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Talking Points: Dark lightning, fake wine, PCs

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Local,Talking Points

What is dark lightning?

About 260 years after Ben Franklin flew a kite in a storm, scientists are researching a new kind of lightning, dark lightning, which occurs at the same altitudes used by commercial airlines and which may be blasting those planes with gamma rays. The dose of radiation is small, though researchers said they still have to figure out how often dark lightening occurs and what it's long-term effects on fliers have been.

$320,000 for fake wine?

That's the amount that Florida billionaire William Koch spent on 24 bottles of wine at a 2005 auction. He later sued businessman Eric Greenberg for selling him the phony vintage wine, which averaged $13,333 a bottle.

A federal jury in New York City sided with Koch on Thursday. He said he hoped the verdict sent a message to those in the wine auction market who follow a code of silence about fake wines.

Greenberg insisted on the witness stand that he never intentionally sold a bad bottle of wine.

Are PCs becoming dinosaurs?

The personal computer could be on the way out as more and more people turn toward mobile devices for their technology.

First-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent worldwide from the same time last year, according to International Data Corp. That's the deepest quarterly drop since the firm started tracking the industry in 1994. The PC market is in the worst shape since IBM Corp. released a desktop machine in 1981.

But despite the bad news, PCs aren't extinct just yet -- more than 300 million PCs are still expected to be sold worldwide this year.

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By the staff of
The Washington Examiner