Internet Taunting Drove Navy Fire Controlman to Arson

To sum this story up, a naval fire controlman (a fireman i guess) burns down the trailer of the person who was flaming him in on a website. Bonus points because he had to drive 1,300 miles to do it and apparently was posting pictures of his vengeance trip as he went.

ELM MOTT, Texas – A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a “nerd” over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states’ borders, as if to prove to his Internet friends that he meant business.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy’s trailer down.

(Thanks PVC)

Google Earth and the Darfur Genocide

From Wired.com:

What began as the pet project of a few enthusiastic users has grown into a corporate-backed initiative demonstrating Google Earth’s potential as a live-saving humanitarian tool.

The Crisis in Darfur project is a downloadable set of layers for Google Earth which combines high-resolution satellite images of Darfur with photographs and first-hand accounts of the genocide currently underway in the region. Users of Google’s 3-D world atlas can zoom in on burned-out Sudanese villages, read the stories of the victims and see stunning arial shots of massive refugee camps in Eastern Chad.

Explaining Google’s PageRank

From Smashing Magazine:

Everybody is using it, but (almost) nobody really knows, how it works. Google PageRank is probably one of the most important algorithms ever developed for the Web. With billions of existing pages and millions of pages generated every day, the search issue in the Web is more complex than you probably think it is. PageRank, only one of hundreds of factors used by Google to determine best search results, helps to keep our search clean and efficient. But how is it actually done? How does Google PageRank work, which factors do have an impact on it and which don’t? And what do we really know about PageRank?

In this article we put the facts straight.

Allison Stokke and Internet Fame

The Washington Post has a story on Allison Stokke, a high school pole vaulter, who became an internet celebrity when blogs started posting her picture online en masse.

NORWALK, Calif. — Early this month, 18-year-old Allison Stokke walked into her high school track coach’s office and asked if he knew any reliable media consultants. Stokke had tired of constant phone calls, of relentless Internet attention, of interview requests from Boston to Brazil.

In her high school track and field career, Stokke had won a 2004 California state pole vaulting title, broken five national records and earned a scholarship to the University of California, yet only track devotees had noticed. Then, in early May, she received e-mails from friends who warned that a year-old picture of Stokke idly adjusting her hair at a track meet in New York had been plastered across the Internet. She had more than 1,000 new messages on her MySpace page. A three-minute video of Stokke standing against a wall and analyzing her performance at another meet had been posted on YouTube and viewed 150,000 times.

“I just want to find some way to get this all under control,” Stokke told her coach.

Three weeks later, Stokke has decided that control is essentially beyond her grasp. Instead, she said, she has learned a distressing lesson in the unruly momentum of the Internet. A fan on a Cal football message board posted a picture of the attractive, athletic pole vaulter. A popular sports blogger in New York found the picture and posted it on his site. Dozens of other bloggers picked up the same image and spread it. Within days, hundreds of thousands of Internet users had searched for Stokke’s picture and leered.