In the first six months of 2015, UK government agencies and police departments made 299 "requests for information" of Twitter, compared to 116 in the 6 months previous. Read the rest
Caitlin Flanagan has written the funniest and most incisive glimpse into what it's like for today's road hacks whose livelihoods depend on navigating the treacherous waters of the college comedy circuit. Read the rest
Politicians learn the hard way that you can't get between the voters and their preferred recreational activity. Read the rest
In December, we wrote about the unbelievably stupid arrest of Rokudenashiko (nee Megumi Igarashi), a Japanese manga artist who makes art with castings of her genitals. She's actually been arrested twice – once for distributing 3-D printable data of her vagina (really, her vulva or pudendum, for the pudants reading this), and another time for for an art display of whimsical sculptures (described by prosecutors as "obscene objects") at a store in Tokyo. Examples of the obscene objects are shown above and below:
Rokudenashiko's been in jail awaiting trial, after a judge refused her lawyer's request to release her. Judge Noriki Ando said Rokudenashiko must remain in prison out of a "fear she may destroy evidence or flee."
Rokudenashiko's trial is now underway. Her lawyers will defend the artist by claiming that her "work is not a precise reproduction of the vulva and does not cause sexual arousal."
The Guardian points out the hypocrisy of the case against Rokudenashiko:
Her case has attracted worldwide attention and criticism of the apparent double standards in the Japanese law’s treatment of sexual imagery. While the country has a thriving pornography industry, its obscenity laws ban the depiction of genitalia, which usually appear pixelated in images and videos.
Commentators pointed out the hypocrisy of her initial arrest, which came soon after Japanese authorities resisted pressure to ban pornographic images of children in manga comics and animated films.
If found guilty Rokudenashiko could spend two years in prison for distributing obscene objects.
In a lawsuit against Conan O'Brien, San Diego resident Robert Kaseberg says his lulzy tweets about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, airlines, and the Washington Monument all made it into the late night host's monologue. Read the rest
127.0.0.1 is the "loopback" address for your Internet stack, the address you tell your computer to visit when you want it to talk to itself. Read the rest
Ontario's Progressive Conservatives (PC) are calling for the removal of a collage titled "Sacred Circle VI" by French-Canadian artist Rosalie Maheux. It's on display in a provincial government building art gallery. From a distance the art looks like a mosaic. On closer inspection, one finds the patterns contain pornographic pictures of women.
From The Hamilton Spectator:
PC women's critic Laurie Scott was "disappointed" to see a small art gallery in a provincial government office block in Toronto display a work with explicit images of women engaged in various sex acts.
The Liberal government says the gallery is a public space operated by an independent board of directors made up of volunteers from the community and representatives from four art societies.
From The Star:
Read the rest
Maheux, a 26-year-old University of Toronto art graduate said it was not her intention to offend anyone with her piece titled, “Sacred Circle VI,” noting she made it perfectly clear her art contained pornographic images.
“I would really say it is more deep than that. People have said it is such a beautiful circle full of detail and colour. It’s very spiritual . . . it’s just not porn at all,” she said, adding she has “a strong feminist interest” in mind when creating her art.
The exhibit will remain in place until July 24.
“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest
Coulrophobics were unable to convince England's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban a movie poster with a sinister-looking clown. Read the rest
If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently. Read the rest
Argentina's crazy copyright laws provide for prison sentences for "intellectual property fraud" -- in this case, rewriting a Borges short story in Borgesian fashion and publishing it in a super-limited underground press edition of 300. Read the rest