North Korea bombs video game footage to 'We Are The World' - 10 Things
The votes are being cast right as 10 Things is being written, but it appears that marriage equality laws have been overwhelmingly passed in the UK lower house. While over half of the Conservatives voted against the proposed law, as threatened earlier this week (estimates on the Guardian were at around 132 for, 140 against), Labour and the other parties voted in favour meaning that the vote was a whopping 400 to 175. So, Australia, the mother country's apparently seen the writing on the wall; how's that bold, larrikin spirit looking now?
Telstra are about to start throttling your P2P networks, Victoria. In a trial that's set to become policy, a "small number of ADSL customers" are about to get their speed slowed the hell down for P2P transfers in what's being punchily described as part of "a range of technical options for better managing broadband internet performance for our customers during peak periods". They insist that they're not actually monitoring what it is that their Bigpond customers are actually doing (it's assumed they're using deep packet inspection technology, which basically just identifies if something's high-content P2P as opposed to other forms of data) and also insist that it's less about protecting copyright material and more about preventing network congestion. But still, we're going to do what everyone does when ISPs are involved and declare that this is the beginning of Skynet. First they came for the people downloading entire seasons of Modern Family, and I did nothing because I thought that series was derivative and obvious, etc.
It's been a while since we checked in with North Korea, but the plucky little dictatorship have been very busy of late: they're about to test themselves some nuclear devices (with South Korean authorities concerned that it might be multiple warheads, though there remains a lot of doubt as to whether North Korea can launch anything at all) and also making a spectacular propaganda video that captures every young North Korean boy's dearest wish: to bomb the US. Specifically, to bomb footage of New York from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare using the world's most crappy CG space shuttle, which also apparently releases glitter in space. The Guardian have translated one of the captions as reading "Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing. It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze", but the bit we're most confused by is why, exactly, it's soundtracked by a karaoke track of 'We Are The World'? Oh, USA For Africa, that you would be put to such undignified ends!
Margaret Thatcher must be turning in her grave - or talking to the ghost of her dead husband, or whatever it is that she does these days (it's been a while since we saw The Iron Lady): Argentinian foreign minister Héctor Timerman has declared the the windswept lumps of rock will be back in his country's control. "I don't think it will take another 20 years," he told the Guardian, "I think that the world is… understanding more and more that this is a colonial issue, an issue of colonialism" and that "the United Kingdom has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to find a solution for the Malvinas" - although he also rules out taking it by force. Which can only mean that he plans to take it by stealth: has anyone checked if the islands are still there this morning?
Did you know that minidisc was still a thing? Well, if not, there's probably no great reason to start knowing that now since Sony have announced they're ceasing production of minidisc players in March. The digital format that was introduced in 1992 as a hi-fidelity alternative to cassettes and became popular with pretty much nobody, especially once MP3 hit the scene. Sony stopped making personal minidisc players in 2011, so if you've got a mess of minidiscs sitting in a drawer (meaning that you probably worked as a musician or studio engineer in the 90s) you have a matter of weeks before they're never getting played again.
Lovers of grammar and haters of frantic CGI, brace yourselves: rumours are swirling that Disney plans to get all Avengers with its newly-acquired rights to the Star Wars franchise with a mooted stand-alone Yoda film. The diminutive Jedi Master is getting his own flick, according to the frequently unreliable Ain't It Cool news, though presumably it can't be a sequel to the existing films since he dies in Return of the Jedi: so either it's going to be a Young Yoda Adventures style thing (because didn't we all just love seeing Darth Vader and Boba Fett as kids?) or it'll be set between the trilogies, answering important questions like "how did Yoda build his house?" and "did he masturbate a lot, just sitting alone in a swamp for years on end?" Sounds like box office gold - and incidentally, if you're thinking of watching the Star Wars films again, here's the proper way to do it. Just saying.
With all the good things happening surrounding laws regarding rape and sexual assault - like the news laws in India we talked about only yesterday - it's worth pointing out that things are still (to use a technical term) basically fucked in a lot of the world. Like Somalia, where a 27 year old woman has been jailed for claiming she was raped. She told freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim that government security forces raped her last year; two days after the interview she was arrested and interrogated in Mogadishu (without legal counsel), during which time she retracted her story. She and Ibrahim have been charged with insulting a government body and making false claims. Both parties are set to appeal.
Greenpeace are a bit chuffed right now having had a win in Indonesia, with Asia Pulp and Paper - one of the companies singled out by the environmental activism group for egregiously terrible policies and practice - have signed a deal to end natural forest logging. The company, one of the largest paper manufacturers in the region, have agreed to use on plantation timber; although since they've logged an estimated two million-odd hectares of Sumatran rainforest, surely they don't have that much forest left? Then again, APP also have a rich history of ignoring environmental deals so fans of orang-utans and Sumatran tigers might want to wait a bit before exhaling.
Tug of War, kids: it's a deathtrap. Two Californian students have been hospitalised after said "spirit week" war-tug went horribly, horribly wrong. The rope snapped and two South El Monte High School students - Edith Rodriguez and Pablo Ocegued - literally had their fingers torn off. It's reported that they each lost four fingers on their right hands and that Rodriguez also lost her left thumb. Both underwent emergency surgery to have their digits reattached, but take heed: don't wrap the rope around your hands, and actually don't do Tug of War at all. We have video games now.
And finally, take a punt as to how this story ends. Matt Moore, prominent anti-gay blogger and vocal "ex-gay", who has written at length for US Christian publications about how he overcame his sinful urges through the love of The Jesus and is now no longer homosexual… a) is totally straight, because that stuff works and sexual orientation is something that can totally be controlled by wishful thinking, or b) was cruising for dudes in New Orleans on Grindr, with his profile even using the exact same pic as his column at the Christian Post. Moore confirmed to blogger Zinnia Jones that it was indeed him, but assured her that while "Creating a grindr profile and talking to guys on it was major disobedience on my part… Thankfully, I believe that He forgives me for this disobedience. I believe the blood of Christ covers this disobedience. And I won't be on grindr again….ever." Yep. That ex-gay stuff works like a charm - in the sense that charms also don't actually, y'know, do anything.