• Too close for comfort? Internet guru Esther Dyson, chairwoman of EDventure Holdings Inc., worries about overzealous application of the Justice Department's new surveillance powers. At last week's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, Dyson warned, 'There may be six degrees of separation between you and Britney Spears, but only four degrees between you and some guy looking at your records.' Actually, Spears was closer'in the form of a 10-story likeness smiling down from the MGM Grand Hotel. Said one observer, 'Her navel is the size of my bedroom.'

  • Close to her vest. Rebecca Scott, the Playboy Playmate of August 1999, came to Comdex to model the Scott eVest, described in this month's Playboy magazine as 'the latest gadget-friendly clothing [that] can conceal your electronic arsenal so you don't look like a total geek.' Technology Enabled Clothing LLC of Chicago, on its site at www.scottevest.com, describes how the $120 vest can stow a handheld computer, wireless phone, pager, digital camera, MP3 player, personal area network, bottled water and so on. It doesn't show Ms. Scott in the eVest, however.

  • Miss Universe. There she is, in Flash and non-Flash versions, on the home page of www.lifeinuniverse.org. Last week's international webcast from Geneva featured e-mail questions from global'or galactic?'viewers about life elsewhere in the universe.

  • But is there still life in the Playboy Mansion? Well, the Space Frontier Foundation last week hosted a gala at the Los Angeles mansion, emceed by Larry King. Former astronauts Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell joined Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 'Titanic' director James Cameron and futurist Alvin Toffler in toasting Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who was not in attendance, and other sci-fi heroes. Beam your toasts to [email protected].
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