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Want to file for aid online? Better run Windows

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The good news: If you've survived Hurricane Katrina, the government will let you register for help online. The bad news: But only if the computer you're using is running Windows.

Yes, it turns out that to make a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Individual Assistance Center, your Web browser must be Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 or higher and you must have JavaScript enabled. It even says so right on the page itself. One problem: IE6 isn't available for Macintosh or Linux computers.

Complaints about government Web sites requiring Microsoft software aren't new, of course. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.) But this is one instance that struck particularly hard for some.

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