Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Hobbit trailer cut

All the Hobbit trailers, cut together into one.

Monday, November 19, 2012

6-yr-old writes to Hasbro for lack of girls in Guess Who game

Male-normative thinking usually gets pointed out these days, but it's not very often that you have such a slam-dunk argument like in the following story:

A 6-yr-old wrote to Hasbro to complain that there are only 5 female characters in their Guess Who? game, vs. 19 guys.

Dear Hasbro,

My name is R______. I am six years old. I think it's not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won't give little girls much care.

Also if girls want to be a girl in Guess Who they'll always lose against a boy, and it will be harder for them to win. I am cross about that and if you don't fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who out.

My mum typed this message but I told her what to say.

Feminism has never been so adorable.

Of course, big companies being big companies, they offered the following flat explanation:

Guess Who? is a guessing game based on a numerical equation. If you take a look at the characters in the game, you will notice that there are five of any given characteristics. The idea of the game is, that by process of elimination, you narrow down who it isn't, thus determining who it is. The game is not weighted in favour of any particular character, male or female. Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.

Well, that's not patronizing at all, is it? I mean, seriously? Do you even hear yourselves? The whole point of the game is to point out the differences in order to discover the character, dammit!

The girl's mom was obviously not impressed, and I think she really hits the nail on the head when she asks:
Why is female gender regarded as a "characteristic", while male gender is not?

Via Jezebel.

Friday, November 16, 2012

One of the Internet's hobbies is calling people out on their bullshit.

From cheezburger:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anonymous defends bullied twitterer

Your half heartwarming, half enraging news of the day: How Anonymous helped prevent a teen's suicide

A suicidal 15-year-old girl, a pair of trolls, Anti-Bullying Day, and Anonymous: They all came together overnight in a perfect storm of swift, social media justice.

It doesn't take a whole lot to scare those teenage trolls away, and the ones involved here have received a thorough ass-whoopin'.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pic: Genius!

MEGA: the plot thickens!

A week or so after announcing his new domain, Kim Dotcom has seen me.ga suspended and hacked.

First, and just hours ago, came news that the Communications Minister of Gabon, the African country where .ga domains are based, would be suspending the Me.ga domain.

“I have instructed my departments to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga,” announced Communication Minister Blaise Louembe.

“Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people,” the minister said.

Of course, Kim Dotcom sees conspiracy in this, and it's hard not to think there was some kind of outside pressure, given the harsh words of the Gabonese Minister aimed at a cyberlocker service. Moreover, '.ga' is administered by Gabon Telecom, which is owned by Vivendi, one of the largest entertainment & telecom companies. They own Universal Music, and if you've been following the story, you know they don't exactly see eye to eye with Dotcom...

On top of this, me.ga was redirecting for a while to ome.ga, a self-claimed anarchist group who wants to sell the me.ga domain to Dotcom's detractors...

from: TorrentFreak

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Apple loses iPhone trademark in Mexico

Since we're on the subject of trademarks, news just came out that Apple lost a court case in Mexico over its iPhone trademark.

it's really rather fun to watch Apple have the trademark stick wrestled from their grips and get beaten over the head with it, such as when Mexico invalidates their use of the "iPhone" mark in commerce within their country.

The story is that in 2003, a Mexican company registered the "iFone" trademark, then got sued by Apple, who filed for "iPhone" in 2007. The court then ruled in favor of iFone.

It's nice to see a court standing up against Apple, and one hopes there could've been a similar result in the Chinese iPad case had the court been willing to rule on the issue.

In other Apple news, bOINGbOING has a post about Apples take 2 at publishing their non-apology in the Samsung case: Slippery web designers at Apple hide court ordered apology perpetually below the fold. Hopefully the judge will see through this again.

Friday, November 02, 2012

OMIGAWD they wanna trademark the "@" sign

via Techdirt: German Company Wants To Protect Its Use Of The '@' Sign: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Der Spiegel is reporting that someone wants a German "wordmark" on the "@" sign (original in German). The company involved has the rather unusual name "@ T.E.L.L.", where the initials apparently stand for "Tradinghouse for Exclusive Luxury Labels".

Trademark has such a bad reputation these days that the above news is bound to elicit some knee-jerk reactions along the lines of "OMIGAWD they're gonna take control of that word/letter/sign/color" and "what could go wrong?".

First off, the answer to "what could go wrong" is "everything", and it applies pretty much everywhere, not just trademarks. There's always bound to be some entitled jerk who is going to take the whole arm when you give them a hand. IP just happens to be talked about a bit more these days.

Second, it is important to understand that trademark gives you exclusivity in specific domains, and in connection to products. It's not like they're given blanket ownership of the "@" symbol for every use everywhere forever. If they use the "@" symbol to mark their products, and their customers recognise their products, then why shouldn't they get some protection?

It is important to note, though, that trademark, when applied correctly, is not supposed to protect the company from its competitors, but to protect customers from confusion.