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Camera phone saves a life

He may not be Peter Parker but British chef Matthew Stevens saved his own life with the help of his trusty camera phone after being bitten by the world’s deadliest spider. The 23-year-old Stevens was cleaning behind the freezer of his pub when he was bitten twice by a Brazilian Wandering Spider that measured about five inches. Before swelling and dizziness hit, he took a picture of his attacker. Because doctors had a photo, they were able to consult with experts at the Bristol Zoo to determine what kind of anti-venom was needed. The Guiness Book of World Records lists the spider as the world’s most poisonous spider with enough poison to kill 255 mice. It is suspected the spider entered England as a stowaway in a box of bananas.

Online banking and media downloading soar

A recent Ipsos-Insight survey of online behaviour in 12 countries, including Canada, showed online banking and media downloading are set to proliferate. The survey interviewed 6,544 adults, including 3,304 active Internet users, in late 2004 in a report called “The Face of the Web.” Some of the key findings include: online banking is set to gain momentum in leading and advancing nations; and one in three Internet users has downloaded a music file. The survey also noted the most prominent online activity for Internet users in Canada is online music listening and Canada has the largest non-paying music downloader population at 64 per cent.

The great brain teaser challenge

Do you have what it takes to solve RAD Data Communications latest “Challenging Brain Teaser”? If so, the access equipment manufacturer for data communications and telecommunications applications wants you to try and solve the third (and most challenging) of its brain teasers for a chance to win US$5,000. Participants are to devise a strategy for two roulette players in a casino to win five out of six rounds. But these players are bound by certain specific conditions. The first to come up with the winning strategy will win the prize. There are additional prizes of US$1,000 (for devising strategies for four out of five rounds), US$500 (for three out of four rounds) and US$100 (for two out of three rounds). For more details or to try your hand at the brain teaser, visit www.rad.com and click on the brain teaser logo.

Pay online with Interac

There is a new service out there allowing Canadians to use their debit cards to purchase goods over the Internet. The service, called Interac Online, will let customers at participating online merchants use their bank accounts to pay for merchandise instead of their credit cards. At the virtual checkout counter, customers would click on the Interac Online option, which will direct them to their existing online bank account. After login to the bank’s secure Web site and transaction approval, customers are sent back to the retailer’s site where the transaction is acknowledged as complete. Currently, the Royal Bank of Canada is testing Interac Online and hopes to offer the service towards the end of May. Other banks hoping to join include TD Bank and Candian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

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