Tallying Civilian Drone Casualties, China's Influence on Hollywood, and More

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Friday, June 01, 2012

How the US government differentiates between civilian and combatant casualties of drone strikes, the lengths Hollywood will go to please the Chinese government, and the "genericide" of Google.

Combatants and "Combatants"

According to an article in The New York Times last week, the Obama administration treats “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants”. Brooke talks to Chris Woods, reporter for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who has been working with reporters on the ground to confirm and put names to civilian casualties of drone strikes, about the discrepancies between his reporting and the reports of the US government.

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Balancing Advocacy and Accuracy

In a Washington Post op-ed last month, Senator Joseph Lieberman spoke of “horrific human rights abuses perpetrated daily, including the widespread and deliberate use of rape and other sexual violence as weapons of war.” Lauren Wolfe, director of the Women Under Siege Project, which has curated a map plotting instances of sexual violence in Syria, talks with Brooke about trying to check the senator's claim and the difficulty of verifying claims of rape in a war-zone.

The Chieftains - The Stone

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Hollywood Goes to China

China is increasing its number of movie theatres and the number of American films that can be shown in them.  And China is already the second largest market for American films in the world.  So Hollywood is anxious to take full advantage of China’s potential and is busy making, and changing, its fare to appease the notoriously sensitive Chinese government.  Bob talks to USC professor Stanley Rosen about what Hollywood's appeasement of China looks like at the movies.


Chinese Censorship Gets Complicated

Chinese censorship is nothing new. But recently the relationship between censor and dissident has grown more complicated as the government comes to accept that social media is no longer something it can simply take away from Chinese citizens. Brooke speaks with Slate's Jacob Weisberg, who recently traveled to China and spoke with some tech-savvy new dissidents.


Lit - My Own Worst Enemy


When A Brand Becomes Too Successful

Aspirin, zipper, thermos, yo-yo -- even heroin was once a registered trademark. Today, they're generic product categories. Could the same happen to Google? It's already a recognized verb. Bob speaks with University of Michigan Law Professor Jessica Litman who says that though Google is unlikely to lose its trademark soon, there's a long history of 'genericide.'


New Country Rehab - Ramblin' Man

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How to Make 3.3 Million Dollars in 30 Days

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website where people ask others to contribute money to their creative projects. Recently, game developer Tim Schafer took in $3.3 million from fans for an untitled, undesigned video game he estimated it would cost $400k to make. Schafer talks to OTM producers and fanboys PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman about removing publishers from the process of making games.

You can listen to more of this interview by following this link!

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Covering Crowdfunded Video Games

This year has seen a wave of independent video game developers competing for attention and money on crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter. John Walker, one of the editors of the gaming criticism website Rock Paper Shotgun, talks to Bob about how he and his colleagues have opted to decide the fate of this field of hopefuls. 


Cow Clicker

Video game designer Ian Bogost creates 'serious' video games designed to make you think. One of those games, however, has become an unlikely success. It's called 'Cow Clicker' and though it started as a parody of Farmville-style social networking games - it came to be taken very seriously by a group of gamers who found it endlessly fun. OTM producer PJ Vogt reports on what happens when your creations take on a life of their own.

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