Last June, a young woman in Texas uploaded a Justin Bieber fan video. She seemed a little .... unhinged.

A notorious group of Internet trolls says it has unleashed a worm that has littered Tumblr blogs with inflammatory and racist posts.

According to the technology site The Verge, GNNA, whose full name we can't print in a family blog, says the worm has infected more than 8,000 accounts. The worm spread when users were logged into Tumblr and clicked on a viral — in more ways than one — post that asked for all Tumblr users to "drink bleach and die."


The University of Texas System Board of regents voted unanimously this morning to join an initiative to provide free online courses to anyone through a non-profit organization called edX.

Right now, classes offered through edX are not for college credit. Instead, participants can earn a "certificate of mastery." But the UT System has plans to change that in order to help enrolled students take the classes they need.

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa says that option would have a cost associated with it.

“What that tuition might be is going to have to be a decision made by the campus and, ultimately, by the board of regents," Cigarroa says. "So I can envision a multi-tiered approach. But, fundamentally, all the content that we provide in this massively open online course, you can have access for free, I can have access for free, our alumni can have access for free. But there’s also an opportunity for a multi-tiered approach.”

Wells Dunbar, KUT News.

The social trivia game Qrank (pronounced "crank") is no more.

Co-founders and Austinites Rodney Gibbs and Michael Baird posted a  message titled “Goodbye” on the game’s website on Monday, and announced that that morning’s edition would be the last of the daily quiz.

Qrank had been voraciously consumed by a legion of loyal players since 2010. As explained on the game’s website, the goal was to “choose 15 of the 20 possible questions and answer them quickly and accurately to beat your friends and earn achievements.” The game was available on Facebook and as a mobile app.

But while Qrank maintained close to 25,000 “likes” on Facebook and more than 8,500 Twitter followers, interaction with all of those fans waned over the last several months.

Patrick Lu

Imagine a private wedding proposal. Now imagine that private moment hurtling across the Internet to untold thousands of people.

That was the position Austinite Joel Bush found himself in, when photographer Patrick Lu snapped a beautiful photo of Bush’s proposal to his girlfriend, at dusk on the Texas Capitol grounds.

The photo was posted to the Austin page of social-sharing website Reddit, with the caption, “Did any of you propose at the capital last night?

Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

In Texas, nearly one million households still are not using the Internet. More than 38 percent of Texans are still not connected to high-speed Internet at home, even though they could be. And with 11 percent of the Texas population completely unconnected, a lack of digital literacy is a real issue.

The Connected Texas Broadband Summit, being held today in Dallas, is for anyone who wants to address those issues. 

“We want to help plan to create initiatives and momentum behind expanding broadband in areas where it remains gapped, and in areas where digital literacy and broadband adoption lag behind,” explained Jessica Ditto, Director of Communications for Connected Nations.

Photo by KUT News

Small businesses that offer wireless connections to their customers could be on the hook for illegal downloads that happen on their networks, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Record labels, movie studios and other industry groups recently struck a deal where participating internet service providers (ISPs) will issue warnings to customers whose accounts are allegedly used to steal content. The NFIB says small business owners could be charged, fined or worse.

Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

You may have seen billboards like the one above on Highway 71 near the airport. You may have read the various Tweets, or the numerous stories in print and on-air.  The May 21 meme is ostensibly the product of Harold Camping, the 89-year-old founder of Family Radio, who says he calculated the exact date of the Rapture to be this Saturday. His organization and its supporters paid to install Judgment Day billboards across the country.

A caravan of three recreational vehicles drove through Austin in February to deliver the warning and hand out fliers at the University of Texas and outside a Longhorns basketball game, according to a travel log entry on the Family Radio website.

Photo by Broken Piggy Bank

AT&T customers trying to upload smartphone video or pictures from E. 6th St. could face much less frustration in the near future. The wireless carrier has announced it is launching a Wi-Fi hotzone that stretches down E. 6th St. from Congress Ave. to Interstate 35.

Screen shot by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Visitors to the City of Austin's website were surprised to be re-directed this afternoon to a page saying the "US Locality domain you are searching for has been given back to Neustar Registry to manage." The City's Public Information Office quickly followed up on a phone call to their office with this Tweet:

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