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Beijing Police To Launch Animated Web Patrols 228

Posted by kdawson
from the move-along-now-no-subversion-to-see-here dept.
Reader geoffrobinson notes an AP story on a new initiative by the police in Beijing to put a visible police presence on the screens of Chinese citizens. Starting Sept. 1, little animated cop figures will wander across the displays of users of a baker's dozen of Chinese Web portals. The program is set to expand by year's end to all sites "registered with Beijing servers," according to the report. The point of the anime-like figures seems to be to remind citizens that their Web usage is being monitored, not to actually implement any further monitoring themselves.
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Beijing Police To Launch Animated Web Patrols

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  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spudtrooper (1073512) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:48PM (#20393611)
    Bonzi Buddy got a new job!
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by orionop (1139819) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:51PM (#20393627) Journal
    What is next, an animated goatse reminding us of the horrors that are to be found on the internet?
  • So (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:52PM (#20393637)
    If you google Tiananmen does a little animated tank come out and crush your cursor?
    • Re:So (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Phybersyk0 (513618) <phybersyko@sto[ ... g ['rmd' in gap]> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:00PM (#20393723)
      Nope. 404-Not Found.

      (Most Chinese people under 30 don't know about the Tianamen Square protests -- Those that do don't really hold the event in high regard, as the student protest leaders are rumored to have had passports/visa's and transportation to get out of the country after the protest was held.)

      Americans like the idea of revolution, but when it happens for real, good people die.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_revolut ion/ [wikipedia.org]) The Chinese government knows this, and freedoms will come, but it's going to take time. Generations. Not weeks.
      • Bad Link (Score:5, Informative)

        by johndiii (229824) * on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:11PM (#20393799) Journal
        I assume that you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution [wikipedia.org]. And it was not a revolution in the way that we normally understand it. From the article:

        It was launched by the Communist Party of China's Chairman, Mao Zedong on May 16, 1966, officially as a campaign to rid China of its "liberal bourgeoisie" elements and to continue revolutionary class struggle. It is widely recognized, however, as a method to regain control of the party after the disastrous Great Leap Forward led to a significant loss of Mao's power to rivals Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, and would eventually manifest into waves of power struggles between rival factions both nationally and locally.

        Many people did die, but the net result was that some people who already had power got more, and some people that had power lost it (and frequently their lives).
        • Re:Bad Link (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Phybersyk0 (513618) <phybersyko@sto[ ... g ['rmd' in gap]> on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:01PM (#20394113)
          Many people did die, but the net result was that some people who already had power got more, and some people that had power lost it (and frequently their lives).

          I think you grossly understate things.

          I've personally met more than a handful people in China who simply refuse to discuss the Cultural Revolution in any detail at all. They wont even document their experience in writing. It's still too painful for them.
          • Re:Bad Link (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DDLKermit007 (911046) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @04:41AM (#20395879)
            It's not that it's painful as much as it's a giant black mark on Chinese history. The Chinese usually hate discussing ANYTHING that they/the government lost face on. An act that causes a loss of face (even if for a good reason) is something people disappear over in China.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jarik_Tentsu (1065748)
          We're learning about Chinese revolution from a really good History teacher at school at the moment (she wrote one of the text books for the course and is mentioned by Richard Pipes =P). Now we have only just finished the Great Leap Forward and started the Cultural Revolution, but from what I understand so far...

          The cultural revolution was another one of Mao's 'mad' policies in which he felt his *own* commanders and party officials, intellectual advisors, etc etc were becoming corrupt and to stop this, he ca
      • Americans like the idea of revolution, but when it happens for real, good people die.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_revolut ion/)

        Mao and his cronies called it a revolution, but it was really a purge. A revolution replaces the people in power, a purge helps to keep them in power.

        The Chinese government knows this, and freedoms will come, but it's going to take time. Generations. Not weeks.

        Yea, when the last communist party official becomes a billionaire, but then how would they keep a democratically elected governement from taking all of their ill gotten booty? OK, they'll just stay in power until they get thrown out.

        The Tianamen Square protests, were just protests, sure they came close to starting a revolution, but too little of China k

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SQL Error (16383)

        Americans like the idea of revolution, but when it happens for real, good people die.
        Revolutionary's Handbook Tip #1: When you throw out the bad old system, try not to replace it with something worse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RuBLed (995686)
      Remember those ads where you need to shoot the rubber ducks and win a prize? I'm smelling a firefox addon going to be made by a pissed Chinese.
    • by Nymz (905908) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:22PM (#20393865) Journal

      If you google Tiananmen does a little animated tank come out and crush your cursor?
      I laughed at first too, because the whole idea seems pointless and annoying, as if we don't have enough unwanted pop-ups and such. But then I realize I'm free, so I can only imagine how creepy, and how sad it is to be reminded every half hour that you are so subjugated.
      • by Spikeles (972972) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:36PM (#20393955)
        The biggest trick the government ever pulled was convincing the citizen that he was free
        • by Nymz (905908)

          The biggest trick the government ever pulled was convincing the citizen that he was free
          If I end up in prison after Yahoo 'complies' with my government, then I'll reconsider my perception of freedom.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by slashdot.org (321932)
            If I end up in prison after Yahoo 'complies' with my government, then I'll reconsider my perception of freedom.

            Some people believe that freedom is the ability to do whatever you want so long as you don't hurt anyone else. Given that definition, the US is far from a free country.

            As an example, explain how drinking alcohol is considered fine and smoking weed can land you in jail. (despite stacks of research proving that pot has less negative effects than alcohol does)

            Not to mention Guantanamo. Those aren't ci
        • by fractoid (1076465) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @12:12AM (#20394625) Homepage

          The biggest trick the government ever pulled was convincing the citizen that he was free
          Go outside and yell "The government sucks!" three times, then post conspiracy theory crap everywhere. Did they suppress you? No?
          • by Spikeles (972972)
            You are free right up until you become "not-free". It's the illusion of freedom that most people have. There have been many many cases where people have thought they had the freedom to do something only to have it taken away when the government(or it's departments) decide they can. Sure you can shout things like that, but i guess those people protesting against George Bush who got herded into protest pens had the "freedom" to shout too.. As long as it was along way away from him. The difference as you said,
          • by shish (588640)

            Go outside and yell "The government sucks!" three times, then post conspiracy theory crap everywhere. Did they suppress you? No?

            Why would they suppress someone who's helping them by demonstrating that the opposition are nuts?

            Try doing something *against* them, and see if you get suppressed :P

          • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @07:19AM (#20396669)

            Go outside and yell "The government sucks!" three times, then post conspiracy theory crap everywhere. Did they suppress you? No?


            In China? No, you just disappear. Maybe the government did it. Maybe the mafia did it because you owed them money. Maybe you ran away with a girl. Maybe you're escaping after committing a crime. That's why they do it that way - people go missing all the time, and nobody can be sure which ones were government work. It makes it very easy for people to believe that the government isn't actually doing anything wrong, and that's part of how they convince the citizen that he's free.

            Realistically though, the Chinese government does not tend to do anything about the kind of behaviour you describe. They don't actually care what you do - they just pay attention to the effect you have. Anybody who creates an effect that they don't like tends to disappear. Ineffectual people are left alone.
            • Mod parent up (Score:3, Interesting)

              by shadowbearer (554144)
              I suspect that many people who remember the old Soviet Union would recognize that technique as well.

              Just as a general comment on this thread, not @ you asuffield, is that those of you who yammer on, constantly, about how much freedom we have in this country would be better off looking after it, rather than boasting about it. Especially because the boasting makes you looked pretty damned foolish to some people who have perhaps considered the issue a little more objectively and at least made an effor
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by kalirion (728907)
            Reminds me of an old Soviet joke:

            A Russian and an American are discussing the merits of their governments.

            The American says, "We have full freedom of speech. I could stand on a soap box all day and yell 'The American government sucks, and the American president is a criminal' and I would not be arrested."

            The Russian replies, "That's nothing. I could go into Kremlin, call a press conference with invitations to all the communist party leaders, and announce 'The American government sucks, and the American pr
      • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @01:24AM (#20395013) Homepage
        You're not free. You are *more* politically free than the average person in China, but freedom ain't an "on/off" kind of thing, it's a "more/less" kind of thing.

        The sad thing is though, that while the average chinese has become steadily more and more free lately, the trend in USA has been the other way, you guys are significantly less *free* now than you where a decade or two ago.

        You require government-permission if you want to take pictures of a group of more than 2 people for over 20 minutes in Central Park, using a tripod. You are not allowed to talk about certain kinds of knowledge, like for example even that de-CSS exist. Your government maintains it can legitimately keep people imprisoned indefinitely while giving same neither the rigths of a POV nor the rigths of a criminal. You cannot bring something as trivial as a can of coke with you on a plane. You have to walk trough metal-detectors and accept answering questioning to be allowed to enter public buildings. You're not allowed to take apart objects that you own to figure out how they work. (not generally anyway) and if you *do* figure out how they work, sharing that knowledge with others may be a crime. You've been falling steadily on "freedom-of-press" rankings for the last decade, you used to be near the top, these days you're under average for a western democracy. "Free speech zones" (no comment needed)

        USA is still in pretty good shape, certainly miles ahead of countries like china. But you're on the wrong track. You need to wake up.
        • by Plutonite (999141)

          but freedom ain't an "on/off" kind of thing, it's a "more/less" kind of thing.

          Yep, that much is true, but little big brothers that march across your screen are pretty much an on/off thing. American freedoms deteriorated largely due to a set of "emergency" type laws set by one administration, and some of them are most likely going to be revised or even removed in the next year or so because that's how free countries work - people discuss touchy things on media and politicians try to get elected by mixing truth with lies concerning how these things are going to happen. With china and

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Eivind (15695)
            The thing about "emergency" laws though, is that they're not *actually* repelled even nearly as often as you would like them to be. There are strong forces that *want* such laws, permanently, and whatever emergency pops up is a welcome excuse to push them trough rapidly. If the laws are still there 20 years later, who will even remember?

            If the "emergency" part was seriously meant, the laws would come with an automatic expiry-date. "This law expires automatically in 3 years, unless extended by congress", but
          • by Eivind (15695)
            Why would you think I'd be a brit ?

            I guess I should be flattered -- I would've thunk that having english as my third language made it rather obvious from my writing alone that I'm not, but I guess not. :-)

            I'm Norwegian. Which is completely irrelevant by the way.
            • Probably because we British have been steadily eroding our own rights just like the US, and have an ever greater culture of surveillance. The poster is suggesting that it would be ironic for the British to criticise the US over civil rights erosion.

              Personally, I really don't see it as relevant whether I criticise erosion of civil rights in the US, the UK, or anywhere else in the world. I oppose this erosion equally wherever I see it happening.

        • by asuffield (111848)

          USA is still in pretty good shape, certainly miles ahead of countries like china.


          When you have to draw comparisons with China in order to say that a country is in "good shape", it's time to put it out of its misery. It's like saying "Yeah, so he kidnaps somebody every few years, and one or two of them died, but at least he's not shooting random people in the street every day".

          There is no such thing as an acceptable level of oppression.
          • by Eivind (15695)
            That also wan't my point. When you talk of china and usa in the same paragraph, a lot of people feel personally attacked and tend to knee-jerk a lot of responses of the type "we're lots better than China".

            I was just pointing out that this is COMPLETELY besides the point, as my point wasn't about the relative positions of the two countries at all, but about the relative *DIRECTION*.

            Freedom is being lost in the USA currently. That is worrisome. It is worrisome regardless of if you are more or less free than a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540)

        But then I realize I'm free, so I can only imagine how creepy, and how sad it is to be reminded every half hour that you are so subjugated.

        You need not worry; by all available evidence, the Chinese government is doing its level best to keep its citizens from being reminded of the Tiananmen massacre.

        As for you, you won't be free until the last libertarian is strangled with the entrails of the last fascist. As long as we keep on letting ideology of any kind to guide our political or economic decisions,

    • Here's a question... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @02:24AM (#20395337) Homepage
      ... prompted by the word "Tianamen" - the Great Firewall of China blocks "objectionable content" based on keywords. Presumably it doesn't only work on port 80, otherwise people would be proxying web traffic through non-standard ports.

      If I'm getting a lot of spam from China, would sticking words that trigger the firewall in my SMTP HELO response automatically block them?
  • 1984 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by martinelli (1082609) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:55PM (#20393657) Homepage
    Big Brother is Watching You
  • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:55PM (#20393667) Homepage
    During college I took a SOC or PSYC class (I forget which) and as part of the class you were required to "volunteer" as a subject in a study on campus. The one I was part of was doing data entry and every so often a little head would appear in the top corner that was to signify that a "supervisor" was watching what you did.

    They wanted to see if your data entry slowed/sped up, if your errors increased/decreased, etc. While I don't know what the end result was, I was shown my results and found that when the "supervisor" was in the corner I was less attentive and my data entry slowed.

    What if a majority of students/researchers in China are working on their Internet (yes, their) and the "virtua-cop" fucks up their work? I can't imagine that this will do anything but be ridiculous and annoying.

    Waste your time on something else, seriously.
    • by JonTurner (178845) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:09PM (#20393783) Journal
      >>every so often a little head would appear in the top corner that was to signify that a "supervisor" was watching...
      Fascinating study! I guess the Panopticon would cause people to just freak out. Maybe the pervasive monitoring in some societies (UK, Hong Kong) is both a symptom AND a cause of the very crime it's meant to monitor.

      >>What if a majority of students/researchers in China are working on their Internet (yes, their) and the "virtua-cop" fucks up their work?
      The short answer is: the officials don't care. Truly. Government is about control, not service, and it's certainly not measured by the results it gives. That's a very "western" viewpoint. And this government has a particularly nasty (and long) history of killing its own folks.
    • What if a majority of students/researchers in China are working on their Internet (yes, their) and the "virtua-cop" fucks up their work?

      In China, the government values control over efficiency of its nation. Sorry, but nothing new here.

      Interesting research BTW. I'd love to read more about it.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      What if a majority of students/researchers in China are working on their Internet (yes, their) and the "virtua-cop" fucks up their work? I can't imagine that this will do anything but be ridiculous and annoying.

      In TFA this is mentioned as being part of various sites, like Sina.com. Not an independent program. So you'd see it only if you are browsing these portals.

      It doesn't mention the technology, but I'd bet it was just a Flash animation. There are plenty of other animated Flash ads to distract you onl

      • by ultranova (717540)

        It doesn't mention the technology, but I'd bet it was just a Flash animation.

        I'd use Javascript, since that allows you to make the Virtual Oppressors walk all over the page rather than be constrained in a box. Or they could simply use a Sony-like rootkit to put a huge, partially translucent eye on top of everything else on the monitor.

    • by szap (201293)

      a little head would appear in the top corner that was to signify that a "supervisor" was watching what you did. They wanted to see if your data entry slowed/sped up,...

      Testing Hawthorne Effect [wikipedia.org], I presume. The wikipedia page has interesting bits on when it. In a Management class in uni, the conclusion we were taught is the Hawthorne Effect causes productivity to increase when observed, but seems closer to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to me: productivity changes when directly observed or measured, but

  • by rabiddeity (941737) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @09:57PM (#20393693) Homepage
    You look like you're trying to access the Real Internet! Would you like me to:

    -block the sites you're trying to access
    -uninstall your proxy software
    -report you to the authorities for re-education
    -subtly rewrite your search results
    • You forgot: -shoot you in the head for acting against the motherland and then charging your family for the bullet
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:02PM (#20393735)
    Just like the cops at home. [dunkindonuts.com]
  • I must admit that I do slow down sometimes when I see a paper cut-out on the side of a highway.
  • How annoying (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kris_J (10111) * on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:12PM (#20393815) Journal
    I've voluntarily installed screenmate software [adtoolsinc.com] before and typically it doesn't last past the day. I can't imagine there won't be plenty of programs written to turn them off.
    • I don't think this is the same thing. It's not something people are required to have installed on their machines, it's something running on the webserver and adding these images to the pages they serve. Unless all the images come from certain special servers, even adblock won't help.
  • Easy Vista (Score:5, Funny)

    by KingPrad (518495) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @10:45PM (#20394009)
    This should streamline running Vista. Now whenever you are prompted for Allow/Deny the character will go ahead and choose Deny for you. Every time.
  • conflict with China (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drDugan (219551)
    With the end of the cold war, I was hopeful that the ideological conflict between the west and the rest of the world was over. It looked like China was opening up.

    It appears, with stories like this and many others, not to be the case. China is obviously acting in ways that are not good for people - as defined by Western standards of freedom. Unlike Russia, they do not appear to have the financial decay leading to an eventual collapse.

    I've heard people argue that no one will go to war with China - the sta
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:26PM (#20394295)
      I live in China, and I can tell you that it's certainly not in a "death-like state like that the of Chinese government oppression". Sure, censorship exists, the government is quite corrupt and abusive, especially on the lower levels, and it can be hard to find a good book. It drives me up the wall sometimes, just how flat the popular culture is- anything controversial gets dropped like a hot rock.

      On the other hand, there are raunchy popular novels (printed by half-legal vanity presses) being sold right outside my door. There's tons of (bad) modern art expressing the pain of living in Chinese society, and (bad) rock 'n roll expressing the pain of being young and unloved. Although there are fewer than 100 movies released to theaters each year on the mainland, every film ever made is sporadically available on DVD, from Deep Throat to To Live to They Live. Chinese people can find every sort of approved and forbidden idea under the sun if they're curious, and they're mostly free to discuss it in private. Publishing is another thing, but the Cultural Revolution is over, and you can pretty much say whatever you want to your friends.

      China is booming, and the authorities can barely keep it under control. I won't defend their actions (although cartoon cops are hardly the worst things they do....) but the notion that China in any way resembles 1984 is absurd. While the government is sliding from totalitarian Communism towards plutocracy, the people are getting away with everything they can, and it's a lot. I don't hold out a lot of hope that we'll have big D Democracy here anytime soon, but to imagine that this country, or the US, or anyone else would somehow be better off in a Massive 3rd World War is insane.

      You are insane.
      • China is booming, and the authorities can barely keep it under control.

        China has a sword hanging over its head, and the smarter government officials know this (some have rather candidly admitted as much in interviews with Western media). Not a sword of war, but a sword of population; the crunch of America's "Baby Boom" generation retiring will be looked on with nostalgia when China's recent (late-20th-century) population booms reach old age, and state-mandated population control policies leave too few

        • by TheLink (130905)
          If they leave the air and water polluted and don't strongly discourage smoking, many of them might not reach old age. Problem solved then ;).
    • Frankly I hope you don't get your misguided wish. To quote Albert Einstein:

      I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.
    • by wikinerd (809585)

      no one will go to war with China

      Last time I checked [wikipedia.org], China has about 130 nuclear warheads, US has 9 960, and Russia has 16 000.

      Guess who is going to be obliterated first when the WW3 begins.

      • by compro01 (777531)
        does it particularly matter who dies first if the entire planet goes up in mushroom clouds?

        and i personally wonder how much use first strike capability would be given the number of nukes we're talking about.
      • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @02:31AM (#20395375)

        Last time I checked, China has about 130 nuclear warheads, US has 9 960, and Russia has 16 000.

        Guess who is going to be obliterated first when the WW3 begins.

        Whoever the guy with the fastest missiles hates most ?

        Please understand that having 9960 nuclear warheads in no way stops 130 enemy warheads from reaching you. While 130 nuclear warheads is not sufficient to carpet bomb a country the size of the USA, it is quite sufficient to take out large cities, industry, food production and central administration. The end result is likely massive death toll from starvation and plague, and collapse of the USA as a nation, or at the very least its removal from its world power status.

        So no, no one dares attack China.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Grym (725290) *

          While 130 nuclear warheads is not sufficient to carpet bomb a country the size of the USA, it is quite sufficient to take out large cities, industry, food production and central administration. The end result is likely massive death toll from starvation and plague, and collapse of the USA as a nation, or at the very least its removal from its world power status.

          What you describe is entirely unlikely. You act as if the U.S. military would sit back passively while the Chinese spent hours fueling their 130

      • by Archon-X (264195)
        Arm every person in china with chopsticks, and you've got an army that will defeat any other by sheer numbers.
        c'mon, you've seen zombie movies, you know the drill!
    • I think you'll find that the last two world wars were devastating for human liberties, and the next one will most likely continue that trend. Just off the top of my head...

      WWI:
      - led to the rise of fascist regimes across Europe and Communism in Russia.
      - initiated fiat money and restrictions one's right to earn money (income tax) in the US and Canada
      - led to occupation and irrational partitioning of the Middle East
      - created a political situation that made WWII inevitable
      - inspired the creation of chemical wea
  • With all this intimidation of web surfers, I am beginning to get suspicious the Chinese delegation must have had their fingers crossed when the promised to alleviate human rights abuses in their country in time for the 2008 Olympic Games.

    Nah, I guess it is impossible to believe that with the eye of the world on their country, China would continue to hold the world's youngest political prisoner, the Panchen Lama, and kill prisoners so they can harvest their organs. They clearly wouldn't continue to block acc
  • Awww... (Score:4, Funny)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:20PM (#20394241) Homepage
    They're so cute they just make me want to limit my searches to government approved propaganda and puppies.
    • I know, they are irresistibly sweet, if only Orwell had thought of it, a boot stamping on a human face forever would be OK if it was one of those cute cartoon boots from Who Framed Rodger Rabbit.
  • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @11:22PM (#20394261)
    Look, we all know that the Chinese government is going to be monitoring as much as it can. They're control freaks. I, for one, welcome any measures they take to remind the people that they're being watched - maybe such reminders will help the people of china think about what kind of society they live in and what kind of society they would like to live in, and encourage them to take action to try to shape their future.
    • ... maybe such reminders will help the people of china think about what kind of society they live in and what kind of society they would like to live in

      It is possible, that people of china think that the rest of the world lives under the same or even worse circumstances. Besides, it can even give them a warm a fuzzy feeling that all "wrong" people are watched by authorities too.

      • by QuantumG (50515)
        And they may be right, so what? I hate that.. it reminds me of people who say "that's broken on Windows too" when you criticize their Mac or a Linux distro. It aint right. That's all that matters - not how bad it is elsewhere. Hold yourself and your society to a gold standard.

    • by wikinerd (809585)
      If children are raised in an environment where surveillance is common and openly visible, they'll think it's something normal and natural and will never revolt against this unless they read some philosophy or learn to think for themselves at a later age.
  • Given that they'll do anything for the Holy Dollar (or Yuan Reminbi), even if it would violate our laws as well.
  • Tentacles (Score:4, Funny)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday August 29, 2007 @02:13AM (#20395287) Homepage
    Can you get all hentai on that girl cop and "interact" with her using a tentacle cursor?
  • by nagora (177841)
    This is just standard police-state stuff. Just as Orwell had posters of Big Brother Is Watching You everywhere, the Chinese Fascist Party need to keep their population in a state of fear. This keeps them from combining with strangers (since they are afraid to trust anyone) and ultimately from fighting for their freedom. Oppressive Regimes 101.

    Remind me again why I should give a shit about athletes who are going to China to help support this bunch of bastards?

    TWW

  • This has been done before, although for different reasons. It was called 'Tiny Elvis' [wikipedia.org], and he stayed towards the bottom of your screen, occasionally saying things like 'Whoa, check out that icon. That sucker's huge!' They just put a cop uniform on it and took away the catchy phrases...

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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