Thursday, April 29, 2010

Topologies of Travel

A new publication on the Topologies of Travel is available. It is based on the conference of the title which was held in June 2007 at the University of Trier. 

The text in pdf form can be downloaded here


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

South Korean children face gaming curfew

Well, this is not too much of a surprise given the recent baby death of a couple in South Korea who raised a virtual child online.... yet it could become draconian in its implications:

The South Korean government is introducing policies aimed at curbing the amount of time children spend playing online games. The first involves barring online gaming access to young people of school age between 12am (midnight) and 8am. 

The other policy suggests slowing down people's internet connections after they have been logged on to certain games for a long period of time.The Culture Ministry is calling on games providers to implement the plans.It is asking the companies to monitor the national identity numbers of their players, which includes the age of the individual. 

Parents can also choose to be notified if their identity number is used online. 

"The policy provides a way for parents to supervise their children's game playing," Lee Young-ah from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism told Reuters.

Read more at - 'South Korean children face gaming curfew'

Friday, April 09, 2010

Illegal Downloaders Face Life Internet Ban

A very sneaky Bill was passed just before the UK Parliament was dissolved. It purports to state that ilegal downloaders could soon be banned for life from using the Internet:

The Digital Economy Bill is aimed at stopping people illegally downloading copyrighted material from the internet.

However, critics of the Bill argue that it could have far greater powers and be used to censor and block free speech by whichever political party is in power.

The Bill was rushed through during the "washout" period before Parliament is dissolved.

Read original post - 'Illegal Downloaders Face Life Internet Ban'


Monday, April 05, 2010

Beijingers get back on their bikes

It seems that not only are 'bikes back' on the Beijing streets but that electric bikes are the new hot thing... especially with those conjested streets:

Office worker David Dai is one of a growing army of Beijing residents returning to two-wheeled transport. But the 28-year-old does not rely on his own pedal power - like hundreds of thousands of others, he has bought an electric bike. These battery-powered, and virtually silent, machines have become increasingly common on the streets of the Chinese capital. With roads often clogged with cars - there are now four million vehicles in Beijing - they offer a speedy way to get around. But not everyone seems to like them: government officials are unsure about how to deal with this explosion of electric bicycles.

Congested streets

China used to be known as the "kingdom of bicycles". In the 1980s, four out of five commuters pedalled to work on them in Beijing. But as the capital's residents became richer following economic development, they ditched their bikes for four-wheeled transport.Recent statistics suggest that only one in five city residents now use an ordinary bicycle to travel around.

In a matter of just a few years Beijing has gone from a city with few private cars to one where traffic jams are commonplace. But many Beijing residents are now buying electric bicycles to avoid wasting time on congested streets. "It takes only 10 minutes to ride my electric bike from home to work," said Mr Dai.

 Read more at - 'Beijingers get back on their bikes'


Friday, April 02, 2010

Secret Service Investigating Twitter Accounts Calling for Assassination

Twitter is back in the news; yet this time it is for assassination rumours... not only does this tell us that posting on Twitter is not going to be private (duh) but also that there are many alphabet agencies peeping in...

The Secret Service is investigating two Twitter account users who made threatening comments about President Obama following the House of Representatives vote on health care legislation.
 @Solly_Forell, who says he is an “authentic African American” on his Twitter page, allegedly posted comments about assassinating President Obama over the weekend. And he’s not the only one.

Another Twitter user with the account name @THHEE_JAY also tweeted about assassinating the President.
Secret Service Spokesman Malcolm Wiley tells Fox News that Secret Service does not have the luxury of discounting threats against the President and the agency is aware of the postings and is currently investigating.

Original source - 'Secret Service Investigating Twitter Accounts Calling for Assassination'