zhennian writes: "Okay, this is a little left field, but I did a search and couldn't find the story elsewhere. I'm currently in Kazakhstan, Almaty (old capital) for three months (accompanying my wife on her PhD research). While trolling the un-sub-domained.kz webspace, I came across a free-for-all on-line question and answer session hosted by the Kazakh President. President Nazarbaev, while in the same region as some #1 nutters, is a shrewd, well respected leader struggling to cope with a cut and run by the crumbling Russian regime in 1991, and a population inexperienced in dealing with billions of dollars in oil income.
The interesting bit is that I found a question posted by Linus Torvalds asking the president's opinion on open source software. His answer was the evasive but valid response that all types of software should compete in the open market. A question springs to mind, "does Linus spend his time trolling 1-2.5 world countries searching for web forums hosted by leaders attempting to appear internet-savy?".
If the answer is yes, then my respect for the illustrious prince (RMS the father course) of OS freedom has significantly increased, he has time to keep the kernel alive and run global PR as well.
The website seems to be only available at the
google cache and no longer accessible from e.gov.kz. I think the forum was held in 2006, but it isn't clear from the website.
Kazakhstan is certainly an exercise in weirdness, mixing the left-overs of soviet suppression with a widening poverty gap and ridiculous wealth in the hands of a few. The result is pollution, poverty and crumbling infrastructure next to the construction of an arboretum to hold 'all the trees in the world', a temple for 'all the worlds religions' and the construction of numerous other grandiose buildings in the middle of the Steppe. Obligatory Travel Blog here."
CB-in-Tokyo writes: In reaction to the protests caused by Japan's new fingerprinting system, the Ministry of Justice has issued a directive (English Translation) that all foreigners that do not agree to give their fingerprints be incarcerated and "pursuaded" to give their prints, immediately to be followed by deportation. Immigration officials state that during the period of incarceration, "We will sufficiently persuade the refuser to cooperate, and endeavor not to do this by force."
The new fingerprinting and photographing system is under a lot of fire by the foreign community in Japan as it targets not only tourists, but also permanent residents. The system is being presented outwardly as a way to counter terrorism, but is being touted internally by celebrity spokespeople as a way to cut down on foreign crime in Japan. It is illegal under Japanese law to fingerprint citizens, unless they have been accused of a crime, however foreign residents have no such protection, and now under the new directive foreigners who refuse will no longer not just be refused entry, but also coerced into providing personal biometric data.
rockwood writes: WikiNews is reporting that according to e-mails and forum posts obtained by Wikinews, Stallman was traveling from Lima to Chimbote with a man named Mario Ramos on August 15, when the quake struck and was expected to arrive in Chimbote on Monday August 20, but he has not been heard from since the disaster.