April Fool's Day Internet Technology Hoaxes
Red Herring Magazine profiled a revolutionary new internet technology called Orecchio (Italian for "ear"). This technology used the TIDE communications protocol (short for "Telepathic Internet Data Exchange") to allow users to compose and send e-mail telepathically. To e-mail telepathically users wore a device nestled between their ear and skull. The company developing this device was Tidal Wave Communications, led by Yuri Maldini, a computer genius from Estonia. Adding credibility to the story was a reference to some real research at Emory University in which researchers had allowed a paralyzed man to move a cursor across a computer screen by implanting a device in his brain. Mr. Maldini, who had once been employed by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, claimed that he had developed the idea for Orecchio from the encrypted communications systems he had put in place during the Gulf War and the conflict in Somalia. Nevertheless, despite the revolutionary potential of telepathic e-mail, skeptics abounded. Clarence Madison, managing partner of New World Associates, was quoted as saying, "I know crap when I see it. This is crap." Ignoring such critics, Mr. Maldini was pressing
Morality in the Design of Internet Protocols.
Adrian Farrel, a Routing Area Director in the Internet Engineering Task Force, authored an RFC (RFC 4041) arguing that morality should be considered in the design of internet protocols:
"It is well accepted by popular opinion and other reliable metrics that moral values are declining and that degeneracy is increasing. Young people are particularly at risk from the rising depravity in society and much of the blame can be squarely placed at the door of the Internet... When new protocols or protocol extensions are developed within the Routing Area, it is often the case that not enough consideration is given to the impact of the protocol on the moral fiber of the Internet... this document defines requirements for the inclusion of Morality Considerations sections in all Internet-Drafts produced within the Routing Area. Meeting these requirements will ensure that proper consideration is given to moral issues at all stages of the protocol development process, from Requirements and Architecture, through Specification and Applicability."
Free internet access through digital radio.
Australia's Courier Mail reported that the roll-out of digital radio in Queensland had the unintended side effect of making high-speed internet access freely available through old radio receivers. The paper interviewed the University of Queensland's head of frequency physics Prof Sayd al Lio who said, "the technicians had tapped into something that had eluded researchers for decades." To access the free internet, readers were instructed to place a radio on a surface outdoors in a direct line towards the Mt. Coot-tha radio towers:
"Tune in to any AM station with a moderate volume, not so loud it annoys the neighbours. Place your laptop behind the radio receiver, again in a direct line with the towers, and open your favourite internet browser. Experts say that today, April 1, otherwise known as April Fool's Day, should produce the strongest signal."
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.