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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

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

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

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

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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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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading