Program bug alert

Good news is bad news. A virus that will make existing bugs seem like a summer cold is reportedly out on the Internet. It has been engineered by someone using America Online, and is being sent by e-mail under the subject heading "Good news".

You do not need to put a new program into your computer to catch the virus - a simple e-mail does the trick. It will destroy the contents of a hard disk, and if the computer is not turned off quickly, it can also damage the processor. The program will also send copies of itself to everyone whose e-mail address is contained in a received-mail file or a sent-mail file, if it can find one. It will then trash the computer it is running on. Nice.

Aid for mountaineers

Our picture below, provisionally titled "Ned Kelly conquers Everest", is in fact of one of the world's most advanced cameras. It is an imputer, or imaging computer, on the top of Cairn Gorm and it takes photos of the view every half hour. They are sent by radio link to Edinburgh, where weather forecasters analyse them. The result: more accurate information to help mountaineers, climbers and skiers.

Demon founder quits

Grahame Davies, one of the founders of Demon Internet, the first Internet service provider in Britain, has quit. His resignation was apparently over a disagreement about an appointment, and not directly related to the pressures on Demon. In the past few months it has been heavily criticised for poor access, and the impossibility of getting through to the help desk. Demon says these problems are being overcome; Davies meanwhile is thought to be on his way to another Net provider.

Coffee and computers

Cyberia, the Internet-and-cappuccino caf chain partly owned by the service provider Easynet, has no such troubles. There are already four in the UK - London, Cambridge, Kingston-upon-Thames and Edinburgh - and Paris, Singapore and Milan will start up in the next three months. Keith Teare, one of the founders, says he expects eventually to have 10 wholly owned cafs and unlimited franchised ones. To prove it has made it into the trendy big time, it is launching Ice Cool Cyberia, a mineral water. Richard Branson, watch out.

Full speed for Digital

Thrust SSC, the British-built car that hopes to be the first to smash the sound barrier, ground to a halt last week. An elaborate World Wide Web page set up by Digital, a sponsor of the car, was deluged by 10,000 visitors in the first week and was unable to cope with the demand. Digital's engineers have been wielding their spanners, and the page should now be available at