French pirates ‘dodge’ tough laws BBC
Some forms of piracy are on the rise in France despite the passing of a tough anti-piracy law, suggests a study. In late 2009, France adopted a “three-strikes law” which means persistent pirates can be thrown offline. A small-scale study shows that some French people are changing their habits and getting pirated music and movies from sources not covered by the law. Overall, found the study, illegal behaviour has increased by 3% since the law was passed. The anti-piracy legislation was passed in October 2009 and means that those suspected of sharing pirated material online, such as movies and music, will be warned to stop or face action. Persistent pirates who ignore the warnings will be cut off for up to a year if a panel of judges backs a call for disconnection. Alternatively, pirates can be fined or given a prison sentence. Despite being passed in October, the law is not yet being enforced.
Another Cyberbullying Suicide? Momlogic
Alexis Pilkington, 17, a New York soccer star, committed suicide Sunday following vicious taunts on the social-networking site formspring.me, reports the New York Daily News. This is a site that says it gives teens the opportunity to “ask questions, give answers and learn more about your friends.” Teens can do so anonymously — just like they can in the Facebook “Honesty Box.” This makes the formspring site a goldmine for cyberbullies, because they can be as cruel as they want without ever being identified. Cyberbullies even left cruel comments AFTER Alexis committed suicide.
Eight-year olds with Facebook pages Telegraph
Children as young as eight have Facebook pages and use other social media websites, ignoring the age restrictions, according to an official report. Ofcom, the media watchdog, said that one in five children, 19 per cent, between eight and 12 years old use social media sites such as Facebook, Bebo or MySpace. This is despite these sites officially having an age limit of 13. One in six parents didn’t know their children are on social networks.
The report included internet audience data that showed that 37 per cent of home internet users aged between five and seven visited Facebook in October 2009. But it did not examine how many had profiles on the site. The figures are likely to once again spark a debate about how Facebook and other sites police the age of their users. Though these sites insist that users type in their age, there is no verification process. Facebook recently came under criticism from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre because it has refused to introduce the CEOP abuse reporting button, which is intended to make it easy for young people to report inappropriate behaviour online.
Israel Supreme Court: Talkbackers needn’t be exposed in libel cases Haaretz
Surfers who post comments on Web sites scored a victory in Israel’s Supreme Court last week. The vice president of the country’s highest court, Eliezer Rivlin, and Justice Edmond Levy handed down a majority ruling that Internet service providers cannot be forced to disclose the identity of anonymous posters, even at the behest of a person who claims he has suffered damage from the comments. Justice Elyakim Rubinstein held a minority opinion, that the court did have the power to order the identity of anonymous posters to be revealed. The ruling ended the appeal by Rami Mor, an alternative medicine practitioner. He wanted to sue surfers who had left derogatory comments on a Ynet news story, for libel. Among other things, unidentified surfers called him a “charlatan” and a “thief.” Another wrote, “Rami Mor, you’re getting pretty annoying, putting fake messages in every forum – you aren’t even a practical nurse.” Since the posters were anonymous, identifying them would have required a court order. Mor therefore motioned the court to order Ynet, and the communications company Barak, to identify the posters (a technical matter involving finding and disclosing their Internet protocol addresses).
After Google’s Move, a Shift in Search Terms New York Times
Chinese searches for politically delicate terms peaked the day Google stopped filtering its search results, but the government pressed on with a campaign to remove online praise of the company. Searches for ‘Tiananmen,’ ‘Falun Gong’ and ‘corruption’ increased by more than 10 times here on Tuesday, the day that Google began offering uncensored Chinese-language search results. But searches for censored terms on Google’s uncensored Hong Kong search engine fell off quickly in the next few days in part because most Chinese did not rush to search for politically delicate material and also because the pages newly revealed by Google were still mostly blocked in China. In tests over the weekend from several Chinese cities, users searching for ‘Tiananmen’ or even the names of Chinese government leaders reliably found the site google.com.hk mysteriously inaccessible for a few minutes. The more frequently used Chinese search engine Baidu, which continues to censor its results, remained accessible no matter what users searched for.
Germans opt for smaller chocolate eggs and bunnies this Easter The Local (Germany)
Opting for quality over quantity, a candy industry expert said on Monday that Germans have taken to eating smaller chocolate eggs and bunnies this Easter. ‘The consumers these days want their Easter eggs to be small and fine instead of large and overly rich,’ said Berlin chocolatier Jürgen Rausch, adding that other famous sweets manufacturers from Germany and Switzerland agreed. While large praline or truffle gift eggs were once en vogue, now small egg assortments are in high demand, he said, explaining that customers seemed to prefer more affordable items that are also lower in calories. ‘It’s the same with Easter bunnies too,’ said Rausch, who claims to run the world’s largest chocolate shop, Rausch Schokolade.
..… and identi.ca
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