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
King Salman of Saudi Arabia is taking a three-week vacation on the French Riviera, and he's bringing along an entourage of 1,000 people. Local residents are expressing happysadness at the news. Happy because the King and his pals will be showering them with petrodollars, but sad because a kilometer of public beach has to be shut down so the 1,001 vacationers can have a little alone time.
From The Telegraph:
The Saudis also generated a great deal of anger by starting work on an elevator from the beach to the villa, which involved pouring a huge slab of cement directly on to the sand.
A petition against the "privatisation" of the public beach gathered more than 45,000 signatures in eight days.
"We recall that this natural zone, like all maritime public estates, is an intrinsic public property that should be available for the benefit of all, residents, tourists, French, foreigners or people passing through," said the petition.
Hey petitioners: if you have $20 billion, you can have a seat at the negotiating table. Otherwise, keep your traps shut and let your betters enjoy their holiday without being forced to mingle with the filthy underclass. Read the rest
Some people who think God put them in charge of the United Kingdom just had a baby. Charlie Stross discusses the weird life this potential future monarch will have in a lifelogging, ubiquitous surveillance society.
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I expect there to be Facebook account-hacking attacks on his friends, teachers, and associates—and that's just in the near term. He's going to be the first royal in the line of succession to grow up with the internet: his father, Prince William, was born in 1982 and, judging by his A-level coursework, is unlikely to have had much to do with computer networking in the late 1990s. This kid is going to grow up surrounded by smartphones, smart glasses (think in terms of the ten-years-hence descendants of Google Glass), and everything he does in public can be expected to go viral despite the best efforts of the House of Windsor's spin doctors.
His uncle, Prince Harry, made some public gaffes—going to a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi in 2005 springs to mind—but these were generally dismissed as youthful indiscretions: they happened in the age of the DSLR-toteing journalist, when repro-quality cameras were still relatively uncommon on the city streets. Now phonecams are good enough that the Chicago Times has fired their photographers, issuing iPhones to their journalists: a move which is either very prescient or very foolish, but which shows which way things are going. Right now we're living through the Photography Singularity; 10% of all photos ever taken were taken in the past 12 months, and the exponential up-slope is continuing.
A cache of Wikileaks Cablegate cables disclose that Saudi Royals -- with collusion of the religious police -- throw wild drug- and alcohol-fuelled parties, sponsored by western energy beverage companies, despite the strict rules in Saudi Arabia and the harsh penalties imposed on everyday people for their violation.
Mariah Carey vs. Saudi Photoshop Censors: Boing Boing's exclusive ... Report: Saudi Arabia and RIM reach BlackBerry deal - Boing Boing Saudi woman beats up religious cop - Boing Boing Wajeha Al Huwaider, a woman, driving in Saudi Arabia - Boing Boing Saudi Arabia government to behead man for practicing witchcraft ... Read the rest
¶2. (C) Along with over 150 young Saudis (men and women mostly in their 20's and early 30's), ConGenOffs accepted invitations to an underground Halloween party at PrinceXXXXXXXXXXXX residence in Jeddah on XXXXXXXXXXXX. Inside the gates, past the XXXXXXXXXXXX security guards and after the abaya coat-check, the scene resembled a nightclub anywhere outside the Kingdom: plentiful alcohol, young couples dancing, a DJ at the turntables, and everyone in costume. Funding for the party came from a corporate sponsor, XXXXXXa U.S.-based energy-drink company as well as from the princely host himself.