The lighter side of IT
  • Cell phone pervert gets taste of his own medicine

    Posted October 2, 2008 - 10:29 am

    A New York woman was horrified when she realized that a fellow subway rider was using a cell phone camera to take pictures up her skirt. But rather than get mad, she got even.
  • Oklahoma tax authority scopes MySpace for tax cheats

    Posted October 1, 2008 - 12:23 pm

    Kegheadz, an Oklahoma party-planning service run by college students, told the local tax authorities that they'd planned fewer than 20 parties over the past two years, netting less than $2,000 in profits. But the company's MySpace page told a much different story -- and the state has sent them a bill for $320,000.
  • Musical pavement infuriates neighbors

    Posted September 30, 2008 - 1:43 pm

    It was an outside-the-box, some may say brilliant, marketing campaign for Honda: put grooves in a local highway that cause Honda Civic drivers to hear the William Tell Overture. Pity the neighbors.
  • E.R. workers fired after posting wound pics online

    Posted September 29, 2008 - 9:26 am

    Spend an hour or so with the Internet and you'll discover that if you can imagine it, someone, somewhere, wants to see a photo of it. Yet, the Web-surfing public's taste can sometimes still surprise.
  • Quiz: The week in quotes

    Posted September 25, 2008 - 4:33 pm

    Who rigged the test? ... What's 1400 times bigger than an iPod? ... Is the datacenter of the future a tent? ... These questions and more in our fun Friday quiz.
  • Nebraska politician unable to control robot minions

    Posted September 25, 2008 - 10:27 am

    Mike O'Dell thought that his quest for city council would be easier if he could enlist an army of robot campaign workers. Little did he know that their automatic phone calls would drive voters away -- and he could do nothing about it.
  • Annals of science: Israeli dog police use DNA to bust poop violators

    Posted September 22, 2008 - 11:04 am

    Like most places, the Israeli city of Petah Tikva requires dog owners to clean up after their pets -- but how to track down violators based only on the, er, evidence left behind? The solution: create a database of doggy DNA.
  • Quiz: The week in quotes

    Posted September 19, 2008 - 11:00 am

    What made Ubuntu users ask 'WTF?' ... What is really happening to all those recycled CRTs? ... Does porn fly? These questions and more in our fun Friday quiz.
  • Crafty Canadian politician Google-jacks his competitors

    Posted September 18, 2008 - 3:31 pm

    Prime ministerial candidate Jack Layton is using a bit of cyber-smarts to get folks to visit his Web site. If you search on the name of any of his competitors on, you'll a paid ad for his candidacy next to the search results.
  • AyePhone talks like a pirate so you don't have to

    Posted September 18, 2008 - 3:25 pm

    In honor of the 13th annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th, Area 49 has released ayePhone, a ninety-nine cent iPhone application that helps you avoid the critical mistake of speaking like a non-pirate on this, the holiest of all pirate days.
  • Rare species to find love online

    Posted September 17, 2008 - 5:05 pm

    If you're a member of an endangered species, it goes without saying that it's going to be difficult for you to find a romantic partner. Luckily, the Internet is here to help.
  • Stephen Colbert to be humanity's new Adam

    Posted September 16, 2008 - 1:57 pm

    Once disease, famine, or robot uprising has wiped out all human life, how will our species be repopulated? One Stephen Colbert clone at a time...
  • Robot rebellion update

    Posted September 15, 2008 - 4:10 pm

    Faithful ITwhirled readers remember the horrifying prospect of mechanical apes and robotic pilots joining forces against us. Well, the cyberape has been spotted -- in VERMONT!
  • 20 amazing, amusing and alarming IT facts

    Posted September 15, 2008 - 2:43 pm

    A new report warns that the cost from lost productivity at work related to the new NFL season could add up to $10.5 billion. And there we were, thinking the biggest waste of time at work came from fielding an endless stream of IT industry reports. In an effort to do something productive with these sometimes insightful, sometimes scary, sometimes silly and frequently self-serving studies, we've boiled down each of about 20 that we've received over the past couple of months into one digestible story.
  • Rise of the machines: Robot helicopter, mechanical ape to join forces?

    Posted September 11, 2008 - 11:49 am

    Stanford University researchers have taught a small computer-controlled robot helicopter to fly by imitating a human pilot. In almost certainly related news, a mechanical gorilla has disappeared from a Maine flea market.
  • Linux programmers too fat (or T-shirts too small)?

    Posted September 10, 2008 - 9:59 am

    Between 1999 and 2008, the proportion of Linux Symposium attendees wearing XL T-shirts has grown in proportion to their proportions says fitness gadget maker FitBit, which demoed its health activity monitoring device at the TechCrunch50 conference.
  • Free Linux Laptop with every inkjet printer?

    Posted September 9, 2008 - 12:35 pm

    I am bit slow between the ears sometimes. Sometimes things take a long time to sink in and when they do, I have a "duh!" moment. I had one recently in an outlet of well known, computer chain store. I wandered up the printer aisle marvelling at the inventiveness of the printer manufacturers in conjuring up so many mutually incompatible containers that all serve to delivery streams of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. Such diversity in a such a small amount of shelf space.
  • $20,000 cell phone bill shocks family

    Posted September 8, 2008 - 3:30 pm

    Who knew Canada was foreign country? The Terry family of Portland was horrified to get a five-digit phone bill from AT&T after their son used a wireless network card with his laptop north of the border.
  • Facebook movie confirms advent of end times

    Posted September 7, 2008 - 8:17 pm

    If you thought the Starsky and Hutch movie represented the end of any pretense of originality in Hollywood, brace yourself: West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is apparently working on creating a movie about Facebook.
  • Second Life romance ends extremely badly

    Posted September 3, 2008 - 3:59 pm

    Kimberly Jernigan of Durham, N.C., met a Delaware man in Second Life but the gentleman, perhaps predictably, ended the romance after the two met in person. And that's when things took a turn for the worse.
  • SOHO PC Racks

    Posted September 2, 2008 - 3:51 pm

    If I can order a rack of ribs, why can't I order a rack of PCs?
  • Everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe that coming soon)

    Posted September 2, 2008 - 2:07 am

    If engineers spent as much time learning to cook as they do trying to shoehorn their favorite gadgets into the kitchen, they'd probably be better off.
  • Tracking stolen people

    Posted August 28, 2008 - 11:37 am

    In a recent post, I recounted how the National Park Service implanted microchips in a bunch of cacti in Arizona so that they could be tracked if stolen. In Mexico the trouble tends to be less with stolen vegetation than with kidnappings.
  • 12 Sly Web Tricks That Put You in Control

    Posted August 27, 2008 - 3:57 pm

    So it's Friday afternoon, the weekend is just around the corner, and you're up to no good. Rather than waste your time turning monitors upside down around the office, why not update your tech arsenal? If you have a computer or cell phone on hand, you're more than ready to beef up your weapons and spy kit with these 12 sly tricks. We'll teach you why and how (and with what) to do them, and tell you how well you can expect them to work. And you will forget where you heard this information...
  • Hitting it big on eBay: New extinct species, futuristic toilets

    Posted August 26, 2008 - 10:01 pm

    Richard Harrington, an officer in the UK's Royal Entomological Society, probably thought that chunk of amber with an insect trapped inside that he bid for on eBay would make a nice paperweight -- but he didn't expect that the dead critter would be a representative of a previously unknown species, one that would end up being named for him.
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