FEDERAL BYTES

What's in an Acronym?

Corporate mergers inevitably spawn employee anxiety and stress—emotions that are frequently relieved by gallows humor. Lockheed Martin Corp.'s $9.1 billion purchase of Loral Corp. this month is no exception.

Loral employees in the Washington, D.C., area, understandably concerned about their future, created a disturbing acronym from the corporation's new name, Lockheed Martin Loral. They took the first two letters in Lockheed, the "M" in Martin and the last four letters in Loral. What did they have? "LoMoral."

Time Warp

One of the biggest selling points of the Internet these days is the ability it gives users to exchange information with people all over the planet. But there may be another, even more awesome benefit to surfing the day away: the ability to move forward in time.

Anyone who was browsing the Government Printing Office's Access during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and took a peek at the on-line Federal Register (and we know you're out there) found the next day's edition already posted. Now, wouldn't it be a great trick if GPO could transport us to the day when there's finally a budget agreement?

It's All in the Game

Surely you've all criticized Congress and the president for the budget stalemate during the past several weeks, but do you think you could do better? Well, the Civic Involvement System on America Online will let you prove it. The company has launched an "interactive political simulation game that lets the citizen run the federal government," according to a press release.

"Reinventing America," developed by Cross-over Technologies, is described in the release as a free, 26-week-long simulation game in which players join one of eight fictional special-interest groups that vote on which federal projects to fund. AOL's nonprofit network development partner, access.point Inc., will present a final version of the simulated budget to Congress in April.

Don't Let a Little Snow Stop You

Those people who recently said they would do their work at home if they had access to the information and programs on their office computers had better be careful.

Symantec Corp.'s recently acquired Delrina Technology Inc. group is promising free copies of pcAnywhere, its remote-computing software, to let snowbound workers work from home. The firm says it will give away 500 free copies of pcAnywhere for Windows. The normal price for the software is $129, but users can call (800) 511-4994 to try to get one of the 500 free copies. Symantec is on the Net at "http://www.symantec.com."

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