TALKING A GOOD GAME When you've got both hands wrapped around a flamethrower, you can hardly be expected to take a phone call. That's why Microsoft came up with the SideWinder Game Voice ($54.95), a clever gadget that lets online gamers talk among themselves while they play. Since the call is placed over the Internet, you don't even have to pay for long distance. Friends sold separately.
BEWARE GEEKS BEARING GIFTS O.K., the Love Bug struck 10 million computers worldwide, but at least your little Palm Pilot is safe, right? No longer. Last week saw the first-ever outbreak of a Trojan horse--a precursor of computer viruses--on PDAs running the popular Palm operating system. Liberty Crack, as the bug is known, masquerades as a game program, but when you install it and run it, it immediately erases all other programs on your Palm. Security experts say this is just the beginning. The smarter our appliances get, the more vulnerable they are to viruses. The next victim? Keep an eye on your cell phone.
FULLY DOT-COMMITTED Getting a reservation at a ritzy restaurant used to be a time-honored test of one's social clout. Not anymore. A new service called DinnerBroker.com is selling dinner reservations over the Internet. Need a primo table tonight at San Francisco's swank La Folie restaurant? It's yours for 20 bucks. The better the table time and the fancier the venue, the more you pay. The service is up and running in the Bay Area and is set to launch soon in Los Angeles, New York and 25 other cities. God help us all.
--By Lev Grossman