Ask Dr. Notebook

Q. Why is the new e-mail computer virus called the Bubbleboy virus? That's a weird name.

A. You know how geeks like to quote movies, thinking that cultural references make them cool? Well, who do you think makes e-mail viruses? This reference is to the Seinfeld episode where the gang meets a sick young man who has to live in a bubble. The corrupted e-mail registers the recipient in his or her Outlook Express program as "Bubbleboy" of "Vandelay Industries" (a reference to one of George Costanza's fictional workplaces). Melissa, an earlier e-mail virus, makes a similarly hip reference to the...

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