Technicalities

TURKEY CALLERS, TAKE NOTE. Cell phone ringtones have always been in the ear of the listener. Yours probably sounds good to you, but to other people on the train, restaurant or office, it might sound a little ... flaky. But that doesn't mean ringtones can't appeal to some other sentient life. Some villages in western India have been having trouble with leopards roaming into their midst looking for food.

Forest guards relied on an old method of trapping involving large pits, Reuters said, but that could result in injury to the animals ' which are later relocated into the wild. So the guards turned to ' what else ' the Internet, downloading the calls of goats, cows, and roosters onto cell phones. They hooked up the phones to speakers behind cages and played the ringtones continuously. And it worked: Leopards were safely caught when they followed the sound into the cages. As long as this doesn't herald animal sounds as the Next Big Thing in ringtones ' a colleague swears he heard a phone clucking ' we can score this as a Memorex moment for MP3.

OVER-HYPE OF THE MONTH. Microsoft and Namco, the Pac-Man creator, recently released Pac-Man Championship Edition featuring the first new Pac-Man maze in 26 years. Which is just fine, we suppose. Anyone past a certain age remembers Pac-Man, which a quarter-century ago took up a lot of the free time of a lot of people. And no one could be blamed for feeling a bit of nostalgia for it. But the press release announcing that the new version (only on Xbox 360) 'surprises world' and that the companies 'made video game history' with the release is a bit beyond the pale. Save it for the next edition of Pong.

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