Links for 30th June 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Can You Make a Board Game About the Holocaust?

    "Brathwaite created “Train” to explore the tragedy and devastation of the Holocaust. It made its debut last month at the Games for Change conference in New York City. Players load boxcars with tiny yellow figurines and are asked to move the trains from one end of the course to the other. They pull cards that either impede their progress or free some of the characters. Once a train reaches the “finish line,” the game is completed and it is revealed that the destination of the trains is Auschwitz. Nobody “wins.”"

    Tagged with: artgamesholocaustawarenessphilosophy

  2. NHS restrictions prompt fertility tourism boom

    "Hundreds of women over the age of 40 are travelling to fertility clinics in Europe to try to get pregnant because NHS clinics in the UK will not take them, the first-ever Europe-wide study of fertility tourism shows.

    The research shows considerable movement across Europe, with women seeking out procedures that are banned in their own country. Italian women are crossing the border in droves following tough legal restrictions on IVF imposed in 2004, while large numbers of gay French women bypass a ban by seeking treatment in Belgium."

    Tagged with: ukfertilitytreatmenttourismlaweconomics

  3. More idle musing about the New Depression

    "*It make you wonder if the world is getting *too old* to support
    utopian fanaticism and uniformed political street violence. I’d hate to be
    proven wrong about this — especially by angry guys with jackboots and clubs –
    but can a jackbooted, street-stomping fascism seize power in a society
    where the median age is in the 40s? How about when most everybody is in
    their 50s? You know, a screaming Nuremberg rally of seasoned, gray-haired guys in
    relaxed-fit pants. Is that idea plausible?

    *Could it be that we just don’t go there any more? Not because we’re any smarter, but because we lack the brio." Chairman Bruce thinking positive.

    Tagged with: economicspoliticswarfanaticismglobalcultureprogresspositivity

  4. China outlaws virtual currency for real-world items

    "So will this law hurt the gold farming industry? It's hard to say at the moment, but common sense says that with so many people making so much money from the practice, the gold farming business has its own momentum that makes enforcing legislation a challenge. Minors will no longer be able to buy gold or other in-game currencies with actual money, and the selling of the in-game cash for real-world money seems to run afoul of the new rules. The loophole? Gamers could still use the gold to buy in-game items, which could then be sold to other players to be converted back into gold. That adds an extra layer of complexity for selling in-game money, but shows how easily the law can be subverted."

    Tagged with: ChinainternetmetaversecurrencyeconomicslawMMOGs

  5. China delays launch of internet filter Green Dam

    "The Guardian struggled to find a single retailer who had Green Dam either installed or bundled with computers.

    Adding to the mystery, Lenovo, Sony, Dell and Hewlett Packard refused to comment on whether their PCs are now being shipped with the software, as the government ordered them to do last month.

    The government says the software is necessary to clear the Chinese web of "harmful content". But critics say it is a misguided attempt to put the internet genie back in the bottle by a Communist party that now has to answer to about 300 million web users."

    Tagged with: internetChinacensorshipGree-Dampeer-pressuretransparencynation-states

  6. U.K. Employs ‘Naughty Boys’ to Battle Other Hackers

    "Lord West referenced the controversy obliquely when a reporter asked him about the possibility that Britain might use its cyber warfare capabilities to conduct electronic espionage. How could the U.K. criticize other countries for using electronic espionage, if it used such tactics itself, he was asked.

    “I think that coordinated attacks on a regular basis to try and get industrial information from a nation is wrong,” he replied." Guy spins like a pilled-up DJ.

    Tagged with: UKhackingGCHQcomputersecurityinflitrationcyberwarespionage

  7. Biofuels could clean up Chernobyl ‘badlands’

    "The company, Greenfield Project Management, insists no radioactive material will get into the biofuel as only ethanol is distilled out. "In distillation, only the most volatile compounds rise up the tube. Everything else is left behind," says Basil Miller of Greenfield. The heavy radioactive residues will be burned in a power station, producing a concentrated "radioactive ash". This can be disposed of at existing treatment works for nuclear waste, he says." What could possibly go wrong?

    Tagged with: nuclearwasteChernobylbiofuelsecosystemagricultureethanolbusiness

  8. Scientists create first electronic quantum processor

    "For example, imagine having four phone numbers, including one for a friend, but not knowing which number belonged to that friend. You would typically have to try two to three numbers before you dialed the right one. A quantum processor, on the other hand, can find the right number in only one try.

    "Instead of having to place a phone call to one number, then another number, you use quantum mechanics to speed up the process," Schoelkopf said. "It's like being able to place one phone call that simultaneously tests all four numbers, but only goes through to the right one."" Headphuck.

    Tagged with: sciencephysicsquantumcomputingprocessorsinfrastructuretechnology

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