News quiz: The week in tech

The InfoWorld news quiz: Dec. 10, 2010: WikiLeaks grows leakier, Web trackers get sneakier

It was yet another week thoroughly dominated by WikiLeaks, with more disclosures, arrests, retaliations, recriminations, and about a billion blogs discussing all of the above. Still, there were other tech topics worthy of attention, such as a rash of new devices sporting different Google operating systems; a new data management service from Salesforce.com; yet another Facebook meme; and new ways to track who's been tracking you across the Net. Can you hunt down the answers to our quiz? Award yourself 10 points each time you do. Now put your nose to the keyboard and begin.

1. Google unveiled its second attempt at a handset, the Nexus S. What delicious mobile OS will the next Nexus serve up?

a. Gingerbreadb. Honeycombc. Gingercookied. Honeybuns

2. In an effort to avoid federal regulation, some data brokers are forming the Open Data Partnership to share data they collect with the public. Which of the following companies is not part of the ODP (yet)?

a. BlueKai

b. Lotame

c. eXelate

d. Google

3. WikiLeaks is at it again. A week after releasing 250,000-plus sensitive diplomatic cables, the site released a U.S. State Department list of global facilities at risk from terror attacks. Which of the following was not among them?

a. A Russian gas pipeline

b. A Canadian hydroelectric dam

c. The WikiLeaks home offices

d. A Danish polio vaccine maker

4. WikiLeaks now apparently has a "kick me" sign on its back. Which of the following Internet services has not ended its support for the controversial whistleblowers?

a. Amazon

b. PayPal

c. Facebook

d. EveryDNS

5. In retaliation, "Anonymous" launched a series of DDoS attacks on sites it deemed responsible for the persecution of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Which of the following was not among its targets?

a. PostFinance

b. Joe Lieberman

c. PayPal

d. Facebook

6. Another week, another Facebook meme -- what was the Facebook crowd doing en masse now?

a. Adopting cartoon characters for profile pictures

b. Showing off the color of their boxers

c. Posting thousands of secret diplomatic cables

d. Launching DDoS attacks against everyone else

7. "The creation of a hyperlink does not simply make access to the hyperlinked material available; hyperlinking is a form of communication in the same way as any other content on the primary site. It is more than a mere reference, it is an inclusion. As such, it poses the same potential for damage to reputation as if the words on the hyperlinked site were actually reproduced on the primary site within the primary article." Which Canadian businessman is arguing that Web links alone can be used to defame someone?

a. Wayne Gretzky

b. Wayne Campbell

c. Wayne Crookes

d. Wayne Newton

8. Salesforce's Marc Benioff is taking on former boss Larry Ellison with a new Web service. What's it called?

a. Data.com

b. Database.com

c. Dataforce.com

d. Egotism.com

9. The first Google Chrome OS-based notebook has been spotted in the wild. What's it called?

a. Cr-48

b. Gr-48

c. Kr-48

d. Sl-48

10. Take the number of Android phones Google activates every single day and multiply by the percentage of American Netizens who use Twitter, according to the most recent Pew Internet survey. Add the number of paid copies of the Angry Birds iPhone app sold in 2010, rounded to the nearest million. Put that in your slingshot and launch it into the green pigs' fortress. What do you get?

a. 120,240,000

b. 12,024,000

c. 1,202,400

d. 120,240

Answers

Question 1: Google unveiled its second attempt at a handset, the Nexus S. What delicious mobile OS will the next Nexus serve up?

Correct Answer: Gingerbread

At the D:Dive Into Mobile confab, Google veep Andy Rubin gave the world a gander at the next Nexus, featuring the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. Rubin also briefly opened the kimono long enough to flash a prototype tablet running Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb), a tablet-ready OS that will take on the iPad some time next year. We're not sure who's behind the code names at Google, but we suspect they're not getting enough to eat.

Question 2: In an effort to avoid federal regulation, some data brokers are forming the Open Data Partnership to share data they collect with the public. Which of the following companies is not part of the ODP (yet)?

Correct Answer: Google

Eight major data tracking firms formed the ODP in an attempt to forestall the FTC's calls for a Do Not Track option, which would allow consumers to opt out of behavioral tracking en masse by Internet advertising firms. So now that self-regulation has proved a dismal failure, Web advertisers have come up with a new answer: more self-regulation. Give them points for chutzpah, at least.

Question 3: WikiLeaks is at it again. A week after releasing 250,000-plus sensitive diplomatic cables, the site released a U.S. State Department list of global facilities at risk from terror attacks. Which of the following was not among them?

Correct Answer: The WikiLeaks home offices

As the New York Times pointed out, many of the facilities listed in the documents are already likely targets for terrorists. Still, it's looking like a good Christmas for bomb throwers and other nut jobs.

Question 4: WikiLeaks now apparently has a "kick me" sign on its back. Which of the following Internet services has not ended its support for the controversial whistleblowers?

Correct Answer: Facebook

Allegedly bowing to pressure from Congress, Amazon booted the WikiLeaks site from its hosting services a day after it had signed up. PayPal (as well as MasterCard and Visa) announced they would no longer process donations to the nonprofit organization. EveryDNS removed WikiLeaks from its domain name servers, citing threats from DDoS attacks. But Facebook says its WikiLeaks pages will remain, at least until the org does something to violate the social network's terms of service. We're sure they'll get around to that eventually.

Question 5: In retaliation, "Anonymous" launched a series of DDoS attacks on sites it deemed responsible for the persecution of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Which of the following was not among its targets?

Correct Answer: Facebook

Hacktivists operating on behalf of WikiLeaks attacked the site of Swiss bank PostFinance, which froze Julian Assange's account last week because (it says) the WikiLeaker gave them a bogus address when signing up. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who pressured Amazon to boot WikiLeaks from its hosting service, found his website under an attack that took down all of Senate.gov for a short period. PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa all saw various parts of their sites go offline due to DDoSing. But Facebook, which suspended Anonymous's Operation Payback page for violating its terms of use, has yet to suffer the wrath.

Question 6: Another week, another Facebook meme -- what was the Facebook crowd doing en masse now?

Correct Answer: Adopting cartoon characters for profile pictures

The meme was allegedly a campaign to raise awareness of child abuse, though exactly how the two related remains unclear. Facebook later had to quash rumors that the meme was started by a group of Net pedophiles. Actually it turns out they were just a little Looney Tunes.

Question 7: "The creation of a hyperlink does not simply make access to the hyperlinked material available; hyperlinking is a form of communication in the same way as any other content on the primary site. It is more than a mere reference, it is an inclusion. As such, it poses the same potential for damage to reputation as if the words on the hyperlinked site were actually reproduced on the primary site within the primary article." Which Canadian businessman is arguing that Web links alone can be used to defame someone?

Correct Answer: Wayne Crookes

The Vancouver businessman is suing P2Pnet's Jon Newton, claiming that Newton's links to articles with inflammatory headlines like "Gang of Crookes" constitutes defamation [PDF] as surely as if he'd originally published them. Amazingly, the case is slated to go before Canada's Supreme Court this week. If the Supes rule in favor of Crookes, that may well be the end of the Net in the great north. So if you visit a URL ending in ".ca" and get a Site Not Found message, you'll know which Crookes to thank.

Question 8: Salesforce's Marc Benioff is taking on former boss Larry Ellison with a new Web service. What's it called?

Correct Answer: Database.com

The cloud-based database.com will actually employ Oracle databases on its servers to deliver on-demand data management for small and medium-size businesses. It also further stokes rumors that Oracle will eventually swallow Salesforce.com. Because Larry has yet to meet a competitor he didn't want to eat.

Question 9: The first Google Chrome OS-based notebook has been spotted in the wild. What's it called?

Correct Answer: Cr-48

Though commercial Chrome-based notebooks are still at least six months away, Google's pilot Cr-48 notebook is being offered free to users who concoct a compelling reason why they should be given one. Would-be pilots can apply via a Web form or submit a YouTube video making their case. Next: Making the argument why you should be adopted by Sergey or Larry.

Question 10: Take the number of Android phones Google activates every single day and multiply by the percentage of American Netizens who use Twitter, according to the most recent Pew Internet survey. Add the number of paid copies of the Angry Birds iPhone app sold in 2010, rounded to the nearest million. Put that in your slingshot and launch it into the green pigs' fortress. What do you get?

Correct Answer: 12,024,000

According to Google veep Andy Rubin, some 300,000 Android phones spring to life each day -- more than RIM BlackBerry or Apple. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that 8 percent of American adults who go online use Twitter -- predominately young urbanites. Rovio sold 12 million copies of Angry Birds at a buck apiece last year (not counting the 30 million free versions that were downloaded). So 300K * 0.08 + 12M = 12,024,000. And if you think the birds were angry, imagine the people walking underneath them. Come back next week for another splatter-free quiz.

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