Lost Packets

Human billboard takes advertising to a new level

Tired of boring banner ads and annoying radio jingles, U.S. hosting firm CI Host has opted for a more unique method of marketing its services. The firm recruited 22-year-old Jim Nelson to act as a human billboard, handing out business cards and flyers for CI Host with the company’s logo tattooed to the back of his head. Nelson, who was contacted by CI via an eBay auction, receives no salary or commission for his efforts despite having so far attracted approximately 500 new customers for the Bedford, Tex.-based firm. CI has historically relied on publicity stunts to garner customer attention. The company has sponsored NASCAR race cars, displayed a giant Santa on the roof of its headquarters and even got its logo on the back of Evander Holyfield’s boxing shorts. For more information, visit www.cihost.com.

Man arrested for threatening Canadian spammers

A California man was arrested last month for making several threats to a Canadian company that continued to send unwanted e-mail messages. Charles Booher allegedly threatened to send Anthrax spores and to “disable” an employee if the unnamed company failed to remove him from their spam list. The e-mail subject matter offered the “Only Reliable, Medically Approved Penis Enhancement” and Booher said his computer was virtually unusable for two months with a barrage of popup ads and e-mail from the same company. Booher now faces up to five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine. He is due in court this month.

U.S. military to train Segway as soldier

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is in the process of transforming the Segway Human Transporter into a war-trained robot. According to reports, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the DoD, has funded the Segway Robotic Mobility Platform, which will add features to the scooter to make it more suitable for military purposes. The ultimate goal is to have the military Segway robot perform scouting operations, recover wounded troops and some day go to battle – duties it may be better suited for than an urban transporter. Earlier this year, a mandatory recall was issued for all Segways because of faulty batteries, which caused the machines to stop abruptly and send their riders tumbling.

New glasses give wearers great memories

Never mind the old string on the finger trick. Richard DeVaul has a better solution for all the forgetful minds out there. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student has developed new memory glasses – tiny computer displays that clip onto eyeglass frames. The displays are wired to a lightweight computer that can flash reminders to the wearer, according to DeVaul. The glasses are part of a computer system developed at MIT, and could be programmed to remind the wearer of people’s names, appointments, or even remind doctors of medical procedures in a non-disruptive way. DeVaul said he hopes to program the glasses to present subliminal messages to the user with flashes that would be too quick for the wearer to notice, but would still be recognized by the brain.

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