I imagine the possible consequences if they went with that plan. That was the decade that eventually led to the first world war. Relations between France and Germany weren't at their best.
As one book I'm reading notes, of the great powers, only France and Russia has a desire to upset the status quo (Russia was motivated, as always, by a desire for a secure warm water port, and this time, by Pan-Slavism WRT to the Balkans, recently freed from Ottoman bondage).
That wasn't really the case, though; during this period Germany was very busy upsetting the status quo by expanding their navy, which directly challenged the UK's position as the world's pre-eminent naval power.
Russia intended to help the Balkan nations stay out of the non-Slavic (in terms of rule) Austrian-Hungarian empire, however their capability to directly affect this was limited by geography (again, something I'm in the process of reading up on).
(There's also the forward looking detail: France was a declining nation (e.g. declining birthrate), Germany a growing nation. That put a time limit on their capability to carry out their intent.)
This was discovered this October.
Note that this stunt was performed by a group of young aristocrats who went to Cambridge. At least one of the participants was nobility, another whose father was a well-known politician.
Imagine the same happening in the US today - a group of wealthy Harvard kids execute an embarrassing prank, one of whom comes from a famous industrialist family and the other the son of a major Washington figure.
The whole thing would be declared "youthful indiscretions" and no punishment of any substance would be handed out.
The more things change the more they stay the same. If you are wealthy and well-connected you can get away with damn well anything, and everyone else gets screwed.
[Edit: I had misremembered and thought that Canada didn't have a delegation at APEC...Turns out they just didn't have a delegation that was taxiing bin Laden.]
Canada hosted the APEC meeting in 1997. The highlight of the meeting was the RCMP pepper-spraying students who were protesting Indonesia's government:
Of course, lamenting the cost of lying is similar to lamenting gravity's affect on the impulse to fly - it doesn't really do any good. FWIW I think a modest fine and a brief (overnight) jail term was in order for the prank. Think of it as a small reminder that a hoax is not complete unless you don't get caught.
If I wanted to read about random factoids, I'd go to /r/TIL. I come here for Rust. I flagged the OP FWIW because it's not related to hacking and it's not even news.
I disagree. Such stunts are well-known tradition in hacker culture as well.
Why comment at all? Just downvote/upvote and move on.
Somewhat coincidentally, I recently started my serious, systematic study of it. E.g. right now I'm working through the English book that's the single, detailed history of all naval actions in what was truly a world war: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0870212664/
The HN guidelines on what to submit:
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
The HN guidelines on asking why something was posted:
> Please don't submit comments complaining that a submission is inappropriate for the site. If you think something is spam or offtopic, flag it by going to its page and clicking on the "flag" link. (Not all users will see this; there is a karma threshold.) If you flag something, please don't also comment that you did.
It might be worth reading through the HN Guidelines. They're pretty concise:
I can't find a guideline that's meta enough to tell me not to mention the guidelines, but I've blundered in worse ways before.
In other words, it has a lot to do with "hackers" and is a very interesting and relevant piece of history. I agree it won't help you start your startup though; get back to building things and talking to people! :-)