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We're pleased to report that battling web hosting outfit directNIC will not have to stage a strategic withdrawal from the Big Easy since it is "exempt" from the mayoral order to haul ass out of the city.

That, at least, is according to the epic disater blog which has been chronicling the team's efforts to maintain a little island of technology amid the chaos.

The 82nd Airborne pay directNIC a visitAs we noted yesterday, "Camp Crystal" as directNIC's offices are now known, received an unexpected visit from some "82nd Airborne guys accompanied by a US Marshall" a couple of nights back. The blog now features a lovely picture of said grunts with directNIC supremo Sigmund Solares. And a very cheerful bunch they are too.

Since our now-famous blogger, Michael Barnett, is himself ex-special forces, and there is increasing speculation that the heroic tale of Camp Crystal will inevitably hit the big screen after the dust settles, we at Vulture Central got straight down to casting this widescreen epic.

Barnett will, of course, be played by Bruce Willis - complete with sweat-soaked white vest - bawling at hapless 82nd Airborne guys to "haul ya muthaf**kin' asses out of my server room".

We reckon, too, that A-list celebs will be fighting in the streets to play Barnett's other half, Crystal. Suggestions here range from Meryl Streep (understated, sensitive) via Demi Moore (can't act but what a pair of bazookas) to the preferred Sigourney Weaver - complete with sweat-soaked green vest, flushing looters out of the air-conditioning system with a flamethrower.

As for Sigmund Solares, well, readers are invited to speculate on who best might fit the bill. David Schwimmer looks a likely candidate from where we're sitting.

Oh yes, and President Bush. Our unanimous vote here is for Rick Moranis to take on the demanding role of Air Force One in a Honey, I Shrunk my Approval Rating style comedy.

Meanwhile, we here in Blighty resalute directNIC's "no surrender" stance - where the internet burns bright there is always hope. ®

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