A man attempting to take a selfie with a python was bitten by the python, reports the Reuters news agency. "It attacked me," said the victim, one of a group of people manhandling the massive snake in hopes of getting a photo with it. Read the rest
We've posted about this in the past, but it was brought to my attention that the legendary exploding whale news report was rebroadcast not long ago, meaning that the best quality possible (given the age of the 8mm film) is now available for your whale-exploding pleasure.
The Turkish five lira note, issued in 2009, has a DNA helix. But Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar noticed that the note "shows a left-handed Z-DNA helix winding from left to right, when it should be the other way round." What Sancar doesn't know is that the monetary systems of the world are controlled by the lizard people, whose DNA is exactly like that depicted on the banknote. Read the rest
A digital mapping company called MaxMind offers an "IP geolocation" service that provides computer users' geographical locations. When MaxMind doesn't know a user's location, it spits out a default address that is at the approximate geographical center of the continental US. It is the front yard of a farmhouse near Wichita, Kansas. For the last fourteen years, MaxMind's database has listed 600 million IP addresses at this farmhouse. As a result, the people who live there receive a non-stop barrage of harassment.
For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat.
A film by Jake Rasmussen Read the rest
We all know about the 10,000-hour rule, whereby that amount of practice (or thereabouts) is held to be necessary to fully master a given skill. And not long ago I proposed the 5-hour rule, which is what it takes to pretend to be able to do something on video. Now there is also a 100-hour rule, which is what it takes "to become much more competent than an absolute beginner."
Leo Polovets's angle centers on sales—yes, another VC who thinks he's a public intellectual!—but I think he's onto something with the idea of there being a threshold of competence where egregious mistakes stop being made, and that it generally takes more than two weeks but less than a month to train someone past it. Read the rest
This guy was showing off his cigarette lighters and matches when he accidentally started a small fire. While he was putting it out, he started an even bigger fire, which wasn't so easy to put out. Read the rest
The sign advertising Griffins Krispie Toasted Coconut Biscuits misspelled the word coconut, turning it into an offensive expletive.
The mistake, which happened at Countdown's Meadowbank store in Auckland on Tuesday, led to a social media frenzy with a photo of the sign posted on Countdown's Facebook receiving more than 7000 likes and almost 1500 shares.
The Facebook post also inspired a stream of comments about other amusing typos spotted on signs and jokes about the misspelling.
Does U.S. President Obama share office space with an outfit called "Edwards Snow Den"? No, he does not, which—among many similar instances of "vandalism"—is why Google Maps is mothballing its Map Maker feature.
Google's Pavithra Kanakarajan writes:
As some of you know already, we have been experiencing escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months. The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate - a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map. As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.
Twitter's stock dropped $8bn in a single day, all thanks to a tweet.
Investors were rattled by the early disclosure of unexpectedly low revenues, exposed before the close of trading by Selerity, a service that scours the web looking for investment information.
"We inadvertently released an early version of [Twitter's] earnings," Nasdaq admitted to the BBC. "We are investigating the root cause."
Normally, the results would be posted after the close of trading to allow for the news to be digested. But the results had been posted—through not yet officially publicized—on an investor relations page operated by the stock exchange.
"Selerity, who provided the initial tweets with our results, informed us that earnings release was available on our Investor Relations site before the close of market," said Twitter executive Krista Bessinger. "Nasdaq hosts and manages our IR website, and we explicitly instructed them not to release our results until after the market close and only upon our specific instructions, which is consistent with prior quarters.
Selerity was quick to disclose the source to douse early suspicions of a hack or insider shenanigans.
The poor financial results, far short of expectations, gave Twitter its second-worst trading day since it went public in 2013, reported the Wall Street Journal. By the end of the day, the stock price was about $40, down 6 percent.
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On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, traders started getting a range of where the stock should open based off of buy and sell orders that were coming in while the stock was halted, said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at brokerage firm Meridian Equity Partners.
The Scottish Police apologized after an insulting tweet, posted on its own account, described a conservative panelist on a talk show as "making a right tit of it". An ironic moment: the panelists were discussing how much of a role Twitter should take in policing abusive users. Read the rest
I've gotten a few questions about the Drunk Science video that I posted here yesterday. The two most common: "Will there be another Drunk Science?" And, "Jeezus, didn't science journalist Charles Q. Choi drink a bit too much for this?"
The answers to those questions are, respectively, "No" and "Yes". Choi is probably the best person to explain both answers, which he does in a blog post that discusses the science of an alcohol-induced blackout, and why — despite the fact that everybody involved with Drunk Science thinks the final result is pretty damn funny and generally good Internet — we won't ever be doing anything like that again. Read the rest