November 27th, 2009

'World's largest' BitTorrent tracker Mininova kneecapped

Probably not so popular without copyright torrents

Popular BitTorrent site Mininova has been forced to delist virtually all its trackers, after a legal defeat by a Dutch rights holder organisation.

The move may signal the end for what billed itself as the world's largest BitTorrent site.

Mininova was sued by BREIN, a coalition of Dutch publishing, music film and software lobbies. In August the court ruled it must remove links copyright material or face a €5m fine.

Today it complied with the order. Torrents uploaded by copyright owners to Mininova's distribution network remain, but the vast majority were tracking illegally shared material.

According to Torrentfreak, the site generated millions of dollars for its owners. They are reportedly considering an appeal.

BREIN's victory is the latest in an international campaign against copyright-infringing BitTorrent trackers, spearheaded by the record industry. ®

Source: The Register
soap&skin 2012
  • automat

Basketball's Shaquille O'Neal pays for North Carolina girl's funeral

An update to this post

(CNN) -- Professional basketball star Shaquille O'Neal paid for the funeral of a 5-year-old North Carolina girl whose body was found last week, O'Neal's team confirmed Thursday.

Authorities believe the child, Shaniya Davis, was kidnapped, raped and murdered after being reported missing November 10. Her body was found six days later on a roadside about 30 miles from her hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her funeral was Sunday.

O'Neal said in a statement released by his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, that he was touched after seeing Davis' story on CNN sister network HLN's "Nancy Grace" show.

"What happened to her was tragic. I wanted her to have a funeral that would be as beautiful as she was," O'Neal said in the statement.

Corey Breece, of Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, told the Fayetteville Observer he wouldn't discuss the cost of the child's service, but he noted a child's funeral "averages around $4,500."
The girl's father, Bradley Lockhart, and his family had set up a trust fund to help raise money to pay for the service, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

Family friend Vaughn Eason told the paper any remaining money would be used for groups and charities working to assist abused and neglected children.

Police have charged Mario Andrette McNeill with kidnapping and said he also will face murder and child rape charges.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated the child was asphyxiated, Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine told reporters last week, as authorities awaited final autopsy reports.

Davis' mother, Antionette Nicole Davis, has been charged with human trafficking and other offenses. Police have said they believe she was prostituting the girl.

O'Neal, as a volunteer for law enforcement agencies in recent years, has been active in causes that deal with domestic violence issues, mainly child-abuse cases.

There is also a video clip of the funeral at the source.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon to be extradited to US

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, is at serious risk of suicide, relatives said today, after the home secretary rejected a last-ditch attempt to prevent his extradition to the US.

In a letter today Alan Johnson ordered McKinnon's removal to the US on charges of breaching US military and Nasa computers, despite claims by his lawyers that extradition would make the 43-year-old's death "virtually certain".

"The secretary of state is of the firm view that McKinnon's extradition would not be incompatible with his [human] rights," said the letter, dated 26 November. "His extradition to the United States must proceed forthwith."

The decision, described by lawyers as "callous", has prompted fresh fears about McKinnon's well-being. The letter rejected new expert medical evidence that McKinnon's health had deteriorated dramatically since losing his case in the high court in July, and meant that extradition would violate his right to life.

"Gary is at risk of suicide, I'm extremely worried about him," said McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp. "This government is terrified of speaking up to America, and now they are allowing vulnerable people to be pursued for non-violent crime when they should be going after terrorists."

Mckinnon's lawyer, Karen Todner, said she planned to start a judicial review of the home secretary's decision. "We cannot give up because in some ways it's like dealing with a death row case, and we genuinely believe Gary's life is at stake here," she said.

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Source: The Guardian
Fuck you sideways, Alan Johnson. Seriously.

Salahis Not First to Crash White House Event: The Story of Sante and Kenneth Kimes

Note: This isn't a recent story, but goes along with a statement made about the Salahis seemingly being the first to crash the White House. As far as I know that's true, but the Kimes were a notorious and similar sneak in to a White House event.

The scheme cooked up by Ken Kimes and put into motion by Sante involved making money from the 1976 American Bicentennial. It was called "The Forum of Man." While that sounded grand, all they were really trying to sell were giant posters of state flags that extolled the 200th Birthday of the United States. They thought that simply by being seen in the right Washington circles and by being photographed in the right places, the government would put a poster in every classroom in America and sell the excess through post offices. They estimated that there were 250,000 such schoolrooms and at ten dollars each, well, do the math.

Ken Kimes needed credentials and he began addressing civic groups on patriotism. He also began calling himself "the honorary bicentennial ambassador of the United States" and said he would soon be traveling throughout the world to let other countries know about the forthcoming celebration. But an official sanction was needed, and it wasn't long before the brazen pair showed up at the White House to meet with Patricia Nixon.
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panda bear

(no subject)

Obama Pushes Hundreds Of Lobbyists Off Federal Advisory Boards

In a little-noticed blog post published on the White House website in September, President Obama's special counsel for ethics and government reform Norm Eisen announced that the administration no longer wanted federally-registered lobbyists appointed to agency advisory boards and commissions.

These appointees to boards and commissions, which are made by agencies and not the President, advise the federal government on a variety of policy areas. Keeping these advisory boards free of individuals who currently are registered federal lobbyists represents a dramatic change in the way business is done in Washington.

As has been reported, the President has made a commitment to close the revolving door that has in the past allowed lobbyists and others to move to and from full-time federal government service. In furtherance of this commitment, the President issued Executive Order 13490, which bars anyone appointed by the President who has been a federally-registered lobbyist within the past two years from working on particular matters or in the specific areas in which they lobbied or from serving in agencies they had lobbied. The aspiration we are announcing today builds on this commitment. While the letter of the President's Executive Order on Ethics does not apply to federally-registered lobbyists appointed by agency or department heads, the spirit does and we have conveyed that to the agencies who are responsible for these appointments.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the move "may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama," resulting in "hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists" being ejected from federal advisory panels.

Not surprisingly, lobby groups, corporations, and other K Street influencers are up in arms.

The reaction from the lobbying community has been swift and overwhelmingly negative. Some of the loudest criticism has come from the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs), a collection of more than a dozen panels that provide policy advice and technical assistance to the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative. The ITACs, whose roughly 400 members include at least 130 lobbyists, officials say, have taken the lead in attacking the White House policy as misguided and harmful to U.S. business interests; a letter to Obama from committee chairs last month included executives from Boeing, IBM, Harley-Davidson and International Paper.

"This action will severely undermine the utility of the advisory committee process," the letter read. ". . . The characteristics that make many Advisors valuable to the Administration [are] the same characteristics that are being used to artificially disqualify them from participation in the Committee system."

Hey Arnold Helga

Liberal Party in meltdown just like those icecaps we keep hearing about

potential liberal leaders

JOE Hockey is being lined up to take over as Liberal leader in a deal being hammered out behind closed doors this morning, insiders say.

Senior Liberals are locked in talks to resolve the party's leadership crisis, which erupted yesterday with the resignation of seven frontbenchers over Malcolm Turnbull's deal with the Government on climate change.

Tony Abbott, the most senior of the frontbenchers to walk, has said he will challenge Mr Turnbull on Monday unless he agrees to ditch the deal. "If there is no movement from the bunker then I'll be calling a spill for Monday morning," he said on Macquarie radio.

Mr Turnbull is digging in, saying he will stay leader until someone takes the job off him. "I will stay leader until I am voted out as leader. I will not take a backward step on this," he said on Channel 7 this morning.

He is also insisting the climate deal be passed through the Parliament. "The people that are opposing me within the party do not believe in climate change at all. They make John Howard look like a greenie," he said.
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Source is as bewildered as most of the Australian public

OMG you guys this is INSANE, like this is probably the biggest mess that's happened in Australian politics since the ALP tore themselves apart in the 60s.
For non-Australian readers, "Liberal" party is the right wing party, and is full of climate skeptics. They're sort of like the Republicans at the moment, right down to being in Opposition. Similarities may end there. I'm concerned because we need a good Opposition to make our Government actually act - we had a mess previously where our Opposition wasn't strong at all.

I am also surprised that we haven't seen anything else on this here, sorry if it's already been posted about, but it's been a mess for the last week. I did check through the last few posts but may have missed it.

Also if you're interested, it's being widely discussed on Twitter under the hashtag "#spill"
¤ tell me that i'm satisfied
  • schmiss

Shenanigans Friday: November 27, 2009.

“I don't know a lot about LOLitics, but I can recognise a good party man when I see one”. --Mae West
Please exploit these resources:
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MOAR Picture Sources:

by rinygrin
Christian Bale

Best Buy criticized for Muslim holiday greeting

DENVER, Colo. - "Merry Christmas" is off-limits, but "Happy Eid al-Adha" is apparently okay.

Best Buy is raising eyebrows with a Black Friday ad which extends a holiday greeting to Muslims for the annual Eid-al-Adha holiday, or in English, the "Festival of Sacrifice," which coincides with the Thanksgiving weekend this year.

In 2006, the consumer electronics giant drew criticism when it began excluding the words "Merry Christmas" from its holiday print advertising, opting instead for a more universal "Happy Holidays." (view snopes entry)

The inclusion of the Muslim greeting has ignited a firestorm of criticism, particularly online.

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Cross your legs guys

A LEGAL drug known as 'meow meow' led one lad to rip off his own SCROTUM, police said today.

The lad hallucinated for 18 hours and mutilated himself because he believed centipedes were crawling over his body and biting him.

Cops warned people to stay away from the drug Mephedrone which is sold legally on the internet as PLANT FERTILISER.

Its chemical formula is one molecule different to ecstasy and as such dealers are claiming is not a controlled substance.

It is more commonly known on the streets as "drone", "bubble", "meow meow" or "legal high".

Durham Police are warning that its use can result in severe nose bleeds, nose burns, hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety and paranoia, fits, delusions and can lead to a heart attack.

But a police report - some of which was based on online forums about the drug - revealed a lad in Durham had tried to rip off his testicles after taking it.


The Durham Police report states: "A large number of contributors state how addictive mephedrone is and they are constantly topping up as one individual states that after using it for 18 hours his hallucinations led him to believe that centipedes were crawling over him and biting him.

"This led him to receive hospital treatment after he ripped his scrotum off."

Cops warned the drug can also become addictive and taken with alcohol or cut with other drugs it could result in death.

Police said five young people had been admitted to hospital in County Durham in recent weeks after taking mephedrone.

In Sweden an 18-year-old died from taking the drug and it has now been banned there, as well as Israel, Norway and Finland.

Source does not want.
  • Current Mood

(no subject)

Conservatives shouldn’t just allow same-sex marriage. They should insist on it.

The conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks made that argument in a 2003 column, and the liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. recalled his words when he was in Providence on Nov. 8 to speak at the Central Congregational Church.

Brooks’ argument is worth revisiting now that Governor Carcieri, a conservative Republican and Catholic who opposes same-sex marriage, has vetoed a bill that would give domestic partners the right to claim the bodies of — and make funeral arrangements for — their loved ones. The bill passed the House and Senate by a combined vote of 101 to 1. (Only Rep. Arthur J. Corvese, D-North Providence, voted against it.) Two days after the controversial veto, Carcieri told a gay-rights group he was open to a domestic-partnership law bestowing many if not all the rights of marriage, without the right to marry.

Dionne, who describes himself as a progressive Catholic, said he used to oppose same-sex marriage while favoring civil-rights laws protecting gay people. “I’m not going to say anybody who is against gay marriage is a bigot because I once held that position myself,” he said in an interview.

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garf tired

Iran Censured at UN Nuclear Meeting

VIENNA — In a blow to Iran, the board of the U.N. nuclear agency on Friday overwhelmingly backed a demand from the U.S., Russia, China and three other powers that Tehran immediately stop building its newly revealed nuclear facility and freeze uranium enrichment.

Iranian officials shrugged off approval of the resolution by 25 members of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. But the U.S. and its allies hinted of new U.N. sanctions if Tehran remains defiant.

The West said some time remained for Tehran to come around and accept a specific offer that would delay its ability to make a nuclear weapon as well as engage in broader talks with the ultimate goal of persuading it to mothball its enrichment program.

But that window of opportunity would not stay open indefinitely, officials said.

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Feminist and gay rights causes have a lot in common

The people in Maine who recently voted against the legalization of gay marriage are on the wrong side of history. At some point they will be embarrassed and unable to explain why they used to believe that two people who loved each other shouldn’t have their relationship recognized by the state just because they were gay.

“That’s just the way it was back then,” they’ll say.

We won’t hear much from them in the future any more than we hear from the people who screamed at the black children integrating the school in Little Rock, Ark. Some hatred and ignorance will likely live on but it will be driven underground.

Those in the movement to legalize gay marriage have occasionally compared their effort to the civil rights movement as they fight to overcome homophobia and bigotry. It is understandable since the civil rights movement was powerful, spellbinding and successful in many ways. Furthermore, the similarity between the ban on gay marriage and the ban on interracial marriage is impossible to ignore.

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Evil ACORN To Get Funding. Conservatives GO NUTS!

Justice Department Says Acorn Can Be Paid for Pre-Ban Contracts

The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group.

The department’s conclusion, laid out in a recently disclosed five-page memorandum from David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, adds a new wrinkle to a sharp political debate over the antipoverty group’s activities and recent efforts to distance the government from it.
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Switzerland's Rightwingers No Different Than America's Rightwingers.

Minaret Ban In Switzerland Set For A Vote

The campaign posters are inflammatory: Minarets rising like missiles from the national flag.

A proposal championed by right-wing parties to ban minarets in Switzerland goes to a nationwide vote on Sunday in a referendum that has set off an emotional debate about national identity and stirred fears of boycotts and violent reactions from Muslim countries.

With tensions running high, the Geneva Mosque was vandalized Thursday by unidentified individuals who threw a pot of pink paint at the building's entrance.

It was the third incident against the mosque this month: earlier, a vehicle with a loudspeaker drove through the area imitating a muezzin's call to prayer, and vandals threw cobble stones at the building, damaging a mosaic.

Business leaders say a minaret ban would be disastrous for the Swiss economy because it could drive away wealthy Muslims who bank in Switzerland, buy the country's luxury goods, and frequent its resorts.

The vote taps into anxieties about Muslims that have been rippling through Europe in recent years, ranging from French fears of women in body veils to Dutch alarm over the murder by a Muslim fanatic of a filmmaker who made a documentary that criticized Islam.

Polls indicate growing support for the proposal submitted by the anti-immigrant Swiss People's Party, but it was doubtful it will gain enough momentum to pass. Muslims in Switzerland have kept a low profile, refraining from a counter-campaign.

"Switzerland's good reputation as an open, tolerant and secure country may be lost and this would bring a blow to tourism,"
said Swiss Hotel Association spokesman Thomas Allemann.
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