kermidge writes: "Japanese scientists and academics are warning that legislation threatening prison terms for those who divulge and publish what the government deems a state secret threatens academic freedom and the public’s right to know."
Seems that what constitutes a state secret is not clearly defined, but punishments for divulging one are: 10 years in prison for government employees; 5 for journalists.
This new law, which sailed through the lower house of the Diet on 26 November and is expected to pass the upper house on 8 December, was fast-tracked, apparently in a bid to avoid much in the way of discussion, especially as about the only ones in favor of it are the ruling party.
This law is similar to provisions to be subscribed by all of the 12 initial members of the upcoming TPP, which is also to be fast-tracked by Congress. Slashdotters from the U.S. and abroad will likely recognize similar laws, or proposed laws, in their own countries.
kermidge writes: Old hat to those that follow the financial world perhaps, but it blew me away: the size of the shadow banking system, which escapes the scrutiny of regulators.
From the article at https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/5e1dd9d1642, "On the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest companies, the first non-financial firm is General Electric, which ranks 44th." And that's just the size of what we can see. The hidden part comes next.
The relevant bit is that "Davide Fiaschi , an economist at the University of Pisa in Italy, and a couple of pals reveal a powerful and simple way of determining the size of the shadow banking system." What their index reveals is a shadow banking economy much larger than shown by the Financial Stability Board set up in 1999 by the Group of Seven developed nations.
How big? "$100 trillion in 2012." Even the Board's conservative estimate of $67 trillion for 2011 betters the total GDP of the 25 countries which provide the data.
The original article can be found at Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1309.2130: The Interrupted Power Law And The Size Of Shadow Banking.
(Submission contains unmarked phrasing lifted whole from the first linked article.)
kermidge writes: Dutch firm LeaseWeb has wiped and re-provisioned 630 servers which had been rented by Megaupload. While the U.S. had confiscated 60 servers owned by Megaupload, the rented servers had been left alone. LeaseWeb claims they sent notice of the impending wipe; Kim Dotcom says they didn't. In the event, European former users of Megaupload lost all their content. According to Dotcom, other hosting firms have continued to hold on to Megaupload data, which he says constitutes evidence in his prosecution by the U.S.
kermidge writes: Washingtonsblog.com has a somewhat over-the-top story on Congressman Alan Grayson getting to read the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America. It takes but a few minutes to read the whole story, and I suggest it's worthwhile to do so. If TPP is half as bad as Grayson says, it's bad indeed. Too bad that we are not allowed to read it for ourselves, but, hey, we're living in the days of open government. For those having real interest, I suggest starting with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Strategic_Economic_Partnership.
kermidge writes: Holy Smoke LLC, run by two Alabama conservation enforcement officers, will incorporate cremains in shotgun, rifle, and pistol reloads. Talk about going out with a bang. What, nerds don't hunt?
kermidge writes: Google has open sourced a framework for realtime video and audio inside the browser. Known as WebRTC, the framework is based on technology the company acquired with its $68.2 million purchase of Global IT Solutions last year.