OUR small but perfectly formed telecommunications regulator, Alex Arena, has allowed himself to become quite swept away with all this Internet nonsense that's going about at the moment. Yesterday, someone asked him if Hong Kong planned to emulate Singapore, China and Malaysia by building an 'information superhighway' (or big bit of wire/fibre optic as it's known in the trade) and it obviously well and truly lit Alex's blue touch paper. The Government certainly wasn't going to build one - it just wouldn't be the Hong Kong way, he said. 'We have nothing planned - very deliberately so, as we think we will end up with a lot of people putting down arterial roads and junctions in a multi-level platform,' he said. After carefully sorting this for meaning in our linguistic database the same result keeps coming back: zero content. This is ground control to Major Alex: come back to earth, we have a telecommunications monopoly for you to regulate. We realise that many people looking at the Internet craze must believe there is some point to the whole thing, but unless you like watching s.l.o.w TV, chatting with other sad life-lacking people on mid-western America university campuses, spending hours down-loading pictures of 1970s US sit-com stars or reading Malaysian Government information about how all bad things come from outside Malaysia, there isn't going to be a whole lot of point in scanning the net. We would expect the local telecoms regulator to have grasped the fact that the internet is nothing more than the CB radio of the 1990s. Remember CB? It was going to be an unregulated means of communication and it was going to change the world and link people together in unusual new ways, but in the end it was of interest only to the socially challenged. 'Breaker, breaker,' as they used to say or :-) as they type now. Right to pay HANNY Magnetics is going to be in much better financial shape after the big rights issue, according to Charles Chan Kwok-keung, new managing director and also managing director of Cheung Kong-related Paul Y-ITC. Mr Chan says the firm will be able to pay off large amounts of its debt, and hopefully it will be able to stagger on for another year. Let's hope Mr Chan wisely decides to pay off the debts owned to Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa first - but how much doubt is there about that? Date with fate TRANSITIONALLY speaking, people aren't getting nearly as excited about Hong Kong's date with destiny in umm, 599 days, as some people expected. Bar/restuarant The Time Is Always Now planned to have daily auctions of July 1997 related goods all the way from 1,000 days to go to zero hour. Bjorn Lhose, manager of the restaurant but not the organiser of the auctions, said they lasted about a month. 'I think we started too soon,' he said, 'people were very keen at first, but they lost interest. In the first auction, even the hammer was sold. But some of the auctions were very boring.' Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Wood would PACIFIC Plywood Holdings looks like it is going to be an interesting initial public offering. In Lai See's experience public listing of a company in Hong Kong normally means that profits are going to collapse in 12 to 18 months time, something which will then be blamed on the Chinese economy. Pacific have opted instead to have the profits collapse before the listing - blaming a massive collapse in plywood prices in China. We are also indebted to the company for bringing us this insight into the nature of wood: In the old days, they probably had to make do with formica.