' Sloppy speller or simmering sociopath? Oh, brother, not Big Brother again. Stroz Associates LLC of New York is developing software that will scan everything employees write in their e-mail messages. According to the company, the software can uncover subtle patterns in word use that signal the onset of emotional instability. Guess they didn't think of counting the number of frowny emoticons per user.

' Gimme Charles Bronson Version 4.0. Continuing with news of the paranoid, the e-mail newsletter of the SANS Institute in Bethesda, Md., this month quoted experts at a recent security conference who said cybervigilantes are on the warpath. The reason: Information managers who fall victim to hackings don't want to admit it to the FBI. Instead they take matters into their own hands. Some authorize the staff to mount reverse denial-of-service attacks against crackers.

' Just don't spill latte on the screen. The Starbucks coffee chain is buying Compaq iPaq handheld computers for customers who like to sip and surf, WinInfo Daily Update reported this month.

' Dennis Tito, the solar system's most hapless tourist. His $20 million hotel bill on the International Space Station got him only an air mattress for sleeping. The Reuters news service reported this month that NASA has not yet asked for any of the $20 million Tito paid Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos to let him tag along. But NASA reportedly intends to recoup up to $10 million for extra costs incurred.

' Lost any loot in the mail? Search for it on eBay. The MSNBC news network reported last month that the Postal Service is disposing of the contents of undeliverable postal parcels at the www.eBay.com auction site. What good is government gossip on eBay? Ship it to [email protected] instead.


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