'Did you hear...'

Hair-raising laptops. Sony Electronics Inc. this month recalled 18,000 Vaio notebook computers for modem replacement. A bad modem can deliver an electrical shock, Sony said, if a Vaio is running on AC power, the phone connection is disabled, a grounded peripheral is hooked up and you happen to be touching the metal chassis at the moment the phone rings.

Faux 404.'These weapons of mass destruction cannot be displayed,' said the 404 page-not-found error message returned this month to users who typed 'weapons of mass destruction' into the Google.com search field and clicked on the I'm Feeling Lucky button. The faux 404 page was also the top hit from a search for '404 error message.' The page went on to quip, 'The country might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your weapons inspectors mandate.'

Mighty Google, the oracle of truth. Apparently it's even more powerful as a lie detector than the Handy Truster, but the CIA doesn't use it. According to media reports this month about the Uranium-gate spectacle unfolding on both sides of the Atlantic, documents of 'dubious authenticity' concerning alleged Iraqi purchases of uranium from Niger were distributed to the CIA and other intelligence agencies. The International Atomic Energy Agency then reportedly consulted Google to determine that the docs were fake. According to www.googlefight.com, the IAEA beats the CIA by 1.8:1. And 'Iraq uranium' hits outnumber 'Niger uranium' hits by 6.2:1. Go ahead, make our day. Aim a few weapons of mass distraction at [email protected].

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