I would hate to be the pro- Taiwan saboteur who put anti-Beijing messages in software that ran on computers alongside Windows 95. Imagine having China and Microsoft - two of the biggest, most powerful entities in the world - angry with you. And all for the fleeting joy of having the slogan 'Communist bandits' pop up unexpectedly on the screen. I lunched with a lawyer friend yesterday who pointed out that Microsoft was sending corrective software to all 'registered' users in China. That means the bad guys who are using pirate copies will still have their computers accusing them of being bandits. Instant justice. Mind you, the powers in Beijing can hardly complain when opinions are found where they shouldn't be. Dictionaries are supposed to be factual things, without the taint of political bias. Tell that to publishers in Beijing. For more than 15 years, the sole recourse of students in the city was the Chinese English Dictionary, I hear from Christina Mungan. Preachy political messages abound in it. For instance, the word shang, meaning 'to rise or be high', was illustrated with the following examples, among others: The yield of grain has reached the target set in the National Programme for Agricultural Development. Xiao Wang's model deeds have been publicised on TV. The play is a success, both politically and artistically. Our barefoot doctors have got calluses on their hands, mud on their feet, medicine kits across their shoulders and love for the poor and lower-middle class peasants in their hearts. She's fallen in love with the grasslands. Christina, who covers Chinese equities for Bloomberg, tells me that the final example has been changed in the latest version of the dictionary. It now says: 'She's fallen in love with an accountant.' Lo Hoi-man notes that there is a little Cantonese lesson in the tourist maps that are distributed free in hotel lobbies. It says: 'To ask how much something costs, you say gay daw cheen? Or gay man? ' Hoi-man said: 'This must be why so many Chinese view homosexuality as a Western disease.' One can just picture a sai-yan marching into a shop and loudly declaring: 'Gay man.' Shopkeeper: 'Faidi Ah-Ho, dai seung leige jeung gau sau to. ' [Quick, Ah-Ho, get your rubber gloves on.] Lucy Fennell found an interesting ad in that wonderful Aladdin's cave known as the classifieds: 'Found Property. On 17.1.96, a sum of Hong Kong currency was found in a savings account of Hongkong Bank. Any claimant please contact Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station.' Said Lucy: 'There must be any number of claimants.' Roy Grubb of GandA Management Consultants tells me that the only people other than government agents allowed to ask for your ID number is your boss, under Employment Ordinance Section 49A. 'There are plenty of people who are looking forward to the Privacy Commissioner issuing a code of practice stopping people collecting the ID card number as a convenient, unique key for their computer records,' he said. Roy refused to join Hongkong Telecom IMS's Internet service because they insisted on having his ID card number. 'We checked with our lawyer and it's a legal requirement,' they told him. Maybe they should get a better lawyer. A man in Huddersfield, northern England, had his life saved by a smoke detector, I hear from Phil Smith, of Sha Tin. He had taped it to his ceiling, but forgotten to put a battery in it. He then fell asleep while cooking dinner in the kitchen. The kitchen caught fire, and the heat rose to the ceiling, melting the tape. The detector fell on his head and woke him up. It's a hard life. Cathay Pacific spent a fortune on their latest giveaway gifts to mark their 50th anniversary. They bought genuine Cross ball-point pens with a lifetime guarantee. Hong Kong businessman Tommy Lillquist was one of the lucky passengers on an Osaka to Hong Kong flight who received one. There on the top of the designer writing instrument was the airline's dramatic brushstroke logo. It was neatly attached, upside down, on every pen. One could fix the problem, I suppose, by making the pilot yaw the plane 180 degrees when people are opening the boxes. Just a thought: A toupee makes a man look about 10 years sillier.