Zombie TV, last words on Twitter: This week in off-beat tech stories
This week we saw the Pope unexpectedly resign, a cruise ship break down and drift aimlessly around the Gulf of Mexico, and a meteorite the "size of a house" slamming in Russia, injuring close to a thousand people. Even though those stories were strange in their own right, here are some off-beat tech stories making rounds this week.
No bible? Atlantic City firefighters sworn in with iPad
Firefighters in Atlantic City, who were ready for active service, were sworn in using an iPad because nobody brought a bible to the ceremony, WMGM reported. While such a moment would normally lead to a delay, the report said that one quick thinking-attendee took out an iPad and downloaded a Bible app onto the shiny rectangle, which was then used to swear in the eight officers.
Zombie attack warning issued after TV station hack
Hackers warn TV viewers of zombie attack
You know it's probably not going to be the best of days when you sit down to drink your morning cup of coffee and eat your toast, only to find that the undead have risen from the grave and want to eat your brains for their own breakfast.
Hackers were able to breach the Montana Emergency Alert System and broadcast an on-screen warning ticker and audio warning that a zombie apocalypse was nigh. Thankfully it was only a hoax, and security researchers have warned that the wider emergency broadcast service is vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to CBS This Morning, at least four people actually called the police to see if it was real.
Social experiment documents final tweets before passing
Morbid and macabre for some, artistic and thought-provoking to others, The Tweet Hereafter is described as an online "experimental project" in which the tweets of those who recently passed away are republished. By questioning "what will your last words be?" the website's creators note that our very last tweets will remain online potentially forever and that "we we won't enjoy the luxury of having our last words rewritten to make them memorable or to deepen their meaning."
Apple design chief given gold Blue Peter badge
Blue Peter, a regular BBC children's television program, inspired and educated generations of children since it was first broadcast in 1958. From creating arts and crafts from household items and learning about the world around us, those who sent in their hand-crafted wares for broadcasted show-and-tell or appeared on the show would receive a Blue Peter badge. For many children who grew up in Britain -- including yours truly -- being on the receiving end of a highly coveted Blue Peter badge, would be one of the grandest honors of childhood.
And for Apple's design chief Sir Jonathan Ive, who also grew up in Britain before moving to work for Apple in Cupertino, California in 1992, he becomes the latest person to receive a special golden Blue Peter badge for his work in designing the iPhone, the iPad, and dozens of other Apple products.
Dear Fitness SF, pay your Web developers!
"Dear Fitness SF customer," is what people accessing the San Francisco-based sports club's website see, where they are told the page is "no longer operational." Frank Jonen, whose Web development company was hired to build the new site, claims that the sports club failed to pay his invoices and he therefore "impounded" the site. Jonen writes that this "is a necessary measure in getting what is rightfully ours," and alleges that some of the site he created was replaced in an attempt to "cover up" the work.
According to AdWeek, Fitness SF disputes the claims and believes Jonen is trying to "blackmail and extort" the company. The dispute continues.
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