Last week was a busy one for "The Blog of Death," what with the passing of Terri Schiavo and trial lawyer Johnnie Cochran and the suicide...

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Last week was a busy one for “The Blog of Death,” what with the passing of Terri Schiavo and trial lawyer Johnnie Cochran and the suicide of former Crowded House drummer Paul Hester.

The site, at www.blogofdeath.com, is dedicated to obituaries and accepts suggestions and tributes. It also features advertisements for books, flowers and apparel from the “Eternal Sleep Boutique.”

Fool’s gold

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We were all in need of a little comic relief by the time Friday rolled around.

First there was the news that Seattle had been renamed Allentown in honor of Paul Allen and his “donations.”

Then online news site The Register had a report about Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs becoming “acting CEO” of Ikea and selling just three products, all with the Apple logo, pre-assembled in lavish glossy boxes.


Growing malady



One security company documented more than 7,500 new malware programs in the past three months, up 200 percent from the previous month and 300 percent from the same period a year ago.

Source: TrendMicro


Google introduced the Google Gulp, a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize Web surfing efficiency by scanning your DNA and “fine-tuning an individual hormonal cocktail in real time.”

MSN introduced a personalized Web search that spoofs the searcher with a customized list of embarrassing news stories about that person.

And CNET‘s Web site featured a brand new device that can make calls, shoot pictures, surf the Web and play music called the iTreoPod, an Apple iPod and a Treo 650 held together with duct tape.

Downward Dog meets Tux

Yoga instructors in California are using the open-source software movement to fight a yoga master who had his postures copyrighted, according to the magazine eWeek.

India-born yoga master Bikram Choudhury wants to prevent people from practicing his style of hothouse yoga without authorization.

He has claimed copyright and trademark protection for a routine called “Bikram’s Basic Yoga System” or “Bikram Yoga.” The technique involves his self-styled yoga positions done with the heater cranked up to roasting.

Taking a cue from certain technology companies, Choudhury has sent out cease-and-desist letters to yoga teachers who follow his routine too closely or in a room that gets a bit too hot.

In response, a group of yoga instructors banded together calling themselves Open Source Yoga Unity (OSYU). Its purpose: fighting the “litigious position of Bikram Choudhury.”

Hmmm, you have to wonder what that position might look like in the studio.

Listen up

A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that more than 6 million Americans have listened to podcasts, or audio files downloaded onto a portable music device.

More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29 percent of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web, the study found.

Dialing for dollars

American young people apparently lead the world in cellphone spending, according to the Wireless World Forum.

A study done by the group showed that 50 million cellphone owners in the United States are under 25, and they spend more than the largest five economies of Europe combined.

One of every $10 they spend is related to cellphones, more than spending on music, candy or cigarettes. This year their total cellphone-related spending is expected to reach $20 billion, the study predicted.

Speaking of spending

In related news of sorts, Cingular Wireless and Telescope, part of the Bertelsmann group, announced a text-messaging chat service for fans of “American Idol.”

Fans can sign up and chat with one another by using their Cingular mobile phones.

Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com.