You don't know tech: The InfoWorld news quiz

From Steve Jobs' organs to Microsoft's new OS, 2009 was a year of renewal. Over the past 12 months, Facebook emerged as the 900-pound gorilla of social networks, while Twitter grew from a geeky curiosity to a global sensation -- despite the continuing lack of a viable business plan. Windows 7 finally put Vista in our rearview mirrors, while Bing tried to erase the memory of Windows Live Search. Apple successfully fought off an attack of the clones and dominated the mobile Internet -- despite the AT&T albatross wrapped around its neck. In short, it was quite a year for tech. We've culled some of the more notable questions from a year's worth of quizzes to test just how well you were paying attention. Ready to wow us? Good luck.

1. Last September, Steve Jobs made his first official public appearance since returning to Apple. What did he publicly acknowledge for the first time?

a. Apple's noncompetitive hiring agreements with other tech firmsb. His new liver is 30 years younger than he isc. AT&T's cell service really does blowd. He has a twin brother named Bob

2. In October, Microsoft unleashed Windows 7 upon the world. Which of the following was not one of the marketing gimmicks employed to promote it?

a. 7-word recaps of NFL games

b. 7-second video clips on YouTube

c. 7-layer Winburger from Burger King

d. Remake of the movie "Se7en"

3. "They have a bunch of new ideas, and there are some things that are missing. We think search is really about comprehensiveness, freshness, scale and size of what we do. And it's difficult for them to copy that." Who's dissing whom over search?

a. Eric Schmidt, re: Bing

b. Steve Ballmer, re: Yahoo

c. Carol Bartz, re: Google

d. Jeeves, re: Ask Jeeves

4. Psystar struck a partial settlement in its suit with Apple earlier this month. What's it going to cost the company?

a. $270,000

b. $2.7 million

c. $27 million

d. $270 million

5. "The first place award for 'Skankiest in NYC' would have to go to ________. How old is this skank? 40 something? She's a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank." Which aging supermodel was this anonymous blogger talking about?

a. Christie Brinkley

b. Cheryl Tiegs

c. Liskula Cohen

d. Carmen Electra

6. Last July, Amazon found itself in hot water for fiddling with customers' Kindles. Which two classics did it quietly delete from their digital libraries?

a. "Third Wave" and "Future Shock"

b. "Snow Crash" and "Cryptonomicon"

c. "Animal Farm" and "1984"

d. "Catch-22" and "A Confederacy of Dunces"

7. Nielsen Online surveyed the social media landscape, where Facebook is now king. According to Nielsen, which age group is the wrinkly new face of Facebook?

a. 18 to 34

b. 35 to 49

c. 50 to 64

d. 64 to dead

8. In October, thousands of T-Mobile Sidekick users temporarily lost years' worth of contacts, e-mail, photos, and more thanks to a major screwup by a Microsoft subsidiary. How did T-Mobile respond?

a. Offering a free month of data to all Sidekick users

b. Offering $100 of free services to users who lost data

c. Suspending sales of new Sidekicks

d. All of the above

9. "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person." Which dishy redhead isn't cool enough for the Mac, Jack?

a. Lauren Ambrose

b. Lauren De Long

c. Lauren McPherson

d. Lauren Redhead

10. The Intel-AMD grudge match is over. How much did Intel agree to pay to smooth AMD's ruffled feathers?

a. $12.5 million

b. $125 million

c. $1.25 billion

d. $12.5 billion

11. Last April, NASA christened the new node of the International Space Station "Tranquility" -- ignoring the wishes of Stephen Colbert fans, who had voted in an online poll for NASA to name it after the TV satirist. However, the space agency did name something on the ISS "Colbert." What was it?

a. Toilet

b. Treadmill

c. TV set

d. Toaster

12. In July, Microsoft and Yahoo struck an ad/search deal that's slightly less complicated than the Treaty at Versailles. Which of the following is not one of the terms of the deal?

a. Yahoo Search will be powered by Bing

b. Yahoo will sell premium search ads for Microsoft

c. Microsoft will pay Yahoo 88 cents on the dollar for traffic acquisition

d The deal will last in perpetuity

13. "Quality journalism is not cheap. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites." Who says he's planning to make readers pony up for online news?

a. Tom Curley, Associated Press

b. Tom Glocer, Thomson Reuters

c. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.

d. Bill Keller, New York Times

14. An era ended last May when Craigslist closed its "Erotic Services" ad section and replaced it with something allegedly more wholesome. What's the new category called?

a. Exotic Services

b. Adult Services

c. Escort Services

d. Forbidden Love

15. In July, Google announced its own operating system and named some hardware partners working on Google Chrome OS-friendly devices. Which of the following is not one of the firms named by Google?

a. Acer

b. Hewlett-Packard

c. Dell

d. Toshiba

16. Don't look now, but one of your Web favorites is coming to a boob tube near you. Which of the following sites will soon be an exciting reality-based TV show?

a. Facebook

b. MySpace

c. Twitter

d. Fark

17. In November, AT&T filed suit against Verizon. What was the dispute about?

a. Verizon's attempts to wrest the iPhone from AT&T

b. AT&T's claim to offer the "fastest 3G network"

c. Verizon's exorbitant early termination fees

d. Maps

18. "Our new identity is uniquely dynamic. Our business is focused on creating world-class experiences for consumers and ___ is centered on creative and talented people -- employees, partners, and advertisers. We have a clear strategy that we are passionate about and we plan on standing behind the ___ brand as we take the company into the next decade." Who's standing behind what brand for the next 10 years?

a. Carol Bartz, Yahoo

b. Evan Williams, Twitter

c. Tim Armstrong, AOL

d. Steve Jobs, Apple

19. The top three search engines unveiled their lists of the most searched for terms of 2009. Who's No. 1 with a bullet?

a. Michael Jackson

b. Balloon Boy

c. Jon and/or Kate Gosselin

d. Lady Gaga

20. Take the number of Adobe employees getting the ax this holiday season and multiply by the estimated unit sales of Verizon's Droid phone over its opening weekend. Divide by the number of airports where Google is sponsoring free Wi-Fi through Jan. 15, 2010. Put that in an envelope along with your pink slip and cry, "Ho ho ho!" What do you get?

a. 14,468,085.5

b. 1,446,808.5

c. 144,680.5

d. 14,468.5

Answer key

Question 1: Last September, Steve Jobs made his first official public appearance since returning to Apple. What did he publicly acknowledge for the first time?

Correct Answer: His new liver is 30 years younger than he is

For the first time on record, Jobs talked about the liver transplant first reported by the Wall Street Journal last June. "I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs," Jobs said. And if that person hadn't donated a liver to Jobs, surely some Apple fanboy would have.

Question 2: In October, Microsoft unleashed Windows 7 upon the world. Which of the following was not one of the marketing gimmicks employed to promote it?

Correct Answer: Remake of the movie "Se7en"

As part of its septo-centric marketing push, Microsoft served up terse recaps of gridiron action, sneeze-and-you'll-miss-them viral videos, and extremely meaty burgers (but only in Japan, so far). However, no sign of any remakes of that gruesome serial killer flick starring a young Brad Pitt (though if they did, we think Ashton Kutcher would be perfect for it).

Question 3: "They have a bunch of new ideas, and there are some things that are missing. We think search is really about comprehensiveness, freshness, scale and size of what we do. And it's difficult for them to copy that." Who's dissing whom over search?

Correct Answer: Eric Schmidt, re: Bing

The Google CEO backhanded the young upstart in an interview with Fox Business News last June, possibly in reaction to Bing's surprisingly strong debut. In just one week, Bing brought Microsoft's search decision engine market share into double figures for the first time since January '08, according to ComScore. Coincidentally, that's also the last time Steve Ballmer smiled.

Question 4: Psystar struck a partial settlement in its suit with Apple earlier this month. What's it going to cost the company?

Correct Answer: $2.7 million

The Mac clone maker paid to settle a copyright suit filed by Apple and agreed to stop selling computers with the Mac OS pre-installed. A few weeks later, Apple won a permanent injunction against the clone maker. The fat lady may not yet be singing for Psystar, but we can hear her warming up.

Question 5: "The first place award for 'Skankiest in NYC' would have to go to ________. How old is this skank? 40 something? She's a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank." Which aging supermodel was this anonymous blogger talking about?

Correct Answer: Liskula Cohen

Cohen sued Google, owner of Blogger.com, forcing it to reveal the identity of the Skanks in NYC blogger -- simultaneously bursting the myth of blogger anonymity while ensuring a permanent association between her name and the word "skank" in the Googlesphere. After Rosemary Port was identified as the author of Skanks in NYC, she and Cohen buried the hatchet, more or less. Now Port is demanding $15 million from Google for violating her privacy. Hey, at least they didn't call her a skank.

Question 6: Last July, Amazon found itself in hot water for fiddling with customers' Kindles. Which two classics did it quietly delete from their digital libraries?

Correct Answer: "Animal Farm" and "1984"

Amazon says it deleted the books from users' devices because the publisher who sold them did not possess the right to do so, and refunded their cost (99 cents each). No matter: The fact that Amazon's Ministry of DRM can just reach in and delete books at will sent an Orwellian chill down the backs of Kindlephiles. After a huge backlash, CEO Jeff Bezos posted a rare apology on Amazon's Kindle forum and quietly returned the books. Ignorance is strength, anyone?

Question 7: Nielsen Online surveyed the social media landscape, where Facebook is now king. According to Nielsen, which age group is the wrinkly new face of Facebook?

Correct Answer: 35 to 49

According to Nielsen's March 2009 survey, middle-agers are now Facebook's fastest growing population, though 18- to 34-year-olds are close behind. More surprising, AARP members are joining Facebook at twice the rate of teens. Next up for Facebook: Botox injections.

Question 8: In October, thousands of T-Mobile Sidekick users temporarily lost years' worth of contacts, e-mail, photos, and more thanks to a major screwup by a Microsoft subsidiary. How did T-Mobile respond?

Correct Answer: All of the above

Of course, T-Mobile still got creamed by tons of bad publicity. The real culprits: Danger Inc., a Microsoft-owned firm that managed the back-end data for Sidekick users and apparently suffered some sort of systems meltdown. Late in the week Microsoft announced it was able to recover most of the data. Restoring what's left of everyone's reputations is taking a little longer.

Question 9: "I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person." Which dishy redhead isn't cool enough for the Mac, Jack?

Correct Answer: Lauren De Long

The quasi-famous "Lauren" appeared in a new series of Microsoft "laptop hunter" commercials deriding Apple machines for their high price tags, which caused a minor kerfuffle across blogsville when she was outed as a professional actress. Subsequent commercials featured another half-dozen PC lovers who also got to express their love for cheap Windows machines and free publicity.

Question 10: The Intel-AMD grudge match is over. How much did Intel agree to pay to smooth AMD's ruffled feathers?

Correct Answer: $1.25 billion

Intel got AMD to drop its antitrust suit for slightly less than the fines the EU levied on the chipmaker for similar charges last May. (Intel's legal response to that ruling? The EU is violating the company's "human rights.") But apparently money talks, and $1.25 billion speaks in a deep, clear vibrato. Of course, settling gave Intel no free pass, as the FTC is suing it for anticompetitive behavior.

Question 11: Last April, NASA christened the new node of the International Space Station "Tranquility" -- ignoring the wishes of Stephen Colbert fans, who had voted in an online poll for NASA to name it after the TV satirist. However, the space agency did name something on the ISS "Colbert." What was it?

Correct Answer: Treadmill

Appearing on "The Colbert Report," astronaut Sunita Williams bravely announced the "Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill," or COLBERT, which will be installed in the floating space lab next August, as well as a new embroidered patch honoring the faux rightwingnut. But sorry Stephen, no nodes.

Question 12: In July, Microsoft and Yahoo struck an ad/search deal that's slightly less complicated than the Treaty at Versailles. Which of the following is not one of the terms of the deal?

Correct Answer: The deal will last in perpetuity

Actually, the agreement expires after 10 years, assuming Yahoo is still around by then. But according to some critics, what looks like a marriage of convenience for Yahoo may turn out to be more like a funeral.

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon