Pepsi plans to use cubesats to display ads in the night sky

Pepsi has announced plans to contract with the Russian space startup Startrocket to project massive "artificial constellations" spelling out ads for a "nonalcoholic energy beverage" in the night sky; Startrocket is planning to launch a cluster of cubesats with reflective mylar sails in 2021. Read the rest

Artists against Article 13: when Big Tech and Big Content make a meal of creators, it doesn't matter who gets the bigger piece

Article 13 is the on-again/off-again controversial proposal to make virtually every online community, service, and platform legally liable for any infringing material posted by their users, even very briefly, even if there was no conceivable way for the online service provider to know that a copyright infringement had taken place. Read the rest

Father of the catastrophic Copyright Directive reveals he didn't know what he was voting for

In the years during which the new EU Copyright Directive was being drafted, a variety of proposals were considered and rejected by the EU's own experts, and purged from the draft text, but two of these proposals were reintroduced, slipped back into the Directive on the day the GDPR came into effect, while everyone's attention was elsewhere. Read the rest

New photo book gives rare glimpse inside North Korea

Inside North Korea collects Oliver Wainwright's gorgeous photos of the striking public aesthetic of a brutal dictatorship. Read the rest

Theresa May coughs through a catastrophic party conference speech plagued by pranks and a crumbling set

Theresa May's speech to the Conservative Party conference last night was a "nightmare," from the moment when comedian Lee Nelson (last seen showering corrupt FIFA boss with handfuls of money) crept up to the stage and handed the Prime Minister a P45 form (the form that bosses in the UK use to formally fire their employees), telling her "Boris told me to do it." Read the rest

David Cameron and Prince William condemned in leaked FIFA bribery and corruption report

FIFA is the scandal-haunted governing body for world soccer/football; their internal report on corruption has leaked and it reveals a widespread culture of bribery and other corrupt practices. Read the rest

India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research blew so much money on rubbish patents, it's gone broke

CSIR-Tech is the commercial arm of the Indian government's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; after spending ₹50 crore (about USD7.6M) pursuing more than 13,000 "bio-data patents" (patents of no real value save burnishing the credentials of the scientists whose names appear on them), they have run out of money and shut down. Read the rest

Sepp Blatter, disgraced former FIFA president, to serve on panel about fixing FIFA

As Swiss police once again raid the comically-corrupt international Soccer organiation FIFA, its disgraced and banned former president, Sepp Blatter, is to join a panel to discuss how it could be reformed.

Blatter will appear with former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo at the University of Basel on April 15th for a discussion on how FIFA can transition through its current crisis. The very crisis he himself presided over and helped create. Makes sense!

The University of Basel seems to know just how outrageous an idea this is. Their description of Blatter is as follows:

"From 1981 to 1998 Joseph S. Blatter was FIFA's secretary general and acted as its president from 1998 until his resignation. Blatter initiated reforms to fight corruption within the FIFA, while at the same time he was repeatedly confronted with allegations of corruption and misconduct."


It's a win-win. There aren't enough TV celebrity panel shows for all the folks who want to be on them, and colleges and conventions are desperate to get people who will actually generate attendance for their events. Read the rest

Qatar's World Cup stadium is being built by modern slaves

Qatar, one of the worst places in the world to be a worker (even the flight attendants experience human rights abuses), was picked to host the 2022 football world cup by the famously corrupt FIFA organization, despite the physical danger to spectators (and athletes!) from the incredible temperatures. Read the rest

Sepp Blatter banned from FIFA for 8 years

Hilariously corrupt soccer governing body FIFA has finally made a scapegoat of suspended president Sepp Blatter, banning him from the organization for 8 years. He is defiant, reports CNN, demanding to know what he was banned for.

It's for all the corruption, silly!

Blatter said he was being treated like a "punching ball" and maintained he was still the FIFA President and "a man of principles."

"I'm really sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I am still somewhere a punching ball," the 79-year-old said at a press conference at FIFA's former headquarters at Sonnenberg, Zurich.

"I'm sorry for me for, how I'm tainted in this world of humanitarian qualities," Blatter added.

Actor Tim Roth, who starred as Blatter in a gloriously mistimed and largely FIFA-funded biopic, said the film is awful and that he only did it to put his kids through college. United Passions is lowest-grossing film in U.S. history to receive a general release, according to Wikipedia. Read the rest

Putin: Give Sepp Blatter the Nobel; Trump should be president

Ole Vlad's figured out how to troll the west: celebrate corrupt, populist strongmen who brazenly lie while fronting for the rich and powerful. Read the rest

FIFA President Sepp Blatter prosecuted

FIFA, the comically corrupt governing body of international soccer, has suffered hard times of late: several executives were collared by the law, it became apparent that World Cup hosting rights floated on a sea of bribery, and an expensively-financed biopic of glorious leader Sepp Blatter bombed at the box office. Read the rest

Just how badly did that FIFA movie bomb?

The Tim Roth-starring biopic of Sepp Blatter, president of comically corrupt soccer body FIFA, is shrouded in mystery. Partly, this is because no-one's watched it. But the movie, funded largely by FIFA itself, has done so badly that final numbers are hard to come by.

David Goldenberg tried to nail down its performance:

The math isn’t complicated so much as it is shrouded in blind spots. Here’s what we know: The movie made $918 — total — in its opening weekend … and maybe nothing after that. All the reporting and most of the databases2 show it finishing with that figure. Most movies make 70 percent of their sales during the weekend,3 which would make the real tally for “United Passions” slightly more than $1,310 if it followed that pattern.

But even if we give the movie the benefit of the doubt and assume it made $1,310, it still opened in way more theaters than the other movies that grossed this little.

However, it made a whopping $178,000 worldwide. It had a budget somewhere around $20,000,000. Read the rest

Watch a British prankster shower corrupt FIFA chief Sepp Blatter with fake bank notes

No one expects a shower of fake bank notes.

FIFA: John Oliver mocks allegedly corrupt official in style

Worth it for the eminently GIFable pyrotechnics. Previously.

Read the rest

FIFA president may not resign after all

Hilariously and horrifically corrupt, FIFA could at least look forward to new leadership following president Sepp Blatter's resignation. Or, maybe not. Read the rest

FIFA movie about how awesome FIFA is earns $607 in theaters

A perfectly-timed movie, presenting FIFA president Sepp Blatter as a valorous anticorruption crusader, has raked in $607—six hundred and seven dollars—at theaters in America.

The movie, United Passions, cost about $29,000,000 to make, with most of the financing provided by FIFA itself.

It stars Tim Roth (!) as Blatter, who took over as president in 1997, and Sam Neill (!) as the predecessor who hired him. The film portrays FIFA as a noble but flawed organization, finally knocked into shape by Blatter's insistence on rooting out corruption.

The film has received some tough reviews. Some have called it FIFA propaganda and others say it's chock-full of unintentional campiness. The Times' Michael Rechtshaffen wrote the movie "comes across as a squirm-inducing heap of propaganda at its most self-congratulatory." The New York Times wrote: "'United Passions' is one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs."

In the real world. Blatter announced his resignation last week, after Swiss and U.S. authorities raided the organization and arrested numerous officials.

Not all is lost: according to Bloomberg Business, the flick made $178,000 in other markets. So only about $28.8m is lost, which is nothing new when it comes to FIFA and other people's money. Read the rest

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