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Killer CD-ROMs and email from beyond

An infamous email that leaked out of Oracle two years ago is making its way around the Net once again, causing hair to stand on end.

I hate scary movies. The Shining, Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street? Never seen 'em. Some people love to sit in a theater and scream their head off, but I'd rather read my email.

But email can be scary, too, especially when it comes back from the dead. An infamous email that leaked out of Oracle two years ago is making its way around the Net once again, causing hair to stand on end. The email, originally sent to a select group of hommes d'Oracle, details the availability of various female friends of a company employee as prospective dates for the 1994 Christmas party. Most of the descriptions pay lascivious attention to the subjects' bodies and sexual proclivities. The fact that the email has again reared its ugly head has a lot of people wondering if it's an urban myth, a hoax, or a sexist conspiracy.

OK, here's the Skinny: The email was the brainchild of a woman at Oracle who thought it would be a good joke for some of her "e-male" friends. When it starting bouncing around the company and apparently all the way to The Larry himself, the writer was humiliated but managed to keep her job, according to sources.

But is Bill Gates going to be so forgiving? Microsoft's first appearance as an Internet access provider turned out to be a box-office bomb. Now, Skinnyophiles are reporting that the installation disc from the newly reborn Microsoft Network crashes their systems. MS officials have admitted that the beta disc, which over 100,000 people tested out, was buggier than that creepy-crawly movie Them! The final version has shipped and the complaints are still rolling in that the disc won't install. Is it possible that the sequel is more frightening than the original?

If you're squeamish, cover your eyes for this next item. The mad slasher roaming the halls at NetGuide Live lopped off 25 more heads this week, as reported by the NEWS.COM crew yesterday. Apparently, the managing editors had the unenviable job of walking the floor and tapping the shoulders of those deemed redundant, as the Brits say. Other rumors say that the survivors are going to quit and leave new project director Robert Seidman all by his lonesome. Friday the 13th was last week, but when a stranger calls with a rumor, I go psycho. Scratch your jaws, think it over, and email me something really scary.