Guardian wants free money from Google

GRUB STREET RETIREMENT VILLAGE, Times Old Roman, back when this were all fields (Mediocre Grauniad) — The Guardian Media Group has asked the Government to examine Google News and other content aggregators, claiming they contribute insufficiently to their income.

Soviet Tory propaganda“The newspapers put their content up on the web for free and then Google, the freeloading bastards, tell people where to find it. We told them to pay up or stop using our stuff, and they said OK, they’d stop using our stuff!

“We need the Government to bring back balance, ‘balance’ defined as being able to make them give us money because we want it. You’d think the Internet wasn’t invented to give newspapers and record companies free money!”

The newspaper group argues that traffic from search engines doesn’t make up the cost of producing the content. “Ad revenue has collapsed, so search engine traffic doesn’t bring in enough views to pay for itself. Our inability to sell ads is clearly Google’s problem.”

The Guardian suggests the exploration of new models that “require fair acknowledgement of the value that our content creates, both on our own site through advertising and ‘at the edges’ in the world of search and aggregation. Basically, they should just give us money because we want it. And the music industry too. How about a bailout? Go on, gi’s it.”

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Doom warnings reach “doom warning” level

OMG, Onoez, every day (NNN) — Civilisation is facing imminent doom from dirty bomb attacks, a credit crisis, a cash crisis and morning-after pills for 11-year-old underclass children.

"Oh no!"Further harbingers of the end of all things include your teeth being rotted out of your head by eating five pieces of fruit a day, NHS superbugs that mutter taunts into patients’ ears before dissolving their flesh, people downloading music and films and, of course, Google Street View.

“An explosion in London could destroy your presently fantastic and wonderful way of life,” said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. “Beautiful boss, lovely coworkers, marvellous housemates and all. However, our CCTV network will keep you safe at all times. Please present your papers to the nice policeman. Keep calm and carry on. Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory. Smile!”

In an attempt to stave off inevitable disaster, the Metro, the London Paper and London Lite are cooperating to help save the world by telling anyone not recycling their paper that they have personally doomed the planet, and never mind them printing ridiculous quantities of disposable rubbish without even a very good Sudoku and turning every Tube train into a rolling landfill site. The campaign will be illustrated with pictures of students in bikinis.

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Police scheme identifies 180 children as potential terrorists

GOLDACRE, Finsbury Park, Saturday (NNN) — Operation Channel, a police scheme to spot the early warning signs of “grooming” by radicals, has claimed that 180 children in Britain have been marked as potential Islamic extremists.

Osama bin Laden in the night garden“Trust me,” said Sir Norman Bettison, “we have vast, identifiable webs of terrorists plotting in our midsts. So we look for the subtle but important stuff. People blatantly being brown in public. Halal fried chicken shops that look almost exactly the same. Little girls in nursery saying ‘Ipsy, upsy, Daisy Doo Allahu Akbar.’ Brazilian electricians.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers said the scheme is not intended to unfairly target Muslims. “We’ve worked out the numbers using the very best policy-based evidence. If we only wrongly finger a kid one time in ten, that means that to catch 180 terrorists we’ve only pissed off eighteen more. And all their family, and all their friends, and everyone they know. Which will radicalise them into terrorists. Thus proving we were right all along.

Stop-and-searches in the street have also been increased. “To combat erroneous perceptions of racism, we have taken care to start randomly asking people their names as they enter the British Library, which evens up our ethnic statistics nicely with the strip-searches of kids in Brixton and Hackney.”

The Home Office fully supports the scheme. “Our aims are clear and unambiguous,” said one senior civil servant, “to catch enough terrorists, or close enough to being terrorists, to get a good annual appraisal. And just think of all the extra staff I’ll need to be in charge of!”

Critics have noted the statistical impossibility of profiling schemes. “They’re working them out with decimal digits! We don’t need to point out the obvious conflict of interest Arabic numerals have.”

PRS demands middle-aged kicks all through the nap

MIDEM, Cash from Chaos, 1977 (NNN) — The Performing Right Society and UK Music have come out strongly against YouTube and Google for not just handing them both buckets of money.

Teenage Kicks EP back coverThe furore started when the PRS demanded that YouTube pay them more money or remove their members’ videos, and YouTube removed their members’ videos. “It is clear they are too powerful,” said Feargal Sharkey, whose bank account died before he got old, “because they were actually able to just tell us to bog off. I am sick and tired of bogus outsiders who spout unworkable utopian visions. Instead, they should give us money because we want it. Just like the record companies used to … er, hold on, I’ll start again.”

“Our main focus is on compensating the artist,” said Howie Singer from Warner Music. “In theory, I mean, not out of our own pockets or anything. It’s amazing what you can make recoupable. As such, it’s vital that Google and the ISPs give the artists all the money that can be dragged out of them, plus a perfectly reasonable 87% for us. The six, er, five, er, four majors actually having to write a cheque would be an unsustainable imposition.”

The PRS noted its work on increasing the total revenue pool for songwriters by demanding stables pay to play music to horses, people in cars pay if they wind down their windows with the stereo on, and people singing in the shower pay if anyone else in the house could theoretically hear them. They will also be removing 6.75% of buskers’ earnings from their guitar cases and 6.75% of children’s lunch money in case they sing songs on the way to school, which the busker or child can then apply to get back minus a reasonable handling fee.

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Credit crisis caused by “blue people with white eyes”

BIG BLUE DONG, Mars, thirty-five minutes ago (NNN) — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, said the global financial crisis was caused by “blue people with white eyes.”

Dr Manhattan and the Big Blue DongHe made the remark after the nuclear annihilation of major financial centres around the globe by people who thought they were glowing superhumans made of pure energy.

“This is a crisis that was caused by blue people with white eyes. And before the crisis, they looked as if they knew everything about everything. A crisis that has come from the United States and Europe, but is affecting our country.”

Following the meeting, incredibly handsome, intelligent, pretty and noble international finance reporter Robert Peston Veidt sighed and said he would solve the crisis. “I’m going to ask the G20 summit next week to support a global expansion of trade finance of at least $100 billion to help revive trade in all parts of the world,” he said. “I can throw in about half myself out of pocket change, manufactured from nothingness by my truly remarkable IQ.”

Rumours of an odd-looking fellow in trench coat and hat seeking out Sir Fred Goodwin in order to break his fingers one by one could not be confirmed.

RT@Ofsted: “Primary schools to teach Twitter and Wikipedia”

THE MEMORY HOLE, Jim Callaghan Primary, Wednesday (NNN) — Primary school pupils should learn how to blog and use internet sites like Twitter and Wikipedia and spend less time studying history, says a review of the primary school curriculum in England by Sir Jim Rose of Ofsted.

Hitler with watermelonStudents will also be required to familiarise themselves with podcasts, the iTunes store, the Pirate Bay, b3ta and 4chan. They will gain fluency in handwriting and keyboard skills and learn how two use a spell chequer proper Lee. Literature classes will involve young adult novels written entirely in txt spk.

Earlier versions of the proposal suggested students learn about AltaVista, GeoCities and the dangers of internet paedophiles on Usenet.

Pupils will no longer have to study the Victorian period or the Second World War. But ministers said British history would always be a core part of education. “The history books will undergo proper Party review, of course,” said Schools Minister Jim Knight. “The life of Jade Goody is far more relevant to modern culture than patriarchal oppression from dead white males like Churchill or Cromwell.”

The move has met some opposition. “How will kids understand Hitler jokes?” said Mary Bousted of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, “or how Hitler instantly makes any joke funnier? Will anyone watch the UK Hitler Channel again?”

Wikipedia welcomed the move, looking forward to more twenty thousand word articles on minor characters in Charlie & Lola. “Our coverage of Sizzles the dog will be enhanced immeasurably,” said administrator WikiFiddler451. “Of course, my article on Lotte’s fur coat just reached ‘featured’ status.”

“RT@neilhimself Bally dashed curriculum bally dashed hors de combat. Tish, fie and pish. Maybe they’re finally getting their arse in gear xxx,” noted Stephen Fry.

Fred Goodwin’s house vandalised

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, London EC1, Wednesday (NNN) — Sir Fred Goodwin’s house and car in the Grange, Edinburgh have been attacked by vandals.

Bomb-throwing capitalistRevelers queued for several hours for the opportunity of a piece of the action. Two scenes-of-crime officers from the Scottish Police Services Authority kept the crowd orderly. Neighbours, who said Sir Fred had not been seen there for weeks, did a roaring trade in rotten tomatoes and cabbages and bits of wood with a nail through the end.

Sir Fred is assumed to be overseas, reportedly hiding out with a false beard under an assumed name in a market stall in Marrakesh.

Lothian and Borders Police said that officers were acquiring CCTV footage and carrying out door-to-door inquiries in the neighbourhood. “Our inquiries are at an early stage and we are appealing for anyone with information about this incident to contact us. We’re looking at OBEs for the participants and recommending a knighthood for the organiser.”

The attack is considered likely to presage similar activity in the London G20 meeting protests planned for early April. Barack Obama, who will be attending, called on protestors to take action in an orderly and civilised manner. “Torching houses and smashing cars creates a horrific waste in spent carbon. All these materials can be recycled and used again. The same goes for the bankers — reusing their organs is a lot more socially responsible than tearing their guts out and hanging them from streetlights. What would Al Gore do? I beg you, think of the planet.”

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___’s funeral viewed by millions

GRUB STREET, Metro, eternally (NNN) — Britain has said farewell to ___ at the end of an unprecedented week of mourning.

Generic woman in generic coffinIt was an event made by the incredible upsurge of popular feeling in Britain and around the world. Before she died, some may have been hoping that she would grow old, her celebrity would dim and she would be quietly interred in relative obscurity. Even when she died, nobody anticipated the scale of this popular rising.

A ___ mile procession brought her coffin to ___, where politicians and celebrities joined the family in a subdued congregation. Amongst the congregation were such celebrities as ___ and ___. Over ___ people lined the route of her final journey. Some of the crowd wept, some applauded quietly, but most watched in silence.

On top of the coffin was a poignant reminder that this woman known to millions was also a mother — a card to “Mummy” from her sons, ___ and ___, who joined family walking behind the coffin.

Family members read tributes to her at the funeral service. “She was the very essence of compassion,” said ___. ”

There is no question: she was truly the people’s ___.

Microsoft still seeking search deal with Yahoo!

ONE MICROSOFT LOOP, Homeless Island, Monday (NNN) — As Microsoft’s search engine share sunk to its lowest level yet in February, with approximately 8 to 9 queries total worldwide, Steve Ballmer has reiterated his willingness to hook up with Yahoo! and its 21 queries worldwide.

Microsoft Internet Etch-A-Sketch™ 8The press conference was held on a street corner in San Francisco as Mr Ballmer and Jerry Yang sat with their hats on the sidewalk and playing harmonicas with a “WILL WEBSEARCH FOR FOOD” sign behind them.

“Understandably, we expect less activity in the Great Recession,” said Mr Ballmer. “Nobody knows what value assets should be … say, you aren’t finished with that cigarette, are you?”

Press attendees included a schizophrenic local resident in a tinfoil hat (“to keep Google out”), two teenagers drunk on malt liquor and a policeman keeping an eye on things from a distance. The teenagers taunted, confused and upset Mr Ballmer by suggesting he attempt to locate his own posterior.

“My new search technology is unstoppable! Just look at this netbook!” shouted Mr Ballmer, waving an Etch-a-Sketch in a threatening manner. “IT’S MAUVE! IT RUNS WINDOWS SEVEN! LINUX PUT A RADIO IN MY HEAD! I’LL SHOW ’EM ALL! BASTARDS!”

“Some love stories are eternal,” said Mr Yang. “Romeo and Juliet. Heloise and Abelard. Leopold and Loeb. Microsoft and Yahoo.”

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Microsoft launches furniture that crashes

SCHESTOWITZ, Newham, Friday (MSBBC) — Microsoft today launched Surface, its tabletop computer system, in the UK yesterday.

Microsoft Surface smashes the iPhonePeople will use the touchscreen computer “the same way they have interacted with everyday items their entire lives,” said Philippa Snare of Microsoft UK, “with hands and with gestures.” Instead of a keyboard or mouse, the techno-table uses a 30-inch touch-sensitive screen that also reacts to objects placed on it. Photos are automatically downloaded from cameras or phones. A spilt cup of coffee causes the “I’m a PC” guy to appear on the screen and start shouting at you for ruining his shirt, and your fourth Big Mac of the day causes him to keel over with a heart attack and the system to blue-screen. Users then make an appropriate gesture.

Unlike conventional computers which only one person can use at a time, Surface is a “multi-touch” system allowing several people can use the screen at the same time. Stealing someone’s data is as simple as sliding your phone onto the screen. “We’ve made it completely compatible with popular gadgets such as Windows Mobile and Zune.”

Surface will appear in communal areas such as shops, hotels and pubs first, allowing the public to get used to the new technology and see how it responds to pints being poured over it and kebabs in the coin slot.

Surface is part of Microsoft’s vision of the Digital Home. “Imagine your television, your refrigerator, your gas boiler running Windows Vista — I mean, Windows 7. What could possibly go wrong?”

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