It's a long way to Halloween, but I'm already in the spirit of my favorite
holiday as I cast a keen eye on the daily costume changes of my
gum-snapping, beehive-wearing assistante
Trixie Pixel. Trixie is my
first line of defense, warding off all the crackpots
trying to pass as tipsters.
To show my appreciation, I help evaluate costumes all through October.
Yesterday, it was Amelia Earhart--the propeller embedded in the forehead
was a nice touch--and today it's Catwoman. I took one look at her rubber
suit and called the hardware store to have a couple cans of WD-40 delivered.
Intel had similar problems the other day while showing off a PC-TV at its
Developer Forum. After promising the system would fit comfortably into a
living room stereo cabinet, the company rep couldn't squeeze the bloated
hardware hybrid into the snug faux-wood receptacle. Wait a second--they can
fit zillions of transistors on a chip, but they can't figure out how to
work a tape measure? Was it an inches-to-centimeters conversion problem?
Maybe they should take some of that money they keep investing in CNET and
buy themselves a nice set of Craftsman tools.
Speaking of tight fits, many a CNET snicker has been heard ever since those
Snap kids--God bless their innocent
hearts--unveiled their, uh, exclamation point mascot, an emphatic little
lovable who at first glance looks like a smiling condom. When I
signed up Grandma DuBaud for the brand-spanking-new service, she spied ol'
Snappy and almost spit her dentures into her poutine. It took my
last ounce of persuasion to convince her that Snappy was not a
prophylactic, but helas, all my hard work was undermined when
Grandma spotted the little rascal in a banner ad on Playboy's Web site,
where he's rumored to be in heavy rotation. CNET's already been a
longstanding advertiser there, but only to appeal to those who are there
for the interviews. Honest.
While Snappy busts a move on Miss April, Pacific Bell is busting the chops
of rival ISP Netcom. Someone Skincognito let me know that mega-PR firm
Fleishman-Hillard is dropping Netcom as a client. At the same time, F-H is
gaining the account of Pac Bell's Internet service. The upstart
ISP-cum-rBOC, which hardly qualifies as an Internet underdog despite being
in business for less than 18 months, is adding injury to insult by making
much of its headway in Netcom's San Jose, California, backyard. Making
friends all over the Golden State, Pac Bell also promised last month to offer high-speed Net access in
parts of Silicon Valley, right under the noses of cable modem access
I reported a couple of weeks
back about the campaign to replace "www" with "web" in URLs across the
land. It seems the anti-W bug is Skinfectious, as another reader writes to
suggest an oral initiative to say "tri-dub" instead of the onerous "www" or
the stuttering "dub-dub-dub." He also speculates on the nefarious origins
of the tongue twister:
"It's long been a suspicion of mine that Tim Berners-Lee choosing the
longest letter in the English alphabet to clump together a triple-letter,
nonword acronym was actually a subtle monkey-wrench attack by a tech
insider mole to actually BRING DOWN the productivity of the technological
On a more serious note, one of the technological elite, a pioneer in the
field of communications and cyberspace law, has passed away. Judging by her
long list of achievements, Anne Wells
Branscomb probably didn't lose much productivity time to tongue twisters or
anything else. She was 68.
Are you one of the technological elite or do you just play one on TV? Either way, send me a rumor, and I promise not to dress as Marv Albert for Halloween.