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NET BUZZ FOR MARCH 29, 2000: Four dead, dozens homeless after Texas tornado ... Video-game companies sue Yahoo! ... Accused Global Hell co-leader pleads guilty ... Experts blame NASA for Mars Polar Lander debacle ... Slate, Salon keep the fisticuffs flying ... Forward: Fifty (or so) ways to say "get lost" ... People who really, really, really love "Weird Al" ... No, this is the end -- really


TOP OF THE NET:
EVEN TEXANS AREN'T PREPARED FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS: Buzz on the Net contemplates the horrible wreckage in Ft. Worth, Texas, where four people died from a tornado. For half an hour, it overturned tractor-trailer rigs, blew out windows, and generally wreaked downtown havoc. It also left dozens of Texans homeless.

**We were planning to give you a nice local excerpt from the Dallas Morning News, but when the going gets tough, that Web site goes nowhere. So here's some colorful Washington Post/AP coverage instead.
EXCERPT FULL STORY

**To stay on top of the story, here's the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. But we've had trouble connecting to the site all morning.

**In Texas, tornadoes are part of the cultural landscape: This site is about a youth volleyball team; here's one of the great Tex-Mex bands of all time, featuring Freddy Fender and the late Doug Sahm; and here's another story about the real thing.

**Lest you doubt the severity of this natural disaster, look at the cars in the last photo here.

TODAY IN HACKERS:
NOW IT'S JUST GLOBAL HECK: Global Hell, the teen cybergang that broke into 115 Web sites, including that of the U.S. Army, is on the brink of destruction. Its alleged co-leader, Patrick Gregory of Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

TODAY IN MARS:
SO MUCH FOR THE LITTLE-GREEN-MEN-WITH-HAMMERS THEORY: Because NASA managers are busier playing Tetris than making sure the interplanetary explorations proceed smoothly, the Mars Polar Lander's engine shut down prematurely last year. (We made that part up about Tetris, but it's true that independent experts accused NASA of poor management.)

**This NASA site contains a full report about the Mars Polar Lander debacle. You need Adobe Acrobat to read it. (Link courtesy of Slashdot.)

TODAY IN SALON VS. SLATE:
"OH YEAH? YOUR MOTHER USES DANGLING PARTICIPLES!": The Los Angeles Times calls Salon editor David Talbot the "ringmaster of buzz." (We're thinking about filing a copyright-infringement suit.) Seriously, Talbot has been in the news a bunch of times lately, mostly for his cheeky remarks about rival Michael Kinsley of Slate. Here's a well-traveled wire story about him. Here he is again, in the Chicago Tribune. (Registration required.)
EXCERPT FULL STORY


TODAY IN LAWSUITS:
THEY SHOULD HAVE JUST SENT IN LARA CROFT AND THE MORTAL KOMBAT GUYS: Several video-game companies, including the U.S. subsidiaries of Sega and Nintendo, have sued Yahoo! because the giant search engine's auction sites allegedly contain counterfeit games.

TODAY'S FORWARDED E-MAIL:
These responses to pick-up lines are more practical than fall-down funny, although we especially like the punch line, "Yeah! Let's pick up some chicks!" (Thanks to Mita the E-mailer.) Please keep the funny forwards, and "you know you live in Chicago when ... " suggestions, coming to knopps@suba.com.

C L I C K O P H O N Y
Some online obsessives have petitioned to get "Weird Al" Yankovic an MTV Video Vanguard award. Prompting two questions: Who cares about getting an MTV Video Vanguard Award? And who cares about "Weird Al" Yankovic? (Link courtesy of Val the E-mailer.)

Turns out the exact location of the end of the Internet (as reported on yesterday) is in some dispute. In addition to yesterday's site, some think it's here or here (thanks to RJ the E-mailer). But then again, the whole point of the Web is that it's decentralized, right?



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