600,000 pirate gamers banned from Xbox Live

The modifications allow gamers to circumvent the console's Digital Rights Management technologies and run pirated discs, and can feature game-hacks to give pirate gamers an unfair advantage whilst gaming online.

IWF reverses Wikipedia block decision

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Following massive negative publicity after blocking British internet users from accessing pages on Wikipedia, the Internet Watch Foundation has reversed overruled its own appeals process and once again allowed access to the site.

The block came about after a member of public complained about this page (potentially NSFW) on the English Wikipedia, displaying the album art for a record called Virgin Killer. The art features a young girl naked with a crack in the plastic concealing her genitalia, but nothing obscuring her chest.

Apple BANS Opera from the iPhone

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Opera, the little browser that could, has developed a version of its software that would run on the iPhone, but Apple won’t let them release it, claims co-founder and CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner. Opera has a mini-browser built for many mobile platforms, but because it competes with Apple’s own Safari browser, the iPhone makers won’t let it onto their platform.

It’s a damn shame, because although the iPhone browsing experience is acceptable (unlike a lot of phones), it’s not perfect, and Opera has a track record of significantly improving the mobile experience on almost every platform it’s available on. The iPhone might be a great device, but its closed nature and uber-controlled user experience has its downsides, and this is one of them.

Opera (via NYT)

Related posts: Opera releases 9.6 beta | Opera Mobile 9.5 beta launched for Windows Mobile devices

Manhunt 2 finally sees UK release

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Banned videogame Manhunt 2 looks like it’s finally going to see a UK release, more than a year after it was released in the USA, on October 31st. A successful appeal to the BBFC, and many modifications to the game, have finally gained it an 18 rating, meaning that it can be released…

Yoda banned from Facebook

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Sorry, little fella. You’re not getting in. The Jedi is among a list of people banned from creating profiles on the world’s most popular social networking site. I should note that he hasn’t tried registering himself, it’s been uncovered by a Japanese author named Hiroki Yoda…

Pirate Bay banned by Italian Government

In a particularly bold/stupid move the Italian government today took on the might of the internet’s geek underworld by deciding to block the Italian people from using The Pirate Bay – the daddy of illegal torrent sites.

Akin to jumping naked onto a greased up King Cobra with your arms tied behind your back in the hopes of pining it for the three-count, the Italians have discovered that it’s not that easy a thing to wrestle into submission. Indeed, what they’ve actually gone and done is awaken the beast of a thousand nerds, an army of ‘leechers’ and ‘seeders’ who have dodged and weaved the Italian’s paltry web-blocks and filters like Ryan Giggs dribbling his way past the entire Arsenal squad. Easily.

Grand Theft Auto IV blamed for Thai killing – game pulled from shelves

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This isn’t your usual tabloid shock story, where there was a robbery and one of the items taken just so happened to be a PlayStation. This is FOR REAL.

A Thai teenager has confessed to robbing and killing a taxi driver – then allegedly told police he was trying to recreate a scene from Grand Theft Auto. There’s no denying the facts or fudging the issue here – he was copying the game. It’s a 100% confirmed copycat crime. There’s going to be trouble over this. Big trouble.

“He said he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game,” chief police investigator…

China allows access to Wikipedia – but nothing dodgy about Tibet allowed

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Chinese authorities seem to be gradually lessening their censorship rules to keep the IOC happy, with Wikipedia popping up for those stuck on the other side of the ‘Firewall of China’.

Select English-language pages now appear for vandalism, although try looking up ‘Tiananmen Square’ or ‘Tibet’ and you’ll still be greeted with an error message. Also, the Chinese-language pages are still blocked, so it’s either a temporary glitch in the awesome-sounding Golden Shield Project, or we’re seeing China start to appease foreign visitors…