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[Review] God’s Jury: The Inquisition, IT & Privacy

If you were hunting for a book most ReadWriteWeb readers would, based on the title, find irrelevant to their pursuits, you could do worse than “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World” by Cullen Murphy. But, as Murphy adeptly shows, both information technology and the institutional corruption of privacy would not have assumed…

[Video] Thinking Cities

Ericsson’s Networked Society Program has produced a second documentary, which is available for viewing by ReadWriteWeb readers a day before it is released publicly. The documentary series and program are attempts by the Swedish telecom company to investigate larger ideas, ones that affect how technology is created and used. Here’s how Ericsson…

Location, Location, Location: You Don’t Need to Know Mine

When I read Jon Mitchell’s post on Glassmap, my first thought was, “Who in God’s name would want anyone, even friends, knowing where they were all the time?” I wondered if this were a generational thing and to some degree, it probably is. But there’s something more.

My life is interesting enough, even in its dull patches, that I would be…

[Video] Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”: From MP3 to Wax Cylinder

The closer the present approaches an imagined future, the more it inspires a look backward. As computers became Star Trek pads, people got more interested, for instance, in Babbage’s analytical engine or the Antikythera mechanism.

So it’s no surprise, but it’s still awesome, that a wad of nerdlingers has decided to compare a new wax recording…

Saudi Twitter User Faces Death Penalty for Tweets

A 23-year-old Saudi Twitter user, Hamza Kashgari, fled the country Sunday to avoid being arrested for his religious tweets, only to find himself in the hands of the Malaysian police today. He was heading to New Zealand to request political asylum.

On Saturday, the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Kashgari tweeted three times…

[Update] Nokia Publishes Policy on Conflict Minerals

“Conflict minerals,” those mined to support groups conducting armed conflict or engaging in human rights abuses, have been an issue since long before we first wrote about it in July of 2010. The mineral equivalent of blood diamonds, they include tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold, all of which are used to manufacture our electronics.

Nokia, the…

[Video] NASA Releases 1st Footage of the “Dark Side” of the Moon

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has released the first footage shot of the moon’s far side. The 30-second clip (after the jump) sweeps from the moon’s northern pole to the southern polar region, passing, among other features, the Mare Orientale, a 560-mile wide dry sea that extends onto the side we can […]

[Video] NASA Releases 1st Footage of the “Dark Side” of the Moon

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has released the first footage shot of the moon’s far side.

The 30-second clip (after the jump) sweeps from the moon’s northern pole to the southern polar region, passing, among other features, the Mare Orientale, a 560-mile wide dry sea that extends onto the side we can see from…

[Audio Download] Lomax Folk Recordings Go Digital

Anyone with an abiding interest in American music will have heard of Alan Lomax. His travels around the U.S. and through other countries recording “folk music” was almost single-handedly responsible for how we think about Americana and world music both. But only a small amount of his recordings were available online, with few available for…

[Updated] Google Fires Kenya Lead Over Mocality

Google has reportedly fired its Kenya country manager, Olga Arara-Kimani, over a fraudulent use of Mocality’s data. Nairobitech reported: “The Google Mocality saga has drawn its first casualties. Kenya country lead for Google, Olga Arara-Kimani formerly of Safaricom has been let go by the company. Also axed is a technical guy in Zurich… It is […]

Ethiopia Sentences U.S. Blogger to Life in Prison

The Federal High Court in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa sentenced expatriate journalist and blogger Elias Kifle to life in prison yesterday. Kifle is the editor of the Washington D.C.-based blog, Ethiopian Review. He was sentenced in absentia and remains in the United States.

It was originally reported that he could receive the death…

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, January 21, 2012

We’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us.

Foxconn Chair Calls Employees Animals

Terry Gou, chairman of Taipei-based Hon Hai, Foxconn’s parent company, called his employees animals at a recent company party, according to Want China Times. Foxconn makes many of the devices Western consumers use, such as the iPhone and the Kindle.

“Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide,” he said, “and as human beings are also…

Al-Shabaab Tweets Terror

Since the Kenyan army has gone into Somalia in October (during my trip to Kenya), the main Islamist group Al-Shabaab has used Twitter in its propaganda war against the Kenyan government.

It’s latest tweets, posted yesterday on @hsmpress, include photos and descriptions of two Kenyan government officials they’ve kidnapped, Fredrick Irungu…

Wall Street Journal Unveils Online China Econtracker

China Real Time, the Wall Street Journal’s blog devoted to the world’s second-largest country, has developed and launched China Econtracker, a valuable tool to access and understand economic data on the country.

Dealing with the statistical bureaus of the world’s second-largest economy is even less pleasant than it sounds. So the Journal has…

Wall Street Journal Unveils Online China Econtracker

China Real Time, the Wall Street Journal’s blog devoted to the world’s second-largest country, has developed and launched China Econtracker, a valuable tool to access and understand economic data on the country. Dealing with the statistical bureaus of the world’s second-largest economy is even less pleasant than it sounds. So the Journal has created this […]

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, January 14, 2012

We’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us.