Prius exec dies in plane crash

David Hermance, executive engineer for environment engineering at the Toyota Technical Center USA in California, was a key figure behind the success of Toyota’s popular Prius hybrid cars… died in a plane crash. “When that car came out, no one knew what it was,” said Bill Reinert, a Toyota national manager. “Dave dedicated his life to championing this technology. He…

Mapuche Indians claim language as "Intellectual Property," take Microsoft to court over translation

Mapuche Indians in Chile are trying to take global software giant Microsoft to court in a legal battle which raises the question of whether anyone can ever “own” the language they speak. The row was sparked by Microsoft’s decision last month to launch its Windows software package in Mapuzugun, a Mapuche tongue spoken by around 400,000 indigenous Chileans, mostly in…

Remembering Thanksgiving

According to Wikipedia: “U.S. tradition associates [Thanksgiving] with a meal held in 1621 by the Wampanoag [American Indians] and the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This element continues in modern times with the Thanksgiving dinner, often featuring turkey, playing a large role in the celebration of Thanksgiving. … The Pilgrims were particularly thankful to Squanto, the Indian who taught…

Terrorists: Iraq Safer After Elections; Moving Car Bombs to America

According to Aljazeera, known around the world as “The Terrorists Newspaper”: Rumsfeld’s exit greeted abroad The mid-term election results that heralded a massive power shift in the American political landscape, including the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, defence [sic] secretary, have been greeted with jubilation around the world. The terrorists around the world are celebrating. They, with the help of their…

Defective Offspring Letter

My friend Matt Burningham penned this letter, never intending to send it, to the ObGyn that delivered his children. Calling it funny would be an understatement. TO: Dr. Meek (OBGYN) FROM: Lord Snarffingham RE: Warranty Service Repair UNITS: 4515752 / 4515583 RE: Warranty Service Repair Dear Dr. Meek, I am writing to you in regards to the Alex and Enya…

Healthcare Company Donates Laptop Containing 6,000+ Social Security Numbers and Employee Records

IHC (Intermountain Health Care), one of Utah’s largest employers, regularly donates their surplus computers to a local charity. They recently donated a laptop computer which contained (among other things) a Human Resources file containing the names, Social Security numbers, job titles, and evaluation status of 6,242 employees who worked in 2000 for IHC’s Urban Central Region. The laptop was decommissioned…