U.N.'s pornstar faux pas, "kick me" sign lawsuit: This week in off-beat tech stories

CBS News

CBS News

This week, we learned that the National Security Agency uses Google, Syria's Internet went down amid ongoing turmoil in the region and U.S. Customs discussed how a 70 million-year-old dinosaur was smuggled into the U.S.

In another round-up of off-beat stories, we learned that the United Nation's Twitter account doesn't just follow diplomats and global leaders, and nothing good can come from sticking a "kick me" sign on a fellow employees' back.

U.N.'s Twitter account follows, quickly unfollows porn star

The U.N's Twitter account was following 537 people earlier this week, but it dropped by one soon after The Verge spotted that the person in question was a pornstar. According to the tech blog, the movie actress known as @BigBustyStar wasn't the only so-called celebrity followed by the U.N: Ricky Martin and Shakira also made the list.

Teenager creates hack to stop TV spoilers on Twitter

There's nothing worse than finding out who was the latest person to be booted off your favorite reality TV show, or who killed who in that epic show you've been gripped to your seat over for weeks. Twitter often spoils the surprise if you're out and about, because too many people are talking about it in real time.

One teenager has come up with a spoiler-free hack that sits in your browser and hides all the tweets relating to the show you don't want spoiled, according to NBC News. It's yet to be released publicly, but the teenage developer is already fielding offers to have her tuition paid for. 

A dance floor that actually generates power

In this week's weird gadget news, a Dutch firm has invented a dance floor that generates electricity when the tiles are stepped on. The "sustainable" dance tiles contain a small generator inside, which when walked on, drops by a few millimeters. The flexing motion creates electricity, which can be used to light the floor or stored elsewhere. First released in 2008, some wonder why these tiles are not in widespread use.

Intel employee sues over "kick me" sign

Think "kick-me" signs are for grade-school students? Unfortunately not. An Intel employee claims he suffered from having a "kick me" sign stuck to his back. But the joke is now on his tormentors: two of the chip-maker's employees were convicted of battery when they took the sign literally. After being kicked in the buttocks by his colleagues, the man said he felt demoralized and assaulted. Intel is named in another lawsuit, claiming that the company failed to act to stop the harassment.

Older iPhone not good enough for thieves

Police caught two teenagers after holding a woman up at gunpoint in Berkeley, Calif. But after one of the robbers discovered that the iPhone they stole from her was an older model, he handed it back to their victim, News.com.au reports. The robbery occurred shortly after the teenagers stole a laptop and another iPhone from a man in his own home, though they kept that iPhone. 

  • Zack Whittaker On Twitter»

    Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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