Chinese Couple Sells their Babies to Support Gaming Habit
According to a story emanating from the GamesInAsia site; a young couple in China took things way too far when they sold their two sons to child traffickers and used the proceeds to purchase powerups and other advanced features in online games.
In a television interview conduted from a local detention center, the young, unwed couple from China’s post-90s generation told reporters that the father’s gaming habit was consuming so much of their combined resources they felt they wouldn’t be able to support the children, so sold them to Fujian-based child traffickers. <source>
Unbelievable!! Only in China!
Snowden: Not ready to leave Russia just yet
According to a report from Russia news site RT.com, U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for extended asylum in Russia. Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has leaked details of the agency’s worldwide surveillance activities, will seek an extension after Russia’s approval for him to stay expires on July 31.
Snowden has been living in Russia for the past year and, according to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, has now submitted documents to “prolong his stay”. Mr. Kucherena did not say if Snowden was seeking a new residency status, such as Russian citizenship, telling RT.Com “The decision lies with the Federal Migration Service”. <source – RT.Com>
SOPA Being Introduced by Stealth?
A new treaty, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP), is currently being negotiated between a number of nations, including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
Details of the treaty’s full proposals have not been released for public scrutiny with citizens of negotiating nations generally being told that all they really need to know is that the treaty is in their best interests.
The problem being; it is widely believed the TPP contains provisions a lot like those included in the despised, and ultimately defeated, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), including requirements for internet service providers to take responsibility for their customers’ copyright infringement. <source>
I’ve been saying it for ages that SOPA is not dead, merely on hold. It’s not going to go away and these attempts to introduce the same draconian laws by stealth are set to go on unabated.
Hardware Consortium Working toward Connectivity Standardization
In what can only be described as an “it’s about time” moment, a number of leading hardware companies have established a new Internet of Things consortium to create standards so billions of devices can connect to each other.
Intel, Samsung and Dell are among the founding members of Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which later this year will deliver the first of many specifications for hassle-free data flow between devices, regardless of the OS, device type or wireless communication technology.
Participating OIC companies will contribute open-source code so developers can write common software stacks for communications and notifications across handsets, remote controls, wearables, appliances and other sensor devices.
At this stage there doesn’t appear to be any indication of a timeline, so when this might all come together is anyone’s guess, hopefully sooner rather than later.
AdBlock Plus Developers Sued – Accused of Bias
This situation with German marketing companies and Eyeo, German based developers of ad blocking software Adblock Plus, has been brewing for quite some time and, according to reports, has now resulted in a law suit.
The dispute centers around Eyeo’s policy of accepting payment to automatically ‘unblock’ ads from a number of leading and financially secure websites. Adblock’s own FAQ section confirms that this is the case: “we are being paid by some larger properties that serve non-intrusive advertisements that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative.”
Now, according to unconfirmed reports, a number of advertising companies in Germany have filed lawsuits against Eyeo, stating that they believe the business model of Adblock Plus is illegal.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with Eyeo allowing a selection of unobtrusive ads through its blocking software BUT I also believe that accepting payment for the privilege is fraught with implications and the German advertizing companies may well have grounds for a successful action:
- Who decides which ads are “acceptable” and which are not, and based on what and whose criteria?
- A policy basing exceptions on clearly defined criteria and available to everyone is fine but as soon as you introduce a system of payment into the equation, it leaves itself wide open to accusations of bribery and corruption.
One thing for sure, if the law suit does go ahead, it is almost certain to result in an interesting verdict, maybe even a number of interesting findings.
Nissan Invents the Perfect Rearview Mirror (video)
Innovations in motor vehicles have been coming along at a prolific rate but the humble reaview mirror has been sadly ignored… until now!
Introducing Nisssan’s new-fangled “Smart Rearview Mirror”, slotting a custom LCD into the housing and feeding it with a live stream from a camera mounted just behind the rear screen. This system ‘sees’ its way past obstacles, such as bulky back seat passengers, to present a clear unobstructed view: