P> Internet Heresy
Banished by the Pope, a controversial French bishop has started using the Internet to spread his very unorthodox dogma. Pope John Paul II transferred -- or 'translated' in the Vatican's argot -- Bishop Jacques Gaillot to the defunct Partenia diocese in the Sahara desert following Gaillot's public support for homosexuals, condom usage and priestly marriages. Readers eager to catch up on the cleric's cybercounsel should view http://www.partenia.fr/
Creative Writing Assignment for the New Year:
The Washington Post's write-up of Digital Ink's failure with journalistic honesty. Digital Ink, the Post's floundering proprietary on-line service, reshuffled top management at the same time AT&T, Basking Ridge, N.J., dumped the Interchange software that was at the heart of Ink's service. Any bets when www.washpost.com World Wide Web site comes up?
Exec-PC of New Berlin, Wisc., recently wiped roughly 2 gigabytes of pornographic pictures, sounds and stories from its databanks to avoid public stigma and confusing laws, said company president Greg Ryan. The 50,000 files of adult material had been built up over the years by Exec-PC's bulletin board service, he said. But the confusing legal status of pornography and concerns voiced by potential Internet subscribers -- parents and school officials -- prompted company officials to discard the pornography, he said. "It was a business decision. No one made us do it," he said.
Anecdote of the Fortnight
A reporter some years ago visited the famous physicist Niehls Bohr. Upon entering the room, he noticed a horseshoe hanging from the door. "Can it be you are superstitious?" asked the reporter.
"No, but I believe the horseshoe brings luck even for those who are not superstitious."
Mine Clearance Inc.
The U.S. peacekeeping operation in Bosnia has lit a fire under the Army's mine-detection programs. The Army needs new technology because the magnetic mine-sweepers used during World War II are not accurate enough to detect modern landmines that contain very little metal. Several companies are offering innovative solutions, while Army scientists are trying to complete development of a miniature radar that can see through foliage and dirt to the mines hidden below. To clear mines in Croatia is estimated to be $400 million over the next nine years. But the United Nations says it would cost $33 billion to clear the 100 million mines scattered around the world's battlefields.
Spam No More
MCI Telecommunications Corp., Washington, D.C., has a new policy to discourage "spamming" on the Internet. Spamming is the annoying practice of sending mass unsolicited e-mails, the electronic equivalent of junk mail.
Any MCI Internet network customer caught spamming will be disconnected from the service. Ronald J. McMurtrie, director of marketing for MCI Business Enterprise, said the company would also take "corrective action" against the offender. McMurtrie also said MCI will band together with other Internet service providers to fight against spamming.
HOW Things Would Be Different if Microsoft Built Cars
1. A particular model year of car wouldn't be available until after that year,
instead of before.
2. Every time lines are repainted on the road, you'd have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally, your car would die for no reason, and you'd have to restart it. For some strange reason, you would just accept this.
4. You could have only one person at a time in your car, unless you bought a car 95 or a car NT model, but then you'd have to buy more seats.
5. Sun Motorsystems would make a car that was solar-powered, twice as reliable, five times as fast, but ran on only 5 percent of the roads.
6. The oil, alternator, gas and engine warning lights would be replaced with a
single "General Car Fault" warning light.
7. People would get excited about the "new" features in Microsoft cars, forgetting completely that they had been available in other brands for years.
8. We'd all have to switch to Microsoft Gas.
9. New seats will force everyone to have the same size rear end.