• Vectors for evil. No, they're not terrorist-piloted Boeing 737s or letters loaded with anthrax. According to a recent e-mail slugfest among members of the government's XML Working Group, the vectors of evil are e-mail attachments. 'Just say no' to attachments, argued one combatant to another. 'I'm disappointed to know that you are willing to leave open to evildoers the vectors upon which they rely to do their dirty deeds. I'm glad you're not the surgeon general.'

  • Who's dancing in the wiring closet? IBM Corp. recently wrote to us, 'It's true, an astonishing number of server outages'up to 30 percent'come when someone in the server room steps on a cable.'

  • The worm turns. Ironically, the widespread Sircam worm that was supposed to regenerate and take down the Internet last month turned out to have a bug in its own activation code, according to F-Secure of San Jose, Calif. No patches were issued.

  • We stand corrected. There is no longer such a thing as a Threatcon [GCN, Sept. 24, Page 48], according to a GCN reader in Michigan. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld decided recently to change the term to FPcon, for Force Protection Condition. The FPcon levels are Delta, the current high state of military alert, followed by the lower Charlie, Bravo, Alpha and Normal threat levels. The reader added that after Rumsfeld's decision, entrance signs were changed on every Defense Department building, and the dictionary-sized regulations spelling out actions at each level had to be reprinted. 'But if FPcon makes our nation safer, I guess we can live with it,' the reader added. Spell out some rumors to buzz@postnewsweektech.com.
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