• Lord of the schemas. You just never know what will inspire a burst of poetry. Would you believe Extensible Markup Language? No? Well, it happened in the distant land of MiddleMark, after the Great Battle when SGML smote monsters with mighty runes in ancient elven tongues. Read 'In the Land of Markup where the Schemas lie' by Sean McGrath, at www.xml.org/xml/newsletter_latest.html.

  • Speaking of dire beasts. Lobbyists opposing the Tauzin-Dingell telecommunications deregulation bill, HR 1542, last month donned bright pink pig suits and snouts to frighten House members on the Capitol steps. Even Frodo would have fled.

  • Off or on? Did you miss International Internet-Free Day on Jan. 27? DoBe.org, a nonprofit group, organized and promoted the event on its Web site. They even encouraged people to spread the word by e-mail.

  • Watch the birdie. The Web site at the Energy Department's Fermilab gets many visitors seeking information about particle physics, but some come to the site for birds, thanks to physicist Peter Kasper's birding pages. A list of the 273 species spotted around the 6,800-acre facility west of Chicago was the lab's 17th most-visited page during a recent week. Another popular page, ranked No. 33, has photos of Fermilab birds. Birders come from all over America to see Fermilab's birds, but you can pay a virtual visit at www.fnal.gov/ecology/wildlife/pict_list.html.

  • Rat-ical. You can buy anything on the Internet. The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Research Resources has opened a Rat Resource and Research Center at the University of Missouri. See www.radil.missouri.edu/rrrc to shop for rare and genetically engineered lab rats. Send tips (no rats, please) to buzz@postnewsweektech.com.
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    • When cybersecurity capabilities are paid for, but untapped

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