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Internet

HotBot's time warp

For some, the dates appearing on Lycos site HotBot.com's search results are showing the year 1899--the same year mystery master Alfred Hitchcock was born.

Who knew the Internet existed more than 100 years ago?

For some, the dates appearing on Lycos site HotBot.com's search results are showing the year 1899--the same year mystery master Alfred Hitchcock was born.

It could be an odd coincidence, but the event has the trappings of something straight out of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

When CNET News.com called representatives for HotBot to inquire about the apparent time warp, a company spokesman was just as puzzled.

"Hm," said Ross Levanto, HotBot's spokesman at Schwartz Communications. "I'll have to check into that."

When Levanto checked, he found the dates correct, but the year 1899 kept popping up for several others who were searching using certain versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

For example, when searching for the word "news," the top 10 Web results appeared with the date 12/30/1899.

But for those using Netscape Communicator, search results appeared up-to-date, with a 1999.

Representatives at HotBot could not be reached to provide an explanation.