Warning: when you read this it's too late!

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 May, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 May, 1995, 12:00am

INTERNET users are being infected with a new virus - and they don't even know it.

We were alerted to this by Raymond Lowe of Scraps Computer Consulting, who was infected himself, but is now cured.

To understand it, you have to realise that it's a virus which claims to be warning about a virus.

Mind ready for this? Let's begin.

Recipients receive a message about a new virus, the Good Times virus.

This can be transmitted as an e-mail message, and has Good Times appearing on the subject line.

'Do not read it,' says the message.

'This virus is particularly nasty and opening it will result in destruction of all data on your hard disk.

'If the program is not stopped, your computer's processor will be placed in an nth-complexity infinite binary loop, which can result in processor damage.

'The virus spreads by forwarding itself to every e-mail address you have in your inbox and sent-mail folder.' Raymond says the virus, of course, is 'totally impossible'.

But the fact that this virus is impossible isn't obvious to many internet users. So they send copies of this warning to all their friends, who send it to all their friends, who in turn etc, etc.

It grows faster than Graham Grant's salary claims, taking up more and more disk space, rather like the e-mail Christmas card that nearly brought IBM's internal system to a halt one Christmas eve.

Anyone worried about this virus should not, repeat not, start sending an e-mail message to all their mates warning about it.

Bitten Apple JIMMY Lai Chee-ying's new paper Apple Daily seems to be creating history already as the first newspaper to be sued before its first edition is printed.

Jimmy originally was trying to launch it on the fateful anniversary of June 4, although the end of June now is looking more likely. He also has been trying to create an air of controversy and intrigue.

There have been stories of Xinhua putting viruses on the computers, and other unlikely tales.

In all the excitement, they've omitted to pay the estate agent $220,000 for finding them premises in Castle Peak Road. That's what Hing Yip Property Consultants alleged in court, anyhow.

Or is this the start of some campaign against outrageous estate agent commissions? What joke? RELEASE of the pension proposals has focused attention on actuaries.

One told us this week there is only one joke about actuaries, who have a reputation as being accountants who've transferred because they can't stand the excitement. So here it is.

An accountant, a lawyer, and an actuary - all men - were discussing whether it was better to have a wife or a mistress.

The accountant said: 'Looking at it from a tax point of view, all the deductions and tax relief and stuff, it's got to be better to have a wife.' The lawyer said:'But given the risks of lawsuits on divorce, conflicting claims over assets, and the complexity of family law proceedings, it's got to be better to stay unmarried and have a mistress.' But the actuary said:'I think it's better to have both.' 'Why?' asked the lawyer and accountant together. 'Well, if you're not with the wife she'll assume you've gone to see the mistress,' the actuary said.

'And if you're not with the mistress, she'll assume you're with the wife.' 'So?' asked the lawyer and accountant together.

The actuary said with a flourish: 'So you could go to the office and work.' Big dipper GIVEN that Gordon Wu Ying-sheung seems unwilling to live up to his promise to jump into the harbour because his road to Guangzhou was late, a reader thought there was something ironic about the decision to name the new hall at BP International House, the Gordon Wu Hall.

BP International House is a sort of hotel with links to the scouting movement, and we guess Gordon dipped his hand into his pocket for them and they rewarded him by giving him the honour of having the hall named after him.

The brochure for the place lists a number of good reasons for staying there: Panoramic view of Victoria Harbour Near Kowloon Park's indoor swimming pool.

So the Gordon Wu Hall is ideal for those about to take a dip. Mmmmm.