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Man who posts online vid of kitten abuse gets year in prison

Online cat videos have come to be associated with some of the cutest, silliest moments the Internet has to offer. But they can have a dark side too, as a legal sentence handed down in France Monday shows.

A veterinarian holds Oscar the kitten, who was injured when thrown repeatedly against a building. The perpetrator then posted the video to his Facebook profile.

(Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Farid Ghilas of Marseille was sentenced to a year in prison for of animal cruelty after posting a video to his Facebook profile last week showing him repeatedly hurling a kitten against a building. The video quickly went viral, sparking widespread horror and outrage and even death threats to the perpetrator.

By the time Ghilas took the video down, Facebook users had copied and pasted his profile information; posted his name, address, and phone number on the Web; and created Facebook pages calling for his arrest. The police ended up taking Ghilas into custody less than 24 hours after the video appeared online.

On Monday, just days later, some 200 animal-rights activists, accompanied by about 20 dogs, gathered outside a Marseille criminal court as the 24-year-old man was sentenced on charges of “acts of cruelty against a domestic and tame animal.” The offense carries a maximum prison term of two years and a fine of 30,000 euros (about $ 40,500).

Acc… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Man who posts online vid of kitten abuse gets year in prison

Online cat videos have come to be associated with some of the cutest, silliest moments the Internet has to offer. But they can have a dark side too, as a legal sentence handed down in France Monday shows.

A veterinarian holds Oscar the kitten, who was injured when thrown repeatedly against a building. The perpetrator then posted the video to his Facebook profile.

(Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Farid Ghilas of Marseille was sentenced to a year in prison for of animal cruelty after posting a video to his Facebook profile last week showing him repeatedly hurling a kitten against a building. The video quickly went viral, sparking widespread horror and outrage and even death threats to the perpetrator.

By the time Ghilas took the video down, Facebook users had copied and pasted his profile information; posted his name, address, and phone number on the Web; and created Facebook pages calling for his arrest. The police ended up taking Ghilas into custody less than 24 hours after the video appeared online.

On Monday, just days later, some 200 animal-rights activists, accompanied by about 20 dogs, gathered outside a Marseille criminal court as the 24-year-old man was sentenced on charges of “acts of cruelty against a domestic and tame animal.” The offense carries a maximum prison term of two years and a fine of 30,000 euros (about $ 40,500).

Acc… [Read more]

Related Links:
How Israel and Hamas weaponized social media
Man pulls real, cute kitten out of computer
Paper and the craft of securing Facebook’s future
Scientist: Cats think you are just a big, stupid cat
With Paper, Facebook campaigns for coolness

    




Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Help NASA find where planets are born

Hubble image of a young stellar object disc around a star, spanning 64 billion kilometers.

(Credit: NASA/Hubble/STScI)

Crowdsourcing, scientists are increasingly finding, is an efficient means of conducting busywork. Whether it’s sequencing genomes, designing RNA, deciphering HIV proteins, or cataloguing galaxies, the old axiom proves true: many hands do indeed make light work.

NASA has just launched a new project that will bring the power of crowdsourcing to finding embryonic planetary systems tucked away in the data collected by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

Using a tool called Disk Detective, launched via Zooniverse, anyone can look at images taken by the WISE telescope and catalog “disks.” What the researchers are looking for is dust-rich discs of debris — places where planets are born.

<... [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

What headphone buyers need to know, Part 2

Open-back Sennheiser HD 800 (left), closed-back AKG K 272HD (right)

(Credit: Steve Guttenberg/CNET)

There are many types of headphones, and if you understand the pros and cons of each before you go shopping, you’ll make a more informed buying decision. Closed- and open-back headphones sound very different and serve different needs. To learn more about how they differ I spoke with two engineers, Sennheiser‘s Axel Grell and AKG‘s Philipp Schuster, and thanks go out to them. Today I’ll look at open- and closed-back headphones; I covered on- and over-the-ear headphones in yesterday’s blog item.

Closed-back headphones’ ear cups have no openings, so they hush outside sound by creating a tight seal around your ears. Open-back designs are just the opposite, the ear cups are open to let you hear the world around you. So where you listen may determine whether you’d prefer open- or closed-back headphones. Generally speaking, open headphones sound better when you’re listening in quiet settings. If you try to listen to an open-back headphone on a bus you’ll have to turn the volume way up to overcome the bus’ noise. Open-back headphones’ sound can be heard by people nearby; c… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Flappy Bird is the embodiment of our descent into madness

Imagine this scenario, times infinity.

(Credit: Screenshots by Nick Statt/CNET)

It was after maybe the 14th or 15th time I’d seen “Game Over” flash across my iPhone screen in the last maybe seven minutes that I decided that the app Flappy Bird — an experience so simultaneously simple and maddening that I could already picture it haunting my dreams — was perhaps the worst smartphone game ever created.

I had hit a high score of 12 on my fourth or fifth attempt, finding myself secretly elated at the speedy proficiency of my mindless tapping timing. And then I proceeded to lose after earning a single point — literally just one successful obstacle cleared — about 10 times in a row. Before I knew it, I was sitting there at my desk, heat crawling up the back of my neck, ready to shake my phone in frustration like a ’90s kid ready to dismantle his NES controller during the “Turbo Tunnel” level of Battletoads.

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Apple store using sniffers to combat B.O.?

Getting sniffy?

(Credit: Oliver Eisermann/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Have you noticed that not everyone cares too much about the odor they emit?

Do you recoil at times when you walk past an apparently pleasant-looking person, as the olfactory experience they incite might call for fumigation?

I confess that one place where this might be an extreme problem is the Apple store.

Apple stores are so full of humanity at most times of the day. One has to squeeze through, in order to venerate a product or two.

A report suggests that Apple is aware of this slightly stinky problem. Rocco Pendola of the Street says that the very nice Apple store on Third Street in Santa Monica, Calif., has a terrible B.O. issue.

He says two Apple store employees confirmed to him that the store is stinky.

More Technically Incorrect

Humans came long after aliens, scientist suggests

How did life really begin?

(Credit: Science Documentary/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

I’ve never thought of humanity as being especially advanced.

Somehow, we struggle so much with such basic things as thermostats and civility that I cannot imagine we’ve been around since either the Big Bang or God’s Big Finger Pressing Play.

Harvard astrophysicist Abraham Loeb gets the feeling that we are one of the last to the universe party.

As Space.com reports, Loeb’s research suggests that a mere 15 million years after the Big Bang, alien microbes might have happily survived.

He said: “When the universe was 15 million years old, the cosmic microwave background had a temperature of a warm summer day on Earth. If rocky planets existed at that epoch, then the CMB could have kept their surface warm even if they did not reside in the habitable zone around their parent star.”

Traditional scientific thinking offered that the first stars formed out of hydrogen and helium. There weren’t any so-called heavy elements that would have assisted planet formation.

Loeb asked the simple question: What if there were some heavy elements? There might have been huge stars exploding and emitting them.

Any planets that might have resulted from these explosion… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

UFOs inspire design of Austrian mountain retreat

(Credit: Ufogel )

Need to get away somewhere remote, relaxing, and reminiscent of an unidentified flying object? The Ufogel retreat in the Austrian mountain village of Nussdorf takes its design cues, at least partially, from UFOs.

The unusual-looking structure, designed by Urlaubs Architektur, “sometimes bears resemblance to a prehistoric bird and sometimes to an extraterrestrial home, but is always something special,” the Web site for the mountain residence reads. The rustic retreat takes its names from the acronym UFO and the word “vogel,” German for bird. (If you ask us, it looks a lot like a lunar landing, but the name Lunarlandingvogel could get pretty unwieldy.)

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Made almost entirely of larch wood, the Ufogel stands on steel stilts, with steps leading to the entrance that resemble those t… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

UFOs inspire design of Ufogel mountain retreat

(Credit: Ufogel )

Need to get away somewhere remote, relaxing, and reminiscent of an unidentified flying object? The Ufogel retreat in the Austrian mountain village of Nussdorf takes its design cues, at least partially, from UFOs.

The unusual-looking structure, designed by Peter Jungmann, “sometimes bears resemblance to a prehistoric bird and sometimes to an extraterrestrial home, but is always something special,” the Web site for the mountain residence reads. The rustic retreat takes its names from the acronym UFO and the word “vogel,” German for bird. (If you ask us, it looks a lot like a lunar landing, but the name Lunarlandingvogel could get pretty unwieldy.)

Made almost entirely of larch word, the Ufogel stands on steel stilts, with steps leading to the entrance that resemble those that always descend from spacecraft before aliens disembark to kidnap their human subjects. Giant windows let guests gaze out at the Austrian Area 51 hills (which are inevitably alive with the sound of music), while also keeping an eye out for any other spacecraft that might land in the East Tyrollean alps.

Located next to a far more traditional-looking barnhouse, the whole space-age-looking structure measures 484 square feet, but up to five can sleep t… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Friday Poll: Which Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor do you most hope is real?

The next Galaxy may have a metal-body option.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

We appear to be ticking down to the inevitable release of the next Samsung flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. That means we first have to wade through a froth of rumors well before the actual product ever gets announced (likely in March or April). When it comes to the S5, there are some fun possibilities on the table.

One suggestion is that there will be two versions, a plastic-body version and a premium metal-body version. That’s potentially good news for fans of metal phones who like the durability.

Another interesting upgrade would be the rumored rapid-charging battery. Smartphone battery life is a big recurring complaint these days. If this rumor pans out, the S5 would have a 20 percent greater capacity in the same footprint as its predecessor, and it would also charge up in less than two hours.

Perhaps the splashiest rumor involves a fingerprint sensor, which certainly conju… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET