Tidbits for Thought
Written by Timons Esaias
Gene For Operating System Preference Found
BETHESDA, MD(NNPI) Researchers at the National Paradigm Institute announced this week that they have isolated the human gene that "predisposes a person toward a particular computer operating system." Dr. Ima Dosgal expects her team to develop a test that can predict an individual's "optimal OS" within two years.
"For years the debate between Mac users and DOS users has been taking the form of a religious confrontation," observes Dr. Dosgal. "Now we can see that there are genetic reasons for the intransigent attitudes of many geeks." OS/2 and Windows95 users are also victims of their biology, more than market forces, the study concludes.
The sociobiology community is watching developments closely,especially since the 'operating system gene' raises an interesting question: Are we really inventing operating systems on our own, or are they an expression of our DNA? "The possibility that computer code is merely an elaboration of genetic code has fascinating teleological possibilities!" exclaims Prof. C.L. Otto Fatesoeur, a leading proponent of biological determinism. "We could finally have proof that human beings just aren't responsible for anything they do."
"PC CHIPS MAY HAVE HIT SO-CALLED 'MECHANICAL WALL'
PRAGUE, Czech Republic(NNP) A consensus is building that micro-processors may have reached an actual performance limitation. An internal memo from the World Tech Support Unavailability Service has been leaked, and shows that industry insiders are finding chips above700MHZ to be "willful, secretive, and unreliable."
This follows last month's anonymous Letter to the Editor in PC LUST magazine which hinted at some important performance problem beginning "in the 660-670 MHZ range" which would seriously impact the personal computing industry. The letter implied that more powerful chips "show evidence of almost conscious behavior, including selfishness, laziness, and disrespect for rules and software."
Could this be the onset of actual Artificial Intelligence? "Hardly," says computer expert Tommy Smith, who took a break from Junior High School to talk with reporters. "It's probably just a qualitative leap in Artificial Stupidity, which is what computers are capable of."
Others blame the problem on sabotage, by Dark Forces in league with the whole Kennedy/Federal Reserve/Milli Vanilli/Rosicrucian conspiracy. "World Government is threatened by the increasing sophistication of home computers," notes one paranoid schizophrenic with connections inside the Inner Circle. "They will stop at nothing to restrict it. They've gone as far as questioning Madonna's dancing ability."
Others have suggested a Satanic element in the chip industry, but Intel, strictly off the record, assures this reporter that, "this is just a tired rehashing of the urban myth that Pentium has something to do with Pentacle, and indicates a connection with witchcraft. True, what Pentium chips can do seems like witchcraft, but that's all there is to it. We're not associated with the Pentagon or with Pantyhose, either."
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL PRAISE INTERNET
ATLANTA, GA(NY Times News Not Service) The CDC has cited the Internet as having "made a major contribution to the reduction of infectious disease transmission." Evidence of significant impact surfaced in studies of the reduced flu seasons of 1995 and 1996. "Very few Netheads came down with the flu, which also means very few of them passed it on," said the journal Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
Further research revealed that regular Internet users "generally spend more time at home, especially when contagious themselves" than the general population. Email has also played a part. "It has greatly reduced the traffic in unsanitary, germ-ridden international mail and domestic mail."
As a further bonus, Internet usage sharply reduces a person's likelihood of contracting VD or contributing to the birth rate. "The majority of Internet regulars seem to have dispensed with partner-based sexual activity altogether."
As one scientist noted, "What education couldn't achieve, consumer electronics solved as a mere side-effect."
NASA TO PUT SPACE SOFTWARE IN PRIVATE HANDS
It's been pointed out a million times that 'Today's personal computers have more capacity and power than the entire system that sent man to the Moon.' Now NASA is going to let you see for yourself.
"We have put the entire Apollo lunar mission software package on two CD-ROMs or six diskettes, available to the public for $149. This will allow any group or individual with access to the right hardware,to launch their own lunar, or even interplanetary, missions."
The space agency hopes to recoup some of its investment with the proceeds, and offset continual budget cutbacks. They also feel that "getting the public involved at a personal level with space exploration will probably increase support for our efforts over time." NASA is planning to have one Shuttle on constant standby in order to provide search-and-rescue services to any private missions that run into trouble. "We see ourselves shifting into the role of Coast Guard of Space," said a spokesTexan.
"This is just another example of government stepping back and letting the public do things for themselves."
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