Last week saw the sniping between Sun Microsystems and IBM reach an amusing peak as Sun quietly launched a Web site dedicated to needling its biggest rival in the Unix sphere. The site, Big Blue Smoke, is laid out along the lines of a newspaper and seems to have been built in response to IBM's recent advertisements in The New York Times, which listed 29 reasons why IBM boxes were better than Sun's. Sun's response rips into 'the world's largest typewriter company', comparing it to 'a WWF Superstar plugging an upcoming pay per view' and suggesting IBM had been less than honest towards investors, partners and customers. The editors say ' www.bigbluesmoke.com is reported to be the first known use of Internet Technology Competitive Humour [ITCH]. Designed to expose the typewriter company's Obfuscation Infrastructure with a healthy dose of humour and truth.' IBM may not find it so funny. Web-content management giant Vignette says it sees this year as 'the year of separation for us from the pack'. As less technology-savvy firms falter and fail, Vignette promises to deliver the online reliability its clients should expect for upwards of US$200,000. With that in mind, potential clients must have been puzzled by the message on the company's Web site over the weekend: 'Vignette's two main Web properties, www.vignette.com and global.vignette.com [including Vignette Express], will be temporarily unavailable March 15-17 as we move our data-centre operations to a new facility.' What better way to advertise efficient Web services? Wearable computing pioneer and Toronto-based cyborg Steven Mann is demanding US$60,000 in compensation after airport staff dismembered his various sensory enhancements at a security check. Professor Mann, one of the few people on earth to wear a Webcam in his spectacles (eyetap.org/tpw/index.php), has more than US$500,000 worth of technology installed in and around his body. According to news site Silicon.com, the academic was strip-searched at St John's International Airport in Newfoundland. His lawsuit alleges that during the search, equipment worth US$56,000 was damaged and electrodes were torn from his skin, drawing blood. Ironically, Professor Mann last year starred in a David Lynch documentary about the trials and prejudices that follow the cyborg lifestyle. In an apparent attempt to prove to the world it really does exist, the Canadian Defence Department has taken to leaving its secrets in public places. An Ottawa woman recently came across a pile of top-secret CDs that contained details of Canada's submarine fleet. According to Canada's CBC, the discs were labelled 'Restricted' and dated from November 2000 to January this year. The submarines were bought in 1998 and so that amounts to quite a thorough log book. The discs had apparently been scratched in an attempt to make them unreadable, before being dumped in a downtown alley. Unfortunately, the scratcher had defaced the wrong side. National defence officials said the discovery did not pose a threat to Canadian security. As the submarines were bought from Britain, whose own record of secrecy is pretty much public record, they're probably right. After the recent coverage of the iPod software thief in the computer store, Web sites have been awash with new ideas for stealing software, particularly from the user-friendly Mac OS. Wired magazine, which first reported the story, has added a whole raft of tips to trick a store into giving away its software. These include testing a CD-burner, portable hard disks with firewire connections or unobtrusive digital cameras (which can store up to a gigabyte using an IBM Microdrive). Meanwhile, Apple forum Macmerc describes in detail different methods to steal software using a store's own Internet connection.