Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for July, 2012

Pay Up!!!

Posted by Boghound on July 31, 2012

Speeding biker has $19,000 in fines

A N.L. motorcyclist caught going 219 km/h in a 100 km/h zone also owes $19,000 in fines, police say.

The 33-year-old man was stopped for speeding Thursday night. He was charged with impaired driving, and ticketed for speeding and using an unregistered vehicle.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said the man’s motorcycle was seized after he was stopped at a red light.

The man is to appear in court at a later date. Police said he is currently on a plan to pay off his outstanding fines

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Trading Up??

Posted by Boghound on July 30, 2012

Kentucky Mom Accused of Trading Newborn Son for Truck

She sold the truck for $800 and meth, police said

A Kentucky mother traded her newborn son for a truck, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, WKYT -TV reported.

Heather Kaminskey, 30, handed her baby to Jamie and Jeremy Brown in January and then sold the truck for $800 plus some meth, according to police.

Police said they discovered the scheme when Kaminskey tried sell the vehicle. They arrested the Browns and charged them with human trafficking. The baby boy appeared to be well taken care of, investigators said.

Kaminskey, police said, might be in Florida and they are hoping to obtain warrants for her arrest. She apparently called neighbors of the Browns on Thursday and told them that she’s distraught over what happened and that she wants to return to Kentucky, WKYT reported.

In other baby-for-sale news, a Philadelphia dad said to be desperate for some quick cash to buy drugs tried to sell his baby girl on Friday, police sources and neighbors told NBC Philadelphia.

A couple he approached called police and another neighbor pretended he was going to buy the 6-month old baby until police arrived to arrest the man, NBC Philadelphia reported. The baby was taken to a hospital to be checked out.

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Is Their Anyone There?

Posted by Boghound on July 29, 2012

Judge Overturns Town’s Fortunetelling Ban

Judge rules fortunetelling is free speech protected by the First Amendment

All signs point to good times for psychics again.

A federal judge struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell’s ruling Wednesday concurred with a magistrate’s conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Rachel Adams is a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn’t charge for her services. She sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500.

The city argued the business of fortunetelling is a fraud and inherently deceptive, but U.S. Magistrate James Kirk concluded that fortunetelling is free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Adams told The Town Talk newspaper last year that she is a fifth-generation psychic.

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Let Me Out!!!!

Posted by Boghound on July 28, 2012

Four-year-old boy gets stuck inside arcade machine

Four-year-old boy gets stuck in arcade machine as he crawls inside to retrieve toy.

A boy celebrating his fourth birthday got trapped inside an arcade machine when he crawled in to try and grab a teddy.

Aiden Moore squeezed through a ten-inch gap in the grabbing machine before he realised there was no way back.

His six-year-old brother, Coen, raised the alarm but it took staff half an hour to find the key needed to release him.

Aiden was with his parents, Darran Moore, 45, and Gemma Sherepita, 27, at Dawlish Sands Holiday Park in Devon when he spied the machine in the arcade building.

After failing to win a soft dog toy with the grabber he climbed inside the hatch.

Miss Sherepita, from Hereford, said: "Coen came running up to me and Darran laughing his socks off and told us Aiden was stuck in the grabbing machine.

"We were a bit concerned because we assumed he meant he had his arm stuck in the opening.

"But when I got round to the machine there he was, sat inside, with this big grin on his face as he held his new teddy under his arm.

"I was a little worried at first but he was perfectly fine in there, eventually a crowd of people gathered to see what was going on and Aiden was loving the attention."

Miss Sherepita said staff at the holiday park grew increasingly concerned because they couldn’t find the key but her son was not scared.

"When the staff finally found the key the crowd gave Aiden a round of applause as he was lifted out," she said.

"I was just gobsmacked that he had had the cheek to climb in there to get what he wanted. I’ll be watching him a bit more carefully now."

Mr Moore, an engineer, added: "I have no idea how he got himself in there, the gap was only just wider than his shoulders.

"The door flap opens outwards to let the teddies fall through so he must have had quite a job getting in, there was no space for manoeuvre.

"There isn’t a scratch on him now, which is amazing."

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Play The Game?

Posted by Boghound on July 27, 2012

Father holds Microsoft accountable for son’s £1,150 Xbox Live bill

A father discovered that his son had accumulated £1,150 ($1,800) in charges on Xbox Live and is now holding Microsoft to blame.

The Daily Mail reports that the 12-year-old boy thought he was using in-game currency earned from killing enemies in a Call of Duty title and scoring goals in a FIFA football game.

Instead, the purchases were made using his father’s credit card, which was stored on the system when the family paid for an Xbox Live subscription so that the boy could play games online with his friends from school.

The father, Sam Ghera, only discovered the charges on his credit card when he went to the bank and found that his account had been overdrawn.

"When I went through my statement I saw that they were charges for Xbox Live," he said.

"I didn’t even know that it was storing my information, and even if that thought had entered my head I would have thought there would be something in place so it wasn’t so easy to spend money."

No password is required to make purchases over Xbox Live using credit card information stored on the system.

It should be noted though that the system does offer parental controls which can block child and teen accounts from making purchases over Xbox Live.

Making a purchase on Xbox Live always brings up a pop-up window asking the user to confirm that they are making a purchase with their credit card. However, this is often confusing to users since they are technically buying Microsoft points, a virtual currency that can then be used to obtain downloadable content, rather than the items themselves.

It is unclear exactly what was purchased with the Microsoft points charged to the account. The Daily Mail reports that it was spent on additional weapons for Call of Duty and player enhancements in FIFA, however those are not items offered to purchase over Xbox Live.

There are several multiplayer map packs for the various Call of Duty titles and downloadable expansions available for the FIFA football games, however all downloadable in-game content combined across all titles in those franchises totals less than £300.

It is advised that parents take advantage of the parental control settings included on video game consoles.

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Puff, Puff Puffins!!

Posted by Boghound on July 26, 2012

It’s something for puffin at seaside town

YOUNG puffins have invaded a seaside town, with one bird found waddling along a corridor at a hotel and another turning up at a car showroom.

The fledgling puffins or “pufflings” are normally resident this time of year on islands in the Firth of Forth such as the iconic Bass Rock, but experts say the birds are being attracted by the bright lights of nearby North Berwick.

The coastal East Lothian resort is the base of the Scottish Seabird Centre, where staff have been advising residents on how to deal with the visitors. Recently, a puffling, since named “Buddy” by the team at the centre, was found wandering the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa.

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Whistle Up A Storm?

Posted by Boghound on July 25, 2012

Wolf whistles silenced

They have long been thought of as places best avoided for attractive women if they wanted to avoid the unwelcome attentions of red-blooded workmen – but now it seems the sound of wolf whistles emanating from building sites is becoming a thing of the past.

A new survey shows that three quarters of tradesmen, including roofers, plasterers and construction workers no longer believe it is appropriate.

The research found that 56% would not wolf whistle because they believe the practice is sexist and chauvinistic.

But the reasons for the changing attitude were not all so high-minded. The poll showed a further 19% would also avoid the cat call – but only because they were worried that they might be sued for sexual harassment.

They may have reason to fear official censure – last year two builders in Hertfordshire were suspended by their employer after a man accused them of wolfwhistling at his wife.

Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, which commissioned the poll, said: “The research reveals changing attitudes to acceptable behaviour in the workplace, with people labelling behaviour other generations might have tolerated as outdated and inappropriate.

"It appears the days of women being wolf whistled at as they pass building or construction sites are dying out. Attitudes regarding acceptable behaviour towards members of the opposite sex continue to evolve and it appears for many the wolf whistle represents a time long past.”

However the figures suggest that the ribald chorus has not yet been consigned entirely to history – with one in four still apparently not finding anything wrong with it.

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A Vendetta?

Posted by Boghound on July 24, 2012

Iceland Warned of WikiLeaks Vendetta

The country is currently conducting a judicial review as to how its police ended up carrying out a bizarre unauthorized raid on Kim Dotcom, the cyberlocker’s owner. The officers who carried out the police raids on Dotcom’s house will have to take the stand in order to give evidence for the judicial review.

So far it is known that the warrants were issued on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in its turn was acting as enforcer for the US entertainment industry. However, the warrants were ruled illegal last week by High Court judge. The latter also claimed that it was against the law to take the copies of Kim’s personal computer to the United States.

According to the local media, Kim Dotcom requires an independent lawyer to pass through the seized evidence and give all irrelevant content back to him. The authorities of the United States have charged Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues in the United States with numerous copyright offences and are currently trying to extradite him. Meanwhile, Dotcom’s lawyers want an independent lawyer to be appointed by the court to go through the evidence and decide which of its part is important.

Crown lawyer John Pike, appearing for the Attorney General, agreed that sorting the mess out wasn’t simple, with part of the problem being that the Crown was working for a foreign government.

The US is worried that allowing for an independent barrister it would give him “disproportionate authority”. It means that they fear he won’t let them have evidence which they really need to make a case against the MegaUpload founder.

The important part of the problem is that this case is “breaking new ground” in extradition legislation in the country. First of all, the judicial review of the search warrants’ legality is an entirely new feature of an extradition case. Secondly, another decision by a district court judge to allow disclosure to Kim Dotcom meant that the suspects suddenly have more rights now: at least, they can hear what evidence the authorities have against them to ruin their life.

Of course, the Feds are appealing this point – they believe that such governments as New Zealand’s one must turn over any person the US names as a suspect to face a kangaroo court in the United States without presenting any evidence.

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Well….Here’s A Surprise!!

Posted by Boghound on July 23, 2012

Advertising Sustains Online Piracy

Search giant Google, in co-operation with PRS for Music, has carried out a study titled “The 6 Business Models For Copyright Infringement”. So, what did they find out?

The report revealed that a key source of revenues for the services “believed by the largest copyright owners to be massively facilitating copyright violation” is advertising. However, this will surely start a heated debate instead of calming things down.

The study was based on a research made by Detica and the information offered by the Premier League, FACT, UKIE and The Publishers Associations. The report classifies piracy portals into six groups: live TV gateways, embedded streaming, peer-to-peer groups, music transaction, subscription groups, and rewarded freemium.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of interesting discoveries about the music sector. One of them emphasizes the importance of advertising (funding 86% of P2P community portals). Another one reveals the importance of search engines for music transaction services, which means that their users usually find out about the portal through a search engine.

The study in question indicates that there are a lot of various business models for Internet infringement that can be tackled if the industries co-operate. The collected evidence suggests that one of the most efficient ways to do so is to follow the money, looking for those advertisers who prefer to earn money from such services and working with payment providers in order to make sure they realize how their services are used.

The head of the PRS for Music hopes the result of the study will reach the government of the United Kingdom and other countries. He says that the portals involved in copyright violation are mainly businesses with real costs and revenue sources, which receive subscription and advertising revenue. On the other hand, those services have to pay their server or hosting costs. The only problem is that they don’t pay the creators of the material on which their businesses depend.

As you can see, the business models of the copyright infringers are different, and the authorities now have the evidence to realize which policy levers they need to apply to solve the problem of piracy and deal with those strategies efficiently.

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Canadian Piracy?

Posted by Boghound on July 22, 2012

Anti-Piracy Outfits Call Canada to Adopt New Laws

For the last 7 years, the Canadians have struggled to keep their copyright legislation clean from the foreign influences. However, now the entertainment industry is once again trying to meddle with the local copyright legislation.

For instance, the country’s Intellectual Property lead lobby group, which represents the interests of music, film, software and pharmaceutical organizations, has published a new policy document in order to establish the legislative priorities. This move breaks our hopes that SOPA and ACTA are dead and buried. The Canadian government isn’t going to apply the exact rules established by those two bills, but is rather considering the alternative of enforcing rules similar to them. The rules include blocking online services, massive surveillance, and whatever else sounds good for the industries.

Local entertainment industry recommends the government to include the version of SOPA and implement ACTA, allow for new searches power without court permission and criminalize the Intellectual Property theft.

Despite the fact that there were massive boycotts against the above mentioned bills all over Europe and respectively the United States (which eventually managed to convince lawmakers and lobbyists to refuse from their support), the largest corporate lobbyists aren’t going to change this tactic or just consider people’s opinion. Instead, the lobbyists are still doing their best to push such laws, hoping that they will eventually be accepted.

In case all or a part of their recommendations will somehow be implemented, the country will receive one of the most aggressive and oppressive regimes throughout the globe from the file-sharing point of view.

What is the most interesting is that the industry also demands to invest into a copyright police force, while the UN envoy revealed that some citizens in the country are even unable to afford food!

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