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Fri 6 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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Solving all data impurr-fections

Data recovery is one task we would gladly leave to the experts. And to reinforce our view a recent list released by data recovery specialist Disklabs backs up our theory.

The UK-based firm recently revealed the oddest requests it had received for assistance, reported online newswire The Register, and there were some pretty strange cases in its top ten. The company claimed all the anecdotes in its list were true and came from real jobs undertaken by the firm.

Topping the list was the case of a cat urinating on a laptop. Yes, the brave Disklab technicians had to deal with a Toshiba laptop that a client’s Persian Blue had relieved itself on.

Meanwhile, one client’s claim that there was ‘a bit of oil on it’ turned out to be a laptop, used by the client on an oil rig, had had nearly 120 barrels of crude oil spilt on it.

“It seems that each year this list gets more and more bizarre,” said Simon Steggles, a director at Disklabs.

However, we could not help noticing one example of IT rage. This involved an IT manager who, understandably upset at being fired, just went up to a company server and started kicking the server until it stopped working. His actions caused data corruption and hardware damage to the hard drives.

That is — the standard office practice of escorting fired IT staff off the premises at once — exists, we believe.

Space officey

When space tourist Anousheh Ansari recently made it to the International Space Station, all the headlines centred on her Iraninan heritage.

But the millionaire, who made her money in telecommunications, was more concerned with keeping in contact with her work colleagues back on Earth, reported Asian newswire Zee News. “I’m keeping up to date with what’s going on in our office and the progress everyone’s making, so they’re sending me status reports,” she said.

“It’s wonderful, the technology up here, it’s like I’ve never left the Earth and like I’m sitting in my office actually,” she added. You would have thought that, having spent US$20million for her ticket, she could have relaxed up there.

Play for decay

More strange happenings at mega corporation Sony. The flurry of rumours concerning the impending release of its gaming console PlayStation3 (PS3) are threatening to scupper its chances of success before it has even been unleashed on the public.

The latest news concerns the announcement of a price cut, news sources reported. However, it will only apply to PS3 consoles on sale in Japan.

“It’s ridiculous to decide to cut the price before they start selling the PlayStation 3,” Yoku Ihara, head of equity research at Retela Crea Securities, told news service Bloomberg.

And it seems the business heads agree too with nearly 2% being wiped off the the company’s stock after the announcement last month. To European gamers who will not receive any PS3s in the initial phase of the release anyway — due to the availability of the blue laser diodes for the console’s Blu-ray DVD drive — it seems they are being treated badly.

For Sony, it looks like the price cut will further increase the loss it makes on each console — a price most console manufacturers are willing to pay in the industry — by increasing the cost of games.

But because the tech in PS3 is cutting edge and expensive, industry analysts are wondering how Sony will recoup the cash – especially as it has claimed that the games will be available at US$59.99 each. The real price, most analysts and gaming press believe, is likely to be between US$75-85 per title.

All in all, many fear that Sony could be setting itself up for a hugely expensive pratfall.

It’s pod’s law

Once again, Apple has decided to call in the lawyers over firms it believes are unfairly using the word ‘Pod’.

This time, Podcast Ready and its myPodder service has been slapped down by an action for daring to trademark its name and services.

The services provide a way to organise content to put on media players, such as the iPod.

“While Apple, of course, has no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term ‘podcast’ as part of a trademark for goods and services offered, it cannot allow marks that go beyond this legitimate use and infringe on Apple’s rights in POD and IPOD,” the legal letter claims.

Of course Apple has no objection to podcast, as the term was invented by a journalist from the UK newspaper The Guardian. Or maybe Apple should also go after anyone who is of ‘antipodean’ background.

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