' An emergency procurement at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center last month drew the attention of the watchdogs at nasawatch.com. The editor of the site wrote, 'Please tell me why only a new Titanium G4 Mac PowerBook can meet the government requirement' posted by contractor Computer Sciences Corp. as an emergency request for quotes under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures. 'There are desktop and laptop Macs just as capable as the Titanium G4 Mac,' pointed out nasawatch.com, a site run by Reston Communications of Reston, Va. 'You can get the same firepower for less via a mail order catalog.' Oops. CSC promptly cancelled the solicitation.

' GIGO's the answer? In an unintentionally ironic message touting its encryption product to prevent e-mail spying, Australian vendor MailedSafe Secure E-mail trumpeted, 'The best solution is to send garbage.' Excuse us, but aren't a lot of users doing that already?

' Busted. That's how the staff at the National Institute on Drug Abuse must have felt when the current issue of Consumer Reports evaluated Internet filtering software and found that the top products filtered out the institute's site, at nida.nih.gov. Must have been the fault of NIDA's naughty little search window that lists such goodies as cocaine, club drugs, Ecstasy and so on.

' Speaking of naughty. The BBC World Service reported this month that a Swiss company, Agence Virtuelle, has developed a software robot that scours the Internet for the sources of particular rumors and slanders. The company claims the RumorBot can track down pedophiles, too.

Quick, send your rumors to [email protected] before the bot gets 'em.

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