The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'oops'
Authorities in Colorado are searching the skies after a six-year-old boy went for a joyride in his family's "experimental helium-balloon-powered aircraft".
On Thursday morning, according to the family and officials, the boy got onto the aircraft and detached the rope holding it in place. Sheriff's spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said the boy climbed into the access door and the airborne device took off.
The craft, which is shaped like a flying saucer, has the potential to rise to 10,000 feet, Campanella said. Sheriff's officials last saw the device floating south of Milliken, which is about 40 miles north of Denver.
A German man accidentally blew off both his hands whilst practicing "molecular gastronomy" and attempting to cook a dish using liquid nitrogen.
European police have called off their hunt for a master criminal, a woman of Eastern European origin linked by DNA to numerous crimes from murders and carjackings to burglaries of varying levels of competence, after it was found that the DNA belonged to a worker at the factory making cotton swabs used by police forces across Europe. Oops!
(via Boing Boing)
On his recent trip to Washington, British PM Gordon Brown gave President Obama a penholder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of the one whose wood formed the desk of the Oval Office. In return, Obama gave Brown a box set of classic American films, seemingly not realising that Brown can't actually watch them because they're Region 1, and Number 10's amenities presumably don't extend to a £20 off-brand multi-region DVD player. And, of course, with both Brown and Obama being obliged to give lip service to maximalist interpretations of copyright laws, neither could publicly condone circumventing lawful restrictions such as DVD region coding. Oops!
Jeremy Clarkson, meanwhile, has a rather witty take on it, which turns into a rubbishing of the unequal terms of Britain's "special relationship" with the US:
Gordon gave Obama Barrack a penholder carved from the timbers of an antislavery ship. The sister ship, in fact, of the one that was broken up and turned into the desk in the Oval Office. Barrack, meanwhile, gave Brown The Graduate on DVD. Which smacks of an “Oh, Christ. What shall we get him?” moment at the local petrol station.
There are red faces at the Max Planck Institute, after the institute published an issue of its journal with a special report on China, and decided to include some Chinese characters on the cover for visual impact. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to have any Chinese speakers on hand, and after the journal went out to publication, it was discovered that the text on the cover was from a flyer advertising a brothel, describing in lascivious detail the talents of the "pretty-as-jade housewives" therein:
Editors had hoped to find an elegant Chinese poem to grace the cover of a special issue, focusing on China, of the MaxPlanckForschung journal, but instead of poetry they ran a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewives in action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition. Their "enchanting and coquettish performance" was highly recommended.
The Max Planck Institute was quick to acknowledge its error explaining that it had consulted a German sinologist prior to publication of the text. "To our sincere regret ... it has now emerged that the text contains deeper levels of meaning, which are not immediately accessible to a non-native speaker," the institute said in an apology. "By publishing this text we did in no way intend to cause any offence or embarrassment to our Chinese readers. "The faux pas apparently caused much amusement amongst Chinese internet users, with the exception of some who thought it was a deliberate insult to China. Then again, some people said the same thing about that Guns'n'Roses album. Having said that, this is by no means the first instance of clueless Westerners making fools of themselves in Chinese:
There are tales of drunken teenagers walking out of tattoo parlours with characters reading, "This is one ugly foreigner" or "A fool and his money are easily parted". Another web-user wrote: "I recently met a German girl with a Chinese tattoo on her neck which in Chinese means 'prostitute'. I laughed so loud, I could hardly breathe."The brothel-keeper could not be reached for comment.
There are red faces at Woolworths in the UK, after someone decided that "Lolita" would be a good name for a childrens' bed range. Oops!
British menswear chain Burton has egg on its face after it emerged that the decorative Cyrillic text on a T-shirt it was selling was actually an extreme-right anti-immigrant slogan, translating as "We will cleanse Russia of all non-Russians":
The shirt's overall design is an odd jumble of ersatz French logo and Russian iconography, but there is no mistaking the nature of the sentiment, which uses the old word for Russia, "Rus" as a way of distinguishing between ethnic Russians and those with Russian citizenship. "I've spoken to a Russian friend," says Mr Shuttleworth, "and she said you would be arrested if you wore it in Russia."
The phrase is typical of those painted on foreigners' homes by Russian neo-nazis.Burton has blamed one of its suppliers for the gaffe, saying it was told that the slogan read merely "be proud of Russia".
Security researchers have found that it is trivially easy to transmit false traffic reports to in-car navigation units. The units look for messages transmitted as digital data piggybacked onto FM radio signals using a protocol known as RDS, and it seems not to have occurred to whoever designed the RDS system that anyone might tamper with these messages; as such, they are transmitted in the clear, and without any sort of authentication. The units also scan the entire FM spectrum, looking for anything that looks like a radio station with a RDS channel containing traffic information. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader:
Through trial and error, they discovered that transmitting certain code numbers translates into certain warnings that are displayed on the satellite navigation system. Some were amusing. One code number alerts users that there's a bull fight in progress. Another one indicates delays due to a parade. But some weren't so funny. One tells users that there has been a terrorist incident. Another indicates a bomb alert and another an air crash.
The latest instalment in the drawn-out death of film photography: veteran German photographic film company Agfa has declared bankruptcy, and is expected to stop operating by the end of the year.
Agfa has its origins in Germany in 1867 marketing its first colour film in 1936. Until Fuji became a market force, Agfa was the alternative to the dominant player, Kodak. Unlike Ilford, which has reacted to the change in photographic technology by using its paper-making expertise to move into the production of superior inkjet papers, Agfa appears to have misjudged the size and permanence of the digital tidal wave.In other words, someone at Agfa decided that digital photography was just a passing fad or a niche interest. Oops!
Spare a thought for David Atkinson, the University of Idaho scientist who spent 18 years of his life designing an experiment for the Huygens space probe, only to watch it all go pear-shaped in the depths of space because some rocket scientist forgot to turn his experiment on. Oops!
I don't know about you, but were I the genius who made the mistake, I'd be looking for somewhere very safe to hide right now.
Databases of genetic research data, it has emerged, have been irreversibly corrupted by Microsoft Excel's autocorrection feature. Excel, in its infinite wisdom, assumed that some gene identifiers (such as SEPT2) were really dates (i.e., 2-Sep), and corrected the "mistake"; meanwhile, Excel's floating-point conversions wreaked their own havoc elsewhere. (via bOING bOING)
Thieves steal computers from Sydney Airport intelligence centre. The men, who were described as being "of Middle Eastern appearance", masqueraded as technicians before wheeling servers holding "thousands of sensitive files" out of the top-security machine room, in what appears to have been a carefully planned operation. Terrorists, or just ordinary crims?
The Spanish troops sent to patrol Iraq are wearing the symbol of an anti-Moorish crusader. Spain's 2,000-strong contribution to Truth, Justice and Cheap SUV Fuel wear on their shoulders the Cross of St. James of Compostella, popularly known as "Matamoros" or "the Moor killer" for his role in the Christian reconquest of Moorish spain. The troops will patrol the sacred Shia city of Najaf.
Stupidity, or a calculated "fuck you" to the Islamic world? Perhaps someone in charge wants to foment anti-Western resentment in the Islamosphere, for some reason or other; like keeping McWorld in a permanent (and profitable) state of siege? (via Anthony)
Two English teenagers thought they were going on a holiday to Australia -- only to discover that they were in Canada. They suspected that the aircraft was too small, and discovered where they really were uon seeing a sign reading "welcome to Sydney, Canada". The mistake was believed to be the fault of the travel agent.