How to explain the internet to the authorities

13th Aug 2010 | 09:05

How to explain the internet to the authorities

Plus astronaut underpants and pylon art

Chris Poole, the man who founded the 4chan network of internet forums, was asked to explain the site's collection of shorthand terminology by a US court, as part of a larger case involving the hacking of Sarah Palin's email account.

Excerpts from the court proceedings, published by Gawker and The Smoking Gun, make for amazing reading, as Poole is asked to explain commonplace internet terminology such as "lurker" to the court and ends up spelling out to the judge precisely what the term "Rickroll" is and how it works and that, yes, it is supposed to be a joke.

Rick astley?

IT'S LIKE A JOKE: A little bit like a joke

And that Rick Astley was a popular singer an unspecified number of years ago. We can understand the judges perhaps not knowing the full range of modern emoticons, but surely the works of Astley ought to transcend generations?

Astronaut underpants

A recent auction of space memorabilia saw lots of quirky space items sell, including a rather nice pair of blue astronaut underpants as worn by space shuttle crew.

The underpants appear to have velcro around them, hinting that astronauts either require velcro-ing to their trousers, or perhaps even velcro-ing to their bed sheets, or velcro-ing to each other during emergencies. Or maybe all three.

There also doesn't seem to be any kind of "easy access" hole, so presumably the astronauts have to... anyway. We won't get to try them out, as the astronaut underpants sold for $390.

Pile of art

A radical rethink of the electricity pylon has won the creators an architecture award, thanks to making the pylon into an open air work of art.

Apparently it only requires "minor alterations" to the usual format of the electricity-carrying supports to turn them into human-shaped structures, with the end result being hills populated by enormous metallic giants striding over the landscape, linked together by power cables and occasionally holding hands and turning to face each other when lines meet.

Arty pylons

OOH ME PYLONS: "You take it for a while, Arthur, I need a sit down"

The original idea was submitted to an Icelandic power company as a design concept in 2008, but has remained unbuilt thus far.

The age of Aquariums

The "next generation of aquariums" for gadget fans has arrived! UK distributor AquaVista is responsible for the upgrade, promising to bring "widescreen" fish-viewing and a selection of controllable "apps" to its latest range of fish prisons, presenting the aquatic action in convenient, TV-shaped cases for our TV-shaped eyes.

Aquavista

SEA VIEW:Or just put David Attenborough on the telly

You can customise the bezels of these "living gadgets" if you want, with AquaVista proud that the new models feature touchscreen controls. Like an iPad or something.

The company says they're better than art, as art gives you a "never changing" scene. But then art doesn't die and require flushing down the toilet while children and wives cry.

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Liked this? Then check out TechRadar's bumper selection of 10 tech PR stunts that spectacularly failed

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