' I-vote. German voters will boldly go where no electorate has gone before'to the Internet. The I-vote scheme is the brainchild of a German consulting company, ivl Gmbh, and a research group called Internet-Voting. System testers can even dial in their votes from their wireless phones, which should give election officials a really plausible excuse for wrong numbers.

' King George W? When Queen Elizabeth II knighted IBM Corp. chairman Louis Gerstner last month in recognition of his high-tech victories, IBM employees wondered whether they would have to bow and address him as Sir Lou. Nope, as an upstart Yank he can only add K.B.E.'for knight of the British empire'after his name. That should certainly keep people from confusing him with the rock group SirLou.

' Bill Gates is voted off the island. A Buzz reader responding to the June 18 column asked, which is worse: digital subscriber line service that's expensive, often cuts out and won't operate as fast as advertised, or Microsoft Windows 98's frequent blue screens of death? He turned thumbs down on Win98 and called Gates the weakest link instead of broadband executives. He added, 'Don't get me started on the complete and total superiority of WordPerfect over Word.'

' Software meltdown. In hot, sticky climates, an alumium-loving fungus called geotrichum reportedly attacks CD-ROMs and devours the shiny aluminum layer plus part of the polycarbonate resin. That appetizing bit of information comes courtesy of the British Electronic Telegraph, at www.telegraph.co.uk. Are fungi hot, viruses not? What do you think? Quick, send a virus tale to [email protected].


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