Al-Qaeda Mocked After Seeking Suggestions on Twitter
Today in international tech news: Al-Qaeda is mocked heartily on Twitter after asking for marketing advice. Also: The quest to block a sports streaming site accidentally blocks a handful of other sites; NASA will send a 3D printer to space; and BlackBerry is teaming with Samsung in Africa.
Aug 15, 2013 10:37 AM PT
A recent tweet from Al-Qaeda asking for ideas on the "development of jihadist media" set off a deluge of responses mocking the extremist group.
Terrorism expert J.M. Berger, who has more than 13,000 followers, tweeted about Al-Qaeda's call for ideas along with the Islamic hashtag the group wanted to use. After that, the trolls took over.
Included among the hundreds of facetious tweets were ideas like, "Al-Qaeda, the movie: Dude, where's my car bomb" and "Does this suicide belt make me look fat?"
A Buzzfeed article called "How To Successfully Ruin Al-Qaeda's Day On Twitter" helped fuel the trolling.
Perhaps predictably, Berger has received death threats.
[Source: The Register]
Order to Block Streaming Site Restricts Access to Unrelated Sites
The English Premier League's quest to block sports streaming site First Row Sports, a hub for links to Premier League streams, has unwittingly caused other, nonstreaming sites to be blocked.
The problem arose because First Row Sports -- which the High Court ruled should be blocked because of copyright infringement -- shares an Internet Protocol address with numerous other sites. Thus, if users fail to put "www." before an Internet address with that same IP address (radiotimes.com, for instance, instead of www.radiotimes.com), then the site erroneously falls under the First Row Sports block.
The magazine Radio Times, the science project Notes from Nature and, wouldn't you know it, several major soccer clubs have all been mistakenly blocked.
The way British law is set up, ISPs must rely on rights-holders to identify, correctly, the IP address being used by sites deemed illegitimate. Indeed, ISPs have "no obligation" to verify the veracity of the IP-block request.
People in the UK have voiced concern over the broad powers given to rights-holders seeking to block sites.
NASA to Send 3D Printer to Space
NASA will send a 3D printer to the International Space Station in June as part of the fifth SpaceX supply mission.
A 3D printer could, according to NASA, help ensure that astronauts have a steady supply of parts needed to keep the space station, which is almost old enough to drive, in working order.
NASA will load software for items that the astronauts will need prior to sending it spaceward, but will also be able to upload additional items later.
NASA has tested whether or not a 3D printer can withstand space as well as the rigors of a space launch.
Samsung, BlackBerry Partner in Africa
Samsung and BlackBerry announced a new marketing partnership in Africa.
Samsung will offer BlackBerry Messenger for Android as part of its Galaxy app store, alongside Samsung's own ChatON.
BBM could become the top messaging client in the world, according to BlackBerry's managing director for South and Southern Africa, Alexandra Zagury, and Samsung -- the top Android manufacturer -- will help BBM grow.
"Android is absolutely a key platform for us to grow BBM in the future," she said.
Africa has become a hot spot for smartphones. Earlier this year, Microsoft and China-based Huawei teamed up to launch an Africa-specific smartphone, while Nokia kicked off an Africa push in South Africa.