ITBusiness Elsewhere: Beer blown up

Elsewhere is a collection of links to other technology news stories around the world.

Give that head a shake
AP/Globe and Mail


Holland, Mich. guy, Jon Blake Cusack, and wife Jamie, have named their son Version. 2.0.

The father, who calls himself an engineering geek, apparently wanted something “”different”” for his son’s name.

The wife went along with it to be fair, according to the story, which quotes her as saying since she got to pick out the theme of the baby’s room, he got to pick the name.

The purpose of pillows

What do you do when your game console sales suck in Japan? Do what everyone else does — offer a little something sexy to up the ante. According to, Microsoft has not been able to sell even 500,000 Xbox video game systems in Japan since its launch two years ago. So to celebrate the Japanese release of Dead or Alive Online next month, the story says, the vendor is including a little bonus as an incentive: a “”hugging pillow”” featuring a life-size, front and back print of teenage character Kasumi in a skimpy bikini.

According to a tech reporter interviewed for the story, hugging pillows are meant to be hugged, “”and for other purposes I’d rather not mention.””

If there’s any other way we can unhelp you . . .
The Register

What happens when you e-mail Mountain Valley, Calif.-based Intuit, makers of the popular financial software TurboTax? You get this stunning automated e-mail reply:

Dear Intuit Customer,

Thank you for contacting Intuit.

Thank you for the kind words, I assure you that your feedback will be forwarded to the appropriate department. We at Intuit strive to give you the best customer experience and it is heartning to know that we have been unsuccessful. Thank you once again for your contuinued support to TurboTax.

If you need further assistance, or if there is any other way we may be of service, please contact us at



Intuit Customer Service

“”Revolutionizing how people manage their financial lives””

We’ve got even more lawsuits!

Last week we told you about Radio Shack and its lawsuit troubles.

The saga, it seems, continues. According to, Tanisha Torres, of Wyandanch, N.Y., not once, not twice, but three times received a receipt from the Farmingdale, N.Y. Radio Shack listing her address as Crimedanch. Torres, who had gone to pay her cell phone bill, did what any self-respecting American would do: she launched a lawsuit against the company, asking for unspecified damages for emotional distress and mental anguish.

According to the story, calling Wyandanch Crimedanch is a popular pastime.

For whom the bell no longer tolls

The traditional school bell may have done its job perfectly well for more than 100 years, but times they are a-changing. That’s why Austin, Tex.-based Acrovista Software has come out with BellCommander, described as a patent-pending Windows app that provides a low-cost and powerful replacement to the traditional school bell and automated intercoms.

“”Traditional school bell rings can be a thing of the past, since many sounds, including more pleasant tones and chimes, are provided with BellCommander and any WAV or MP3 can be played,”” says the release.

And who said Brits are boring?

When it comes right down to it, those Brits will take practicality over porn any day, it seems. According to a recent Reuters story posted on, the most enduring topic of top 20 searches on Yahoo has not been Janet Jackson’s bare breast. Although Ms. Jackson’s garment gaffe did make the top 20 for two days, train timetables have been among the most popular searches for 148 days.

Blowed up real good

Ever wonder what’s in your beer? Now you can find out by visiting, a site that took a Florida State University nine years and more than US$5 million to make. Described as blurring the line between art and science, the site gives you a microscopic view of stuff like beer, gems and gunpowder.

Cure for optimism
The Register

Surely, by now, you’d think, most people know enough not to open e-mail that looks questionable.

Not according to a study reported in a story, in which a U.K. market research firm found that two-thirds of 1,000 office workers polled in January said they are not even aware of the most basic virus prevention measures. A third said they were too busy to bother checking them. And even though more than 62 per cent said they rated viruses as the No.1 security risk, more than half also said they would not be particularly bothered if they encountered an attack.

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