Category Archives: United Kingdom

Home Office in Internet propaganda war

TEH INTARWEB, Lolcat, Tuesday (NNGadget) — Home Office counter-terrorism experts intend to exploit nu meeja websites to “channel messages through volunteers in Internet forums” as part of a campaign to “taint the al-Qaeda™ brand,” according to a document accidentally posted to Wikipedia this morning.

al-Failda“We understand that people on Internet forums have no experience whatsoever of participants paid to advocate a position or product,” says the report. “A single image macro exchange of ‘U R TERRIST’ ‘NO U’ ‘O RLY?’ ‘SRSLY’ could save countless lost souls.”

The unit is also targeting the BBC and other online news outlets. The main obstacle appears to lie in writing messages stupid enough to pass for genuine reader comments. “Some of our top fake news writers have burnt out their brains on the task and now sit shaking and gibbering about real life being worse than any parody. And house prices.”

Other work includes faked reports of al-Quaeda branded Zunes on Gizmodo, suitably on-message mouseover popups on XKCD and photomanipulations of Osama bin Laden as Pedobear on 4chan.

The initiative was spearheaded by a Home Office civil servant asked to account for the number of work hours he seemed to be spending on Internet message boards. His latest proposal is to fight al-Qaeda on MP3, BitTorrent and pornographic websites. “I’ve bought a new 500 gigabyte USB portable disk drive on expenses to store this important confidential data,” he said.

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!

UK Government loses all data on everyone

THE MEMORY HOLE, Whitehall, Sunday (NNN) — Annual reports from Whitehall departments show that the government has lost all data it ever held on anyone.

Out of data errorLosses have occurred through couriered unencrypted disks, misplaced memory sticks, lost laptops, briefcases left on trains and files falling down the side of the tea machine. “The real scandal is that a train was running for them to lose a case on,” said a source whose name has been lost.

Treasury minister Jane Kennedy said the HM Revenue and Customs breaches did not necessarily result in data losses, or at least any that they have records of. HMRC said it takes data losses and security breaches “very seriously” and thoroughly investigates any breach that it does not lose track of.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has served enforcement notices on various departments for their data losses, but the departments in question could not find their office addresses to accept the notices. They noted, however, that Mr Thomas’ call was very important to them, and that he had been placed in a queue.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith reassured citizens that plans for an all-encompassing ID card linked to biometric passports and a universal medical record with the NHS would not change because of these losses. “We won’t even be thinking about them.”

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!

New breast cancer hope for journalism

PAGE 3, Wapping, Saturday (Norks News Network) — A new breast cancer treatment has led to new hope for newspaper proprietors being able to run more pictures of topless women with one hand over their breasts.

The story follows mere days after earlier stories concerning red meat, carbohydrates, drinking, high levels of daily stress and deodorant causing breast cancer, stories concerning bone cancer drugs, prostate cancer drugs, a “happy outlook” and high levels of daily stress preventing breast cancer and, of course, several close-ups of Kylie Minogue’s bottom.

Lucy Pinder

“It’s been a bumper season,” said Grub Street mogul Desmond Murdoch, “so to speak. We’ve actually had to find a third and fourth file photo of a topless woman with a hand over her breasts. Though we ran a fabulous two-page spread of a self-examination conducted by Luscious Lucy, 19, of Sheppey, who wants to grow up to work with cute puppies and children and be in Nuts next month.”

Additional opportunities were provided by the Portsmouth University breast biomechanics team, who actually managed to get paid money to find out that “breasts move up to 21cm during exercise and they move up and down, in and out and from side to side,” although further funding and DVD duplication equipment is apparently required before final results can be produced.

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!

UK economy comes to a complete halt; everyone gives up and goes home

CANTBEARSED, East Cheam, Friday (NNN) — UK economic growth ground to a halt between April and June, according to official statistics.

Big Ben closed for businessEconomic activity has ceased, with nothing being bought or sold. No-one has shown up to work in the last two weeks. Tube stations have been buried under uncollected copies of Metro. The populace have given up eating, choosing instead to sit humming and staring into space.

House prices have dropped 99.998%, the last recorded offer being five quid and a bottle top. “I didn’t take it because I couldn’t be bothered,” said Boris Busybody, 77 (IQ), of East Cheam. “Not that anyone else will be asking.”

Fears of Mad Max-style gangs roaming the country with guns and flamethrowers have failed to come to pass, owing to a shortage of paraffin and general apathy. “What’s the point?” said tribal gang warlord Ravencrush Hornbastard. “There’s no telly on anyway and the shops are all shut. What would we spend it on?”

“It could be worse,” said treasurer Alistair Darling. “We could be trying to use the US dollar as currency.”

Gary Glitter deported from Solar System

LOOK, Up in the Skirt, Wednesday (NNN) — Lunar immigration officials have given Gary Glitter a deadline to leave the Moon by 2am local time or face being locked up in the Sea of Tranquility’s notorious Immigration Detention Centre, where illegal aliens are kept 40 to a room.

Glitter in Spaaace!

The former pop star, real name Paul Gadd, went to the satellite after his deportation from Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Thailand again, Somalia, Darfur, the Siberian tundra, the South Pole and an abandoned oil platform in the middle of the ocean.

Lunar officials declared Glitter “persona non grata” and said that he posed a threat to domestic morality. “It’s that horrible little beard. He looks like some sort of pervert.”

Glitter is looking forward to his teleportation to the outer reaches of the galaxy, rather than returning to England. “I’m afraid Jacqui Smith’s just a bit past it for me.”

Glitter’s new single, “Thank Heaven For Young Women With Photographic Identification Certifying They Are Of Legal Age,” is to be released on Jonathan King’s record label.

Labour selects sock with eyes as new leader

THE GREAT STENCH, Whitehall, Tuesday (NNN) — The Labour Party has elected a sock with eyes as its leader and the new Prime Minister.

The sock is a size 6-10 cotton-blend Argyle, with stick-on googly eyes from a local craft shop and a penny for a nose.
Sock puppet by Carlb

The sock follows a succession of failed candidates in the top job in the wake of Tony Blair’s ten years in the position, starting with Gordon Brown’s eighteen-month premiership, followed by three months for David Miliband, six weeks for Harriet Harman, three weeks for Jack Straw, one week for Jacqui Smith and one day for each of Des Brown, Hilary Benn, John Hutton, Ruth Kelly, Hazel Blears, Geoff Hoon, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, in that order. They even offered Tony the job back, which he “regretfully” declined with a laugh that could be heard from the Middle East. Alistair Darling was, of course, passed over.

The sock was recruited in the wake of the Conservative Party’s ongoing Parliamentary and opinion poll success with a reassuring animatronic Tony Blair puppet operated by a wind-powered Thatcherminator mechanism.

The Liberal Democrats are taking up a collection to buy a Christmas stocking.

Drug firms deny pricing for profit

NASTIE, Nice, Monday (NNN) — The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has poured scorn on Prof Sir Michael Rawlins of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) after he accused them of profiteering on drugs.

“I am shocked, shocked — oh, my cheque? Thank you! — at the notion they could be profiteering on drugs,” said Stephen Pollard of completely independent thinktank Centre for the New Europe. “As well as saving lives, drug companies eliminated communism and brought the downfall of the North Korean dictatorship, entirely through the marketing of little blue pills guaranteed to give you an erection. Research budgets are up to nearly half the marketing budgets, giving humanity such boons as V1k@grk@, Rogaine, Spanish Fly — the list is endless.”

Professor Rawlins stridently maintained his position that the “postcode lottery” for cancer treatments, where any patient with a letter or number in their postcode gets nothing, was not their doing. “It was the drug companies’ prices that killed all those cancer patients! Them! Them! Not us!”

NICE’s approach attempts to deal with the problem at the heart of the NHS: patients and their need for care, which can seriously affect waiting times for managerial bonuses and privately-funded infrastructure subsidies. Local doctors will be reducing levels of service and berating and belittling patients who refuse to cease unhealthy habits such as buying food they can afford, living in a city or being too poor to pay for BUPA. Viagra remains, of course, available free on the NHS.

Prince ‘must prove anti-GM claim’

THE LAB, Transylvania, Saturday (NotScientist) — Prince Charles must prove his claim that GM crops could cause a global environmental disaster, Environment Minister Phil Woolas has challenged.

Charles, Prince of Wales

Mr Woolas said it was the government’s “moral responsibility” to investigate whether genetically modified crops, fully owned and patented to the hilt by Monsanto, could help provide a suitably profitable solution to hunger in the developing world. Monsanto famously protect their hard work, having sued and won for patent violation when their seeds have blown onto another farmer’s land.

“We see this as part of our Africa strategy,” he said. “It’s easy for those of us with plentiful food supplies to ignore the issue, but we have a responsibility to use science to get our hooks into the less well off where we can. We certainly wouldn’t drive them off their land, they’re too useful to us as labour. It’s in their own best interest. I think of it as the ‘Corporate Man’s Burden.'”

Nestlé has also urged the European Union to review its opposition to GM. “People are starting to think Monsanto are a bigger bunch of bastards than we are, and we can’t have such strikes against our public image go unchallenged.”

Fathers 4 Justice shuts M25 motorway

JUNCTION 14, M25 Satanic Sigil, Friday (NNN) — Drivers are still enduring long queues several hours after a Fathers 4 Justice protest forced the closure of four lanes on the M25.

Campaigner Geoff Hibbert, dressed in a superhero costume, used a ladder to climb onto a gantry above the motorway between junctions 14 and 15.

“I will try and stay here all day,” he said, “but the police are going to try and remove me. But the police have been very, very good about it, very supportive. They’ve only shot near me, not directly at me. They were also very helpful in keeping the motorists from lynching me.”

He denied F4J had already made its point during previous stunts, adding: “We need open courts where the truth can come out. We’re fully confident that, given an extra hour on the motorway to get home, the average person will spend that time coming to agree with the justice of our cause, and certainly won’t think we act like gibbering nutters who should be kept away from children under any circumstances.”

F4J members frequently dress as superheroes during campaigns. “I’m a bit annoyed the Spiderman and Batman costumes had already been used,” said Mr Hibbert. “So I got a sort of slug creature. I think it’s Japanese. I’m not quite sure. The slime trail is very annoying.”

Get daily email alerts of new NewsTechnica!