News quiz: The week in tech

InfoWorld news quiz: Sept. 24, 2010 -- Facebook phones home, HP leaves Hurd alone

Got a Facebook phone? If so, either you've got a lot of company or none at all, depending on which Internet rumors you believed this week. In other news: Twitter got hacked, the RIAA and MPAA were attacked, HP and Oracle buried the hatchet, and Mark Zuckerberg just joined the big kids' table. Are you ready to dazzle us with your geeky brilliance? Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. Now let's get started.

1. Rumors about a Facebook phone flew fast and furious across the Web this week. Which of the following statements is a known fact?

a. The handset will run the Android OSb. Facebook will contract with HTC to build itc. It will integrate deeply with the social networkd. Facebook has disavowed all knowledge of it

2. Twitter got hit with a doozy of cross-site scripting attack this week. Which one of the following geeks is not claiming at least partial responsibility for the Twitter worm?

a. Norway's Magnus Holm

b. Australia's Delphin Pearce

c. Japan's Masato Kinugawa

d. 4chan's Christopher Poole

3. HP and Oracle have kissed and made up, ending a dispute about the database giant hiring HP's ex-CEO, Mark Hurd. What was one of the major conditions of the deal?

a. Hurd accepts a lesser position than “co-president” with Oracle

b. Hurd gives back part of his golden parachute

c. Hurd agrees to enter sex addiction counseling

d. Larry Ellison agrees to take a vow of silence

4. IBM just acquired yet another data analytics company. What's this one called?

a. Netezza

b. Nezetta

c. Nezanata

d. Nazentta

5. Move over World of Warcraft. A new massively multiplayer online role-playing game has arrived to challenge WoW's dominance of the MMORG market. What is it?

a. FangTown: The Ultimate Vampire Online Realm

b.Galaxy Guido: Jersey Shore 3D

c. PotterQuest: The Extreme Harry Potter Experience

d. Planet Michael: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Online Game

6. "We are harassing and seeking to take down these corrupt establishments. We are seeking to change our way of life OUTSIDE the 'basement' we are trapped in. This is just the beginning. ... If you seek to end the corruption, the hypocrisy or organizations that will break law just to see to their own ends at the cost of your freedoms, then join with the hundreds, the thousands in total, that have already joined us." Whose Internet rallying cry is this?

a. The Tea Party

b. 4chan

c. The Pirate Bay

d. Lady Gaga

7. According to unconfirmed reports, Apple just snapped up a Swedish maker of facial recognition software. Which one?

a. Polar Rose

b. Polar Bear

c. Polar Cap

d. Polar Opposites

8. Forbes just published its annual list of the 400 richest bipeds, and as usual it's filled with technology types. Which of the following geek-billionaires is not among the top 20 richest?

a. Steve Ballmer

b. Paul Allen

c. Jeff Bezos

d. Steve Jobs

9. Researchers in Utah have unearthed fossils from the world's horniest dinosaur. What's its Latin name?

a. Hornominious maximus

b. Kosmoceratops richardsoni

c. Utahceratops gettyi

d. Coitus allthetimeus

10. Take the downloads milestone reached by Internet Explorer 9 beta during its first two days of availability and add the amount of money Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to donate to New Jersey public schools. Multiply by the customer satisfaction scores bestowed upon Apple in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index. Post that on your Facebook profile and click "Like." What do you get?

a. 87,720,000

b. 877,200,000

c. 8,772,000,000

d. 87,720,000,000

Answers

Question 1: Rumors about a Facebook phone flew fast and furious across the Web this week. Which of the following statements is a known fact?

Correct Answer: Facebook has disavowed all knowledge of it

In fact, the only thing we know for sure about the alleged phone is that Facebook steadfastly denies its existence, regardless of what TechCrunch or any of the 10,967 other blogs repeating TechCrunch have to say about it. On the other hand, Facebook admits to making a big push into the mobile market. So if a smartphone that can run Facebook is a "Facebook phone," does that mean all smartphones are Facebook phones? Apple won't be too happy to hear that.

Question 2: Twitter got hit with a doozy of cross-site scripting attack this week. Which one of the following geeks is not claiming at least partial responsibility for the Twitter worm?

Correct Answer: 4chan's Christopher Poole

According to the U.K.'s Guardian, Kinugawa discovered the original XSS flaw a month ago. Holm created a JavaScript-based worm that exploited the holes to auto-retweet itself when a mouse cursor passed over a link on Twitter.com, per an account in the New York Times. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Delphin Pearce of Melbourne also claims credit for spreading the worm to more than 200,000 users, according to Agency France Presse. Regardless of who's to blame, the exploit was adapted by various digital miscreants to distribute spam, spawn pop-up windows, and drive followers of the Britain's former First Lady, Sarah Brown, to a Japanese porn site. We're sure that was a bit more exciting than reading about what she ate for lunch.

Question 3: HP and Oracle have kissed and made up, ending a dispute about the database giant hiring HP's ex-CEO, Mark Hurd. What was one of the major conditions of the deal?

Correct Answer: Hurd gives back part of his golden parachute

Thanks apparently to a deal brokered by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and HP board member Marc Andreessen, HP agreed to drop its breach-of-contract suit against Hurd and Oracle, provided Hurd forgo roughly half of the stock options coming to him, worth approximately $14 million. So a messy divorce turns into a relatively amicable split in order to spare the kids: the 140,000 customers that run Oracle software on HP machines.

Question 4: IBM just acquired yet another data analytics company. What's this one called?

Correct Answer: Netezza

IBM is buying the maker of data warehouse appliances for $1.7 billion in cash. The deal marks IBM's 23rd acquisition of an analytics company over the past four years, to the tune of $12 billion. Go ahead and analyze that, if you dare.

Question 5: Move over World of Warcraft. A new massively multiplayer online role-playing game has arrived to challenge WoW's dominance of the MMORG market. What is it?

Correct Answer: Planet Michael: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Online Game

Developer SEE Virtual Worlds is building the game, which will allow players to navigate the 3-D realm using songs and dances instead of swords and dragons. No virtual reality glove is required, though you may want to bring along your own monkey.

Question 6: "We are harassing and seeking to take down these corrupt establishments. We are seeking to change our way of life OUTSIDE the 'basement' we are trapped in. This is just the beginning. ... If you seek to end the corruption, the hypocrisy or organizations that will break law just to see to their own ends at the cost of your freedoms, then join with the hundreds, the thousands in total, that have already joined us." Whose Internet rallying cry is this?

Correct Answer: 4chan

The object of 4chans' ire this time? The RIAA, MPAA, and the company they allegedly hired to DDoS sites such as The Pirate Bay that are hosting BitTorrents. The notorious Internet activist-pranksters managed to DDoS the websites of these organizations for a few hours last weekend, taking them offline. They then declared victory and went back to their basements -- or rather, their mothers' basements. (Just kidding, guys. Please don't hurt us.)

Question 7: According to unconfirmed reports, Apple just snapped up a Swedish maker of facial recognition software. Which one?

Correct Answer: Polar Rose

The Norwegian blog Mac1 reports that Apple acquired the 15-person company based in Malmo, Sweden, for a rumored $29 million. Polar Rose makes software that scans images and identifies the people in them, which could prove useful for the iPhone 4's FaceTime video calling app -- or, say, identifying who just found that lost supersecret iPhone prototype inside a bar.

Question 8: Forbes just published its annual list of the 400 richest bipeds, and as usual it's filled with technology types. Which of the following geek-billionaires is not among the top 20 richest?

Correct Answer: Steve Jobs

Bill Gates once again tops the list at $54 billion, followed by bridge-buddy Warren Buffett ($45 billion) and Oracle's Larry Ellison ($27 billion). Ballmer, Allen, and Bezos occupy slots 16 through 18, respectively, with fortunes ranging from $12 to $13 billion. But with just $6.1 billion in assets, Steve Jobs rates a miserly 42nd -- below even Mark Zuckerberg ($6.9 billion). You know that's gonna leave a mark.

Question 9: Researchers in Utah have unearthed fossils from the world's horniest dinosaur. What's its Latin name?

Correct Answer: Kosmoceratops richardsoni

Both Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops -- close cousins of the triceratops -- were unearthed in the deserts of Utah, but Kosmo takes the horniness crown. Researchers uncovered fossils boasting up to 15 horns on a single skull. What else did you think we meant?

Question 10: Take the downloads milestone reached by Internet Explorer 9 beta during its first two days of availability and add the amount of money Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to donate to New Jersey public schools. Multiply by the customer satisfaction scores bestowed upon Apple in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index. Post that on your Facebook profile and click "Like." What do you get?

Correct Answer: 8,772,000,000

IE9 passed more than 2 million downloads in its first 48 hours, according to Microsoft. The 26-year-old Facebook chief will donate $100 million to public schools in Newark, New Jersey. Apple received a customer sat score of 86 -- well above Acer, Dell, and HP, all tied at 77 -- to lead the PC pack for the seventh year in a row. So 2M + 100M * 86 = 8,772,000,000. We're sure Zucky's public largesse had nothing to do with that less-than-friendly movie coming out next weekend, "Citizen Zuckerberg." Sorry, we meant "The Social Network." Come back next week for another socially awkward quiz.

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