Dippin (for new) dots

If you're like me, you could use a big bowl of ice cream about now, and you are tired of hearing dot-com this and dot-com that. Soon, you won'tn be hearing this crap anymore. Instead, it might be dot-crap.

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has decided to expand the current list of top-level domains -- http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,16268,00.html?nl=int

ILOVEYOU -- here are eight million e-mails

Maybe I'm in a small minority, but I'm still confused how so many people are duped every so often by an e-mail virus. Let's take this step by step:

A guy walks into his workspace at 7:30 a.m., preparing for another exciting day of whatever. He opens his inbox to find 50 e-mails -- 45 promising him to lose weight, financial freedom or cheap Viagra four from actual friends, probably chain letters and one other with a subject header of "Open repeatedly, this is not a virus," which of course is from virusdemon@viruscentral.com.

Honey, I made a homepage

You cannot escape the Internet. OK, you're right, you can. You can move to Uruguay. But for all the trouble, you might as well find a computer and get busy.

A lot of people have been talking about designing a "homepage," which has nothing to do with your living quarters. Simply put, a homepage is the portal to the most important information on a particular Web site.

Your computer isn't just a fancy paperweight

Computers can be your friends. No, they won't take you to lunch or buy you a drink. But they can do more than collect dust. Assuming you are human (and if not, don't let that stop you from reading), you probably fit into one of four categories:

1. You still use a typewriter, you're still building a bomb shelter, and your best friend in grade school was Robert "Robbie" E. Lee.

Moving on, but packing few regrets

Editor's Note: This was Ben's final column while writing for the Crawfordsville (Ind.) Journal Review.

This will be the last column I write for the Journal Review. I may start them again sometime in the future. I would like to. But for now, this will have to do.

If any of you have column ideas, please still tell them to me and send them. I will keep a list, and somewhere down the road, maybe they will let me do this again.

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Random News

Canada class teaching students how to create spam programs

Spam is annoying, and like the old saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them.

Seriously, I doubt that's why the University of Calgary is offering a course in how to create email spam and spyware. A lot of people will think that, but there are valid reasons to have a class like this.

Everyone's playing electronic solitaire except me

Back in the early '90s, during the golden age of desktop computing (I chose golden only because neither bronze nor ice seemed appropriate), there weren't a ton of games around that were easily accessible. Sure, you could purchase real games at the computer store, or you could borrow your friend's floppy disks for more enjoyment. You could play solitaire or Minesweeper, perhaps even Tetris, and you could switch screens relatively fast to pretend to be working.

Maybe overpopulation isn't an issue after all

Every day, scientists are discovering more of space, which, I suppose, is still the Final Frontier. That is, unless you count the salad bar at truck stops, since that is another weird phenomenon as well.

There is an ongoing treasure hunt for sustainable-life planets. That's not surprising, considering the world's population is more than 6.6 billion (and growing, if you want to view). Where are all of the people going to go? There's just not enough space between the croutons and bacon bits.

A good cause, or another nonprofit scam?

One of my friends sent me a link the other day to a site that claimed to plant trees while using its search engine. The Ecoogler seems like a good idea, and a worthy cause, but it takes just a few minutes to realize that maybe it's not.

Turning trash into fuel

Most people will agree that trash is piling up everywhere. And most people also agree that we need to decrease the amount of fossil fuels used on a routine basis.

Thanks to modern marvels of science, maybe this will be the norm in the future, as scientists at Purdue have developed a portable generator that turns trash into fuel. The "tactical biorefinery," as it's called, can process multiple kinds of waste, which in turn can convert the waste into fuel.

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