The strangest stories of 2007

As the winter weather takes hold, we warm ourselves by remembering 11 of the quirkier stories of 2007. That’s right, 11. We can do quirky too.

The strangest stories of 2007

1. Linux felon must learn to love Windows

Some argue that the criminal justice system has gone soft, but Linux lover Scott McCausland would probably disagree. After being convicted of software piracy, he was instructed to install monitoring software on his computer to track his online activity. The thing was, the software only ran on Windows. Last we heard, he was banging on the doors of the jail, begging to be let back in.

2. Man jailed for adding wife to Facebook friends

Husband sends “friends request” to wife on Facebook and promptly ends up in jail. It sounds harsh, but the couple were estranged, he was banned from contacting her by the courts, and Facebook isn’t exactly known for respecting people’s privacy. A cautionary tale for all would-be stalkers.

3. Developers tidy up forums with “StupidFilter”

Sick to death of unintelligible forum posts, a team of US developers created a “StupidFilter” to block them from appearing. The filter scans every potential post and if it finds too many OMGs, LOLs, exclamation marks or nonsense words, it asks the poster to retype it. We’ve got it on order.

4. Roll up, roll up for the $1,500 keyboard

The keyboard for the man who has everything, except common sense. This extravagance contains a small OLED screen behind each key allowing you to change the “j” key to a picture of a champagne-filled swimming pool say, or perhaps a gold plated toilet roll holder. Form an orderly queue please.

5. Excel 2007 gets its sums wrong

Believe it or not, not every Microsoft release is the flawless masterpiece Vista is. Just take Excel 2007 and the catastrophic bug which caused it to return the answer 100,000 when asked to multiply 850 x 77.1, which is wrong. By quite a margin. A sheepish Microsoft quickly fixed it… but then it’s not like it’s got anything else to be getting on with.

6. Staples slammed over £44 USB cable

Staples found itself in hot water after a customer complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the shop had tried to charge her a staggering £44 for a printer cable. Staples denied the accusation, rather reasonably pointing out that it didn’t actually sell £44 printer cables and never had. That didn’t wash with the ASA though, which agreed with the woman that she’d been misled, though she admitted to being very happy with her £10,000 printer.

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