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Totally Trivial: Blind ambition

01 апреля 2009

With the return of phone-smuggling pigeons from Brazil and a man used Twitter to travel to New Zealand, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was April Fool's Day.

Twitchhiker's guide

A U.K. man on Monday reached a remote island off the coast of New Zealand after relying on donations from Twitter users to fund his trip.

Paul Smith set himself the epic challenge of seeing how far away from his home town of Newcastle he could travel in 30 days (anyone who has been to Newcastle will understand), without spending any money on travel or accommodation.

Instead, the 33-year-old relied on offers of travel tickets and accommodation from his fellow Twitter users, which at last demonstrates that the social network is good for something.

To make the journey even more interesting, Smith avoided predetermining his entire trip by only accepting offers that he could practically redeem within three days.

Unfortunately he fell just short of his intended target of
Campbell Island, which is the furthest geographic point from his house and a three-day voyage south from New Zealand.

Still, he did make it to Stewart Island, which sits off the southern coast of
New Zealand and has a population of just 400.

"The aim was to travel as far as I could from home as possible within 30 days, and by reaching
Stewart Island I'd travelled to a place the majority of New Zealanders have never set foot on, never mind the rest of the world," said Smith, on his blog.

What's more, he also raised £5,000 for charity.


Socialite networking

Yet another online social network with dreams of occupying people's free time by commenting on photographs and sharing videos has launched, which isn't news in itself except for the fact that membership isn't exactly free.

The clue is in the title: Affluence.org doesn't require prospective users to pay when they sign up, but they do need to prove they are worth at least $3 million before their membership is approved.

"It's Facebook for the filthy rich," said Scott Mitchell, founder of the Website, in a report by the Associated Press.

Affluence.org currently boasts 20,000 members worldwide, including celebrities, chief executives, philanthropists and socialites.

Registrants are checked against public records to prove whether or not it's a genuine application, or just a cheeky telecoms journalist posing as Bill Withers.

Mitchell said that one in 40 who apply are accepted, and even when they are in, regular checks are carried out to make sure members haven't fallen below the site's wealth requirement.

Although maybe one of their users can fork out for a better Internet connection, because the last time Total Telecom checked, Affluence.org was unavailable.


Worst online job application

A student sent his application for a job at a Welsh tourist attraction using the email address 'atleastimnotwelsh', reports The Sun.

Not only that, but James Kettle emailed
Aberglasney Gardens in Camarthenshire, instead of his intended recipient, the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

"I feel a right fool," said the 21-year-old horticulture undergraduate, in the report.

"I set up the email at school because several Welsh kids were in my year. I forgot it was with my application and didn't mean to be offensive," he said.

Kettle received a concise reply from a manager at Aberglasney.

"It may be prudent to change your email address... It could have a detrimental effect on any career aspirations of working in

Best of all, Kettle's full email address was atleastimnotwelsh3@hotmail.com, which means there could be other hotmail users with the same user name out there.


Phone smuggling Brazilian pigeons strike back

Now there's a headline I never thought I'd write.

Finally, it seems another prison in
Brazil has fallen victim to mobile phone smuggling pigeons, after guards at the Danilio Pinheiro prison near the southeastern city of Sorocaba intercepted a bird with a small cloth bag tied to one of its legs, reported the Associated Press.

"The guards nabbed the bird after luring it down with some food and discovered components of a small cell phone inside the bag," said police investigator Celso Soramiglio, in the report.

A day later, a similar pigeon seen in the prison yard was found to be carrying a phone charger.

The birds are supposedly bred and raised behind bars, then smuggled out only to fly back in once they are kitted out with a mobile phone.

"Pigeons instinctively fly back home, always," said Soramiglio.

The phones are then used by inmates to communicate with criminal associates on the outside.

Regular readers will know that this isn't the first time that prisoners have relied on their feathered friends to smuggle contraband.

Last June, it was reported that inmates at a prison in
Marilia, near Sao Paulo, were training pigeons to smuggle phones.

However, the scheme came to an abrupt end after guards spotted distressed pigeons struggling to stay airborne.

Источник: Total Telecom

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