ITBusiness Elsewhere: Hack your toaster

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

Microsoft rolls over for Rowe


Mike Rowe, the now infamous Canadian teenager who exasperated Microsoft with his Web site, has agreed to give it up.

According to AP, the 17-year-old is working on a new site. Microsoft has agreed to cover the cost of redirecting traffic to that site and has ponied up by covering the costs of Microsoft certification training and graft such as an Xbox game console and trips to the company’s headquarters.

Wanted, dead or alive

And in other Microsoft news, the software vendor has put out a bounty on the creator of the recently released MyDoom.B virus. Microsoft, which has called the pesky little program a criminal act, is prepared to fork over US$250,000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.

RadioShack: You’ve got lawsuits, we’ve got lawsuits
Fort Worth Weekly

Microsoft is not the only company irritated about Web site names it doesn’t like. RadioShack – which is knee-deep defending itself against a class action lawsuit 3,300 current and former managers have launched over the company’s overtime policies – is suing the administrator of According to the story, the site mixes “”Beavis and Butthead-level humour””, litigation news and commentary posted anonymously by employees and consumers about the company.

Parle-2 Francais?

If you want to communicate with kids, you have to speak their language. That’s the logic behind a novel recently released in Paris written entirely in French mobile phone text-messaging slang. The moral of the story? Not learn to read and write – instead, it’s don’t smoke.

Can iBook a repair, please?
The Register

Apple computer has launched an iBook logic repair program in response to a flood of complaints over iBooks made between May 2002 and April 2003.

According to the reporter who wrote the story – and who experienced his own iBook problems firsthand – the computers are prone to distorted video, unexpected lines, intermittent video image, video free and computer starts to a blank screen.

Apple, which initially refused to admit there was a problem, is providing the fix for free.

Call me on my TV
New York Times

We get free health care, they get TV on their mobile phones. The New York Times recently reported that Sprint has rolled out cell phone TV and camcorder phones. First you have to buy the Java-enabled phone, then you download the software from the Sprint site. It’s not an all-you-can-eat-universe, though. And the review says the TV is more like a slide show. “”Yet incredibly,”” says the review, “”MobiTV works.””

It tells more than the time

It’s not TV, but Fossil, maker of those funky watches, recently announced its WristNet watch – a wristwatch that connects to the Internet and allows you to get updated news, weather, sports scores, calendar info and messages. To get the service, you need an MSN Direct subscription, which means you have to live south of the border.

Can’t hack it? Get help

There’s a new book out to help computer geeks re-engineer every inanimate object in their office. According to, the book, titled Hardware Hacking: Have Fun While Voiding Your Warranty, helps you do things like turn a standard Apple mouse into a glowing UFO mouse or modify a PlayStation 2 so that you can use it to program your own games.

Pound of flesh, anyone?

The detective investigating the case of Armin Weies, a computer technician who killed and ate someone he met over the Internet, has told the court cannibalism is apparently a popular pastime with German professionals.

“”We are talking about dentists, teachers, cooks, government officials and handymen,”” federal investigator Wilfried Fehl told the court. “”These are people who come from the middle reaches of society.””

The story also says, however, that “”German experts say that while there may be hundreds of people with ‘cannibalistic tendencies’ in Germany, only a tiny proportion of those would be willing to see their fantasies through to their fatal conclusion as Mr. Brandes apparently did.””

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