See updates below.
Thousands of Japanese people have apparently been scammed into buying "poodles" that are actually sheep with fancy haircuts. The scam was uncovered after actress Maiko Kawakami showed a photo of her pet poodle on TV and commented that it "didn't bark and refused to eat dog food," according to a Metro.co.uk article. After being informed that the poodle was a sheep, police lines rang with other rubes telling the same story. From Metro.co.uk:
'We launched an investigation after we were made aware that a company was selling sheep as poodles,' a police spokesman told The Sun.
Link (via Fortean Times)
'Sadly, we think there is more than one company operating in this way.
'The sheep are believed to have been imported from overseas - Britain and Australia.'
There is some debate over whether this story is true or an urban legend. Link
And BB reader Jeff Gordon points to this story, from ninemsn, suggesting that the poodle/sheep scam may not be true. Link
And last but not least, a summary of the doubt at Snopes. Link
And the final word is that this story is not true. According to an AFP article, Kawakami denied that she had been scammed but rather that she overheard someone else telling the story in a nail salon and had simply recounted it on TV. Meanwhile, the police in Sapporo said that "the "article is completely made up." Link
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]