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Cyber Digest

From Steve Martin’s deal with Pop.com to the JenniCam controversy, this week’s top web stories

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JILTIN’ JENNI ”Pioneering Webcam exhibitionist Jennifer Ringley, the ‘Jenni’ in JenniCam [http://www.jennicam.org], is paying a price for stealing her best friend’s boyfriend in full view of thousands of outraged fans. Her Peeping-Tom followers are elbowing each other aside to spew stinging Jenni insults on public message boards … ”
Reported by Salon.com
JENNI RESPONDS: ”The email I’m getting is far more positive. Anyway, the idea of anybody stealing anybody is pretty naive. Nobody’s stolen. It was a surprise to both of us.”

ON THE SKIDS The good news for Pets.com: Advertising Age featured the outfit’s high-profile sock spokespuppet on its cover.
The bad news: Well, just have a look. Says Pets.com’s mascot, ”Note to self: Don’t follow the Pekingese across the highway during rush hour.”

THE WOW OF STEVE It seems that Steve Martin and Pop.com have a deal. Inside.com recently reported that Martin was going on a shoot for the site, and, according to ”sources close to the actor,” the shoot was for a ”spot spoofing the show Blind Date” and ”would be the first in a series of six pieces.” Pop.com later confirmed that report. As Inside.com put it, ”[I]t’s a coup for the much-hyped and even more-delayed site — who wouldn’t want to have such a Jerk working for them?”

HACK HACKER Maybe it’s just us, but we’re astonished to find that Contentville.com has hired Kevin Mitnick, one of the country’s most notorious Net hackers, as its expert on computer magazines. Here’s how the new site advertises their guy: ”Mitnick has 20 years’ experience circumventing information-security measures and has successfully gained unauthorized access to computer systems at some of the world’s largest corporations. He was arrested in 1995 and spent four and a half years in prison … ”

NEWS FLASHERS Two little-known websites made a clean breast of it this month. Newsblues.com features a shockingly (almost disturbingly) clear picture of the woman who famously flashed Katie and Matt on the Today show (www.newsblues.com/Stories/boobs.htm). And thirsty.com, a popular teen site, posted 15 pictures of Britney Spears, apparently baring more of Britney than she intended (www.thirsty.com/Common/StoryReview/1,2351,12~22140,00.html). A thirsty.com spokesperson says the photos accounted for about a million additional page views — and quickly, too.

SPRINGER ROLE Jerry Springer has signed on to play the part of the Blue Jew — ”a brilliant Hollywood agent of questionable moral repute” — in an upcoming episode of TheThreshold.com series The Producer. Tom Arnold will costar. The antics begin Sept. 28. A spokesperson for the show says, ”Several Hollywood agents have called claiming they are the Blue Jew. They think this is totally hysterical.”

BACKTALK After USA Today reported that Tina Brown blamed Talk magazine’s wobbly start on her underlings’ inexperience, a former staffer fired back via a media-gossip site (www.poynter.org/medianews): ”[W]hen you’re a legend, just blame your staff.”