Sunday, May 27, 2007

KPFK at the FoB

KPFK at the FoB
Originally uploaded by ~db~
The KPFK Booth at the L.A. Time Festival of Books.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Expelled for Recreating School in Game

A student at Clements High School in Texas has been transferred to an "Alternative Education Center" and will not be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies with the rest of his class after it was discovered that he had created a level (or map) based on his school for the video game Counter-Strike.

A day after the Virginia Tech Shootings, a parent of another student called the school to say their child had played a video game which "involved killing" and "took place inside an animated map of Clements High School". The principal and a counselor found the web site where the map, named "The Official Clements High School CS Map", was available for download. The creator of the map was a student at the school.

Cops were called. They looked at the site and found nothing illegal, but decided to follow up anyway. They searched the boy's locker where again "nothing illegal or threatening was found". They then "retrieved" the boy from class and brought him to the assistant principal's office where he was frisked by the policeman "for the safety of all involved."

The boy was questioned, and was reportedly surprised at all the attention. The police report says the student "stated that it was simply a game and that he never intended for any violence to occur at the school or for anyone to get hurt in any way". He promised to delete the map and not produce any more school maps.

At that point, the boy's mother arrived and agreed to allow the police to search the boy's room at home. When they arrived and searched, they found five "ornamental or decorative knives of varying lengths." Four of them "were not sharpened at all, and one was slightly sharpened". The parents apparently didn't know about them, and took possession of them when they were discovered. The police do not think they were weapons.

Finally, the boy showed them Counter-Strike and the map he created. They asked him to delete the map, which he did. The police report then states "He was reminded to never again produce a map of any school, or even any public building or area". He agreed with the request.

According to the police report, the County District Attorney's Office has found the student "knew of no criminal offense that had occurred; there were no threats on any specific person or people; there was no evidence found to pursue the case any further". Yet the School District is standing by its decision to transfer the student and exclude him from the graduation ceremony.

Members of the local Chinese community are protesting the action and are supporting the student's family. The school board called a meeting this week regarding the issue, but four of the six members refused to attend, saying the special meeting circumvented the district's disciplinary process. That meeting was cancelled, even though the room was reportedly "packed" with about 120 people in support of the student.

Soldiers Must Get Approval to Email, Blog

Wired News has obtained rules from the U.S. Army which order soldiers to get clearance from a superior officer before sending personal email or posting to a blog. The directive was issued on April 19, and failure to comply may result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

via /.

Cryptome Loses ISP

Cryptome, the online repository of documents which "are prohibited by governments worldwide", is losing its Internet service provider, Verio. While refusing to be specific, either with the press or the site's owner John Young, the ISP is reportedly claiming there was a violation of their Acceptable Use Policy. They have informed Mr. Young that his service will be terminated this Friday. A posting on Slashdot says he will continue the site, from within the U.S. or elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

No Degree Because of MySpace Pic

Just a few days before she was expecting to receive her education degree and teaching certificate, officials at Millersville University in Pennsylvania discovered Stacy Snyder's MySpace page, which included a picture of her wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup. The caption for the photo was "Drunken Pirate".

That was enough for the school officials. Even though the 27 year old mother of two was of drinking age when the photo was taken in 2005, they said it was "unprofessional" and denied her certificate and education degree. Instead they issued a degree in English.

Ms. Snyder is now suing the school for $75,000, her degree, and certificate.
"I dreamed about being a teacher for a long time," Snyder said. "When I was growing up, I spent more time with my teachers than my own parents, and it inspired me to someday make a positive impact on children."

via BoingBoing