A DDoS attack that incidentally affected the internet connections for at least two housing blocks in Lappeenranta, Finland caused their heating systems to shut down, leaving their residents without heat in subzero weather. Read the rest
It's free for anyone to take, and Finns can get credit at the Open University of University of Helsinki (yes, that's what it's called). Read the rest
Cixin Liu's "Three Body Problem" is the first-ever translation to win Best Novel; meanwhile, the uprecedented effort to put together an organized slate of science fiction that appealed to sexist (Sad Puppies) and misogynist/white supremacist (Rabid Puppies) and homophobic (both) orthodoxy to sweep the Hugos was a flop. Read the rest
The researcher, "Lee," worked in Ganggye, Chagang, and escaped with what he says is 15GB of data detailing illegal human subjects biochemical research, which he is due to present to the European Parliament this month. (Thanks, Sulka!) Read the rest
Barry writes, "There's a thing called pattern flying, where pilots compete to perfectly execute an elaborate set of compulsory tricks." Read the rest
Finland has progressive fines for driving offenses, so the more you earn, the more you pay. Read the rest
It runs an OS called Sailfish that can use Android apps as well its own native apps, and was created by a team with a bunch of senior Nokia refugees on it. Read the rest
The Finnish national broadcaster has partnered with Kryptoradio to broadcast the Bitcoin blockchain over the digital television network making it accessible over a non-Internet channel to 95% of the Finnish population. Read the rest
Desirina Boskovich writes, "It Came From the North, my brand new e-anthology of Finnish speculative fiction, is now available from Cheeky Frawg Books. Cheeky Frawg, a small press run by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is carving out a big name for itself as a quality purveyor of weird fiction and speculative literature in translation, with recent titles including the widely-praised Jagganath by Karin Tidbeck and very well-received Datura by Leena Krohn." Read the rest
Researchers at Finland's Tampere University have identified a set of viruses they believe to be responsible for Type 1 diabetes, and they have formulated a vaccine for it that has had promising results in mice. The enterovirus in question attacks the pancreas, and is similar to the virus that causes polio. They're forming a research syndicate to raise the €700m needed for human trials. Read the rest
Peter "brokep" Sunde -- who co-founded The Pirate Bay and founded Flattr, a system for allowing fans to directly pay the artists they love -- is standing for the European Parliament in Finland on behalf of the Finnish Pirate Party. Sunde was raised in Sweden, but has Finnish roots, and is able to run there. His platform sounds like an admirable and sensible one, and my personal experience of him is that he's a good, thoughtful and honorable person. If I were in Finland, he'd have my vote:
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“Non-commercial file sharing should of course become legal and protected, and must re-think copyright all together. Copyright is not the thing that makes ARTISTS money, it’s only for their brokers and distributors,” Sunde says.
“I’d rather see us sponsor culture by pushing more money to music education, and facilities for your people to create music. It would be much more sane for cultural advancement then extending copyrights.”
If elected Sunde hopes to be aggressive rather than defensive. This means not just responding to treats to Internet freedom, such as ACTA, but ensuring that this type of legislation doesn’t even make it onto the political agenda in the first place.
“I think there’s a huge possibility for us to impact the EU and I would like to be part of it,” Sunde says.
The Pirates are delighted to have the Pirate Bay founder on board. Harri Kivistö, chairman of the the Finnish Pirate Party, says that Sunde’s candidacy will raise the visibility of the party during the upcoming election.
As I've written before, Finland has an amazing grassroots legislation system that allows citizens to put any proposal with more than 50,000 popular endorsements to a Parliamentary vote, and the test-case for it is an eminently sensible copyright reform proposal that has been wildly successful. Tomorrow, Finnish websites will go dark and invite their readers to sign the petition, moving the proposal to Parliament.
The proposal addresses this concern by making small scale piracy a fine, at maximum, rather than its current maximum of two years in jail. By moving down the maximum penalty, the Finnish police would be more limited in their investigation methods - they won't be able to spy on citizens online, or confiscate property.
The remaining main points in the proposal include allowing fair use of copyrighted material for teaching and research, and adds fair use rights for parody and satire, which is unclear in the current legislation.
Artists' rights would also be strengthened, allowing artists to license their works through open licenses. Additionally, if a fan of an artist is being proscecuted, then the artist will have the ability to tell their representative organization to stop suing on behalf of their content.
Many decisions involving copyright in Finland are discussed and decided within a Copright Council, which includes representatives from the old media industries, such as the TV and recording industries. The proposal would also add internet operators, software, and gaming industries into that mix, as the scope of copyright expanding all the time.
Finnish Sites Blacking Out Tomorrow In Support Of Copyright Petition [Greg Anderson/Arctic Startup]