Noone loves the ridiculous side of technology more than us, so when a weird story comes along it brightens up our whole day. In a flash of genius, we've saved you the effort of searching the net for the silliest stories of 2009, and brought them together in one mighty list to rule them all.
Enjoy, and let us know if you think we've missed your favourite out.
1. Mind control chips
Intel scientists hope that by 2020 we will all have chips in our brains that will allow us to harness our thoughts to operate computers, TVs and mobile phones. The man behind the idea Dean Pomerleau believes people may be willing to have brain implants. "Imagine being able to surf the web with the power of your thoughts." We think it sounds too much like a sci-fi plot from a Philip K. Dick novel. And they never have a happy ending.
2. Brains in computers
Meanwhile, IBM boffins claim to have gone in the opposite direction and put a brain in the computer, that is creating a computer that "thinks" like a living thing. Dharmendra Modha, manager of IBM's Cognitive Computing unit, said his team had been able to simulate the number of neurons and synapses present in a cat's brain. The project won itself the ACM Gordon Bell Prize in recognition of outstanding achievement in high-performance computing.
But Swiss neuroscientist Henry Markram denounced IBM's claim. "I am absolutely shocked at this announcement. Not because it is any kind of technical feat, but because of the mass deception to the public," Markam wrote in an open letter sent to IBM's technology chief, Bernard Meyerson, and members of the media. Markam claims the cat brain simulation is relatively easy to do, and the simulation only demonstrates that IBM's Cognitive Computing team has immense compute horsepower to play with.
3. Microsoft: It don't matter if you're black or white
Microsoft was forced to apologise for editing a photo to replace a black man's face with a white man for an online advertisement intended for use in Poland. The embarrassing gaffe, which was published around the world, appeared even more hackneyed as the photo editors failed to edit out the black man's hands. Other photoshop mistakes include the white MacBook in front of the edited person with the Apple logo brushed out, and the fact that the woman's LCD display isn't actually plugged in to anything.
4. Bing tries to buy the news
When media mogul Rupert Murdoch threatened to boycott Google from indexing WSJ.com and his other media sites in the News Corporation, Microsoft was quick to see an opportunity. The Financial Times reports that Microsoft was in discussions with Murdoch and other publishers about the possibility of paying them to remove their sites from Google’s search index and running them exclusively on Microsoft's search engine Bing. Microsoft may not be able to beat Google, but if it can somehow make Bing the only place that lists news results for News Corporation's content, then it could be enough for a profitable venture. Google, in the end, conceded to Murdoch's demands, making it easier for publishers to opt out of being indexed by Google News. But this could be the start of more exciting moves for search engines and media companies.
5. Man arrested for not tweeting
James Roppo has become the first man to be arrested for not sending a Twitter message when told to by authorities. The strange story involved Canadian internet teen star Justin Bieber and 3,000 screaming fans. When an event at Roosevelt Field mall became rowdy, police told the artist’s label to send a Tweet telling the crowd to disperse. When that allegedly didn’t happen, police arrested Roppo, a senior vice president of Island Def Jam Records, and claimed that the executive's refusal to intervene led to several people in the crowd sustaining minor injuries.