ACK — we had network problems here today, so if you tried to get to Q and couldn’t, I apologize. It turned out to be the CSU/DSU at this end; all I had to do was cycle the power, and everything reset to normal. Strange-o-rama.

Matt Lavalee has received the cease-and-desist letter from Mattel, and will be posting it this weekend. (For those just tuning in, Mattel has sent Matt a C&D letter telling him that he has to surrender his domain name, MATTL.COM.)

The Great Blog-Off is well on its way, with the topic of WAR. After a quick start by Wendell (and apparently a good night’s rest by Mike), things are evening up. Remember, if you’re one of those people who are voting based solely on column length, Wendell cheated with a long posting before the actual Blog-Off started…

Just when you though you’d heard of the sickest thing possible, a child was kidnapped and killed so that her body could be stuffed full of codeine and smuggled into the United Arab Emirates.

Wowzers. Wisconsin Electric Power Company was ordered to pay $104.5 million in damages earlier this year by a jury in a case where they polluted land with cyanide, and then sold the land without disclosing this small fact. During the trial, WEPCO stipulated that they had no insurance coverage for verdicts like this, and the jury took this into account in their decision. Now, WEPCO is claiming that they do have insurance, and the judge is pissed; she has issued a bench order that if WEPCO gets the verdict overturned on appeal, there will be an automatic $104.5 million sanction against them, so no matter what, they’ve got to pay. (After reading things like this, I think that being a judge would be supercool.)

Hey, this is cool — according to Brad, it turns out that there’s prior art to Zaphod’s “Dyke” button that predates the Pike button (but obviously not the original “Ike” button). Now, if we could only get him to go into that storage locker, grab the button, and scan it in…

In response to Verizon’s lawsuit against 2600 for registering the domain, the folks at 2600 have registered a new domain name. I love fights like this; corporate america (and apparently telecom companies, who should know better) still has a long way to come. 2600 has a position paper on the whole imbroglio.

Our fine mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is seeking a divorce from his wife. I was wondering if this would do anything to his campaign (if he stays in the race), but then I realized that he’s competing against Hillary, who has a whole separate set of fidelity and family issues.

An interesting twist — the I Love You trojan/worm may have had its origins in a thesis project.

In response to my complaints, Network Magazine and Extelligent have added a privacy policy to their survey on network providers and telecom carriers. So now, go fill out the survey; it stands to actually give good numbers on what consumers and tech professionals demand from their Internet and data carriers, and whether or not those carriers currently live up to the demands.