Internet pranks: a random collection

Fake McDonald's memo: click to embiggen

Following yesterday’s news that a memo claiming McDonald’s deliberately rips off customers was a fake (pictured), I spoke about Internet pranks on ABC Radio 891 Adelaide this morning. I figured you might as well see my notes.

Oh, and the audio is below.

The fake memo was the work of Adelaide-based satirist and prankster David Thorne who, amongst other things, runs the website 27bslash6 as troll-bait and is flogging t-shirts and a book of his pranks called The Internet is a Playground.

Personally, I reckon pranks that just waste people’s time or otherwise annoy them without making any more significant point about society are pretty cheap.

Thorne’s attempt to pay a bill with a drawing of a spider is perhaps amusing, and it’s good that the victim saw the joke. But I put it at the same level as The Chaser bringing a horse into shops. Whereas The Chaser‘s breach of security at APEC, which you can see on video, made an important point about security theatre and social engineering attacks.

Anyway, this is what I discovered while poking around…

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The Google oracle

Thanks to a post at The Inquisitr, I’ve found a whole new way to waste time: letting Google suggest the questions we should be asking.

Screenshot of Google asking "Why does he..."

Just start type in the first part of a question, like “Why does he…”, and Google tells you what’s important to people.

  • Why does he do that?
  • Why does he ignore me?
  • Why does he like me?
  • Why does he love me?
  • Why does he cheat?
  • Why does he push me away?
  • Why does he lie?
  • Why does he stare at me?
  • Why does he text instead of call?
  • Why does he hurt me?

Screenshot of Google asking "Why does she..."

Asking the same question about females gets a similar-but-different result.

  • Why does she stay lyrics?
  • Why does she stay ne yo?
  • Why does she ignore me?
  • Why does she cheat?
  • Why does she stay lyrics neo?
  • Why does she love me?
  • Why does she like me?
  • Why does she lie?
  • Why does she play hard to get?
  • Why does she stay youtube?

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Rudd government delivers yesterday’s broadband

Crikey logo

One of the Rudd government’s election promises was a national fibre-to-the-node (FttN) broadband network, putting at least 12Mb/sec download speeds within reach of 98% of the Australian population. Tuesday night’s Federal Budget kept that promise. I think.

Here’s how I wrote about it for Crikey yesterday:

Of $4.7b promised for the National Broadband Network, only 0.16% has been committed: $2.1m this financial year and $5.2m next for “establishment and implementation”. The remaining 99.84% — you know, actually building the thing — is all “nfp”. Not for publication. We’ll get back to you.

Spending is now “up to” the pre-election $4.7b figure. Broadband is competing with run-down roads, railways and ports for a share of the $20b Building Australia Fund, where “disbursements… will be subject to budget consideration, and will be spent responsibly, in line with prevailing macroeconomic conditions.”

Whatever the final budget, Australia will still be rolling out a 12Mb/sec network in 2012. Other countries are rolling out 100Mb/sec networks now.

It really is building yesterday’s network, isn’t it.