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October 15, 2009

Finland makes broadband internet a legal right

Finland makes 1Mb broadband access a legal right | Webware - CNET
Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications has made 1-megabit broadband Web access a legal right, YLE, the country's national broadcasting company, reported on Wednesday. According to the report, every person in Finland (a little over 5 million people, according to a 2009 estimate) will have the right of access to a 1Mb broadband connection starting in July. And they may ultimately gain the right to a 100Mb broadband connection. Just more than a year ago, Finland said it would make a 100Mb broadband connection a legal right by the end of 2015. Wednesday's announcement is considered an intermediate step. France, one of a few countries that has made Internet access a human right, did so earlier this year. France's Constitutional Council ruled that Internet access is a basic human right. That said, it stopped short of making "broadband access" a legal right. Finland says that it's the first country to make broadband access a legal right.

Your idea to save journalism will not work because . . .

Your idea to save journalism will not work because… | dvafoto A ruthless online quiz poking holes in many of the current theories floating about. Here is a sample:
Specifically, your plan fails to account for ( ) The existence and popularity of the BBC ( ) The massive tedium of investigative journalism ( ) Editorial departments small enough to be profitable are too small to do real reporting ( ) Reluctance of governments and corporations to be held to account by two guys with a blog ( ) The tiny amounts of money to be made from online ads for small sites

DC man sentenced to 180 days for beating that led to gay man's death

DC man sentenced to 180 days for beating that led to gay man’s death - from Pink News - all the latest gay news from the gay community - Pink News Who needs hate crime legislation when we have impartial juries? Right guys?
A Washington DC man who assaulted a gay man who later died from his injuries has been jailed for 180 days. Tony Randolph Hunter died several days after being punched in the head by Robert Hannah, 19. The incident happened on September 10th 2008. As Hunter fell, he hit his head on the pavement, causing a fatal brain injury. The victim and a friend were on their way to a local gay bar, something which gay activists have said could have been a motive for the attack. The friend with Hunter at the time said the attack had been unprovoked. Last month, Hannah pleaded guilty to one charge of misdemeanor assault as part of a plea bargain offered by prosecutors. In exchange for the guilty plea, a charge of shoplifting against him was dropped. He has already served two months in prison.
*via Dorian Wright*

The final word on the arrest of Roman Polanski

What Whoopi Goldberg ('Not a Rape-Rape'), Harvey Weinstein ('So-Called Crime') et al. Are Saying in Their Outrage Over the Arrest of Roman Polanski A poem by Calvin Trillin.
A youthful error? Yes, perhaps. But he's been punished for this lapse-- For decades exiled from LA He knows, as he wakes up each day, He'll miss the movers and the shakers. He'll never get to see the Lakers. For just one old and small mischance, He has to live in Paris, France. He's suffered slurs and other stuff. Has he not suffered quite enough? How can these people get so riled? He only raped a single child. Why make him into some Darth Vader For sodomizing one eighth grader? This man is brilliant, that's for sure-- Authentically, a film auteur. He gets awards that are his due. He knows important people, too-- Important people just like us. And we know how to make a fuss. Celebrities would just be fools To play by little people's rules. So Roman's banner we unfurl. He only raped one little girl.

People are outsourcing their pregnancies to India

Childbirth at the Global Crossroads | The American Prospect
We have grown used to the idea of a migrant worker caring for our children and even to the idea of hopping an overseas flight for surgery. As global service work grows increasingly personal, surrogacy is the latest expression of this trend. Nowadays, a wealthy person can purchase it all -- the egg, the sperm, and time in the womb. "A childless couple gains a child. A poor woman earns money. What could be the problem?" asks Dr. Nayna Patel, Akanksha's founder and director. But despite Patel's view of commercial surrogacy as a straightforward equation, it's far more complicated for both the surrogates and the genetic parents. Like nannies or nurses, surrogates perform "emotional labor" to suppress feelings that could interfere with doing their job. Parents must decide how close they are willing (or able) to get to the woman who will give birth to their child. As science and global capitalism gallop forward, they kick up difficult questions about emotional attachment. What, if anything, is too sacred to sell?