Le Shuttle est terminée –
A Channel tunnel “Le Shuttle” train carrying cars with 382 passengers on board stopped in the tunnel while travelling from the Ashford Terminal in Kent to Calais, France. The evacuated passengers had to enter central pedestrian tunnel before boarding a train that had come from Calais in the other main tunnel. A fault in the overhead power cables was to blame.
Sony question FIFA Qatar decision –
One of FIFA’s main sponsors, Sony, have asked football’s governing body to carry out an “appropriate investigation” into the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The announcement that Qatar was to hold the tournament was made in 2007. Sepp Blatter at the 2014 FIFA Announcement in 2007 CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Sony hit by “Guardians of Peace” hack –
Sony Pictures Entertainment is targeted by computer hackers in an attack when a skull appeared on computer screens with the hashtag #GOP (Guardians of Peace – a hackers group) along with a message threatening to release data “secrets” if undisclosed demands were not met. Sony have shut down it’s corporate network to resolve the issue.
Russian caught defacing Colosseum –
A Russian man has been fined €20,000 (£15,800) for carving his initial into the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The tourist used a stone to carve a 25cm “K” into a wall inside the amphitheatre and was caught in the act by a guard and arrested by police, before being fined and given a four-month suspended prison sentence. The Colosseum CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Canberra Christmas lights set world record –
A Christmas lights display in the Australian capital, Canberra, has set a new world record. Almost 1.2 million LED lights on 120km (75 miles) of cables have been strung in the shape of three interconnected giant, wrapped Christmas presents. Guinness World Records confirmed it was the largest-ever LED image display. The display in the Petrie Plaza mall was the result of months of planning by Canberra lawyer David Richards and a team of volunteers. [BBC] See Video of the day
Sony’s latest wearable is a watch made of electronic paper –
The Wall Street Journal has uncovered Sony’s clandestine involvement in a smartwatch project. Under the name Fashion Entertainment (FES), the company has thrown an electronic paper watch into the wearable product scrum. All credit to Sony, the watch itself is very slick looking. It overcomes many of the problems existing smartwatches on the market present – namely that they are overly bulky and have naff battery lives. Electronic paper, which is famously used in ebook readers to provide them with long-lasting battery, should ensure that this device can keep running for weeks on a single charge, rather than just a day or two. Sony secretly put the watch on a crowdfunding site in September, not taking ownership of the product until this week. The device surpassed its 2 million yen goal (£108,000), raising 3.5 million yen (£188,000) in total. [Wired.com]
US and Cuba talking again –
After 53 years of diplomatic estrangement, diplomatic relationships between the US and Cuba have been re-established. The deal was aided by a personal appeal from Pope Francis, who persuaded Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, to agree to the freeing of the American aid worker Alan P. Gross. The pope, officials said, acted as a “guarantor” that both sides would live up to the terms of a deal reached in secret. Alan P. Gross
Smelling the money –
Fragrances from stars such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Jay Z are outselling established fragrance brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci in some UK stores. Britney’s perfumes outsell DKNY by three to one at UK store Superdrug, and Hugo Boss by two to one. Jay Z’s Gold is the best selling celebrity fragrance. Britney Spears
Interview cancelled –
“The Interview” the film that is possibly the catalyst in the Sony Pictures hacking scandal has had its Christmas Day release cancelled after major cinema chains decided not to screen it in the US.
Michael Garcia resigns from FIFA –
Fifa’s independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia has quit in protest over the handling of his report into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia said he lost confidence in the independence of judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, an ethics committee colleague after his report was summarised.
Putin’s point –
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a message of defiance and ire towards the West at an annual news conference in Moscow in the face of the financial turmoil that has gripped the country. Mr. Putin put the blame on “external factors,” including Western sanctions and falling oil prices, for the collapse of the ruble. Vladimir Putin
Closed lot –
Sony have cancelled tours of their Los Angeles studios after it was found pass codes were part of the hack recently discovered and blamed on North Korea.
Republican dig heels in on Cuba –
Republicans in Congress are trying to find a way to stop or at least slow President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The biggest obstacle to normal ties with Cuba is the 1996 embargo and with Republicans due to take control of both houses of Congress in January, the chances of changing this look unlikely.
Mandy Rice-Davies dies
Mandy Rice-Davies the woman who was at the centre of the so-called Profumo spy/sex scandal (along with her friend Christine Keeler) that threatened to topple Harold Macmillan’s government has died at the age of 70. Rice-Davies lived with Keeler, whose affair with war minister John Profumo prompted his resignation in 1963. She also claimed to have an affair with Lord Astor, but he denied it in court to which Rice-Davies famously replied “Well he would, wouldn’t he.”
Future arrests –
A former trader at Royal Bank of Scotland becomes the first UK banker to be arrested on suspicion of rigging the £3.5 trillion a day foreign exchange market. Six banks, including RBS and HSBC, were fined a total of £2.6 billion by UK and US regulators last month for the role they played in fixing the futures market.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish marry –
Sir Elton John and David Furnish have married at a ceremony, 9 years to the day after they had a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor’s Guildhall. David and Victoria Beckham, musician Ed Sheeran and actor David Walliams were among the guests at the wedding at the couple’s house, also in Windsor. Elton John
Billie Whitelaw dies –
Actress Billie Whitelaw has died aged 82. Her film career started in 1954 in The Sleeping Tiger and last appeared in 2007 in the iconic Hot Fuzz alongside Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Sony hack an act of terrorism? –
President Barack Obama says the US is considering putting North Korea back on its list of terrorism sponsors after the hacking of Sony Pictures.
Sunny smile –
Kent student Jess Smith reveals that she was the baby who played the sun on the Teletubbies, a BBC TV show in the 80s & 90s.
Joe Cocker dies –
Joe Cocker, famous for his version of the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends” which reached number one in 1968, has died from cancer. Joe Cocker
Total indulgence –
Costa Coffee in the UK is selling 100,000 sticky toffee latte a week during the festive season. The largest ‘massimo’ size has around 598 calories, contains up to 75g of sugar – nearly 19 teaspoons, or twice the amount in a can of Coke.
Google launch the second version of their self-driving car which has been described a toy police car.
Tit-for-tat attack? –
North Korea internet shut down for 9 hours and just days after the state was accused of a major hack on Sony Pictures in the state. Speculation is that the US government caused the outage in retribution.
Christmas Truce remembered –
100 years since the famous Christmas truce when soldiers from England and Germany fighting in France laid down their weapons and played games of football. The English Football Association has held a number of events to commemorate the event.
This is going to go well –
In the US, 300 independent cinemas screen “The Interview”, a film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, turned up to a screening of the movie at a theater in Los Angeles. Seth Rogen
Sony hit again –
Hackers calling themselves Lizard Squad take down Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox servers following threats to do so if the film was released.
Putin cancels Christmas –
Russian President Vladimir Putin cancels Christmas, at least for his government, but setting a meeting on Christmas day. Vladimir Putin
Video of the Day –
UEFA marks 100th anniversary of World War One truce
NYPD arrest go-slow –
Police in the New York Police Department (NYPD) have dramatically reduced the amount of arrests and other actions since the shooting of two of their officers on December 20th 2015. Citations for traffic violations have fallen by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587; summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination are down by 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300; parking violations drop 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241 and drug arrests by cops dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
I “emoji” you –
The most popular word of 2014 is not actually a word at all but a symbol meaning love – the ’emoji’ heart symbol was the most widely used character in blogs, Twitter and Facebook and in 250,000 global news outlets in the last 12 months, according to a list compiled by the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas.
3 wheels on my airliner –
A Virgin Atlantic passenger plane landed safely at London’s Gatwick Airport after discovering a problem with part of its main landing gear. Virgin flight VS43 was travelling from Gatwick to Las Vegas when it had to return and land on slightly less than the full number of wheels.
No such thing as bad publicity –
The Interview, the film about the spoof assassination of the North Korea Leader becomes Sony’s biggest download film ever. It’s been downloaded more than two million times since its release on 27 December, making back a third of its $44m (£28m) budget.
Cheapskate footballers conned –
Players at an English Premier League football club have apparently lost £30,000 to fraudsters in a scam. West Ham United footballer Andy Carroll and manager Sam Allardyce paid £11,000 for cut-price Fortnum & Mason hampers and Harrods champagne last month – and the pair but never saw the goods delivered. Andy Carroll
Coding error? –
Silicon Valley security firm Norse has said the massive hack on Sony earlier this year may not have been made by North Korea but by a disgruntled group of former employees headed by a person called Lena who was laid off last May.
More thumb action for 2015 –
New fashion app Grabble works like Tinder but with fashion items instead of potential dates being “thrown” or grabbed”.
Haitian carnival accident kills 16 –
At least 16 people are killed when a power-line connected with a carnival float in Haiti’s capital Port au Prince. Some died through electrocution, others in the panic that ensued. Around 78 others were injured.
Where there’s make-up, there’s brass –
YouTube beauty blogger Zoe Sugg, known as Zoella, buys a five-bedroom £1 million home in Hove, East Sussex, England, with her boyfriend Alfie Deyes. Zoella has seven million subscribers on her beauty blogs and charges advertisers £20,000 a month to place ads on her vlogs. She also features in the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off. Zoe Sugg A.K.A. Zoella
Sony start taking orders for SmartEyeglass –
Sony announce that their “augmented reality” smart glasses will go on sale in ten countries in March 2015 and pre-orders for the SmartEyeglass, costing $840 (£620), are now being taken in the UK and Germany. The glasses work with recent Android operating systems but also come with a software kit so developers can design apps for it. It includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor and two microphones. Sony SmartEyeglass
Apple Watch not that exclusive –
Apple orders between 5 and 6 million Apple Watches to be produced in time for their release in April 2015. The Apple Watch is the first unique product Apple has launched since the iPad in 2010. There are 3 versions – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
Italian parking: £300,000 Ferrari destroyed by attendant –
A garage attendant in Italy accidentally rammed a £300,000 Ferrari 599 GTO into a shop front after mistaking the accelerator for the brake. The attendant was supposed to be delivering the rare supercar, which can accelerate from a standing start to 60mph in three seconds, to its owners, a Dutch couple who had taken part in a meeting of Ferrari enthusiasts in Anzio, south of Rome. The owners were staying just a few streets away from where the car was being stored. [Daily Telegraph] Ferrari 599 GTO
Justin Bieber’s New Album Leaked? Fans Freak Out Over New Music –
Justin Bieber lovers woke up to a very exciting surprise on April 1 — the pop star had released his first new album in nearly three years! #JustinYourAlbumLeaked immediately began trending on social media, but it didn’t take long for fans to figure out what was really going on.(See Top Twitter Trends) [HollywoodLife.com] Justin Bieber
India police seek cow ‘mugshots’ to enforce beef ban –
Police in a west Indian township have asked cattle owners to supply photographs of their animals to help enforce the state’s tough new ban on beef, an officer said yesterday. Nearly 100 farmers and other owners in Malegaon have so far complied with the request for mugshots along with a dossier on the cows, said Sunil Kadasne, additional superintendent of the city. “After the new law, commercial slaughter has largely stopped but this programme will help us to stop all killing by helping trace any animal thefts faster,” Mr Kadasne told AFP. The Maharashtra state government introduced a tough ban in March on killing and selling cows, while even possession of beef could land you in jail for five years. [AFP/Daily Telegraph]
CERN discovers Star Wars “The Force” but it is April 1st –
The Force – the mysterious energy field used by the Jedi in Star Wars – has been discovered by researchers at the Cern laboratory. The European research centre announced its spoof discovery with pictures showing its scientists using The Force in everyday life. It was one of many April Fools jokes seen on websites around the world. Smartphone maker Samsung produced a spoof page for a Blade edge version of its Galaxy smartphone that, it claimed, was designed for cooks. The limited edition handset incorporates a diamond-edged blade so the phone can also be used to chop food when it is not being used for calls, texts, or browsing the web.
HTC joined in with fake product pages for the Re-Sok – the “world’s first truly smart sock”. The technology-enhanced footwear is engineered with GPS so pairs of socks can easily find each other and have an automatic hole warning system to alert owners when their intelligent footwear is running thin. For its April Fools parody, Motorola went to the trouble of making a lavish video showing two craftsmen producing selfie-sticks out of wood and leather. New York-based footwear maker Miz Mooz joined in and produced a pair of shoes that have smartphone docking ports in each toe so each one can be used to take selfies.
Taylor Swift donates $250,000 to Kesha after her failed lawsuit against Dr Luke and Sony –
Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 (£176,099.74) to Kesha after her failed lawsuit. Kesha on Friday lost her bid to end her contract with Sony. A New York judge denied Kesha a court injunction that would have allowed her to record new music outside of her record label. The ‘Tik Tok’ singer has been unable to record any new music for two years, as she refuses to work with her producer, Dr Luke, who she claims sexually assaulted her. According to the New York Daily News, Kesha will have to record six more albums under Kemosabe Records, Dr. Luke’s Sony imprint. In October 2014, Kesha sued Dr. Luke, accusing him of drugging, raping and abusing her a decade ago; Dr. Luke has denied all charges. [Daily Telegraph] Kesha
Jeb Bush drops out of presidential race –
A crestfallen Jeb Bush bowed to the inevitable on Saturday night and pulled out of the fight to win the Republican nomination. With the latest projections showing that Mr Bush was locked in a battle to win a distant fourth place in the South Carolina primary, the announcement was hardly a surprise. Fighting back tears he said: “Tonight, I am suspending my campaign, “I’m proud of the campaign that we have run to unify our country.” [Daily Telegraph]
German Interior MinisterThomas de Maizière strongly criticizes Austria‘s decision to put a daily cap on the number of refugees the country can accept. Austria has set a limit of dealing with 80 asylum applications a day, while letting thousands of others transit to Germany. Maiziere said this sends “the wrong signal” and is “unacceptable”. (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Comoros authorities are counting ballots from Sunday’s incident-free, presidential primary on Grande Comore island. The presidency rotates between the nation’s three semi-autonomous islands, which also held gubernatorial elections. Provisional results are due Wednesday. Then, on April 10, 2016, the three leading candidates will vie in a runoff. (Bloomberg)