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John Campbell

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For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world -- large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more. [41 photos]

A tree grows from the top of a chimney in an abandoned factory yard in Luque, on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay, on October 2 , 2011. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

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In his first extensive interview since leaving a New Zealand prison on bail, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (read our in-depth profile) describes himself as a family man with a "big kid inside me" who is looking for "happiness and nature and peace" for his family. Sure, he used to drive in crazy road races and style himself “Dr. Evil” and hire lavish yachts, but those days are a decade behind him now.

It's a far cry from the way he has been depicted by US law enforcement. They charged the “Mega conspiracy” in January with some of the most heinous criminal copyright violations on the planet. The sit-down interview with New Zealand journalist John Campbell gave Dotcom a chance to dispel this image and make the case his company really is just like YouTube.

It's not a hard-hitting interview—featuring questions like "Are you as bad as possible, Kim? Are you a very naughty man...?"—but hearing directly from Dotcom at last is fascinating.

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