Libyan Rebels Hijack Cellular Network

We try to avoid talking too much about politics, but one piece of news this week caught my eye.  The Libyan rebels, with the help of some Middle Eastern and Libyan-American friends, were able to hijack Gadhafi’s Libyana cellular network.

In the early days of the rebellion, Gadhafi shut off cell phones and internet to stem the flow of information out of Libya.  Since then the rebels have had to communicate via semaphore, and while flag signals are kind of a bad ass way of communicating, it sucks as a primary communication tool. 

Ousama Abushagar, a Libyan-American telecom executive, got together a few childhood friends and raised funding in order to infiltrate Libyana and pirate their cellular signal.  The United Arab Emirates and Qatar both provided the millions of dollars worth of equipment needed to make this plan work, showing their support of the rebel government.  Etisalat, a UAE cellular service, provided use of one of their satellites for the pirate cell phone network.  Eventually the plan rolled out and Free Libyana was born.  International calls are extremely limited currently, but hey… who can complain when all domestic calls are free.  Beat that AT&T!

Fail of the Week: Police Pepper Spray Unruly 8 Year Old At School

In Lakewood, CO. an 8 year old was pepper sprayed by local police when they were called to the school to handle the unruly boy.

It’s one of those incidents that makes you double take and say “LOL WUT?” and to be honest, after reading the article, I’m not sure who failed worse: the police or the kid.

I know what you’re thinking: The teachers should have been able to handle an unruly kid.  However, the kid was throwing the a tantrum worthy of Dust Head Hall of Fame.  According to reports, the kid was climbing on teacher carts, spitting and cursing at teachers, and ripped molding of the walls and attempted to stake anybody who came near him.  When approached by the officers he brandished a sharpened stick and yelled “get away from me you fuckers!”

Still not convinced this kid is a whack job?  How about if I told you this was the third time the police had been called to the school about his behavior?

The police fail because they had to use pepper spray on a kid, the kid fails because he’s a dust head without the PCP, he experts fail because they’re blaming TV and video game violence, the mom fails because she thinks the cops were being fascist, and the state of Colorado fails for containing all of the above.

Police Pepper Spray Unruly 8 Year Old At School from The Consumerist

April Fools Day 2011 Wrap Up

If you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with April Fools Day.  Every April 1st, the internet is abuzz with new products, news, and speculation.  Some of these are funny, so are a little too serious, and some of them you can’t tell whether they’re joking or not.  Sometimes, a poor company just happens to make a press release on April 1st about something serious and nobody takes it seriously.  This year showed us some doozies:

  • Youtube’s 1911 Mode – Youtube made on option available to its users on April first where you could watch all their content in black and white with no sound… like a classic silent film from 1911.
  • Gmail Motion – A concept that follows in the footsteps of the Kinect, users can now control they’re inbox using body motions.
  • Grooveshark’s 3D Shark theme – Grooveshark introduced a new theme for their site, hopping on the 3D bandwagon.  Now (assuming you have so old school one-red-lense-one-blue-lense 3D glasses) Grooveshark will now pop out of your screen at you while you listen to your favorite tunes.
  • Friday or Die – Funny or Die changed their site to be Rebecca-Black-centric, flooding the site with videos pertaining to the pop star everyone wishes they’d never heard of.
  • Apple Store Playset – Every year, Thinkgeek showcases a handful of “new” products.  This years highlight was the Apple Store playset (minifigs included!)
  • RFC-5984 – Every year people submit RFCs to the IETF, my favorite this year was RFC-5984: Increasing Throughput in IP Networks with ESP-Based Forwarding which basically outlines a protocol using Extra Sensory Perception to create a zero latency network.