'Did you hear...'

Personal IP routers. They're nearing commercial readiness for warfighters, according to Cisco Systems Inc. sources. The compact wireless transceivers will turn a soldier's backpack into a network node, and a soldier's boot will take on a whole new meaning. To preview size and price, take a look at Cisco's Linksys products.

Agency budget shortfall? Sell your yacht. Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich did last month'on eBay.com. The 112-foot, 60-year-old Maryland Independence was appraised at $375,000 but went for just $275,100 in spirited online bidding. Unfortunately, it won't do much to pay down the state's $700 million deficit. The converted sub chaser has diagonal mahogany planking copper-riveted to oak. Among other oddball official surplus items being sold on eBay are a government dossier on Osama bin Laden, a 1954 noncombatant ID certificate for Norma Jeane DiMaggio (Marilyn Monroe), Defense Intelligence Agency insignia, Marine Corps rings and dozens of government fleet vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on their odometers.

SLAP. Nope, that's not a human resources offense. It's one of the top 10 instant messaging acronyms, meaning 'Sounds like a plan.' Other favorites of the IM crowd identified in a survey last month by Omnipod Inc. of New York: CTRN (Can't talk right now), DHTB (Don't have the bandwidth) and IHMB (I hate my boss).

Where am I? Meet yourself coming and going in the Atlas of Cyberspaces at www.cybergeography.org. Among other geospatial goodies, there are cybermonsters, MUDs (multiuser domains), MOOs (object-oriented MUDs) and MUSHes (MUD shared hallucinations). Are you hallucinating yet? Tell [email protected]

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