Last week we served up some highlights gleaned from the first six months of our recently concluded full year of tweeting at @PCWPluggedIn. Now we're back with our favorites from the second half of the year. As we noted last week, the goal of our Twitter feed is to amuse our followers and, secondarily, to link them to the serious and informative PCWorld.com articles that inspired our comments. But at PCW Plugged In, we leave the seriousness to others.
From the mysterious proliferation of fake Apple stores in China to the insecurity of Sony's PlayStation Network to the forgetfulness of barhopping engineers bearing prototype phones, we found many sources of mirth as the spring and summer unfolded. Fittingly, our half-year starting point falls on April 1.
Baidu's online library shrinks following piracy cleanup http://goo.gl/Hnk9E. Only title still available is "The Little Red Book."
Google tries to become Apple http://goo.gl/S1FNE. "Don't be evil" gives way to "One little bite won't hurt you."
Firefox 5 and beyond: what's next? http://goo.gl/WKLFZ My money is on "Firefox 6."
Swiss court says Google's Street View breaks privacy rules http://goo.gl/UMBCA. Judge is especially critical of Bank Vault View.
Verizon simulates disaster near operations center http://goo.gl/F4rfa. By spreading rumor that AT&T is about to acquire it?
Scientists generate mouse eye from stem cells http://goo.gl/EhymF. Advance could enable petri dishes to recognize researchers.
Windows 7 finally overtakes XP in U.S. computer usage http://goo.gl/P0UtJ. Guess it's officially time for Windows 8.
US police increasingly peeping at e-mail, instant messages http://goo.gl/G2jJg. On plus side, cops' job satisfaction is way up.
5 things to do with an old computer http://goo.gl/FbCH5. Interactive headstones for geeks who've passed on?
US gov't unveils new online security strategy http://goo.gl/UE2I4. Centerpiece is an alphanumeric string called a "password."
Quantum teleportation is a reality http://goo.gl/zyVQI. Experiment's success/failure proved by survival/death of Schrodinger's cat.
The etiquette of using Starbucks as your office http://goo.gl/SO3l2. Rule 1: Don't bring your own coffee.
Apple earns a zero on EFF's Privacy and Protection Report Card http://goo.gl/GuzjD. On the other hand, a white iPhone 4!!!!
Is the single-function device doomed? http://goo.gl/9NTHg I for one have no interest in a multipurpose toothbrush.
Oceans could serve as giant batteries http://goo.gl/CuisX. In which case you might want to think twice about going swimming.
Android outranks Apple in desirability http://goo.gl/eyNJk. But neither matches up well against Scarlett Johansson.
World's smallest camera is smaller than a matchstick head http://goo.gl/buGs7. Its viewfinder is ideal if you're the size of a bug.
White iPhone 4 "not thicker than black model" http://goo.gl/lnyJi. It's just that black is so darn slimming.
Researchers developing laser ignition system for cars http://goo.gl/Tjan3. Don't forget to warn the mechanic before he looks under the hood.
Android rumors abound on eve of Google I/O http://goo.gl/6MhaN. Could be moment of truth for elusive White Android phone.
5 reasons Microsoft had to buy Skype http://goo.gl/ynpA8. No. 6: The company's long-distance phone bill was just killing it.
Google, Apple pressed to remove DUI checkpoint apps http://goo.gl/5J3et. Why not just make the apps too complicated for a drunk to use?
Scammers empty African victims' bank accounts http://goo.gl/P0E6w. Ruse begins "Greetings. I am Alan Greenspan, former chairman of US Fed."
PlayStation Network lurches to life http://goo.gl/gWW6l. Sony's slogan "make.believe" will no longer apply to network security.
N. Korea pulls Internet domain from German operator http://goo.gl/A4viv. "We never should have abandoned nepotism," says some guy named Kim.
Your blood could tell how long you'll live http://goo.gl/4hDEy. Especially if most of it is on the ground next to you.
Verizon to end Unlimited Data plan http://goo.gl/JphMe. Revised offering to be called Unlimited If You Don't Use It Much plan.
Zuckerberg: Kids can learn by using Facebook http://goo.gl/rPIDu. Of course they can also learn by playing with matches.
NASA to send astronauts to deep space http://goo.gl/hMDQT. But under revised budget, they may just watch Deep Space Nine reruns instead.
Zuckerberg vows to eat only meat that he kills http://goo.gl/2MOsc. Plans to slay a pepperoni and make pizza tonight.
A glimpse at the US military's first quadruped http://goo.gl/vv299. I thought that was George Washington's horse.
What I learned from spending 30 days with Google Docs http://goo.gl/uJuTJ. Lesson #1: Never play poker with a program named Docs.
MSI shows off slew of new 'vaporware' tablets http://goo.gl/pcHwo. And of course, they're all cloud-ready.
Cell phones may cause cancer, says WHO http://goo.gl/dsMUx. Though we hear the lab rats in the study also smoked heavily.
Malware spikes, spam plummets http://goo.gl/OxQJq. "We just can't compete with fake antivirus exploits," says disconsolate Viagra seller.
Bacteria as biofuel is coming http://goo.gl/NMIiu. It’s payback time! Bacteria have been using people as biofuel for millennia.
Official Steve Jobs biography up for preorder http://goo.gl/Nqj5e. Book to address rumors that 3 wise men attended his birth.
Ken dumps Barbie in Greenpeace video http://goo.gl/gvi9n. Unrepentant Barbie last seen arranging safari date with GI Joe.
Mac technician installed spyware to photograph women http://goo.gl/Jkmu7. Guess the Genius Bar scene wasn't working out for him.
Juror, defendant face jail for Facebook exchanges http://goo.gl/yh2hJ. On the plus side, maybe they’ll become Cellblock Friends.
Senate committee votes to make illegal streaming a felony http://is.gd/TR060F. I still say public urination should only be a misdemeanor.
Pentagon clones Internet to practice cyberwar http://goo.gl/zXDV0. To avoid confusion, real Net marked by red wire--or is it the blue one?
Your social networks could jeopardize your next interview http://goo.gl/FWuCo. Especially if you interrupt it to post status updates.
US consumers spend $2 billion/year to power idle set-top boxes http://goo.gl/K83ue. At least they aren't wasting time watching TV.
UK hackers replaced al-Qaeda bomb instructions with cupcake how-to http://goo.gl/1Dxc9. Jihadis denounce Devil's Food recipe as "Satanic."
Next: Midsummer madness...