Friday, May 8, 2015

Keyboard recalled over complaints on placement of power button

UNDERWOOD - Customer complaints have prompted a voluntary recall of keyboards from QworTech. The bulk of issues reportedly come from the placement of a power button where there is customarily an "E".

"Try typing a sentence, any sentence, with this keyboard and you'll see why we've demanded the return of customers' money," said Fran Davis, in charge of Consumer Affairs at the Computer Peripherals Bureau. "It just shuts the computer down any time you type the letter E - or at least where the E is supposed to be."

"Our customers have spoken, and we have listened," said QworTech spokesperson Liam Pasternati. "While we believe in innovation, some people just want things the way they've always been, and we will respect that."

The E-Off Keyboard was targeted to consumers who, in the words of the press release, "want to turn their computer off as quickly and frequently as possible." Although none were ever sold, many were included as OEM equipment on a number of systems.

The company has produced both successful and wildly unsuccessful keyboards in the past. Among the less fortunate offerings were the QWERTYDvorak Keyboard, which that allowed users to switch between layouts by prying the keys off and moving them around. It required a software patch to compensate for the changed character mapping.

Another failed product from QworTech was the FONETIK Keyboard, which only had the 12 most common letters in the alphabet and required significant effort to write anything.

Report: People love bulleted lists

TUFTON, RI - Researchers have determined that nobody is even going to read their reports or paragraphs like this unless they format it as a series of bullet points.
  • People more likely to read content presented as bullets
  • Makes content easily to comprehend
  • Promotes oversimplification of complex ideas
  • Bullet points partly responsible for Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986
  • People love them just as much 3 decades later
    • Creates false sense of credibility
    • Nesting makes effect even more pronounced
  • More than 6 bullets on a page leads to "Bulletpoint Fatigue"
    • A made-up disorder
    • Probably no more made-up than Comma Splice Disorder or Sentence Fragmentia

City Council considers removal of Street Seesaw

SHORELINE, FL - City council members vote today on a proposal to remove the beloved seesaw on Lagoon Boulevard. Concerned parents maintain that it's a threat to motorists and children, while proponents of the attraction say that it's an issue of freedom versus government control.

"If they don't like it, don't play on it," said Bodie Wagner, in favor of keeping the seesaw. "This is just another example of tyranny, them trying to take away our rights."

A group of parents formed an organization to champion removal of the seesaw, which they plan to prove is an immediate danger to children playing on it and to any car using the road.

"I find it disheartening that we should have to argue in favor of removing a seesaw that is in the middle of a public right-of-way," said Harris Robledo of Parents in Favor of See Saw Balance, or PiFoSSB for short. "We had forty children nearly injured by cars since January and oh my god, why is this even a debate we're having?"

The Shorline Sheriff's Department has voiced support for removal of the seesaw, citing the questionable process by which the parks department obtained their permit.

"The Council approved the permit," said Sheriff Charles Hayley, "but nobody asked us if it was okay to build a playground in the middle of the road."

The vote is expected to be close, with 3 firmly for the proposal, 3 against, and the deciding vote to be cast by council chair Bailey Ohlander, who at 5 years old is the youngest in the city's history.

Domestic iguanas evolving plaid camouflage

DEWLAP, WA - Otherwise ordinary iguanas have developed traits that help them blend in to human surroundings, according to iguanologist Gail Apagos.

"We've noticed a distinct pattern arising on their scales," said Apagos. "It's hard to deny that it looks like plaid."

Further study is required to determine whether the change is in response to their environment, or perhaps an expression of preference in selecting mates.

"Perhaps it's a little bit of both," said Apagos. "Since they have virtually no predators in a domestic setting, it's hard to argue for the selective pressure of camouflaging. Maybe they just prefer that look and have selected for it. We don't know. We just don't know."

Apagos plans to research iguanas' response to varied environments, including tie-dye, paisley, and Ed Hardy shirts.

Jellyfish-based contact lens recalled

SANTA CLARITA - The maker of a jellyfish-based contact lens is recalling all of its products in the wake of revelations that the biological material in the lenses is causing irritation in users.

The little-known Medusozoa Opticans, or Lens Jellyfish, was the basis for innovative contacts from Cnidareye, a company now reeling from accusations of gross negligence, fraud and general incompetence.

"The lenses were expensive, not that reliable in terms of clarity or focus, and caused intense stinging sensations immediately upon use," said district attorney Vince Gaber. "How they ever got contact lenses made out of jellyfish to market I will never understand."

If you have purchased or used contacts from Cnidareye, Gaber advises that you see an eye doctor immediately to avoid permanent loss of vision. He is initiating a class action lawsuit for the affected.

"Do not put jellyfish in your eyes," said Gaber. "I can't believe I had to say that sentence out loud."

Executives and research personnel at Cnidareye's parent company DebiliTech are being investigated for possible negligence involving other products using wasps and komodo dragon saliva.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Extraterrestrial rednecks antagonize locals with Monster UFO

AMALTHEA, SC - Local residents sighted an unidentified flying object (UFO) making repeated passes around the Piggly Wiggly parking lot on Buford Avenue this afternoon. The saucer-shaped ship made a great deal of noise and exhaust as it revved its engines and nearly grazed ground-based vehicles.

Fitted with numerous muffler pipes, racing flames, neon accents and a pair of truck nuts, the craft annoyed dozens of shoppers for nearly twenty minutes.

Several people dialed 911, but local authorities, the FAA, Air Force and Homeland Security said no laws were broken. Sheriff Roy Neary added that even though the UFO was fitted with aftermarket parts, everything was to code.

"These boys are not from around here, so I'm going to keep an eye on them," said Neary. "They just having a little fun. They go abducting anybody or keep making a ruckus after 10 o'clock and we will take appropriate actions."

Whistleblower reveals that 75% of nautical terms made up on the spot

PAPEETE - A former sailor has broken the code of silence among his peers by disclosing that most of the terms used at sea are simply improvised to mess with passengers and landlubbers.

"Landlubber itself is one of the oldest, so it's in common use," said Thomas Flanagan, boatswain of the S.S. Apocrypha. "but other terms like Boatswain or Bosun, they might just as likely call you Quippeteer or Aft Mainticle. The words they throw around are just jumbles of recurring prefixes and suffixes."

Examples cited by Flanagan in his testimony were official sounding seafaring jargon, such as:
  • Abaft, Ahull, Ahoy - adding "a-" to the beginnings of nonsensical or other words
  • Bulwark, Bumpkin, Burgee - crew members pointing at things and giving them "B" names
  • Cabotage, Chine, Dromond - crew members making up words to win at Scrabble
  • Frap, Futtock, Gudgeon - making up vaguely obscene sounding words as a competition
  • Hawse, Hawsehole, Hawser - embellishing already fictitious words
  • Loxodograph - navigator messing with other crew to make job sound more important
  • Moonraker - not even trying to conceal cultural references
  • Poop Deck - an apparent attempt at a prank to get new crew members to perform degrading acts
Flanagan had numerous other examples in his written report, and authorities have assured him that they have Fast-Grapnelled the paperwork for a Stokehold hearing.

A spokesman for the S.S. Aprocrypha said that Flanagan, despite his accusations, is as "smart as a Topgallant, and will be promoted to Stevedore as soon as we get back to port."

SPOILER: Picture of Star Wars VII character "Bantha Claus" leaked

JAKKU - Fans of the Star Wars franchise tingled with excitement at the leaking of this image, a Tusken Raider riding Bantha Claus.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens near Christmas 2015, and the revelation was a complete surprise even to expanded universe observers.

"This is definitely not canon, and I can pretty much guarantee they're not going to try another holiday special," said longtime Star Wars fan Brad Yavin, referring to the 1978 TV special that many fans refuse to acknowledge.

Fans across the Internet are poring over the image for clues to the first Star Wars movie in a decade, and the first to be helmed by director J.J. Abrams.

"Bantha Claus even has a helper with a hat and everything. Maybe a Tusken Elf?" said Yavin. "And what's that bag on his back? Toys for Sand People? Does the Force help Bantha Claus tell who's naught and nice? What kind of milk do you leave for Bantha Claus? You know Bantha milk is blue."

Diner uses only fork in attempt to chase down last garbanzo bean

BELMAR - A diner at Chana Hut spent over four minutes chasing a single garbanzo, also knows as a chick pea, around the plate in a futile attempt to scoop it up and complete his meal earlier today.

The man was not available for comment, but onlookers observed that he seemed preoccupied.

"Nobody would take that degree of time and effort in earnest," said Kyle Worrell, a server at Chana Hut. "He must have had something else on his mind. But the garbanzo kept slipping off the end of the fork, or sometimes off the side when he'd try and pick it up."

There was not enough other food left on the plate to offer sufficient resistance to force the garbanzo far enough onto the fork for the diner to lift and eat it, which appears to have been his objective.

Other diners present at the time of the incident offered opinions on how he could have handled the situation differently, including using the knife to provide a backstop for the fork to get in under the garbanzo, using a finger to do the same, or simply picking up the bean by hand. None of them discussed these options directly with the diner, however.

"This day and age, I think it's acceptable to just pick up that last one. Especially at the end of a meal," said a diner who wished to withhold identity.

Reports differ as to how the episode concluded. Several witnesses described the diner leaving the scene without having eaten the garbanzo. Kitchen reports seem to verify this version, but at least one witness claimed to have seen the man "spear the garbanzo bean with his fork, leaving two unscoopable halves."

Company mistakenly believes brand is popular enough for text-free logo

SANTA CLARA - A rising company took a bold step towards obscurity today by removing their name from their logo and all their online and printed material.

A marketing manager from the company was present at the unveiling, but the cards he handed out had only the logo and a picture of his face. He spoke briefly about the radical new strategy of leveraging the company's widespread recognition. Recording devices were forbidden at the event, but several in attendance recall that he said something about the world having embraced their brand and moving beyond the need for labels.

According to a press release identified only by the logo, the company has reached a level of brand awareness that allows it to go forward using the stylized symbol by itself. Attempts to contact the company were futile, as the name was left off the release, and no one at the event could remember the company name.

"Wish I could, because I'd like to see what their web address is now," said a tech reporter, leading several to believe that it might have been some kind of tech company.

Dog holding it until owner leaves

GLENDALE, AZ - Daisy, a 9-year-old Weimaraner is just going to sit tight until her human caretakers have left the premises, even though she urgently needs to relieve herself.

For the third time in as many weeks, Daisy intends to leave unwanted deposits in the laundry room and perhaps the downstairs hallway for unknown reasons. Her caretakers have speculated, but have no rational answers. Discussions with Daisy have proved fruitless.

"The weather is not different. It's been nice lately," said Alice Sparks, who has raised Daisy since she was a puppy. "Last couple of times she did this I tried to get her to go outside and she gave me that 'Nah, I'm good' look."

"It's not like she's tired," said Alice's husband, Dan. "Soon as we get home, she'll bound right up the steps and back down again when we let her out, prancing around the yard like we don't all know she just left a pile in the basement."

The Sparks have considered the possibility of installing a security camera to perform surveillance on Daisy's activity while they're gone. A friend told them that it was a ridiculous idea, and that more frequent walks might do Daisy good. They are reportedly taking the advice under consideration.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Horses cooperate to find lost contact lens

Horses at the Appaloosa Music Festival help a friend retrieve her lost contact lens. Equine contacts are expensive, and hard to replace for horses who often have little disposable income.