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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Weird news - Charter airline forces passengers to withdraw money from ATM's midway

Seems horrid. Imagine booking a charter airlines for your group, getting to the airport, getting all the formalities done, and finally taking off. You would have covered the most of your flight time relaxing, getting together with friends, and generally having a good time (and if you are on the return journey of your trip, you would be thinking about the good times that have been spent).
But would you ever think that at the midway flight stop, the airline would force you to withdraw additional money from any ATM that you could find, just so that you could complete your trip, else they would not leave the airport (and this is neither your departure nor your arrival airport).
What would you do in such a case ? You would mostly pay up, right ? You would be very angry, but you would pay up - which is what the people in this particular case also did (link to article):

A six-hour stay on the tarmac left passengers with no choice but to withdraw money from cash machines in the terminal building and pay the operator to complete the journey. The incident involved four chartered Austria-based carrier Comtel Air flights over the weekend and occurred during refuel stops in Vienna. Three of these have now reached Birmingham ; the other is said to be indefinitely delayed.
Dalvinder Batra, whose 80-year-old visually-challenged relative was forced to go without medicine during the ordeal, told the UK's Daily Mail website: "It is absolutely disgusting how they treated us. There are still people stuck out there. We have been told that the company has gone bust mid flight."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weird news - Dropping an iPad from 1300 feet, and it still survives ..

... continues to work.
We are used to our electronic instruments being somewhat fragile, not able to take drops very well, and because they can be very expensive, any malfunction can hit us hard. In the recent past, with the introduction of Gorilla glass, the large touch screens are more resistant to impact and to damage from scratches. Only very recently my HTC phone fell down, and the volume rocker switch got twisted with loss in functionality.
As a result, there are a number of accessories that can reduce the chance of such devices being impacted due to falls or cuts, or even when they are kept in a pocket along with keys. But, imagine dropping the iPad from a plane and it still works; this requires a special kind of protection, such as the iPad covers at G-form (link to article):

Gadget sadists at G-Form, who make rather unattractive but undeniably tough cases for iPads, threw the tablet computer out of a plane from 1,300 feet, and it not only survived, the film on screen was still playing.
Previously, the company had thrown an iPad from 500 feet, and dropped a bowling ball on one, but the current test, choreographed using altimeters, is wince-inducing to watch, the Daily Mail reported.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weird news - Being sentenced to a prison term for a Facebook entry

Earlier this year, England was struck by a large number of riots in multiple cities across the country. The riots were totally unexpected and stuck the country with horror at the ferocity, and it took the confused administration and police some time to tackle the riots and to bring order back. Post the riots, there was a massive push to strike back with ferocity at the people involved in the rights, with talk of removal of benefits to those who were involved, as well as passing sentences that were at the higher end of the typical sentences for such crimes.
These riots were also fanned by social media, with Twitter and Facebook being used for organizing people and passing on information about possible locations of riots. This usage of social media is also considered as involvement in the crime, so you had the police and investigating agencies getting involved in finding out who said what on Facebook, and using such investigation as a part of the case against them. Consider this case where a person was sentenced to 4 years for such a crime (link to article):

A British court on Wednesday sent a stern warning to thugs using social media to incite riots by sentencing a man to four years in jail after he admitted inciting public disorder on Facebook during riots in England.
Jamie Counsel, 25, set up a page called Bring the Riots to Cardiff, later changed to Bring the Riots to Swansea. The sentence should be a warning that anyone using modern media to incite riots would face stiff punishment, said the judge at Cardiff Crown court.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weird news - Man digs up dead bodies, and turns them into mummies

People sometimes do such strange things that they puzzle everybody around them. This gets particularly horrid when it comes to such things such as dead bodies, where there is a morbid feeling with regard to dead bodies. In addition, even when a person is dead, there are some rights attached to a person, which dictates laws that prohibit mis-handling of dead bodies. In fact, people tampering with a dead body can face severe legal issues.
So when something happens such as this person, who dug up dead bodies at cemetaries (an offence by itself), where all of these were young girls, and then kept them like dolls. This created a furore in the region, since initially these digging up of graves was considered to be the work of extremist groups, and was finally blamed on this person (link to article):

Ministry spokesman Valery Gribakin said on Monday that the suspect from the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod dug up the bodies at several cemeteries in the region. The man, whose identity was withheld, dressed them in clothes dug up from the graves.
Gribakin said that the suspect is a historian who has authored several books. He said the arrest followed a police probe into the desecration of graves in the region, which was initially blamed on extremist groups. Nizhny Novgorod is located about 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Moscow.

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