Daily News Brief: 'W00t' Wins Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year


Quick, Someone Trademark W00t!

Fark.com may be trying to trademark 'NSFW,' and TheMurph can have 'lolcat', but it's 'W00t' that was recognized by Merriam-Webster as the word of 2007 . The recognition reflects the dictionary publisher's online poll asking what word best sums up 2007. Casting a wet blanket over the poll results, Allan Metcalf, an English professor at MacMurray College, said " it's amusing, but it's limited to a small community and unlikely to spread and unlikely to last. " What a h8t3r.

Flirtatious Bot Steals Identities

If you thought Microsoft's Santa bot was a naughty piece of code, just have a look at what some Russian programmers have come up with. Called CyberLover, the virtual vixen scours dating sites and chatrooms looking for would-be victims, and tries to get the lonely surfer to cough up personally identifiable information, including photographs, which are then sold to identity thieves. Concerned where this could be going? Have a look at Old Glory .

Interview with Jack Tramiel

A name long time enthusiasts will recognize, Jack Tramiel, the man behind the Commodore 64, gave a rare interview at the Computer History Museum while they hosted the C64's 25-year anniversary celebration . Tramiel prefers to stay out of the spotlight, no easy task given the cult following, but spoke briefly on a variety of topics during the interview.

Rockstar Wins UK Appeal

The UK banned Rockstar's Manhunt 2 video game from store shelves over the violent content's " unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone ", but they've won the right to appeal the decision. That means Rockstar can release the game with a rating of 18+, but the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) can contest the proces and still block the sale. The BBFC says they'll " carefully study the judgement by the Video Appeals Committee when it becomes available. ".

High Tech Tombstone

We'll admit the thought never crossed our mind, but now that we've been made aware of a tombstone sporting a solar powered LCD panel , we're surprised we haven't heard of this sooner. The weatherproof panel mounts to the front of a gravestone and opens up to display color pictures, words, music, or videos on the 7-inch screen. It also comes with headphone jacks. The tombstone addition hasn't been a sales success so far, but that could change if they came up with some creative BSOD messages.

Merry Christmas, Have Some Spam

Symantec released their December State of Spam Report , and in it they've noted a 72% rise in unwanted email traffic for November, up from 64% a month prior. The observation monitored more than 450 million inboxes around the world, with most spam originating from the US and Europe. For a detailed analysis and trends in PDF form, go here.

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