The NewsDemon Blog

Newsgroups Report Angry Weekend

September 14th, 2009


What do a Beyonce video, a Tennis match and the German National Democratic Party have in common? As many newsgroups are discussing, they’re all things that got people very angry this weekend.

To start off the weekend, German newsgroups began reporting riots that started first on Friday after scores of National Democratic Party (NPD) fans in Germany tried to sabotage a left wing party music festival in Hamburg. This led to an unauthorized demonstration on the Streets of Hanover that grew to thousands of people that took the street demanding a ban on the activities of the NDP. The demonstration turned out all wet as German riot police had to use water cannons to disperse rock throwing protesters in order to break the demonstration.

Serena Williams then caught the headlines of anger this weekend  after her outburst stemming from a foot fault that a line judge had given her towards the end of the US Open tennis match. She had cursed and screamed at the line judge, which then reported her to the other judges. Sport newsgroups report that having already received a conduct warning for throwing her racket in the first set, Williams was docked a point for her outburst. At 15-40, that was match point, and Serena lost the match – 6-4, 7-5 – without hitting another ball or shoving any down anyone’s throat.

Music newsgroups got the last surge last night as Kanye West made headlines for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Music Awards. After Taylor Swift was announced for winning an award for her video, it motivated Kanye West to interrupt her speech to insinuate that Beyonce had a much better video. This is the third time that Kanye West’s anger has been caught by a live MTV event, which he probably believes he should win award for too.

On a positive note, new data recently released today by the FBI shows a drop of almost 4% of violent crimes throughout the US. The 3.9% percent decline in murder and manslaughter cases are part of nationwide drop in crime of about 1.7% from 2007-2008. The statistics were gathered by the FBI from local police reports. The report in the decrease in crimes was then posted on a variety of newsgroups related to both the FBI and US Government newsgroups.

So at least even with all the verbal anger, statistics provide a lesser chance of any of them getting violent.


More Than Meets The Eye – Artist Wants Robot Eye

November 17th, 2008

Before and After?

Before and After?

Tanya Vlach a San Francisco artist who lost an eye in a 2005 car accident, wants a Web cam installed into her prosthesis. Vlach, who now wears a realistic acrylic prosthesis says she’s issued a challenge to engineers on her blog: build an “eye cam” for her prosthesis that can dilate with changes of light and allow her to blink to control its zoom, focus, and on/off switch.

“It is possible to build a wireless camera with the dimensions of the eyeball,” said Want, a senior principal engineer at Intel. “You can find spy cams or nanny cams designed to fit into inconspicuous places in the home.”

Want also saw the potential for a system like this to serve as a personal memory back-up saying, “You’d never lose anything. You could ask it, ‘Where was the last time I saw my keys?'”

Once she’s captured some content, Vlach wants the freedom to move it to a PC by Bluetooth, Firewire, USB or memory card. The eye would be powered with a wireless charger. Uploading the content to Newsgroups could be a great channel to share and communicate her content.

Vlach’s challenge, first reported by tech blogger Kevin Kelly, has inspired blog posts from around the world and e-mails to Vlach from dozens of eager engineers. We’ll be keeping an eye out for more details [sic].


Jonathon Ross, Russel Brand Upsets BBC, British Comedy Awards and Andrew Sachs

October 31st, 2008

f_0_brand_sachs_320.jpgJonathon Ross has already cost BBC TV hundreds of thousand of pounds, leading to a 12-week suspension due to a series of prank calls to Andrew Sachs.Estimates range around £550,000 in cancelled studio costs alone.

Jonathon Ross has since stepped down as the host of the British Comedy Awards, breaking tradition over the last 17 years of the 18 year old award show history.

A spokesman for Ross said of the British Comedy Awards: “It’s a show he very much enjoys being part of but would not want his participation in this year’s event to take away from the awards themselves or the many talented winners of the awards.”

The offensive on-air comments presented by both Johathon Ross and Russell Brand on the Radio Two show against veteran actor Andrew Sachs, famed for his role in the bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970’s comedy Fawlty Towers, have unleashed a political storm throughout the UK. Complaints topped 30,000.

The situation was sparked when Ross and Brand aired recordings of multiple explicit voicemail messages of Sachs, 78, in which they told him Brand had sex with his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, 23, a burlesque performer who is a member of a group called the Satanic Sluts.

Lesley Douglas, the controller of Radio 2, was forced out of her job. Following an emergency meeting of the BBC Trust, Miss Douglas announced that she was resigning her post after four years, admitting that she was ultimately responsible for allowing the offending material to be broadcast.

The BBC Trust has also demanded that the BBC management broadcast an apology to licence fee payers on Radio 2 for what it called “serious and deliberate breaches” of the editorial code. It has also instructed Mr Thompson to write a personal apology to Mr Sachs and his granddaughter for the “deplorable intrusion”.

You can follow this story, and many like it on Newsgroups:


Richard Garriot Comes Back To Earth

October 26th, 2008

media.jpgAfter departing on October 12 to the International Space Station, with a round-trip ticket that cost him $30 million, famed videogame creator Richard Garriott returned safely back to Earth on Friday (via the Associated Press). It was a trip Garriott had been planning and preparing for since September, 2007.

“What a great ride that was,” Garriott said, after emerging from the capsule he and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Volkov returned in. Later, in televised comments, Garriott added, “I’m looking forward to some fresh food and to calling my loved ones. I’ve got my father here, but I’ve got other family back home I want to get ahold of.”

Interestingly, Garriott’s trip into space makes him America’s first second-generation space-traveler — his father, Owen Garriott, was an astronaut himself. Richard “Lord British” Garriott, of course, is the creator of the Ultima RPG series.

The AP story notes that while on the space station, Garriott “conducted experiments,” although what they entailed weren’t detailed. But there’s one thing we do know he did: ensure humanity’s immortality. As part of what Garriott called “Operation Immortality,” he delivered and stored digital human DNA data on the International Space Station, including data from none other than Stephen Colbert. The idea, we suppose, is that if humanity ever goes extinct, the data could be used by far more advanced alien civilizations to recreate our species.

You can follow this story, and many other topics involved with space exploration on Newsgroups. Check out:


‘Second Life” gets life of its own.

August 24th, 2008

A North Carolina woman allegedly drove hundreds of miles to Delaware and posed as a postal worker for several days, all as part of an unsuccessful plot to abduct her online ex-boyfriend.

Kimberly Jernigan, 33, of Durham, N.C., and her ex-boyfriend, a 52-year-old resident of Claymont, Del., met through the online community “Second Life,” where users can create virtual lives and interact with other members. Jernigan and the man met in person and he broke off the relationship.

Two weeks ago, Jernigan went to the man’s job and tried to abduct him. She pointed a weapon at him and tried to get him into her car.On Monday, Jernigan, a North Carolina postal worker, returned to the area and found out the man had moved.

She spent four days finding out the victim’s address and then broke into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment and waited for him to return.

Police found Jernigan’s dog, Gogi, in the bathroom. The Irish setter/ lab mixed-breed dog was bound with duct tape.

“The dog was making too much noise, so she bound the dog with the duct tape she brought along to bound her ex-boyfriend,” Navarro said.

The Delaware SPCA took the dog.

Jernigan was arrested about an hour later at a rest stop in Maryland, police said.

“She had handcuffs, duct tape and a Taser,” Navarro said. “It’s pretty bizarre. We haven’t seen anything like this in the past.”

Police said Jernigan will face kidnapping and burglary charges.