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Back in Blog Land

Dear friends,

I have decided to start blogging again.

I find Facebook etal wonderful toys, but I missed my good old blog.

With the Bulgarian election around the corner and all the shit that is flying around in the Middle East (one country away), there is loads to talk about.

See you all soon.

Koos

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Categories: Uncategorized

Can Google Sue Rupert Murdoch Over SOPA?

Author: Stephen Alexander

Much like “big beef” sued Oprah Winfrey in the 1990’s, Google could sue Rupert Murdoch today over his comments in reference to the SOPA debate. In court and in the media, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association tried to show that Oprah Winfrey deliberately aired false, sensationalized claims about food safety in order to boost ratings.

The alleged defamation by Rupert Murdoch against Google is alarming, especially in light od Mr. Murdoch’s recent tweets about Google’s business practices. The first set of tweets by Rupert Murdoch allegedly accuses Google of thievery.

“So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery. -”

“Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying.”

“Film making is risky as hell. This has to lead to less, hurting writers, actors, all concerned.”

These statements are allegedly defamatory against Google and could in fact hurt Google’s commercial reputation in the world.

To make matter’s completely clear to his followers on Twitter, Mr. Murdoch sent a follow-up tweet around 5 hours later to continue the berating of Google.

“Sure misunderstand many things, but not plain stealing. Incidentally google blocks many other undesirable things.”

So just like Oprah Winfrey was sued and had her mouth tamed by the beef industry, perhaps Google could sue Mr. Murdoch and tame his mouth.

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/article/can-google-sue-rupert-murdoch-over/#ixzz1jdqJsOx1

Categories: Uncategorized

10 stories that could be April Fools pranks but aren’t

It’s the day when newspapers compete to come up with the most inventive spoof stories – but not every bizarre report on 1 April is fictitious.

Here’s a round-up of some of the day’s seemingly hoax reports which are, in fact, entirely true.

1. French President Nicolas Sarkozy uses a £10,000 armour-plated umbrella to protect him from attackers. Carried by the head of state’s security guards, the rainproof device is coated in high-strength Kevlar so it can reduce the force of bullets and resist knife attacks.

More details (Metro)

2. The National Trust has published a list of the UK’s top 10 “silly walks” to such colourfully-named locations as Scrubby Bottoms, Pembrokeshire, Booby’s Bay, Cornwall and Windy Gap in Surrey. Keen ramblers can also sniff out a route to The Nostrils on the Isle of Wight.

More details (Daily Telegraph)

3. A 50-strong gang of chickens that terrorised residents in Southport has been evicted by Lancashire Police. The flock, which had been abandoned by their former owner, prowled the streets in a pack and would begin crowing at 0400 BST each morning.

More details (Daily Mail)

4. Men only think about sex once every two hours – not every seven seconds, as is commonly believed, according to a survey of 5,000 adult males. By contrast, the average man spends 177 minutes a day worrying about his job, the study suggests.

More details (Daily Mirror)

5. A couple who carved their hedge into the shape of a Buddha have been threatened with a curse by an angry neighbour. An anonymous poison pen letter was sent to Raymond and Sacha Hubbard, who own a garden centre, but the pair have resolved to keep their topiary effigy.

More details (Daily Mail)

6. Songs by pop star Shakira are banned at the ground of Real Madrid because her boyfriend Gerard Pique plays for rivals Barcelona. Her song Waka-Waka had been played regularly at the Bernabeu during pre-match build-ups and at half time but has now been dropped.

More details (The Sun)

7. A baker has been flooded with complaints after calling his shop Nice Baps. John O’Toole, who runs the business in Henlow, Beds, said: “I tried to explain to them that I do small baps and big baps and they’re nice and firm.”

More details (Daily Star)

8. A house made famous on social networking sites because it apparently looks like Hitler has another wartime claim – it survived the blitz. Speaking to the press for the first time, owner Clive Davies, 65, said the terraced property was left unscathed by a Luftwaffe bombing raid.

More details (The Sun)

9. Dogs have been sheared and coloured so that they resemble a bison, a court jester and a scorpion at a series of US “extreme dog grooming contests”. Animal photographer Ren Netherland has captured some of the more extreme lengths to which some owners have gone, including also carving the coat of one canine into a Native American headdress.

More details (Daily Mail)

10. The real names of adult industry actors have been published on a website which styles itself as “Porn Wikileaks”. The move may be alarming to stars who often perform under pseudonyms to shield friends, family and future employers from their careers.

More details (The Independent)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12932108

Hacker Army Wikileaks continues to grow

More and more people are joining the hackers led by activist group Anonymous websites of companies and agencies cripple who would turn against Wikileaks. A spokesperson of the activist group said. There were now more than five thousand people in the hackers army.

According to his own words 22-year-old computer programmer more attacks to come. “I see this result in a war, but not your conventional war. This is an information war,” said the man. “We try to keep the Internet free and open to everyone, like the Internet always has been.”

Anonymous has Twitter threatened to be the next target, because the censors would have applied by the popular topic of Wikileaks’ not to be identified on the site. Twitter denies that this is the case. Even oil giant BP has warned of an attack using Twitter. “Wikileaks know what you’ve done. They reveal, we are subject to”.

Anyone can hack

The hackers and their associates use a so-called DDoS attack. Anyone wishing to attack a computer program installed, which connect to a server can be created, which controls the computers connected to a website shut down.

Including the websites of the credit card companies Visa and Mastercard, which accounts for Wikileaks to stop, have been shut down by a cyber attack. (Reuters)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

’cause the Bible tells me so.

We need more Profs with a sense of humor like this one.

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, for an
observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to
Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The
following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US
resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as
informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s
Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of
debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1.Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male
and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.
Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned
in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she
is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The
problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take
offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my
neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite
them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is
an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there
‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God
if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room
here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including
the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden
by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family
affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.
20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and
unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of
Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

(It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian 🙂

BULGARIA COUNTS ON GOLF DEVELOPMENT, RETAIL RENAISSANCE TO RECOVER

Bulgaria has vowed to bring back the incentives for investors in golf courses, malls, hotels and spa complexes as the country is trying to stay competitive and keep low the unemployment rate.
The incentives will be provided under amendments to the Law for encouraging investments, which will offer a wide range of bonuses for investors in projects that are worth over BGN 100,000 and create at least 200 jobs.
The package includes the issuing of an investor’s certificate, the sale of a land slot at a minimum price, fast services, covering expenses for the installation of electricity and water sewage channels.
Bulgaria is expected to be set for a boom in mall and golf development.
The economic crisis in the past year proved fertile for the malls and discount retailers stepping on Bulgarian soil in recent months and the country is expected to see their boom in 2010.
Retailers, including Carrefour, Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG of Germany and Slovenia’s Mercator Poslovni Sistem d.d., want to shore up flagging sales at home by expanding in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member.
The country, which fell behind other former-communist nations in raising living standards, offers better growth prospects than neighbors, whose more- developed markets are becoming saturated, while investors enjoy lower wages and costs.
Golf was considered a sport of the capitalist elite and banned in Eastern Europe under the rule of communist regimes — but in the 20 years since the Berlin Wall has fallen there has been a renaissance of the game in the region.
With rising disposable income and an increasing interest in leisure pursuits, a growing number of courses, more television coverage and availability of EU funds, the future of the industry in Eastern Europe is bright.
Bulgaria is one country where the sport is on the up as it tries to fulfil the increasing domestic demand and attract more tourists to the region..
Bulgaria’s government expects the economy to grow about 1% in 2010 after shrinking 5.1%. That compares with an estimated 0.2% contraction in Hungary, and growth rates of 0.6% in Slovenia and 1.3% in the Czech Republic. Novinite.com

Czechs rebrand communist holidays

Socialist kitsch is back in fashion for these holidaymakers in the Tatra Mountains.

A Czech travel agency is offering package holidays for people nostalgic for the trade union perks of communist Czechoslovakia, when factory workers were bussed off to recuperate from the daily grind.

For a modest sum, guests can stay at a grim-looking hotel in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, to relive the sights, sounds, and smells of pre-1989 holidays, the BBC’s Rob Cameron reports.

It’s 8.30am and holidaymaker Viera Kubisova is eating breakfast. I think I’ve upset her.

“It’s history. That’s all it is. It’s history, and it’ll never be erased,” she says, waving a spicy sausage at me.
Dear leaders: Reminders of the communist past are all part of the “fun”

She is upset because I’ve asked if she was bothered by the bust of Stalin in the hotel lobby.

“It’s our history and it’s inside us,” she continues, still brandishing the sausage.

“People of my generation felt it for 40 years. We lived it, and we’ll never be able to detach ourselves from it.”

Viera, from the Slovak capital Bratislava, is one of 80 or so Czechs and Slovaks who have spent a week enjoying a “retro” holiday in the style of the workers’ breaks that used to be organised by the Communist Revolutionary Trade Union Movement – or ROH, to use the Czech acronym.

The holidays were a reward for a year of toil in the offices, factories, and coal mines of socialist Czechoslovakia.

Spirit of socialism
Socialist realism – charming for some – extends to the hotel furnishing

Mostly middle-aged or elderly, Viera and friends have come to the large and eerie Hotel Morava in Tatranska Lomnica, a winter resort in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, to rekindle fond memories of ROH holidays gone by.

The hotel rooms are gloomy and claustrophobic. There is a weird smell in the bathroom. Ugly 1950s chairs sit empty at the end of silent corridors. It is a bit like the hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining, only with Lenin and Stalin playing the ghosts.

And for some guests the authentic communist ambience is all part of the hotel’s charm.

But surly communist-style service is no longer a feature.

“The idea came about totally by chance,” explains Petr Krc, Czech travel agency owner and creator of the ROH retro holiday.

Petr Krc makes the most of relics from communist times

“The Morava’s manager was showing us round the basement, and we came across a storeroom. Inside were boxes and boxes of flags, towels, napkins, cutlery, glasses, all with the ROH logo on them,” he says.

“I said to him ‘What are you going to do with this lot?’ And he said ‘I don’t know, guess we’ll hire a skip and chuck it’. And I said ‘For God’s sake, don’t do that! You’re sitting on a goldmine!'”

At 7am, the hotel wakes with a start. Loudspeakers crackle into life, blaring out a mixture of revolutionary songs and socialist-era pop. Those guests still asleep are roused by a hotel worker with a whistle.

Bleary-eyed and yawning, the holidaymakers are dragged out onto the hotel lawn for some vigorous open-air exercise.

At this point it becomes clear that the whole thing is more of an elaborate practical joke than a real exercise in nostalgia. 

Exercise was compulsory as the state wanted healthy workers

Dressed in an assortment of pyjamas, nightcaps and red scarves, the guests try their best to keep up with the exercises before collapsing, some in fits of giggles, on the grass.

“I really wouldn’t politicise it too much, it’s just a bit of a laugh,” says Vladimir Polak, dressed in the light blue uniform of the Communist Union of Youth. Vladimir clearly bade farewell to youth several decades ago, so presumably the uniform is not his original.

“It’s about reliving your memories – in my case childhood memories of having to stand on the pavement and wave a red flag on May Day. We’re just having a bit of fun.”

The fun continues with a train ride to a neighbouring resort, where a mock May Day parade awaits. Even Lenin is on hand to greet the marchers; clearly he was the only local man with a goatee and a flat cap. I also don’t remember anything in the history books about Lenin wowing revolutionary crowds with jokes.

“Look, you have to laugh at communism,” says Petr Krc, when I ask him whether if it is really appropriate to make light of a brutal totalitarian dictatorship.

“Back then, we had to whisper, you couldn’t make jokes about the regime. Now all of us are laughing – and this time we’re laughing out loud.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8659518.stm