Jul 172007



Octothorp, weird yet interesting word isn’t it?

Maybe you’ve seen it in any of these other traditional spellings: octalthorpe / octothorp / octothorpe / octatherp

It’s just one word used to represent that symbol at top, you’re probably most familiar with it as part of the telephone number pad. In most regions of the US and Canada it’s more often called the ‘pound sign’ or the ‘number sign’.

Little is known about this word, but two things we do know. One is that this is truly an obscure word, to the point where most dictionaries don’t even list it, including the Oxford English Dictionary. Second thing known for sure is that the etymology of this word is definitely obscure.

There are a lot of stories that try to explain how it got its name and the experts can’t really agree on the true story. The first part of the name is not in question, ‘Octo-‘, which is Latin for eight because of the eight points on the symbol. But the second half of the name ‘thorp’ is in doubt, if you’d like to read the various stories of explanation then you should check out the article here on worldwidewords.org and this explanation by Octothorp Press on their ‘About the Octothorp‘ page.

Further reference:

 Posted by at 8:23 am
Jul 162007


The operators of “World of Warcraft” in China have replaced skeletons with healthy human bodies in the local version of the online game. This is due to a recent government campaign to clean up Internet content. The PRC gov’t says this supposedly promotes a ‘healthy online culture” to protect the government’s stability.

WTF? Hacking and slashing players and other monsters is OK, but rendering some skeletons on screen is bad? Sheesh!

Link to the AP article on Wired.

 Posted by at 10:05 am
Jul 162007

Who doesn’t like getting free crap swag when visiting with a partner or customer or attending a convention and stopping by a booth you otherwise might have bypassed had the booth babe not been handing out t-shirts?

Here’s someone who obviously has collected his fair share of swag t-shirts. Seeing some of these shirts really takes me down memory lane.

I’ve got my share of shirts as well, half haven’t even been worn, maybe I should use some as prizes here on geeknews. Hmm.

[via has_many:questions]



 Posted by at 8:04 am
Jul 162007

Weeks ago, five high school cheerleaders died in an automobile accident when their car crossed the center lane into on-coming traffic and collided with a big rig.

The police are now saying that it’s likely due to the driver texting on her mobile at the time of the accident:

Cell phone records show a text message was sent from the phone belonging to the driver, Bailey Goodman, at 10:05:52. A reply was sent to her phone at 10:06:29. Thirty-eight seconds later, someone called 911 to report the accident that killed Bailey and her friends. [ABC News]

This was a horrible accident, yet it’s common sense that you can’t text while driving safely, I think geeks and non-geeks alike instinctively know this. But Teens aren’t the only ones most at risk here of trying to multitask on their mobile, there is another group of people just as dangerous to fellow motorists on the road with them and that would be the obsessive compulsive workaholic.

You know what I’m talking about, someone that has to check their mail constantly via their smartphone, refreshing the stock page on their mobile browser, etc…someone like me! We are a danger to society, should be identified and restricted from owning a mobile newer than this:

Old School Mobile

Only then will society be saved from those obsessive compulsive workaholic threats on the road. It takes a lot of willpower at times when I hear the little chirp that a new work e-mail has arrived in my inbox and hold off from taking a peek until I stop at the next red light.

 Posted by at 5:52 am
Jul 162007

Here’s an artifact from the 1950’s, it’s a publicity photo. Leave your guesses in the comments and earn the fame and attention of geeks galore if you think you know what this device is that the woman is so happy over.

No, it’s not from inside the spaceship from the cult classic ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still‘, though if you thought that, then I’d say you’re a really hardcore sci-fi geek. :)

This is also not a giant electric razor, nor is it some randy woman playing with a vacuum hopper!

If you want one last hint, here it is:[The manufacturer of this device also made electric razors until they spun off that razor division around 1979].

With all the hints given in this WIT article I’ve practically given it away, you should be able to research the answer through Live or Google without much difficulty.

What is that?

 Posted by at 12:05 am