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Net Authority is a site that claims to be...well, I'm not completely sure WHAT it's claiming to be. Something about being the controlling authority over the Internet. That sounds vague, but if you look at the site, you'll see what I mean. I'm very sure this is a hoax, based on how just-outside-of-credible the writing is, but it's very well done.

"Net authority" hoax?

OK, I just found this by the guy who claims to have come up with Net Authority:

"Net authority" revealed?

OK, I looked a little further into Net Authority. It's not really that they're claiming to be in charge of the Internet; it's more like they saying they SHOULD be.

OK, I have to stop saying "OK" so much.

UPDATE: This guy got a "cease and desist" letter from Net Authority. He knows it's a joke, but he doesn't think it's funny:

Not amused by Net Authority

Categories: Miscellaneous, Technology, Websites
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Wed Jul 04, 2007
Comments (6)
PC World writer Steve Bass compiled a list of the Top 25 Web Hoaxes and Pranks. Here's the list (minus Bass's commentary):
  1. The Accidental Tourist
  2. Sick Kid Needs Your Help
  3. Bill Gates Money Giveaway
  4. Five-Cent E-Mail Tax
  5. Nigerian 419 E-Mail Scam
  6. Kidney Harvesting Time
  7. You've Got Virus!
  8. Microsoft Buys Firefox
  9. The Really Big Kitty
  10. $250 Cookie Recipe
  11. Free Vacation Courtesy of Disney
  12. Sunset Over Africa
  13. Alien Autopsy at Roswell, New Mexico
  14. Real-Time GPS Cell Phone Tracking
  15. Apollo Moon Landing Hoax
  16. Sell It on eBay!
  17. Chinese Newspaper Duped
  18. The Muppets Have Not Already Won
  19. Chevrolet's Not-So-Better Idea
  20. Rand's 1954 Home Computer
  21. Microsoft Buys the Catholic Church
  22. Hercules the Enormous Dog
  23. Lights-Out Gang Member Initiation
  24. Hurricane Lili Waterspouts
  25. Pranks Shut Down Los Angeles Times Wiki
It's a decent list, though if I were to create such a list it would be very different. For instance, I would think that Bonsai Kitten would have to be in the Top 25. And what about Kaycee Nicole Swenson, OurFirstTime.com, and the Blair Witch Project (after all, the Blair Witch Project spawned the whole genre of hoax websites created to promote movies)? I also don't think that hoaxes such as "Microsoft Buys Firefox" were really big enough to warrant inclusion in the top 25, and it's a bit of a stretch to count some of the entries, such as the Alien Autopsy and the Moon Landing, as web hoaxes. Well, it goes to show that lists usually say more about the preferences of the people who make them than anything else. One of these days I'll get around to making a list of my own.
Categories: Urban Legends, Websites
Posted by Alex on Sat May 05, 2007
Comments (3)
image David Sarno at the LA Times uncovers a web of deception surrounding a recent YouTube sensation called GreenTeaGirlie.

It all started in late March when a 10-second video of a young woman introducing herself became one of the most-watched videos on YouTube. Why was this video so popular, many people wondered. After all, it wasn't very remarkable. Was she another lonelygirl15?

Soon after, two related websites appeared: greenteagirlie.com and kallieannie.com.

The first site, greenteagirlie.com, contained a link to Seattle's Dragonwater Tea Co. (promoting suspicion that GreenTeaGirlie was a marketing ploy) and later to a site called Vidstars.net, that claimed to be a marketing service using YouTube video stars to promote products.

The second site, kallieannie.com, was all about the GreenTeaGirlie, whose real name, apparently, is Kallie.

So what was going on? The LA Times reporter figured out there were two different deceptions perpetrated by different groups.

Deception One: A friend of Kallie shot the video of her and then gamed the YouTube system by creating hundreds of fake MySpace profiles that linked to her video, artificially causing it to appear on YouTube's most watched video list, bringing her to the attention of YouTube viewers who then really did begin checking out her video. The same guy helped created kallieannie.com.

Deception Two: A separate pair of pranksters took advantage of the GreenTeaGirlie phenomenon to promote a hoax of their own -- Vidstars.net. Their idea was to create a fictitious company that was supposedly using YouTube stars to promote products. They created the greenteagirlie.com site, and linked it to the Dragonwater Tea Co., as a way to make it seem as if GreenTeaGirlie was a marketing ploy. So it was a hoax within a hoax. All very complicated.

So to sum up, GreenTeaGirlie is an artificially hyped YouTube star, who has nothing to do with Vidstars.net, which is a hoax website pretending to be a company that uses YouTube stars to promote products.

Or, at least, that's the way it seems for now. Unless it's all a hoax within a hoax within a hoax, engineered as a byzantine marketing stunt for Green Tea.

For those interested, here's GreenTeaGirlie's YouTube page that lists all of her videos.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri May 04, 2007
Comments (12)
image
Jesus on Google Maps
Brian Martin claims that he saw the shape of Jesus in the clouds above Mount Sinai.
(Thanks, Madmouse.)

Cat Gives Birth to 'Puppy'
Following on from the Japanese poodle scam hoax, this made me laugh.
A cat in Zhengzhou, China has supposedly given birth to a litter of four, one of which looks like a poodle. There are no pictures to accompany the article, however.
(Thanks, Robert.)

Sexism in Tetris
It seems a lot of people didn't realise the April 1st post on this computer site was a joke.
(Thanks, ponygirl.)
Categories: Animals, Literature/Language, Places, Religion, Websites
Posted by Flora on Wed May 02, 2007
Comments (6)
Google Introduces TiSP
Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.
Gmail Paper
For those who like the features of Gmail, but aren’t so keen on email.

Google Maps Trick
This trick produced by Google Maps staff allows you to position one of a number of customisations on a map.

(Thanks to all who sent us these links.)
Categories: Pranks, Websites
Posted by Flora on Tue Apr 03, 2007
Comments (12)
Havidol.com is a pharmaceutical website touting a solution to Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD). Havidol (avafynetyme HCI) comes in both tablet and suppository form, and should be taken indefinitely.

The site is very well made and, frankly, looks more professional than some legitimate websites.
Whilst the names of the drug are the first sign that this site shouldn't be taken seriously, there are other signs scattered throughout the site. For example:

Side effects may include mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation.

When one goes to the 'shop' page, the only actually purchasable item is a t-shirt (ever the sign of a fake website). Clicking any of the other items opens up the webpage for the New York Daneyal Mahmood gallery, which is currently showing an exhibition based around the concept of Havidol by artist Justine Cooper.

(Thanks, Thierry.)
Categories: Advertising, Art, Health/Medicine, Websites
Posted by Flora on Mon Mar 05, 2007
Comments (6)
According to a new website, Santa Claus is no longer welcome in the town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The website, www.nosantaforhazleton.com claims that, in line with the Illegal Immigration Relief Act passed in July, "the town intends to keep Santa out this Christmas because he represents the illegal immigration the town council believes increases crime and burdens local services."

The controversial July laws state that any businesses or landlords who hire or rent rooms to illegal immigrants will face penalties. A lawsuit has been brought against the town regarding this, and is due to be heard in early 2007.

The website discusses why Santa is clearly an undocumented worker, and liable under the ruling:

•Santa is not an American nor is he legally recognized for residency or occupational purposes in this country. Oblivious to this fact, millions of Americans delight in inviting him into their homes and allowing him to work unsupervised every year. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to his costume and demeanor.

•Santa does not work alone, but employs hundreds to thousands of elves in what are clearly described as sweatshop or slave labor-type conditions. This takes jobs away from honest and hard-working Americans who play by the rules.

Unsurprisingly, this is a satirical site to draw attention to what many see as an outrageous new law.

(Thanks, Joe.)
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Websites
Posted by Flora on Sat Dec 23, 2006
Comments (14)
image Download the new Microsoft version of the Firefox browser at msfirefox.com. Features include:
RSS (Real Simple Sex)
RSS is a relatively new algorithmic technology fueled by the continued hot desires of many online web users. Accessed by an illuminating an icon on the toolbar - a single click allows you to view and optionally download anything that resembles a tit, a boob or a breast - rendered directly in the browser with speeds up to 10 times faster than the competition. Real Simple Sex can scan and arrange explicit images/pictures in order of quality and effectively filters out irrelevant content such as balloons or soccer balls.

and

Googling Filter
Proactively warns and helps protect you against potential or known fraudulent sites such as Google.com, blocks the site and shuts down your computer if necessary. The filter is updated several times per hour using the latest security information from Microsoft.
Obviously a parody. An Information Week article notes that, "Neither site's owner could be tracked down. The .com site's domain owner's information was cloaked by a privacy feature of the registrar, while the information for the .net owner was clearly fake."
Categories: Technology, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Nov 17, 2006
Comments (17)
This site claims to be able to scan you through your computer monitor using 'zeta waves', and determine whether or not you are pregnant.

The scanning software checks for: Endocrine balance, Hormone levels, Amniotic concentration, Carbohydrate level, Ketone (ketosis/lipolysis), Ovulation status, Bovine Encephalitis, Distemper, and Progesterone infusion. The remote testing system then checks the levels and calculates the likelihood of your being pregnant.

It's a joke site, obviously. They do have such disclaimers on each page.
There are some good parts, such as the guarantee: "Our results are 100% guaranteed. Please note we only guarantee that you'll get a result, not that the results will be accurate." I also liked the section where it tells you the identity of the father of your baby.

(via randi.org)
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites
Posted by Flora on Sun Nov 05, 2006
Comments (25)
The First Amish Newsletter is a fake website with this introduction:
Hello! My name is Eli Lapp and I'd like to welcome thee to the first Amish Newsletter, made by the American Amish for the American Amish. Now that we've hit the 21st Century, our church elders have decided that we will try to not be so "technologically impaired". We are discovering electricity, computers, and other modern wonders. I'm especially enjoying this thing called Internet!

Throughout the site are many nice little touches - I particularly like the buggy safety page with its 'buggy test'.

I also appreciated the disclaimer.
This website is not meant to offend anyone or disrespect the Amish people. In fact, it's just the opposite. I admit, it started out only as a joke but as I did research on the Amish I discovered what a rich and wonderful culture that the Amish people have. With strong work ethics, wholesome family values and deep rooted religious beliefs, the Amish culture and religion are very admirable. I've come to the conclusion that if everybody shared these beliefs, the world may be a better place.

(Thanks, Nathan.)
Categories: Websites
Posted by Flora on Tue Sep 19, 2006
Comments (15)
The Animus Cult has been spreading posters and sigils around Adelaide, South Australia, recently. These posters proclaim ‘Animus is coming’, and some also contain a link to the website.

They talk about Animus: So who is Animus? Why he is here and what is his purpose? His purpose is very simple. The Wicked are the disease. Animus is the cure. So now I must show you the truth. The strength of Animus lies in the Will of Man. Animus is here because the will of man is to rid itself of the wicked."

They have a few pictures of 'Animus in action' on the website, all of which are incredibly blurry shots of a figure in shadow, and a video which is much the same.
There's an option of 'joining the cult', which I tried, but there's been not even one email as yet, so I'm unsure of the purpose of it.

Needless to say, I'm unconvinced of the existence of a supernatural figure who's coming to rid Adelaide of evil-doers.

The site features a countdown to Friday, October 13th which, according to someone on this site, is when the independent film 'Animus Cometh' (filmed in Adelaide) is released.
Seems plausible to me.

(Thanks, Joshua.)
Categories: Advertising, Websites
Posted by Flora on Mon Sep 04, 2006
Comments (16)
Giant Gnome
Maria Reidelbach's Gnome Chomsky is aiming for a Guinness record for tallest gnome, at a whopping 13 feet, 6 inches tall.

Woman Finds Husband's Secret - Female Hormones
Catherine Everett was surprised when she walked into the bathroom, only to find her husband admiring his new breasts.

Babytoupee.com
Coming soon, allegedly...

Teenager Sends his Ex-company 5 Million Hoax Emails
David Lennon was annoyed when he was fired from his job. So he sent 5 million hoax emails over the course of a week, quoting The Ring. He was given a two-month curfew order and fitted with an electronic tag.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Email Hoaxes, Gnomes, Websites
Posted by Flora on Sun Sep 03, 2006
Comments (6)
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