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Swedish File Sharers Get Religious About Stealing

Swedish philosophy student Isaac Gerson thinks that file sharing is sacred. The 19-year-old leader of the Missionary Church of Kopimism believes that stealing and sharing are signs of appreciation, and has compared closed-source software to slavery. Last year, Sweden rejected the church's application to be recognized as a religion, but Gerson isn't giving up so easily. He'll be reapplying after...

Google's New Crossword-Style Trivia Game Wants Puzzlers to Search

Fellow puzzle fans, Google has brought us joy. The engine's newest venture, A Google a Day, asks cunning participants not to use the knowledge they have but rather the knowledge they can unearth with Google search to solve riddles. Much like crossword puzzles (possibly your author's favorite pastime), the questions ask the solver to change the way they think. For today's riddle, searching "two...

Facebook Strikes Deal to Create New Social Network in China

Facebook is reportedly working with China's largest search engine to create a new, jointly owned social network. The collaboration with Baidu would allow Facebook to get a foothold in the Chinese market while giving Baidu the chance to capitalize on Mark Zuckerberg's network-building expertise. The new site would still need to be approved by Chinese's Internet regulators, who retain final say...

Google Will No Longer Collect Street View Photos in Germany

Google has decided to stop collecting Street View photos in Germany, where regulators have spent much of the past two years railing against the search giant for violating the privacy of German residents. A company spokesman confirmed the decision in a statement sent to the Register, explaining that the images gathered across 20 German cities will remain available online, but reiterating that...

Jonathan Franzen's New Yorker Piece Hides Behind a Facebook Like Wall

Jonathan Franzen has a new piece in The New Yorker, but you'll have to become a fan of the magazine on Facebook if you want to read the whole thing. Taking its cue from the likes of Lil Wayne and Jennifer Lopez, The New Yorker has published Franzen's piece exclusively on its Facebook page in an effort to engage readers on the social network. The essay covers Franzen's trip to the island of...

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Is More Accountable Than Most Governments, Gets a Little Sassy About It

Julian Assange thinks WikiLeaks is more accountable than any democratic government in the world. And if you dare say otherwise, you'll probably get sued. That was essentially the message that Assange conveyed over the weekend, during his first public appearance since being arrested in December, amid accusations of rape and sexual assault. Speaking to an audience at a public debate in London,...

Russia Won't Ban Gmail or Skype Amid Security Concerns

It looks like Russia won't be banning Skype or Gmail, after all. The Kremlin was reportedly considering blocking both services, along with Hotmail, in response to a major cyberattack that crippled the country's most popular blog and an independent news site. Some within the Kremlin had believed the services posed a major threat to national security, but some critics had thought the government may...

Man Goes to Prison for Threatening Eric Cantor on YouTube

A man named Norman LeBoon is headed to prison after making threats to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a video posted to YouTube. In the clip, the 38-year-old LeBoon called the Republican "a liar" and "a Lucifer," and promised to shoot him. LeBoon pleaded guilty to the charges in November, and, on Thursday, was sentenced to two years in prison, along with an additional three years of...

Ghana's Email Scammers Work Hard, Pray Harder

Here's a fascinating look at the world of Sakawa, a unique blend of e-mail fraud and African religious tradition that has become a cultural force in Ghana. The young and unemployed people who use scavenged computers and Juju priests for their scams also drive a thriving music and movie scene centered on the lives of e-mail conmen. The video above is 20-minutes long, so if you're working,...

With Schools Turning to the Web for K-12 Education, Quality is a Concern

Online courses have become an accepted fact of college life. But more and more school districts are turning to Web-based learning for lower grade levels, especially as a way for struggling high school students to make up courses they've failed or missed. The online classes aren't only for those who have fallen behind, though. Due to budget constraints, some schools are using them to offer...

Turn Your Friends Into Stock With Empire Avenue's Social Game

Social networking is a numbers game. Not only do you try to get the "right" amount of friends on Facebook and a good follower/followed ratio on Twitter, but it's all about wielding some social currency: who knows whom, where you get invited, if you'll get the scoop on the latest celeb death. Nowadays, social networking is quantifying the power of your friendships. But talking analytics will...

GameStop Unveils New Facebook Store

GameStop opened a new store today on Facebook. The shop, accessible via GameStop's Facebook page, allows users to purchase games online, read product reviews, watch trailers and find nearby GameStop outlets. Fans of the retailer can also "like" and share specific games on Facebook, and earn points via GameStop's customer loyalty program. Today's launch is just the latest in a series of...

U.S. Might Use Facebook, Twitter to Broadcast Terrorism Alerts

The U.S. government is considering using Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism warnings, as part of its revamped terror alert system. According to a draft of a Homeland Security plan obtained by the AP, the government would broadcast the warnings via Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate," and only after federal, state and local officials have already been alerted. But these warnings won't...

Future of Online Customer Support Looks Like 'Minority Report'

Online shopping can be a pretty solitary endeavor, unless you're shopping at B Reel's 3Live Shop. On the 3Live Shop, shoppers are invited to start video calls with sales reps, who can guide them through their purchases, using touchscreens to drag different products into the frame. According to B Reel, it's a "simple and personal" approach to online shopping -- assuming you're not averse to...

Google Adding 'Channels' to YouTube, Looking to Compete With TV

Google is looking to make some major changes to YouTube in an attempt to keep up with the expansion in services that allow users to stream content directly to their TVs. Sources close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal that YouTube is planning to introduce new channels on the site, featuring both professionally produced, original content, as well as content that already exists on the...