The Internet Is All Around You

Gross, Old Telephone Booths Are Being Converted Into WiFi Hotspots in New Zealand

Auckland is a cute little town! (Photo: Flickr)

It sure looks like New Zealand has it all figured out! One of the nation’s telecoms is converting old payphone booths into WiFi hotspots to create a nationwide network of beautiful Internet connections.

More than 700 booths will be converted in the next few weeks, with another 2,000 added by the middle of next year. The old booths are generally located in the country’s major cities, like Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, as well as “holiday spots.” Read More

SOPA Opera

Kim Dotcom Is Pretty Sure His Arrest Is Connected to The Hobbit

(lolfed.com)

Was Kim Dotcom feeling a little left out, after Edward Snowden stole the spotlight? Because as he fights his extradition to the United States, he’s kicking up a fresh ruckus down under.

During a recent interview with Australia’s ABC News, Mr. Dotcom basically accused the prime minister of New Zealand of handing him over to the United States government, just so Warner Brothers wouldn’t film The Hobbit somewhere else.

Read More

This Happened

Computer Glitch Sends Entire School to Detention

(Photo: Fanpop)

If The Breakfast Club taught us anything, it’s that anyone–even the popular girl and the nerd!–can land in detention. It’s highly unlikely, however, that an entire school would be sent to detention simultaneously, no matter how Mean Girls they get.

But that’s exactly what happened at a secondary school in Nelson, New Zealand, when a computer glitch accidentally sent out text messages to the parents of almost every student notifying them that their child had to report to detention. Read More

DotNuts

New Zealand PM Personally Apologizes to Kim Dotcom

Mr. Dotcom. (commons.wikimedia.orgAndreas_Bohnenstengel)

It seems the government of New Zealand may have gotten more than it bargained for with that bonkers raid on Kim Dotcom’s compound. The whole incident, which should have been a simple wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am extraction and extradition, has metastasized into a endless headache over the most banal of legalities.

For instance: It appears that Mr. Dotcom, despite his legal residency, was unlawfully spied upon by the nation’s Government Communications and Security Bureau. The cops told them it was okay, and rather than doing a little independent verification, they proceeded accordingly.

Consequently, the Prime Minister has personally apologized to Mr. Dotcom. Via Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Be Smartphone Smart Edition

Serial numbers, plz. (Photo: flickr.com/lynxman)

Apple is reportedly attempting to poach members of the Google Maps team. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, steal ‘em. [TechCrunch]

The latest boat lifted by the rising tide of the New York tech boom: accounting firms. [Crain’s New York]

Apparently NYPD officers were stationed outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship, asking new iPhone 5 owners to register their serial numbers in case of theft. [Yahoo]

Meanwhile, in New Zealand: A court has ordered an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom was the victim of “unlawful spying.” [BBC News]

SOPA Opera

Video Demonstrates How Bonkers the Raid on Kim Dotcom’s Mansion Really Was

Someone called the cops. (Screencap)

No wonder Kim Dotcom spends so much time taunting the authorities from his Twitter account. A New Zealand news outfit has released the first footage of the January raid on the Megaupload mogul’s mansion, and sounds like Mr. Dotcom’s dealings with the authorities have been aggravating, to say the least.

The video opens with a helicopter landing and the deployment of the officers participating in the raid. The disgorging of black-clad SWAT-type officers and unfriendly-looking police dogs is pretty much the extent of the spectacle, and there’s no footage from the goings-on inside the house. However, the video also includes radio communications exchanged during the raid, and Channel 3 has spliced that with testimony from Mr. Dotcom himself to create a pretty good play-by-play: Read More

SOPA Opera

Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Already Has Prison Groupies

Dear Mr. Dotcom . . .

They might have a write a sequel to “Women Who Love Men Who Kill.” Women Who Love Men Who Allegedly Facilitate Piracy?

At a hearing today at the High Court in New Zealand, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom told the court that “during his time in prison he had received ‘funny visits,’ phone calls and contacts from people he had never heard of including a succession of women wanting to be his friend,” as TorrentFreak reports.

Hmm, wonder if any of those women were wearing a Clarice Starling-like pantsuit and a wire. Read More