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Thursday, October 1, 1998 Published at 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK


Clinton and Pammy's Net connection

The book makes no mention of the Starr report

Bill Clinton and Pamela Anderson are the King and Queen of the Internet, according to the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

President Clinton is the man mentioned the most times on the Net (on 1,842,790 pages) and the actress Ms Anderson is the most mentioned woman (on 1,542,282 pages).

The UK publication devotes far more space than before to records spawned by the rise of the Internet.

The popularity of Ms Anderson is not surprising given what people seem to be searching for.

Searching for sex

According to the Yahoo web index, its most searched-for word is "sex", which is looked for 1.55m times a month. Communication is also popular, with 414,320 people looking for 'chat' (though sex and Internet chat are also often linked).

Other favourites search terms include "Netscape software", "games" and "weather".

Massive Attack on the Net

An enterprising British band, Massive Attack, made the parts of their third album, Mezzanine online three weeks before its release.

The songs were downloaded 101,673 times before the album went on sale, making it the Guinness Book of Records' biggest Internet album release.

But perhaps it is not surprising that when it comes to making money from the Internet a computer company is in the lead.

Dell claims to have the biggest online sales with £1.8m of purchases from its Web sites every day.

Cracking record-breaker

The entry for the most successful Internet cracker is as alarming as it is mysterious.

The unnamed person is supposed to have broken into "every known computer system, including Nasa and Intel, as well as a number of nuclear weapons laboratories, government organisations and military sites".

He has apparently got away with it on every occasion.

Biggest Net crash

One persistent rumour is that the Internet was founded by the US military to provide an indestructible communications system in the event of nuclear war.

If that were its aim, the biggest Net crash, on 25 April 1997, would show the Pentagon's folly.

A combination of operator failure and equipment error scrambled the Internet's Domain Name Server system and left much of the Internet inaccessible from around 1630 GMT to midnight.

Well-wired community

And if you feel like nobody understands you when you start to talk about the Internet, perhaps you should consider moving to what claims to be the world's most wired community - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

In 1995, there were about 30,000 Internet users out of a population of 70,000 - 20,000 of them through the local university, Virginia Tech.

The book is a record

Like the Internet itself, the space devoted to the Net in the latest edition of the Guinness Book of Records has greatly expanded. There were five entries in the 1998 book - this year there are 21 Net items.

The Guinness Book of Records claims a record for itself - it says it is the best-selling copyright book in the world.

Settling drunken disputes

It first appeared in 1955, produced by the Guinness brewery to help pub landlords "turn the heat of argument into the light of knowledge" by settling disputes.

Since then it has sold 80 million copies across the world, but it does not yet have an Internet site it can call its own.

The drawbacks of trying to keep track of the Internet on the printed page are demonstrated by the fact that biggest Net shopping mall (The Internet Mall) had moved addresses by the time the book was published.

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