Death by Powerpoint — it can’t be helped
You know how it is; you’re sitting attentively, trying to focus on the latest riveting Powerpoint presentation you’ve been subjected to and you can’t — focus that is. Well, it’s not your fault — and that’s official.
Boffins at Sydney’s University of New South Wales have figured out what we all instinctively knew: humans don’t like information simultaneously assaulting their eyeballs and ears, as happens with Powerpoint presentations. Our brains can’t cope, resulting in cognitive overload. It seems we can do words and diagrams, but not words and words-on-screen.
Teens do it publicly
Apparently, back in Tudor times — when Henry “six-wives” VIII was putting it about — privacy as we know it didn’t exist. Apart from the all-plebs-sleep-together-in-the-Great-Hall sleeping arrangements, people didn’t feel the need to have a public and private face.
Well, the web is putting paid to modern notions of privacy and none more so than the younger net denizens, who are well on the way to merging public and private again judging by the latest trend — breaking up online.
UK online news site The Register reports that teens are now breaking up via their MySpace pages. It kinda makes breaking up by text seem cosy.
The longest name
Back when one E-taler was in primary school they were thrilled to discover the longest word in the English language: anti-disestablishmentarianism. (Such things once used to thrill nine-year-olds.) Anyway, even back then we knew that when it came to really long words you couldn’t beat the Welsh — they had those double “l”s to start with. Well, it seems little has changed. British news-site Ananova reports that the world’s longest website is — you guessed it — Welsh. The address is: www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogo
gochuchaf.eu. It actually refers to the upper part of a Welsh-speaking village in Anglesey. Fortunately, for those who find spelling a bit of a challenge there’s also a short-form website address: www.llanfair.wales.com.
Drunken geek seeks help
This is one that’s been circulating: “Hello FreeBSD List — Ok I made a huge mistake (insert laugh here because I know you will). I was working late at home and had more then a few drinks ... a lot more. I was working with a PAP2-NA (Analogue to VoIP adapter) and I changed the password. The password that was programmed into the unit from my service provider was a randomly generated password and I was messing with a lot of the settings and needed to keep logging in. So I changed it to make my life easier.
“So any way I changed the password and now it appears I didn’t change the password to what I had thought I had. The password was a short 4 digit number. Like I said I just wanted to make my life easier while I was messing around with it. Now I am locked out of the unit. My phones don’t work at the house because the thing has been set incorrectly.
“I don’t know how to crack passwords or even where to start. Is there some kind of script or application I can run on my FreeBSD system to try every combination of numbers from 0 to 9999.
“It is possible I may have fat-fingered the number so it could be 6 or 7 digits instead of the 4 I intended. I don’t know. I tried every variation I can think of and even got drunk again hoping to recreate the stupid mistake.
“I have totally messed that one up. I would have had to type it twice which just goes to show you should not work on your junk while drunk.
“Can anyone help me out? The unit has no reset buttons to reset it to defaults there is nothing online that I can find to bypass the unit. I did a port scan and it appears to only be listening on port 80. Any thoughts out there? Please.
“Thanks and I hope I made someone laugh with my mistake because I know all my friends are.”
What your mobile says about you
The choice of a mobile can tell a lot more about a user than many people realise, at least according to a UK survey.
An (unnamed) phone company survey has identified a number of user types, including Flashing Blade, who likes drugs, risks and street-fighting, but lives at home with Mum and is a pre-pay boy — probably because of all those fines he’s paying off.
Then there’s the iPod Babe. She’s into labels and is a career girl. She wants a label phone but “no external aerial”, preferring the smooth look, despite her trash TV tastes (Big Brother) and what coffee snobs would call trash coffee tastes — Starbucks.
But the mobile-phone seller’s dream is Cornflakes-crunching Soccer Dad, who likes his mobile chunky, with lots of gadgets that he rarely uses but which obviously have to be paid for.
Ouch — three times over! Check out online news-site The Register for what else your mobile might be transmitting, as well as calls and texts.