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Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

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Apr 26, 20043 mins

Spam king Scott Richter is going from being the virtual monkey on your back to literally on your back.

Spam king Scott Richter is going from being the virtual monkey on your back to literally on your back.

The man recognized worldwide as the embodiment of junk mail will launch his SpamKing clothing line next month. Aimed at the hip-hop, grunge and skateboarder crowd, the hats, shirts and panties will sport sayings like “Just opt out” and “Click it.”

What about the catchy “Die Scott Richter”?

Security is sweet

A new survey says 70% of Brits would trade their password for chocolate. If we were offered British chocolate, we can’t say we wouldn’t do the same – it’s awesome.

Carried out as part of next week’s Infosecurity Europe trade show, the survey entailed researchers standing outside Liverpool Street station in London and asking commuters for their logon and password. Thirty-four percent gave it up without something to sweeten the deal. People, at least hold out for the Cadbury.

Coolest technology ever

With the eventual wide release of its Communications Badge, Vocera has become our new favorite company.

One touch of the button on the wearable device and before you can say “Picard to Enterprise,” you’re connected to whomever you requested. The badge is being used in hospitals, where hands-free communication is important, as is quick access to other badge-wearing employees such as doctors and nurses. Similarly, combadges also are important on the U.S.S. Enterprise, where Starfleet officers need their hands free to fight Borg and emphasize commands such as “Make it so.”

According to Forbes, the voice signal runs via Wi-Fi to a database, where a server-based application matches the name spoken to a database entry. The application then locates the requested party, activates the badges and starts the conversation, all via VoIP.

Thanks for nothing

A Scottish teen spent the past six months helping Microsoft fix a hole in Windows and in return got squat.

Nineteen-year-old IT pro Matt Thompson played software Good Samaritan when he found an error in Redmond’s Jet Database Engine while working for a client of his employer, Aberdeen IT.

Thompson swapped code with the behemoth for months, helping it remedy a bug in which a hacker could get complete control over an affected system. For his trouble and diligence, all Thompson got was a lame one-sentence thank you on Microsoft’s Web site – not even a lousy Xbox.

“Mr. Thompson said that he initially had difficulty convincing Microsoft it had a problem,” the BBC says. Welcome to the club, kid.

Shaw is chief cook and bottle washer of Layer 8, your online rumpus room featuring the best of Network World Fusion and the not-just-networking news. She can be reached at Shaw and colleague Adam Gaffin are sharing chair-warming duties until ‘Net Buzz overlord Paul McNamara returns from medical leave.