You don’t know tech: The InfoWorld news quiz and answer key

This week, the world’s second-most eagerly awaited phone made its debut. But that’s not the only tech news worth dialing in. We’ve got new rumors coming out of Yahoo, new services coming out of Google, and yet another replacement for music CDs coming out of SanDisk, of all places.

Think you got it all wired? Prove it by acing our quiz. Each correct answer is worth 10 points. Ready? Then let us commence.

1. The Jesus phone it isn’t. But T-Mobile’s new Android-powered handset could be the Buddha phone. Which of the following is NOT part of the G1 feature set?

a. 3G and Wi-Fi
b. GPS
c. A QWERTY keyboard
d. iTunes 8.0

2. Now for the bad news. Not everyone is doing backflips over the G1. What are some early lookers complaining about?

a. Lack of support for corporate e-mail
b. Users are locked into T-Mobile
c. Not as slim or sexy as the iPhone
d. All of the above

3. The FBI is investigating a University of Tennessee student in connection with the Sarah Palin e-mail hack. What key term(s) led the feds to 20-year-old David Kernell?

a. Rubicon
b. Rubico
c. Ruby Tuesday
d. Rubik’s Cube

4. In response to his response to the Palin e-mail hack, Fox News bloviator commentator Bill O’Reilly had his own Web site compromised. What data from did hackers post on Wikileaks?

a. Photos of his loofah collection
b. Details on more than 200 subscribers
c. A 50GB database of Bill’s enemies
d. A 1KB database of Bill’s friends

5. It’s been weeks since we’ve heard any juicy Yahoo news. What rumor is swirling around the troubled search firm?

a. Layoffs are imminent
b. The FTC will nix its ad deal with Google
c. NASDAQ is threatening to delist its stock
d. Jerry Yang and Carl Icahn will star in Yahoo ads, a la Gates and Seinfeld

6. So much for solving the mysteries of the cosmos. The Large Hadron Collider has gone off-line barely two weeks after powering up. What smashed the big atom smasher?

a. Failed to reboot after an automatic Windows Update
b. Suffered a “quench,” causing a helium leak
c. Had a power surge, causing blackouts throughout Europe
d. Created a black hole that swallowed the world

7. Move over LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs. SanDisk just introduced another physical medium for delivering music. What is it calling its micro-sized product?

a. microTunes
b. slotMusic
c. thumbNotes
d. Bitty-ditties

8. “As the current administration winds down, both agencies must remain vigilant so that the next administration does not inherit a communications crisis.” What politico said it, and what crisis was he talking about?

a. FCC chair Kevin Martin, re: ISPs throttling BitTorrent
b. FTC chair William E. Kovacic, re: online behavior tracking
c. Senator Herb Kohl, re: price gouging for wireless text messages
d. Senator Daniel Inouye, re: the transition to digital TV

9. Like a digital prodigy with attention deficit disorder, Google continues to spew out new ideas. What has it launched lately?

a. Big cash prizes for the best world-changing ideas
b. A service that lets you compare political candidates side by side
c. Consumer protection videos about the Internet
d. All of the above

10. Take the money Google is giving away for its 10-to-the-100 Project, and divide by the size of the world’s biggest digital photo frame, measured diagonally in inches. Multiply by the number of Firefox 3.0 bugs swatted by the latest Mozilla patch. Now go save the world. What do you get?

a. 3,437
b. 343,750
c. 3,437,500
d. 3.4 billion

Answer Key

Now that you know how you scored, you probably want to know why. Check out the answers below for the gory details. And be sure to return next week for another news quiz, ripped straight from the tech headlines.

Question 1: Which of these cool features is not on T-Mobile’s G1?

10 points
d. iTunes 8.0

But it will let you buy MP3s from Amazon, among its other nifty features. iTunes? As if St. Steven of Cupertino would allow that. Heaven forfend.

Question 2: What’s less than G-riffic about T-Mobile’s G-phone?

10 points
d. All of the above

Like the first iteration of the iPhone, the US$179 HTC handset lacks support for Microsoft Exchange and other enterprise e-mail. It’s also slightly heftier than the iPhone, and the “open” OS is only half open (or half closed, for you pessimists) because it requires a two-year T-Mobile contract. Hackers, start your engines.

Question 3: What word earned David Kernell a visit from the G-men?

10 points
b. Rubico

News of the hack was made public by someone using the handle “Rubico,” and Kernell uses the e-mail address [email protected] on a variety of sites. But the proprietor of Ctunnel, the Web proxy service used by Palin’s hacker, isn’t sure the feds have the right guy due to “inconsistencies with the IP address” that was used to post the files. A grand jury convened on the case has failed to issue an indictment (so far). So let’s not slap the cuffs on poor David just yet.

Question 4: What data did hackers steal from

10 points
b. Details on more than 200 subscribers

After hackers guessed the administrative log-in for the site, they posted the names, addresses, and passwords of 205 members of the O’Reilly faithful who pay actual money to receive his e-bloviation. No grand jury has been convened on this one, yet.

Question 5: What bad news is allegedly coming out of Yahoo?

10 points
a. Layoffs are imminent

According to Kara Swisher at All Things D, Yahoo is gearing up to do a little “rightsizing” before it announces its Q3 results next month. The good news? Most of the employees have already jumped ship for Facebook.

Question 6: What went wrong with the Large Hadron Collider?

10 points
b. Suffered a “quench,” causing a helium leak

Two of the LHC’s superconducting electromagnets melted and leaked helium into the collider tunnel, making it too hot to crash protons into each other safely, as well as making CERN physicists talk like Donald Duck. (OK, we’re kidding about that last bit.) That, apparently, is what constitutes a “quench.” I’ll take obscure theoretical physics terms for $300 please, Alex.

Question 7: What is SanDisk calling its itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny polka-dot-sized music chips?

10 points
b. slotMusic

SanDisk’s brand-new bag is a dime-size MicroHD card that plugs into cell phones and portable media players yet can hold several gigabytes of music. It’s banking consumers will spend $10 for a slotMusic “album” instead of downloading songs off iTunes or Amazon. SanDisk might have better luck playing slot machines.

Question 8: Who’s afraid of what looming communications crisis?

10 points
d. Senator Daniel Inouye, re: the transition to digital TV

The geriatric gentleman from Hawaii fears those still relying on rabbit ears to get their American Idol fix will find their sets dark come next February, when analog TV transmissions go the way of Hee Haw reruns.

Question 9: What new stuff has Google come up with this week?

10 points
d. All of the above

In honor of its 10th anniversary, Google has launched, which allows would-be do-gooders to compete for $10 million worth of funding. Google’s In Quotes service lets you compare what political candidates have said on virtually any topic. And in less exciting news, Google is teaming up with the AARP to produce videos educating our elders about how to use the Internet safely. And no, these are not all directed at John McCain.

Question 10: What’s Google prizes divided by photo frame sizes times Mozilla fixes?

10 points
c. 3,437,500

Google is giving out $10 million in prizes, though it may split the cash between five lucky winners. Smartpart has unveiled a 32-inch photo frame with the resolution of high-def TV. Mozilla fixed 11 major bugs in Firefox 3.0, as well as 14 for Firefox 2.0. So 10M / 32 * 11 = 3,437,500. Would killing off those Seinfeld-Gates ads qualify Microsoft for the Google prize? Tune in next week for another inspiring quiz.

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