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By Matt Shodell
MONTANA, United States (IPI) -- In an amazing feat that proves you can teach an old dog new tricks, an 11 1/2-year-old collie named Alley has reportedly been taught to navigate the World Wide Web. Alley recently finished first in his class at Jerry's Home For Gifted Dogs, and he is currently the only known dog to have mastered the English language. Alley's owner, the Hon. Karl Von Heussen, clipped off all but one of Alley's toenails in May to allow the dog access to whichever letter of the keyboard he desires.
Now Alley enjoys participating in one-on-one chats, as a befuddled woman in Montreal discovered. She only learned of Alley's true identity after repeated references to biscuits and fire hydrants.
"It took Alley a while to get the hang of it," Von Heussen said. "But now I hear him up at the computer at all hours of the night, tapping away at the keyboard and barking. He's not so different from most human beings, actually. He's a big sports fan, and his favorite web site is http://www.greyhound. track.com. He also frequents several cat lover pages. Now we're in the process of teaching him how to create his own web page -- our plans are for it to be a guide for all the literate dogs of the future, and it will contain the latitudinal and longitudinal locations of every fire hydrant in the continental United States."
By Ron Schnell
Berlin, Germany (IPI) -- You are driving home from work, on your way to the pub, doing a casual 150 Kilometers per hour on the German autobahn. You are about to change disks on your CD player when you notice a car seemingly out of control in your rearview mirror. It swerves from the left lane to the right, then back again. You brace yourself as the Mercedes misses you by only millimeters, and continues speeding past. As the car passes you, first you notice the driver and passenger windows rolling up and down, then you notice the sunroof going crazy. Only then do you notice that there is no driver! As the shock of the situation begins to hit you, and the car is about 10 meters ahead of you, the trunk pops open, and the car speeds up and disappears into the distance.
This might seem like a scene from Ghostbusters, but it isn't. As of last week, a German scientist created a World Wide Web page which allows internet users to control an active car via remote control. All of the functions of a Mercedes 500e can be controlled from anywhere in the world, from accelerator to clutch to cigarette lighter.
"I wanted to take internet remote control one step further," explains Dr. Ralph Schweinhunt, of the German laboratory Autowerkdunst, "I added intelligence to the car so that it can't actually leave the road, but it seems that wasn't enough."
Apparently, it wasn't. At first, curious intellectuals were the ones making use of the service; people who were interested in Dr. Schweinhunt's anti-off-road programming. But it didn't take long for computer pirates and other hoodlums to catch on.
"Basically, it has been nothing but trouble," explains police chief Berger Crimenshtopper, "The car terrorizes innocent men, women, children, and especially animals. It is true that the car stays on the road, but unfortunately, Dr. Schwinhunt didn't put in the ability to stop people from steering towards other cars or objects on the road."
The people controlling the car seem to have a sly sense of humor. Police began pursuing the car as it was going close to 200 KPH. As soon as the controllers realized they were being pursued, they slowed down to 50 KPH and send a broadcast IRC message to all servers that read We prefer a low speed chase.
Unfortunately, the pirates have broken security on the machine which is the home to the controlling software, and Dr. Schweinhunt can't even control the car, let alone the police.
"Our only hope is to get it while it is refueling, but the pirates seem to have a network of people helping them that is making it very difficult," explains a frustrated Crimenshtopper, and adds "We'll get them."
By Mark Wutka
New Mexico, United States (IPI) -- After spending nearly twenty years analyzing mysterious transmissions received on the numerous radio antennae, scientists at the Gallup Telemetry Station have finally cracked the alien code.
"They're sending us web pages," explains Dr. George P. Burdell, who made the startling discovery.
"I was setting up a web page to share some of our data with colleagues in the U.K." explains Dr. Burdell, "and when I popped it up on Netscape, I was greeted with 'Welcome to Gorak's Martian Hotlist'."
Since then, the scientists at the telemetry station have been busy cataloguing the different pages they have found.
"Most of them are just hotlists of sites for nude alien pictures," Dr. Burdell says, "the most popular seems to be www.playbeing.com, which features, this month, a pictorial on 'Girls and other female entities of Alpha Centauri.'"
By Steve Simek
California, United States (IPI) -- After interviewing hundreds of people who use the World Wide Web (WWW), scientists from San Diego have concluded that alien visitors are conducting virtual abductions thru cyberspace, for as yet unknown reasons.
They reached this startling conclusion by comparing the experiences of websurfers with those of alien abductees. The similarities were amazing. Both abductees and websurfers report losing track of time, memories of intense pain and vivid recollection of strange images. There were some minor differences, however.
Alien abductees claim a memory loss of several hours, while websurfers report the loss of entire nights. While abductees report memories of intense pain over varying parts of their body, websurfers seem to suffer pain which is localized to their wrists and fingers. In the case of alien abductees, the images were vivid flashes, while reports from websurfers vary. Some websurfers reported that images suddenly appeared after an endless wait. Others claimed that an unfocused image appeared almost immediately and seemed to focus before their very eyes.
While the conclusion is inescapable, further proof is needed. Until that time, the scientists urge websurfers to use common sense rules of safety while travelling in cyberspace. Recommendations include:
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