The Chinese Army are making fun of your Facebook photos right this minute - 10 ThingsThere are reports that the Chinese army are behind a series of international hacking attacks on governments and private companies around the world, with security firm Mandiant pinpointing the attacks as coming from a specific building owned by the People's Liberation Army in an rundown section of Shanghai. Their report warns that "vast amounts of data" have been stolen from Facebook, the New York Times, Twitter, the Washington Post and other sites, although there is no hint that we at TheVine have been at all compromised by our beloved revolutionary comrades in the superior East who will be merciful and wise in their treatment of the information they're syphoning from you even as you read this.
God, it's getting so that one can't even make an internet joke about rigging the Logie voting anymore without everyone deciding to audit the system. So concerned are those collating the votes for Australian television's night of nights - you know, when the small screen's biggest stars come out to shine - that Jordan Raskopoulos, (comedian with Axis of Awesome and bit-part player in Underground: the Julian Assange Story) might actually win that data collectors Roy Morgan now reportedly sending emails to voters in the easily-gameable voting system in order to check that they're, y'know, real. Raskopoulos has promised that if he wins he will read a speech written by the internet. Our fingers are still crossed.
As South African athlete Oscar Pistorius's defence desperately allege that he shot and beat his model girlfriend Reeva Steemkamp to death with a bat after mistaking her for a burglar, the BBC6 Music are insisting that their choice of song after reporting on the news - Jimi Hendrix's version of 'Hey Joe' - was an accident and that their tale of infidelity and revenge, in which the titular protagonist shoots his old lady down for messin' round with another man, was not meant to suggest either support for Pistorius nor an editorial comment upon the case. If this comes to tribunal, might we suggest using the "that's one sweet walking bassline" defence. Because it totally is.
While we're on the subject of classic rock, Robert Plant has given a cryptic hint that he might actually be up for a Led Zeppelin reunion despite previously claiming that their 2007 show at O2 Arena was definitely a one-off. While chatting with 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown ahead of his upcoming Australian tour and Bluesfest appearance, he countered claims that he was the obstruction with "Well, then you need to speak tothe Capricorns," referring to remaining bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, "'cause I've got nothing to do in 2014." Get baselessly speculating, internet!
Those worried that Jewish folk were being ignored in favour of focussing on Catholics in the unfolding scandal of institutionalised child abuse, good news! Two men under investigation by police into allegations they abused boys connected with Bondi's Yeshiva Centre in the 70s and 80s are claiming that senior rabbis were aware of what was going on, supposedly telling one of the men that it "shouldn't happen and that I should take steps to avoid it" - a charge which spiritual leader Pinchus Feldman strenuously denies. The allegations were made after evidence was uncovered during similar investigations in to Melbourne's Yeshiva College, and it's worth adding that when writing this piece I initially put "rabbits" in places of "rabbis", which gave an amusing and adorable shine to an otherwise unpleasantly grim story.
Everyone's favourite particle accelerator, CERNs Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, is shutting down for a couple of years while they pimp the old gal out. Currently the largest and most complicated machine that humans have ever built can smash beams of protons together at a peak energy of 4 trillion electronvolts, enough to discover d the Higgs Boson, but after this upgrade is done it'll be doing so at almost double that - an estimated peak of 7.5 trillion electronvolts - which is theorised to be around the sort of energy level that other particles will be discoverable including (hopefully) those that make up the mysterious and irritating stuff we call Dark Matter. Reality, prepare to get the hell discovered out of you.
Qatar are up in not-arms about the EU's embargo on supplying weapons to Syria, claiming that this will leave the anti-Assad rebels with dwindling supplies against the better-armed Syrian army. The embargo comes amid claims that weapons and material are not going to the Syrian National Coalition, a pro-democracy group which western countries totally like, but are being quietly palmed off to radical Jihadi groups, which western countries totally don't like. Qatar, who are supporting the rebels, have called shenanigans and reckon this is all a ploy by the Syrian government to weaken their opposition. Either way, the take away is that everything's going typically well in Syria.
Users of Virgin Mobile are a smidge miffed to have learned about their new call rates under most of the existing plans - specifically, their new international calling rates which have seen some international calls jump from $1.80 to $25 per minute, which customers have described as "some crazy bullshit right there". Spokesperson Jordan Kerr, who is presumably questioning his career decisions right about now, has become the fall guy in explaining that call increases are mainly tiny for the most popular countries, that the company enjoys money and would like more of it, and that if someone has moved to an isolated part of the world then maybe they don't want to be contacted anyway - and more importantly, what sort of person has friends that are forced to flee to such places? What are YOU trying to hide?
Aww, it was all going so well! North Korea have been feeling so chuffed and masculine about the way their last nuclear test went that they've decided to use the opportunity to playfully threaten South Korea with "final destruction" during the UN Conference on Disarmament, which doesn't really appear to be in the spirit of the event. At least North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong was a bit playful about the threat, adorably telling the meeting "As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behaviour would only herald its final destruction." Needless to say, it didn't go down well with UN member states issuing diplomatic variations on "dude, chill".
And finally, lovers of amazing costumery, you've been served: sure, you can dress up as a ghost or a penguin or the chick from Pulp Fiction, but can you dress up as a complete working puppet theatre? No, you can't, unless you're this person. Check this out.
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