Thursday 31 May 2012

It’s Raining Bears!!

Tranquilised bear falls from tree

A black bear that clambered up a tree at a US university has been returned to the wild after an extraordinary rescue operation.
The huge 200lb beast had been lolloping around a University of Colorado campus at Boulder for the best part of a day before climbing the tree.
As students crowded round to watch, wildlife officers tranquilised the bear with two darts, reports the Denver Post.
After a few moments, the dozy creature fell 15ft to the ground - landing safely on a crash mat which had been position below.
The university police department said officers chose to sedate the animal because of how close he was to students.
A spokesman said: "He was just resting up in the tree probably for a good two hours."
The bear was later tagged and released in the mountains west of Boulder.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

But Is It Art?

Row over macabre cartoon art

A concept artist is facing fury over a new exhibition showing children's cartoon characters meeting gruesome ends.
Patricia Waller, from Berlin, Germany, depicts SpongeBob SquarePants as a suicide bomber and shows Winnie the Pooh hanging with a noose around his neck.
Others show Hello Kitty about to commit Hara-Kiri with a sword at her chest and Minnie Mouse lying in a pool of blood.
Ms Waller, 49, explained: "This show is about heroes and failure. Heroes serve a role model function that reflects our longing for something special, but I wanted to show what happens when they fail."
Other exhibits at Galerie Deschler Broken Heroes feature Sesame Street's Ernie as a down and out living in the gutter and Superman smashed into a wall.
Angry parents say Ms Waller "should be ashamed" but gallery owner Simone Deschler insisted: "The exhibit is really popular."

Tuesday 29 May 2012

The Great Escape!!

Escaped beaver found in slurry pit

At the time it ranked as one of the great escapes of the animal kingdom. In the dead of night three beavers managed to break out of a farm at Lifton, Devon, and begin a new life on the rampage

Two of the animals were quickly recaptured, but the third was sufficiently wily to outmanoeuvre those pursuing him.
But now, three-and-a-half years later, his life of freedom appears to have ended.
The Linton Beaver, or at least an animal that bears a remarkable likeness to him, has been found in a slurry pit on a farm at Roborough, close to Dartmoor.
In the end it appears to have been less a case of recapturing a fugitive and more one of rescuing an animal in extremis.
It was all a far cry from October, 2008, when the beaver, originally from Bavaria in southern Germany, broke free from the farm where was being kept under licence from Natural England.
He managed to escape because the electric fence keeping him in check had been rendered useless by flooding.
His pursuers initially followed a trail of tooth marks and fallen saplings on the banks of the River Tamar.
Later, they realised he had established a territory about a mile-and-a-half long outside the village of Gunnislake, making him one of the few wild beavers to be at large in England since the 16th century.
Realising he would be keen to find a mate with whom to share his domain, conservationists tried to set a “honey trap” for him by laying six large metal traps laced with the scent of a female beaver.
The ruse failed, with the animal perhaps sensing that his chances of finding another beaver were as remote as the terrain in which he was living.
But still he remained a free, if distinctly solo beaver.
How he found his way to a slurry pit almost 20 miles from the site of his escape remains to be seen.
His rescuers found him dishevelled and rather unhappy with life. Having captured him, they took him to Dartmoor Zoo where staff have painstakingly cleaned him up.
George Hyde, a spokesman for the zoo, said: “He’s about the size of a medium dog and he has been growling at us.
“It is possible it could be one of three beavers that escaped from a farm at Lifton on the Devon-Cornwall border in 2008."
Mr Hyde added: “He’s got a fairly substantial set of teeth he could do some damage with.”
Beavers were hunted to extinction in England and Wales during the 12th century and disappeared from the rest of the UK 400 years later.

Monday 28 May 2012

Governments Are At It Again!!

Protests Against CISPA

Since last week, a number of groups have started out protests against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act – the controversial legislation which replaced SOPA.
The legislation in question was first introduced in November and is scheduled to enter the US House of Representatives for votes this week. Some privacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and others expressed their point of view, claiming that this piece of legislation could allow online companies and government authorities to collect data about Internet users (i.e., pretty much everyone) under the pretext of Internet security. Moreover, the law would ignore existing protections imposed by the Federal Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, among other privacy acts.

The purpose of the group is to stop the bill, or at least initiate amendments to it by arranging online protests, like it happened with SOPA and ACTA. The group hopes that supporters and lawmakers will join the protests too. Moreover, they have launched a Twitter campaign to let lawmakers know about the proposed law and the threats it implies.

Their concern is the information-sharing component of the law, which would allow companies to hand over any kind of personal data to the government without any judicial oversight. In addition, it will ignore any privacy acts and requirements to obtain court orders to access people’s personal data.

In response, supporters of the bill point out that it would improve cybersecurity by helping Internet service providers and large companies such as Google or Facebook to gather and share threat data with the authorities.

Like with SOPA, the language used in the law is very confusing – for instance, it doesn’t have any provisions forbidding the companies from tracking private e-mail messages, chat messages and Facebook postings under the pretext of cybersecurity. The worst part is that users aren’t even given the chance to sue firms for collecting that kind of information for the government.

In other words, the major concern about CISPA is that it’s too broad, defining the data that private companies are able to share with the government in an almost unlimited way. According to many experts, the data collection and sharing permitted under the proposed bill would rather enable surveillance than serve any cybersecurity purpose.

Sunday 27 May 2012

They Do Loose Sometimes!!

Entertainment Industry Lost Australian Show Case

The entertainment industry hoped that an anti-piracy case against an Internet service provider down-under could set an international precedent. However, it turned out that the case set the sort of precedent that the industry didn’t even want. The entertainment industry brought up its big guns to take on the small broadband provider, iiNet. The company had done nothing other than refuse to monitor data passing through its servers and delete copyrighted content.

What entertainment industry wanted was a victory in the case that would force bigger Internet service providers to do the same. Like many other American-inspired efforts, they for some reason assumed that if they threw enough money into a court room, they could beat any small broadband provider who couldn’t come up with the funds.

Unfortunately for the entertainment industry, the courts outside the United States are not that interested in the amount of money the plaintiffs have, but rather interested in the law itself. That’s how Hollywood lost the case. Undeterred, the entertainment industry appealed, but a few days ago the Australian High Court’s five judges decided to leave the original verdict.

According to the local media, the court concluded that iiNet didn’t have direct technical possibility to prevent its subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material using BitTorrent or any other popular protocol to share files on the Internet. iiNet’s head, Michael Malone, recommended the movie industry to better focus on increasing the availability of legitimate content in both timely and affordable manner. The ISP’s stand against the entertainment industry cost around $9,000,000 in legal bills. The court ordered that Hollywood foot the bill.

Local anti-piracy group, known as the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), has been representing the movie studios in the case described above. It seems that the outfit isn’t going to give up even after court decision. Now AFACT is changing tactics to force the country’s government to alter copyright legislation. This approach may succeed – politicians have always been much more flexible and friendly when facing campaign contributions...

Saturday 26 May 2012

A Bare Flight!

Woman strips naked at Denver Airport after argument

A female passenger has stripped to nothing at Denver International Airport after clashing with staff about smoking illegally in the terminal.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning (April 10) at about 8.45am.

The woman, who remains unnamed, blamed the incident on a "lack of sleep", reports
The Mirror.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said: 'It appears to be some sort of a breakdown."

Passengers stood shocked at the event, and many parents covered their children's eyes according to one witness report.

One passenger told
KDVR Fox 31 Denver
: "Most were shocked. No one really noticed her at first because people were trying to get to their planes.

"Then, everyone realised she was just standing there completely naked."

The woman, still naked, demanded that her boarding pass be reprinted.

She was then taken to hospital for an assessment, but was not arrested and will not face charges.

Friday 25 May 2012

Titanic Sink Plug!

'Sick' Titanic bathplug slammed

The makers of a bath plug designed to look like the Titanic sinking have been criticised for being "distasteful and sick".
A Titanic-like plastic ship attached to the 'Tubtanic' bath plug appears to sink when water fills the bath.
According to markers Paladone it enables people to "re-enact the famous sinking-ship scene in the comfort of your own bathtub".
However, following complaints about the product Paladone has apologised with spokeswoman Fiona Parkinson commenting: "We're sorry if anyone is offended. It's meant as a harmless novelty item."
Ron Williams, who lost his uncle on the Titanic in 1912, comments: "I think it's terrible people are trying to make money from something that killed so many."
It was a hundred years ago…..Get some humour!!!

Thursday 24 May 2012

It’s All In A Name??

Austria and Slovenia row over sausages

An argument has broken out between Austria and Slovenia over the naming of a regional sausage.

Slovenia wants the Krainer sausage to be given special protected EU status, similar to champagne, Parmesan and the Cornish pasty.
Slovenia claims that the minced pork sausage was invented in northern Slovenia in the 19th Century.
But Slovenia's plans have upset Austria, where they believe the sausage is their own. Their cheese-filled variation of the sausage, the Kaesekrainer, is a great favourite.
Josef Bitzinger from the Vienna Chamber of Commerce told the BBC that the sausage was part of Austria's heritage, and renaming it would be unthinkable.
"To rename this beloved speciality is simply impossible," he said in a statement.
"Vienna sausage stands are a trademark of the city and Kaesekrainers have to be on offer. Frankfurter sausages are called Wiener Wuerstel in Germany and that is not a problem."
Slovenia is applying to the European Commission for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, because of the meat's connection to the Kranjska region.
Austria has said it will challenge the bid.
If the two countries cannot resolve the issue in the next six months, the European Commission will make a ruling.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

That’s Got To Hurt!

Weightlifter 'shoots' himself by dropping dumbbell on bullet

A weightlifter has claimed that he 'shot' himself by dropping a dumbbell on a bullet.

Police were called to Ninth Street in Modesto, California, at about 9.15pm on Wednesday (April 11), where they found a 56-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

The injured man told the officers that he had been lifting dumbbells and accidentally dropped one on a rimfire .22 caliber bullet, reports
The Modesto Bee.

He said that the weight of the dumbbell activated the propellant powder in the bullet, which then shot towards him, piercing his shoulder.

The police found no gun at the home, but did find the shell casing from a .22 caliber bullet.

Officer Chris Adams said that they found the man's story suspicious but not impossible.

The case has been closed as a suspicious circumstance investigation.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Sex?…..It’s All Too Much For Me!

Man Flees After Partner Demands Too Much Sex

German man fled woman’s bed and called police from the balcony

A desperate German man reportedly called police for protection after his one-night-stand partner demanded too much sex.
The 43-year-old man said he met with his newfound lover in a bar in Munich on Monday night, The Province reported. After going back to the 47-year-old woman’s apartment the pair had sex several times, a police spokesman told the news website.
But when the woman demanded he sleep with her again, the exhausted man said no and attempted to leave her place in vain, police said.
“Because the 43-year-old saw no other alternative, he complied with the woman’s wishes another few times so he could finally leave the apartment,” the police spokesman said.
But the man’s partner again refused to let him leave and he fled to the balcony and called police.
If that wasn’t enough, the woman even tried to seduce the dispatched officers into bed when they arrived, but was unsuccessful, police said.
She is now facing possible charges of sexual assault and illegal restraint

Monday 21 May 2012

We Only Want To Vote!

Barefoot Vt. Governor Chased by 4 Hungry Bears

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he came within "three feet of getting 'arhhhh'"

Vermont should count its lucky stars.
Had Gov. Peter Shumlin not just barely managed to outrun four hungry bears in his own backyard, the state might be out of a governor right now.
Shumlin said he got out of bed Wednesday night to investigate noises coming from his Montpelier backyard and found four hungry bears raiding his birdfeeders, according to The Associated Press, citing a report by the Lebanon Valley News.
He tried to chase the two adult bears and two cubs away, but undeterred, they kept coming back for the bird food — and one of them charged him on his porch.
Shumlin told the Lebanon Valley News that he came within "three feet of getting 'arhhh,'" which doesn't sound good. Vermont "almost lost the governor," he said.
Shumlin might have done well to heed the old advice about bears: Don't mess with a mama bear with her cubs!

Sunday 20 May 2012

Hollywood Gets All Cow-Eyed!

German runaway Yvonne the cow nets moo-vie deal

Yvonne the German cow evaded helicopter searches, dodged the hunter's gun and even eschewed her calf and best friend for a life on the run.
Now the tale of the runaway cow, who captivated the nation last year when she bolted from her farm to escape slaughter and roamed free in the Bavarian countryside for three months, will provide fodder for a Hollywood animated film.
"Cow on the Run", based on the daring dairy cow's escapades in the wild, will be produced by Munich-based film company Papa Loewe and American film producer Max Howard, whose previous credits include Walt Disney's "The Lion King".
Michael Aufhauser, founder of the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary in southern Germany, which now looks after Yvonne, said the film was going to be "very romantic".
"Yvonne even falls in love with a buck," he said of the film
which is set to hit the silver screen in 2014.
The farmyard fugitive broke through an electric fence on a farm near the Bavarian town of Muehldorf in May last year.
Yvonne lived happily off the land for three months until she landed on a "most wanted" list after bolting in front of a police car. Authorities deemed the runaway a security risk and gave hunters the go ahead to gun her down.
But Yvonne foiled numerous attempts to capture her, and thwarted plans by animal activists to lure her back to the farmyard using her own calf, her friend and a breeding bull named Ernst.
The canny cow was eventually captured in September after receiving a double dose of tranquilisers and was taken to the animal sanctuary after more than 90 days in the wild.
"People thought she was a dumb cow and would not know what to do in the wild," Aufhauser said.
"But she was so clever, nobody could catch her and that amazed people."

Saturday 19 May 2012

To Read or Not To Read?

Book Download Portal Taken Down, a real knowledge “Mecca” for millions of Internet users, was taken offline under the copyright protection shield. This event made industry observers to take an extensive view on the file-sharing phenomenon.
Nishant Shah has recently published an article to discuss the effect anti-piracy legislation can have on the frivolous organism of the web. It was the story about the shut-down of, a real “Mecca” for people thriving on reading books. This non-commercial online service used to allow people download digital copies of books without adverts or anything else to people who need it.

Indeed, for students across the globe, was the place to find books that would otherwise be unavailable in their local shops. However, the website is now closed with an R.I.P. sign on the main page. In fact, this chain of events has started long ago with Napster, and continued to the present day with the pertinacious efforts of closing down the world’s biggest public torrent tracker The Pirate Bay.

The problem is that such terms as intellectual property and copyright violation are sometimes too distorted by some circles, which makes the piracy problem seem more complicated than it really is. For example, Nishant believes that the act of sharing is at the very core of a digital network like Facebook or Twitter, i.e., social network medias working on interaction between users, who share things between each other. In other words, the networks occupied by the users are virtually living organisms, which are sustained with the ability of the members to act within them. Meanwhile, the act of sharing includes various activities: the users can share information about their personal life, relationships, activities, political views, and so on. In addition, people tend to share books that they have read, music and films that made them laugh. As Nishant Shah rightly pointed out, back in the 90’s the musicians used to make money from live performances, not from the albums, because music brings people together.

The Swedish Pirate Party even declared file-sharing a religion, and Nishant Shah seems to share their views. Although many people try to stay away from such words as “religion”, they can’t deny that this has a point. Sharing is a natural thing people do, and the worldwide web is an open “market” for everyone, so why would we change it?

Thursday 17 May 2012

Freedom…..According To Google

Three Threats to Online Freedom

According to Google head Sergey Brin, there were 3 biggest threats to online freedom, and they were Facebook, Apple, and the authorities that censored their citizens.
While Facebook, Apple, and the government would have a similar list featuring Google high on it, Sergey Brin continues to claim that the multinational corporation he listed and the government that try to filter their citizens are the largest threats to the Internet freedom.

During the interview to the local media, Sergey Brin explained that the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens like Apple and Facebook became a major threat as the companies tightly control the kind of software that can be released on their platforms. In fact, it was just as bad as the efforts of countries like China, Saudi Arabia or Iran to filter and restrict use of the worldwide web. Brin claimed that Facebook and Apple could both stifle innovation and balkanise the Internet, with a lot being lost, since that information is not crawlable by Internet crawlers and you can’t search it.

In the event that Facebook existed before Google, the search engine would have had no chance to survive, added Brin, because search engines require an open Internet, and too many rules not just close it down, but they stifle innovation. Meanwhile, Sergey Brin didn’t mention anything about Google’s Search plus Your World (SPYW) feature that mainly prioritizes Google+ over other social networks. In addition, the industry observers point out that Google has already banned Facebook from accessing Gmail contact information by changing the terms of service for its Google Contacts Data API in such a way that the sites which access Google Contacts had to offer access to their information in response.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Intelligent Hacker?

Half-Naked Australian Woman Led to American Hacker

Photos of a lightly clad Australian girl resulted in the arrest of a hacker who is claimed to break into American law enforcement and government sites. Higinio Ochoa III seemed to be great at breaking into police sites, but failed to hide when it came to half-naked Aussie woman.

Ochoa, known as a member of an Anonymous off-shoot, was charged by the US authorities with hacking into the online services of at least 4 American law enforcement websites. The local media confirmed that the guy was caught thanks to a headless picture of a bikini-clad woman in Wantirna South, who held a message taunting American authorities, which was posted on the Internet.

The FBI explained that a Twitter account named @AnonW0rmer has led the followers to a site where they could find data lifted from the law enforcement websites. The bottom of the site featured a picture of a girl known as Ochoa’s Australian girlfriend. She held a sign saying “PwNd by w0rmer & CabinCr3w <3 u BiTch's”.

However, the photo contained data that revealed it was taken by iPhone, including GPS co-ordinates indicating the Wantirna South street, as well as the house where it was taken. Twitter account had another link that led the FBI to a site that railed against oppression by police departments across the globe. This one revealed a picture of a woman holding a sign saying “We Are ALL Anonymous We NEVERForgive.

We NEVER Forget. <3 @Anonw0rmer.” Of course, it was the same woman and the authorities found 2 references to the pseudonym “'w0rmer'” on unconnected websites, one of which had hacker’s name.

His apartment was put under surveillance, and then the FBI found the hacker’s Facebook page, which named an Australian girl as his mate – the same woman in the picture in South Wantirna.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Phew….That’s A Shock!!

Husband watching internet porn comes across film starring his wife

An Egyptian man who ventured online to watch his first pornographic film, was shocked to see that the leading lady was his own wife.

The man, who is identified only as Ramadan, began watching the film in an internet cafe and instantly collapsed in disbelief after spotting his wife on the screen.
Once he had come round from his initial surprise he saw that she was in 11 different films and rushed home to confront his unfaithful wife.
At first she reacted with anger and denied the allegations while swearing profusely at him, although she later admitted to starring in the film after Ramadan showed her the videos.
She confessed that the man in the films was her pre-marriage boyfriend, before adding that she had never loved her husband, despite being with him for 16 years and having four children together.
Ramadan told Egyptian newspapers: 'I found 11 films showing my wife in indecent scenes with her lover… it was the first time I watched a porno film and I did this just out of curiosity.'
After being found out by her husband, he claimed 'she then confessed to be still in love with her boyfriend, saying he is as young as her and that I am an old man'.
The man didn't say whether the couple were planning to divorce.

Monday 14 May 2012

What’s In a Name?

F***ing village to change its name after being bombarded by prank callers

Prank callers have proved the final straw for the mayor of F***ing, who will hold a vote this week about whether to change the name of the village.

Callers have been ringing up families and businesses simply to ask: ‘Is that F***ing’ – before laughing and hanging up.
Signs have been stolen, while the ones that remain often have seen naked couples getting frisky in front of them.
US servicemen from across the border in Germany prompted the last vote on the subject in 1996 after driving to the Austrian village just to be photographed by a sign.
The 16th-century name for the village was ‘Fugging’ and many want this reinstated.
Mayor Franz Meindl added: ‘I wanted the name to stay but it’s got too much now. The only problem is we need all of the F***ing residents to agree.’
If the change goes ahead, it will follow the Stade de Suisse stadium in Bern, Switzerland, which was called W**kdorf before bands were too embarrassed to play there.
At least other Austrian villages, such as Oberf***ing and Windpassing, will keep pranksters amused.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Ouch!!…That Hurt!

Woman hurt during sex on business trip claims worker's compensation

A woman who injured herself while having sex on a work trip is entitled to worker's compensation.

A federal court ruled in favour of the Australian government worker, who was hurt by a glass light fixture in her hotel room, stating that the injury occurred during her "course of employment".

The woman's barrister argued that the sex was "an ordinary incident of life" in a hotel room, along the same lines as showering and sleeping, according to

The woman, who cannot be named, was sent by her employer to a country town on business in 2007.

She arranged to meet a male friend who lived nearby. After the pair had dinner, they returned to the woman's motel room and had sex, during which she was injured by a light fixture that fell from the wall above the bed.

The judge ruled that "if the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation".

The fact that she was having sex rather than "some other lawful recreational activity" made no difference to the result.

The male friend said in a statement: "I think she was on her back when it happened but I was not paying attention because we are rolling around."

Saturday 12 May 2012

I’m Just Texting!!

Pilot Forgot to Lower Landing Gear Because He Was Texting, Probe Finds

Investigators found that for two minutes as the plane descended to 1000 feet, the pilots took no necessary preparations for landing

The pilot of an Australian passenger flight forgot to lower the plane's wheels for landing because he was too busy texting, a government inquiry has found.
In its report, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report said that the distracted captain and fatigued co-pilot of a Jetstar Airways flight to Singapore failed to complete their landing checklist, The Age reported.
At less than 400 feet from the ground, they had to take the emergency measure of reascending to try again, the report said.
The investigators found that as the plane descended from 2800 feet to 1000 feet in altitude over the span of about two minutes, the pilots took no necessary preparations for landing — including lowering the landing gear.
The board said that around 2500 or 2000 feet, the captain's cell phone began beeping with incoming texts. The captain didn't respond to the co-pilot's requests, and when the co-pilot looked over, he saw his captain "preoccupied" with his phone, the report said.
But even after that, neither the captain nor the co-pilot figured out that the landing gear had still not been lowered, according to the report; they did only after an alert started flashing at 720 feet.
By the time the captain began trying to lower the landing gear, the plane was too low to do so, and a ground-warning alarm began to sound, investigators said. At 392 feet, the crew aborted the landing and flew higher, and the pilots lost track of their altitude, they added.
The airline, a budget subsidiary of Qantas, said that in the wake of the incident two years ago it had put in place a reminder to pilots to turn their phones off before take-off

Friday 11 May 2012

Do Not Disturb?

Boy finds fox asleep in bed

A schoolboy had the shock of his life when he discovered a fox asleep in his bed.
Alexander West (9) was stunned to see the baby fox snuggled in his duvet in his bedroom on the second floor of his home in Hemel Hempstead, Herts.
The youngster had left the back door of the townhouse open when he ran outside to play and the female fox had crept inside and made herself at home.
"Alexander shouted down saying there was a fox in his bed, but I didn't believe him," said mum Dina Luminati-West.
"I thought it must be our cat asleep on his bed, but then I saw the long pointed nose and realised it was indeed a fox.
"I was absolutely shocked, but Alexander was quite excited and pleased she had chosen his room. I said it was because it was so messy."
The small fox is believed to have been in the house for up to four hours before being discovered.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Smurf It!!

Tourists flock to Smurf village

A Spanish village has had a dramatic rise in tourism since it was painted blue last year for the making of a Smurfs film, a Malaga newspaper has reported.

The tiny Andalucian settlement of Júzcar (population 200) has received around 125,000 visitors after its striking makeover in June last year, its mayor told Sur.
“The number of visits is not going down,” David Fernández Tirado said. “Apart from colder, wintry days, it’s been quite the opposite – it’s continuing to spark a lot of interest.”
The residents voted to keep the facades of their houses the same distinctive hue in December last year, after realising the tourism potential of the village’s new look.
They needed to seek special permission from the regional government and the local bishop, as even the church was painted blue.
Previously, the houses were white, typical of the pueblos blancos of the Andalucia region.
Júzcar's initial transformation came when it was selected as a set for the film Smurfs 3D, which featured the singer Katy Perry and came out last summer.
Mr Fernández Tirado also reported that businesses were thriving as a result of the intense interest in the village, including souvenir shops and restaurants.
A ‘Mercapitufo’, or ‘Smurf market’, is still being held each weekend and on holidays, with up to 20 stall holders selling Smurf-related artefacts, and souvenirs, and culinary delicacies.
According to the newspaper, Júzcar now has an average of 2,000 visitors every weekend, about ten times its own population.
This number was even higher for the busy extended holiday celebrations of Easter Holy Week earlier this month.
The paint job has, according to the mayor, “boosted the local economy… the happiness, the business and employment prospects… and the popularity” of the village.
However, he also stressed that the blue makeover was not necessarily permanent.
If his neighbours wanted to change the colour of their houses back to traditional white, then another vote would be held, he told the newspaper.
“We’ll see how everything is going in a while,” he said.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Rescue That Dog!!

Police 'smash car window to rescue toy dog'

Two police officers broke into a car to save a dog they feared was overheating inside, only to find it was a cuddly toy.

The PCs, who became concerned about the “sleeping” animal after being alerted by a member of the public, attempted to wake it from the back seat of parked car.
When it would not be roused, they smashed the window of the Mercedes coupe fearing it would be harmed in the 18C temperatures.
It was only when they reached inside to rescue the King Charles Spaniel that they realised it was merely a stuffed cuddly toy worth £4.50.
Owner Gordon Williams, 80, has now told how he returned to his car to find a seat covered in broken glass and an official note.
It reads: “Smashed your window re concern for animal on rear seat.”
The police force has agreed to pay to the damage to allow the retired mining engineer to replace his window.
Mr Williams, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, told the Sun newspaper: “I guess they felt like idiots.”
The widower said he had bought the toy, named Little Willy, on holiday before leaving him in his car on Monday.
He said: "He'd been living quite happily on the car's back seat. But I've decided he will be safer sleeping on a chair in my kitchen."
Nottinghamshire Police said: "The call was made in good faith by a passer-by. In this case officers believed a dog could be suffering due to the heat of the day and its life was potentially at risk, so felt there was no other option but to enter the vehicle.
"We will be speaking to the owner of the vehicle about paying for the damage.
"This is a perfect example of why drivers need to think about what they leave on view in their car, both in terms of other people’s perception of the objects and in a bid to deter opportunist thieves.”
So it’s the car owners fault then never the police!!!!!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Ring Ring….Not Here!!

On your mobile? Not in my shop

The coffee trader who banned bad manners deserves a medal.

I don’t know whether the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for this year has been finalised but, if not, I would like to nominate Mr Darren Groom of Norwich for an MBE. The 36-year-old coffee-trader has struck a valiant blow for the rights of ordinary people – rights that are in danger of being swept away by the tsunami of technological progress.
Irritated by customers mouthing their orders to him while jabbering on their mobile phones – a phenomenon so widespread that others have lost the will to protest – Mr Groom has had enough.
Why should he and his staff be treated in this offhand way? Why should they have to be amateur lip-readers, trying to work out if the moron reliving the Manchester United match with his mate Barry has ordered an espresso or a latte?
Mr Groom, a true tribune of the people, and a tireless champion of good manners, has now introduced a zero-tolerance policy in his shop, refusing to serve customers who flout the house rules. “SORRY WE ARE UNABLE TO SERVE YOU IF YOU ARE ON THE PHONE,” reads a sign above the till. And even that polite “sorry” – probably the word that, more than any other, epitomises traditional English courtesy – endears you to the man. Did I say an MBE? Make that an OBE. He is a hero.

Monday 7 May 2012

The French!!!

France Against Google

Google has been defending from the complaints of the French data protection outfits. The search giant claims that its new privacy policy is legal and the company is educating its users about the ins and outs of it.
The country’s Commission Nationale de l'Informatique (aka CNIL) is currently investigating the new privacy policy of the online giant, as it is actually the Supreme Dalek of data protection regulators in 27 member states of the European Union. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique has already announced that it has really strong doubts that the company’s approach to privacy complies with EU legislation.

The outfit has penned a missive to the company, demanding Google to provide explanation on what it does with its user information it collects, how long it stores it, and whether it can be linked to the user’s real identity, along with the legal justifications.

According to Jacob Kohnstamm, the head of the Dutch data protection authority, if the search giant persists in its current plan, it may face serious problems. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique was ready to give the company from a week to a few months to fix things, otherwise they threatened to fine Google into a coma. Meanwhile, the other members of the European Union can deal with it differently.

In response, Peter Fleischer, the giant’s global privacy counsel, explained that Google has always been committed to providing its users with comprehensive privacy information and was as well happy to meet EU regulators and explain how the system it sticks to works. According to the search giant, the company is simplifying its privacy policy by consolidating sixty guidelines into a single one. This only guideline will then apply for all Google’s services offered worldwide.

However, there is something that makes the privacy watchdogs become concerned. This is about the fact that the company pools information it collects on individual users through its services. Google says that this feature allows it to “better tailor search results” as well as “improve service”. Of course, you can understand that it means that the company would be able to hit each user with better personalized advertisements and nothing else. Unfortunately, users can’t opt out of this feature.

Sunday 6 May 2012

The Dutch!!!

Dutch Anti-Piracy Group Targeted The Pirate Party

After BREIN won a lawsuit against a proxy operator for providing access to The Pirate Bay, it now decided to target local Pirate Party for the same reason.
The process started this past January when a couple of Dutch major Internet service providers (Ziggo and XS4ALL) received court orders to block access to the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay. Since then, local pirates have been trying to circumvent the methods of censorship by using proxy. After anti-piracy outfit successfully won a legal battle against proxy service, it has locked its cannons on the next target – the Dutch Pirate Party. The latter received a letter from BREIN in which it asked for Pirate Bay proxy site to be immediately closed.

Of course, The Pirate Party doesn’t want to follow the same path as their predecessors. The party is ready to take the fight into the court, and they have already sent a letter to the anti-piracy outfit informing that the website will continue operating. The interesting fact is that the Pirate Party has chosen to send the letter via a torrent file hosted on the website in discussion.

The Pirate Party’s chairman called the demands “ridiculous”, saying that a private lobbying outfit shouldn’t be allowed to filter the country’s web. The party was also amazed to find an ex-parte decision attached, which threatened Dutch minors with fines of 1000 euros per day for running the proxy service. However, the Pirate Party is sure that the efforts of the anti-piracy outfit are useless, saying that there are a lot of proxy websites online, and most of them allow to reach The Pirate Bay, even with a single URL. Meanwhile, BREIN is accused by the industry experts of bringing substantial damage to the free and open web.

In the letter, the anti-piracy outfit included a screenshot of the site’s logo which, ironically, supports indie musicians. Taking into account that the Dutch Pirate Party isn’t happy with paying fines, they believe it is their duty to fight back. The party’s representative points out that unless someone calls BREIN on its tactics, the outfit will be allowed to continue those tactics indefinitely, and yielding doesn’t make the problem go away. The party would prefer to tackle this issue in parliament, as it belongs there.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Google Upsets British MPs

British MPs Against Google

The industry experts have expected this move: a committee of UK MPs had ordered the search giant Google to introduce an algorithm to delete search links that has appeared to be in breach of privacy – or face penalties. Apparently, the cross-party committee was jolly cross when a big wheel moaned about the difficulty he experienced in getting a video of him in fancy dress deleted from the web.
In response, Google had told the committee it wasn’t the company’s job to monitor web content. Nevertheless, the miffed party committee claimed that argument did not hold up.

A committee of MPs and peers has written a report, which was later commissioned by the government to investigate privacy and free speech after a number of high profile super-injunctions in 2011. The report claimed that Internet companies should be brought in line with offline media when it comes to court injunctions.

Actually, if a court gives an MP an injunction for using expenses to build himself a nice duck pond, there will be no point if it’s ignored by the Internet media. According to the report, the courts are required to be proactive in directing the claimant to serve notice on such online content platforms as Twitter or Facebook. However, it appeared to be Google who got the rubber hoses of the MPs’ attention.

According to the report, when someone has obtained a court order that specific content infringes their privacy and therefore shouldn’t be published, it isn’t correct that they should have to return to court again to remove the same content from online searches.

In response, the search giant had claimed that while it could create algorithms to censor such results one day, it didn’t actually want to proactively monitor the Internet. Nevertheless, the committee backed Mosley and claimed that Google and other search engines should do something to make sure that their services aren’t used as tools to violate the law and should actively develop and use filtering technology.

Google was told that if it didn’t pull its finger then the government would write a legislation to force the company to do so. The search engine told during the interview that it couldn’t see what all the trouble was about, because Google has already removed certain pages deemed illegal by the courts.

Friday 4 May 2012


Woman had cocaine in fake baby belly
Brazilian police say they nabbed a woman carrying more than 2 kg of cocaine in a fake baby belly.
The 20-year-old woman admitted she had the drugs after she became nervous when asked routine questions upon arriving at the Natal international airport early Friday, police said in a statement.
A 24-year-old man waiting outside the airport in a taxi was also arrested.

Thursday 3 May 2012

The Sharp End!!

Woman brandishing knives in traffic tasered
A Halifax woman who tried to stop traffic while holding two steak knives had to be shot with a stun gun Thursday night, police say.
Officers were called to a pizza shop around 11:10 p.m. after the woman allegedly began demanding free food. Police said she went out in the street, carrying the two steak knives, and tried to stop traffic.
She wouldn't listen to officers, so one of them shocked her with a Taser, police said in a release.
The 43-year-old woman was taken to hospital for a medical assessment. She remains in hospital, police said.
The woman faces charges including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, and theft and possession

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Dogs On A Drive-By?

Joyriding Dogs Steal Car in Moscow

A Muscovite motorist was in for the surprise of her life this month when she found her parked car rammed by a vehicle driven by three dogs, AlfaStrakhovanie Group insurer said on Friday.
The unidentified young woman left her car in the parking lot of a Moscow shopping mall and went inside, returning to find another vehicle slammed into it, the company said on its website.
Three dogs barked at her from inside the other car, but no people were to be found, not even in the car trunk, the report said.
It was established later that the other car’s owner left the animals inside the car and the engine running while he was away, and the dogs somehow managed to get the vehicle moving until it hit the nearest obstacle, the insurer said.
The woman had the presence of mind to photograph the incident, AlfaStrakhovanie said. “Who would have had believed otherwise that I was rammed by dogs?” she was cited as saying later.
The doggy joyride did not end there: when the woman briefly left the scene to fill out police paperwork and then returned, she discovered the dog-driven car gone. The vehicle turned up several dozen meters down the road, put into motion again by the restless animals.
The actual incident took place mid-March, but was only reported this week as a special treat for the upcoming Fools Day on April 1, the insurer said.
The incident was recognized as a legitimate insurance event, the report added.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Hitching A Ride!

French cat hitches ride to Munich

Curiosity did not kill Quincy the cat, but it did leave him mightily confused after he hopped into a van to explore it near his home in Paris, and found himself driven to Munich 850 kilometres away.
The grey and white kitten became an unwitting stowaway in the van, emerging without much French sangfroid.
“He was very thin and seemed perturbed when he arrived,” said Eveline Kosenbach from the animal rescue shelter in Munich where he spent more than a week while cross-border efforts were made to find his owners.
Numerous phone calls, emails and even a personal appeal from the mayor of Jouy-en-Josas for his owners to come forward eventually bore fruit and his owners made the pilgrimage to Munich to pick him up.
Reports that Quincy had by this time regained his poise and greeted his owners with little more than a Gallic shrug could not be confirmed, although it is thought he has been put on a diet to combat the effects of Bavarian cuisine.