'Did you hear...'

In the pink: Who's that wearing the pink feather hat at GSA.gov and FirstGov.gov? Our eyes popped at the 60-second video of a pink poodle riding in a pink Caddy.

Where does a billionaire spend spare bucks? If you're Microsoft Corp. cofounder Paul G. Allen, you need way more spending outlets than a mere Seattle Seahawks franchise. Allen recently funded the University of Washington's development of virtual-reality spiders as therapy for arachnophobes who run shrieking from the creepy crawlers. Why haven't they thought of marketing this software therapy to National Football League opponents to relieve their fear of, say, being chased by 308-pound Seahawks tackle Walter Jones? Or maybe Allen was smart to start small. A cyberspider has six more legs to animate than a VR Jones clone does. Shake a leg. Search on 'spider' at www.washington.edu.

Pot versus kettle. An ad this month in Capitol Hill's Roll Call newspaper made an impassioned plea for Congress to enact S 877, the Can Spam Act, or HR 2214, the Reduction in Distribution of Spam Act. 'Immediate action is required to go after the bad guys,' wrote the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers and Direct Marketing Association. 'Inconsistent state spam laws and proposals for a do-not-e-mail list represent a knee-jerk reaction to the spam crisis and do nothing to reduce the spam piling up in consumers' inboxes.' They claim to have generated $17.5 billion worth of U.S. spending this year via commercial e-mail messages, which they fear will be banned in many jurisdictions or destroyed by class-action suits. Whose side are you on? Tell [email protected].

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