REDMOND, WA -- Two days after Microsoft CEO Bill Gates declared himself to be Kind Gar-Mu the Sloth Man, top exec Steve Ballmer has made mutual masturbation illegal in the corporation's operating systems division. "We disagree with the concept of two people masturbating at once," he explained this afternoon. "It angers Queen Waritaga. We fear her minions and their onion eyes." Outsiders believe this is a further sign that the corporation is losing touch with reality; Open Source advocates are said to be "squishy".

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NEW YORK, NY -- Satirical Web publication The Onion has taken a mundane event and reported it as newsworthy for humorous effect. "The second paragraph is always a quote of some kind or other," a spokesperson, 28, stated recently. "Usually they talk like American college students. It's pretty funny." The article was then wrapped up in a suitably corporate style and a final quote, not unlike last week's headline feature. "We hope to continue attracting seven million people a week," the spokesman pointed out. "And there's the book sales to consider."

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MANCHESTER, NH -- Inventor Dean Kamen hasn't been resting on his laurels easy. Since creating the immortal Segway device - which, indeed, will change the way we wander through our cities, oh yes, yes it will - he has come up with a slew of inventions and gadgets to alter the way we live. The most recent, codenamed Project Mocha Bean, is a pistol that turns its targets into paranoid, gibbering wrecks and makes children explode. "I'm tired of this pacifist crap," Kamen told us over a filter coffee. "It's time I started some heavy shit." His next project is to create a device that will bomb Iraq using only wind and renewable materials, which you have to stand on one leg to use.

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EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND -- The majectic capital of the United Kingdom's most beautiful province today admitted it had exaggerated the importance of its computing industry, referred to for years as Silicon Glen. "It's actually a person," MSP Margaret Hayforth clarified. "His name is Glen and he lives in Dalkeith. He runs the local pub quiz at the Liberton Arms; you can see him on a Thursday if you like."

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Greengrocer Simone Richards has become the final person in the city to set up a Web presence for themselves. The sprawling waterfront haven, which was the epicentre of the ill-fated dotcom boom, now has 793,600 sites run by its citizens, many of whom are professional designers. Richards' site, simonethegrocer.com, attracts 73 people per day, 24 of which are looking for lettuce sex; the other 49 usually come in via her popular "which organic middle-eastern vegetable are you?" quiz.

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HELL, OH -- Satan the Lord of Darkness yesterday launched an injunction against the Microsoft Corporation. "Windows Update is spying on me," he complained. "Of course I don't have a legal copy; I'm Satan, Lord of Darkness for God's sake. Even if I did, I wouldn't want them to know what was on my computer. It's a privacy issue, you know?" When questioned about his affiliations, Satan revealed himself to be a frequent contributor to the Perl project. "I'm a pretty evil coder," he smiled.

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WASHINGDON D.C. -- The U.S. government has announced a rebranding of the Internet in coordination with its war against terror. "The Internet has been in need of an image overhaul and it's only correct -- that is to say, I believe -- terrorism -- it's .. it's the right time to do it," President George W. Bush told an eager gaggle of reporters on Wednesday. "From now on it will be known as the Internet." The name change will cost $67 billion, which Congress has already said he can borrow from Iran.

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CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Researchers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology have discovered a way to encode people as encrypted streams of data, send them over the Internet and reassemble them on the other side. "It's just like Star Trek," graduate student Susanna Harris blurted out, "except over the Internet. It's so cool." The process takes 45 minutes to three hours, depending on bandwidth and network usage, and so far there have only been two fatalities - one due to user error, and another because someone on the network was downloading the latest episode of Buffy.

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FEBRUARY 15th, 2003 -- Computer users everywhere stayed in their rooms and browsed the Internet to protest the upcoming war in Iraq. Many protesters ordered pizza, did some coding and masturbated to hardcore porn they found using Google Image Search, while a few were also seen to post links to news stories to their weblogs and online journals. "The response to the war has been terrific," Kenneth 'Sh4d0w Hunt3r' Peterson told us on IRC. "Everyone's doing so much." His own anti-war FTP server tripled its hits over the marching period, while many people set their Windows startup sound to the opening seconds of War by Bone Thugs N Harmony.