One Kidney sold every hour for iPads!!

COMPUTER tablets are among the inducements to part with an organ being offered around the world as the illegal trade in kidneys spirals to the point where one is traded every hour.

About 10,000 illegal kidney operations take place every year – about 75 per cent of the black market of all organs traded worldwide – the UK’s Guardian reported, citing Dr. Luc Noel, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official who monitors trends in organ transplants.

The increasing number of people suffering heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure is pushing the rise in the illicit trade of kidneys.

“There is a growing need for transplants and big profits to be made. It’s ever-growing, it’s a constant struggle,” Noel said.

“The stakes are so big, the profit that can be made so huge, that the temptation is out there.”

WHO says organ brokers prey on the poor and vulnerable, paying them about $5000 for their kidneys.

“Donate a kidney, buy the new iPad!” a broker in China advertised, offering $3920 a kidney.

The organ can later sell for several times the original price, with wealthy patients travelling to China, India or Pakistan for a $200,000 transplant.

The practice is not confined to Third World countries.

Last week, a doctor and nine others were arrested in Israel on suspicion of belonging to an international trafficking ring.

“The people who gain are the rich transplant patients who can afford to buy a kidney, the doctors and hospital administrators, and the middlemen, the traffickers,” said Jim Feehally, a professor at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

WHO noted that the total of 106,879 transplants in 2010, which included legal and illegal surgeries, satisfied only 10 per cent of worldwide need.

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Sorry we confused UN logo with the Halo video game

BBC Halo vs UN

Here’s how the UN was doing it wrong. On the left is the UN logo. On the right, the one from Halo. Source: Supplied

BBC Halo

The BBC displayed a logo from Halo, while newsreader Sophie Raworth presented a report on the deadly unrest in Syria. Picture: BBC Source: Supplied

THE BBC apologised to viewers after mistakenly showing a graphic from the hit computer game Halo in place of the UN Security Council logo.

In a report last week on the continuing deadly unrest in Syria, the British public broadcaster ran a large graphic behind presenter Sophie Raworth as she read the news, The Guardian reported.

Unfortunately, instead of the Security Council logo, viewers were shown the badge of the United Nations Space Command, the military agency depicted in popular interstellar war game Halo.

Viewers quickly spotted the error and posted pictures on social media sites, The Sun reported.

A BBC spokesperson said: “BBC News makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all images broadcast, however very occasionally mistakes do happen.

“Unfortunately an incorrect logo was used during a segment on last week’s News at One bulletin and we apologise to viewers for the mistake.

“The image was not broadcast in our later bulletins.”

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Kogan imposes world’s first Internet Explorer 7 tax

kogantaxthumbOnline retailer Kogan has imposed the world’s first tax on customers who use an outdated browser like Internet Explorer 7 for their purchases on its site.

Shoppers who stick with IE7 to purchase products on the recently updated Kogan website will be slugged an additional 6.8 per cent.

But customers who come to the site with IE7 can avoid the tax by downloading an up-to-date browser like a more recent version of IE, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera using a pop-up on the site.

Kogan says the company was sick of wasting time ensuring its revamped website worked on Microsoft’s old IE7 browser.

“Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date,” says CEO Ruslan Kogan.

The pop-up customers will see if they visit the revamped Kogan site with IE7The pop-up customers will see if they visit the revamped Kogan site with IE7

“It’s a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we’re sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago. It goes against everything Kogan stands for.”

“It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the internet economy millions of dollars.

Customers who insist on sticking with IE7 wll be slugged an additional 6.8 per cent on their purchaseCustomers who insist on sticking with IE7 wll be slugged an additional 6.8 per cent on their purchase

“Secondly, Kogan has established its market leading pricing by cutting unnecessary costs out of its business model. It makes little sense for us to be working so hard to deliver the best possible prices for electronics, and then being wasteful with our own IT spend.”

The hilarious new 6.8 per cent IE7 tax is effective today but customers can easily avoid the added cost with a simple browser update.

Games get adults-only R18+ classification

Gamers get adults-only R18+ classification

  • Parliament passes R18+ category for games
  • Previously, the highest rating has been MA15+
  • Australia’s classification regime would now be uniform

Syndicate was refused classification in Australia. Picture: supplied

AN adults-only computer game rating category will at last become a reality with legislation passing Federal Parliament.

The new law fulfils the Commonwealth’s part of a deal with states and territories to include an R18+ rating in the games classification system.

“These are important reforms over 10 years in the making,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said.

“The R18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material.

“The reforms also mean that adults are able to choose what games they play within the bounds of the law.”

Previously, the highest rating for computer games has been MA15+ meaning overseas adult-only games are usually banned here or given a lower classification allowing children to obtain them.

The new laws bring computer games in line with the classification system for films and other material and make Australia more consistent with international standards.

They have received overwhelming support during years of consultation – one discussion paper received more than 58,000 submissions with most in favour.

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis said it made sense that Australia’s classification regime would now be uniform “classifying all media according to a single set of criteria”.

“The passage of this bill will no doubt be welcomed by adult gamers all across Australia,” Senator Brandis told the Senate.

“The industry has been waiting for this change for some time.”

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

The change has the backing of state and territory attorneys-general who agreed to the classification overhaul in mid-2011.

They’ll pass their own complementary legislation to ensure that R18+ computer games are appropriately regulated.

The national classification scheme is scheduled to commence on January 1, 2013.

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Kodak’s nuclear reactor

IS this how Kodak gets rid of red-eye?

In a startling development it’s been revealed that a New York Kodak facility secretly housed, oh, we don’t know, only a nuclear reactor.

Kodak has gone bankrupt, but in its halcyon days made cameras and brought dreams to life with Kodak moments.

Little did we know the company also had the power to obliterate entire cities. reports that in the basement of Kodak’s New York property lay 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium. Which means they had enough to build an atomic bomb.

No-one knew about it – not cops, firies, New York officials – except for a few top Kodak execs and White House types.

“It’s such an odd situation because private companies just don’t have this material,” said Miles Pomper from Washington’s centre for Nonproliferation Studies.

Apparently Kodak acquired the reactor in 1974 to check for impurities and other assorted testing. It was dismantled in 2006.


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The first rule of Foam Sword Friday is… don’t get hit by a big purple bus

IT’S all fun and games until one kid gets hit by a large purple bus.

Welcome to “Foam Sword Friday” at the University of Texas, where students prepare for their final exams by waving foam swords at each other from opposite sides of a busy road.

When the lights go red, they’ve got 30 seconds to swarm the road and battle it out. Stress release, they say.

Unfortunately for freshman Nick, the driver of a large purple bus allegedly didn’t follow the rules. Or Nick was too quick…

Regardless, the result – as you can see above – is one of those moments that will have your workmates rushing over to your desk.

Yes, Nick’s okay. He even caught a bus home afterwards.

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Start walking and talking

INITIATIVE. Initiative. Initiative.

After saying goodbye to the world in 2006 the cast of The West Wing have reunited for a spoof video promoting walking and talking.

C.J. Cregg, Will Bailey, Charlie Young, Carol Fitzpatrick and Larry can be seen powering through important corridors with important papers, firing back and forth in a way that would leave normal people dazed and confused.

They have a new initiative that will reduce heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression. All it needs is President Bartlet’s approval and a rousing speech that refers to some clever stuff.

He has got some clever stuff up his sleeve, and the music starts to swell as he proclaims: “In the time of Socrates…”

The video is the latest effort from Funny or Die, the comedy site founded by Will Ferrell.

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