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Virus scares and other reader letters

By JULES ALLEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 22, 1999


Mail call at Tech Times:

Some people find it entertaining to open up animated cards . . . and for you to scare them into not doing so is wrong. What are the chances of getting a virus?

Greater than you think. The writer was referring to a March 1 column from the Miami Herald about the dangers of viruses in animation attachments that get passed around by e-mail. I'll give two recent examples of why people should be vigilant: Right after getting an e-mail notifying him that he had won a bid at an online auction, a friend received another e-mail from the same person. It actually contained the happy99 worm, which he immediately recognized and deleted. And one of my co-workers inadvertently passed happy99 on to my home computer, where I caught it just in time. It looks like an innocent file (clicking on it shows an animated fireworks display), can be sent without the victim's knowing about it and can cause slowdowns or crash e-mail servers. Not serious? These things can hit anyone, any time.

We're not whiners. We have legitimate complaints that we're dealing directly with Road Runner (about) . . . so I think you don't really know how bad it is.

At first I suspected I was reading about another service and that my 58-year-old brain was getting more addled. I read the whole article and sure enough you were writing about the same Road Runner I subscribe to. I have had this service for several months and couldn't be happier.

The pro-con debate in the newsgroups on Road Runner reflect more of a con point of view recently because of more slowdowns and outages.

Did you know that if you stare at hamster dance (www.hamsterdance.com) long enough, it becomes 3-D, like those posters they used to show in the malls?

My office is now overrun by little hamsters and gerbils dancing and singing. Also, big hamsters and gerbils popping up and down dancing and singing . . . ARRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!

Just another service of Site Seeing columnist Jules Allen . . . On the other hand:

I think most of the paper-reading public is not the MTV-age group but a little older and more discerning reader. I think it would be great if you could incorporate sites that maybe we would like to explore.

Jules surfs to the beat of a different drummer. Many similar columns focus on large, commercial sites. Jules strives for variety and focuses on sites you're not likely to find elsewhere. Based on most of the reaction we receive about Site Seeing, he is succeeding, but he'll keep in mind your plea.


-- Readers can send questions, comments and suggestions to techtimes@sptimes.com, or to P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Comments may be edited and paraphrased for clarity and length.


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