News Quiz of the Week: You Don't Know Tech

From the criminals who broke into Sarah Palin's Yahoo mail, to a new Microsoft ad, to the release of the Spam King -- it's been a busy week. Take our news quiz and test your knowledge.

Hello and welcome to the special Crime and Punishment edition of our weekly news quiz. This week, criminals broke into the e-mail account of America's favorite gun-toting hockey mom, a notorious spammer walked out of prison, and Seinfeld got booted from his Microsoft gig for reasons that, like the ad campaign itself, are still a little vague. Can you withstand our punishing questions? Prove it by taking the quiz. Correct answers are worth 10 points, and no, we don't have any photos of Sarah Palin in her birthday suit. Sorry. Let's begin.

1. Governor Sarah Palin's Yahoo mail got hacked and posted on the Net. Which one of the following is NOT a valid e-mail address for the would-be VP?

a. b. c. d.

2. It's not an iPhone, but it might be the next best thing. T-Mobile's Android phone, called the HTC Dream, is scheduled to debut next week. What are these Google-powered handsets likely to cost?





3. Well that didn't last long. Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld are parting ways after just two not-entirely-well-received commercials for Microsoft. What reason did the company give for the breakup?

Jerry was just the warm-up act

He and Bill had "creative differences"

John Hodgman was available

One word: Rehab

4. According to Google Insights, which of the following terms is searched for more often on the Net?





5. One of the hackers charged in a massive retail hacking ring has agreed to help the prosecution. Which of these guys is singing like a canary?

Albert "Segvac" Gonzalez

Maksym "Maksik" Yastremskiy

Aleksandr "Jonny Hell" Suvorov

Damon Patrick Tohey

6. One of the many contenders for the title of "spam king" is a free man yet again, after convincing the Virginia Supreme Court to overturn his 2005 conviction. Which spammer was it?

Sanford Wallace

Robert Soloway

Jeremy Jaynes

Todd Moeller

7. So Best Buy snarfed up Napster. What was the former scourge of the recording industry worth to the big-box retailer?

$1.21 million

$12.1 million

$121 million

$1.21 billion

8. No, John McCain did not invent the BlackBerry, but one of his advisers seems to think he did. What is said adviser's name?

David Hyde Pierce

Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Damon Patrick Tohey

Leonard Pinth-Garnell

9. Internet access on U.S. airlines has barely taken flight, but it's already ruffling some feathers. What are people complaining about up there in the friendly skies?

Painfully slow connections

Wonky Wi-Fi networks

Not enough AC jacks

Passengers surfing porn

10. The math, she is time. Take the cost of that new Tesla electric car factory to be built in San Jose. Add the number of McDonald's where you can now fill up your Zune for free using the restaurant's Wi-Fi connection, rounded to the nearest hundred. Multiply that by the percentage of American youth who play video games, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Now supersize it. What do you get?





Answer Key on Next Page

Answer Key

Question 1: Which one of these isn't a legit e-mail address used by Sarah Palin?

10 points


Don't bother trying to reach the Lipstick Pit Bull, though; after news of the hack got out, Palin (or her handlers) canceled her Yahoo accounts. So far the disclosures have proved little, though they suggest Governor Palin may have been using private e-mail to conduct public business -- a no-no under state public disclosure laws.

Question 2: What are Dreams going for these days?

10 points

c. $199

Which is, not coincidentally, the same price as the iPhone 3G (aka the Jesus phone). We'll have to wait till next week to find out if it walks on water.

Question 3: Why did Microsoft drop the Bill and Jerry show two weeks after it began?

10 points

a. Jerry was just the warm-up act

Apparently, the company spent $10 million on Seinfeld just "to warm people up and get into the conversation a little more smoothly," Microsoft branding honcho David Webster told AdWeek. So that works out to about $2 million a minute for Seinfeld's unique brand of non-comedy. Who's laughing now?

Question 4: Which search term makes Googlers feel the luckiest?

10 points

b. MySpace

Now now, get your mind out of the gutter. "MySpace" ranks first among these terms, followed by "sex," "porn," "YouTube," and "Facebook." According to research by Hitwise general manager Bill Tancer, social networks have eclipsed porn as the No. 1 interest on the Net. Yes, but you know people are only going to Facebook to look at the pictures.

Question 5: Which alleged retail hacker has rolled over for the feds?

10 points

d. Damon Patrick Tohey

Three Americans, three Ukrainians, two Chinese, natives of Belarus and Estonia, and someone known only by his hacker handle "Delpiero" have been charged with stealing more than 40 million credit card numbers from the Wi-Fi networks of nine major U.S. retailers. So far, only Miami native Toey has flipped. Maybe it's because they never let him have a cool nickname.

Question 6: Which e-mail scofflaw is walking the streets, free to spam again?

10 points

c. Jeremy Jaynes

The court found that Virginia's 2004 anti-spam law violates First Amendment protections on anonymous speech, which apparently includes the freedom to anonymously fill your inbox with get-rich-quick scams. Let's hope Jaynes' legal bills make him poor quick.

Question 7: What kind of coin did Best Buy drop to get Napster?

10 points

c. $121 million

Napster has been out of the MP3 swapping game for some time, emerging in 2003 as a legal-yet-unprofitable music subscription service. Apparently, the Geek Squad think downloads, not gizmos, are the future of big-box retail. Hey, it might have been worse -- they could have purchased the Zune.

Question 8: Who could have sworn John McCain invented the BlackBerry?

10 points

b. Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Pointing to his BlackBerry, Holtz-Eakin declared: "Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years -- comes right through the Commerce Committee -- so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create, and that's what he did." The McCain campaign swiftly disavowed credit for the invention. Hmm, maybe Holtz-Eakin doesn't know how to use the InterWebs either.

Question 9: What's got frequent fliers in a tizzy?

10 points

d. Passengers surfing porn

The people doing the complaining are the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which wants airlines to put smut filters on their Net connections before the wheels go up and the honey-roasted peanuts come out. So far, however, no actual Net porn has been sighted at 30,000 feet. Please return to your seat and keep all your belts fastened. Thank you for flying.

Question 10: What's electric cars plus McD's hotspots times American gamers?

10 points

c. 242,509,506

Electric cars should start rolling (silently) out of Tesla's $250 million factory some time in 2010. You can download tunes to your Zune at approximately 9,800 golden arches hotspots across the nation. According to Pew, some 97 percent of American kids play video games of one form or another. So 250M + 9,800 * .97 = 242,509,506. And that remaining 3 percent? Too busy chowing fries at Mickey D's while fiddling with their Zunes, no doubt. Come back next week for another wholesome and nutritious quiz.

This story, "News Quiz of the Week: You Don't Know Tech" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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