Cons find easy dupes of hazard
There are some con men that it is impossible not to admire in equal measure to the level of disbelief at a victim's gullibility. A rather imaginative reseller in the Philippines had the ultimate sales strategy to prod customers to replace their systems - telling users that their existing machines would explode on 1 January, 2000. Now that would be the mother of all millennium bugs, Starship Trooper-style. Anyway, we have to trot off and take a quick truffle break while this PC is upgraded - apparently this one will melt come New Year's Day.
It's coming - sooner than you think
And talking of bugs, have you heard this one? - the ninth day of the ninth month is normally the date when companies start celebrating the fact that they've survived the summer and look forward to sales flooding in. But not this year - 09.9.99 will be the day when the the real millennium bug strikes. According to the scaremongers, machines will not function after this day as they won't recognise any dates on or after the dreaded 9-9-99. One report claims that the bug was created years ago, when software engineers wrote into programs that the digits 99 signalled the time when a file might be deleted. And we always thought that 99 was that ice cream with the chocolate flake.
Some Aussies would give a XXXX
The Australian National Securities and Investment Commission decided to see how gullible the Aussie public was. It created a phony company called the Millennium Bug Insurance Company. This firm was to offer insurance to corporates to safeguard them against havoc on 1 January, 2000. The company also invited the public to invest - that is, to invest in a company that was clearly not viable and would be trading on peoples' fear and paranoia. Amazingly, 233 Australians were willing to invest - offering a total of A$4m. Anyone fancy investing in my latest venture - Free Treasure Maps.com?
A nasty stomach bug
Calling resellers around the world (well, in the UK at least). Are you worried about your business going under because of low sales caused by the millennium bug? Are you worried that your own systems will crash on the fateful day, sending your business into total disarray? Well, fear no longer, because the millennium problem is finally over. Well, it is if you believe a certain person who recently walked into a NHS trust.
He claims to have swallowed the offending bug, at great risk to his own personal safety, and is prepared to keep it in there in order to save mankind. Staff at the Oxleas NHS trust - situated next to the Millennium Dome - have already encountered eight cases of so-called millennium psychosis and have been warned to expect more wacky cases in the coming months as we draw ever closer to the end of this century. At PC Squealer, we all unanimously agreed that this person is in need of serious help, and that the trust should not dismiss the case so quickly.
If this patient has actually caught the bug, he should be kept in a maximum security holding cell, in case the little blighter tries an Alien-style escape. We already have enough problems of our own - what with the second coming of the messiah, who will be coming round for tea later and a meeting of the 'extra-terrestrial invasion welcoming committee' to arrange, without having to worry about our PCs dying on us. Millennium psychosis, what rot.
Nurse! where are my pills?
Carol tops the numbers game
Ever thought about where your business will be in 10 years' time? In this day and age it's difficult to imagine what the next six months are going to be like, without having to look any further.
Just as well then, that Motorola has done all the hard work for you. The mobile phone manufacturer commissioned a survey to find out what the great British public expected to see and what they wanted in terms of technology by the year 2009. What a treat it turned out to be. It's time to start clearing out that space in the warehouse. White boxes are out, and Carol Vorderman is in! That's right folks - the beautiful and intelligent (so we've been told) Ms Vorderman is the choice of a generation as an intelligent electronic personal assistant.
She came out tops in a poll which asked people what looks and personality they would like their personal assistant to have.
The vivacious Vorderman was voted top in both categories by men and for personality by the women. Only 007 Pierce Brosnan prevented Ms Vorderman from topping the poll across the board as the women helped him sweep the looks category. Mind you, a robot with the looks of James Bond and the brain of Carol Vorderman is quite a scary thought in itself. So, it's only 10 years before we can look forward to herds of mechanical Vordermans sweeping across the country, hunting in packs for the elusive electronic Richard Whiteley while advertising mortgages, washing powders and the like.
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