Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has taken what many observers perceive to be his last throw of the dice in a desperate attempt to fend off protests and cling on to power – by restoring access to internet sites such as Facebook and Twitter for millions of Egypt’s citizens.
President Mubarak has seen his Presidency come under intense pressure in recent weeks as disgruntled Egyptians take to the streets to demonstrate against the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak, with anger intensifying following the death of dozens of citizens at the hands of state security forces.
Internet access was heavily restricted in the aftermath of the first wave of protests last week as the government attempted to quell the flow of information leaving the country through social media platforms. However, sources close to President Mubarak suggest that the leader has performed a u-turn and now believes that granting the public access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be the most effective way of getting them off the streets.
“It is well-known that the more access people have to Facebook and Twitter the less time they tend to spend protesting and fighting on the streets,” said the government source.
“People generally find that updating their Facebook status is more important than over-throwing a megalomaniacal government.”
Having recently applied to have the words “Face” and “Book” trademarked, the social networking site Facebook today announced that it has taken measures to obtain ownership of the entire English language.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed that it had received notification that the California-based group intends on applying for allowance to trademark every word in the most recent edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as the addition of thousands of everyday colloquialisms.
A Facebook representative said: “Originally we were only interested in trademarking the words ‘Face’ and ‘Book’ as they are instantly associated with our organisation and it was important for us to prevent them appearing on the websites of upstart social networking groups looking to leverage our brand recognition.”
“However, it soon became clear to us that in the fast-paced world of modern technology and considering the sheer gargantuan size of Facebook, it was likely that every single word in the English language would at one stage have been used on our pages. We couldn’t take the risk that some other website would seek to use any of those words.”
It is thought that, eventually, Facebook will be the only site operating on the world wide web.
The 1866 Russian classic will be serialised on Twitter from November
The Dostoevsky classic tale of the moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is to be re-worked for the enjoyment of the social networking generation. The novel, which centres around Raskolnikov’s murder of a pawnbroker for money in the belief that he can counterbalance the crime with good deeds, will be serialised across Twitter and Facebook from November.
A Twitter page has already been created for the revolutionary project, with the group behind it intending to post around four Tweets every hour, with the aim of eventually committing the entire novel to Twitter.
The Facebook page will allow readers to interact with the characters, giving them the opportunity to ‘like’ Porfiry’s suspicions or to create groups in support of Sonya’s predicament.
The men behind the project hope that by introducing classic literature to youngsters through the medium of 140 character Tweets they will go on to explore further forms of writing, perhaps even in book form.
Iran's President Ahmadinejad
Yesterday’s Facebook crash “was a calculated attack on Western freedom and values” according to the United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who believes that the social networking site was targeted by Iran.
Many of the site’s 500 million users were unable to log on yesterday evening due to an apparent software flaw, forcing Facebook to shut down for approximately two hours while engineers fixed the problem.
However, Mr Gates suspects that something much more sinister was behind the crash, telling delegates at last night’s meeting of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York City that he believes it was the work of Iran.
“Iran, under the leadership of their President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been looking at ways to infiltrate and to damage America and her citizens for some time now, and what better way to achieve that than to take away something which so many people rely on in their daily lives? Make no mistake, this was an attack on the freedom which American people enjoy and the values which President Ahmadinejad resents.”
The Secretary of Defense continued with a thinly veiled threat. “The United States government will fully investigate any role Iran may have played in the Facebook crash yesterday, and any evidence we find linking Iran to this attack will be dealt with in whichever manner we deem appropriate.”
President Ahmadinejad doesn’t like these allegations.
In a cyber feud which has been threatening to escalate for some time, God has reacted angrily to a claim made in a soon to be published book by Professor Stephen Hawking that he, and not He, created the Universe as we know it. The respected British physicist had previously acknowledged that belief in a creator such as God was not incompatible with science, but in the upcoming book The Grand Design Hawking concludes that there is no need to invoke God to set the Universe going, insisting that “spontaneous creation is the reason there is something,” before slyly adding in very small italic text, “yeah, spontaneous creation and MY brilliance!”
Learning of the claim made by Professor Hawking, God made a post on his Facebook page arguing that Hawking’s latest theory is based entirely on envy. “This Hawking character has never been able to live with the fact that my books consistently out-sell his. This new ‘scientific theory’ [LOL] is nothing but attention-seeking of the worst kind.”
God and Stephen Hawking have been involved in an internet war since early 2004 when the Professor blocked the Almighty from his MySpace page following a satirical comment God made regarding Hawking’s recent change of heart over the ability of black holes to destroy everything that falls into them. In the years following on from that event the two beings have regularly traded barbed comments on the online community.
God’s Facebook page currently has no friends listed, although his status is listed as “God is your friend, even if you do not yet realise it.”