It’s easy for the old guard to put their foot in their mouths where technology’s concerned, whether you’re a lawyer suing your own Web site, a publisher accidentally rewriting War and Peace, or a Fox News reporter tying Angry Birds to cyberwar.
“The title of this hard-hitting piece of journalism reads ‘Powerful ‘Flame’ cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game,’ and opens with, ‘The most sophisticated and powerful cyberweapon uncovered to date was written in the LUA computer language, cyber security experts tell Fox News — the same one used to make the incredibly popular Angry Birds game.’ The rest of the details that are actually pertinent to the story follow that important message. The graphic for this story? Perhaps a map of Iran, or the LUA logo, or maybe the stereotyped evil hacker in a ski mask? Nope, all Angry Birds.
It’s easy to pick on Fox–as one Slashdot commenter put it, “Fox News is written in the same language as the Unabomber Manifesto. Coincidence?” Yet there might be a nugget of insight in the fact that hackers chose a language popular with gamers. (Is the job of tricking an Iranian centrifuge similar to simulating a complex virtual world? Are game developers easy recruits for cybercriminals and the CIA?)
I can’t think of an excuse, however, for a lawyer suing her own registrar for taking down images she didn’t have the right to put on her Web site.
“Further to the previous story on Slashdot where attorney Candice Schwager threw threats to sue a photographer who reported a DMCA violation against her for infringing use of his photography: Candice has now made a DMCA threat of her own against Petapixel, a photography site that reported on her infringement. The kicker? She’s sent the DMCA notice an apparent six times not to Petapixel’s registrar or their hosting service, but to Godaddy, her own registrar.”
Then there’s what happens when search-and-replace has unintended consequences–as when a Kindle book gets “Nook’d.”
A blogger who recently read Tolstoy’s War and Peace on his Nook stumbled upon some odd phases, such as: “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern…” After seeing the word ‘Nookd’ a few more times, he found a dead-tree version of the book and discovered that the word was supposed to be ‘kindled.’ Every instance of the word ‘kindle’ in the ebook had been replaced with ‘Nook.’ “The Superior Formatting Publishing version isn’t a Barnes and Noble book, so this isn’t the work of a rogue Nook marketer from B&N. Rather, it’s likely that Superior Formatting Publishing ported its Kindle version of War and Peace over to the Nook — doing a search and replace to make sure that any Kindle references they’d inserted, such as in the advertising at the end of the book about their fine Kindle products, were simply changed to Nook.