iPhones rule, everyone else drools this week in The InfoWorld news quiz

iPhones rule, everyone else drools this week in our news quiz. Whether it’s employees or naughty words, everyone seems to be cutting back something. Also making headlines this week: Bill Gates’ new company, Comcast’s new speeds and the strange things people do with their cell phones. Correct answers are worth 10 points. Are you ready to strain your brain? Then let us commence.

1. The world’s economy may be sucking wind, but Apple still blows everyone else away — thanks largely to the iPhone. What percentage of Apple’s Q4 revenue came from this pocket-size device?

a. 19 per cent
b. 29 per cent
c. 39 per cent
d. 49 per cent

2. Sony has pulled LittleBigPlanet off the market due to problems with the PS3 game’s soundtrack. What could be heard over the game’s music?

a. Someone dropping the F-bomb
b. Phrases from the Koran
c. Someone calling John McCain “Gramps”
d. The sound of one hand clapping

3. “If the probability that a phoneme or word in the input audio data stream matches a corresponding phoneme or word in the undesired speech data is greater than a probability threshold, the input audio data stream is altered so that the undesired word or a phrase comprising a plurality of such words is unintelligible or inaudible.” Who said it, and what the [censored] are they talking about?

a. Microsoft patent for software that censors audio broadcasts
b. Verizon patent for monitoring phone sex calls by minors
c. Comcast patent for turning R movies into G movies
d. Sony patent for software that deletes Koran phrases from games

4. Anonymous has a name. An 18-year-old New Jersey-ite has pleaded guilty to hacking the Scientology.org Web site earlier this year. Which youth says he done it?

a. Dmitriy Guzner
b. David Kernell
c. Kevin Cogill
d. Josh Holly

5. One of the following tech giants has NOT announced plans to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce this year. Which one?

a. AMD
b. eBay
c. Yahoo
d. Amazon

6. Comcast is pumping up its broadband to extreme speeds. Just how fast will Comcast now cast?

a. 10Mbps
b. 25Mbps
c. 50Mbps
d. 500Mbps

7. According to a new survey, a surprising percentage of handset owners use their phones during “romantic” moments. What percentage?

a. 3
b. 11
c. 27
d. 89

8. Just when we thought we’d seen the last of him, Bill Gates has quietly launched another venture. What is this mystery company’s cryptic name?

a. bgC3
b. cbBG
c. ACbg
d. bgFD

9. eBay has added one more item to the list of things you can no longer legally auction on the site. What is now officially verboten?

a. Rhino horns
b. Shark fins
c. Elephant tusks
d. Donkey tails

10. Take the estimated cost to search messages sent to or from Gov. Sarah Palin’s e-mail accounts, rounded to the nearest million. Multiply by the amount in pennies that music-sharing site Lala.com charges to stream an MP3 “websong” to your PC. Divide by the number of gambling site domains seized by the state of Kentucky. Place it all on 22 Black and let it ride. What do you get?

a. 1.063
b. 10,638
c. 1,063,830
d. 1.06 billion

Answer Key

Question 1: How much of its money does Apple get from iPhone sales?

10 points
c. 39 percent

Or US$4.5 billion in the most recent quarter — more than Apple makes from selling computers — thanks in large part to healthy subsidies from AT&T. Meanwhile, the Jesus phone helped Ma Bell’s wayward offspring sign up 2.4 million iPhone accounts, 40 percent of them new customers. Next, Steve Jobs will solve the global financial crisis using a rain stick and a box of Altoids.

Question 2: What background noise caused Sony to yank its LittleBigPlanet game?

10 points
b. Phrases from the Koran

Accused of mocking the holy Muslim text, Sony elected to pull the game and reissue it sans the offending passage. The company declined to identify which phrases were used on the soundtrack — probably because doing so would cause it to be accused of mocking the Koran.

Question 3: Whose patent nixes naughty phonemes?

10 points
a. Microsoft patent for software that censors audio broadcasts

The company was awarded a U.S. patent for technology that obscures naughty words from live audio streams. No doubt in preparation for Steve Ballmer’s next press conference.

Question 4: Who’s claimed responsibility for the Anonymous Scientology hack?

10 points
a. Dmitriy Guzner

Nabbed by the Feds last week, Guzner copped a plea — which could still have him wearing an orange jumpsuit for the next 10 years. The 20-year-old Kernell got arrested for allegedly hacking Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account, 27-year-old Cogill for posting Guns N’ Roses songs to his blog, and 19-year-old Holly for hacking Miley Cyrus’s Gmail inbox. Whatever happened to shoplifting and spray painting graffiti?

Question 5: Who isn’t (yet) axing one out of every 10 employees?

10 points
d. Amazon

In a memo released earlier this week, former Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang confirmed rumors the troubled dot-com survivor will be canning at least 1,500 employees. eBay issued a similar pronouncement two weeks ago, while AMD said it would it trim 10 percent earlier this year. So much for the notion that IT is recession-proof. That just leaves the Mafia.

Question 6: How fast will Comcast’s new “extreme” broadband be?

10 points
c. 50Mbps

Comcast’s “Extreme 50” service will offer download speeds of up to 50Mbps and uploads at 10Mbps for $140 a month, starting in select markets this fall. The less expensive “Ultra” service offers 22Mbps down and 5Mbps up for about $63. The broadband ISP still plans to maintain its 250GB monthly data cap, however, allowing BitTorrent fans to hit the wall that much more quickly.

Question 7: What percentage of Americans use cell phones during intimate encounters?

10 points
b. 11

Osterman Research surveyed nearly 150 adults and found that they also use their phones during weddings (18 percent), horseback riding (41 percent), driving (77 percent), and in the bathroom (79 percent). That flushing sound you heard on your last call? It wasn’t a waterfall.

Question 8: What’s Bill Gates’ mysterious new venture called?

10 points
a. bgC3

What exactly it is, only God and Gates know. Startup incubator? Think tank? Poodle farm? Your guess is as good as anyone’s, which is to say no good at all. When you’re worth $55 billion, you can do anything you want.

Question 9: What’s no longer up for auction on eBay?

10 points
c. Elephant tusks

Or anything made from them. To save endangered pachyderms, eBay has officially banned auctions for ivory products. However, you still have until Dec. 31 to get that coveted pair of ivory cuff links — even if Dumbo has to die for it.

Question 10: What are Palin e-mails times websongs divided by gambling domains?

10 points
c. 1,063,830

Alaska’s state IT officials put a $15 million price tag on searching the inboxes of all 16,000 state employees (think maybe they’re trying to avoid doing it?). Lala.com wants to charge 10 cents for the right to stream an MP3 to your computer in perpetuity, or until it changes its business model again. Kentucky county circuit judge Thomas Wingate just upheld his own ruling allowing the state to seize domain names for 141 gambling sites, regardless of where the sites actually operate. So 15M * 10 / 141 = 1,063,830. If that ruling holds up in higher court, all bets about the future of the Net are officially off. Tune in next week for another high-stakes quiz.

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You don’t know tech: The InfoWorld news quiz and answer key (Oct 2, 2008)