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Busted routers and look-alike browsers

All of this "push" technology business has gotten my family's creative juices flowing, but Vermel and I think we can do PointCast and BackWeb one better.

    All of this "push" technology business has gotten my family's creative juices flowing, but Vermel and I think we can do PointCast and BackWeb one better. "Push is passe´," Vermel opined. "The next big thing is poke technology."

    That's right, poke. The kid and I are frantically prototyping software that lets Web sites jab you in the gizzard every time Roberto Alomar spits at an umpire or Bill Gates buys another company. I could tell you how we're going to do it, but, as they say, then I'd have to kill you.

    People have called me a fake before, but I bitterly resemble, er, resent that remark. There's a look-alike version of Internet Explorer 4.0 on the Net that makes no bones about being a phony. Actually, the look-alike isn't a browser at all. It's an ActiveX control that bumps the user interface of Explorer 3.0 up a notch to look like 4.0.

    The perennially antsy will enjoy the glimpse this gives them of the Active Desktop. It's just like the real thing! (Nota bene: if you get caught without back or forward buttons in the full-screen mode of this phony browser, hit Alt and the left arrow key simultaneously to throw the browser into reverse.)

    Fake browsers are fun, but busting routers is not, especially these days. I'm told Cisco has backed-up on repairs and is taking three to four weeks to fix its equipment. If you don't have standby router, you may be sneaker netting for a few weeks.

    In the we-love-it-when-we're-right department: Teleport Communications Group finally bought CERFnet this week, more than two months after you read about the rumored deal in these hallowed hypertext pages. Thank you very much, ladies and germs. I'll by myself a beer but you should email me some rumors in the morning.