Published: Saturday 15 May 1999

Those virulent troublemakers
The number of computer viruses is increasing all the time. Like Y2K prophets of doom, virus bogeys also capitalise on the fear of the uninformed. But most fears are unfounded. The International Computer Security Association ( ) points out that only one in 30 computer users has a chance of infection. Fear of the millions means business for a few, especially if you are from the antivirus business. Yet they have an important role as they keep us informed. Network Associates ( ) recently announced that it had come across an entirely new kind of virus. Called Remote Explorer, this monster is said to infect whole networks using Windows NT and is reported to be programmed for all kinds of mischief at unpredictable times in the future. To compare how the various available antivirus packages fare against each other, pay a visit to ( ).

For space buffs
If you are intrigued by the stories that keep appearing in the media about the skies getting crowded by human-made satellites, then there is a good hunting ground for interesting information. The website of US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has a Java-based satellite tracker called J-Track at http://liftoff. which portrays the real-time positions of hundreds of satellites as they orbit the Earth. Get a graphic display of the cluttered skies. And if spy satellites are an obsession with you, there are some stimulating images to course through as aerial reconnaissance is no more the monopoly of the military. Many declassified photographs from the CORONA spy satellites that the US used in the 1960s are available at , which is run under a project dubbed Public Eye by the Washington, DC-based Federation of American Scientists.

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