January 14, 2011, 02:33 PM
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An IBM computer the size of ten refrigerators will compete on Jeopardy:
Watson will be the third contestant in a round of shows to be broadcast Feb. 14-16, taking on Brad Rutter, who has won more than $3 million on the game show, and Ken Jennings, who set a record with 74 consecutive "Jeopardy" wins in 2004-05 in which he racked up more than $2.5 million.

Watson, about as big as 10 refrigerators, has had its software updated for "Jeopardy" so it can activate a signaling button of its own, just as its human competitors will have to do ...

When I was on Jeopardy in 1994, there was a short in my buzzer, so I`d have to press it five or ten time before I got credit for it. Gen. Schwarzkopf had the same problem as me on Celebrity Jeopardy, but being a more forceful personality, he stopped the show until they fixed it. A few years later, I went out to dinner with an old high school friend I hadn`t seen in about 10 years. The first thing he said was, "Hey, I saw you on Jeopardy. What was wrong with your buzzer?"

I came in second, with something like $6,700, which would have been nice, but to my surprise, I found out that you only got to keep your winnings if you won the round. Second prize was supposed to be a trip to a Mexican resort, but it was contrived so it wouldn`t really worth it (I`d have to buy four roundtrip tickets from Chicago to LA to use the flights from LA), so I never used it. So, the only thing I got for flying from Chicago to LA to compete on the show was the home board game version.

Jeopardy was a real cash cow for Merv Griffin.

They should have a new quiz show for old codgers like me who can`t remember actual names anymore to see who can cover up for their senility best through fast Googling. For example, for about 15 years I`ve never been able to remember the name of the 1980s blonde actress who was in Never Say Never, 9 1/2 Weeks, LA Confidential, who bought a town, who lost a ridiculous amount of money in a lawsuit when she backed out of this bad movie about a woman who gets her limbs cut off and put in a box. But it only takes me about ten seconds to find the name ... Kim Basinger ... so it doesn`t really matter except in the rare situations when I leave the house and talk to people.