July 22, 2005

LinkNews Digest [07/22/2005]

Boy Sells Contents of House for $242

...her son secretly sold almost all the household appliances and other valuables, in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan province, July 15, 2005. The 11-year-old boy sold family belongings worth 500,000 yuan ($60,000) for 2,000 yuan ($242) and then spent all the money at an Internet bar with his five friends in 20 days. The couple had two houses in Zhengzhou. (LINK)
This via TechDirt, that comments "Still, it's not entirely clear how the kid managed to get all the stuff out of the house without his parents noticing. Also, the short blurb claims that the kid spent the $242 in an internet cafe over a period of 20 days -- which would imply that the parents didn't realize their kid had sold off all their belongings for nearly three weeks. It would seem like a few more details would be helpful to explain what really happened here."

UK Boy Wins Curfew Law Appeal

LONDON (Reuters) - A "model" teenage boy won a lankmark High Court ruling on Wednesday against the legality of child curfew zones, leaving Prime Minister Tony Blair's high profile bid to reduce anti-social behaviour in disarray.

The 15-year-old boy brought the case against London's police and his local council over their right to remove any under-16-year-old unaccompanied by an adult from an area after 9 p.m. regardless of their behaviour.

Lord Justice Brooke said everyone should have the right to "walk the streets without interference from police".

"Of course I have no problem with being stopped by the police if I've done something wrong," he said in a statement. "But they shouldn't be allowed to treat me like a criminal just because I'm under 16."

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said the ruling would affect curfew orders across the country but she insisted police still had powers to break up large groups of teenagers who were causing trouble. However they cannot insist they go home. (LINK)

GTA: San Andreas Pulled From Shelves

Earlier this month Rockstar Games came under fire for "Hot Coffee", a downloadable hack that allowed GTA characters to engage in sexual acts. Now there have always been hacks for video games, playing Unreal Tournament with the "Naked" skin pack, for example. Which isn't as much fun after a few minutes. Or so I hear.

Unfortunately, Hot Coffee wasn't a hack, but code that unlocked the content that was actually ON THE GAME DISC. Expect a harder crackdown on future joke "Easter Eggs" in video games.
The best-selling video game, which centers on gang violence, was being pulled from some shelves and slapped with a more restrictive "Adults Only" rating Wednesday after an investigation concluded that explicit sexual content could be unlocked on the game.

The producer of the game, Rockstar Games, said it had ceased production of GTA and was manufacturing a version without the sexual content.

Officials with Rockstar and its parent corporation, Take-Two Interactive, could not be reached for comment. But on the companies' Web site, Take-Two president Paul Eibeler issued a statement that the "mod" was unauthorized. (LINK)

Upholding The American Entreprenurial Spirit

After Gov. Kathleen Blanco refused to kill an 11th-hour state budget request by state Sen. Derrick Shepherd for $200,000 to build a YMCA in Harvey, a River Ridge businessman has asked Blanco to give the money to a nonprofit he formed to keep it away from Shepherd.

Michael Bowler, the son of Rep. Shirley Bowler, R-Harahan, asked Blanco on Tuesday to send a check from the state's general fund to A Greater New Orleans Service Corp., which he incorporated June 3 after learning that Shepherd had directed the cash to that group through House Bill 822, an early vehicle for the expenditure that died during the session.

There was no entity by that name in state records at the time, and Michael Bowler said he jumped to incorporate it.

"It just really kind of pissed me off that they're going to try to fund companies that don't exist," he said. "I thought it was just all completely bogus. It was shenanigans going on that shouldn't have been going on. "

Bowler said that when he incorporated his group, he planned to hand over any state money it got through HB 822 to Jefferson Parish officials, whose authority over it would have been stripped under the initial law. Bowler said he now is unsure what he would do with the general fund cash, which he insists belongs to his Greater New Orleans Service Corp. "I'm not going to keep any of the money," he said. (LINK)

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