Rumour & Humour: For free beer, read on

What’s better than free money? Turn in a missing laptop, and a New Zealand brewer will provide a lifetime supply of free beer.

According to news reports, the stolen laptop contains financial information, label designs and business contacts for Croucher Brewing, a microbrewery in the North Island tourist town of Rotorua. The reward promises 12 bottles of complimentary beer a month for life. A company spokesman estimated the total value of the reward to be about $19,500.

There was no word on whether the offer includes shipping to Canada — or personal training classes to work off the resultant gut.

Excused Absence Network

So, you’ve just won a lifetime supply of beer and need some time to digest your winnings. This looks like a job for the U.S.-based Excused Absence Network.

For about $25, customers of myexcusedabsence.com can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals, as well as fake jury summons or a funeral service program. Before printing out the notes, users can type in relevant information — emergency room addresses, pallbearer names et cetera — from local service providers.

Though the company’s disclaimer advises the notes are “for entertainment purposes only,” its Web site shows pictures of people surfing and playing golf, presumably using the fabricated excuses.

Not surprisingly, this offering has stirred up controversy. A New Jersey woman was arrested recently after using one of the company’s notes to support her claim she was too injured to appear in traffic court for a speeding ticket. She was caught after court officials called the chiropractor listed and he told them he never heard of the woman. Concerns have also been raised that the reputations of medical providers listed on the fake notes could be tarnished, since they might seem to be complicit in the scam.

This really is a fascinating topic, but further analysis will not be possible because, er, the writer’s dog just ate his keyboard…

DaVinci in high resolution

Are you prone to museum feet? Take heart: Recently, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Summer has been posted on the Internet at a resolution of 16 billion pixels — 1,600 times stronger than images taken with a typical 10 million pixel digital camera.

The high-resolution image on haltadefinizione.com aims to allow experts to examine details of the 15th century wall painting that they otherwise could not, including traces of drawings put down before painting.

There was no word on whether other famous artworks would receive the same kind of treatment. Imagine: Dogs Playing Pool at 16 billion pixels…

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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