Friday, April 20, 2007

It's A Very Cool World We Live In!

Wow. That's about all I can say about the news this week. Most of it hasn't been good and our focus needs to change a bit. So, as a courtesy to you, my local reader, I've decided to give you some other quick stories from around the globe that you probably would have never found yourselves. It's a bizarre world we live in...that's for dang sure!

British Seek To Follow Alzheimer's Patients With GPS

Seniors suffering from dementia could have their movements tracked by a system of satellites, so that their whereabouts are monitored more effectively, a British parliamentary hearing was told today. Malcolm Wicks, Britain's Minister of State for Science and Innovation, told a parliamentary committee that satellite tracking could allow people such as Alzheimer's disease patients to move freely - while ensuring they were being supervised.

"Some might benefit from being monitored so that their families know they are safe and secure," Wicks said. He suggested satellite technology, such as that used to monitor weather patterns, could be adapted to help Britain's aging population, and that experts had told him such as system was feasible. "Are there other uses of satellite technology which could benefit society? For example, we've got an aging population, with many people frail and many suffering from dementia, including Alzheimer's," Wicks said.

More than 700,000 Britons suffer from dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Society. The number of Alzheimer's cases in Europe - currently at 5.5 million - is expected to double in the next 50 years.
Mervyn Kohler, Head of Public Affairs for Help the Aged, a service organization for the elderly, told The Evening Standard, "In principle I wouldn't mind seeing this technology developed. But we don't see it as a single solution and it does seem a little bit Big Brother-ish."

Now there's what we need, lost people just wandering around my local Starbucks!!!

Dangerous New Worm Spreading On The Internet

The next time you go to your inbox look before you open your new messages. A new form of the "Storm Worm" is slamming into e-mail inboxes worldwide. And now that single news event has served as a Trojan horse housing a worm, sent to your email with a subject line: "239 Dead As Storm Batters Europe."

"So people will click on it and they've been infected," says Dan Young, CEO of PC Laptops. The Storm Worm, as it's called. It's one of the larger worms to attack personal computers around the world. It destroys data, erases information and its primary goal is to steal your personal identity. Chances are you wonít know it until itís too late.

What this is primarily doing is infecting itself onto the computer to send in a tracking cookie, a hijacker to collect and send personal information out. Experts say, like most worms or viruses there are a lot of variances. Especially in the way you get infected.In fact, sometimes all it takes is clicking a random icon on an unfamiliar web site. Even so, web sites arenít the primary route of a worm or virus.

The biggest way people get viruses is by opening email from people they don't know. Strange offers and clicking to open those things, that's humungous.

Bottom line: if you don't know where the email is coming from, don't open it. If you do your computer probably won't be the only sick about it.

Ticking Novelty Phone Causes Stir At Post Office

Telephones typically ring, not tick, so a man who went to the post office to pick up a novelty phone he ordered over the Internet was alarmed that the package was ticking. It turned out that the phone had a feature the customer didn't know about: An incoming call causes a Winnie the Pooh head to spin around, making a sound, and the feature apparently had been activated during shipping.

The ticking that prompted evacuation of the Wright City, Ohio post office Thursday morning was Winnie's head repeatedly hitting the side of the package, said Cpl. Julie Scerine, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Highway Patrol. Police and members of the bomb squad were called about 6:45 a.m. when the man retrieving the package noticed the unexpected sound. Wright City is about 45 miles west of St. Louis.

"It was pretty distinctly ticking," Police Chief Don Wickenhauser said. "And he didn't want to pick it up." When authorities contacted the sender, he verified that it was nothing sinister. Scerine said authorities were both amused and relieved when they opened the package.

I guess the moral of the story is before you send electronics, take the batteries out! And I think my next story can even top this one!

Vibrator Sets Off Bomb Alarm

In New Zealand a letter center was vacated because of a suspicious package. When the safety people examined the suspicious transmission, they were surprised at what the actual contents of the package was that set off the alarm.

As the Zealand Herald reported, The package got the employees attention in the letter center in the the airport, because during the transillumination of the package puzzling cables were discovered. The package was then put into a special suit-case for explosives. Only after the evacuation of the entire letter center was determined that the cables belonged to a vibrator, by which security was not endangered.

I just wonder how embarassed the recipient is going to be when they get this package and then read the story in their local paper! Oh the joy of it all.

Woman Registers A .47 On Breath Tester

A Redmond, Washington woman arrested following two car crashes last week registered a .47 blood-alcohol content on a breath test – nearly six times the legal intoxication threshold and possibly a state record. Deana F. Jarrett, 54, was taken to Evergreen Hospital as a precaution following her arrest April 11, the Washington State Patrol said Wednesday. No one was injured in the accidents.

Jarrett blew the .47 on a portable breath tester after she collided with two other vehicles in quick succession, the patrol said. A check of all 356,000 breath tests administered since 1998 in Washington turned up only 35 above .40 - and none of those was higher than .45. The legal intoxication threshold in Washington is .08.

Jarrett did not appear to have a listed phone number, and it was not clear if she had obtained a lawyer. In fact, I don't think this lady even remembered getting arrested!

Well my good friends. That's it for the highlights of the good, the bad, the ugly and the vibrating for this week. So, as a word of caution to you - to prevent any future embarassment from your dim-witted actions - and to prevent you from being in my next episode of Hometown Tales, just do one simple, little thing. Think!