Internet & Technology: The weird & the whacky

Mr. BeanWho would have predicted, even a decade ago, that the internet and associated technology would advance to what we know today. There is no doubt that the internet has become a massive source for gleaning useful information pertaining to just about every facet of life – whether it be nature, entertainment, sports, news, hobbies – you name it and you can find out all about it on the net. And, thanks to technology, most people now have access to this font of information 24/7 whether at home or out and about. All this abundant information and advancing technology is bound to also present the odd paradox, or humorous moment, or even the downright bizarre. What follows are just a few of the weird and wonderful happenings I’ve tripped over recently during my everyday journey around the infinite ether known to us as the World Wide Web.

Norton – The best security or the worst?

Those who visit the MajorGeeks download site will be familiar with their habit of marking certain downloads with distinguishing terms, such as “Hot” – lots of downloads, “Pick” – one of the best, and “New” – just listed. Now, I’m almost certain that MajorGeeks was not intending to demean the Norton security company when they labeled the following download as being “Hot” but… well… see for yourself:

norton removal tool

Maybe it’s just my twisted perspective but doesn’t that suggest that one of the most popular downloads is a tool which actually gets rid of Norton? Hmm!

Fitting Punishment?

man-in-prison_smallWhat would you do with a felon who has been convicted and jailed for computer hacking? Why, enroll him in the jail’s computer class of course! Not as the teacher mind you, as one of the students. This mind boggling decision can be attributed to the UK penal system but I’m sure the incompetency (lunacy) would relate to many other countries as well. The end result, the jailed cyber-criminal ended up hacking into the prison’s computer system … what a surprise!!

The incident only came to light after the actual IT teacher, who was blamed for the hacking and subsequently sacked, filed a wrongful dismissal suit. Apparently the truth will out, cover up or no. <source>

Survey Findings – More women anti-porn than men!

anti-pornWell, would you believe it!! The headline itself is obviously quite believable, what’s unbelievable is yet another waste-of-time survey to ascertain what every one of us already knew…  now that’s unbelievable!! The survey, to find out who is or is not in favor of the UK government’s planned opt-in internet porn filter, was conducted by market research company Kantar. When Kantar popped the question, they discovered that the majority of men (57%) were not exactly thrilled with the government’s plans but, on the other hand, the majority of women (75%) were all for it. The net result, the researchers came to the startling conclusion that more women are anti-porn than men. Seriously??  These research people really do need to get out more.<source>

We have a saying here in Australia which pretty sums it up… no sh*t Sherlock!! (I do apologize for the profanity but it is just too fitting to leave out)

Netflix’s Major Helper is… wait for it… Piracy!

netflixIt’s no secret that Netflix, popular provider of pay-for-view internet streaming, is a strong anti-piracy proponent but did you know that Netflix also gleans valuable information from piracy sites about what programming to acquire for its customers? How incongruous is that?

Kelly Merryman, the company’s vice president of content acquisition in Europe, has admitted that piracy sites play a key role in its purchase decisions.

With the purchase of series, we look at what it does well on piracy sites. That was one of the reasons Prison Break can be seen on Netflix, Prison Break is exceptionally popular on piracy sites.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also openly admitted the association twixt the company’s content and piracy sites:

Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand.

Note that last bit… “but some of that [torrenting] just creates the demand“. Of course, this is not a new concept, it simply agrees with what unbiased people have been saying for years, but that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone from a commercial media enterprise express anything positive about piracy. As incongruous as it may seem, the media companies would be far better off taking advantage of the piracy sites rather than trying to beat them to death with a legislative stick. <source>

Incongruous, possibly … clever, I think so. And definitely, for a media company, a refreshingly outside-the-box perspective on piracy… good on you Netflix!

By the way, this is what we see when connecting to Netflix from within Australia:

netflix unavailable




… bad on you Netflix! 🙁


Life Imitating Movies?

burglarIt reads like a script straight out of Hollywood. London’s Metropolitan Police recently arrested eight men in connection with a £1.3 million ($2.08 million) bank heist carried out using just a KVM (keyboard, video monitor and mouse) switch and a 3G dongle, plus a set of very large gonads. Apparently, one of the thieves was granted access to a Barclays branch computer when he walked in and boldly declared that he was the IT guy.

This quote from the London constabulary:

A male purporting to be an IT engineer had gained access to the branch, falsely stating that he has there to fix computers. He then deployed the KVM device. This enabled the criminal group to remotely transfer monies to predetermined bank accounts under the control of the criminal group.

A $2.08 million haul for less than $100.00 outlay …  who said crime doesn’t pay. Of course, the ultimate payment comes into play whenever the 11th commandment is broken … thou shall not get caught! <source>

Google Search Craziness

Okay, to finish off here’s a few silly things you can check out with Google search.

  • Type askew into the Google search box and click Enter.
  • Type do a barrel roll into the Google search box and watch what happens.
  • Type google sphere into the Google search box and click “I’m Feeling Lucky”, then move you mouse cursor.
  • Type google gravity into the Google search box and click “I’m Feeling Lucky”, then move your mouse cursor.
  • Type zerg rush into the Google search box and hit Enter. Watch what happens to all your search results.

**This silliness may work only in certain browsers, tested and all working in Firefox. I believe they also work in Chrome. And you may need to disable predictive search (instant results) from Google Search settings in order to access the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button: How to access Google Search settings.

2 thoughts on “Internet & Technology: The weird & the whacky”

  1. Great article Jim,
    I wholeheartedly agree with you and the NetFlix guys.
    I played with the Google extras last week, (they worked in Google also) and sent a couple to by email to the ‘stick-in-the-mud’, non-techie rellies, let THEM figure it out. 🙂


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