From post-coital squid to high-res Playboy bunnies: The 2012 'IT angle?!' quiz

Test your knowledge of the year's most stimulating stories


How much do you remember about what really mattered in 2012? You're about to find out.

Last year The Reg chronicled more than just the birth of Windows 8, the rise of ARM, the battle between iOS and Android, the genesis of the buzzword de l'année "big data", Apple's crap Maps app flap, and other communiqués from the front lines of the tech wars.

We considered it our duty, for example, to inform you in March that a Lithuanian court denied Carlsberg brewery workers the right to strike by declaring beer to be "vitally essential," placing it "in the same category as medical supplies and drinking water."

Occasionally a Reg commenter will respond to such stories with a dismissive "IT angle?!" We, however, believe there's more to life than servers, admin tools, and security hassles, so we've cooked up a year-end quiz to see if you've been paying attention to our departures from the IT straight and narrow.

It's time to test your Reg recall on the following questions, and we offer a couple of ways to track your progress: you can click on "Answer" at the end of each question to go to the Reg story that prompted it, or download a printable scoresheet here then check out the Answers page at the end of the quiz.

And, yes, a few IT stories made it into this quiz as well. After all, this is The Reg – what did you expect, consistency?

Fast gas, WIMPs, and Playboy bunnies

1. A man in Seattle, Washington, claimed he was attacked and bloodied by what?
      A. leprechauns
      B. feral pigs
      C. laid-off Microsoft employees
      D. kindergarteners
      Answer

2. How much did Bill Gates' 1979 Porche 911 sell for at auction?
     A. $8,000
     B. $80,000
     C. $180,000
     D. zero – there were no bidders
     Answer

3. Why do scammers still employ obviously stupid and transparently fraudulent "Nigerian" scams?
     A. Only idiots respond, so the scams are highly efficient since the victims are self-selecting
     B. The number of internet users is still growing, and newbies fall for scams
     C. The scams are becoming more sophisticated, thus more effective
     D. A recent study has shown that greed suppresses rational thought
     Answer

4. According to McAfee (the Intel division, not the man), what was the celebrity name most likely to lead to malware infection in 2012?
     A. Eva Mendes
     B. Selena Gomez
     C. Halle Berry
     D. Emma Watson
     Answer

5. Before ending his run in January 2012, how long had William Shatner been Priceline.com's spokesman?
     A. 12 years
     B. 14 years
     C. 16 years
     D. since Al Gore invented the internet
     Answer

6. Groupon got in trouble with the UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for selling what?
     A. penis-enlargement pills
     B. alcohol to minors
     C. snake oil
     D. voodoo dolls of religious figures
     Answer

7. How much longer did ex-SAP chief Léo Apotheker keep his CEO position at HP than did ex-PayPal prez Scott Thompson remain the CEO of Yahoo!?
     A. Just under twice as long
     B. Just over twice as long
     C. Around a third of a year longer
     D. Just about the same length of time
     Answer: Thompson hired, Thompson leaves; Apotheker hired, Apotheker leaves

8. Which US presidential candidate wanted to make it possible for the Moon to become the 51st state?
     A. Ron Paul
     B. Rick Perry
     C. Newt Gingrich
     D. Michele Bachmann
     Answer

9. To publicize its argument for more funding, NASA arranged what event?
     A. A benefit performance by David Bowie, who sang "Life on Mars"
     B. Driving a scale model of the Curiosity rover up the Washington Mall to the US Capital
     C. Holding a "Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale"
     D. A softball game between NASA scientists and budget committee members, with balls painted to resemble the Moon and planets
     Answer

10. How many wannabe astronauts applied for a position in the 21st US astronaut class?
     A. over 15,000
     B. 6,300
     C. 5,200
     D. 666
     Answer

11. About how fast are gasses swirling around black hole IGR J17091-3624?
     A. 17,500 miles per hour
     B. 20,000,000 miles per hour
     C. 175,000,000 miles per hour
     D. just under 50 per cent of the speed of light
     Answer

12. What did one MIT graduate student suggest be used to deflect earth-threatening asteroids?
     A. paintballs
     B. other asteroids
     C. a cluster of obsolete Soviet and US ICBMs
     D. one nuclear warhead donated by each nuclear-armed nation – including the ones that haven't yet admitted owning any
     Answer

13. Scientists estimate that each of us is bombarded by a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) approximately how often?
     A. millions of times per second
     B. once per minute
     C. once per lifetime
     D. never, unless we live at the South Pole when the ozone layer is depleted
     Answer

14. What's the ratio of the megapixalage of the camera on the US Department of Energy's Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to that of the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S III?
     A. 4:1
     B. 40:1
     C. 400:1
     D. 4,000:1
     Answer

15. Approximately what was the resolution of the photo of Playboy model Lena Söderberg printed by Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and 16Research, measured in dots per inch?
     A. 10,000
     B. 100,000
     C. 1,000,000
     D. irrelevant – it was a continuous-tone image
     Answer


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