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Web Standards Group Approves New <SLAP> Tag
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BOUTOOME, MA - The world wide web consortium, the body that approves standards for information exchange over the web, today announced approval of a new HTML tag. "The implementation is left to browser developers," said Hans Reegwerd, "and of course the user will need supporting hardware." Reegwerd, a w3c committee member responsible for the new tag, says it is long overdue. "Popups and flashing banners are annoying, sure, but users can disable them pretty easily. The BLINK tag was never fully implemented by the major browsers. The MARQUEE tag, while very annoying, is easily defeated with a user-specified stylesheet. And neither of these addressed the need to annoy sight-impaired users. What we were trying to create was a simple way for the author to annoy the user that wouldn't be so easily turned off." The consortium's own browser supports the tag, sending a signal to a force-feedback mouse causing it to leap off the desk and strike the user. When asked if this would be done when the user did something wrong, Reegwerd responded, "That's one appropriate use, sure."

Leading operating system suppliers hail the new development. "It adds a tool to a currently very thin toolset," said one development manager under condition of anonymity. "To help implementation along, the next version of our O/S will require the latest browser and force-feedback hardware. It's time we take the PC back from the user."

User's groups have expressed anger and shock over the introduction of the new tag. "SLAP?! I guess it is the next natural step, but still. Wow," said Ernest "Bert" Calloway, a freelance web-developer, when shown the consortium's announcement. "No author will use it. Why would they?"

Reegwerd disagrees, "No one thought applets had any place on the web. No one thought there would be any reason to have pop-ups. But these technologies have found their niche, and we're confident authors will be SLAP'ing their visitors shortly."

When asked about users bypassing or disabling the tag, Reegwerd replied, "Some will, sure. But most users don't know what any of those settings are. They're afraid to mess something up. And by the time the third party folks send around software to disable it, a new browser version will come out that stores the settings some other way." "There's no escape," he laughed, maniacally, "all your browsers are belong to us!"
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