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29 July, 5.20pm edt
First "Killer App" For BeOS?

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Omicronsoft yesterday announced what many are heralding as the first BeOS "killer app". The so-called "killer app" is a program so useful or so spectacular that people will switch to the OS that offers that application just to use it.

According to Omicronsoft, its new program will forever rid your computer of what many consider to be the lowest form of expression - emoticons.

Emoticons (also known as "Winkys") are ASCII representations of facial expressions, meant to attach "body language" to text messages. For example, a ;-) symbolizes a person winking (rotate the emoticon 90 degrees clockwise, and you have the idea). This original "Winky" emoticon was used occasionally used in email messages to take the sting out of otherwise harsh remarks, as in "Bob, I think your proposal is pathetic ;-)".

However, emoticons soon spread and mutated faster than the Ebola virus and now various forms of the Winky infect everything from email to chat room to web pages to MCI advertisements. It's beginning to drive some people to the edge.

Omicronsoft's new software, dubbed "Emoti-Kill" works quietly behind the scenes of the BeOS, intercepting emoticons on a systemwide basis and neutralizing them. Omicronsoft claims that when Emoti-Kill is running, you will never have to put up with emoticons in your email, chat clients, web browsers or other applications again.

"I've never heard of the BeOS before, but I'll switch to it if it will save me from those damn faces," commented one office worker. "I swear, I think it's the only form of punctuation Dawn from accounting knows how to use."

Omicronsoft's announcement comes on the heels of the first recorded case of emoticon-induced attempted homicide. Last week, a technical support representative attacked a human resources manager and attempted to carve a smiling emoticon into his head with a pocketknife. The attacker is currently undergoing psychological evaluation, while the victim is listed in stable condition at Chicago's Mercy Hospital.

"I can't help it - I'm addicted to Winkys," the human resources manager reportedly muttered soon after the attack.


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