'Did you hear...'

UML Fever. According to Boeing Co. software architect Alex E. Bell, writing recently to the Association for Computing Machinery forum, UML Fever is one of the metafevers afflicting many software engineers today. But the Unified Modeling Language itself is not the direct cause'rather, it magnifies the symptoms with 'a divine-like aura,' making the infected engineers believe that 'no matter what task they may be engaged in, mere usage of UML somehow legitimizes their efforts. ... No other technology has so quickly and deeply permeated the software engineering lifecycle,' Bell said.

'Stop suicide bombers dead in their tracks.' So urges an e-mail from On Track Innovations Ltd. The Israeli company sells contactless smart cards that can store facial and hand geometry biometrics as well as fingerprints. We're just wondering: How could a checkpoint guard tell which biometric ID cards belong to suicide bombers unless they're already dead in their tracks ... and missing their fingerprints?

Killer stuff. Speaking of bombs, Cyber Aerospace Corp. of West Palm Beach, Fla., is selling individual unmanned air scouts, or IUAS, for clandestine reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and 'hunter-killer missions.' The large, $75,000 amphibious IUAS, loaded with sensors, weapons, cameras and a 30-pound explosive payload, supposedly can take off vertically from ship decks or rooftops. The $25,000 micro version sounds like something vengeance-seeking members of the Soprano family might launch from the hoods of their Escalades and Hummers. Bomb us with news at [email protected].

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