Camera Lens Falls for the Sky and Rips hole in roof

 Having an inanimate object blow a hole in your roof after careening through the sky is a real problem no matter what. But at least if it’s a meteor or cruise missile, you understand how. But a Canon lens? What?

California woman Debbie Payne was minding her own damn business when her entire house shook, the San Jose Mercury News reports. When she checked to see what’d caused this tremor, he equally startled neighbor pointed to a somewhat destroyed, two pound 24-105mm Canon lens lying on the ground. The gear had punched a hole clean through Payne’s roof. But where did it come from?

The FAA’s investigating the obvious explanation that it dropped out of an airplane, but is that really so obvious? Did someone open the door to their plane and try to take a photo? How did just the lens fall down? The FAA itself is stumped: “This is an unusual occurrence—even proving this came from an aircraft could be difficult,” lamented a rep.

So where else could it have come from? Not space—it would have been vaporized. Was it catapulted from a nearby town? Did some sort of massive bird drop it from its talons? Is this the start of some new, modern Old Testament-style plague, to punish us for our consumer whoring ways? Are we all to die by the same things we drool over and purchase? Payne’s lucky to have escaped without a lens-sized hole blown through her body—but somewhere, some guy thought,Ah, crap I can’t believe I just dropped my lens. [via PetaPixel]

DJ Kittens

Everyone has some idiot friend who calls himself a DJ—and by DJ, he means guy who excitedly bounces around his laptop frantically shuffling through iTunes. But he’s never dropped bombs like these deck-spinning cats. ERRAH ERRAH ERRAH *AIRHORN*

This video marks our progress towards the internet singularity, wherein music, cats, and technology all converge into one splendiferous moment of perfection.

Alternately, if this turns out to be a viral advertisement for cat food, I’m going to throw myself off a bridge. [via Reddit]

YouTube Bans Lady Gaga’s Official Account On Multiple Violations

One of YouTube’s most-watched musicians has had her account suspended after a copyright claim from a Japanese media company. Pop star Lady Gaga’s online fortress has been hauled offline, leaving behind a message of, “This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s Copyright Policy”.

It’s turning out to be a somewhat bittersweet day for Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, who reaped a whopping five Emmy nominations this morning for her HBO concert special. It’s believed that angry bosses at Media Interactive Inc. insisted YouTube take down the page, featuring music videos from hits such as “Judas” and “Poker Face”, after footage she uploaded of an appearance on Fuji TV’s show SMAP X SMAP. The 10-minute performance featured her alongside popular a Japanese boyband SMAP performing a medley of songs from her latest album, “Born This Way”. It is believed she failed to secure the digital rights to showcase the performance on her YouTube account and thus action has been taken.

It’s a brash move from the Google-owned site, who risk alienating an iconic artist who has accumulated over one billion views and established herself as one of the worlds biggest recording artists. Named by Forbes in May as the world’s most powerful celebrity based on her earnings, media visibility and popularity, YouTube could be in for a backlash from her army of “Little Monsters,” a name she affectionately uses to describe her loyal group of fans.

That said, she still should have gotten appropriate permission to post the video. We live in a digital age where media is becoming more accessible through various mediums, and the appropriate digital rights need to be secured by those who use and distribute them. Team Gaga should’ve been more than informed on how to keep the right side of legal.

The copyright complaint comes just a few week after Lady Gaga was accused of not donating all of the proceeds from her “We Pray For Japan” charity bracelets to the victims of the disaster. In fact, Michigan legal network 1800LAWFIRM filed a lawsuit alleging that extra shipping and handling costs were unnecessarily added to the $5 rubber bracelets.

Gaga, who has just toured Australia, has yet to comment on the takedown of the page, but did tweet earlier this week gushing of the performance which has, if only temporarily, cost her the channel.

A Computer Error Released 450 Prisoners with “a High Risk of Violence”

Computer system errors accidentally released more than 450 inmates with “a high risk of violence” from California prisons. What might be even worse is that no attempt has been made to return any of them back to prison.

The prisoners were accidentally placed on ‘non-revocable parole’ which means they don’t have to report to any parole officers. Non-revocable parole is a program originally created to combat the overcrowding of prisons by releasing inmates with a low risk of reoffending. Those with ‘a high risk of violence’ don’t really qualify, you know.

Inmates are supposed to be excluded from non-revocable parole if they are “gang members, have committed sex crimes or violent velonies or have been determined to pose a high risk to reoffend based on an assessment of their records behind bars.” But according to the inspection:

The computer program prison officials used to make that assessment does not access an inmate’s disciplinary history. The program also relies on a state Department of Justice system that records arrests but is missing conviction information for nearly half of the state’s 16.4 million arrest records.

Without that information about disciplinary history, they’re completely disregarding their own criteria. And though prison officials say they’ve addressed some of the computer errors, they still can’t access an inmate’s disciplinary record. So the system is still fucked. And with the overpopulation of prisons a major issue in California, who knows if they’ll even bother fixing it. [LA Times via BoingBoing]


PlayStation Network Users Can Now Get Free Identity Theft Protection From Sony

United States-based PlayStation Network users will now be able to register for a free Identity Protection service, thanks to an arrangement made by Sony with Debix.


On May 3rd, Sony promised all customers affected by recent break-ins into the PlayStation Networksystem free identity theft protection from Debix for one year. Now they’re delivering on that promise, and users can sign up for their identity protection starting today. As Sony explained in an e-mail send to every active PSN customer:

Sony has arranged, at no charge to eligible PlayStation®Network and Qriocity account holders, for twelve months of this service to be provided by Debix to those who choose to enroll. In order to be eligible, account holders must be residents of the United States with active accounts as of April 20, 2011.

If you currently own a PlayStation Network account, you can sign up by simply following the link on the email, or just click here if you haven’t received the email yet.  Even if your account has expired recently, you’re still eligible if your account was active by April 20, when the first attack took place. All customers have until May 28 to sign up.

Debix’s AllClear ID PLUS protection, which would otherwise cost $9.95 per month, is a comprehensive identity theft protection service, giving customers live monitoring for possible frauds, live customer support if there’s any attack and up to $1 million identity theft insurance in case disaster happens. According to the company, Debix is chosen by 9 out of 10 privacy professionals.

It’s still unclear what kind of benefits PlayStation Network users will see in other countries, since this deal is only meant for US-based customers, but expect them to be similar to this one.

Details of an attack first surfaced on April 20 this year, when Sony confirmed its PlayStation Network service had been broken into. Successive hacks have happened since, not only to PlayStation Network, but to other Sony services as well, such as Sony Ericsson’s Canadian eShop site yesterday. Reportedly, Sony has already lost $171.4 million thanks to the attacks, including the costs of fixing the service and refunding its customers. That comes as part of a $208.1 million loss this fiscal year due to the hacks and the earthquake that happened in Japan earlier this year.

What’s going to happen in the future to Sony’s services is unclear, but lets hope the worst is behind us. Meanwhile, be sure to grab your free Debix identity protection.