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United Kingdom

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK 470

Posted by timothy
from the we-know-what-you-were-thinking dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from the UK, as reported by Ars Technica: A 39-year-old UK man has been convicted of possessing illegal cartoon drawings of young girls exposing themselves in school uniforms and engaging in sex acts. The case is believed to be the UK's first prosecution of illegal manga and anime images. Local media said that Robul Hoque was sentenced last week to nine months' imprisonment, though the sentence is suspended so long as the defendant does not break the law again. Police seized Hoque's computer in 2012 and said they found nearly 400 such images on it, none of which depicted real people but were illegal nonetheless because of their similarity to child pornography. Hoque was initially charged with 20 counts of illegal possession but eventually pled guilty to just 10 counts.
Businesses

Amazon's Plan To Storm the Cable Industry's Castle 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-the-next-espn dept.
Randy Davis sends analysis of Amazon's acquisition of Twitch.tv, a move that indicates higher ambitions than simply another avenue for putting products in front of consumers. The Daily Herald think this is a sign Amazon is bulking up for a fight with cable companies, strengthening is bargaining position for getting (and maintaining) access to subscribers. "There are very few places in the U.S. where these four giant carriers allow independent networks carrying traffic from the data centers run by Amazon (and future Twitch.tv successors) to put that data on the carriers' controlled networks."

A related article at the NY Times argues Amazon is "betting on content," not wanting to fall behind the surge of new media productions from companies like Netflix. "There is a huge land grab for nontraditional models of programming. DreamWorks Animation bought AwesomenessTV, a popular YouTube channel, last year, and in March, Disney snatched up Maker Studios, a video supplier for YouTube, while Peter Chernin, formerly president of News Corporation, has invested in Crunchyroll, a streaming hub of anime. All of these deals are about content, but they are also a hedge, a way of exploring other production protocols that don’t involve prominent stars, agents and expensive producers." A different piece at The Motley Fool takes the acquisition as confirmation Amazon is developing its own ad network.
Graphics

My Neighbor Totoro In Virtual Reality 45

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-viewmaster dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nick Pitton, the developer behind the Spirited Away Boiler Room VR experience, has released his second project: the bus stop scene from Studio Ghibli's famous movie My Neighbor Totoro, once again in virtual reality for the Oculus Rift. Pittom 'hand-painted' the textures in Photoshop to recreated the painted-background feel of the movie. For the characters (Totoro and the Catbus) he used a cel-shaded approached to approximate the animated look from the movie. For his next project, he plans to recreate the ship and characters from the acclaimed anime Cowboy Bebop."
Facebook

The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-get-back-to-business-as-usual dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking to The Verge, author and Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd put words to a feeling I've had about Facebook and other social networking sites for a while, now: 'The era of Facebook is an anomaly.' She continues, 'The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird. Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space. Fragmentation is a more natural state of being. Is your social dynamic interest-driven or is it friendship-driven? Are you going there because there's this place where other folks are really into anime, or is this the place you're going because it's where your pals from school are hanging out? That first [question] is a driving function.' Personally, I hope this idea continues to propagate — it's always seemed odd that our social network identities are locked into certain websites. Imagine being a Comcast customer and being unable to email somebody using Time Warner, or a T-Mobile subscriber who can't call somebody who's on Verizon. Why do we allow this with our social networks?"
Sci-Fi

Interview: Bruce Sterling Answers Your Questions 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the straight-from-the-bruce's-mouth dept.
Last week you had a chance to ask "Chairman Bruce" about the state of sci-fi, dystopian futures, and the modern surveillance state. Below you'll find his answers to those questions, including who would win if he fought William Gibson and Neal Stephenson in a no-holds-barred battle.
Anime

Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties 286

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-directly-to-jail dept.
eldavojohn writes "Although downloading songs without paying for them in Japan used to be a civil offense starting in 2010, it is now a crime with new penalties of up to two years in prison or fines of up to two million yen ($25,700). The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA). The BBC notes this applies to both music and video downloads which may put anime studios in a particularly uncomfortable position."
Anime

Company Unveils Personalized Anime Robot Girl 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-so-very-lonely dept.
MrSeb writes "It seems, as a culture, we have a deep-seated interest in robots and automatons, and if we can love an animal or other non-humanoid creature, what's to stop us from falling in love with a robot? Introducing Meka Robotics' S2 Humanoid Head: It has seven degrees of freedom, high-resolution FireWire cameras in each eye, zero-backlash Harmonic Drive gearing in the neck, and a ton of unnervingly-human movements and postures. She weighs 7.6kg (16.7lbs), has a pair of luminous, waggling doggy-like ears, and can be attached to a Meka torso and arm, if you prefer your robots to be slightly more corporeal. The girly, anime face is just a custom skin, incidentally: Meka will customize the shell to look like anything you desire. We're told that they value their client's confidentiality — and more importantly they don't judge. Powered by the open-source and extensible M3 control software, the S2 head (and body and arm) could be quite easily upgraded to use Hooman Samani's artificial endocrine and psychological models — and if you had the choice of falling in love with an amorphous, decidedly odd-looking furball, or a cute, perky anime girl, which would you choose?"
Japan

The Quake Through Eyes of Slashdot Japan 265

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gonna-get-worse-before-it-gets-better dept.
I suspect most of you are not aware that Slashdot has an editorially independent counterpart in Japan. After the recent Quake and Tsunami, I asked my counterpart over there, Shuji Sado, if he would share with us something from Slashdot.jp. What follows is a collection of translated reader comments from your parallel selves in Japan. I want to wish all the Slashdot JP employees and readers the best of luck. Know that you have friends here. Hit the link below to read what it's like there right now.
Japan

Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Says Japanese Government Study 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the eyes-bigger-than-stomach dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new study seems to confirm what a lot of the Slashdot crowd thinks, and the opposite of what the **AAs say: 'A prestigious economics think-tank of the Japanese government has published a study which concludes that online piracy of anime shows actually increases sales of DVDs. The conclusion stands in sharp contrast with the entertainment industry's claims that "illicit" downloading is leading to billions of dollars in losses worldwide. It also puts the increased anti-piracy efforts of the anime industry in doubt.' More specifically, '(1) YouTube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny [a popular P2P program in Japan] file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales.'"
Idle

Sisters Stage Combat Tournament To Find Men To Date 1

Posted by samzenpus
from the punch-in-the-heart dept.
Straight from the plot of a dozen anime movies and at least 2 video games, Xiao Lin, and little sister Yin will stage a three day fighting festival to find men worth dating. Potential suitors must first show off their archery skills, then carry heavy weights over sharpened bamboo spears, and finally defeat one of the sisters in full contact combat. "They can chose open hand or any weapon they wish but we won't be holding back. If they can't beat us they aren't worthy," explained Lin. "We tried dating agencies but the men we met were all to weak. We could beat them easily," said Yin.
Image

Superheroes vs. the Westboro Baptist Church 631 Screenshot-sm

Posted by kdawson
from the is-this-thing-on dept.
sv_libertarian writes "They've faced down humans time and time again, but Fred Phelps and his minions from the Westboro Baptist Church were not ready for the cosplay action that awaited them at Comic-Con. After all, who can win against a counter-protest that includes robots, magical anime girls, Trekkies, Jedi, and... kittens?"
Image

Life-size Eva Unit 01 Being Built In Japan 80 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the summon-godzilla dept.
JoshuaInNippon writes "Japan has gone life-size anime model crazy. Last year there was the robotic 1:1 Gundam model that guarded Tokyo for a few months in the summer to mark the series' 30th anniversary, and then there was the giant Gigantor moment that opened in Kobe in the fall in honor of the city's rejuvenation from the devastating 1995 earthquake. Now, an amusement park near Mt. Fuji named Fuji-Q Highland is building an Eva Unit 01 from the popular Neon Genesis Evangelion series, or at least a bust of it, in conjunction with the series' recent movies. The bust will sit in a replica hanger, and reportedly stand around 9 meters tall. Visitors will have the chance, for a little extra money, to have their photo taken in the unit's cockpit, where the series' protagonist-of-sorts Shinji Ikari normally sits. The attraction is set to a cost of over US$1.6 million to build, and open on July 23 of this year. It will also undoubtedly be swamped by crazed fans looking the opportunity to bring their anime dreams to life."
Canada

CBSA Reveals Some Laptop Search Info, But Not Much 151

Posted by kdawson
from the nothing-to-declare dept.
gmcmullen writes "The Canada Border Service Agency took its time getting documents on its policy for border searches of laptops to the BC Civil Liberties Association in response to an Access to Information request the BCCLA filed in October 2009. When the reply did come through, there wasn't much there. The documents were heavily redacted and whole sections of the Access to Information request were ignored, including requests for information on the number of laptops searched and policies for copying data from electronic devices. We did learn that the CBSA knows that 500 megabytes is roughly equivalent to 'a pickup truck full of books,' and use Windows-only software called ICWhatUC to scan for images. Documents also revealed that the CBSA understands that most 'Japanese Anime' is not child pornography, and that your family photos (even with kids in the tub) aren't child pornography either. We've made the documents we did receive available online so you can see for yourself."
Security

Porn Virus Blackmails Victims Over "Copyright Violation" 222

Posted by timothy
from the or-shall-we-bill-your-wife? dept.
FishRep writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A new type of malware infects PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal. The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime. Website Yomiuri claims that 5,500 people have so far admitted to being infected. The virus, known as Kenzero, is being monitored by web security firm Trend Micro in Japan. Masquerading as a game installation screen, it requests the PC owner's personal details. It then takes screengrabs of the user's web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an e-mail or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1,500 yen (£10) to 'settle your violation of copyright law' and remove the webpage."
Graphics

"Moot" Working On Reboot of 4chan Platform 205

Posted by timothy
from the weird-and-wacky-world dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Nick Bilton has an interesting interview with Christopher Poole, known online as 'Moot,' founder 4chan, a jumble of content, hosting anything from pictures of cute kittens to wildly disturbing images and language. Poole, now 22, started 4chan when he was 15 after he discovered a Japanese image-board Web forum called 2chan dedicated to anime. 'The code for 2chan was publicly available and I took it and translated it from Japanese to English using tools online and I threw it up on the Web and sent it out to 20 people,' says Poole. 'I wanted to keep with the 2chan naming and the URL for 3chan was taken at the time so I just jumped to the next number.' Although 4chan gets 8.2 million unique visitors every month, 600 million page loads per month, and 800,000 new posts a day, Poole is working on a new project to reimagine what an image board should be today using the current technologies available."
Anime

Toei Animation Thinks Mobiles Could Save Anime 69

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the save-the-pixels dept.
andylim writes to share that according to a recent interview, Toei Animation, producers of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball z, think that mobile phones and tablets could help save the anime industry, which is being heavily damaged by piracy. Unfortunately the difficulty is getting all of the players to move in the same direction. "We think it's an incredibly exciting opportunity. Manufacturers and networks are going to need more than touchscreens and Twitter to shift phones in the future — content such as Toei's will hopefully add that extra value. Unfortunately, Ebato and Song haven't been inundated with requests for information. 'There's no convergence... the tech people and the content people aren't talking,' adds Song. In fact Song's last statement to us is much more than an anecdotal truth, it's the heart of the matter. It's not enough that Apple and Amazon are talking to content creators, everyone should be doing it. Of course, a good start would be to not hide people like Ebato and Song in distant exhibition halls, where only we can find them."
Science

Scientists Postulate Extinct Hominid With 150 IQ 568

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-could-they-invent-pizza-rolls dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Neuroscientists Gary Lynch and Richard Granger have an interesting article in Discover Magazine about the Boskops, an extinct hominid that had big eyes, child-like faces, and forebrains roughly 50% larger than modern man indicating they may have had an average intelligence of around 150, making them geniuses among Homo sapiens. The combination of a large cranium and immature face would look decidedly unusual to modern eyes, but not entirely unfamiliar. Such faces peer out from the covers of countless science fiction books and are often attached to 'alien abductors' in movies. Naturalist Loren Eiseley wrote: 'Back there in the past, ten thousand years ago. The man of the future, with the big brain, the small teeth. He lived in Africa. His brain was bigger than your brain.' The history of evolutionary studies has been dogged by the almost irresistible idea that evolution leads to greater complexity, to animals that are more advanced than their predecessor, yet the existence of the Boskops argues otherwise — that humans with big brains, and perhaps great intelligence, occupied a substantial piece of southern Africa in the not very distant past, and that they eventually gave way to smaller-brained, possibly less advanced Homo sapiens — that is, ourselves. 'With 30 percent larger brains than ours now, we can readily calculate that a population with a mean brain size of 1,750 cc would be expected to have an average IQ of 149,' write Lynch and Granger. But why did they go extinct? 'Maybe all that thoughtfulness was of no particular survival value in 10,000 BC. Lacking the external hard drive of a literate society, the Boskops were unable to exploit the vast potential locked up in their expanded cortex,' write Lynch and Granger. 'They were born just a few millennia too soon.'"
Anime

Ubuntu Reaching Out To 16,000 Anime Lovers 293

Posted by kdawson
from the place-holder dept.
shadowmage13 writes "After months of planning, I am happy to announce finally that the Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community Team will be preparing a booth at the upcoming 2010 Anime Boston convention. We need support from the community to secure a booth and print materials, including copies of the Ubunchu! manga. I really believe the Anime fandom is a perfect match for Ubuntu, as they are by nature very much in line with open source and remix culture."
Anime

Astro Boy Director Speaks 82

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it-looks-so-pretty dept.
An anonymous reader writes 'The director of Flushed Away, David Bowers, discusses his new Japanese manga adaptation, shares his science fiction influences and relates Astro Boy's thematic relationship to Star Wars.' I recently was reading Astro Boy manga, and I'm very hopeful that the movie won't disappoint. It looks really fantastic, but visuals in trailers certainly can lie.

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