Verizon charges loads, HP batteries implode

Verizon charges loads, HP batteries implode

Remember when America Online and Time Warner merged to create a $US350 billion beast that would swallow the Internet?

Well, it seems The Thrill Is Gone, and Time wants someone to share the pain. So far, the cast of would-be suitors is rumoured to include Microsoft, Google and Comcast, and Yahoo.

I understand the dowry for anyone willing to don a tuxedo and a ring is 20 million subscribers and a small herd of goats. Is AOL worth it? That all depends on the goats.

Bad Moon: Verizon Cringester, Bill O, was shocked when Verizon charged him $US146.55 for downloading software to his Treo 650, even though he'd used a broadband connection - not Verizon's network - to fetch the files. After he complained to the FCC, the wireless carrier quickly nixed the bill. A company spokesperson claimed Verizon only charges for connection time when its wireless network is used for downloads, but some handhelds (like the Treo) may sign on to Verizon despite what you tell them to do. It seems you can't leave some devices to their own devices.

Burnin' Down the Mouse: HP has recalled more than 135,000 notebook batteries, warning that they could get warm enough to roast your peanuts. They're the hottest thing to come out of HP since the secret videos of Carly Fiorina and Michael Capellas practicing friendly takeovers.

Quattro Pro Quo: Reader Jim B suggests those interested in ancient software pay a visit to Borland's online museum, where you can download copies of Turbo Pascal 1.0, among other dusty gems. I understand DOS 3.0 is poised to make a comeback as well. Hey, if Bobby 'Monster Mash' Pickett can do it, anybody can.

Introducing the iPod Jiggle: A British futurologist predicts that breast implants may one day contain useful items such as MP3 players. Come to think of it, the iPod's thumbwheel does look a little like ... an intriguing input device.

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