It's March Madness, Baby!

SAN MATEO (03/20/2000) - Last week was awful. Just awful.

First I got a phone call from Jimmy saying that he couldn't be my intern because he'd been wooed away by some start-up and given a brand-new Lexus as a signing bonus. What is this world coming to?

So my search for an intern continues, and Charles even called me up to reschedule his interview.

Meanwhile, my Cinderella team for the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies, lost to Kentucky in double overtime.

Who could predict this upset?

While I've been struggling with my choices, others have been struggling just getting their tourney picks selected.

One reader wrote in griping about how he tried to register for the CNN/Sports Illustrated $10 million Hoops Bracket Challenge. He used his sign-on information to log on to the contest area and was denied, even when he used the information in his confirmation e-mail. To make matters worse, his e-mail for support via the site bounced.

I hope his would-be bracket didn't pick the winners of all 63 games.

Muddy merger

Sprint Corp. and MCI WorldCom Inc. are apparently fuming over a report last week that their pending merger is going to be rejected by the Department of Justice.

The report does have a curious timing coincidence. MCI and Sprint plan to go before the Federal Communications Commission this week to refute competitors' claims that the merger is a bad deal for the telecom industry. That rebuttal will mention the other three long-distance players as well as Sprint's willingness to begin disposing of its Internet backbone business.

Not the satellite Lou Reed sang about

Another reader informs me that Toshiba may have an upcoming beef with Intel.

His real estate developing company recently ordered a bunch of Toshiba Satellite laptops, and he claims that within a week, two out of three had crashed and burned ... literally. Users complained of the devices getting very hot and shutting down permanently.

Toshiba's help support told the reader that Intel has provided them with a bunch of bad processors. Personally, I think it could be all the hot air being blown around that office regarding the tournament pool, but you never know.

Count me out, then

Finally, the U.S. Census Bureau must be too busy tracking down everybody, because it is certainly not be keeping track of Internet-user stats.

Part of its Web site examines why someone should not use Internet Explorer to view or use its site, mostly due to problems with 128-bit encryption. Nothing is mentioned about not using Netscape.

Only after declaring Netscape as the browser of choice at the bottom does it also mention that IE has a Microsoft Explorer option with 128-bit encryption.

So judging by the Web site, the agency responsible for keeping us all accounted for doesn't know that about two-thirds of Internet users are not using Netscape.

MARCH MADNESS will pretty much take up my life for the next three weeks.

There's nothing like watching UCLA go for championship No. 12, especially this year.

Don't upset me like a Cinderella team; send me tips at cringe@infoworld.com.

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More about CNNDepartment of JusticeFederal Communications CommissionIntelLexusMCIMCI WorldComMicrosoftSprintSprintToshibaUCLAWorldCom

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