This week we've seen a lot of the "fail whale," the cartoon cetacean that Twitter uses as a placeholder when its servers are swamped and its millions of tweets are inaccessible. Part of it's because, as Twitter has said, they've needed to do some crucial infrastructure repair this summer. That hasn't been made any easier by the global frenzy surrounding the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa: World Cup goals are delivering knockout blows to Twitter, and surprise results of games can be even worse. Right around the Netherlands' unexpected victory over Brazil … Read more
Dissatisfied with what he sees as tepid effort on behalf of oil giant BP to stop the flow of petroleum from an exploded well in the Gulf of Mexico, a New York-based video producer named Adam Quirk has started raising money for a stunt designed to irritate its executives to no end with vuvuzelas--those buzzing horns that have been everywhere at the World Cup soccer confab in South Africa (and, by proxy, the Internet) this summer.
"In order to put a bit of public pressure on them, we plan to buy 100 vuvuzelas and hire 100 vuvuzela players off … Read more
Graphics in a political attack ad for California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman that imitated popular humor blog FailBlog aren't going over too well with Cheezburger Network, the amalgam of blogs that owns FailBlog.
"We are talking to our attorneys on this," Cheezburger Network founder and CEO Ben Huh told CNET via e-mail. "We haven't decided on a course of action, if any. The law is a complex beast."
NEW YORK--File this under "not particularly serious news, but hilarious."
This week, an alteration in New York City transit signs to address forthcoming route changes have placed an unfortunate Internet acronym on a heavily trafficked subway station: Displays that list the color-coded subway services running at the 14th Street-6th Avenue underground station now display a bold "FML."
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, may or may not have been aware that this is an acronym for "f*** my life," a profane exclamation of disgruntlement that arose in Web forums, in text messages, and on … Read more
It might be the new Rickroll. It might not. But a new Internet meme has popped up that could be worth a second look: "icing," an unusually inane and relatively harmless fraternity drinking game centered on the consumption of Smirnoff Ice, the sugary bottled malt beverage that's become classified as the ultimate "girly drink."
"The rules are simple: hand a Smirnoff Ice (the warmer/more disgusting the flavor, the better) to a friend (your "bro"), and he must get down on one knee and chug the malt beverage, regardless of location and … Read more
Virtual meat hooks, flame throwers, and propane bombs are OK, but attack dogs are not: social-gaming behemoth Zynga has removed pit bulls from its roster of virtual weaponry in the Mafia Wars game after a complaint last month on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA's reasoning is that promoting a domestic animal as a weapon will only encourage misunderstanding and abuse of pit bulls, which have been routinely used in illegal dog-fighting activities and are often subject to horrific conditions as their owners attempt to toughen them up. The breed of dog has gotten bad … Read more
And here we'd thought that politicians were finally getting used to the ubiquitous presence of video cameras and YouTube in their lives: a Florida news and politics site called Sunshine State News has posted a video online in which a state senator in a Senate hearing definitely has something open on his laptop that involves partially unclothed women.
Now, we realize that Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has made it acceptable for the words "senator" and "unclothed" to be used in the same sentence, but looking at risque pictures on the Senate floor is still a … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--It would be very clear to an uninitiated bystander at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) this week that the annual nerdstravaganza is full of people talking about a zillion location-based social-networking applications.
There are the various campaigns and tie-ins for rival check-in services Foursquare and Gowalla, the local-deals promo from iPhone app Whrrl, and the litany of "where is everyone?" mash-ups perhaps best personified by Vicarious.ly, an uber-aggregator of Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins from Austin as well as just about every other sort of social-media updates coming out of SXSWi. Developed by SimpleGeo, another … Read more
There's a "Wizard of Oz" joke to be made here: The city of Topeka, Kansas has unofficially changed its name to "Google" in an attempt to get on the Mountain View tech giant's radar as a test bed for new fiber-optic technology that would bring it Internet connections at top speed.
The Topeka Capital-Journal wrote that Mayor Bill Bunten signed a proclamation Monday that designates the town as "Google" for the duration of March, in an attempt to make it a more palatable choice for a test market than some of the … Read more
Good heavens! If your Twitter followers include Ed Miliband, the U.K. secretary of state for energy, there's a chance that you received a direct message from him early on Friday that read, "Hhey, i've been having better sex and longer with this here." CNET sincerely hopes you did not click on the link that followed. Miliband might be an expert on energy, but presumably not that kind of energy.
The cabinet minister, rather, had fallen victim to a particularly voracious Twitter phishing attack that's been making the rounds this week, one which steals users' … Read more