Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

Mad cows on net
The newest site where the mad cow disease has struck is the Web. The research group CAB International hassetupahomepage at containing more t~an309sc.ientific references on bovIne spongIform encelopathy and Cruetjfeldt-Jacob disease. The British ministries of agriculture, fisheries and food badly hit by the recent fiasco, have set up the site and mainly clarifies unsubstantiated rumours about the disease and publichealth, in general. Ariothersite at institute public frepo rtshas in -depth scientific information about all aspects ofspongiform encephalopathies.

Flaw in Java
A team of researchers from Princeton University, New Jersey, US, led by EdwrtrdFelten, a professor of computer science, discovered a major flaw i" the widely used Java programming language from Sun Microsystems Inc NetscapeNavigator. Java is the most popular software for browsing the Net. The flaw could enable unscrupulous hackers to destroy fIles and even invade into the hard disc of any personal computer that uses the Navigator programme. Sun Microsystems was soon alerted by he Princeton team and is testing a software fix it has developed for the Navigator software.

Hooking in children
Advertisers' use of computer sites and children's use of computers- two fast-growing trends are combining to produce a new type of cus- tomer -the 'cybertots':Marketing can take several forms -Kellogg's clubhouse site has the favourite cartoon characters Snap and Crackle greeting the surfers, Pepsi's site offers a free trip to the SeaWorld at Orlando, Floride offers a chat with basketball star ShaquilleO'Neal and Nintendo, the leadingvideo-game manufacturers, offer models of their latest games as prizes.

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