Prisoners of love — and the state — want to hear from you.

Free to love –- but not much else

If you’re having a hard time finding that special someone to share Valentine’s Day with, maybe you’re looking for love in all the wrong places. Have you thought of <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070212/od_nm/thailand_valentine_dc;_ylt=AqKuOm8H9dc6uyVZF4hQ1PISH9EAlooking online? No, not match.com. You don’t want someone who can just get up and leave at the first sign of your emotional instability. Try hotprisonpals.com. They’re not going anywhere, and they’re plenty patient, apparently. Comment

Tunes and trucking just don’t mix

When someone invites you to spill your guts, normally <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070210/ap_on_fe_st/spilled_intestinesthis is not what they have in mind. Comment

Federal Bureau of Imbeciles?

They say the first step towards solving a problem is <a href=http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FBI_LAPTOPS?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULTadmitting you have one in the first place. That must be why the FBI, which loses three to four laptops a month on average to theft, has finally admitted it has an, u, issue. Ya think? But if it’s any consolation, those notebooks might not have any sensitive information on them. Or they might. They’re not sure. Which is equally reassuring.Comment

Don’t have a meltdown, it was just virtual graffiti

We know the press releases on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Web site deal with explosive issues, but no one in the press expected them <a href=http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6157647.htmlto feature such graphic illustrations. Turns out that wasn’t intentional: the site had been hacked and clicking on the releases triggered images of exploding nuclear bombs. According to officials, all’s well that ends well and no one was every in any danger of anything more acute than dying of embarrassment. Comment

I spy with my little GPS someone who is lying and therefore grounded for a month

Insider is totally in favour of <a href=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17063608/more public monitoring via technology. And while the idea behind this particular product sounds reasonable enough -– keep tabs on your kids by buying them phenomenally expensive GPS-enabled running shoes they’ll grow out of in six months and pay an additional $20 a month or so for a monitoring service –- there are some drawbacks. For one thing, you can’t just use the service to find out if the wearer is where they said they’d be. For another, the company is coming out with a plug and play version you can plop into a new pair of their shoes. So if you’re worried about your child being abducted, you have to hope the abductor doesn’t read this story. Comment

Dude, you’ve got an insurance claim

It appears you get more than just a cheap, reasonably reliable laptop <a href=http://consumerist.com/consumer/dell/dell-laptop-burned-down-my-house-235167.phpwhen you buy a Dell. For one thing, let’s say you wanted your house to burn down so you could collect the insurance. All you’d need to do is buy a Dell, leave it on unattended, make sure everyone’s out of the house and wait for the flames to engulf your property. Comment

UR GTNG A D, LOL

Not surprisingly, today’s teens are having trouble distinguishing between the way <a href=http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/02/09/chat.lingo.ap/index.html they write instant messages and the way they’re expected to write for school and the rest of the world. Fortunately, by the time they grow up they realize the errors of their ways and embrace generic non-IM bad spelling and grammatical mistakes. Comment

Genuinely unhelpful

Insider is not sure <a href=http://www.stuff.co.nz/3954263a10.htmlwho takes the stupid cake on this one: a burglary ring thief who called Microsoft to ask for a part for an Xbox 360 console he stole – he apparently forgot to steal an essential cable – or Microsoft, who refused to give details of the caller to the police, citing the man’s rights under the Privacy Act. Comment

Roses are red, STDS are blue

On the weekend leading up to Valentine’s Day, it’s nice to know people are focusing on all things romantic. Like, for example, <a href=http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=58f796f4-554e-4bc3-8691-2a63bef88669a new Web site where you can tell the world you’re verifiably free of sexual diseases – meaning you have to post the results of your latest tests for things like gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and genital herpes. So if all you require in a love interest is that he or she be infection-free, this is the place to start searching.Comment

Counselling not included

Ever wonder what <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070208/wr_nm/website_jobs_dc;_ylt=AvzPr7d11lEJv7DwzxYOpacjtBAFyou’ll look like when you’re old and decrepit, worn away by years of toiling day after day at the same job, the years and gravity slowly eroding away your facial features, not to mention your hairline? Wonder no more. Just submit a photo to this Web site and it will show you what you have to look forward to. Comment

I love you, you love me, we’re one happy family

You’ve always known you’re a blue blood. You just haven’t had the time and resources to track down the royalty in your distant past. Chill. Now you no longer need all those amateur genealogists who bore you to death at family gatherings with stories of Great Aunt Gertrude and her secret tryst with the neighbour’s stable boy. All you need to do is <a href= http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070207.wdnaaa0207/BNStory/PersonalTech/homesubmit a swab and DNAancestryproject.com can tell you whose DNA you share in common. Go back far enough, though, and we’re all related, which makes you decidedly no more distinct than anyone else.Comment

Is this news available as a podcast?

The State of New York is <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070207/tc_nm/newyork_ipod_dc;_ylt=AmNSwIaPtTTMwRnm0unXp.QjtBAFso worried about people distracted by electronic devices – and by that they mean iPods and BlackBerries — when they cross the street they’re thinking of fining violators up to $100 per infraction. On the down side, it’s $100 if you get caught. On the up side, if you get caught by the cops as opposed to an oncoming car, it’s only a $100 fine. Insider can see the argument: after all, it’s not fair to the paramedics to have deal with what’s left after you tangle with an oncoming bus. On the other hand, it could be viewed as a form of natural selection. Comment

Play your way to X-ray vision

If you find your eyesight is not what it used to be, you might want to consider taking up video games. According to <a href=http://news.com.com/Study+Video+games+are+good+for+eyes/2100-1043_3-6157035.html?tag=nefd.topa recent study, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Of course, you might gain 20 pounds and find yourself turning into a homicidal maniac, but at least you’ll be able to see your targets better.Comment

They don’t call it the throne for nothing

Tragically, a contest sponsored by a plumbing company <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070207/tc_nm/usa_toilet_dc;_ylt=ArmLRSrZ6096_DIt5SGNAgADW7oFto win a pimped-out bathroom is only available to residents of the Great Satan to the south of us. The bathroom, which comes equipped with a laptop, flat-screen TV, iPod and speakers, an Xbox, a fridge filled with snacks and a cycling machine, would constitute pretty much an entire apartment for some people. Comment

Hasta la Vista, Microsoft

Instead of making French kids aware of the alternatives to, oh, I don’t know, xenophobia, perhaps, <a href=http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/French_kids_get_open_source_on_USB/0,130061733,339273416,00.htmthey’re being educated in all things open source, with the gift of USB keys loaded with open source office suites. That’s likely to be a huge hit with the kids, because everyone knows if there’s anything today’s teens are clamouring for these days, it’s open source software. Oh well, whoever said freedom was exciting and cool?Comment

Will there be new Telus *Bunnies*?

There’s a seemingly insatiable market for mobile porn, it appears. It just doesn’t make sense business-wise to ignore that call, so <a href=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070206.gttelus06/BNStory/Technology/homeTelus is among the latest to hop into bed with adult content providers. One can only hope the company never uses the cute little bunnies it uses in its regular ad campaigns in its advertising for its more salacious services.Comment

This time, Iran, you’ve gone too far

The axis of evil is at it again. This time it’s Iran, and no, it’s not nukes, although that’s no doubt not far in the offing. Instead, <a href=http://www.taliyanews.com/en/archive/2007/02/iranian_hackers_possess_window.phpit’s hackers who say they’ve cracked Microsoft’s anti-piracy schemes, enabling them to sell cracked copies of Vista for about US$8 a pop. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is apparently unafraid of the U.S in terms of military might. But it has never had to contend with the awesome force of the American free market system when it feels it’s being ripped off. George Bush might make him laugh, but wait til the Business Software Alliance gets ahold of him.Comment

Now we can finally compare Apple to Apple
The Beatles (er, Paul and Ringo, anyway) said they havesettled their ongoing trademark battle with Steve Jobs over his use of their record company’s name as the brand of his Evil Empire/consumer electronics company. The two sides cheered the agreement as a way for Fab Four songs to appear at iTunes, because God knows they weren’t selling anywhere else.

“We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks,” Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. In response, and as a gesture of goodwill, the remaining Beatles will reportedly perform a special version of “Sympathy For The Devil” at next year’s MacWorld Expo.
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Them semiconductor firms are real competitive
Apparently, no one who reads the Toronto Star‘s business section is likely to read any other business publications. What else could explain its decision to run an in-depth feature story on the market share rivalry of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)? Naturally, this kind of groundbreaking reportage demanded equally original writing, and the Star delivered: this is a “classic case of David versus Goliath,” according to its first sentence. Of course, no one has the time to get through the entire Saturday Star, which is why the Arts & Entertainment section features a story about a Toronto actor who staged a one-man show about the cartoon series Family Guy, who is now being sued by the show’s creators. This was headlined as a “Stewie vs. Goliath” story. Now if we could only get Stewie to take on AMD. That would be a story worth covering.
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Michael Dell: So, who missed me the most?
Having shown former CEO Kevin Rollins the “direct from Dell” motto also applies to pink slips, the man who loved his own company so much he named it after himself has proved the cushy days of making fun of resellers is long over. In a memo to staff, the Dellraiser said his first order of business would be to elminate employee bonuses, replacing them with “limited discretionary awards” that would be available to all but senior management.

“We have great people . . . but we also have a new enemy: bureaucracy, which costs us money and slows us down,” he wrote, explaining why the number of senior management staff would be axed almost in half. Ah, bureaucracy: just another middleman for Michael Dell to slay.
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Rhymes with Venus

It’s not to be unexpected that frat boys – or anyone with a frat boy mentality – might find, shall we say, <a href=http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/eyes-in-the-sky-capture-toilet-humour/2007/02/01/1169919445548.htmlunconventional ways to take advantage of Google Maps. Those boy-school boys wanted to put their school on the map and they did, by creating an image that would really catch the viewer’s eye.
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Expect the number of homicides to spike
Maybe you thought you just couldn’t be driven any crazier by the incrediblyirritating variety of ringtones people use on the cell phones. You thought wrong. Now people will be able to answer their phones with <ahref=http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20070201/tc_usatoday/techcompanyoffersaneyefulvideoringtones;_ylt=AiguBPesOY0ER_aBxgV6X6RaCGYD;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA–personalized videos, a “vring,”so to speak. You just know what kind of world of pain that might lead to, should the wrong person answer your phone at the wrong time. Come to think of it, though, as long as Insider can get a clip of Jack Bauer patiently coaxing information out of fratricidal family members, she’s down with it.
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How’s this for spin?
University is tough these days. Why, a student barely has time to do his or her laundry, what with all the parties to attend and papers to buy off theInternet. No worries. At least students in Iowa will save tens of minuteswith this software service that emails them when their clothes have completed the wash or dry cycle. Of course, they’re paying 50 cents more aload for the e-mail, but what’s a couple of coins for that kind of service?
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Comedy Central clips on YouTube no joke to Viacom
A global disaster is <ahref=http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070202/tc_nm/viacom_youtube_dc;_ylt=AnQvsNkOfHYGZoj9wpLJLXAjtBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ–unfolding right beneath our very noses and what, Insider asks, is anyone doing to stop it? We’re not referring to global warming – that’s so December 2006. We’re talking about an issue of far greater import. Viacom, parent company of Comedy Central, is stamping its corporate foot and demanding YouTube remove any content it hasn’t negotiated the rights to. Insider doesn’t care about MTV Jackass videos, but this couldmean a fond farewell to all the Daily Show and Colbert Report clips people post so people with real jobs who can’t watch it at night can share the love. Wag of the finger, Viacom.
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