Animatronic hackers are reprogramming the old Rock-a-Fire robotic band (as seen at Showbiz Pizzas around the country) to perform contemporary rock songs and producing their own fan videos for today's hits.
Today's updated set list revival comes partially courtesy of Chris Thrash, who purchased a vintage set of Rock-afire robots in 2006 and began putting them through the hip-hop paces and posting the resulting videos on YouTube a year or so later.
While Fechter was wary of the new videos at first -- they were posted without his authorization or consent, and include some racy lyrics that don't exactly jibe with Rock-afire's family-friendly image -- he saw a spark of potential when one of Thrash's videos tallied nearly 500,000 views in a matter of weeks.
"I decided to make an investment in the whole YouTube phenomenon," said Fechter (pictured above), who works to train a handpicked crew of programmers to crank out new shows every month. Fechter even recruited the original Rock-afire Explosion vocalists to re-record some hit tunes, like Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie."
M. David Weisman, a magistrate judge in Illinois’s Eastern Division, denied a federal warrant application that would have allowed law enforcement officers to force suspects to unlock their mobile devices with a fingerprint, ruling that the suspects’ Fourth Amendment (undue search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) rights protected them from being forced to unlock […]
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