Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for September, 2012

Is It You?

Posted by Boghound on September 29, 2012

20 Uploaders Responsible for 90% Fake Torrents

One of the most important issues that BitTorrent users have to cope with on a regular basis is fake torrents which are uploaded to popular trackers like The Pirate Bay by malicious users in order to distribute malware or use other users in other ways. The latest research claims that 90% of fake torrents are uploaded by only 20 users. The researchers have analyzed a sample set of 30,000 torrents uploaded to TPB within two weeks in 2011. The surprising part was that over 1/3 of all torrents were associated with fake content, which makes an increase of 5% compared to a previous year.

The developers decided not to rely on user accounts in the attempt to identify fake publishers, because it’s a flawed method thanks to the possibility to create as many user accounts as you want on the website. Instead, the developers took a look at the IP addresses that were used to distribute the fake files. That’s how they identified 20 publishers that were responsible for 90% of the fake torrent uploads on The Pirate Bay tracker.

Over 99% of all fake torrents found by the researchers were either used to distribute viruses directly or to take advantage of the users by getting them to visit scam sites or other forms of scams. The rest 1% of the fake torrents were associated with anti-piracy companies and outfits.

The research mentions some interesting products, including a service called TorrentGuard. The latter is available both as an Internet service and a plugin for the Vuze BitTorrent application. Everyone can visit the TorrentGuard official website in order to verify a torrent either by uploading it to the service, or pasting its info hash or magnet link into a special form on the portal.

TorrentGuard basically checks the torrent in a database in order to verify whether it’s legit (which is likely) or fake. However, the industry experts point out that they had some issues to get the Internet service in their attempts to verify the torrents they tried to check through it. 35% seems a very high index for the number of fake torrents. Some of the experts explain it with the small sample size and period. The intentions of the people who distribute them are clear, so it is recommended to be always alert when downloading torrents.

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Phew…Now There’s A Statue?

Posted by Boghound on September 28, 2012

Damien Hirst’s giant, naked pregnant mother to stand tall over seaside town

A 66ft sculpture of a naked, pregnant woman by the artist Damien Hirst will be erected in the seaside town of Ilfracombe, Devon, next month.

Hirst’s offer to loan the bronze work for 20 years has been accepted by North Devon Council, despite plans to place the statue at the town’s harbour attracting more than 100 complaints.

Councillors hope that the sculpture, called Verity, will attract more tourism to the town where Hirst also owns a restaurant.

But others have expressed anger that the sculpture, which will be 10 inches taller than the Angel of the North, will tower over the town.

Julie Hunt, a local councillor, said: “I think it is immoral, disrespectful and tasteless. Would this be allowed if it was a naked man baring his packed lunch for all to see?”

The planning application for the statue of the woman holding aloft a sword and standing on a base of legal books, said it was a “modern allegory of truth and justice”. It is expected to be unveiled at the site in mid-October.

Ilfracombe has embraced modern art and design since its Landmark Theatre was developed in 2007, with a white, conical design which was later nicknamed “Madonna’s Bra”.

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Paying For It….Mel??

Posted by Boghound on September 27, 2012

Mel Gibson’s wife ‘entitled to pension share’

Mel Gibson may be paying for his divorce well after his retirement, according to reports in the US.

TMZ website said that the actor-director’s ex-wife, Robyn Moore, will receive a large portion of his retirement benefits from the Screen Actors’ Guild, the Directors’ Guild and private pension benefits accumulated through a production company they ran.

The couple, who had seven children together, separated in 2006 after 26 years of marriage. They finally divorced in December 2011. It was earlier reported

The news comes after reports that Moore will walk away with half of Gibson’s estimated $800 million fortune because the pair had no prenuptial agreement.

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Affordable Housing??

Posted by Boghound on September 26, 2012

UFO house ridiculed after six years of building… and counting

A futuristic house which won the Royal Academy of Arts’ prestigious architecture prize has been ridiculed by neighbours who claim it looks like a UFO and is still not finished after six years.

Residents living in Wood Lane in Highgate, north London, say work on the house has been going on since 2006 and that it still looks like a ‘scrapyard’.

They are fed up that the house – which they say looks like a ‘giant spaceship…..complete with UFO-style elevated gangway’ – is making the street ‘a mess’ and forcing property prices down.

The house, which is in a conservation area surrounded by homes built in the late 18th century, was designed by architects Birds Portchmouth Russum (BPR) and is owned by partner in the firm Mike Russum.

Last year the design won the Architecture Prize at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, which described the posh pad as a ‘four-storey house (which) maximises the potential of a narrow infill site’.

It adds: "The traditional relationship of living and sleeping accommodation is inverted with the bedroom and bathrooms at garden level and the living area above to enjoy the south aspect and views over London.

"The high-level living element (is) prefabricated and craned into position."

But neighbours have this week slammed the house – saying it makes the prestigious road look a ‘total and utter mess’ with its fenced off entrance, scattered traffic cones and blue tarpaulin.

They are now demanding to know when the house – which is wedged between two existing homes – will be finished, six years since construction work began.

Neighbour Judith Steiner, who has lived on Wood Lane since 1970, said this week: "I originally supported the idea of having a home for the 21st century on the street.

"But work has been going on for years and now it just looks like a scrapyard surrounded by a chain link fence – it looks like something from War of the Worlds."

Another neighbour, who has lived in the street for the past 10 years but who did not want to be named, said: "It looks like a giant UFO just about to land.

"The gangway makes it look even more alien and you half expect martians to waddle down it at any second.

"To be honest though, everyone would just like it if the place was finished – it’s been a bombsite for six years now and it’s about time it was completed."

Owner Mike Russum blamed planning laws, which he says delayed the completion of the house.

"Certainly there has been fierce opposition by a few neighbours," he said.

"We understand the concerns about the delay to its completion, which has been painfully experienced by us.

"The house is not conventional and explores various architectural ideas about creating a joyful home appropriate to this age.

"It is unashamedly modern and we accept that it will not be everybody’s cup of tea.

"However, the design won the Architecture Prize at the Royal Academy Exhibition last year and we consider that to be a cultured endorsement." ……BRAINDEAD?

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More Money Then Sense?

Posted by Boghound on September 25, 2012

223-year-old cognac bought for £19,000

A 223-year-old bottle of cognac has been bought for £19,000.

An anonymous collector purchased the bottle today from The Old Liquors Collection owned by Bay van der Bunt.

It was an extremely rare half-bottle of 1789 A.C Meukow & Co. cognac.

Bay revealed: "In the same shopping spree a 182-year-old Remy Martin from 1830 was traded for £12.900."

Bay owns the world’s largest collection of vintage cognacs and rare liquors and is based in Breda, Netherlands. His collection is estimated to be worth £6 million.

The 64-year-old has spent the last 40 years collecting the liquors and admitted that not everyone understands his passion.

"My father said, ‘You are out of your mind to collect liquor. Why don’t you invest in something worthwhile?’ Well, I didn’t listen."

Bay did want to sell the collection in its entirety but said that the offer he received for the cognac was simply too good to turn down.

Although many do not understand his hobbie, he is now pleased to prove that it wasn’t such a waste of time after all.

"Collecting cognacs and old liquors was very time-consuming and cost a fortune, but it proves to be the best financial investment I have ever made," added Bay.

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Just A Bit Late!

Posted by Boghound on September 24, 2012

Skipper finds bottle with message nearly a century old

A Scottish skipper has hauled in what could be his most unusual catch – a bottle containing a message written 98 years ago.

Andrew Leaper was pulling in his nets when the bottle appeared.

To his amazement, he discovered on opening it that it contained a message asking the finder to record the date and location of where it was found and return it to director of the Scotland Fishery Board to collect a sixpence reward, Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported.

Further investigation revealed that the bottle – 646B – had been set adrift as part of 1,890 by Captain CH Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation.

It was designed to sink and float close to the seabed to monitor currents.

Only 315 of the bottles have ever been found.

Mr Leaper said: "As we hauled in the nets I spotted the bottle neck sticking out and I quickly grabbed it before it fell back in the sea. I couldn’t wait to open it.

"It was an amazing coincidence that the same Shetland fishing boat that found the previous record-breaking bottle six years ago also found this one.

Dr Bill Turrell, Head of Marine Ecosystems with Marine Scotland Science told the Daily Mail: "Drift bottles gave oceanographers at the start of the last century important information that allowed them to create pictures of the patterns of water circulation in the seas around Scotland."

Mr Leaper now qualifies for a finder’s fee after plucking the bottle from the ocean – one sixpence.

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Spuds You Pinch!

Posted by Boghound on September 23, 2012

Potato pilferers perturb B.C. farmer

A posse of bootleggers or fast-food fanatics could be behind the theft of a football field’s worth of potatoes from a Richmond, B.C., farm, according to RCMP.

Richmond Sgt. Cam Kowalski speculated a group of people targeted a Steveston-area farm sometime between Aug. 17-22 to “plant their own field, or for making vodka or french fries.”

He said fellow Richmond officers are baffled by the theft of about 2,300 kilograms worth of tubers, adding he’s never seen a crop caper of this scale in his entire career.

“Is there a commercial underground potato network that we’re not aware of? I don’t know.”

Richmond Mounties boosted patrols in the city’s agricultural areas following the theft and even deployed ATVs to guard fields.

Kowalski said most likely a group of at least three people carried out the heist, noting only an individual “with a lot of time on their hands” would have been able to pull it off solo.

Farmer Bill Zylmans, who has worked the recently robbed field since he was a child, said the theft will have a long-term impact on his business.

Although of $2,000 to $3,000 in spuds were stolen, the 55-year-old pointed out the potatoes had not grown to their full size when they were plucked and would have been worth much more in the coming weeks.

He’s also experienced thefts at his other fields, where people have snatched blueberries or poached pumpkins. The farmer, however, is at a loss to explain why people would devote so much energy to swiping these vegetables.

“Potato is actually a very cheap commodity,” Zylmans said, adding whoever stole the crop must have little respect for agriculture.

“This is my livelihood. You’re not just helping yourself — farming is a hard business today.”

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People Should Get Out More??

Posted by Boghound on September 22, 2012

Anger over pink pens designed for women

Stationery company BIC has been mocked for its new range of pens for women.

The successful company has stated that the new implements are "designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand".

The pens are on sale in an "attractive barrel design available in pink and purple".

Amazon has been saturated with hundreds of sarcastic posts from women.

One customer, Mrs S Rose, said: "Oh at last, I feel all woman. I have used other pens in the past but have always been left feeling lost, alone and on the edge of accepted society."

Bookfiend added: "Before these pens, I was nothing. I was a mere inconsequential woman, stumbling around writing nonsense with big pens that made me look ridiculous.

"But now… the whole world looks different. I cannot recommend this pen enough. It won’t just change your handwriting. It will change your life."

A spokesperson for BIC issued this statement: "It is great to see people having fun with the product and we’re delighted to have brought a bit of much-needed glamour to stationery cupboards everywhere."

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He’s Lucky??

Posted by Boghound on September 21, 2012

Man ‘marries’ two women in one ceremony

A registrar has allowed a man to ‘marry’ two women in a civil ceremony.

The nuptials took place around three months ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the BBC reports.

The trio have lived together for around three years before the ceremony and share bills and expenses as well as a joint bank account. They decided to ‘marry’ as a precaution in case of separation or a death of one or more of them.

The move has angered many, including religious groups. One lawyer described the union as "absurd and totally illegal".

However, the registrar who conducted the ceremony for the anonymous trio has defended her actions. Claudia do Nascimento Domingues claims the man and his "wives" should be entitled to the rights of a normal family, adding that no laws are in place to prevent such a union.

"For better or worse, it doesn’t matter, but what we considered a family before isn’t necessarily what we would consider a family today," she added.

But lawyer Regina Beatriz Tavares da Silva has described the move as "something completely unacceptable which goes against Brazilian values and morals".

Although Domingues allowed the union, it is so far unclear whether the courts will accept the arrangement.

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A Short Back & Sides Sir??

Posted by Boghound on September 20, 2012

Man shows off world’s tallest mohawk

A Japanese designer has been crowned by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the tallest mohawk haircut in the world.

The tip of Kazuhiro Watanabe’s spiked mohawk stands 3 ft 8.6 inches proud of his skull and earned him a place in the 2013 edition of the book, which is released on Thursday.

Watanabe unveiled his hair-do at a press event in New York on Wednesday to mark the launch of the new book.

"It was a lot of work … but I am happy to have achieved the world’s No 1," 40-year-old Watanabe told reporters, adding that it had taken him 15 years to grow the mohawk to its present size.

To get it into shape takes three stylists, three cannisters of hair spray and a bottle of hair gel, Watanabe said.

Without gel and hairspray, the hair reaches his knees.

"It is too expensive to do the mohawk every day, so I only do it for occasions like this and parties," he said.

Watanabe said he began his quest to get into the Guinness Book of World Records when he was 20, although he did not initially mind which record he held. One attempt that he considered before taking on the mohawk challenge was to drink the most tabasco sauce.

The previous holder of the record for the biggest mohawk was Stefan Srocka, of Germany, with a hair-do that stood 31.5 inches tall.

Watanabe said his 10-year-old daughter has already decided that she intends to beat his record one day.

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