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TorrentReactor Reportedly Buys, Renames a Russian Town 63

Posted by kdawson
from the apply-many-grains-of-salt dept.
baronvoncarson and a few other readers sent in the unconfirmed report that the Russian torrent site TorrentReactor had bought the Russian town of Gar for $148,000, on the condition that the town rename itself Torrentreactor.net. Torrent Freak notes circumspectly that TorrentReactor has been known in the past for — how best to put this? — publicity stunts and hoaxes. And Torrent Freak at the time of writing had no confirmation from any Russian authority that the purported cash-for-renaming deal is genuine. Here is the announcement on TorrentReactor's site, which contains this explanation of how Gar was chosen: "We've picked a few thousands of godforsaken places around the world that are close to operating nuclear reactors to make a connection to the name of our company. The list was numbered and a random number was picked by a generator. The number 377 was a lucky one for Gar village. We think it was a good choice since Gar citizens are very kind and generous people." The whole (purported) transaction is reminiscent of the dot-com boom, when in 1999 the not-yet-launched Half.com offered $100,000 to a small town, Halfway, Oregon, if it would rename itself for the company. It did. The record is vague as to whether the money was ever actually paid, as Half.com was acquired by eBay just over a year later.
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TorrentReactor Reportedly Buys, Renames a Russian Town

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  • Alright, not bad. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    At-least this town will be non-associated to other communities and surely is non-incorporated to the State.

    I love free towns, almost as-good as a township, and has a worthy style of living that can put itself on the map just as did CB Radio, homebrew beer, free-range livestock, and Water Electrolysis/Joe Cell.

  • Umm what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Arcorn (1209534)
    What's the likely hood of the town actually agreeing to this? If they were pretty much bankrupt it would make sense but how would the people in the town feel about having it renamed to a website name? Stop reporting crap kdawson.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If they were pretty much bankrupt it would make sense but how would the people in the town feel about having it renamed to a website name

      Have you ever been in a village in Russia?

      I've been there, you would understand if you would've been.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well heck by that logic I ought to be able to by just about any US city for a measly $100,000. They are just about all bankrupt.

  • by captain_dope_pants (842414) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:28AM (#33186782)
    Cool, you can buy a town and rename it ? I want to buy Fucking in Austria and name it... err... Sod it, it can stay as it is :)
    • by boxwood (1742976) on Monday August 09, 2010 @06:34AM (#33187108)

      I want to buy Fucking in Austria ...

      Luckily for you prostitution is legal in Austria.

    • by mick232 (1610795)
      I live 2 hours away from Fucking. But I've never been there. I've read that the village is quite famous, but I wouldn't have expected to read about it on Slashdot.
      • by daremonai (859175) on Monday August 09, 2010 @12:48PM (#33191940)
        I live 2 hours away from Fucking. But I've never been there.

        2 hours away? Don't feel bad. That's still a lot closer to Fucking than most people on Slashdot will ever get.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          I live 2 hours away from Fucking. But I've never been there.

          2 hours away? Don't feel bad. That's still a lot closer to Fucking than most people on Slashdot will ever get.

          They could always try American Beer because that stuff is fucking close to water.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by O Blimey (1268410)
      The name of the town Fucking means nothing in particular in the local language. It is as innocent as Canterbury or Birmingham.

      There is a brewery in Fucking. One of their beers is a lager with bright yellow color which they call "Bright" which in German Language is "Hell".
      On the label it says: Fucking Hell
      That's all there is to it.
      Export business is brisk.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'd Canterbury her Birmingham, if you know what I mean.

      • by Chih (1284150)
        Okay, this is going on my Xmas wishlist haha
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by WillDraven (760005)

        Actually according to Der Spiegel [spiegel.de] there is no brewery in the town. Just some random company decided to name their beer after it. Either way I think it's brilliant marketing. Unfortunately I cant seem to find any way to order any, it may not have been released yet.

    • by stms (1132653)
      Why not rename Bum Fucking Egypt... well I guess it can stay the same too.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I'd rename it "Consensual Sex In The Missionary Position, Austria".

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:34AM (#33186802) Homepage
    By the very act of considering this News For Nerds, and posting it on the front page where millions will see it, Slashdot has participated in this hoax. If it's not verified, and it comes from a known perpetrator of hoaxes, and it smells funny, why the heck is Slashdot or any other media outlet even paying attention to the story? It plays directly into the hands of the hoaxers!
    • by Haedrian (1676506)
      Maybe it'll encourage them to really buy the town.
    • by gsslay (807818) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:44AM (#33186846)

      Cool. If I announce on a website some place that I'm paying I billion dollars to "buy" New Zealand, on condition that it is renamed Mordor, will I get onto the front page of slashdot?

      It'd all be total bollocks, you understand. I don't have a billion dollars, New Zealand isn't for sale and they haven't accepted the offer. But it's all in good fun and the rough and tumble of publicity stunts, isn't it? No-one cares about actual facts and news or stuff, do they?

      • by (Score.5, Interestin (865513) on Monday August 09, 2010 @07:53AM (#33187478)

        If I announce on a website some place that I'm paying I billion dollars to "buy" New Zealand, on condition that it is renamed Mordor, will I get onto the front page of slashdot?

        I dunno about all of New Zealand, but I reckon for a billion you could pretty much get West Auckland, and you wouldn't need to change much to pass it off as Mordor.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Cool. If I announce on a website some place that I'm paying I billion dollars to "buy" New Zealand, on condition that it is renamed Mordor, will I get onto the front page of slashdot?

        As overlords, we the Commonwealth of Australia hear by accept your offer of one billion Australian dollars and no cents in exchange for the land of sheep shaggers.

        Please let us know when to update our maps.

    • by Dumnezeu (1673634) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:47AM (#33186856)

      Actually, I am very happy that TFS specifically says that TR is well-known for it's past hoaxes, used as publicity stunts, so any reader should clearly take this story with a few kilograms of salt.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Slashdot: Rumors for Nerds, Stuff that Might Matter.

    • by LucidFox (1725328) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:57AM (#33186886) Homepage
      As a Russian, I call shenanigans. The sign looks photoshopped, the only Russian news sources I could find are reprints of the TorrentFreak article. In any case you can't exactly buy a town. If they got it to change its name in exchange for their paid services, I'd expect a lot of widespread Russian publicity.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Yep. That photo [torrentfreak.com] does indeed look photoshopped. Zoom in really close and look at the pixels around the word "TOPPEHTPEAKTOP". You can see blocks of grey and white pixels above the letters that don't follow letters, but instead go straight across across the screen; in addition, the second P and first E, and maybe the K, have fade near the bottom as if someone cleaning up the sign had gotten the airbrush/clone tool, with too big of brush selected, just a little too close to the letters. Finally, there's

        • by Chih (1284150)

          That photo [torrentfreak.com] looks liek a shoop, I can tell by the pixels

          Thank you kind sir for your explanation :)

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          you are probably correct, but your comment still reminded me of this [xkcd.com]

        • by mobby_6kl (668092)

          Well, duh, this is just a mockup preview to show how the place will look like once the name is officially changed. It just take a while for the money to be transfered in Russia, and even longer for the bureaucrats to get their shit together and replace the signs.

      • You can't buy a town, but you can pay the citizens of said town to request it to be renamed. Given the poverty level in this region of Russia, you could probably have it done for $300 or so for each inhabitant; and the fact that the town (village, actually) has a few hundred citizens means that the final price would be on the order of $100K. Any takers?

        Though I do agree that this one is almost certainly a hoax, it's not because it's something impossible to do in Russia. Unfortunately...

    • It plays directly into the hands of the hoaxers...

      ... and then the hoaxers will win! You're either with us or against us. I call upon all /.ers to do everything to stop these hoaxers. Thank you. Now watch this drive!

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by FunPika (1551249)
      What do you expect? Kdawson is the one who posted it.
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      If it's not verified, and it comes from a known perpetrator of hoaxes, and it smells funny...

      Oh! I know this one!

      It's a duck!

    • by mcrbids (148650)

      The question isn't whether or not /. contributes to the "haox" - the question is whether or not contributing to the hoax by the media actually works.

      I never bought *anything* from half.com...

    • by Miseph (979059)

      Dude, it's in Idle. That's kind of what it's for. Relax.

  • I hope it's true. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:35AM (#33186812) Journal

    It would add a bit of color to this grey, lifeless IT world.

  • I am reminded of http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/star/how_to_view.asp [sydneyobservatory.com.au] naming a star. I think TR should seriously consider naming an actual reactor, or maybe a uranium mine. This is Adman Genius. I am impressed.
  • In my mind to buy a whole city or village you need to buy all the lands in it.
    Which is quite hard and expensive to do.
    You can try to buy a city name, which makes a different sense.
    Or, as it seems from the (possibly hoax) announcement, they convinced people with money to change their village name.
    In either case, who cares?
  • "Gar'" in Russian means "soot". Considering the current situation with fires in Russia (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10897116), renaming a village named 'soot' near a nuclear reactor somehow does not builds up confidence :)

  • I guess they first thought of Topeka, KS but realized Google was already on it... maybe it'll turn out in the end that TR will take the name of Gar...
  • by Theoboley (1226542)
    Does anyone find a bit of a coincidence that torrentreactor - a pirating website - chose Gar as a town? I mean, Its obvious. Next they should look for YARGH!!!!! or Simply YAR!!!!
    • Does anyone find a bit of a coincidence that torrentreactor - a pirating website - chose Gar as a town?

      Because the name refers to a badass that one would be willing to be gay for. It beat out Gao and Gai [lurkmore.com].

    • by Chih (1284150)
      Wait, the guys on torrentreactor get on ships and terrorize people on the high seas? Oh, you mean data copiers, meh nevermind...
  • But I thought in soviet Russia, town buys you!
  • Crap (Score:1, Offtopic)

    Giant idle spill continues to pollute the front page.. The owners had no comment when asked how long it will be before the leak is plugged... Reports of interface contamination have been flooding in for months now, and several readers have washed up on multiply.. One user commented on the condition of Anonymity, "Oh, the humanity! This is a tragedy of unimagined proportions for worldwide geekdom. With kdawson in charge of cleanup efforts, it is doubtful the site will ever recover." It has been suggested by

  • It's only a matter of time before other cities start auctioning off their naming rights...........

    GoDaddy, Arizona (Formerly Scottsdale)

    Microsoft City, Washington. (Formerly Redmond)

    GooglePlex, Googlia (Formerly Mountain View, California)

    Playboy, Porn-ia (Formerly Chicago, Illinois)

    Empire of Obamia (Formerly, the United States of America)

  • this WAS a hoax! (Score:3, Informative)

    by phulegart (997083) on Monday August 09, 2010 @09:46AM (#33188778)
    First, anyone reading the TorrentFreak article would have noticed the link at the bottom of the article that brings you to a second, related article... http://torrentfreak.com/despite-confusion-village-wants-torrent-site-investment-100809/ [torrentfreak.com] which explains that most of the details that Torrentreactor had about Gar were wrong, and that they never did buy a town or make an offer... but in fact the people of the REAL town of Gar are very interested in the money.
  • Never mind the dot-com boom, this kind of publicity stunt has been around since at least the 1950s: Truth of Consequences, NM, named after a game show [wikipedia.org].
  • Shitterton, England. (Apparently their town sign kept going missing, so now they have a big new immovable one, made of stone.)
  • You can not rename a village in Russia for sponsorship. Maybe it is allowed in USA, but in Russia it is not. So the whole thing is fake, couldn't be otherwise.

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