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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weird news - An agency in Germany declares the 'Facebook like' button as illegal

For software companies, especially in the area of web, the different standards followed by Government agencies the world over can make their job very difficult. What works in one area does not work in another area, and these restrictions can cause problems to the companies.
Consider the case of Facebook. It is one of the most widely used platforms in the area of social networks, and one of the most important tools is the 'Like' button that is there in the Facebook page. These allow items to become popular, and get more people access to such news / updates. For Facebook, the Like button is a very important tool, and any restrictions on such a tool can be significant. Well, a data protection agency in Germany is threatening the 'Like' button (link to article):

A German data protection authority is "unliking" Facebook's "Like" button.
The state of Schleswig-Holstein's data protection commissioner, Thilo Weichert, on Friday ordered state institutions to shut down the fan pages on the social networking site and remove the "Like" button from their websites, saying it leads to profiling that violates German and European law.
Facebook insisted on Friday that is in full compliance with European data protection laws.
On Friday, Weichert issued a statement saying technical analysis by his office shows Facebook violated German and European data protection laws by passing content data to the social network's servers in the U.S.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weird news - Precious items stolen, even after death

One of the biggest fears that people have with respect to airline travel is not about the fear of some accident, but more about losing their luggage. So, consider that you reach a different location after a long flight, and then find that your luggage has not made it, or something has been pilfered from your luggage (and the airline authorities are not really concerned about what has happened). What would you do ?
In this case, something even more horrific happened. When somebody dies in a different land, their relatives are worried about the process of getting the body back to their native land, and then, if they find that things have been stolen from inside the coffin, they would be shocked. This is what happened in the current case, where items were actually stolen from inside the coffin, including valuables that belonged to the person who dies (link to article):

Conception D'Souza died of natural causes in Singapore on June 5, while on her way back from New Zealand after visiting her daughter, Zulfiya Chawdhary.
After the post-mortem, the body was sent to Mumbai in a coffin, which also contained some of her other belongings- jewellery, cash, clothes and some chocolates she had bought during her trip.
When the coffin reached Mumbai on June 7, it was kept at the morgue at the Bhabha Hospital in Bandra, where it was opened by D'Souza's son, only to find that the cash and jewellery was missing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weird news - Man sucked into a plane engine at maintenance bay

Once in a while, you would have seen stories of how powerful a jet engine is, and in an occasional movie, you would see a fight between a hero and villain (typically in a plane) being terminated by somebody or something being sucked into the engine of the plane. You might wonder about whether such a thing really exists, and can people really be sucked into a plane engine.
You need to consider that a plane engine has so much power that it pushes out gases at such a high speed that it can propel a heavy plane at very high speeds. To this effect, it sucks in air from the front part of the engine, and this creates a powerful sucking force when the engine is at full operating speed (article).

SAFE Air did not detail how the man died but Fairfax Media said it was informed by sources that the man was sucked into the engine of a C-130 Hercules. The engine had been removed from the aircraft and was installed in the airline's testing bay.
The man had apparently walked into the testing bay while the engine was running, Fairfax reported.

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