RizWords – News of Note
Episode 22 – download now

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A lot of random round-up news today, and horrible technical issues. The mystery hum and bandwidth issues were tracked down to:
A) a few pieces of spyware that were taking up the bandwidth, and …
B) a dying sound card. I salvaged a SBLive CT4830 and threw that into my main machine that fixed the problem completely.

Unfortunately, due to these issues, I missed a couple deadlines on some projects this week. Thankfully, they were able to put off our presentations till Monday.

Here were the stories we discussed. Leading it was a bit of overlooked news out of North Korea:

North Korea ready to compromise with US
AP. Pyongyang: North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator told US envoys yesterday his government would invite UN nuclear inspectors into the country the moment $25 million (Dh91.7 million) in disputed North Korean funds are released.

And in other Asian news, a bit of followup from the Malaysian Blogger crackdown:

Malaysia Decides Not To Force Bloggers To Register
Following last week’s news of a proposal in Malaysia to force bloggers to register with the government, it appears that common sense has won out. There were clearly some politicians who recognized registering bloggers wasn’t a very good idea (and was merely a kneejerk reaction to some trouble some politicians had had with critical bloggers). So it’s good to see that those politicians effectively got that point across and the plan to force bloggers to register has been rejected. The government still warned bloggers not to publish “rumors” or “offensive remarks” because existing laws will be used against them — but said that forcing them to actually register was unlikely to be an effective tool.

In other ‘governmental abuse news’:

Police Objecting to Tickets From Red-Light Cameras
caffiend666 writes “According to a Dallas Morning News article, any ‘Dallas police officer in a marked squad car who is captured on the city’s cameras running a red light will have to pay the $75 fine if the incident doesn’t comply with state law … Many police officers are angry about the proposed policy. The prevailing belief among officers has been that they can run red lights as they see fit.’ Is this a case for or against governments relying on un-biased automated systems? Or, should anyone be able to control who is recorded on camera and who is held accountable?”

Probably the worst example of ‘freedom of speech’ stuff:

MySpace Accused Of Trampling Man’s Right To ‘Use Site In Peace’
MySpace is at the center of another free-speech case, only this time it’s the one that’s alleged to be doing the infringing. A Missouri man has sued MySpace (unsurprisingly, pro se) for infringing his freedom of speech by “arbitrarily deleting TWO profiles” established by the man and a host of other complaints, including violating his “freedom to use the social networking site in peace”. We’re still looking through our copy of the Constitution to find the part about the right to use social-networking services, but maybe we’ve got an old version. Never mind that we thought the part about freedom of speech really only applied to the government; we weren’t aware that it also meant private companies had to provide anyone and everyone with a platform to speak, and ensure it conforms to that person’s every wish. They guy’s stolen a few pages out of MySpace founder Brad Greenspan’s playbook, and his blog-comment threats to bankrupt MySpace, bulldoze its headquarters and turn the area into a housing estate — and then to sway Fox News’ coverage even further to the right — would seem to suggest that this case will meet the same kind of response as Greenspan’s.

And speaking of peace… LiveJournal is going to miss you, Kurt:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Dies At 84
At least twenty-two readers took the trouble to make sure we knew that Kurt Vonnegut has died at 84. From the Times obituary: “Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘Cat’s Cradle’ and ‘God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater’ caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan… Mr. Vonnegut suffered irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago, according to his wife, Jill Krementz.” Reader SPK adds: “He will be remembered not only as a great writer, but also as a staunch civil libertarian (long-term member of the ACLU) and as a ‘mainstream/literary’ author who integrated science fiction concepts into his writing. So it goes.”


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