real ID feature for some of its current games and all of its future Battle.net-based games. Today, Blizzard announced that it intends to require usage of the real names of Battle.net posters for its StarCraft II forums before release, and for its World of Warcraft forums shortly before the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. From the announcement: 'The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.'"
Government

Submission + - New Zealand Introduces Internet Filtering (thomasbeagle.net)

Thomas Beagle writes: "The New Zealand government has been stealthily introducing a centralised internet child-pornography specific filtering system. Voluntary for ISPs but not for their users, ISPs representing over 94% of the market are already intending to join. Read the general FAQ and technical FAQ about the proposed Netclean Whitebox implementation."

New RTS Based on DotA Offers Native Linux Client 173

S2 Games, longtime fans of the "Defense of the Ancients" (DotA) mod for Warcraft 3, have decided to create an entire game based around it (which IceFrog had no objection to). Without offending their still-active NDA, I can say that Heroes of Newerth is shaping up to be a very polished RTS, with the ability to play both via S2's own online service and local games, something that even Blizzard seems to be missing these days. Unlike most publishers, S2 has also decided to simultaneously release Windows, Mac, and Linux clients, making this one of the best looking games that I have ever seen on my Linux box. Additionally, S2 would like to invite another 400 players to the HoN beta, so if you are an RTS fan (and especially if you are a DotA fan) just send an email to scuttlemonkey at slashdot dot org with the subject line of "HoN Beta Key Request" and I'll reply to the first 400 requests as best I can. Update 20:37 GMT by SM: In case you don't notice in your haste to create a beta account, let me remind you that this game is still under strict NDA, so please no specifics in the discussion below. Update 00:01 GMT by SM: Well, given the 800+ emails that flooded my inbox in the first half hour or so we're all out of beta keys, but keep an eye out for a release date. Update 01:00 GMT by SM: Apparently your friends over at S2 games were quite impressed with the level of interest and are furnishing another 2,000 beta keys for me to continue working through the requests in my inbox (I'm at around 1,500 requests total as of this update, and only about 350 keys sent out). Please be patient as I slowly try to catch up. Also a point of clarification, while IceFrog doesn't mind S2 diving in to this space with a game based on DotA (competition is good in the long run after all), he wanted to make sure loyal fans of DotA knew that he plans to continue developing and improving DotA for WC3. Update 7/10/2009 13:06 GMT by SM: to all those still waiting on a beta invite, please be patient. I use gmail as the central repository for my email for ease-of-use, and while I was only expecting to have to hand out 400 keys, apparently gmail has an email cap of 500 per day. Last night my account got locked for excessive use, so I am waiting on the wrist-slap to expire so I can continue my key-spam. It looks like all who have requested a key so far will get one.
Portables

Submission + - Thieves use Bluetooth to find laptops in cars (bluetoothlounge.com)

Alex C writes: "This is not the first time that I heard about people using the Bluetooth technology to get some advantage. The mobile phone technology is being used by thieves to seek out and steal laptops locked in cars in Cambridgeshire County, UK. Up-to-date mobiles often have Bluetooth technology, which allows other compatible devices, including laptops, to link up and exchange information, and log on to the internet. But thieves in Cambridge have cottoned on to an alternative use for the function, using it as a scanner which will let them know if another Bluetooth device is locked in a car boot. Det. Sgt Al Funge, from Cambridge's crime investigation unit, said: "There have been a number of instances of this new technology being used to identify cars which have valuable electronics, including laptops, inside". more...."
Music

Submission + - Oink.cd, shut down ! (ifpi.org)

mvictoras writes: The biggest music private tracker shut down! Ifpi.org reports, 'British and Dutch police today shut down the world's biggest source of illegal pre-release chart albums and arrested a 24-year old man in an operation coordinated between Middlesbrough and Amsterdam. The raids, which were coordinated by Interpol, follow a two-year investigation by the international and UK music industry bodies IFPI and BPI into the members-only online pirate pre-release club known as OiNK. OiNK specialised in distributing albums leaked on to the internet, often weeks ahead of their official release date. More than 60 major album releases have been leaked on OiNK so far this year, making it the primary source worldwide for illegal pre-release music. The site, with an estimated membership of 180,000, has been used by many hardcore file-sharers to violate the rights of artists and producers by obtaining copyrighted recordings and making them available on the internet. It is alleged that the site was operated by a 24-year-old man in the Middlesbrough area, who was arrested today. The site's servers, based in Amsterdam, were seized in a series of raids last week. OiNK's operator allegedly made money by setting up a donations account on the site facilitated by PayPal. Cleveland Police and the FIOD-ECD SCHIPOL branch of the Dutch police undertook the raids, supported by Interpol, as part of a carefully-planned international investigation with anti-piracy investigators from IFPI and BPI.'
The Courts

Submission + - Walmart forcing Black Friday sites to remove ads (daddyodeals.com) 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "As a mid-sized shopping website with a niche Black Friday ad following every year, I was surprised to find that Walmart took notice of our site and sent us a letter informing us that we cannot post their Black Friday 2007 ads without "giving rise to liabilities and severe legal penalties." I read /. nearly every day and come across people's legal queries all the time. I never thought my website would be subject to a possible suit, but it's a very real possibility if and when someone comes across Walmart's Black Friday 2007 ad and posts it in our forum. As a "little guy," I'm sure I don't have the budget to fight this in court, which gives rise to several questions. What sorts of rights do I have as a website publisher to display a company's ads? Do my rights to free speech come into play here? I can't police my forum 24/7, so is there any kind of wiggle room within the law if I don't take it down immediately because I am not aware of it?"
Television

Submission + - Family Guy Sued For Copyright Infringement 4

Joe the Lesser writes: Music publishing house Bourne Co. is suing Fox over the use of the song 'When you wish upon a star' which was parodied in the Family Guy episode entitled 'When You Wish Upon A Weinstein'. The episode contains a musical number entitled 'I Need a Jew' which the lawsuit called a thinly veiled copy of the music from "When You Wish Upon a Star," accompanied by new anti-Semitic lyrics. In the 67 years since its debut, the song has been recorded by more than 100 artists and orchestras, however, Bourne claims that "With its theme of wholesome hopefulness, the song has gained worldwide status as a classic. By associating Bourne's song with such offensive lyrics and other content in the episode, defendants are harming the value of the song."
Censorship

Journal Journal: Ohio Net-censorship law struck down 121

In this article, C|Net reports that a federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a portion of an Ohio statute which attempted to prevent minors from seeing material which would be "harmful" to them, but was so overbroad that it would have covered a considerable amount of material which is legal for adults to view. Basically, if a website operator had reason to believe the material they were showing was visible to m

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