GREAT FALLS, Mont., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Montana broadcasting officials say a false alert of "dead bodies rising" on two of the state's TV stations was likely tied to identical pranks in other states.
Greg MacDonald, chief executive officer of the Montana Broadcasters Association, said the Emergency Alert System warning of "dead bodies rising from the grave and attacking the living" on two Great Falls TV stations Monday evening was duplicated on stations in Michigan, California, Utah and New Mexico, the Great Falls Tribune reported Wednesday.
MacDonald said FBI and Federal Communications Commission investigators believe the hacking originated from outside the country.
"It's a serious issue. Initially people laughed about zombies, but then you start digging and find that it's not that funny," MacDonald said.
'Bitter Barista' blog loses author his job
SEATTLE, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A Seattle barista who lost his job after being outed as the author of the snarky "Bitter Barista" blog said his online postings were meant to be satirical.
Matt Watson, 30, said the blog he started two weeks ago was supposed to be a satirical way to highlight some of the problems faced by employees of the All City Cafe in Georgetown as well as baristas at other, similar businesses.
"I would remember your usual drink if you were a more memorable person," one post reads.
The blog also took aim at Watson's boss.
"I like to use a lot of big words when I tweet, that way if my boss ever finds my twitter account, he won't understand any of it," he wrote.
The blog was anonymous and didn't mention Watson's place of employment, but a couple of bloggers uncovered his identity when the blog went viral and revealed his identity.
Watson said he sent his boss, Seth Levy, explaining the satirical nature of the blog, but he was still fired.
"He was writing about his boss during business hours. I represent the business, the customers and the staff. I can't endorse what he was saying, whether humorous or not. It puts me in a difficult position, where if I don't respond that means I endorse what he's saying," Levy said.
However, Watson said the publicity has resulted in several new job offers and he is planning a "Bitter Barista" coffee table book.
Virgin declares 'National Breakup Day'
WARREN, N.J., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Virgin Mobile USA, based in New Jersey, said it is offering discounts for those who ditch bad relationships with other providers for "National Breakup Day."
The cellphone company said a recent survey found many people would prefer to break off their dead-end relationships just prior to Valentine's Day to save money, while many others said they have remained in bad relationships because they feared change. Virgin said it scheduled "National Breakup Day" for Feb. 13, encouraging people to leave "bad relationships" with other cellphone companies, and is teaming with website OkCupid to help those who bad relationships are more romantic in nature.
Virgin said those who choose to leave their providers Feb. 13 will receive $100 off the purchase of a new Samsung Galaxy SII 4G on a Beyond Talk no-contract plan and save about $1,000 from the price of a similar plan at other companies.
The company and OkCupid will hold a Twitter chat on "National Breakup Day" to give romantic advice to the newly single and help them create noticeable online dating profiles.
"We want to make sure that anyone who is single on Feb 13 has the tools to get back into the dating game," said Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid. "Our experts will be standing by to help you make a great online profile, strike up conversations, meet someone new, and forget about your previous, unsatisfying relationship."
Company: Thais have highest rose prices
BANGKOK, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A Thai flower delivery company said ahead of Valentine's Day the prices of roses in the country are the highest in the world.
Rawat Chindapol, chief executive officer of Miss Lily Flower, said Wednesday the price of a dozen roses in Thailand is about $134, compared to a world average of about $100, the Bangkok Post reported Wednesday.
"If the roses are imported from the Netherlands, or if they are 'black roses' from foreign countries, a bouquet can cost around 9,000 ($301) to 10,000 baht ($335)," Rawat said.
The Economic and Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said about $107.6 million is expected to be circulated in the Thailand on Valentine's Day, which would be the highest for the holiday in five years.
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