Lost Packets issue 4

Sports car of the future to make its debut

If you thought James Bond had all the coolest gadgets, think again. A Swiss firm has developed what most would consider the unthinkable. Rinspeed Inc. is set to debut the Rinspeed Splash, a sports car that can not only operate on land, but can swim and fly. Set for its first appearance at a motor show in Geneva this month, the Rinspeed Splash has folding wings and a high-tech hydraulics system that enables it to lift off over water. The engineering firm is preparing to prove the hype around the car by driving it across the English Channel this summer. Splash can reach speeds of 200 km-h on road, 50 km-h on water and 80 km-h over water, according to Rinspeed.

Canada follows footsteps of RIAA

Following the Recording Industry Association of America’s public court battles with errant Internet file-swappers, several of Canada’s biggest music producers propositioned the Federal Court of Canada last month to order ISPs to identify customers that share music over the Web. According to the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), illegal downloading has cost Canuck retailers approximately $425 million in sales since 1999. BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc., Videotron Ltee and Telus Corp. have been asked to identify 29 of the top music uploaders. At press time, the ISPs had yet to respond to the court order. Since the RIAA’s blitz began, illegal downloading rates are down approximately 50 per cent in the U.S.

Valentine text message almost splits couple

Nothing says I love you like a romantic text message, except when it’s mis-dialed to the wrong recipient. This very scenario nearly caused the breakup of a Malaysian couple on Valentine’s Day. According to reports, a 27-year-old man and his wife of two months were driving south of Kuala Lumpur when his mobile phone started to beep just after midnight. Asking his wife to retrieve the message, she became enraged to read a very personal, romantic message from a woman named Jane. After demanding he drop her off at her parents’ home, refusing to take his calls and threatening to file for divorce, the sender was traced and apologized for the misunderstanding.

MS finds swastika in Office

Microsoft Corp. was forced to issue a public apology last month when swastika symbols were found in new copies of the company’s widely-used Office software. The swastikas were discovered as options for users with the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font, a font Microsoft said is not its creation. The company said it was unsure how the symbols got to be included in the software, but promptly removed the offensive signs from the suite. Still, despite the quick removal, several Jewish groups pondered what the symbols were doing there in the first place, saying that the inclusion of the symbol encourages casual use by people who have not considered the issues it raises.

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