|lol:> Fantastic IP voyage|
Ted's team of time-skipping inventors takes on another challenge -- the problem of pop-ups.
When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were sipping latte in a coffee shop and reminiscing about their past exploits. These distinguished inventors from across time included the ingenious Benjamin Franklin, the cantankerous Thomas Edison, the eccentric Earl of Sandwich, as well as other notables, such as Guglielmo Marconi, Nicolas Tesla, and Marie Curie.
Barely a few moments after recounting their first tale, the team received an urgent alarm -- a summons to right a wrong in another place in time. They sprung into action, quickly discarding their recycled napkins and biscotti crumbs, standing in line for refills of mocha, and waiting for the apple Danishes to cool from the kitchen. With supplies replenished, the team squeezed into H.G. Wells' repaired time machine and folded space and time to appear in another part of the early 21st century.
They were hastily greeted by Archimedes. Interrupted from his work in mathematics and astronomy in Ancient Greece and recruited many years ago, Archimedes now managed one of the special gateways to the Internet. It was he who pressed the special red button to summon our time travelers on this critical mission: Hacker and his minions had let loose a truly frightening virus in the Internet. This nefarious code caused pop-ups to appear on the desktops of unsuspecting users who were browsing the Web.
Our time-traveling heroes understood the implications if this malignancy was left unchecked. As Archimedes explained their insertion process, the team began the necessary preparations, formulating their plans and donning special suits of yellow spandex.
"I am not a man easily dismayed. What I have experienced in Colonial America and in my time travels has steeled me to much of what the cruel fates, as you call them, can bring," Franklin said. "But you mean to tell me that you have no coffee -- or worse -- you only have decaf?"
"I answered that question over half an hour ago," Archimedes frowned. "Now, please pay attention, because what I am telling you will save your life."
"This device," Archimedes said, pointing to a large, pungent black box with a colorful display, "will transform and transport your physical body into the wires and computers that compose the Internet. Within this vast network, you will hunt down and dispatch those pop-up abominations."
"How is such a feat possible?" Marconi asked. "Are you using the same advanced technology that shrunk scientists and their medical craft for some amazing voyage through the human body? Or perhaps you are using analog phones to audaciously access a matrix of computers? Is your technology as powerful and awe inspiring?"
"Ah ... yes," Archimedes mumbled, looking toward the corner of the ceiling. "To connect to the Internet, we had to acquire some of the original equipment from when the Internet was first born. This could have presented a problem, but fortunately, we found most of the computers used for the ARPANET in choice online auction houses and at our local dump."
"This particular model," Archimedes said, pointing to the large, blinking computer, "came to us in rather poor condition, but after a little ingenuity and consulting some dice, we were able to connect most of the loose wires and transistors, use various colored diodes that we had lying around, and substitute various-sized party balloons for the missing vacuum tubes."
Archimedes held his breath and moved closer to the computer.
"Where we had holes in the chassis, we filled them with Limburger cheese," he gasped.
"Excellent choice!" The Earl shouted and clapped loudly for an inappropriately long time.
"Why do we need these?" Marconi asked, looking down at his tight-fitting costume.
"To travel across the Internet, information is divided into packets," Archimedes replied. "Your costume streamlines your profile to minimize the number of packets needed to represent your body. The fewer packets there are, the faster you will reach your destination. Each packet contains a sequence number to ensure that you don't wind up with your foot in your mouth when you are reassembled -- at least not because of our doing."
"You're going to need several more packets to represent Ben," Edison hollered.
"They perfected the donut in the 21st century," Franklin grinned, wiping powdered sugar from his mouth.
Tesla snorted, giggled, paused momentarily, and broke into laughter again.
"Nick, I see that you'll need a few less packets," Franklin said, "since you forgot to wear your pants again."
A shocked Tesla shrieked and ran from the room.
"What are those devices?" Franklin asked, eyeing the items leaning against the wall.
"That is the super defragmenter," Archimedes said. "Because it brings order to chaos, it can wipe clean any virus or bug that you may encounter. Just aim the device and press the green button labeled 'Gotcha.' It has a range of two hubs, comes with compressed-view goggles, and includes an expandable cup holder for larger drinks."
"And what about this one with the handle and flower pattern?" Franklin asked, pointing to the item next to the defragmenter.
"That is an umbrella." Archimedes replied.
"I'll take that ..." said Marconi, pointing to the defragmenter.
"I don't think so." Franklin interrupted, picking up the defragmenter. "This device is heavy and unwieldy. Better you remain nimble and unencumbered with the umbrella to skip past problems that we may encounter. I will shoulder the burden of this cool ... er ... onerous device."
"You da man!" Edison yelled out.
Curie sighed and shook her head.
"Ladies and gentlemen, are we ready to do some good?" Franklin asked.
"Wait," The Earl interjected, "what of fresh sourdough bread?"
"Tell me more," Franklin said, adjusting his belt. (The Earl had redeemed himself from his earlier culinary disasters, what the team called the "disgusting and stinky experimental phase.")
"What of baby Swiss and honey ham?" The Earl continued, "What of bread and butter pickles and a side of coleslaw with pineapples? What of lunch?"
Franklin turned to Archimedes.
"First things first," Franklin said, setting down the defragmenter. "The fates have smiled on us today."