Russian Meteor Videos Set New Record
The meteor that exploded over Russia last Friday (February 15th) was the largest such event in a century, and it attracted such interest around the world that all the meteor videos that were uploaded to YouTube and DailyMotion got more than 130 million views over the weekend, according to social analysis service Visible Measures, which is the fastest rate of viral growth ever seen. According to Visible Measure, more than 400 videos of the meteor have been uploaded, some 160 of which have more than 100,000 views. The video with the most views, 26.7 million and counting, is this one from Russia Today:
‘WSJ': People Lie at Airports to Get Wheelchair for Preferential Treatment
Have you ever been waiting in a long security line at the airport and seen a person who looked suspiciously able-bodied brought right to the front of the line because they were in a wheelchair? If so, you may have been right to have your suspicions, with a new Wall Street Journal report saying that people regularly ask for a wheelchair at the airport unnecessarily in order to get preferential treatment. Wheelchair attendant Kenny Sanchez told the Journal they even have a name for a traveler who requests a wheelchair, gets pushed to the front of the security line and screened, and then jumps out of the chair to rush to the terminal. He said, “We call them ‘miracles.’ They just start running with their heavy carry-ons.” Some other reasons fakers get wheelchairs include: avoiding a long wait at Immigration when coming into the country; getting help when they have several heavy bags and getting early boarding privileges or a plane seat with extra legroom. The Journal reports that at Los Angeles International Airport, for example, which handles nearly 2,000 wheelchair requests a day, it’s estimated that about 15 percent of them are fake. The law requires that airlines provide free wheelchair service to anyone who requests it, with no proof of necessity required, and on a first-come, first-serve basis. When fakers take advantage of this, it not only gives them unjustified preferential treatment ahead of other travelers, it makes the wait longer for those who genuinely need to get a wheelchair.
Contest Chooses Song to Replace “Happy Birthday”
“Happy Birthday” is the most recognized song in the English language, but even though it dates back to the late 19th century, it’s still copyright protected, meaning films, TV shows, etc. have to pay royalties to use it. According to Bloomberg, copyright holder Warner Music Group takes in some $2 million each year in royalties from “Happy Birthday,” and the song won’t enter the public domain until 2030 at the earliest. Because of this, the Free Music Archive decide to hold a contest for a replacement birthday song that anyone would be able to use for free. A winner has now been crowned, “It’s Your Birthday,” by Monk Turner + Fascinoma, chosen by a panel of judges that included, among others, Ira Kaplan of the band Yo Lo Tengo, Greg Saunier of the band Deerhoof, and Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig. To Listen, Click Here
CAPTCHA On It’s Way Out????
Chances are if you use the internet you’re familiar with the CAPTCHA system. The verification system pops up and asks you to decipher a scrambled series of letters or words and type it in in order to continue with whatever you are doing. New studies have revealed that the CAPTCHA verifications take the average consumer about 14-seconds to solve, and companies are not pleased with that. Soon you may see more companies using a different type of verification on their site– for example you might be asked to recite a well-known company slogan or you might have to view an ad image and then type the company’s name. Other alternatives include solving a puzzle, being asked to draw shapes around specific objects in an image or solving a simple arithmatic problem. (Yahoo)
Students Suspended Over Harlem Shake
Thirteen high school students in Pennsylvania were allegedly suspended for filming their own take on the “Harlem Shake” craze. Kathleen Broadwater said her daughter Alyssa – along with her photography classmates at Brownsville Area High School — was suspended for two days over the chaotic dance video. Broadwater said, “What I’m upset about is the punishment seems a little extreme for the actions the kids were involved in.” Her daughter added, “I could see if we got in a little bit of trouble, since it was in school and a little chaotic, but it was taken too far. I got called out of homeroom and told I’m suspended.” (UPI)