The Columbia Chronicle

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Trading privacy for ‘security’

By Luke Wilusz

February 13, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration recently announced that it would be expanding its Pre-Check program that allows certain passengers a chance to bypass some of the more time-consuming security measures at airports. The TSA has been testing the program for a few years, and it is set to expand it to several more national airports, including O’Hare, by the end of March.Pre-Check is designed to allow the TSA to focus o...

Silence of the tweets

By Luke Wilusz

February 6, 2012

Twitter made an announcement in the past couple of weeks that it would begin to cooperate with world governments and censor certain tweets in countries where they have been deemed illegal. Google has also implemented similar country-specific censoring measures in its Blogger service. These actions have sparked outrage from bloggers, activists and free speech advocates around the globe.However, while I could never condone censorshi...

Evans, Jones to settle score

By Nader Ihmoud

February 6, 2012

The Madhouse on Madison lived up to its name Jan. 28. This time the excitement revolved around the implications of the main Ultimate Fighting Championship bout between light heavyweights Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.Evans (17-1-1) defeated Davis (9-1) by a unanimous decision at the United Center, 1501 W. Madison St., and now has the opportunity to fight Jon Jones (15-1) for the light heavyweight title in Atlanta on April 21...

Take action against ACTA

By Luke Wilusz

January 30, 2012

While the U.S. congress’ Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act were successfully halted in the past few weeks, threats to free speech, privacy and an open Internet are still very real and on a larger scale than those two bills. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a treaty that aims to establish a strong international network of copyright enforcement regulations, has been gaining support from countries acr...

MPAA’s blackout criticism a complete joke

By Luke Wilusz

January 23, 2012

Wikipedia, Reddit and hundreds of other websites participated in a massive Internet blackout Jan. 18 to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which would effectively allow the U.S. government to censor the Internet and take down websites without due process. The sites went offline for a day and were replaced with notices meant to inform visitors about the bills and raise awareness a...

Happy New Year indeed

By Luke Wilusz

January 17, 2012

I think it’s safe to say that I started my new year with a good deal more excitement than anybody I know. At the stroke of midnight, beneath the ball drop in downtown Blue Island, against a backdrop of excited cheers and fireworks lighting up the sky, I asked Rebecca, my girlfriend of more than four-and-a-half years, to marry me. And she said yes. Or, to be more accurate, she said, “Yeah,” while nodding excitedly, lau...

Gamers give back

By Luke Wilusz

December 12, 2011

Many people think of gamers as self-absorbed slackers who spend all of their time losing themselves in digital worlds at best and antisocial misfits with violent tendencies at worst. However, one charity rallies the video game community together every year to prove those detractors wrong and do some good in the world.Child’s Play Charity, which has raised a cumulative $8,998,564 to buy toys and games for participating c...

‘Call of Duty’ won’t incite war crimes

By Luke Wilusz

December 12, 2011

The International Committee for the Red Cross announced a few weeks ago that it was examining the depiction of war in video games and looking into whether the rules of engagement established by the Geneva and Hague conventions should be applied to such games.The reasoning behind this, apparently, is that allowing players to do things in video games that would constitute war crimes in real life—such as shooting civilians...

PMCs play dangerous game

By Luke Wilusz

December 5, 2011

As someone who follows the game industry fairly closely, I was surprised to realize that “Blackwater,” a game based on the private military company (PMCs), was released at the end of October, and that I hadn’t heard of it. It’s hard to look at this game as anything short of propaganda—according to the reviews and descriptions that I could find online, the game plays up the company’s mercenary soldiers as heroes ...

Lobby for free speech

By Luke Wilusz

November 21, 2011

When I first wrote about Congress’s proposed Internet censorship bill a few weeks ago, very few people seemed to be aware of the issue. Luckily for proponents of free speech and an open Internet, there’s been a significant amount of backlash since then from ordinary citizens and corporate tech juggernauts alike in the days leading up to a heated Nov. 16 House of Representatives hearing regarding the Stop Online Piracy ...

Free speech turns deadly

By Luke Wilusz

November 14, 2011

Here in the U.S., we enjoy the privilege of criticizing or speaking out against whomever or whatever we want. We can feel free to decry corruption in our political system and denounce criminal activity and violence in our communities.Unfortunately, our neighbors to the south do not enjoy these same luxuries. Drug cartel-related violence in Mexico has been on the rise recently with a string of high-profile murders targeting...

Support comic book stores

By Luke Wilusz

November 7, 2011

Marvel Comics is set to begin releasing digital copies of all of its major titles on the same day they are available in print, according to a Nov. 2 exclusive from Gawker tech blog Gizmodo. It’s definitely a smart move on Marvel’s part, especially considering the fact that DC Comics began doing the same thing with its “New 52” relaunch in September.Bringing digital comics up to speed with their traditional print co...

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