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'Magnet boy' freezes Xbox

Hair-raising gameplay

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Most kids dream of having a superpower, but we've never heard of any who actually had one. Until now. One 12-year-old boy claims to be magnetised and can zap games consoles and PCs.

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Although he styled himself 'Magneto Man', Joe Falciatano from New York appears to be generating a big static electrical charge - no one knows why - and has already hit the headlines for his ability to crash his school’s computers just by touching them.

All the school could do was place a grounding pad beneath one the PCs, which was then connected to an anti-static wrist strap worn by the boy.

However, Joe’s problems didn't end in the classroom. Whenever he tried to play games on his Xbox, the controller for which is wired to the console, the unit froze. Luckily for Joe, his parents upgraded him to an Xbox 360, which comes with a wireless controller. This has stopped the problem. However, Joe does have to sit on the other side of the room to play it, so perhaps a 50in LCD is in order?

Although Joe’s parents claim the lad's problems with magnetism have been going on for years, the boy has hit the headlines suspiciously close to the release of the Jack Black comedy Be Kind, Rewind. In the film, Black becomes magnetised and wipes all the video cassettes in a local rental shop, but with funnier consequences than Joe experienced...

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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