Links for March 12th

Iron Maiden speak out over riot

Heavy metal group Iron Maiden’s tour manager has criticised the people who were arrested for trying to gatecrash a concert in Bogota.

Colombian police arrested more than 100 people after stones were thrown hours before the group were due to perform.

In a statement posted on the band’s website, Rod Smallwood said: “We abhor the inane behaviour of a small minority of people outside.”

Product placement on TV ruled-out

The government has rejected proposals to allow broadcasters to use product placement in programmes, despite collapsing advertising revenues.

The practice of brands paying to have their products featured on television shows and movies is common in the US.

But Culture Minister Andy Burnham said a UK ban would be maintained and that he would “consider all other avenues before allowing product placement.”

Stephen Fry: The internet and Me

Stephen Fry – wit, writer, raconteur, actor and quiz show host – is also a self-confessed dweeb and meistergeek. As he confesses “If I added up all the hours I’ve sat watching a progress bar fill up, I could live another life.”

His Twitter feed is the world’s second most popular, pipped at the post by one Barack Obama. He spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme about why he believes the web is such a wondrous thing.

Last.FM joins Google’s rights row

Online music service Last.fm has waded into the row between YouTube and the Performing Right Society.

Founder Martin Stiksel said he hoped a resolution could be found to avoid illegal services from taking over.

He urged both parties to find a “workable solution, which he hoped would include cheaper and “less complicated” licences.

Tech shifts cultural boundaries

Digital technologies challenge the cultural industries, says Bill Thompson.

Web founder’s ‘snooping’ warning

The integrity of the internet is under threat if online “snooping” goes unchecked, one of the web’s most respected figures has told Parliament.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, said browsing habits could now be monitored as if someone had put a “TV camera in one’s room”.

Laws must be better enforced to ensure such “sensitive” data was not misused for commercial gain, he added.

Italian bloggers call for support from around the world to fight blogger-licensing in Italy

Senator D’Alia comes along wanting to black out the Internet. He has proposed an amendment, that has been approved in the Senate, to a draft law put forward by Minister Brunetta, that will oblige the ISPs to black out a site, a blog or a social media like YouTube or Facebook (the whole site) at the request of the Minister of the Interior for crimes of opinion, for example a film clip or a group that invites people not to observe a law that is considered to be unjust. Without any verdict from a magistrate. Today, this only happens in China. In a dictatorship.

Now Carlucci, ex show girl now member of Parliament for the right wing, is proposing to a law to forbid to publish any content in any form on line anonymously.

Homosexuality does for UK blue duck population

A couple of male blue ducks have pretty well done for hopes that the species might propagate in the UK after eschewing the advances of a female in favour of some light boy-on-boy, the Telegraph reports.

The pair of gay drakes – named Ben and Jerry – resisted the advances of female Cherry at Arundel Wetland Centre in West Sussex and came out of the avine closet to form a close partnership.

Dr Who Dalek found in pond

A Dalek from Dr Who was found submerged in a pond by volunteers enlisted to clear it of rubbish.

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