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New Zealand Turning Hobbits Into Actual Cash 89

Posted by timothy
from the phase-two-is-to-revive-smaug dept.
Curseyoukhan writes "With its economy struggling, New Zealand hopes to cash in on 'The Hobbit' by turning it into actual cash. The nation is releasing special commemorative coins depicting characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book. The coin release coincides with the premiere of the first installment in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the book. It is also part of a publicity campaign aimed to rebrand the country '100 percent Middle Earth.'"
Media

Canadian Spying Case Proves Floppy Drive Isn't Dead Yet 148

Posted by timothy
from the who-spies-on-canada?! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The details of a Canadian spying case are coming to light, including the method of copying the sensitive data from the 'secured' computer linking five countries and the Russian handlers: Copy Data into Notepad; Save File to Floppy Drive; USB Key; ???; Profit! For $3000/mo in prepaid credit cards and wire transfers."
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PETA Condemns Pokemon For Promoting Animal Abuse 418

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the gotta-kill-em-all dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "PETA, the same group that last November protested Mario for 'wearing fur,' has condemned the Pokémon media franchise and video game series. In light of the recent release of Pokemon Black and White Versions 2, the activist group is protesting that the Pokemon game series 'paints a rosy picture of what amounts to thinly veiled animal abuse.' As many of us know Pokemon is about young children who capture wild animals for the sole purpose of having them battle in non-fatal sparing matches. 'Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods,' says a statement from the group. Ironically within Pokemon B/W 2 there an organization known as Team Plasma , which deals with taking Pokemon and retuning them to the wild. PETA is so up in arms that they have even created an anti-pokemon parody game in which you play as an escaped Pokemon battling your trainer. I recommend trying it, just for the laughs."
Programming

Learning HTML Through a Board Game 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the roll-the-dice-and-close-the-tags dept.
An anonymous reader writes "cHTeMeLe is a board game about writing HTML5 code. In cHTeMeLe, players endorse their favorite web browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, or IE) and then score points by correctly laying out HTML tags, while also trying to bug or crash their opponents' code. From the article: 'Despite cHTeMeLe's technical theme, its developers claim you don't need any web programming experience to play. The game takes web design standards and boils them down into game rules that even children can learn. To help less technical players keep everything straight, the tag cards use syntax highlighting that different parts of code have unique colors — just like an Integrated Developer Environment. No one is going to completely pick up HTML5 purely by playing cHTeMeLe, but it does have some educational value for understanding basic tags and how they fit together.'"
Apple

Ad Agency's Bizarre Steve Jobs Tribute Flash Mob Hits Seattle 75

Posted by timothy
from the suspect-he's-laughing dept.
theodp writes "File this one under it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time. The Filter digital agency decided to show off their Steve Jobs spirit on the first anniversary of Jobs' death by declaring Friday Steve Jobs dress-up day. But where things really took a turn for the worse was in Seattle, where Filter employees took it to the local Apple Store where they formed a Flash Mob of Steve Jobs dress-alikes dancing Gangnam Style. Hey, even our best of intentions sometimes go awry."
Idle

French Bees Produce Blue and Green Honey 64

Posted by timothy
from the best-solution-is-to-put-a-premium-on-it dept.
jones_supa writes "Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace, France have seen their bees starting to produce honey in an odd blue or green color. Mystified, the beekeepers embarked on an investigation and discovered that a biogas plant 4 km away has been processing waste from a plant producing colorful M&M candies. Subsequently the bees had been carrying the waste to their nests. Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas plant, said it had tried to address the problem after being notified of it by the beekeepers. 'We discovered the problem at the same time they did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,' told Philippe Meinrad, co-manager of Agrivalor."
Facebook

Your Facebook Likes Conveyed As Simulated Hugs 40

Posted by timothy
from the deep-pressure dept.
mikejuk writes "Next time you're dreaming up ways to make the users of your apps feel loved and wanted, think a little more wildly. How about giving them an actual hug? That's what MIT researchers Melissa Chow and her colleagues Andy Payne and Phil Seaton at MIT have come up with — a jacket that hugs the wearer when one of their friends 'likes' one of their posts on Facebook. The Like-A-Hug vest is described as receiving a signal when a Facebook friend 'likes' a post, then fills with air to give the wearer the sensation of being hugged."
Canada

Stolen Maple Syrup Found and Returned To Strategic Reserve 255

Posted by samzenpus
from the pancakes-for-everyone dept.
First time accepted submitter bmxeroh writes "Remember the tragic maple syrup heist? Police have seized more than 600 barrels of maple syrup they say are related to the missing syrup. It was transported back to Quebec via a 16 tractor trailer, heavily guarded (and presumably heavily armed) convoy Wednesday."
Games

World of Warcraft Character Becomes Campaign Issue 381

Posted by samzenpus
from the by-my-axe! dept.
Dr. Gamera writes "Maine state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz plays World of Warcraft. The opposing party in Maine has issued a press release attacking her for her Level 85 Orc Assassination Rogue. From the article: 'In an unusual press release issued Thursday, the Maine GOP attacked Lachowicz for a “bizarre double life” in which she’s a devotee of the hugely popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft. In the game, she’s “Santiaga,” an "orc assassination rogue" with green skin, fangs, a Mohawk and pointy ears.' Her incumbent, much to his credit, rejects the attack as 'mudslinging politics.'"
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Glenn Beck Reports CIA Plot Between Embassy Killing and Something Awful 413

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the photoshop-phriday-replaced-by-state-secrets-saturday dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Here's one that even The Onion would reject as too blatantly ridiculous: American right-wing radio and TV clown Glenn Beck believes that Sean Smith aka Vile Rat, the EVE Online diplomat who was killed earlier this month during the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, was actually a CIA agent, relaying communications to his fellow undercover agents at Something Awful."
Entertainment

New York Plans World's Largest Ferris Wheel 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-ride dept.
justelite writes "It is an old trend to build "The World's largest..." something. One of the latest somethings is a 630-foot tall Ferris wheel planned for Staten Island. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 'The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet.' Designed to carry 1,440 passengers at a time, it's expected to draw 4.5 million people a year to a setting that also would include a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel."
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US Agricultural Economists Say Bacon Shortage Is Hogwash 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the hold-on-tight dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "The economics of the current drought are likely to nose up prices for bacon and other pork products next year, by as much as 10 percent. But U.S. agricultural economists are dismissing reports of a global bacon shortage that lent sizzle to headlines and Twitter feeds last week. Simply put, the talk of scarcity is hogwash. 'Use of the word 'shortage' caused visions of (1970s-style) gasoline lines in a lot of people's heads, and that's not the case,' said Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics and a consultant to the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board. 'If the definition of shortage is that you can't find it on the shelves, then no, the concern is not valid. If the concern is higher cost for it, then yes.'"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Iran's News Agency Picks Up Onion Story 118

Posted by timothy
from the makes-them-cry dept.
J053 writes "FARS, the Iranian news agency, ran a story about a Gallup poll which showed that 'the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama.' '"I like him better," said West Virginia resident Dale Swiderski, who, along with 77 percent of rural Caucasian voters, confirmed he would much rather go to a baseball game or have a beer with Ahmadinejad.' Only problem was, it was a story from The Onion. Not only that, they took credit for it! The Onion responded by stating that 'Fars is a subsidiary and has been our Middle Eastern bureau since the mid 1980s.'"
Democrats

DNC Salute to Vets Featured Backdrop Of Russian Warships 218

Posted by timothy
from the one-world-government dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Our politicians, and their henchmen, at their finest! In an apparent error, the Democratic National Convention's primary backdrop for its salute to veterans, by a 4-star admiral, featured a composite warship backdrop, in parade review, as a sign of U.S. strength and force projection; unfortunately, all of the naval ships in the image were Russian warships."
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Linux Forcibly Installed On Congressman's Computer In Act of Terrorism 343

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rms-detained-on-hooliganism-charges dept.
fermion writes with news of Windows computers being forcefully liberated: "The campaign headquarters of Michael Grimm, a U.S. House of Representatives member from New York, were vandalized. What has not been reported everywhere is that Linux was installed on one of his computers, erasing data in the process. Is this a new attack on democracy by the open source radicals, or it is just a random occurrence?" From the article: "'In fact, one officer said to me today they see this as a crime against the government, because I am a sitting United States congressman and they take it very seriously. You know, especially in light of what happened with Gabby Giffords, we're not in the world today where we can shrug things off,' Grimm said. ... [GNU/]Linux, an open-source operating system, was installed on Grimm's computers, erasing the hard drive contents, which included polling and voter identification data. But staff had backed up the hard drive contents hours beforehand. Grimm and his staffers said the vandalism — cement blocks were thrown through the office's windows — is a cover-up for the attacks on the computers."

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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