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It seems that the tabloid media has gone crazy, after someone snapped pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge enjoying a little topless sunbathing at a French retreat.
Initially it was a French magazine that claimed to have photos but the rest of the world's media soon started turning this into "news". What? That the next queen of England has lady-parts?
Well I think we'd be more concerned if she didn't, wouldn't we?
Naturally the royals and many in the UK have been outraged that the privacy and modesty of the queen-apparent would be violated in such a way -- but it appears that the Irish were not so worried.
Perhaps the centuries-old rift between England and the Irish was resurfacing but within a day of the French publication, The Star, an Irish publication, was also claiming that it would publish the pictures.
And here's where things start getting interesting...
I suspect that before this "opportunity" came along, The Star was a pretty average sort of newspaper, having a printed circulation of just 64,000 copies, attracting modest levels of traffic to its website and perhaps therefore outsourcing its hosting to a third-party hosting company.
Because.. what happened next was rather odd...
Not wanting to see Kate Middleton's girly-bits so much as see just what the Irish were up to, I tried to visit The Star's website at www.thestar.ie.
Not surprisingly, the site came up with a "503 Service Temporarily unavailable" error.
Aha... lots of pervs wanting to get a fill of girly-bits perhaps?
I left it for half a day, expecting that with all that ad-revenue being missed by the paper due to an overwhelmed server, they'd be working double-time to get things beefed up and capitalise on their sudden dramatic popularity.
However, the next time I tried, I got the webpage you get from a hosting company when someone has just registered a site and it's being held for them. No 503 and no clue as to where The Star's website had gone.
So what was going on?
Could it be that The Palace had pulled some political strings and applied pressure to the hosting company to shut down The Star?
Was the freedom of the media being ankle-tapped by the royals or the UK government?
I don't know -- in fact nobody seems too sure.
Even the parent group of The Star themselves seem uncertain as to exactly what's going on. Perhaps they asked the hosting company to pull The Star's website?
That seems even more probable after reading this story.
Of course if people want to see Kate's girly-bits then I'm sure there are plenty of copies of the offending images already circulating on P2P streams and websites -- and as I type this, malware authors are no doubt preparing to hook their payloads up to files that claim to contain such salacious imagery.
However, I'm pretty sure that, given the distance between the camera and HRH, these images will turn out to be very poor resolution and quality. Obviously the paparazzi haven't familiarised themselves with the latest in camera-drone technology.
It's interesting that there has been no talk of banning long glass such as the telephoto lenses probably used to catch these images. However, you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as some enterprising celebrity photographer snaps someone rich or famous in the nude from an aerial drone -- "the powers that be" will call for a ban on all such flying devices.
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