ITBusiness Elsewhere is a collection of links to other technology news stories around the world.
With a little help from my handheld
If you thought geeks
are big losers in love who hide behind technology, you’re right. According to a recent survey conducted by palminfocentre.com, 73 per cent of respondents credited their handheld with meeting people. They also said they’d take a DVD any day over traditional love stuff like flowers or chocolate.
And if you’re so dating challenged you need even more technology to help you attract and keep a date, Palm suggests you invest in a piece of software called My Lovers, where you can keep track of your various love interests’ favourite things such as colours and singers and, no doubt, other preferences not fit for family publications.
A Greek man, reports The Register, got an eyeful more than he expected when he was surfing the porn sites. In fact, he found his wife involved in some very public extramarital activities.
“”Hubby, meanwhile, claimed that he found the site while trying to work out why his missus spent so much time online. The red-faced chap immediately notified the Greek police, demanding that the clip be removed to protect his wife’s privacy,”” says the story. “”However, as the site was free to access, and registration demanded that visitors submit pornographic images of themselves, she was likely aware of the use to which her footage would have been put.””
Chillin’ with my AK-47
This is how to build the better boombox — by investing in the AK-MP3, a 20 GB jukebox MP3 player that’s built into the body of the ammo magazine of a Kalashnikov automatic rifle. Due out this spring, the player was designed by aging rock star Andrey Kolkatov, who uses scantily-clad women holding big guns to model his product on his site.
“”This is our bit for World Peace,”” says Koltakov on his site. “”Hopefully, from now on many militants and terrorists will use their AK47s to listen to music and audio books. . . . They need to chill out and take it easy.””
Make room for more M&Ms
Who needs cancer research when scientists are solving the mysteries of the M&M? According to this story reported in the BBC Online, which refers to a report published in a recent issue of the journal Science, computer simulations have confirmed that M&Ms pack more densely than perfect spheres when randomly jumbled in a container.
Here’s proof of how much women have advanced in the workplace: A small city in Germany that dumped Microsoft and switched to open source was having a hard time convincing city employees that Linux wasn’t being used to spy on them and that they could still play games and use their publicly-paid-for computers for private pastimes. Once that hurdle was overcome, reports news.com, workers sulked that Linux was too hard to use. So to show complaining male workers how easy it is to operate, the city official behind the migration put the chairwoman of the workers’ council on stage in front of them all, where she was shown using the system. “”After that, we found no man would say he couldn’t use his PC now that everyone knew a woman could do it,”” he was quoted as saying.
Fans of The Onion might recall a recent “”news”” story about the “”anger-powered car,”” a car designed to run on the rage of its drivers. That’s made-up, of course, although it seems like a useful enough idea. This, however, is not: a professor at the University of Southern California is working on a software program that analyses not only what callers say on a phone, but how they say it. Designed to help callers avoid automated phone hell – and reduce violence against handsets — the program, the story says, parses speech by transforming it into electrical waveforms, reports Wired News. The angrier a caller gets, the greater the energy that will be apparent in the wave pattern. Once you get angry enough to reach a certain specified point, the software would transfer you to an operator.
The Japanese, it seems, have an endless fascination with electronic pets. The Tamagotchi, an egg-shaped pocket pet of the electronic persuasion, is back after being discontinued in 1998. Dubbed Tamagotchi Plus, this version, due out in March in Japan, will be able to communicate with other pets through infrared, cultivating friendships, love relationships and even reproducing.