Logging Off: Quick Hits

Would you use a straw?

A can of air from Saskatchewan sold in an online auction last month for US$16.36. The auction, which lasted for a total of 10 days, ran on eBay’s Web site and started at US$9.99. The woman who sold the can was from the States, and said she originally purchased it in an American antique store. The label on the can reportedly states that it is a cure for people suffering from “Pollutaphobia (the need of fresh clean air), Clusterphobia (the need of wide open prairie spaces), Acrophobia (the need to be free from being high), Insomnia (the need for a relaxing night’s sleep).” The original owner paid US$5 for the can of prairie air.

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Hackers wreaked havoc last month on USA Today‘s Web site where they replaced real news stories by dropping in phony articles. The joke articles were up for approximately 15 minutes before officials at the newspaper noticed them and shut them down, according to reports. A spokesperson for USA Today noted that the hackers seemed to have penetrated the Web servers from outside of the company’s internal network, and called the pages “very prankish.” Among the phony stories was an article which quoted the Pope as saying that Christianity is “a sham,” and that the Pentagon should be declared unconstitutional because its shape is so close to that of the Jewish star of David. Security of the Web site was upgraded immediately following the hack.