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Glenn Beck files cybersquatting complaint against Glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com

Memes strike back: Gerbils, gay blood elves, and Glenn Beck - Ars Technica Why has Beck never addressed the rumors that he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? I'm not saying he did it. I just think a lot of Americans would feel better if he could address the rumors.
How better to give Beck a taste of his own medicine than by wondering publicly why he has never addressed the rumor that he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990? No one's saying that Beck really did it… but if he has nothing to hide, why won't he deny the tale? . . . The basic charge here is that Beck and his lawyers are using a WIPO proceeding to shut down a website that they could not shutter under US law (thanks to the First Amendment). Whether this is true or not is debatable—lawyers we spoke to were divided, on the subject, as the factual nature of the domain name and the site's initially small disclaimer might be found defamatory in court. In any event, the WIPO battle promises to be entertaining, and there's even a bit of serious purpose mixed in with the frivolity. Just how far can WIPO go in using its domain dispute system to address Internet spats? Because WIPO is not a court system (it can use "any rules and principles of law that it deems applicable" to a particular complaint), it is not bound by its own precedent and it sometimes has a reputation for favoring big trademark holders. But WIPO has ruled on thousands of these disputes before and does have a track record of rejecting claims in which companies or individuals use the process as a way to shut down criticism or satire. Eiland-Hall certainly hopes to prevail at WIPO, though of course the issue there is a minor one; who controls a particular domain (Eiland-Hall has already registered several similar but less inflammatory domains to deal with the situation). The bigger problem could be that now, after unveiling himself, Beck's lawyers decide to send a message and drag the whole case into a US court, where big monetary damages could be on the line.

October 19, 2009

This is easily the worst advice columnist I've ever seen

My friends ditched me when I was slipped a mickey. A woman writes in to an internet advice columnist. She says that she was at a concert and was drugged. Her friends ditch her there and ignore all her calls over the night. They even refuse to pick her up at the hospital the next morning. She wants to know what to do with her friends. Click through to read the awful, awful advice.

Documentary pranksters prove that tabloid journalists don't fact-check

'Celebrity journalism is nonsense' – tabloids duped in fake stories hoax | UK news | The Guardian
Over a two-week period earlier this year, Amy Winehouse's hair was said to have caught fire, the enthusiasm of a member of pop group Girls Aloud for quantum physics was uncovered, and Pixie Geldof, the socialite and daughter of the anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof, was found padding out her bra with sweets. If the stories seemed far-fetched, it was because they were part of a series of fabrications about celebrities ‑ made up and fed to tabloid newspapers by a documentary team that wanted to prove that journalists don't check facts. . . . "I wanted to show that celebrity journalism is nonsense and this has infected all parts of journalism," said Chris Atkins, the director of Starsuckers, which previews at the London Film Festival on 28 October. "I thought that quite a fun way to illustrate this was to see if we could invent some stories ‑ utterly fabricated stories ‑ and try to sell them to the newspapers." The Guardian is previewing exclusive clips from the film. The footage shows how Atkins' team called the newsrooms of several daily tabloids posing as members of the public seeking to sell tabloids gossip about celebrities.

October 18, 2009

Oakland, SF airports let you fly with dope

Revealed: Two California airports allow passengers to fly with pot | Raw Story
A little noticed policy at two California airports allows properly qualified passengers to fly the friendly skies carrying up to a half pound of marijuana, news agencies revealed Friday. "The policy [at Oakland International Airport] is spelled out in a three-page document quietly enacted last year by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office," Mercury News reported. "It states that if deputies determine someone is a qualified patient or primary caregiver as defined by California law and has eight ounces or less of the drug, he or she can keep it and board the plane." San Francisco International Airport shares the policy, CBS 5 in Oakland reported. But passengers travel with the drug "at their own risk," the agency added.