identity0 writes: Reuters and Russia Today are reporting that MasterCard has unblocked donations to Wikileaks, according to a press release. Their Icelandic data center won a lawsuit against the local credit card processor VALITOR, and their MasterCard account has been activated. Wikileaks says Julian Assange's legal defense is paid from a separate fund. Donations to Wikileaks went down 95 percent after the major credit card companies blocked their account in 2010. Their PayPal account is still frozen.
identity0 writes: According to Japan Probe, Hiroyuki Nishimura, the founder of 2ch.net, has been charged with drug offenses by Japanese police over a forum post made on 2ch in 2010. He is not even accused of making the post, but of failure to have moderators delete it. The post apparently discussed drugs. 2ch.net (also called 2channel) is Japan's biggest forum, with over a million posts a day, of which the post in question was one. The site inspired image board 2chan.net(but is not directly related to it), which spawned copycat English site 4chan.net. More info at Slashdot Japan if you can read Japanese.
identity0 writes: Mexico City now claims to have the world record for the largest 'zombie walk', with nearly 10,000 dressed as zombies participating. This would break the record of Brisbane's zombie walk with 8,000 participants, and the official Guinness record holder of Asbury Park, with 4,093 zombies. No word on if any brains were eaten or dance moves to 'Thriller' were performed at the event.
identity0 writes: The BBC reports that the Western Black Rhino subspecies in West Africa (Diceros bicornis longipes) was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Other populations of rhinos remain, although another species is listed as close to extinction. The main culprit appears to be poaching, to quote from the article Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission: "They had the misfortune of occurring in places where we simply weren't able to get the necessary security in place. You've got to imagine an animal walking around with a gold horn; that's what you're looking at, that's the value". A sad day for all of us.
identity0 writes: A recent Slashdot article about heart rate monitors in schools got me thinking about getting one for my own exercise. It turns out there's a wide range of features, from calorie rate, pedometers, GPS, and PC connectivity. Being a geek, I wanted one that would let me look at my exercise data, and I'm curious what experiences Slashdotters have had with them. Some download data to a proprietary application, so I'm wondering if there are open source alternatives or the data format is easily readable. Others upload data to an online app, and I'm wondering if the data can be pulled off the site or it's forever trapped on their servers. While I'm not paranoid about my data being shared or an open source zealot, I would like to know that I can access my data in the future. Whatever method you guys use to monitor your exercise, I'd love to hear it!
identity0 writes: The Economist magazine is holding a online debate on the issue of copyright, with the resolution 'This house believes that existing copyright laws do more harm than good.' currently 69% voted yes, 31% voted no. It is moderated by a tech reporter from the Economist. Law professors represent both sides of the argument, with several guest speakers, and it is open to comments from users. Interestingly, although the Economist is a British magazine, both law professors are American, perhaps a sign of the influence America's law has on global copyrights. The debate will last until May 15th.
identity0 writes: Konami's military advisor for Metal Gear Solid 4, Tomoaki Iishiba, has been charged with violating export laws by shipping 60 holographic weapon sights to Japan without a license. A blog on export law names these as EOTech model 553. These sights were ordered from a US online site and are civilian-legal. However they may be covered under ITAR export laws, much like strong encryption. Iishiba is something of an oddity, a Japanese-born naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. after seeing the movie "Rambo" and desiring to join the US Army. He has since worked as a liaison officer with the Japanese Defense Forces. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports he has been reassigned to other duties pending the case, but is not under arrest. It is not clear if the sights were intended for real weapons or airsoft toys.
identity0 writes: Now some sad news — according to CNN, the inventor of the Pringles can, Fredric J. Baur, passed away recently. Even in death, however, his invention proved useful. Adding to the list of hacks found for the ubiquitous can, part of the man's cremated remains were interred in one of the cans, as he wished. Let us salute this inventor who helped many Slashdotters with their home projects, not to mention hunger during long coding sessions.
identity0 writes: Most people who call copyright infringement 'piracy' defend it on the basis of historical use in that context, but BBC reporter Nick Rankin goes one step further: he draws a direct parallel between Somali pirates who kidnapped and held ransom a fishing crew, and a publisher of a pirated version of his own book. While this is probably not the official stance of the BBC, you might want to drop them a note about this outrageous simile. Or just post pirate jokes in this discussion.
identity0 writes: The Westminster Council has gotten copyright over the street sign designs created for the city in the 1960s by designer Misha Black. All products using the signs' image must now apply for a license to do so. The BBC is already calling those using the designs 'Counterfeiters'. But should public signage be copyrightable?
identity0 writes: Following their laptop battery recalls, Apple and Dell laptops have been banned from battery-powered operation on all Korean Air flights. They may still be used with the in-cabin AC power plug, but their batteries must be removed before flight or they will not be allowed onboard. The official press release notes that the battery ban includes "Dell laptops (including those unaffected by recall), Apple's iBook and Powerbook models". Can the Dell Dude and Ellen Feiss figure out how to take the battery out, or will they be trapped in Korea?