will have you know...

Here you'll find a compilation of silly, interesting and altogether useless IT facts, from our weekly feature in Tuesday's newsletters.

May 9, 2006
* A "blue bomb" (also known as "WinNuke") is a technique for causing the Windows operating system of someone you're communicating with to crash or suddenly terminate. The "blue bomb" is actually an out-of-band network packet containing information that the operating system can't process. This condition causes the operating system to "crash" or terminate prematurely. The operating system can usually be restarted without any permanent damage other than possible loss of unsaved data when you crashed.

May 2, 2006
* These statements are all true: Podcasting was popularized by former MTV host Adam Curry. President Bush podcasts. Studies show there are now more podcasters than radio DJs.

April 24, 2006
The term OEM has two meanings. Originally, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) was a company that supplied equipment to other companies to resell or incorporate into another product using the reseller's brand name. A number of companies, both equipment suppliers and equipment resellers, still use this meaning, but more recently, OEM is used to refer to the company that acquires a product or component and reuses or incorporates it into a new product with its own brand name.

April 17, 2006
* The so-called Cabir virus is the first verified example of a mobile phone virus. The virus was created by a group from the Czech Republic and Slovakia called 29a, who sent it to a number of security software companies, including Symantec in the United States and Kapersky Lab in Russia. Cabir is considered a "proof of concept" virus, because it proves that a virus can be written for mobile phones, something that was once doubted.

April 11, 2006
* Apple Computer recently announced the launch of Boot Camp, a new feature that will allow users to run Windows XP on Intel-based Macintosh PCs.

April 4, 2006
* A macro virus is a computer virus that "infects" a Microsoft Word or similar application and causes a sequence of actions to be performed automatically when the application is started or something else triggers it. Macro viruses tend to be surprising but relatively harmless.

March 28, 2006
* A hard drive shredder is a mechanical device that physically destroys old hard drives in such a way that the data they contain cannot be recovered. At a minimum, this involves severing every track on every platter in a drive.

Several companies offer hard drive shredding services for a fee, including secure pickup and transport, compliance with environmental regulations, and certification of data destruction. For the enterprise concerned about data theft, such a vendor may offer the best solution to the data destruction problem.

March 21, 2006
* According to Gartner Group research, over four million computers will be replaced, worldwide, between 2004 and 2006. E-cycling is the practice of reusing, or distributing for reuse, electronic equipment and components rather than discarding them at the end of their life cycle.

March 14, 2006
* In cyberculture, the Internet and other networks that flow into it are altogether sometimes called "the matrix." In William Gibson's science-fiction novel, Neuromancer," the matrix" is a vast sea of computing resources that can be visualized by the user, is accessible at many levels, and is lit up more intensely in the areas of greatest activity. The hero, Case, "jacks in" to the matrix through wiring that is (perhaps, since it's not entirely clear) integrated with his brain and explores the matrix with a "deck" or computer console that provides a holographic view.

March 7, 2006
* Anthropomorphism (from the Greek anthrÔpos, for human, and morphÉ, for shape) is the tendency for people to think of other animals or inanimate objects as having human-like characteristics.

February 28, 2006
* Social bookmarking, sometimes called tagging, is a user-defined taxonomy system for bookmarks. Such a taxonomy is sometimes called a folksonomy and the bookmarks are referred to as tags.

February 21, 2006
* The Recording Industry Association of America hopes to eventually prohibit the copying of compact discs, even for personal use.

February 14, 2006
* Technorati, the Internet search engine dedicated to tracking Weblogs, is now tracking more than 19.6 million Weblogs, and the total number of Weblogs tracked continues to double about every five months. The blogosphere has doubled at least five times in the last three years and is now over 30 times as big as it was three years ago.
(Source: David Sifry, founder and CEO of Technorati)

February 7, 2006
* Army Knowledge Online (AKO) is the U.S. Army's main intranet, said to be the world's largest corporate intranet. The intranet is accessed through the Army's public Web page (also known as "AKO"), which it uses for recruiting and public information. The AKO Web site also includes a more restricted intranet containing some information classified as secret.

January 31, 2006
* A jiffy is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Thus the saying, "I will be there in a jiffy. "

January 24, 2006
* It is anticipated that the first Game Boys -- put out by Nintendo in 1990 -- will be collectors' items by around 2008.

January 17, 2006
* "MIDI," which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a standard means of sending digitally encoded information about music between electronic devices, often between synthesizers and computers.

January 10, 2006
* An estimated two million lab mistakes are made in the 100,000 laboratories in the United States every day.

January 3, 2006
* Laptop computers are considered approximately 30% more likely to fail than a desktop, since they get bumped around too much during travel.

December 27, 2005
* The state of Nevada became the first state to pass legislation categorizing Y2K data disasters as "acts of God" in December 1997. Presumably, this was done to protect the state from lawsuits brought against it by residents in the year 2000.

December 20, 2005
* The terms "mobile" and "cell" phone can be used interchangeably. The word cell is short for cellular and has been used since Bell Laboratories set up the first wireless telephony system in 1947. It consisted of a network of low-powered transmitters, each placed to cover a small region or cell. Commercial cell phones were introduced in Chicago in 1978 and in Europe in 1981.

December 13, 2005
* Greeting cards, soup, breakfast cereal, and Imodium were among the most popular package goods bought online as of 2001, according to a study conducted by PC Data and Information Resources Inc.

December 6, 2005
* The average person laughs 13 times a day!

November 29, 2005
* Internet access in the country of Burma is restricted by anti-modem laws. Illegal possession of a modem can lead to a prison term.

November 22, 2005

* Ninety-three percent of online shoppers surveyed by VeriSign reported that they felt it important for an e-commerce site to include a trust mark of some kind on their site.

November 15, 2005
* Some Chinese typewriters have 5,700 characters. The keyboard is almost three feet wide on some models, and the fastest one can type on these machines is 11 words per minute.

November 8, 2005
* A survey of 25,500 standard English-language dictionary words in 1999 found that 93 percent of them had been registered as dot-coms.

November 1, 2005
* The little "a" with a circle curling around it that is found in e-mail addresses is most commonly referred to as the "at" symbol. Surprisingly though, there is no official, universal name for this sign.

There are dozens of strange terms to describe the @ symbol. Several languages use words that associate the shape of the symbol with some type of animal. The actual origin of the @ symbol remains an enigma.

For more information on the history of the "@", check out

October 25, 2005
* The word "modem" is a contraction of the words "modulate, demodulate."

October 18, 2005
* In 1962, University of Utah student Nolan Bushnell received his first exposure to video games, playing Spacewar in the University's computer lab. Bushnell spent the next seven years trying to reproduce Spacewar on a smaller, less expensive computer. When it was finally completed in 1971, Bushnell's Spacewar variation (dubbed "Computer Space"), bombed. People found it too complicated. Bushnell gave up on it, quit his job, and founded Atari in 1972.

October 11, 2005
* Mechanization and improved technology have made lighthouse keepers unnecessary. Today, all of the lighthouses in the United States have been automated, except one in Boston, which still has keepers for sentimental reasons only. Boston Light was the first one built on U.S. shores.

October 4, 2005
* Spacewar is generally considered to be the first video game. Programmed in 1962 by MIT student Steve Russell, Spacewar was a simple game with ASCII graphics where two players would blast lasers at each other. At the time, the game only ran on massive, million-dollar mainframes the size of a small house. Spacewar was circulated to other computer labs across the country.

September 27, 2005
* The Czech republic has more Internet Service Providers than any other non-English speaking country.

September 20, 2005
* The average computer chip plant produces four million gallons of wastewater and thousands of gallons of corrosive hazardous materials a day, such as hydrochloric and sulfuric acid.

September 13, 2005
* The search engine Google got its name from the word "googol," which refers to the number one with a hundred zeros after it.

September 6, 2005
* From the smallest microprocessor to the biggest mainframe, the average American depends on more than 264 computers per day.

August 30, 2005
* Progressive Networks launched the RealAudio system on April 10, 1995, enabling anyone with point-and-click access to the Internet to have access to audio. To use RealAudio, users needed a multimedia PC, a 14.4k modem (fast for the time), and a direct connection to the Web.

August 23, 2005
* Software mogul William Henry Gates III could really be called William Henry Gates IV. Gates' father was born William H. Gates III, but replaced the Roman numeral with "Jr."

August 16, 2005
* Computer viruses were first discovered in the late 1980s, and since that time, IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center has collected more than 10,000. It is estimated that six to nine new viruses are found daily. About 1,200 computer viruses are in circulation.

August 9, 2005
* TIME magazine's Man of the Year for 1982 was the computer.

August 2, 2005
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are best known as the creators of the Apple computer, but before they became PC technology darlings, they designed a popular arcade game for Atari called Breakout.

July 26, 2005
* The words "electronic mail" might sound new, but the term was introduced almost 30 years ago. Queen Elizabeth of Britain sent her first e-mail in 1976.

July 19, 2005
* Microsoft CEO Bill Gates launched his business career in 1969 at age 14, by forming a company named Lakeside Programming Group. Gates and his friend Paul Allen signed an agreement with Computer Center Corporation to report bugs in PDP-10 software, in exchange for computer time.

July 12, 2005
* Close to 50% of Internet shoppers spend over five hours a week online.

July 5, 2005
* In 1995, each American used an annual average of 731 pounds of paper, more than double the amount used in the 1980s. Contrary to predictions that computers would displace paper, consumption seems to be growing.

June 28, 2005
* The first technology corporation to move into California's Silicon Valley was Hewlett-Packard Co., in 1938. Stanford University engineers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their company in a Palo Alto, Calif. garage with $1,538. Their first product was an audio oscillator bought by Walt Disney Studios for use in the making of Fantasia.

June 21, 2005
* Butler Jeeves of the Internet site Ask made its debut as a large helium balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in 2000. Jeeves was the first Internet character balloon in the famous New York parade.

June 14, 2005
* A NUKE InterNETWORK poll found that 52 percent of Internet users have cut back on watching TV in order to spend more time online; 12 percent have cut back on seeing friends.

June 7, 2005
* The Vatican first went online with its Web site in 1996. The site is powered by three host computers named after archangels -- Raphael, Michael and Gabriel.

May 31, 2005
* In the mid-1980s, an IBM-compatible computer wasn't considered 100 percent compatible unless it could run Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

May 24, 2005
* The first domain name ever registered was on March 15, 1985.

May 17, 2005
* In 1943, Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, predicted that there was probably a world market for only five computers.

May 10, 2005
* Google receives more than 200 million search queries a day, more than half of which come from outside the United States. Peak traffic hours to are between 6 a.m. and noon PST, when more than 2,000 search queries are answered a second.

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