December, 2007

December 18, 2007  11:20 AM

Lonely web users warned off caddish software

rfroley Profile: rfroley

It is the time of year when the lonely can be made susceptible, and lulled into all sort of devilish traps. So internet-chatroom romantics beware: your next chat may be with a clinical computer, not a passionate person. An Australian anti-virus software firm, PC Tools, has warned that software...

December 17, 2007  11:19 AM

Rock-fuelled granddad reinvents the wheelchair

rfroley Profile: rfroley

A retired IT systems engineer from Germany was arrested after he was found doing 40mph down his local high street in a super-powered wheelchair he had upgraded. Guenther Eichmann, 54, told cops in Geseke, Germany, that he was a former engineer and had modified the wheelchair's electric motor so it...

December 14, 2007  11:04 AM

Downtime slips up making a monkey of a chimpanzee

rfroley Profile: rfroley

Chimp.gif Downtime thought the chimpanzee apocalypse might well be upon us when we reported last week that monkeys were being trained to replace data analysts. However, reader John Long...

December 14, 2007  10:44 AM

Facebook frees users from present-tense pickle

rfroley Profile: rfroley
Social networking

Facebook users are rejoicing as the social networking site has removed the “is” from the status formula “John Smith is”, meaning users are free to enter their own verb of choice after their name. The status bar allows users to notify their friends of...

December 12, 2007  10:02 AM

DWP bypasses courier to issue security guidelines

rfroley Profile: rfroley

It seems the government has turned a corner in its approach to data security. It emerged last week that the Department for Work and Pensions sent local authorities an unencrypted e-mail detailing how to password-protect their data. The e-mail detailed the...

December 12, 2007  10:00 AM

What I did on holiday: stole a car, smoked pot…

rfroley Profile: rfroley

A teenager in Norfolk has been banned from using the internet to publish “threatening or abusive” material. The 17-year-old, who was tried at Norwich Youth Court, had posted his thoughts on his criminal behaviour, including smoking cannabis and stealing cars, on the

December 12, 2007  9:59 AM

Russians see miracle of childbirth in a new light

rfroley Profile: rfroley
childbirth, Mobile phones

The future is orange, but not particularly bright, as a Russian mother at the point of delivering her baby girl discovered. When a hospital in Shelehov in northern Russia was pitched into blackness by a power cut, nurses gathered mobile phones to use the light from the screens to assist the...

December 12, 2007  9:54 AM

Microsoft’s Santa bot talks naughty, not nice

rfroley Profile: rfroley

Microsoft has revealed what it is that Santa Claus himself wants for Christmas. Those who thought the answer would be mince pies and brandy are in for a shock. An automated Santa Internet bot created by Microsoft for its MSN Messenger service has reportedly been chatting to users about oral sex. ...

December 12, 2007  9:44 AM

Chimps forget to pretend they have poor memories

rfroley Profile: rfroley
chimpanzees, chimps, Memory

Monkeys have finally slipped up. For years they have been deceiving scientists hoping to employ them as low-level data analysts and helpdesk assistants by throwing their own excrement at walls and generally doing a great impression of being stupid. But a study at Kyoto University has found that...

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