'Did you hear...'

Can you spell vomit? 'FCC Finally Completes the BARF Process,' the Competitive Enterprise Institute of Washington announced in a truly flushable e-mail headline. There's no excuse, in our opinion, for making an acronym of the Federal Communications Commission's Bureau Approval and Review Form for official decisions. The BARF in question, 'Review of the Section 251 Unbundling Obligations of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers; Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,' drew comments that probably made some of the carriers want to ... well, you know. FCC chairman Michael K. Powell called it 'bad law, bad policy and ultimately bad for consumers.' Commissioner Michael J. Copps complained, 'This is not a brave new world of broadband, but simply the old system of local monopoly dressed up in a digital cloak.'

Cloak-and-dagger e-mail. Buzz didn't e-mail you last month, no matter who you are. It was that nasty SoBig.F worm. But there is a silver lining'sort of. Spam counts were down last week. The worm turned on the spammers and kept them so busy deleting new wrigglers that they have less time to sell Viagra online.

Untouched by human hands. The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse at NASA's Haughton Mars Project Base Camp on Devon Island, Canada, is growing a nice little hydroponic lettuce crop with remote satellite control of heating, cooling and germination. No worms, digital or otherwise, infest these seedlings. To view activity via webcam, go to www.gcn.com and enter 149 in the GCN.com/search box. But who's going to eat the crops? Feed us some rumors at [email protected].

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