Hey guys, this weekend I was SWAMPED by school work, MMOing, and Minecraft. It’s been a mental hell these last few days for me so if you’re not seeing posts everyday or every-so-often, it’s cause I’ve been busy with real life and managing this blog has kind of been a headache for me since last Thursday’s post aftermath and I’m kinda wary of the whole  “WordPress deleting my post” so I’m gonna just cut to the chase and combine a wrap up with tonight’s news. No double post, nothing fastupendous, just a quick wrap-up of everything. Though to be fair, I wasn’t the only one dealing with fatigue over last night. I pretty much summed up my whole evening last night finishing work and just couching to pony shit till I passed out on my DS. Even so I’m a little tired this morning too so let’s get started before I pass out again.

2 figmas made he Nov. 11th news and one of them caught my eye.

Hinagiku Katsura “Surprised On The Stage” Figure

Author: Leon

Hinagiku Katsura from Hayate no Gotoku! has been forced back into her stage costume thanks to Kotobukiya’s efforts.

“Ready” to sing and dance, she will be released in March 2012.

And the other 1 is Cirno, which I really really want, but don’t have access to a way to buy it.

Touhou Cirno Figure

Author: Leon

Touhou‘s genius ice fairy Cirno is to be the subject of a rather cute and well done figure by Griffon Enterprises, set to be released in February 2012.

Selling price for Miss Baka is a whopping 145 USD I kid you not. That’s J-List’s price, I’m 145 for this shit.

Next,  let’s talk Valve and their Steam Hax.

Steam Hacked: “They May Have Gotten Your Credit Cards”

Author: Artefact

Top PC games developer Valve has joined Sony in being subject to a catastrophic database hack, with the security of customer credit card details and personal information stored on their Steam platform completely compromised.

The official admission seems to have learned something from the lack of candidness which cost Sony so dearly:

Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users:

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely.

While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well.

We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords). However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.

We will reopen the forums as soon as we can.

I am truly sorry this happened, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Gabe.

Their inability to state with any certainty what was taken and the potential scope of the hack seem likely to further cement the reputation of data hoarding companies as being incapable of securely storing the personal and financial data they are so keen to gather – although it is not yet clear whether consumers really care about this enough to abandon such services, or have any choice in the matter.

The timing is likely to be particularly menacing to customer confidence in Steam, as November sees variety of high profile PC releases – which more security conscious gamers will likely see the merit in purchasing offline.

Valve Hacked?

>mfw

It’s reasons like this that push me toward something like NOT installing or buying games from Steam. They say that evil befalls the greedy and wicked, I say hackers befall these companies.

Next up, the top 10 girls you want to sleep with. Oh, you thought I meant real girls,  silly you.

Top 10 Anime Girls You Want To Sleep With

Author: Leon

Anime otaku supply a ranking of the anime girls they would most like to take to bed (as dakimakura), once again demonstrating the mayfly-lifespan popular bishoujo seem to enjoy.

The ranking:

1. Suzutsuki Kanade (Mayo Chiki!)

2. Touwa Erio (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko)

3. Satellizer El Bridget (Freezing)

4. Morishima Haruka (Amagami)

5. Ikaros (Sora no Otoshimono)

5. Kotegawa Yui (To Love-Ru)

7. Kashiwazaki Sena (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)

8. Sheryl Nome (Macross F)

9. Shizuku Sangou (Kämpfer)

10. Hibino Shiba (Kamisama Dolls)

Our last 2 stories from Sankaku from from China, yes, China. Dear god…

Chinese Cows Graze on Rubbish Dump

Author: Artefact

Ever the agricultural innovators, Chinese farmers have apparently discovered the secret of rubbish dump ranching, with an entire herd here seen grazing on piles of refuse, and apparently unfazed by the bulldozers.

*sigh* Those Chinese idiots. Gallery post, please enjoy.

Next and last 1 is an article about Working!!

Working Girls Collared Like Animals!

Author: Leon

Moe-loving Working!! fans have been applauding the sacrifice of an episode of the anime to inu and nekomimi, with the girls adorably dressed up as animals for the pleasure of customers and viewers alike – although noises have been hear with respect to resemblances to a certain other nekomimi moeblob

That’s all the news from the East, it’s time to check on the western lands.

Youtube celebrity and national meme user, Tay Zonday, released a GOOD SONG.

_____________________________________________________________

Never though I’d see this before. Ever since chocolate rain, his music’s been more or less a joke.

Continuing on, Italy’s PM thinks he’s cool so he calls an Italian meeting with everyone. Bet there’s gonna be Lotsa Spaghetti /cdibadjoke.


Italian prime minister nominee meets with political leaders

By the CNN Wire Staff
Rome (CNN)— Mario Monti, the economist nominated to become Italy’s new prime minister, began talks with political leaders Monday to discuss forming a government.The 68-year-old’s talks with political parties will continue Tuesday.

In comments after several meetings Monday, Monti said some of the delegations had discussed a “temporal outlook” for how long his government might last.

The time for the government “which I am trying to create is that period between today and the end of spring 2013,” he said, according to a CNN translation. At any time the parliament could dissolve his government “because of lack of trust,” he said.

It is “obvious” that the task at hand is an emergency, and that to achieve economic growth and social equity “should be the priorities,” Monti said.

Some political forces in Italy have called for elections to take place sooner than their scheduled time of spring 2013.

To take the helm, Monti needs the approval of the Italian Parliament.

His mandate is to lead Italy out of its market-shaking debt crisis and push through tough new austerity measures.

Antonio Di Pietro, leader of the Values Party, said after meeting with Monti that his group is “happy that the Berlusconi government could be replaced by the Monti government.” His party will not block a Monti-led government, he said.

But when asked specifically whether he would give Monti a vote of confidence, Di Pietro stressed that he would not answer until he learned more about Monti’s plans and the composition of his cabinet.

Franceso Rutelli, leader of the Alliance for Italy, also told reporters his block will support Monti’s government.

Emma Bonino of the Radical Party expressed support for Monti as well. Speaking to reporters, Bonino called for reforms to address Italy’s political and economic crisis.

Monti was nominated Sunday to replace Silvio Berlusconi as Italy’s prime minister.

Berlusconi resigned Saturday amid the country’s ongoing financial crisis. His role in Italy’s political future is uncertain.

“For the time being he is waiting to see what is happening under the buildup of the new government under Mr. Monti,” said Deborah Bergamini, a member of Italy’s Parliament and former assistant to Berlusconi.

On Monday, Bergamini said Berlusconi told her he wants to continue acting as the chair of his PDL party.

Berlusconi’s resignation was greeted with cheers and dancing in the streets, as people waved the Italian flag and sang the nation’s anthem.

If he becomes prime minister, Monti could bring a distinctly different approach to governing than Italy has experienced over the past three years.

“It may be that the strong opposition … against Berlusconi that has been going on in these years maybe will disperse itself, maybe will finish, and then we’ll have a cooperative approach on the part of all the political forces. … Let’s hope that the international credibility of Mr. Monti will be able to work in this direction,” Bergamini told CNN.

While the hot-blooded Berlusconi was for many years a master of forming political alliances, Monti is known for his achievements as a “Eurocrat,” at the heart of Europe’s institutions.

Dubbed Super Mario for his work in international finance, he served as a leading European Commission member for a decade — including as commissioner for its financial services, market and taxation committee between 1995 and 1999 and as head of its competition committee from 1999 to 2004.

In announcing Monti’s nomination, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said the former European Union commissioner is “gifted, competent, experienced” and well respected in Europe and internationally.

“This is the moment of his test,” Napolitano said.

In brief remarks to reporters Sunday, Monti thanked Napolitano “for his trust in me” and pledged to do his best to serve Italy during the economic crisis, speaking of the importance of providing a better future for Italy’s children. He said he will work with urgency, but also with scruples.

Monti must return to Napolitano within hours or days to accept the nomination fully, at which point he would be sworn in.

Within days after being sworn in, Monti will have to go to parliament to present his government — essentially his Cabinet and his government plan. The upper and lower houses of parliament have 10 days from the time Monti is sworn in to hold separate votes of confidence on the new government.

Berlusconi is the second prime minister to resign this month over the debt crisis sweeping across Europe. Greece’s George Papandreou was replaced Wednesday by Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank official.

Investors were watching Italian bond yields closely Monday, after €3 billion worth of 5-year bonds generated decent demand.

Yields on both the 5-year and 10-year bonds still remain around 6.5%. Last week, the 10-year Italian yield spiked to a record high above 7% — a level that eventually led to bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

Economists said Monday’s bond yields could indicate that markets are still nervous about Italy’s economic prospects, even with Monti in charge.

“Now what we are seeing today is that markets probably don’t like so much politics being so effective and so active in financial matters. So my feeling is that the challenge today will be rebalancing … politics and financial matters,” Bergamini told CNN Monday.

Oh but there’s more if you call right now, you will get to see the supreme court health care dispute.

Supreme Court to hear dispute on health care law

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court’s announcement Monday that it will hear challenges to the Obama-sponsored health care overhaul opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law, amid the tumult of election-year politics.

A ruling in the case would determine the federal government’s power to address the most pressing social problems, specifically how to ensure medical coverage nationwide. The decision is likely to be handed down in late June, right before the Republican and Democratic conventions for the 2012 presidential election.

The main question in the dispute, likely to be heard over two days in March, is whether in requiring most Americans to buy insurance by 2014, Congress exceeded its power to regulate interstate commerce. The justices also will address whether or not the entire law is doomed if that insurance mandate falls. They also will review a provision that enlarges Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, and make a threshold determination on the timing of legal challenges.

The health care law, signed by President Obama in March 2010 after a year of intense political wrangling on Capitol Hill, extends insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans. Among its most contested parts is the requirement that most people purchase insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty.

A group of 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and individual challengers who want to avoid paying for insurance say that if the law stands, it will mean new burdens for states and businesses. They urged the justices to resolve the dispute quickly because of uncertainty about future business costs.

The Justice Department, defending the law, also asked the court to intervene so agencies can soon begin preparations for the law that the White House compares to such landmarks as the Social Security Act of 1935 and Civil Rights Act of 1964.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Monday the administration was glad the court agreed to take up the controversy and expressed confidence the law would be upheld. He stressed the law’s benefits including that more young Americans now have health insurance and that women can get mammograms and preventive services without out-of-pocket expenses.

On the other side, Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB’s small-business litigation center, said, “After months of uncertainty and frustration, small business owners are finally within the reach of some clarity on how this law will ultimately impact their lives.”

Monday’s order scheduling 5 1/2 hours of oral arguments — a modern record for arguments on a single dispute — makes clear that the justices want to take a comprehensive look at the law. Yet, it offers no new signal on how a majority might rule. Two of the most dramatic developments since litigation began last year were decisions by leading conservative appeals-court judges upholding the insurance mandate, which, politically, has pit Democrats against Republicans.

The more recent decision was last week’s opinion by U.S. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman, in Washington, D.C., finding the insurance-requirement a proper exercise of congressional power and declaring judges should presume acts of Congress constitutional. Silberman, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, echoed the view of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Jeffrey Sutton, an appointee of George W. Bush on the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit, who last summer found the insurance requirement valid.

“They are by far two of the most significant events to have occurred in the litigation prior to this point,” Bradley Joondeph, a Santa Clara University law professor closely following the health care litigation, said Monday.

“They are well-respected jurists whose conservative bona fides are unquestioned who believe the mandate is constitutional. There is no way that that doesn’t affect, at some level, how Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy think about this.”

Like many legal analysts, Joondeph thinks swing-vote Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts, because of his deep institutional interests, could be critical to the outcome of the new dispute.

Four U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals already had ruled on the law. Two (the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit and the Washington, D.C., Circuit) declared it constitutional. One (the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit) deemed it unconstitutional. And one (the Richmond-based 4th Circuit) said no challenge could be brought until a person was forced to pay the tax penalty.

When the 11th Circuit struck down the insurance mandate it said Congress’ requirement that people buy insurance from private companies was an “unprecedented” exercise in federal power that imperiled the balance between federal and state authority.

The high court said it would take up that ruling, as well as the 11th Circuit’s decision that upheld the law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and said the invalid individual-insurance mandate could be severed from the rest of the law.

The justice also added a question that arose in the 4th Circuit case, regarding whether the provision requiring the purchase of insurance cannot be challenged until someone actually has been penalized in 2014, or later, for not complying with the mandate.

“This is going to be the most heavily covered Supreme Court case in history, even more so than Bush v. Gore, because that was so compressed,” says Washington lawyer Thomas Goldstein, who argues regularly at the court, referring to the 2000 presidential election dispute that lasted just over a month. “This will run from today until the summer.”

Goldstein, who oversees the popular “scotusblog” that tracks the court’s actions, calls the health care dispute “the perfect storm of a pocketbook issue that’s also part of an ideological war between the parties in an election year.”

That’s all everybody, see you all next time. This is a very tired Grass, signing off till next time.