As discussed by HOPE staff on last night's episode of Off The Hook, the badges will serve as the entry point to a series of multilayered games which will run throughout the conference. Players will be able to connect with participants with similar interests, find and exploit vulnerabilities in the tracking system, negotiate with an artificial intelligence for clues via SMS, and more, all while deciding how much of their own privacy to protect and/or violate in pursuit of their goals. The results will be publicly displayed in real time throughout the conference.
The RFID badges and participation in the game will be limited to the first 1500 preregistrants. The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 in New York City."
Rob T Firefly writes: "The Onion's AV Club has a feature on evil sci-fi film computers. While the usual suspects such as HAL from 2001, Tron's Master Control Program, and The Matrix all put in obligatory appearances, it's nice to see some lesser-known malevolent AIs from the past few decades of cinema holding their own on the list."
Rob T Firefly writes: "New York Newsday reports on a recent stint by Lauren Nelson, the current "Miss America," as the bait in an online pedophile sting operation. As part of her stated goal to use her "reign" to promote Internet safety for children, Nelson gave police in Suffolk County, New York, photos of herself as a teenager, with which a fake online profile for a 14-year-old girl was created. From there it was a standard pedophile sting operation, with several men chatting with her online, and eventually going to "her" house to meet her for sex.
From the article:
Nelson said she welcomed the men into the home when they arrived, but that's when Suffolk officers and the rolling cameras of "America's Most Wanted" television show with John Walsh, moved in, according to an account on the show's Web site.
The sting will be featured on the America's Most Wanted show on Saturday. As one commenter to the story on Newsday's site put it, "Boy, I can imagine the disappointment on those guys' faces when Miss America opened the door to let them in.""
Rob T Firefly writes: "In a posting on their website, the organizers of the Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition have updated their response to the controversy surrounding the blacklisting of Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (as reported previously on Slashdot here,here, and here.) They place the blame for the game's removal on the potential legal battles which could result from showing it to the public.
From the posting:
This is not a case of Slamdance lacking courage, sponsor disapproval of showing Danny's game or wanting to control freedom of expression. Simply and practically, Slamdance can't afford to take on the scope of this potential loss by showing the game to the public.
Slamdance now plans to hold a panel discussion regarding the controversy on January 21st.
In a related story Toblo, one of the seven games which was withdrawn by creators in protest of SCMRPG!'s blacklisting, has been readmitted to the festival by the school the creators attend. This was done without the consent of the creators, who have responded with their disapproval on the game's website, affirming their refusal to present or accept any awards on behalf of the game. They will, however, use their existing travel arrangements to attend the festival and Slamdance's discussion panel."
Rob T Firefly writes: "Hong Kong newspaper The Standard reports on what seems to be the world's first case of a BitTorrent movie pirate being sent to jail. After losing his appeal against a November 2005 conviction, Chan Nai-ming, a 38-year-old BitTorrent user known as "Big Crook," has begun serving a prison sentence for making the films "Daredevil," "Miss Congeniality," and "Red Planet" available for download via BitTorrent. His appeal was based on the fact that he did not profit from the piracy.
From the article:
[Appeals Judge] Beeson noted [convicting magistrate] MacIntosh, in handing out the sentence, was fully aware of the noncommercial nature of the case, but measured the seriousness of the case by the harm done to the moviemakers — not by the gain made by the offender. Chan, and those in the chatroom, "were aware of the possible criminal implications of uploading films to the system," Beeson wrote.
She also noted the sentence was already drastically reduced, from a maximum of four years, to three months, in order "to reflect the novelty of the conviction."
Under the proposal, sex offenders would be required to register their active e-mail address with parole or probation officers. Online companies, such as social networking sites, would check an e-mail address of a new member against the offender registry, which would reveal whether the member was a sex offender.
I wonder about this not only because anyone can get a new throwaway email address, but also because of the apparent transfer of responsibility to the websites involved. What legally constitutes "social networking?" Could a law like this force everyone from MySpace to Slashdot to random bloggers into picking up a government blacklist and policing their users with it?"
Rob T Firefly writes: "MGM announced an animated TV series based on Mel Brooks' classic scifi spoof Spaceballs. Brooks and Thomas Meehan, who wrote the original film, were co-writers on the animated pilot, with Meehan supervising the writing of all 13 half-hour episodes. Brooks will also reprise his roles as President Skroob and Yogurt. The series is set to debut on G4 in Fall 2007.