Virtual Vengeance At Last!

BUSY SIGNALS, BROKEN "hot links," slow downloads, outdated information. These are just some of the things that infuriate Internet surfers. SegaSoft, a division of Sega of America Inc., wants to help them blow off some steam.

The Redwood City (Calif.) company is offering for free download via its World Wide Web site a program called Web Vengeance. Designed for PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95, the software allows users to riddle Web images with virtual rotten eggs, tomatoes, and bullets. Since the antics occur on the user's Web browser and not on the site itself, there's no permanent harm done. SegaSoft officials say the most popular target by far for Web Vengeance is America Online Inc.'s home page because of the recent problems that have outraged many of AOL's 8 million members. In fact, SegaSoft recently concluded a contest where for a chance at a $1,000 prize, entrants submitted digital snapshots of how they "virtually egged" AOL's home page. AOL joined in on the fun by adding a "defense" program to its home page. Net surfers who now try to egg the page will see a food tray pop up and attempt to protect the image of the page.

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