Rumour and Humour

Published: November 24th, 2004

So you think your inbox is full? Microsoft chairman Bill Gates reportedly receives about four million e-mails daily, most of them junk, probably making him the most spammed person in the world.

Obviously, Gates lacks the time (and likely the inclination) to read all the messages. (He would

have to read about 40 a second, which, even for the world’s richest man, might be a bit of a stretch.) In fact, unlike the rest of us, Gates has an entire department devoted to filtering his unsolicited e-mails, and only a few of them actually get through to his inbox, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer was quoted as saying recently.

Ballmer was speaking to government IT officials from the Asia-Pacific region at the start of a two-day Microsoft-sponsored Asia Leadership Forum in Singapore. Ballmer claimed he is likely also one of the most spammed people in the world because he gives out his e-mail address – steveb@microsoft.com – in his public speeches. That must have seemed like a good idea at the time . . .

So next time you arrive at your desk to find 127 messages in your inbox, think of Microsoft’s founder, and press “delete.”

COMPUTER HUNTING

In yet another leap forward for gun-toting cyber-junkies, hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet. In Texas? No!

A new Web site www.live-shot.com already offers target practice with a 22-calibre rifle and could soon let hunters shoot at deer, antelope and wild pigs. Texas officials are not quite sure what to make of the site, but may tweak existing laws to make sure Internet hunting does not get out of hand.

The site allows a rifle and camera to be remotely aimed on a 133-hectare southwest Texas ranch by anyone on the Internet.

According to news reports, the site’s operator said he will offer animal hunting as soon as he gets a high-speed Internet connection that will enable hunters to aim the rifle quickly at passing animals. He said an attendant would retrieve shot animals for the shooters, who could have the heads preserved by a taxidermist.

Now that’s e-business with a bang.

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