iFive: BlackBerry Porn Ban, Student-Teacher Facebook Ban, U.K. Regulating Tweet Promos, MySpace's End, Bugs Not Meat for CO2

1. RIM's BlackBerrys, increasingly embattled overseas from censor-happy governments, are facing a new threat: Indonesia is threatening to kill RIM's operations completely in the world's fourth most populous nation if it doesn't act swiftly to block access to pornography via its servers. Threatening statements made by the Comms and IT Minister drew huge protests online, in Twitter and elsewhere, but the threat remains real.

2. Virginia is set to spark controversy this week by banning teacher-student texting and Facebook contacts. It's ostensibly to prevent sexual misconduct in schools (demonstrating the naivety of the local Board of Education, since a million other types of personal contact will remain unbanned) but the controversy will likely center on whether the regulations restrict understanding and exploitation of digital platforms for education.

3. The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trade is set to regulate Twitter endorsements, in a move echoing U.S. FTC concerns over undisclosed advertising or sponsorship deals. It's actually brought a case against a PR firm that payed bloggers to be over-enthusiastic about its brand clients, and promises more such action. but it leaves us all unsure about the extent this sort of regulation is needed: Caveat emptor is always true.

4. MySpace's decline is beginning to look real: Reports are popping up that the firm will lay off over 500 employees tomorrow, January 11th--around half its workforce. The scuttlebutt is that it may then look for a buyer, for its new leaner operation, and private equity firms are a likely target. It appears that Facebook, and Twitter, and other new social media firms have won this battle.

5. Norwegian scientists revealed a radical proposition to reduce the carbon footprint generated by the world's meat-eating habit: Replace cattle with insects. Their study shows that swapping bugs for beasts could significantly reduce the 18% of greenhouse emissions that come from cows and pigs, without reducing the quantity of edible meat being produced. Luckily, they don't advocate eating cockroaches.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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