I'm all verklempt. You'll have to forgive me. Last week was entirely too full of surprises. I don't care if it was a hyperdestructive worm


From the desk of...

I'm all verklempt. You'll have to forgive me. Last week was entirely too full of surprises. I don't care if it was a hyperdestructive worm from the Philippines; no journalist is prepared for outpourings of love in her e-mail, however weird and viral.

I did understand the carpet-bombing aspect, though. I constantly feel overwhelmed by e-mail, and I never get half the messages sent that I mean to. If things hadn't been so crazy this week, I could've mailed out a few questions and maybe cleared up my confusion. Ah, yes, if only I'd been able to send those out. . . .

* Re: Metallica, who claim to have been pirated via Napster 335,435 times in one weekend: I had no idea that the Internet was available in so many of America's nursing homes. (Special note to Lars, the band's drummer, who thinks Congress ought to ban Napster and its ilk "before this whole Internet thing runs amuck": Lars, when was the last time you watched This Is Spinal Tap?) Exit light, enter old men: Paul Allen, is this really a band you want opening your shiny new museum next month?

* Re: Panty Raider, the upcoming Simon & Schuster Interactive game that's got the "I'm-not-a-prude-but" crowd's knickers in a twist: Doesn't the fact that the protesters are prefacing their objections with assurances that they're not prudes mean that they're not only prudes, but prudes in denial? The object of the game is to convince supermodels to strip down to their underwear in order to save the human race. Based on those Victoria's Secret Webcasts, I fail to see the difficulty in this endeavor, but I may be missing the point. (I'm also a bit worried that The New York Times is running editorials about how Barbie for President 2000 sends the message that a woman's got to be a 10 to run for office, but perhaps that was some weird recycling-center glitch that accidentally took away my fresh copy of the Times and left me with one from 1976. But I digress.)

* Re: the Church of Scientology, who demanded that eBay not allow folks to offer its e-meter devices on that auction service: Excuse me, but I understand that when you sold these gizmos to your army of true believers, you didn't structure the sales as licenses; they're fully owned by their . . . owners. What's the problem? Hell, get Travolta to autograph a few of those doohickeys and do the eBay thing yourselves. It's not like you guys to turn down a revenue source, and from the look of it you may need to recoup some capital after the premiere of Battle-field Earth.

* Re: LoveLetter and its heirs: With all eyes once again on computer security, why did no one take note of an equally (albeit differently) nasty breach found by Seattle's own Peacefire.org in Internet Explorer? This little sweetheart can, in the wrong hands, steal everything from browsing history to passwords; see for yourself at www.peacefire.org/security/localjs. (These guys broke the Eudora stealth-attachment story, too; Eudora, if you must know, is what self- righteous folk like me use so we can make fun of all y'all who use Outlook and suffer from the LoveLetters of the world. Win some, lose some.)

* Re: the keepers of the pets.com sock puppet, who are suing Conan O'Brien for infringement over "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog": In a better world, Sifl and Olly (RIP) would be mighty pop-culture icons and you guys would be trying to make a go of a more accurate tagline: "Pets.com. Because if pets could drive they'd go to Burgermaster like the rest of us instead of eating that kibble crap."

* Re: Mortenson v. Timberline Software, in which the Washington state Supreme Court ruled that a software company isn't responsible for financial losses due to the use of their software as long as the shrinkwrap license says they're not: Look, Mom, UCITA Lite! If only Bill G. had thought to put an exculpatory statement in his software boxes: "By opening this package, you are capitulating to any plans for world domination Microsoft may have, real or hallucinatory. . . ."

* Re: Portland's picketers: Poor Powell's—first Amazon, now this. Hey, International Longshore and Warehouse Union! Any chance of unionizing the un-bookstore? (Someone tell Bezos and Galli to quit laughing. I said that love letters unhinge journalists. What do I have to do, show you a doctor's note?)

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