You can buy a piece of Osama!
Surfers can now own Laden's former historic website, one pixel at a time, writes CR Jayachandran.Updated: Mar 14, 2006 01:53 IST
Surfers can now "buy a piece of Osama".
A US-based firm has started selling off a set of Osama bin Laden's family-owned websites which expired on September 11, 2001, the day America was attacked.
The principal website, www.saudi-binladin-group.com, had a predetermined expiry date of 9/11 and has been the subject of Internet and conspiracy speculation, SHRIMPO LLC, an Internet technology consulting firm said.
"Normal citizens can 'own a piece of Osama' and show the power of capitalism over tyranny and by proudly owning small pixels on this one-of-a-kind historic website," Christopher Curry, Technology Principal for SHRIMPO LLC said.
Own a piece of Osama and a pixel in Internet history
"This clearly was not our original idea. However, we applaud the original and brilliant author and feel this is a great way to further our message of turning a tyrannical event into one of peace, nationalism and capitalism -- those three things which are despised by a terrorist movement such as that run by Osama bin Laden. In doing this, we hope to have pixelated the mission of Osama one piece at a time," Curry said.
The SHRIMPO LLC and Chris Curry had developed a procedure which immediately took possession of bin Laden family's official website, the Saudi Binladin Group, the second it expired at that time.
"The controversy remains whether the September 11 expiry was just a remarkable coincidence or if this truly was a hidden warning," said Curry.
"This makes it a very rare and unique piece of Internet, American and current event historical items," he added.
Various sizes of pixel blocks
The new website's incarnation is to sell off the website's pixels to advertisers and citizens wishing to own a piece of Internet history by displaying their messages and graphics on this historic website.
Prices range from $1 per pixel in blocks of 100x100 pixels. Fees are determined based upon the positioning and visibility of the graphics placed by users. The various expiration dates for user's pixels range from one to five years, depending upon their payment arrangement.
Pixel is any of the small discrete elements that together constitute an image.
According to Curry, SHRIMPO LLC plans to donate a large amount of pixel-profits to charity.
Curry has created a "catch-all" system which gathers thousands of emails to bin Laden family members, and employees.
So far, it has collected megabytes of email messages between bin Laden family members, corporate correspondences, and terrorist sympathisers.
Emails to several bin Laden accounts include messages from "Supporters of Shareeah", a radical terrorist group of which Osama is a key member.
First Published: Mar 13, 2006 22:12 IST