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7 April, 4.27pm pdt
Round-the-World Balloonists Credit BeOS

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Brian Jones' first words as he set foot to earth after 20 days of circling the globe in a hot air balloon with his co-pilot Bertrand Piccard came as a surprise to the crowd gathered for the historic occassion.

"What, are we there already," Jones reportedly asked as he poked his head from the window of their high-tech gondola.

The high-tech gondola - about the size of two minivans - has a bunk, toilet, kitchen area, control panel, oxygen and nitrogen tanks, solar panels, satellite phones and most importantly two laptop computers running the BeOS.

"The BeOS did such a good job at managing the on-board systems and flight plans, there was really little for us to worry about," said Jones.

So trouble-free was the flight that the pair had a chance to begin development of an advanced meteorology program for the BeOS.

"I predict the BeOS will own the weather forecasting market by the year 2002," said Piccard, speaking at a ceremony honoring them in Washington, D.C.

The duo won US$1,000,000 for their feat, half of which will go towards establishing a BeOS software development company to complete and market the code they began while in the air.

The balloon, known as the Breitling Orbiter 3, will arrive at the Be campus for permanent display after exhibits in Switzerland and London.


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