SAN FRANCISCO: The internet now has its own official red-light district, where sex sites will be regulated against fraud, viruses and child porn.
ICANN, the organisation that oversees the internet, gave final approval Friday to a proposal to create a new top-level domain name on the web with the suffix .xxx, which will host only sites that feature adult content.
Porn sites will not be required to register their addresses at the new domain but are expected to do so to prevent them being snapped up by competitors. However, in order to register they have to pass an application process that's designed to ensure that their site does not engage in fraud, child pornography and malicious code that could infect users' computers with viruses.
The move gives consumers "reassurance they are more protected from the risk of viruses, identity theft, credit-card fraud and inadvertent exposure to child abuse images", ICANN said in a statement announcing the decision.
"For the first time, there will be a clearly defined web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses," said Stuart Lawley, chief executive of the Florida company appointed by ICANN to run the new registry.
In a statement, Lawley said that his company had already received 200,000 requests to register names on the new domain.
Monkeys take car apart
LONGLEAT: A troop of monkeys at Longleat Safari Park was given a battered old Mercedes to play with and they quickly set about dismantling it…
The meddling macaques haven’t had any cars to abuse for the past two years because their Monkey Jungle enclosure has been closed to the public while it was redeveloped.
So staff thought they’d give the park’s notoriously cheeky residents a treat before the grand re-opening this weekend.
Needless to say, the 100-strong furry gang had a ball. The wing mirrors and wheel trims were quickly swiped and the suitcases on the roof ransacked.
The animals delighted in running around with various items of clothing they found in them – one even did several forward rolls while holding a blue top.
A cuddly lion toy also provided much fascination, with one monkey at first jumping back in fright as if he thought for a second that it was real.
Staff also packed a football for the beasts to play with. However, one monkey commits a handball straightaway, then runs off with it in his mouth. A definite yellow card.
There are 22 species of macaque monkeys and they are the most widespread primates in the world. They can be found from Japan to Afghanistan, as well as North Africa.
Longleat, the country seat of the Marquesses of Bath, was the first stately home open to the public. Its safari park opened in 1966 and claims to be the first such attraction outside Africa.
Rooney's son goes to ‘Brazil’ footie school
CHESHIRE: Wayne Rooney's son Kai will start training for footie stardom at a soccer school - at the age of just 16 months.
Man U's Wayne has enrolled him in SocaTots - likely to turn him into a fleet-footed marvel such as Ronaldinho and other Brazilian aces, who develop talents from an early age, reports The Sun.
As well as ball skills, sessions are also aimed at developing balance, coordination and "social interaction".
Scouser Wayne, 25, heard of a course in Cheshire and wasted no time in grabbing a place for Kai. A source said: "Wayne is encouraging Kai to get into football and has already bought him his first Everton kit, plus numerous United and England shirts. He has mucked about with a ball with Kai from an early age and hopes his son will inherit his natural ability."
Kai has already seen plenty of football. Mum Coleen, 25, takes him to most of the Red Devils' home games at Old Trafford.
And proud Wayne held the child aloft during United's end-of-season lap of honour last year.
Students invent mind-controlled wheelchair
SINGAPORE: Five students from Republic Polytechnic (RP) came up with something right out of the pages of a sci-fi novel - a mind-controlled wheelchair.
All the user has to do is think of where he wants to go, and the wheelchair does the rest.
This is one of several breakthrough projects that students in the five polytechnics showcased at an event at Singapore Polytechnic.
On display were 11 of the top projects from the 14th Polytechnic Student Research Programme.
Eugene Tham, who was among four people who supervised the engineering students in the project, said the invention was inspired by a desire to help the less fortunate.
The invention is based on brain signals being picked up by an electro encephalogram (EEG) headset.
Said Tham, a senior academic staff member in RP's School of Engineering: "We hope to enable people with physical handicaps to be more independent."
He believes that the project, which started in April last year, is the world's first smart-phone-based brain-controlled wheelchair application.
While the wheelchair on display is only a prototype, the innovation has already won the Gold Award at a prestigious competition, the Institute of Engineers Singapore (IES) Design 2011.
Tiger's ex buys mansion near Woods
FLORIDA: Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods, has purchased a Florida beachfront mansion larger than the golf superstar’s nearby island estate home, the Palm Beach Post reported Friday.
The newspaper said Nordegren, a 30-year-old Swedish former model who divorced Woods last August, spent $12.2 million ($15.6 million) for a 17,000-square foot home built in 1932 with eight bedrooms in a gated community near North Palm Beach.
Last week, Woods said he was soon moving into a $60 million beachfront mansion at Jupiter Island, 10 miles north of his ex-wife’s new place, that is surrounded by a golf training area where he can work to improve his game.
Nordegren and the couple’s two children, three-year-old daughter Sam Alexis and two-year-old son Charlie Axel, are expected to move into their new home in the next few weeks.
The arrangement should allow their children to be exchanged easily. Woods stressed in a media blitz this week ahead of the launch of a new videogame bearing his name that he is greatly focused on his role as a single father.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won since November of 2009, just before a car crash that unveiled his infidelity with multiple mistresses and made him a comedy punchline.
The sex scandal led to a five-month hiatus from golf for Woods and his eventual divorce as well as the end of most of the endorsement deals that made him the first billion-dollar pitchman-athlete.