Recently in Online Category

Google Maps hit by another user edit gaffe

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Google has revoked the right for users to edit and update the content of its Maps after some ne'er do wells decided to deface them with racial slurs and offensive images.

Readers, believe us when we say, we're just as surprised as you that giving people free rein to do whatever they like with a publicly accessible internet service has backfired so spectacularly. And, yes, that was Downtime's attempt at sarcasm.

Up until very recently, anyone who used Google Maps to locate the Pakistani city of Rawlpindi would have been presented with a picture of an Android robot urinating on a crudely drawn depiction of the Apple logo.

More alarmingly, perhaps, was the other revelation this week that typing a well-known, but thankfully not widely-used, racist term into the software would return a listing for the US President's home.

Google has since assured users the latter search result is in the process of being removed. But the most shocking thing about this whole sorry tale is that the search giant - who prides itself on being able to pre-empt what users might want to search for with its auto fill tools - never saw this coming.

Bull photobomb extreme

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A man was photobombed trampled while trying to take a selfie of a raging bull at the Fetes de Bayonne festival. 

The bull was menacingly running around a few feet behind the man who was desperately trying to get a selfie shot of himself and the angry horned animal.

The best thing about this story is that it was caught on camera for all to see. Don't worry, there's no blood but the bloke in question is clearly caught off guard (how that is possible, I'm not sure) and trampled by the animal. 

All in the name of Instagram.

NOT available on the app store

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A new hashtag has been created as a campaign to point out things in life that are NOT available on the app store, because "there isn't an app for everything".

#Notavailableontheappstore encourages people to place modified App Store stickers on things in the real world that aren't available digitally, as a reminder that "the most important things in life are not on the app store."

Caroline and Kayleigh at Computer Weekly took part by sharing tweets of their morning treat as well as shoebox care parcels about to be posted out to the British Forces.



Here are some more Tweets from the hashtag:



The campaign has been created students from Hyper Island - an educational body which is shaking things up in the digital and tech world.

Hyper Island which was set up in Sweden and has offices in Manchester, immerses students in digital and data strategy, as well as art direction, e-commerce, self-leadership and problem solving.

Both post-grad and mature students are given real briefs from major brands so they can experience learning on the job, and 9 out of the 10 students get job within six months of graduating.

Eat, sleep, breathe, order grub, repeat

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Not content with the spiralling levels of apathy and agoraphobia Amazon has propagated among a mass of torpid, troglodyte consumers in recent years, the company has released a grocery-purchasing app that lets you add items without having to prod the screen or type - because using opposable thumbs to make a grocery list is, like, so 2013.

Instead, Amazon Dash allows you to make a shopping list by shouting the required groceries into a phone like a gluttonous hermit suffering from Tourette's syndrome.


Alternatively, if that level of slothfulness makes you feel physically sick - or you just don't want your neighbours to hear you shouting "oranges" repeatedly at an ever-increasing volume when the app crashes seven times (which said neighbours construe as a weird, potentially fatal, fruit-based sex game) - you can also add items by walking around the kitchen and scanning them with a phone. Haven't you always wanted to simulate the brain-achingly sisyphean job of a supermarket cashier in your own home, only without getting paid? Well, here's your chance.

Just make sure you add a heavy coconut to the list. When you're too overweight to fit through the door, and scanning food has lost its edge, you'll need something solid to crack your skull in half and put an end to your miserable Howard Hughes-like existence.

Happy shopping!
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Hamlet too violent - maybe try the Lion King next time?

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The British Library's wifi network was found to have denied access to an online copy of Shakespeare's Hamlet because the text contained "violent content".

A user wanted to check a line of the play and the wifi blocked the Shakespearean classic. The library said that it was still tweaking the system which was installed recently by a third-party provider.

Perhaps Disney's take on the play would be a better option? But there may be quite a few users blubbing amongst the stacks at the death of Mufasa... come on - admit it! We all did!

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The 31 Worst Face-Palm Moments in IT

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GFI Software has published the worst "face-palm" moments in IT.

Here are Downtime's top three from the list:

"The project lead on another client engagement read an article about Java saying it was the next big thing. He declared that the project should switch to Java. What he didn't understand was that Java was being shown as the next big thing...for security exploits!"


"Here's one for the Netware folks. I once was called in to a client to figure out why their server crashed and no one could access any data. It turns out that a junior admin saw that Z:, Y:, and X: all had exactly the same content. EXACTLY. THE. SAME. To save space on the file server, he went into X: and deleted everything there. He then switched to Y: only to see that it was now empty too. He probably would have then looked in Z: except that suddenly everyone starting complaining that their systems crashed."


"I understand why end users want to turn off antivirus software when their machines seem slow, but why oh why would an admin do that? The worst virus outbreak I ever saw came about at a customer I regularly worked with, because the SQL team had disabled a/v on all their servers because it "slowed them down." Then SQL Slammer hit. Slow got redefined that day."

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Lonely this Valentine's Day? Buy a Facebook girlfriend

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Move over Romeo and Juliet, there is a new love story in town.

Forget wasting £5, or even £15, on an oversized novelty stuffed teddy this Valentine's Day, even if it sings Unchained Melody when you push its paw. Dave Lee, of the BBC, found that for only $5 you can buy make-believe online love.

teddy-bears-11285_640.jpgWhile conducting research, Lee came across a number of sites offering varying degrees of fake girlfriend services. After discovering Namoro Fake and Cloud Girlfriend couldn't offer him the fabricated social media solicitude he was seeking, he turned to Google and happened upon Fiverr.

Fiverr is a US-based site-come-forum where people list things they are willing to do for $5 and after a quick search for "fake girlfriend", Lee laid eyes on Sophia and the rest is history. Well, a whole week's worth of history because that's all the $5 gets you.

After their whirlwind romance was made official on Facebook, Sophia posted a few strategic comments to try and convince people of the relationship and it didn't take long for Lee's friends to start sending him messages in a bid to get him to spill the beans.   

After struggling to maintain the charade and appease his friend's suspicions, Lee conceded defeat and went back to Fiverr to see what else he could get for his hard-earned money.

He found Suzi Linder, a singer from New York, who sings jingles for $5. You can watch her performance below:

The lesson that Downtime is taking from this story is that if you're going to pay a woman for anything, it should be to sing. What a wholesome Valentine's message. 
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Ladies, have a floral kiss from Fujitsu

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Fujitsu have launched a personal laptop specifically designed for womankind.

Because of course every woman NEEDS a laptop sporting soft pastel colours, a pearl for an on/off button, diamantés as well as horoscope applications.

Well, the ladies in the Computer Weekly office don't actually know how they've lived and worked until now. Not to mention that the name "Floral Kiss" makes our low-calorie lunch of salad and water come back to say hello.

Available in feminine pink, elegant white and luxury brown.

floral kiss.jpg

3G coverage in Olympic Park a hit for sharing inappropriate photos

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In the true spirit of in-depth, hard-hitting IT reporting, the ladies of Computer Weekly (and one male who will remain anonymous) headed down to the Olympic Park last night to test out what the mobile coverage for spectators is really like.

We were there as part of on-going research into the Olympic Park's 3G and Wi-Fi coverage and we can tell you that we experienced some very *interesting* results.

We found, surprisingly, that we were able to send a lot of photos via email, message and social networking sites to our jealous friends who were not so lucky to attend Team GB v Team USA Men's Water Polo.

Interestingly, 3G coverage was much better than Wi-Fi, but deep down, we were more interested in the back-end solutions...


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The abbreviation NSFW was created for a reason

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Three Indian BJP ministers, who were caught watching, ahem, adult material on a mobile phone during an assembly in Karnataka, have resigned today. 

Krishna Palemar, minister for ports, science and technology, is the cheeky chappy who allegedly supplied the blue movie, while minister for cooperation Laxman Savadi and minister for women and child development C C Patil are the despicable devils that are alleged to have filled their eyeballs with the racy footage. 

CCTV footage which reportedly captured the incident prompted calls from within the party for their resignations and these calls have now been met. 

Downtime thinks it's one thing to sneakily play Angry Birds under the table during a meeting but fiddling around with other things never really tends to end well. 

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