Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for November, 2012

Bill’s TV dream??

Posted by Boghound on November 20, 2012

Microsoft to Launch Cloud TV?

Well-known software giant seems to be drawing up the plans to launch its own cloud-based television service. According to job listings spotted by the media, Microsoft is looking for a development lead, senior software engineer, and software development engineer. The personnel is being hired to work on a “new Cloud-based TV platform”.

The software giant wants applicants to be experienced in different web technologies like HTML5, Javascript, C#, as well as frameworks, including .NET framework and jQuery. In addition, it’s clear that any cloud telly should be geared for mobile applications outside Windows 8, with listings demanding experience in mobile application development for iOS and Android aside from development with Windows 8, Windows RT and IE.

In the meantime, the press reports say that it isn’t the first time Microsoft is talking about television. Last time, the company’s ambitions have been postponed due doubts about such things as “core competency”. However, now, with Microsoft’s decision to copy Apple business model, a cloud-based TV operation pushing content to personal computers and mobile devices makes a lot more sense. This move would provide much needed content from behind a walled garden that the software giant would control.

In addition, it’s obvious that the Xbox system is proving to be its test bed. As the experts remind, for the last year Xbox has been offering expanded on-demand material and entertainment applications. Microsoft has even introduced the Xbox Music streaming service. However, no details about what the TV service will entail exactly are provided by the company thus far.


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Twitter Tows The Line!!

Posted by Boghound on November 19, 2012

Twitter Started Filtering for Content Industry

One of the most popular social networking websites in the world – Twitter – has recently started taking down tweets that are in breach of copyright legislation.

It seems that the content industry has been leaning on the social service to pull messages that violated copyright. It is still unclear how it can be technically possible, as a 140-character message would be well within what any court would regard as “fair use”.

Apparently, the tweets are targeted where people provide links to content which the entertainment industry says is pirated. Twitter has published a new policy, saying that it isn’t actually censoring the publications – it is just “withdrawing” them and revealing why they go missing. In fact, this puts some handy spin on the microblog’s actions – instead of standing up to the content industry’s insane censorship campaign, the website can argue that it’s just bringing in new transparency to the DMCA process. The matter is that earlier the complaints caused posts to disappear without a trace, and now users can see where the tweet used to be.

However, thus far Twitter hasn’t provided any explanations to the users, so they are still wondering how the tweets could actually be taken down under the DMCA legislation. The matter is that the DMCA grants online entities like Twitter or Google immunity for copyrighted content posted by their users. Nevertheless, the companies have to remove their members’ content if they receive a notice from a rights holder. In response, the target of the notice can send a counter-notice and demand to reinstate their tweet. Microblog is supposed to withhold the post until it gets a valid counter-response from its author. Previously, Twitter just removed the tweet without any explanation, and then manually reposted it in case of receiving a valid counter response.

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Unemployed…Get A Tan!!

Posted by Boghound on November 18, 2012

Free spray tans for the unemployed

Jobless people in the worst unemployment blackspot in Wales are being offered free spray tans to help boost their confidence.

Under the scheme in Aberdare, Job Centre staff are sending candidates for tans and makeovers at the town’s Well-being and Training Academy.

The town suffers from an unemployment rate of 9.6% – but critics have questioned whether a free fake tan is the best way of helping.

Sarah Sweeden, director of the Academy, said they were happy to give the makeover and free spray tans to genuine jobseekers.

She said: "We want to give people that extra confidence – or that Gok Wan makeover – to give people the incentive to find work.

"It will recognise those who are doing their utmost to find unemployment by giving them a beauty treatment."

Job Centre staff will only send candidates for the treatment if they are seen to be serious about finding work. It is not paid for by the Job Centre or council.

The Academy is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which aims to help people get back to work by improving their fitness, appearance, nutrition and confidence.

But Plaid Cymru councillor Pauline Jarman complained: "I don’t know any employer that would be impressed if you turned up tanned.

"They’d be more inclined to be impressed if you had the skills and experience to undertake the job that’s been advertised."

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Posted by Boghound on November 17, 2012

Pizza delivery man urinates on woman’s door after no tip

A pizza delivery man has been fired after urinating on a woman’s door when he wasn’t tipped.

The man was delivering a Pizza Hut order to Chloe Teply in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday night (November 1) when the customer claimed she couldn’t afford to tip.

Teply told KCCI: "It’s just one of those things where unfortunately I don’t have the money."

After the delivery, the man was then caught on security cameras unzipping his trousers and peeing on her door.

Teply continued: "I was like, ‘Hmm, who was at my door that might be upset with me?’ and it kind of hit me that it was the pizza delivery guy."

The delivery man, having been let go by his manager, later called Teply to apologise, and then on Saturday morning (November 3) cleaned her door.

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Stripper Fight??

Posted by Boghound on November 16, 2012

Flying shoe injures man during 17-stripper brawl

A strip club patron almost lost his eye during a brawl involving 17 strippers

It happened in Austin, Texas, as most stripper riots do. The woman who hurled the shoe may be charged with wielding a deadly weapon, according to police.

According to KXAN-TV, the fight between the strippers began in the dressing room at Hot Bodies in Austin on Oct. 26. That’s when authorities say 21-year-old Victoria Perez threw her high-heel shoe, hitting a man in the eye.

She is being held on $50,000 bail.

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Dotcom Never Defeated?

Posted by Boghound on November 15, 2012

Kim Dotcom to Support Pacific Fibre Cable

Apparently, Kim Dotcom’s defeat hasn’t forced him to stop his business. Actually, the shut-down of MegaUpload file-hosting service only drove Dotcom to fight back and defeat a corrupted system which can only undermine innovation and free speech. Thus far, Kim has already announced his plans to restart the cyberlocker under a new name, and went further to encourage the relaunch of a failed project named The Pacific Fibre Cable.

The latter was under management of Chairman Sam Morgan and Director Rod Drury. Dotcom has offered them to restart the project of a fiber link cable, which would connect Australia, New Zealand and the US. Moreover, it seems that Dotcom is going to chip in with an impressive amount of money. This past summer, Sam Morgan had to admit that the project in question would be dropped because of the insufficient funds. They needed $400 million to set up 13.000 km of cable, which would be able to provide an impressive speed of 12.8 TB/sec and connect Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles. However, Dotcom isn’t all happy with the result, particularly taking into account that he is going to open an entirely new service.

The project’s chairman might b? hyped about the idea, but it is next to impossible to imagine that the US would approve this plan, particularly if Dotcom’s name appears on the papers. In fact, American authorities are still trying to deport Dotcom.

But it seems that Dotcom’s will can’t be easily broken – the speculations are that he is going to finance the subsea cable project, saying that since ISPs control the last mile and provide routers, they would still charge a small fee, but it might be 5 times less than the current price, with 5 times faster speeds.

If Dotcom pulls this off, it would prove that nothing can stop him from going back into the business. Still, his biggest problem remains the US, which would never agree with the project’s restart, despite the fact that the country would really benefit out of this move. Taking into account the stance of the RIAA or the MPAA, it is impossible that the United States would somehow give the thumb up.

The industry experts agree that the only thing we can do is wait and see what happens. Some of them believe that Dotcom is planning on a rightful vendetta, but the others claim that this project would change a whole lot of things online.

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Ringing The Changes!!

Posted by Boghound on November 14, 2012

Almighty ding-dong at bell-ringer’s tangle

A church bell-ringer was rescued by fire crews after becoming entangled in ropes in a belfry, it emerged tonight.

Helen Springthorpe was knocked unconscious in the tower of St Nicholas Church, Bathampton, near Bath, Somerset on Monday night.

Authorities said the campanologist, who had only been in the job for three months, was "thrown around the belfry" after tripping and becoming "entangled in a bell ringing rope".

The 58 year-old, who had hit her head on the belfry wall, was on her first "pull" of the night with six other campanologists, during regular bell-ringing rehearsals.

At least 20 firemen and paramedics spent more than an hour on a delicate rescue operation that involved raising part of the bell-ringing gallery floor.

Mrs Springthorpe was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath with a suspected pelvic injury, but only suffered heavy bruising and was released.

As she recovered at home in Bath tonight, she described herself as “just a bit unlucky” and could recall very little of the incident.

"I don’t really remember very much about it," said the mother-of-one.

"The other bell ringers all had a go because I am new. I have only been doing it for three months and I am learning.

"I was having a go with one other person showing me how it is done."

Mrs Springthorpe, an administrative worker and typist for an architect, added: "I then tripped and hit my head on the wall

"I don’t recall much more, and next thing I know I open my eyes and there are paramedics looking at me. I’m still trying to get myself together now. I remember lots of people around.

"The bell tower was full of firefighters and paramedics. It was an amazing sight."

She continued: "I remember being strapped to a stretcher and lowered through the trap door, seeing all the plaques on the wall in the church as I was lowered down."

Her 30 year-old daughter found out after it was reported in the local press, and "laughed very hard when I told her about it".

She had only recently taken up bell ringing because one of her near neighbours was a member of the tower bell ringing group.

Fire crews were called to the tower at 9.45pm after the six campanologist, two of whom were nurses, raised the alarm.

Authorities then spent more than an hour in a delicate operation to lower her more than 20 feet, which included forcing to up part of the bell-ringing gallery floor located at the top of the towers’ tiny spiral staircase.

Fire crews had to access the tower through a trap-door, which had not been opened for 60 years.

Asked if she would continue with her hobby, she replied: "I will see. Not immediately. Maybe in a week or two."

Initially nine firefighters from Bath responded to the emergency call, and they were joined by 11 more from Temple, in Bristol.

The tower captain, Peter Powell, 79, said: "Helen was just taking her first pull of the evening and she changed hands, and pulled the rope off the stay and it went all right for the first stroke, then all of a sudden she just lost the rope and it went all round her and she collapsed on the floor.

"It all happened so quickly. Whether she fell off the box at the same time or what, we can’t say.

"Everybody was just sitting around very worried, not quite knowing what to do, but left the two that did know what they were doing to carry on."

Choking back tears, Mr Powell, who lives in the village, said: "I do care. She was learning to ring, had just started, and then this happened."

The church’s Rev Paul Burden said: "It’s not nice when it happens and it’s a reminder that bell-ringing is a very skilled hobby and there needs to be careful training on it."

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service said Mrs Springthorpe was lucky to escape serious injury after being ”thrown around the belfry for a bit before landing awkwardly”.

He added: ”Fire crews were alerted by the ambulance service, who had administered morphine and made her comfortable while awaiting rescue.

”Special rope rescue lines and equipment, including a stretcher, were used.

”A section of the bell-ringing gallery floor was lifted up and the woman was then safely lowered about 20ft to the ground, where she was taken into the care of ambulance staff who took her to hospital with a suspected pelvic injury.”

A church spokesman was unavailable for comment.

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Unbox A Surfice??

Posted by Boghound on November 13, 2012

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One Step Ahead??

Posted by Boghound on November 12, 2012

The British couple who live in the future

A British couple live their lives one hour ahead of the rest of the country because they claim it’s good for their health.

For the past six years Janys and John Warren have lived by British Summertime all year round.

The retired couple from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, who are members of St George’s parish council began the experiment to see if it would have any effect on Mr Warren’s cluster headaches.

The painful condition is thought to be triggered by a change in the clocks.

Six years on, the couple claim they both feel healthier.

Mrs Warren, 68, said: "We tried this because my husband’s cluster headaches had moved from being episodic to chronic but still seemed to be triggered by the clock change.

"We heard that someone who suffered from them went to Australia and did not change his clocks and did not have an episode. It’s worked for us too."

Living in a time warp has not made them psychic but it has saved the pair money on heating and lighting bills.

"We have lower fuel bills and far more usable daylight hours with evenings not seeming endless," added Mrs Warren.

"Even if the UK stayed on British Summertime we would be closer to European Time which has got to be an improvement for trade and tourism.

"The couple, who get up at 9.30am-10am, which for the rest of the world is an hour earlier, say the winter doesn’t seem so long living in another time.

"We don’t put the heating on until we get up and by then it is warmer anyway," said Mrs Warren.

"We’ve saved about one third of our heating and lighting bills. The winter doesn’t seem so long and I don’t feel so tired in the evening. It’s nice to be wide awake later.

"Our children have grown up so there are not so many things that we do that need to fit in with the rest of the world.

"It takes them a couple of weeks each year to get used to the fact that it’s a different time for us- but it’s not inconvenient.

"People who come to the house sometimes look at the clock and say, ‘Goodness, it’s time to go,’ and we explain.

"Of course one of the things it makes a difference is parish council meetings. They don’t start for us until 8.30pm, but it means they can sometimes go on until 10.30pm or 11pm."

The couple are usually fast asleep when New Year comes in – but are woken up by fireworks at what for them is 1 am.

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Ja…We’re Watching You!!

Posted by Boghound on November 11, 2012

Germany Spying on Its Citizens

Everyone knows that Germans are a bit sensitive about digital privacy, but now it appears the German government has no problems with spying on its citizens. Many Germans were very surprised to know that they are being constantly monitored.

Recently the German authorities admitted that the police monitor such communication services as Skype and Facebook chat, along with major mail services, including Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, and MSN Hotmail. According to the government, the services are monitored “as and when necessary”, but still very precisely.

The information about such activity of the police force was released in frames of a move towards financial transparency of the government. The matter is that the authorities had to release figures of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior under a parliamentary inquiry.

The expenses for spying were hiding in pile of the facts and figures provided by the government. The annalist blog found them, which decided that investigating a shedloads of financial data was better than everything else on German TV. They were digging through the financial reports, when they ran into the page where cost for decoding software for the mail services, including Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail, was listed. The purpose of the expenses on software said “for prevention and investigation”.

It was later that a mention of monitoring system for Skype was found. It turned out that the Ministry of the Interior has spent a lot of money on Trojan viruses and IMSI catchers. This kind of software is being used for “man-in-the-middle” attacks on cell phones widely employed by German police. In other words, the belief that the police are constantly monitoring people is quite real.

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