Academics to predict the “next big thing”

ENIGMA, Bletcherous Park, Thursday (NNGadget) — Academics at De Montfort University in Leicester have put together a team tasked with getting grants to claim to predict the next big thing in communication technologies, in a bid to tackle funding pitfalls before they become a problem.

Tesla Coil at Science World“Widespread Internet adoption has afforded some technologies rapid growth,” said Dr Bernd Stahl, “but have also generated downsides. For example, uppity Internet users think all this is for their social enjoyment and cultural enhancement, rather than to firmly attach a vacuum hose to their wallet.”

Under the two year project, entitled Ethical Issues of Emerging ICT Applications, researchers use old William Gibson novels to identify information and communication technologies likely to emerge in the next 10 to 15 years and spot any unforeseen drawbacks to milking the consumer as hard as possible, but no harder. “The Web 2.0 model — you create the content, we get the money — has much potential. However, cautionary examples such as Wikipedia show what happens when you put that sort of power in the hands of a nonprofit. So much money left on the table!”

Dr Stahl’s team will identify and list the future applications and the issues that are likely to arise. “So far we’ve successfully predicted that ‘e-mail’ will become quite popular — that’s where you send letters electronically, without using paper. Outlandish, I know! There’s also a possible niche for sending short text messages using telephones, if the telephone is attached to the network by a sufficiently long cable. In conclusion, send us more money and we’ll see what we can do for you. Remember: MONEY to US. That’s the important bit. It’s for science, you know.”

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Google: not all Street View users are burglars

THE PANOPTICON, Mountain View, Thursday (NNGadget) — The director of Google Earth and Maps, John Hankes, has rubbished claims that Street View is a “burglar’s charter.”

Tiananmen Google Tank Man“It’s ridiculous to say all our users are burglars. We have several who aren’t! Probably.”

Bob “Pound You To Mincemeat” Fister, recently of Wormwood Scrubs, lent his support to the initiative. “It also works really well with Google Latitude, so’s I can keep track of my … business associates an’ … prospective future customers.”

Street View has weathered a storm of controversy since its March introduction, with Harry Potter of the Observer describing Google as an “amoral menace, indexing things man was not meant to know and defiling our genetic code” and accusing Street View of “working against the laws of nature and the natural order of God, who clearly intended us to use MSN Windows Live Search Kumo Search.”

Villagers in Buckinghamshire, wielding Fairtrade designer ecologically-sound pitchforks and torches, recently blockaded a Google camera car and recycled the driver in a large wicker man bonfire on the village outskirts.

But Hankes defends the service, saying “public debate is very healthy. More people should definitely check out the service, and the advertising on it. Mmm, clickable. Very clickable. Sooo clickable.”

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Depressing jobs found to be depressing

INHUMAN RESOURCES, Work Harder Not Smarter, Thursday (NNN) — Employees with difficult colleagues and a poor working atmosphere were 60 per cent more likely to be depressed, and 50 per cent more likely to use antidepressants, says Dr Marjo Sinokki of the Finnish Institute of the Bleeding Obvious.

New Waver’s office desk cardBusiness was quick to protest that the right mental attitude was essential to remaining competitive and cost-effective. “Self-esteem costs a fortune in wages and produces employees with ambition and other problematic behaviours,” said the Confederation of British Industry. “Without depressed and beaten shells of workers, we can’t possibly compete.”

The Treasury concurred, with figures showing the health of the economy requires most workers to die of directionlessness within six months of retiring.

“The U.S. work environment right now is far more tenuous and toxic than in recent history,” said Josh Klapow of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “With layoffs and downsizing, the opportunities for increased stress, negativity and pressure have all greatly increased and are doing wonders to keep people in bad jobs at low pay and long hours, for our future prosperity. God bless America!”

BUPA has offered discount bulk Prozac, Valium and Thorazine to businesses, to be placed in the tea room next to the sugar and the bromide.

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Microsoft promises to play nice this time

SCHESTOWITZ, Newham, Tuesday (NNGadget) — Microsoft has announced the infrastructure for its cloud computing service Azure, formerly (and presently) Windows Vapor.

Dell laptop battery fire“We want to be more responsive to your needs,” said Sam Ramji of Microsoft during a Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit panel this week as he wiped rotten tomatoes off his suit.

“We want all open source innovation to happen on Windows. In practice, Windows is too slow, and just putting Linux underneath the same software stack triples performance. So we’re running the Windows versions of the software on Linux using Wine. We’ll also be funding the Wine on Windows initiative.”

The new Microsoft Amazingly Open And Genuine Public License allows you complete freedom to use, modify and redistribute the software provided that every copy comes with a DVD of Windows Vista Ultimate, you acknowledge that Microsoft’s FAT patent protects a remarkable and valuable innovation in computer science and all accompanying documentation is in OOXML. Also, all your data belongs to Microsoft.

The overwhelming dominance of Microsoft was assured, he said, pointing to their success in paying netbook manufacturers to use Windows XP and paying US retailers not to stock the Linux versions of the computers. “We’re also enforcing our patent on right-clicking. And on the number seven.”

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Jack Tweed to open Jade Goody theme restaurant

SACCHARINE MITTENS, Bermondsey, Thursday (NNN) — Grieving Jack Tweed wants to open a “high-class” Jade Goody-themed restaurant in East Angular, Essex, named in her honour.

Jade Goody naked on Big BrotherIt will serve “international cuisine” and the menu will reflect Ms Goody’s taste in food. “Chips goes with everything, dunnit.” A large waxwork of Ms Goody will be out front, halo in place and surrounded by an angelic ensemble of Shilpa Shettys. Diners will be required to finish their meals before the 7:30pm curfew.

“Max Clifford’s picking a good sensitive name. ‘The Comic Relief Peasant’ is a hot favourite. He thought it’d go down better than ‘Wringing The Corpse Till The Pips Rattle.'” Tweed is, of course, in talks to do a reality show on the subject, to be a tie-in with Ms Goody’s cancer diary, the movie of her life, Death of Jade performance art and a “tribute” appearance by Jaiden Michael on Big Brother 10.

Mohamed al Fayed has announced his suspicion that the Duke of Edinburgh gave Ms Goody cancer. “And Wendy Richard.”

Terror suspects “took photographs while brown”

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON, And Shopping, Saturday (NNN) — Police enquiries have so far failed to turn up any clear evidence of a terrorist conspiracy forty-eight hours after the arrests of Pakistani terror subjects across Britain. No evidence has been found of bombs, bomb-making parts, precursor chemicals to make explosives, a bomb factory, weapons, ammunition or plans to do anything anywhere with such items.

Camera-throwing anarchist“But they had cameras in public,” said Manchester police chief Luckless Cipher. “They were seen taking photographs near a nightclub shopping centre and other crowded public places. Completely consistent with students in a new area taking photos to show friends and family. Or … TERRORIST RECONNAISSANCE!”

There is also evidence they used Google Street View. “And then went the places they’d looked up! Well. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.”

The eleven subjects are being held another week for intense questioning on their favoured lens, camera model and ISO setting.

Counterterrorism officials remain unsure of basic elements of the conspiracy, such as the targets. “But there is lots of material that when put together may take us somewhere. It will hopefully be a long and drawn-out investigation. They’d probably been down the pub with Ian Tomlinson before he drunkenly and aggressively backed into a police baton. They’ve probably got child porn! Is this territory where you can take a risk? Think of the children!”

Al-Qaeda reports a two-month backlog on membership and has asked applicants to please be patient.

Subjecting yourself to massive doses of ultraviolet found to cause skin cancer

COSTA DEL SOL, Glasgow, Friday (NNN) — A “binge-tanning” epidemic has put malignant melanoma above cervical cancer as the most common cancer in women in their twenties.

Danielle Lloyd modeling melanomasThere are now twice as many cases of melanoma as there are breast cancer, causing concern amongst newspaper proprietors. “A half-page closeup of breasts hasn’t nearly as good an excuse,” said Desmond Murdoch. “Though topless beach babe shots are pretty newsworthy and informative.”

There are also questions as to whether excessive tanning causes cessation of brain activity and chronic footballer shagging, or if this is just coincidence.

20 minutes of booth tanning is equivalent to a day at the beach, minus yelling kids and sand in your bikini bottoms. Unregistered back-street bootleggers offer underclass girls tans on the sly, along with pirated MP3s and DVDs and authentic Louie Vitton and Dolchie ett Gabbarner merchandise.

“The fact is the jury is out on the relationship between UV exposure and malignant melanoma,” said Kathy Banks of the Sunbed Association, puffing on a cigarette and trying to fight off crocodile hunters wanting her skin for a handbag.

Substitutes for tanning beds can be nearly as problematic. Danielle Lloyd has appeared in her seventeenth celebrity nude charity calendar this year for the rehabilitation of chronic bottled tan snorters.

“We recognise the right of individuals to make informed choices,” said Charles Darwin of the Ministry of Health. “If they die before they breed, this may be a self-solving problem.”

ID cards to be fitted with “magic beans”

THE MEMORY HOLE, Westminster, Tuesday (NNGadget) — The Home Office has announced new security measures for identity cards.

Arse card “The biometrics, chip and PIN, RFID transponder, fingerprint-reader, real-time spectroscopic DNA analyser and two-way radio that demands ‘papers please!’ in a cod-German accent inexplicably failed to completely eliminate identity fraud or stop terrorism,” said Home Secretary For Life Jacqui Smith, “so we’re getting back to the basics of PFI-funded governmental identity management: magic beans, pixie dust and snake oil. EDS Capita Goatse’s experience in these areas is unparalleled.”

Identification procedures have duly been enhanced. Magic beans are squashed into the paper driving licence, producing a pixie-dust effect when inspected by the police. Day-to-day purchases are made smoother by the snake oil, with the pixie-dust glow authenticating the transaction. Frequenters of brothels will be able to require the prostitute to wave her identity card at them and be reassured by the pixie-dust glitter certifying her bona fides as a legal resident.

The requirements for getting a bank account — a retinal scan, hair clippings, 250 millilitres of blood and three documents for every address change since twenty years before your birth — remain unchanged.

The new identity card weighs thirty-five kilograms. All UK residents must carry it everywhere at all times and produce it on demand of council bin inspectors or any higher official.

UK consumers willing to block ads for free content

CREATIVE DESTRUCTION, Soho, Monday (NNN) — 60% of UK consumers are willing to browse with an ad-blocker in return for free videos, music and other content, a survey has revealed.

Abort the fetus and win a Playstation 3!“This willingness to pretend to view adverts in exchange for free content is good news for sites wanting to lie to advertisers,” said Tudor Aw at KPMG, “and is perhaps a pointer in the ongoing debate over whether lying to advertisers or lying to subscribers is the right revenue model.”

40% of respondents said they would pretend to accept popups, popunders, interstitials, Phorm, floating windows zipping and swooping about the screen, Flash videos that start playing sound automatically, eye-gouging animations and cookies in exchange for free music. 16% said they would pay to avoid ads. The rest would continue to get their telly from BitTorrent and browse with Mozilla Firefox with AdBlock.

People were more willing to pay on mobile phones, unless they had a modern phone that could steal someone’s WiFi connection.

Google, the world’s largest online advertising agency, said it was looking into tastefully-interspersed direct content advertising and brand placement, and added that you should PUNCH THE MONKEY TO WIN £20,000!!! “If you know what’s good for you.”

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Australia announces new national broadband network

SHE’LL BE ROIGHT MATE, Ey Dingeau Eyt Mey Interweb, Tuesday (NNN) — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the Australian government will build a new $43 billion national broadband network, connecting 90% of homes to 100-megabit fibre internet. “We believe that fast broadband is absolutely essential for our nation’s future”, he said.

A dripping tap in the broadband desert“Telstra has raised issues with the amount of bandwidth usage this will produce, given we’re still hooked to America by tin cans and string, but our Great Firewall of Australia Internet filtering project should keep usage down to reasonable levels at near-dialup speeds. We promise you won’t go over your download cap.”

The Great Firewall will reliably block all illegal material, child pornography, terrorism and unAustralian thoughts.

“Not only are the contents of the list illegal,” said Senator Stephen Conroy, ” but revealing the list is also illegal, and so is linking to someone linking to someone claiming to reveal the list. So we’re blocking Google Search. Having to use Anzwers should keep usage right down.”

Calling it, the “single largest infrastructure decision in Australia’s
history,” Mr Rudd said the project would employ up to 37,000 people a year monitoring citizens’ net access, reading their email and correcting spelling errors in their football forum posts.

A consultative process will determine the regulatory framework for the network. “We’re considering getting Senator Fielding to do it personally,” said Senator Conroy, “since he’s the dickhead who demanded the censorship in return for his votes. Hopefully it’ll melt his brain. Bloody balance of power. At least Xenophon’s bloody sane.”