New submitter Likes Microsoft writes "Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a Net Neutrality bill aimed at ISPs using data caps soley for profiteering purposes, rather than the 'traffic management' purpose they often claim. The text of the bill is available at Wyden's Senate page. It would require ISPs to be certified by the FCC before implementing data caps. It says, in part, 'The [FCC] shall evaluate a data cap proposed by an Internet service provider to determine whether the data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage use of the Internet.' In a statement, Wyden said, 'Americans are increasingly tethered to the Internet and connecting more devices to it, but they don’t really have the tools to effectively manage data consumption across their networks. Data caps create challenges for consumers and run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy...

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This story is almost too bizarre to believe. Journalist David Axe wrote a graphic novel about "the Lord's Resistance Army" rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (which many people may be aware of due to the controversial viral "Kony 2012" story from earlier this year). No matter what you think of the situation with Kony, it seems bizarre that the book itself (which is just about Kony) should be declared a product of a terrorist organization and the money associated with it frozen. But... that's apparently what happened .
In 2010 I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to report on the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. In 2011 I wrote a graphic novel script based on my reporting and artist Tim Hamilton agreed to draw it. Cartoonist Matt Bors edited the story and early this year the Dutch Website Cartoon Movement serialized the...

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Layzej writes "The Associated Press reports: 'In 2012 many of the warnings scientists have made about global warming went from dry studies in scientific journals to real-life video played before our eyes. As 2012 began, winter in the U.S. went AWOL. Spring and summer arrived early with wildfires, blistering heat and drought. And fall hit the eastern third of the country with the ferocity of Superstorm Sandy. Globally, five countries this year set heat records, but none set cold records. 2012 is on track to be the warmest year on record in the United States. Worldwide, the average through November suggests it will be the eighth warmest since global record-keeping began in 1880 and will likely beat 2011 as the hottest La Nina year on record. America's heartland lurched from one extreme to the other without stopping at "normal." Historic flooding in 2011 gave way to devastating drought in 2012....

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It's really amazing how fearful people who don't understand technology are of anyone who has any connection to file sharing, no matter how remote. Over in Sweden, an appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling absolving a web designer of any liability for designing the StudentBay -- a torrenting site for educational material -- and decided that because he designed the site, he must be liable for what users did on the site . This goes beyond secondary liability into some sort of weird tertiary liability. It already seems odd to blame the operators of the site for actions taken by its users, but now we're holding the graphic designers responsible too? It's a sort of scorched earth policy from people who don't seem to understand how the internet works, and who just seem to want to "destroy everything." Of course, the end result...

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Spy Handler writes "According to PC Mag, 'Facebook is testing a feature that will let select users pay $1 to send messages to people with whom they have no connection on the social network. The $1 fee will open a thread with a non-Facebook friend. If that person replies to your note, you won't have to pay again to respond to them.' Facebook explained the test thus: 'Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful. This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you...

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crimperman writes "The U.K. government is planning to change their copyright laws to give 'greater freedom' on usage. The Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills say the new measures 'include provisions to allow copying of works for personal use parody and for the purposes of quotation.' (There is currently no 'fair use' law in the U.K.) They also say the provisions 'allow people to use copyright works for a variety of ... purposes without permission from the copyright owners,' and 'bring up to date the provisions for education use.' A sensible copyright law from the U.K.? What are the chances of this getting through?"...

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It's been frequently posited that the US is slowly becoming a police state, what with the near-constant surveillance of citizens, the " Constitution-free" zone surrounding our borders, the endless hassles of attempting to board a plane, NYC's controversial " stop-and-frisk " program, and the many security agencies that either were created or greatly expanded post-9/11.

Apparently, "slowly becoming" a police state isn't fast enough for the police department of Paragould, Arkansas. In response to an increase in crime, the Paragould PD will be deploying armed officers into high crime areas, clad in SWAT gear, to check IDs on any residents they happen to encounter .
[Police Chief] Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.

"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s...

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