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

Spooky sites sound all right

Maybe you are one of those people who are completely terrified of computers, the Internet and lemon-flavored cough drops. If so, you probably are no where near being able to read this column, and if I had to guess, you are most likely hiding in a basement in Turkey. That is, if they have basements in Turkey. So if you know someone like this, please print this column immediately and send it to them because it could save their life.

Excel can equal magic

I decided to take a break from talking about Web sites and Internet applications for at least one column. Amazingly enough, there are other programs on your computer or close by that can be beneficial. The one I plan to discuss today is more useful than a paperweight, although it may not be as helpful as a stapler or rubber band or the largest watergun museum on the Internet.

Introducing 'The Animal Holiday Party'

The Animal Holiday PartyAs a writer, I am usually sitting on a few mildly interesting ideas for books, articles, etc. Last year, I wanted to create a children's book about the winter holidays, but I wanted to avoid writing about Christmas or any specific religious holiday.

Create your own error messages

Regardless of what type of machine you are using to read this article (assuming it's not some new-fangled toaster), you are certain to see a barrage of error messages. Then again, I suppose that depends a bit on exactly what you're doing on your computer. Sometimes, the messages make perfect sense: "Do you want to continue?" Other times, it's tough to tell whether or not there's an error in the error message.

First banner ad fairly frightening

I'm still trying to find that person (or animal) out there who enjoys banner ads, but so far, I've been unsuccessful. Even still, it's difficult to discount the fact that banner ads can be effective, even without clicking on them. If the ad has been cleverly designed to resonate with Internet users, then possibly it has done the job.

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