With the year winding down, it is time for readers of the TechMan column to be recertified.
As you probably know, reading the TechMan column requires a solid background in technology and poses some danger to your mental health. So to keep insurance premiums down, we must certify our readers.
Being certified to read the TechMan column is easy. Simply complete the quiz below on subjects covered in this year's TechMan columns or TechTalk podcasts. If you score 0 or above, you can continue reading the column and viewing and listening to the podcasts.
So, good luck.
1. Google is giving a Christmas gift to Pittsburgh International Airport users. What is it?
a. More flights
b. Search-free Sundays at security checkpoints
c. Bumble suits for all TSA workers
d. Free Wi-FI
2. The New Oxford American dictionary picked a social-networking-related word as its Word of the Year for 2009. What was it?
3. The British prime minister officially issued a posthumous apology to computer pioneer and Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing. What did he apologize for?
a. Making him eat British food with names like Toad in the Hole and Bubble and Squeak.
b. The royal family
c. The bombing of Dresden
d. Being prosecuted for admitting he was a homosexual
4. A popular video game came out with a module entitled "The Pitt," set in Pittsburgh of the future, described as a place of "moral degradation." What was the name of the video game?
a. "Indiana Luke and the Tuition Tax of Doom"
b. "Mary Beth Buchanan -- Woman Crimefighter"
c. "The Legend of Sophie"
d. "Fallout 3"
5. A state-of-the-art casino opened on the North Shore. What new technology did a large majority of Pittsburghers want to try out most?
a. Electronic slot machines
b. Robotic Wayne Newton
c. Virtual showgirls
d. The new steam tables at the buffet
6. Which is a cell phone that came out this year?
a. The Traffichazard
b. The Thumbcrippler
c. The Calldropper
d. The Droid
7. Apple brought out a new phone called the iPhone 3G. What does 3G stand for.
a. Great. Great. Great.
b. The total cost of the phone, the two-year data plan and the extra charges
c. Golly, gee, gosh, I wish I had high-speed data service.
d. 3rd generation
8. NASA recently found something unexpected on the moon. What was it?
a. Judge Crater
b. A Wal-Mart
c. Alice Kramden
d. Large amounts of water
9. Amazon deleted copies of a book from the Kindle readers of its customers. What book was it?
a. "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin
b. "Steal This Book" by Abbie Hoffman
c. "The Organ Meats Cookbook" by Hannibal Lecter
d. "1984" by George Orwell
10. President Obama recently visited China. What technology questions came up?
a. The president asked the Chinese premier to be his friend on Facebook.
b. In a recession, where do Americans get the money to buy all those expensive iPhones China is making?
c. Wasn't that police truck at the G-20 that made the really loud noise freaky?
d. President Obama admitted that he has never actually tweeted, but supports the Chinese youths' right to do so.
The correct answer to each question is "d." Score: 9-10 correct, you can not only read TechMan, you can write it; 6-8 correct, Tweetmeister; 2-5 correct, tough time operating a door lock; 0-1 correct, you probably can't read anyway.