Robots ahoy, Nigerian ploy

Danger Danger Bill Gates-son: Microsoft is building an army of robots that will eventually take over the planet - and then crash, leaving seven billion people on hold with tech support. So far, though, it's just an army of one, and he's only 35cm tall. At the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, ZMP set loose its e-nuvo WALK 3, a 2.49kg biped bot that runs on Microsoft's Robotics Studio software and will be available in Japan next year for about $US5400. Call it a BPOD - Blue Planet of Death.

The 411 on that 419:A Nigerian company is suing the One Laptop Per Child project for patent infringement. Lagos Analysis claims the $US100, sorry $US188, laptop do-gooders reverse engineered its patented keyboard technology, which allows users to easily produce diacritical marks essential to most non-English alphabets. I understand the Nigerians are willing to settle the suit amicably, if Nicolas Negroponte agrees to help them smuggle out $US35 million of government funds embezzled by an ex-cabinet minister.

Rotten to the Gore: First the US Supreme Court pulled the rug out from underneath his presidential dreams. Now cyber scammers have done the same to Al Gore's website. The blog page for the ex-veep's award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, was apparently hacked via a vulnerability in WordPress. Though the pages weren't visibly altered in any way, their source code was engorged with links to sites hawking Viagra and Cialis in an effort to pump up the pharma sites' Google Juice. The good news: Using such substances can be carbon neutral, provided you don't breath too heavily.