Discord and Twi'

Wrapping up winter in January? Yes, yes we are. The weather has been wonky for a while and I can only assume that it will go on like this for the next couple of months. If you want details, let me put it this way: Warm weather followed by a few days of rain, followed by a few days of cold. It’s time to do a wrap up anyway. Now what can you expect on this wrap up? Well, we learned about hearth’s warming eve last month, we learned SOPA had it’s time in the media spotlight of big-time news, we learned that while the United States slowly creeps toward North Korea-ism we will use what power the people have left to fight back. And knowing full well what’s going on in the next year we are full on ready to take on what oppresses us. So what are we to do, we move on.

I was going post this up on the 25th but a lot of stuff pushed me to move this to today. Anyway, without further ado, I’ll present the news to you.

It’s been a while since I posted anything from Sankaku so here you go. A brand new, critically acclaimed JRPG.

Tokitowa “Ultimate JRPG for Anime Fans”

Author: Artefact

Newly unveiled “HD anime” JRPG Toki to Eien: Tokitowa has been enthusiastically greeted by both anime and RPG fans (admittedly two groups with a great deal of overlap) as the “ultimate RPG for anime fans.”

By Namco Bandai and Image Epoch, Toki to Eien: Tokitowa (“Time & Eternity: Tokitowa”) boasts “2D-styled 3D” graphics, “HD quality” anime, character designs by VOFAN (the Taiwanese illustrator behind the character designs for the ****monogatari series), and animation by Satelight on the production side.

In addition to the traditional 10 minutes of random anime snippets which plague such games, Satelight is supposedly animating the game’s character models as though they were 2D animation to give the game a more cohesive anime feel (motion-capture apparently still being a concept alien to JRPG developers).

As for the game itself, it boasts the all-important generic fantasy setting and a nameable knight protagonist (voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga) set to marry a 16-year-old bishoujo arquebusier (queen Toki, voiced by Kana Hanazawa of Suou and Tenshi fame).

Doubtless, saving the kingdom from an ancient evil with the aid of some other adolescents will also feature. A flat-chested girl with twintails and pseudo-nekomimi features for good measure.

The gorgeous graphics and character designs have earned the title an instant following, with the only concerns being raised relating to its as yet unknown battle system and length

The game is set for a 2012 release on the PS3, so with any luck an English language release will be available by 2015 – just in time for the console to become obsolete.

Next thing I wanna discuss is Celestia Radio. A great place for pony remixes and other such things, give them a look if you like dubstep or techno or whatever most of their songs a pretty damn good.

 

Anyway, let’s move on.


FBI plans social network map alert mash-up application

BBC

The FBI is seeking to develop an early-warning system based on material “scraped” from social networks.

It says the application should provide information about possible domestic and global threats superimposed onto maps “using mash-up technology”.

The bureau has asked contractors to suggest possible solutions including the estimated cost.

Privacy campaigners say they are concerned that the move could have implications for free speech.

The FBI’s Strategic Information and Operations Center (SOIC) posted its “Social Media Application” market research request onto the web on 19 January, and it was subsequently flagged up by New Scientist magazine.

The document says: “Social media has become a primary source of intelligence because it has become the premier first response to key events and the primal alert to possible developing situations.”

It says the application should collect “open source” information and have the ability to:

  • Provide an automated search and scrape capability of social networks including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Allow users to create new keyword searches.
  • Display different levels of threats as alerts on maps, possibly using colour coding to distinguish priority. Google Maps 3D and Yahoo Maps are listed among the “preferred” mapping options.
  • Plot a wide range of domestic and global terror data.
  • Immediately translate foreign language tweets into English.

The FBI says the information would be used to help it to predict the likely actions of “bad actors”, detect instances of people deliberately misleading law enforcement officers and spot the vulnerabilities of suspect groups.

Privacy permissions

The FBI issued the request three weeks after the US Department of Homeland Security released a separate report into the privacy implications of monitoring social media websites.

It justified the principle of using information that users have provided and not opted to make private.

“Information posted to social media websites is publicly accessible and voluntarily generated. Thus the opportunity not to provide information exists prior to the informational post by the user,” it says.

It noted that the department’s National Operations Center had a policy in place to edit out any gathered information which fell outside of the categories relevant to its investigations.

It listed websites that the centre planned to monitor. They include YouTube, the photo service Flickr, and Itstrending.com – a site which shows popular shared items on Facebook.

It also highlighted words it looked out for. These include “gangs”, “small pox”, “leak”, “recall” and “2600” – an apparent reference to the hacking-focused magazine.

‘Dragnet effect’

The London-based campaign group, Privacy International, said it was worried about the consequences of such activities.

“Social networks are about connecting people with other people – if one person is the target of police monitoring, there will be a dragnet effect in which dozens, even hundreds, of innocent users also come under surveillance,” said Gus Hosein, the group’s executive director.

“It is not necessarily the case that the more information law enforcement officers have, the safer we will be.

“Police may well find themselves overwhelmed by a flood of personal information, information that is precious to those it concerns but useless for the purposes of crime prevention.”

The group noted that it was seeking information from the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service about its use of social networks

And our last news, a woman calls 911 6 times for cigarrettes.

 

Woman arrested after allegedly calling 911 six times

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

An Osceola County woman is still in jail for allegedly calling 911 six times for no apparent reason.

“What’s going on there ma’am?” the 911 operator asked.

“None of your business! Just send me a sergeant. It’s none of your business! Why the hell are you so stupid?” Joan Mayo replied.

Each time Mayo got connected to the 911 center in St. Cloud on Tuesday, she screamed profanities at dispatchers and berated them, according to police.

Officials said Mayo never had a clear reason for calling, but neighbors said she was looking for something in particular.

“She just wanted cigarettes. That’s all she wanted. She wanted cigarettes,” said her neighbor, Lillian Morales.

The final straw came when police showed up to talk to her. Police said Mayo called 911 on her cellphone a sixth time while they were in the parking lot dealing with the situation.

Mayo was arrested and hauled off to jail on charges of misusing 911.

“Rarely do we get calls like this for service,” said Sgt. Denise Roberts, of the Saint Cloud Police Department.

Police said this affected two agencies, because cellphone calls are first answered by Osceola County, then routed to St. Cloud.

But, Mayo won’t be forced to pay back money wasted investigating her calls because no real calls were delayed.

Mayo allegedly told police she had no regard for the 911 system and would call whenever she wanted to.

 

That’s our news stories for this week-ish; See you next week.