'Did you hear...'

'Alien species invading country at a cost of billions.' Nope, that's not a runner-up caption for the editorial cartoon on Page 22. Nor is it quite what you would expect to hear from the sane and dignified Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert, but that's exactly what a press release from the New York Republican said. The House Science Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards heard late last month that the nation is losing nearly $137 billion a year from damage caused by 'alien invaders.' Witnesses pointed the pseudopod of blame at foreign clams, crabs, slugs, sponges and'we hope they're not as big as the ones in the cartoon'snails.

Clamshells here, there and everywhere. Computers of all sizes and descriptions are getting a lot tougher coverings. If you don't believe it, see the GCN Lab's review of ruggedized PC equipment in the June 17 and June 24 issues. And what's behind this trend? Maybe self-defense because computer users are getting more violent. A U.K. insurance company last month released a list of the documented ways its claimants have been trashing their systems: dropping them off bridges, throwing heavy objects at them, letting animals chew on them, driving over them with cars and spilling liquid over the keyboards.

Freud: 'There are no accidents.' Sixty percent of all computer insurance claims are for 'accidental' damage, the insurer said. Do these vandals just want an insurance check for a free upgrade? What's your worst PC accident? Tell buzz@postnewsweektech.com.

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