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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Foul Up, or Foul Play?

Posted by a4g @ 4/24/2005 07:50:00 AM

The big news on the internet today (using the definition of 'big' that includes 'very, very small') was the incredible coincidental postings on ScrappleFace and Point Five of nearly the same story (using the definition of 'nearly' that includes 'exactly').

"If a wrong clock can be right twice a day, can't two humor blogs post the same idea on the same day with the same wording?" asks Evil Emperor Mindstation, a contributor at Point Five. Here are, side by side, excerpts from the two posts.

ScrappleFace

An $8 billion energy bill headed for approval in the U.S. House of Representatives offers incentives to companies that develop technologies that use renewable petroleum alternatives such as clean-burning American cheese...
Point Five

An $8 billion energy bill headed for approval in the U.S. House of Representatives offers incentives to companies that develop technologies that use renewable petroleum alternatives such as clean-burning American cheese...










"It's pure coincidence, plain and simple," says Mindstation.

Others are not so sanguine. A check of google shows that words like 'plagiarism', 'intellectual theft', and 'copyright infringement' have been thrown around the internet today, as well as words like 'searching for free porn', 'women with kangaroos', and 'butt-lympics'.

But determining exactly who--or whom--is the culprit may not be so easy, explains Chet Regan, an IT expert with DataStream Technologies. "You're talking literally billions of web addresses. Trillions of pieces of information. Its incredibly complex. Of course, I could just check the originating servers' time logs, but it's Saturday, and I've got to go to my kid's tee-ball game."

Evil Emperor Mindstation believes he will ultimately be vindicated. "I'm certainly not accusing Scott Ott of ripping off my idea. Even if his name rhymes with the German word for idea-ripper-offer, or at least it must in some language. There's like over 3000 of them. It's got to rhyme with something bad in one of them."

"Besides," says Mindstation, "I backdated the time stamp on Point Five to before when Scott posted his, to prevent just these kind of questions."

Scott Ott refused our request for an interview. Okay, actually he just didn't respond to our email. Okay we didn't actually send it.

So like all the worlds great mysteries--the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, how Prell can be both Shampoo AND Conditioner--this may never be unraveled.






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