Disco 3000 (Flash)
I'm getting thirsty just looking at this page. The vivid orange looks like the screen is filled with mandarin juice, and the ice-like white lines beckon me to partake in this chilled serving of funkadelia. A multimedia showcase of cutting edge European DJ's, designers and film makers, Disco 3000, though probably not quite a millennium ahead of the rest of us, is certainly leading the way. The virtual nightclub and flash chat are a taste of the future, while the hypnotic visuals and beats prevent you from ever escaping this fast approaching 1000-year trance. I'm ready, you're ready, but here in 1999, we still have to wait in a net-congested queue to savour the futuristic cyber-cocktail.
Verdict: Tonight we're going to party like it's 2999. - SS
Tiny Penis Site Of the Day
No, it's not an award for the smallest penis, although somehow I think the kind of people who created this list may be laughing at themselves and their own deficiencies. Tiny Penis is the name of this site that has put the entire web under the microscope in search of stupid, purile and adolescent fun, such as stick figure nudes, dancing cows and nerd-of-the-week. Some pretty funny stuff here, if you've got nothing better to do. What's that they say about small penis syndrome? The bigger the car? The bigger the gun? The stupider the web site? One thing's for sure, these sites are guaranteed not to stimulate your libido, but they do go to great lengths to tickle your funny bone.
Verdict: Minutely funny. - SS
This is a well-meaning attempt by adults to control kids behaviour by relating to them on their own level in order to get a message through. A thorough job has been done, with a colourful and contemporary style giving kids the positive message of how good life is without drugs, and how bad life can be with them. In "heads up", "shout out" and "hang time", empowerment is encouraged, the warnings are dealt out, and the good clean fun is injected into the lives of America's youth. Plenty of positive reasons are given for abstaining, and links to further info are offered. It's the big "just say no" campaign, which may on the one hand seem unrealistic, but on the other hand, could just work for some kids who bother to read the facts here.
Verdict: Freedom of choice, is what you got. - SS
Cutting sarcasm, biting wit, lacerating lampooning, Chickenhead goes for the jugular of American culture and shows it up for all that it is, and pretends not to be. The clean cut design mimics the post-war advertising and mass consumption frenzy, but highlights the glaring hypocrisies of consumerism, gun possession, drugs, mass media and red-blooded American values. The banner ads are hilarious and well made, the Satan's Picnic Planner is a treat, not to mention the Star Wars merchandise bonanza. I just wonder how close the creators would come to being majorly sued by all and sundry, if they ever stumbled across this site.
Verdict: Chicken soup for the brain. - SS
Someone has been tweaking and coding themselves to oblivion, as they push their creative boundaries in an experimental arena, just outside the business zone. This is the future of commercial web development, and VIR2L are showing their big-paying corporate clients the way. High impact graphics, zippy navigation and very well thought out strategies to deliver the finished product, make up the formula for web site success. It's a bit like you're viewing life through the eyes of the 'Terminator', but it sure beats gifs, jpegs and tables that won't fit within your screen resolution.
Verdict: Virtually changing the face of the Internet. - SS
ABI Mouldings (Flash)
A stand-alone fully commercial application of Flash into a major business site selling wood moulding, ABI has leapt head first into discovering the potential of the Internet. By using a fairly standard browsing layout, the visitor isn't confronted by too much confusion, but the content is superior in that it combines music, animation, nifty segues into new pages and at the time of review, a soon to be realised virtual room where 3D samples can be inspected. The clean and no fuss approach to the site keeps the mind focussed on the product features rather than the technology. That is the objective, after all. It entices you to be impressed, and contact the company, rather than surf ever onward seeking more eye-candy.
Verdict: Before they break the mould, you'd better make a copy. - SS
There is a revolution going on. Advertising companies have done a few sums and realised how effective a web campaign can be for their clients, especially now that the technology allows TV-style presentations to be easily integrated into pages. Now we will have commercial breaks between web sites - hitting us as we wait for the site we want to down load. POS, or 'point of sale' is potentially everywhere with e-commerce. It's all at once exciting to see the computer develop so fast, and scary to think how much it might be harnessed to flog more stuff to us hapless surfers. Let's hope the technology is used for good as well as evil. Let's see Greenpeace's web-mercial, WWF endangered species presentations - please, no more soft drinks, cars, insurance and soap powder!
Verdict: It's the InTVernet! - SS
When you think about it, 'Flash' is really quite a primitive tool, manipulating shapes and lines and colours in space and time - it's the human interpretation that constantly amazes. People are seeing planets, stars, cosmic light rays, energy spheres - they are bringing life to this computer code at prolific rates. I suppose it is much like the dots and dashes of music manuscript. Once the parameters are determined, the creative minds can get to work. Ootworld is one such creative genius's foray into this new medium. It's a showcase for his professional work, and the stuff he likes to dabble in on weekends. "Flash Visionary" is the term Mirco Pasqualini uses, and well, it's pretty damn accurate.
Verdict: The finest Italian oots! - SS
The "x" in Inxight stands for Xerox, who have pumped a worthy fortune into developing some radical new approaches to information management. A think tank of elite mega-nerds has staggered out of the lab with five groundbreaking applications. "Table Lens", which allows free-form statistical chart analysis, "Hyperbolic Tree", a very nifty document surfing method, "LinguistiX Platform" a text-based search tool, "Summarizer", an automatic key-point locator, and "Thing Finder", which grabs all the facts out of wordy discourses. Download the free 'Magnifind' tree demo and see for yourself. Once they add the eye candy, this will definitely catch on.
Verdict: I can xee clearly now, my brain has gone. - SS
Tsui Design and Research Inc.
Ever get tired of city landscapes of tiled roofs, bricks, concrete and glass? Well, perhaps it's time for an architectural revolution. Evolutionary Architecture is here, with its design principles lifted from mother nature, the best designer in the world. See houses based on seagull breastbones, dinosaur fins, clams and skeletons. It may be rather confronting to look at for some, but you will be amazed at the energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of these designs. Applying the same natural principles, clothes, furniture and industrial designs have been created, and plans are in place for entire cities to be "grown" with the same approach.
Verdict: Mother knows best. - SS
Net Worth: *****
Chandra X-Ray Observatory Centre
The world's most powerful X-Ray observatory has been launched into space. Chandra is now circling the earth like a comet, in a huge 64 hour elliptical orbit, allowing for extended X-ray observations of the heavens. After a period of instrument calibration, Chandra begins focussing on specific areas of interest up there, including exploding stars, supernovas, galaxy clusters, quasars and supermassive stars. No set agenda for alien chest X-Rays at this stage, but if it happens, you'll find it here. The web site is very detailed and will continue to provide live updates, orbit tracking, video feeds and photographs. Harvard's team has amassed some interesting factiods and historical info as well, to keep the site resourceful and informative.
Verdict: These X-ray specialists were referred by Doctor Who. - SS
Matinee Sound and Vision (SW)
You'll feel like you are at the movies, and the Dolby THX surround sound ad has been extended into a feature film. The music department is working overtime here, creating Hollywood-style soundtracks to their high-impact visual presentations. UK based Matinee have some high-end clients to boast about, and with this web site, they'll be capturing more every day. The 43 hungry staff members have all contributed to ensure there'll be plenty of steak and kidney pudding on the table for years to come. Hey, they're even hiring more staff - why don't you E-mail your resume?
Verdict: Bring your popcorn, relax and enjoy. - SS
Virtual Kitchen (Visiscape plug in)
The first of its kind, an opportunity to design your dream kitchen in glorious 3D right there live on your computer. By choosing from a range of layouts, appliances, colour schemes and floor tiles, your ideal food preparation zone is just a few clicks away. Naturally the real point is to get you to buy Whirlpool appliances, so access to the product details is close at hand. The choice of colours and styles is rather limited, but it's fast and dynamic, so you'll definitely be in white-goods buying mood by the time you've finished. All they need to provide now is a virtual wallet to extract the virtual cash to buy these wonderful products.
Verdict: Perfect for kitchen-loitering party goers. - SS
Yeovil Town (Visiscape plug in)
Here is a bold and quite successful attempt to put an entire real town into cyberspace. The little market town of Yeovil has replicated the store fronts and landmarks and offered every business owner in the town the chance to have a web site linked from here. Admittedly, you can't expect them to replicate the interior of every establishment, but running around the town with your mouse is certainly quite a bit of fun, especially when at the end of each click is a real business with real things to offer. You'd better get used to this now, for it surely is only the beginning.
Verdict: Hear ye hear ye! Yeovil is open for virtual business! - SS
Fork In The Head
In a very tongue-in-cheek manner, this site plans to educate the world about good web design, by heaping healthy doses of deriding feedback to hapless offenders. With some amusing stories and brain nourishing advice, which takes the fork homonym as far as it can go, readers are encouraged to use the forking services, like the 'fork-on-the-fly' bad web site notification form, or even add a 'fork-in-the-head' feedback button on your own site. The criticism may cut like a knife, but you'll be forkin' glad to help make the web a better place.
Verdict: Well oil be forked.- SS
Common Cause - Citizens Working to End Special Interest Politics and Reform Government Ethics
In the face of so much common knowledge about US government dirty tricks and questionable electoral campaign finance strategies, Common Cause has been established to monitor political activity and fight as hard as it can to prevent the ongoing loophole-seeking power grabs. They are fiercely monitoring Campaign 2000, and particularly the soft money issue, where companies can donate extremely excessive amounts to campaign funds without fear of prosecution. Somehow, I think they have their work cut out for them.
Verdict: Of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations. - SS
Global Ideas Bank
Ever wondered if there was anything we could do to fix some of the big problems our poor planet faces? Well here at the ideas bank, the world-wide think tank is working hard to dream up solutions for anything and everything that might need a little attention. Us humans really are amazingly ingenious, but until now our ideas have been thwarted by the difficult process of disseminating them and rallying enough support to have them realised. Not any more. This site presents hundreds of ideas ranging from extreme to just good sense, and you can rate them for feasibility and importance. When an idea hits the top of the charts, it's time to start hassling your MP. Got any ideas? Send them in!
Verdict: Utopia is just a few clicks away. - SS
C4 - Parallel Search Technology
Formerly Cyber411, C4 is trying to establish itself as a contender for easiest and best search engine and portal, by offering simple dual word searches and free emails, home page search facilities and the ability to customise your searching. It all seems quite simple and harnesses the power of all the other major search engines to help you find stuff. I guess it then comes down to personal taste - what do you want your screen to look like? C4 may be a darned good service, but it's not the prettiest site in the world. Do you care? Well, what are you waiting for? C 4 yourself.
Verdict: Giving the search engines a tune up. - SS
The Collective Heritage Institute
The upcoming Bioneers Conference is an attempt to rally scientists and environmentalists to begin steering the planet towards a sustainable future, as well as providing a healthy dose of much needed repair. The key areas are biological diversity and ecological farming practices. By combining a spiritual understanding of the earth based on ancient wisdom, and scientific knowledge shared through this global network of supporters and activists, much can be done, and there is much to do.
Verdict: Sowing the seeds of our future. - SS
Wil Forbis - Zines, Writing, Music and Comedy
If you like to read sarcastic and ruthless attacks on all things mass-cultural, Wil has got to be on your list of bookmarks. He is a prolific writer and occasional music composer, who knows how to put himself down as much as everyone else. He adds new reviews and articles constantly, and keeps all the old stuff for you to dig through as well. His musical background certainly helps his reviewing. He plans to put up a few MP3's of his own work for you to rip to shreds. Wil's negativity and good-humoured hatred is sure to cheer you up.
Verdict: Tell it how it is - funny. - SS
This is where the professional 3D animators and artists like to hang out. The amazing Maya program among others feature here with talented renderers showing their masterpieces through galleries and links to their respective home pages. There are tools and resources, but somehow I doubt many of us will ever be able to afford the software these tools are designed for. More this is a place to marvel at the vanguard of 3D design, and hope that one day the entire Internet will be rendered in such splendour. Perhaps it will inspire you to train up and do your own mouse painting.
Verdict: Creations of digital Gods. - SS
On-line since the creator was a teenager, version 5 is now here featuring the latest artistic endeavours of this talented young Norwegian cyber punk. His professional design gallery is cleverly laid out with mouse-over sneak previews, and his archive is a clever network of links revealing the depth of his abilities. I can't imagine what this guy is going to be coming up with when he's 40, though he'll probably have retired by then. It's worth checking out the previous versions, still available here.
Verdict: Award winning genius. - SS
Media Robot, The Choice of a Small Cat
If you like your humour dark, dry, flagrantly blasphemous and slanderous, then Media Robot is for you. No topic is too precious. Paedophilia, Homosexuality, Spree Killing, Beastiality, Corporate Crime, Animal Cruelty, Stalking, Premature Ejaculation - you get your dose of irreverence served up thick and strong here. There are a few links to interesting sites with similar attitude problems. Your bookmark folder may be overflowing, but I'm sure you could squeeze this baby in there somewhere.
Verdict: It's so disgustingly offensive, you have to love it. - SS
The Electrical Socket
After admitting defeat at making this site a commercial endeavour (though 10 million hits seems enough to earn a little more than 30 bucks!), the creator has turned this domain into a giant playground for his creativity, as well as linking to the various sites he has built over the years. A few novelty fonts, a service for thinking up cool uses for ridiculous domain names, and some web form art, with names like "The March of the Unchecked Boxes" that may just end up as industry standards, and many other playful ideas abound. This is the kind of stuff web designers do to relieve stress after work. Far more entertaining than going to the pub for a beer.
Verdict: Plug in to the madness. - SS
Been surfing the web a little too long? Synapses starting to fry? Maybe it's time for some hypnotic sensory overload. This absolutely senseless assault on your senses my just snap you out of your lethargy and back to the real world. Aversion therapy as HTML code twists and pulses in front of you, industrial noise pollution fills your ears, and as you click to try and escape, you are startled by the offensive sound you hear when you get a question wrong on a game show. Frankly, you'd be better off consulting a therapist, but this is definitely cheaper and safer than Electro-Convulsive Shock Treatment.
Verdict: Noise upon noise. - SS
They've made movies about it but this is ridiculous! The 'scent of a woman' is now available by mail order, simply by choosing the woman of your dreams form the gallery and buying her used sanitary pad. Choose from virgins, wives, models, teens and 'lesbos', to savour your little piece of femininity, and bring yourself closer to understanding womankind. Prepare to enter a "paradise of sensuality" as you bid for the rare collection of Julia Roberts' pads rescued from the disposal bin. One wonders what's next… tissues of Mel Gibson? Brad Pitt's crusty y-fronts?
Verdict: It's so disgusting, it's brilliant!- SS
Purely text-based dadaistic e e cummings style rants, raves, snippets, word bytes to provoke your mind into thinking "what the hell are they talking about?" It's half German, half English, and utterly confusing, but in its chaotic wordmongering, you may find your own thoughts become triggered as you begin questioning your grasp of sense and nonsense. There seems to be a leaning towards relationship issues here, kind of like someone got that "Men are from Mars" book, fed it through the shredder and glued it back together again. I really can't see anyone spending more than about 12 and a half seconds here. Maybe that's the point.
Verdict: It's isn't not is but tragic concept sucks. - SS
It's time to take control of your fridge door. No longer are you happy to let its appearance be dictated by whichever plumber of real estate agent dropped a magnet in your letterbox. Now you can choose art, celebs, food, Jesus and all kinds of funnies to hold up your shopping lists, party pics or baby's first scribbles. Look in da fridge, take your pick of the dozens of categorised choices, click, credit card and whammo! - Instant freezer door facelift.
Verdict: If you're on a (white)good thing, stick to it. - SS
A whole leap and bound ahead of the usual on-line book store, this one, targeted specifically for IT professionals, allows in-depth research and even a complete text download of a book before purchase. It's a great idea and a very easy to use site, covering all the major areas of computer activity. Well worth a trial membership, however, it seems they haven't quite negotiated with enough publishers yet to make it a one-stop shop. That is what it will have to become, to be universally accepted. They're working on it.
Verdict: Computer worms and book geeks. - SS
Net Worth: ***
Shark.com by Greg Norman Interactive
What can you do once you become a total legend, besides diversify? When your face has been plastered on every other media, why not create your own channel on the net? Now everyone can get a glimpse into the lifestyle of a true legend, and if you follow the tips, you might just become one yourself. Play, Live, Experience, Indulge like the "Shark" himself. The site aims to be an all round lifestyle e-zine and a great promotional tool for his many and varied pursuits. You won't get Greg sitting there typing away all day, but he has a lot of friends, and they are all helping make this site interesting and varied.
Verdict: Take a byte of the Shark's success. - SS
+ism [ver 4.0] (Shockwave)
Someone has been spending too long in art school. This site is design overload, with windows of shapes, lines, spheres and text so tiny you can hardly click on it. What's for sale here? Well, fonts, uh, videos and... synthetic mutations? digital consciousness? It's freaky, it's out there, it's perplexingly pointless, but it looks so cool. Am I missing something? Neutrons, DNA, Sexploration... oh yeah! Now if only I could close all these browser windows...
Verdict: The future is in here - somewhere. - SS
Virtual Solar System (Visiscape plug in)
Affordable space travel has arrived. A full 3D real-time (scaled) version of the solar system that you can zoom around and explore. Watch the moon spinning around the earth from afar, travel to Jupiter's moons and hang out a while, fly to the sun, Icarus style, without burning your wings off. A complete guide to our little corner of the universe, each heavenly body comes with detailed statistics, and you really get a feel for the way things work. Orbits, rotations, speeds, distances. This is your very own space program.
Verdict: Who needs rockets, when you've got VR? - SS
Allen Systems Group
ASG is dedicated to rationalising and optimising information technology. This is a heavy business-oriented site, but it is very well thought out and provides a lot of information about the current issues concerning every Internet user/business owner. It's a powerful thing, this web, but how can we really benefit, if we are constantly being frustrated by software limitations, and system integration. We all want easy to use, resourceful web sites, and this is a prime example. Java is the key to making things easier - so long as your browser cooperates.
Verdict: IT - Intelligent thinking. - SS
Although this is an Australian Web Site, Jubilee 2000 is a global campaign to wipe the overseas debts of severely impoverished countries. The rich countries have lent money over the years to countries such as Nicaragua, and started charging interest to the point that Nicaragua now spends 5 times more on servicing it's debt than it does on health and education. Many people are saying it's time to write off all these debts and give these countries a fighting chance to get ahead. It must be better in the long run. The movement is gathering huge momentum.
Verdict: It's time for a happy new millennium. - SS
U & I Software (flash, real audio)
Sitting at the forefront of computer creativity, U&I produce amazing applications and promote the work of artists who use them, through this diverse web platform. An audio program where you compose with colours and shapes, and 3D rendering tools to build your own virtual worlds, makes for a new dimension in sound and vision. Check out the galleries, samples, links to even more amazing stuff, Bryce, MIDI and Fractal magic - it's a kaleidoscope of colour and sound.
Verdict: Wow, man, like... groovy, yeah. - SS
D.FILM - Digital Film Festival
We are stepping closer and closer to a completely on-line existence. With digital cameras and computer animation technology being so affordable, and the Internet being such a good medium to broadcast (especially once it speeds up), anyone with an idea and the skills to pull it off can make their own movie. D.Film is a powerful force in publicising and enabling film-makers to be seen, and encourages creating films specifically for the Internet with its "New Venue" on-line cinema. Plenty of Movies to watch right here, and trailers for the travelling festival features. You can even make your own instant Flash movie, and send it to a friend!!
Verdict: Where's the popcorn download? - SS
Allergy Buyers Club
I don't know that anyone would actually go out and buy an allergy, but allergy sufferers certainly spend a lot of money hunting round for solutions to the frustrating problem of coping with their over-reaction to foreign particles. Finally a place you can turn to for advice, direct help, and interaction with others suffering identical or similar afflictions. Breakthroughs, medications, coping techniques, success stories, discount products and support - you are not alone any more.
Verdict: This site is not to be sneezed at. - SS
If you've got a brilliant idea for an Internet venture, and you want to get it up and hopping, you ought to swim over to this part of the big pond. America is experienced at investing in IT start-ups to the point that this sophisticated collective has the money and the brains to know how to spend it. With a complete understanding of the nature of the Internet beast, they can now specialise in helping you grow legs, and make it to dry land. These guys started Link Exchange, so they know the game pretty well. One day Microsoft might just buy you, too. They are in the US, but your idea is so good, you know it's worth the airfare to go and meet these dudes.
Verdict: Anyone for venture cane toads? - SS
Yet another health advice site. I guess while we continue thrashing our bodies into the ground with stress, overwork and bad eating habits, there will always be a huge market for get-well info, treatments and inspirational advice to try to get us back on track. It's all here, and rather well presented. Try a quick health check or diagnosis, or browse the seemingly endless list of terrible afflictions to find one that suits you. Whatever you do, don't get healthy, or these wonderful web sites will disappear!
Verdict: Health? Who are you kidding? You're surfing the net! - SS
Karnak - Perpetual Research Assistant
Karnak is a tool that does the searching for you on any specific topic you might be interested in. You get one free topic and pay more for further access. It is basically a very advanced search engine that you can program more efficiently. It will keep looking for updates and new sites, sort your information, summarise the documents found, thereby enabling you to maintain a constant flow of information on your desired topic, without returning again and again to dig up the same million sites from your initial search. Perfect for professionals, journalists, executives, in fact anyone who want more from the net than a casual surf.
Verdict: Just what the librarian ordered. - SS
Discovery Channel School
Move over teacher, there's no time for your human incompetence - Discovery Channel has launched your replacement - the action packed, fascinatingly informative and challenging School Channel. No more exams, just cool links to selected projects, amazing facts and genius contests, with whatever they left out of the lesson plans available for purchase on video or CD Rom. This puts the 'fun' back into fundamental learning, and leaves the kids more time to roam the streets spraying graffiti and dealing crack. OK enough cynicism, it's a pretty cool web site, and very educational.
Verdict: Now hiring unemployed teachers to manage e-mail lists. - SS
The Bone Collector (flash)
Promo for a new murder mystery thriller movie, starring Denzel Washington and... Al Bundy?? Cool! A snazzy intro, where all these TV screens pop out from all directions on swivel arms, then you are taken through the plot, behind the scenes and into the dark world of yet another crazy killer and the people who hunt him down. Check the trailer, the photos, and you'll be first to line up for tickets upon its release, if you like that kind of thing.
Verdict: Another killer web site. - SS
This bright and colourful splash of fun is the on-line home of PBS kids program ZOOM. It encourages a lot of participation from visitors, which is a bit of an exception to most sites, and is getting it by the truckload. Kids are sending them recipes, photos, stories, competition entries, brain-teasers. This is what a TV show web site should be - a forum for viewers, and an extension of the show itself. A lot of work has gone into making this an exemplary children's site, and the accolades are piling up.
Verdict: Hours of fun for everyone. - SS
Dunlop Winter Race (Visiscape plug-in)
Visiscape is an elegant VR app that allows for simple navigation via its simple interface. Now it's time to add some grunt by incorporating on-line interactivity with others in this environment. Enter your typical car-racing scenario. You'll need to download "ParaWorld" which wasn't available at the time of reviewing, choose your Avatar and dress him up, then join a race of up to six live players. It looks like a lot of fun - I'll be back when the download is ready. Might see you there at the starting line!
Verdict: No licence or air bag required. - SS
Wine Today Harvest Watch 99
You've heard about watching paint dry, but how about watching grapes grow? Much more exciting! With live cams, 3D photos (free glasses available), panoramas, and time lapse video, you can see first-hand the entire wine-making process from the comfort of your chair. From the fields to the barrel room to the tasting room, the action is all around you. It's like going through the round window on Playschool. Everything but the hangover is right here.
Verdict: The view is thoroughly intoxicating. - SS
Do you remember Live Aid back in the 80's? Well it's all on again, bigger and better than ever, with a global push to end hunger by the world's movers, shakers and celebrities. This site is the epicentre for the entire operation, and calls on you to get involved in every way you can to end suffering on this planet caused by poverty and war. With the Internet, coordinating such a massive movement is a breeze. In the 80's it was just Bob Geldof and a telephone. No wonder he was knighted!
Verdict: This time it might just work. - SS
Net Worth: *****
It's that time of year again - shopping season! To the rescue comes this cheery portal of yuletide festivity bound to lift your Christmas spirit, bring salvation to cybershop owners everywhere, and add to the burgeoning consumer debt crisis. They've even managed to lump Jews and Blacks into the celebratory picture to maximise sales. Some cool stuff here besides the shopping - cards, emails from Santa, interesting historical facts, travel, family fun, decorating and entertaining ideas. No better or worse than what the real world is doing.
Verdict: Deck the screen with acres of banner ads. - SS
Nueweb Interactive (Flash)
Inviting us to 'imagine tomorrow', Nueweb is creating Flash-based interactive 3D product models that allow potential consumers to have a good gander at your wares from all angles. If I really imagined tomorrow, I'd see Hi res TV images in real time doing whatever the hell you want them to do - Ok maybe not tomorrow - this is pretty nifty for now. It's really quite a clever 2D solution to viewing 3D objects, and surely one that will catch on in a big way.
Verdict: You spin me right round like a sand-shoe baby. - SS
Net Worth: ****
Whatever the other 42 projects were, this one is certainly a mature effort, kind of like an outstanding school project by the class genius, but with a definite post-adolescent edge. Some neat graphics and social commentary lies within the content, which is accessed by plugging into the various contacts of a big cannon-plug. The quirky "Alphabet Aerobics" rap tune is a total video clip packed into a tiny file for global consumption - and I'm starting to get a taste for this stuff.
Verdict: Can't wait for Project44 now. - SS
This tiny collective of four hard-working geeks, wants everyone to be able to build their own super-cool home pages without wasting months of their life searching the web for all the how-to tricks. They bring together an easily readable primer/resource for late-bloomers in Cyberspace to bone up on the nitty gritty and start building sites like the pros. From basic HTML, to search engines, graphic applications, JAVA and CGI, the site is clean and concise, but it needs a bit more content if it is going to really last. Maybe you know some stuff - why not email them and help out? This nation could do with a larger population.
Verdict: Bookmark this page - if you know how to. - SS
Four highly educated and motivated brothers have joined forces to bring what on the outset looks like a bit of a laugh, but upon further inspection is an extremely wise and ethical business venture - a web site to help you plan and manage the end of your life. A clever collection of fully interactive personal files, message centre, address book, filing cabinet and notification letters, allows you a lot of control over the complexities involved in departing such a sophisticated society as the one we live in. It is free, and a complete demo is offered to make everything perfectly clear. You may not be dying yet, but it's comforting to know that you've got everything sorted, thanks to the thought put in to this site.
Verdict: ...and to my ISP, I leave everything. - SS
The Final Curtain
And now, the end is near... so the song goes, but as you face your final curtain you don't really get to do it your way - ceremonies and rituals for funerals are on the whole very out of touch with modern life as we know it. After all, Ashes to Ashes is a song by "Faith No More" isn't it? You might want to go out in a giant PC Tower while Marilyn Manson chortles and the congregation plays Donkey Kong on their Game Boys. Now all this and more is possible, as The Final Curtain pushes for more open minded approaches to funeral direction, including leaving not just a creative tombstone, but a lasting tribute in the form of a web site, and time-share ash housing, to allow multiple resting places for wayward corpses.
Verdict: Making death larger than life. - SS
Jimi Hendrix Memorial Project
As an add-on to the main 'Jimi' site, his Dad has launched an appeal to raise funds to build a fitting memorial to the God of Guitar in Renton, Washington. The design is inspired by Jimi's beliefs, inimitable style and vitality. You'd think with the countless posthumous record releases, there would be enough money to pay for this baby, but it is an independent venture, allowing fans to directly contribute to the memorial's construction. Then they can all go and visit it and cover it with graffiti.
Verdict: Excuse me while I kiss the marble. - SS
The intention to subtly promote Tektronix Printers has turned into quite an impressive little on-line digital art gallery. Top-notch feature photographers are presented in four colour-coded sections, with snappy intro pages, leading to a multitude of clickable thumbnails of the entire selection. The pics are optimised for fast loading without compromising the splendour too much. There are exhibit notes, artist bios, product information and links, to help you join the swelling ranks of the digitally creative.
Verdict: Where the advert meets the art. - SS
Zing is new portal dedicated entirely to pictures. Amateurs, professionals and hobbyists alike are welcome to share the spirit of capturing the glorious images of life with digital cameras. They provide members with unlimited photo storage space in on-line albums, a photo directory, card-sending facilities, and a lively community, sharing the joys and the results of being snap-happy and web-savvy. With tips and techniques and some of their special viewing tools, your world will be ever more colourful as the gigabytes of R, G and B keep streaming on down the phone line.
Verdict: Something to Zing about. - SS
OS76 - Juxt Interactive (Flash)
A nice little piece of digital poetry, framed in an old Macintosh operating system, creator Todd Purgason fiddles around with his Flash generator to offer us his ideas on what inspires creativity. Roads, City and Nature... that's it? I think this lad needs to get out more. Driving to work past a park and a few shops isn't quite enough inspiration for me, however the Flash work is nifty, so he's definitely compensating for his limited real world experience with his computer up-time.
Verdict: Familiarity breeds intent. - SS
The Digital Landfill
It's about time someone created a dumping ground for all the trash that's out there in Cyberspace. Finally you can shred your unwanted web-sites through the amazing cyber-shredder and compost them right here. Maybe one day we will build an on-line Olympic Stadium on top of it all. When you are done, check out Potatoland's other pages - 'RIOT' - the multi-user browser, where three web sites come up at once(!), 'Graphic Jam' - visual jazz, the hypnotic 'ripple' and many other delightful time-wasters.
Verdict: What a load of rubbish! - SS
Starbucks definitely picked the wrong guy to give bad service to. After just completing a book about eastern religion and the benefits of western influence upon it, Jeremy Dorosin, a regular customer of Starbucks, was jilted once too often in a series of compounding encounters. This led to him take out ads in the Wall Street Journal, and ride the roller-coaster of media attention, while Starbucks made countless unsatisfactory attempts to resolve the matter. Now he is a 100% committed consumer rights advocate, fighting to bring corporations back to earth to service customers, rather than profit margins. Have you been 'Starbucked'? Join the crusade now.
Verdict: David, 1 - Goliath, 0 - SS
Indoor Air Quality in Museums
Just when you thought there couldn't be a more obscure web site topic out there, along comes this little ripper. The all important and often neglected factor of air pollutants and their effect on archives and museum pieces. I would have thought that a regular regiment of cleaning would be par for the course and do the trick just fine, but no, there are hidden factors to be thoroughly explored right here. The 'world' of air pollution and museums is holding conferences (of course), uncovering things such as the nine types of mould forming on a particular exhibit, caused by tourists' breathing! Egads! They should be shot!
Verdict: This site will definitely gather dust! - SS
Globe Time Viewer (Superscape 3D)
After clicking through a few pages of poetry about the majestic rotation of mother earth, the big countdown to the arbitrarily fixed time of Midnight Jan 1, 2000 begins. You are expected to sit at your computer for the full 24 hours and watch the virtual "dawn of the millennium" embracing the globe. For one thing, this happens every day, in case you didn't know, and for another, I'd say if you are that fascinated with clocks ticking over to nice round numbers, you'd be out sharing the joy with other humans. At least here you get some sense of the beauty of our faithful spinning sphere, while you click on eternally seeking the next awesomely inspiring web site - which the coming years are guaranteed to reveal.
Verdict: Wow, a computer screen with a picture on it! - SS
Etymologic - The Brain Twisting Etymology Game
The rules couldn't be much simpler, but the game is damn hard. Etymology is the study of the derivation of today's words. This multiple choice game offers three or four possible explanations of where a word originated, and you click away, stumbling and guessing and learning all the way. The choices have been so well written you can hardly guess the answers at all. As each correct answer is revealed along with your score, your etymological knowledge and vocabulary builds to masterful proportions.
Verdict: Splendiferous! - SS
RadioSpy (RadioSpy 1.0, MP3 Player)
The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Yes, after 50 years of domination of mass media by corporate giants, Radio Spy has turned the tables by allowing anyone at all to become their own radio station. A couple of nifty plug-ins and a hook up through their server and you are "King of the Web Waves"! This site is highly credible with some great features of big-name artists, reviews, interviews, news and contests. At the time of review there were 1,700 stations and this will only grow and grow with the infrastructure and slick coding these guys have in place. Anarchy is here and you're all invited to the riot. Of course there's a chat line for all the listeners as well.
Verdict: One huge 'Shout-Out' to the world. - SS
Town 24 (Flash)
What better way to look for the stuff you want on line than navigating through a cute cartoon town? The front page gives you a complete overview of the hamlet, with travel, health and fitness, insurance, shopping, - all up about two dozen options. Each one takes you to a specific locale to visit the various buildings which house standard web sites of the services you require. When bandwidth increases, no doubt this will be the cool way to navigate the web, but for now it's just a slow, albeit cute diversion that text-based searching beats hands down.
Verdict: Sufferin Succotash! The Web's gone all Cartoony! - SS
Here comes another ambitious high-bandwidth Shockwave search facility that promises to take web-surfing to a new dimension. An array of bubbly orbs making strange sci-fi sounds as you point to them, take you to a selection of categories filled with sites recommended by the editors (whoever they are). It is certainly a cool way to click around, but one wonders how they will manage millions of sites using this method. Just another small step towards the much-awaited broad-band Internet
Verdict: The rampant race for supremacy in the "groovy" search engine category. - SS
What is Snarg? I was hoping you could tell me. This is some seriously off-the-wall digital stuff. A kind of crazy organic link-creature that reveals more visual strangeness and audio intrigue with every prod until you are left wondering if you have unexpectedly been beamed to the wrong side of the galaxy while you were sipping on your hallucinogenic health-drink. When you are sufficiently mesmerised, go and add your thoughts on the ever-increasing and severely affected feedback facility.
Verdict: The walls are moving... what the snarg??... - SS
The Star Spangled Banner Web Site
At the Smithsonian Institute, a massive project is under way to preserve the original American Flag. This ain't no piece of cloth blowing up a flag pole - this is a massive banner that required teams of scientists just to unhook it from its display before the preservation procedures could begin. Backed by the standard manic American patriotism the flag inspires, this project is so involved it takes this mighty web site to tell the world all about it. And the banner itself - well after a couple of hundred years, it's not looking too healthy...
Verdict: Oh, say can you see the stains, rips and moth holes? - SS
As eastern Europe and Russia crumble under the relentless impact of capitalism, Media Vestnik has discovered the important role the press plays in these areas in providing information to, and giving a voice for the westerners who wish to move in, vulture-like to "develop" the affected areas. This site lists publications, selected articles and allows you to issue a press release in your desired area. It's good to know the local situation before you set up shop and Media Vestnik is here to keep you informed.
Verdict: The lines are open, and poverty-stricken workers are standing by to take your order. - SS
Net Worth: ***
Created in order to save the domain name from certain misuse, this little site is an apt home for the great train robber. His health is ailing, but that doesn't taint the colourful history that trails behind him. It is all detailed here, and there is a noticeboard where his old acquaintances have not forgotten their brush with the Biggs legend. This is the kind of guy who really deserves a home page - a man with a history - and here it is. Brief but fascinating.
Verdict: A new lease of notoriety C/- The Net. - SS
Here is official proof that the Internet is not a tool of Satan, as I'm sure you were all thinking. Yes it is also a tool of the Catholic Church, and allows you to buy top-of-the-range religious products and donate 25% of the sale price to the Church of your choice. Select from books, statues, bibles, crucifixes, rosaries, music, videos, t-shirts and more in this, God's own e-commerce-enabled on-line discount supermarket. No sign of a confessional or on-line communion, because it's not actually a Church. It is run by a "fundraising company" employed by the Church to increase revenue using whatever marketing tricks it had at it's disposal. Good strategy! And it helps the kiddies, too.
Verdict: Taking the collection plate to a whole new level. - SS
Decorated in delicate ancient stone, this pilgrimage into the towns where Jesus lived (Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem etc.,) provides an extensive historical perspective as well as a more current view of what is happening in the region. Up-coming events, on-line shopping, sight-seeing and virtual tours of the towns are here. A genuine attempt to focus everyone involved in this site, from the visitor to the linked businesses, to spread information about the Holy Land and share the joy that Christ, and the ancient stories surrounding his life, inspire.
Verdict: Holy web sites, Batman!!- SS
007 - The World is Not Enough
The latest Bond Movie is terrorising your local cinema, and if you want a full briefing about the crime, you'd better come to Bond HQ, right here. The promo clips, the theme song, the background, the production, cast and crew bios, are at your service. This is your standard movie promo these days - every flick has a web site, but James Bond has a strong enough history to make this a little more interesting. You follow a few links and find the Bond polling station, historical archives and more merchandise than your virtual shopping cart, and credit card can handle. You'll still probably get more bang for the buck on the big screen, no doubt.
Verdict: "It's Marketing, Website Marketing." - SS
If you are the kind of person that likes to be guaranteed of a little fresh e-mail in your box every day, this is the site for you. A search engine dedicated to finding as many e-mail mailing lists as possible for you to choose from. Each list is given a brief blurb and some even get the stamp of approval by becoming "Editors Choice". Instead of waiting for junk mail to arrive, why not choose the kind of stuff you want to hear about? From handy hints, business advice, computers, lifestyle, finance, news, jobs even lists especially for PDA's, Fidget gives you a great selection to ruffle through before plugging in to the e-mail newsletter phenomenon. If you run your own newsletter, how about adding it to the list?
Verdict: This spam tastes good! - SS
Roger Dean Gallery
I have waited years to finally find this artist has his own domain. The designer of many an album cover for bands such as Yes in the 70's Dean is a major talent from the mind-expanding 60's, who stretches his creations across canvasses and into the real world through building and product design. At the moment this site is set up mostly as a market for his prints and books. I hope there is more to come in the way of new projects and ventures. It's a case of bookmark and see.
Verdict: A small sample of artistic genius. - SS
A simple concept - we set up a web site, you select your favourite charity through our service, we send all the money to your charity. My question is... "why not just send the money directly?" I guess by using this web site, you might discover some listed charities you never knew existed. You can also list your own charity, if you have one. The idea is good, but it doesn't seem to capitalise enough on the power of the web to spread awareness and to build the network of people who give a damn. It's early days. With a bit of faith and hope...
Verdict: Wave the world's troubles good bye. - SS
What do you get when you pile four young college friends into a campervan and head off on a year-long trek across North America in search of adventure and opportunity to do good things along the way? Oh, yeah, and document it all on a web-site? You get this web site! A complete digital diary of the big adventure. It looks like a lot of fun, as you meet the participants, tour the van itself, and check out the diverse media they are creating on the fly. Get on the mailing list or e-mail them - maybe you can get them to run some errands for you on the way. This is the new breed of entertainment, combining the best of the web with the old fashioned formula of TV. Will you sit at your computer glued to this site? I doubt it. But do drop in from time to time - these crazy cats are bound to get up to mischief.
Verdict: It's just like sitting at your desk and not being there. - SS
PollCats Polls and Surveys
Here is a great way to spice up your web site with an attraction for your visitors and a bit of fun for everyone. Interscore provide a free poll service that you can modify to your heart's content through their site, and then add the finished questionnaire to your own home page. They provide a lot for free, and you can pay for licensed products, if your survey mania gets really out of control. Used correctly, polls can be very powerful tools, as the politicians know only too well. Now it's your turn.
Verdict: Conduct your own referendum. - SS
All Health Women's Virtual Check Up (Viscape 3D)
Created in 3D, this bionic woman shows you how to conduct a breast self-examination, check your osteoporosis risk factors, or look at your risk of heart disease. I wouldn't cancel my doctor's appointment yet, this is really more eye-candy than anything else, but it points the way to a time when maybe you will video-conference with your doctor, and he may guide you through the VR images so you can tell yourself how much longer you have to live.
Verdict: Doctor, I have this pain in my right mouse-button. - SS
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Yes, everything has a web site now, even a building that started being built in 1173. The famous tower has had a fascinating life, documented here in thousands of photographs and a whole lot of text, which is at present mostly in Italian. This puts a lot of our modern buildings to shame when you consider the 200 years it took to build, and the fact that it is still standing, while most of our great buildings have a life span of about 30 years before the land is cleared and redeveloped.
Verdict: A great web site with an historical architectural leaning. - SS
Mollys Yes (Flash)
In the old days, to succeed as a band you had to be good musicians and write good songs. Now, if you wrap your musicianship in a cocoon of cool imagery and multimedia, you might just get away with not having to be such great artists. Mollys Yes have realised this, and they are living the illusion of being pop stars just by gigging and having a hot web site. You get everything here, pretentious photos, whacky interviews, MTV-style mouse-overs and fan-chat zone, but when you download the MUSIC, you get an average sounding 80's cover band rewriting Duran Duran songs. Damn good site, though, and by the sounds of it, the pub gigs are mighty lively. Rock on dudes!
Verdict: When the messenger (web site) looks so good, who cares about the message? - SS
BMW Z8 James Bond Mission (Flash)
This is a perfect marriage of entertainment and marketing, as men the world over are given the chance to live the dream of being a fictional character in a world full of beautiful women and evil megalomaniacs. James Bond drives a real car that you can now own and here is the virtual experience to push you one step closer to mortgaging your house to get it. A 9 Meg download "training" program to fill you in on the Z8's amazing features, and carry out the bond mission in the evasive action game. I must admit it felt good blowing up that damned helicopter! After checking the car's specs, I'm having Q build one for me immediately, in my next life.
Verdict: "The name's 'Double-U, B, M Double-U'". - SS
Net Worth: ****
Got nothing on today? Well why not fill your timetable with Globz? A collection of cute critters living insane existences inside the Flash Code. Check out the madcap dancer, who's getting all funky to the click of your mouse, change backgrounds just for fun and help the microbe navigate his way through the maze of blobs. I'm getting hooked on this stuff already. I can feel the bugs crawling under my skin. Somebody help me! What's it all about? Well, the idea is that you put these creatures on your web site and cough up a licence fee for the privilege of destroying the brains of your visitors. They'll even breed new babies from scratch.
Verdict: When it's time to get a life, get Globz. - SS
Crown Of Africa (Flash)
If it wasn't for that Toto song, I'd have never known anything about Mt Kilimanjaro. Now I can make up for my ignorance by exploring the amazing "Everyman's Everest". Almost like a documentary, this site begins with the African drumbeats and a bit of poetry as you are shown a zooming photo of the peak itself. Then it's into the full site, an awesome discovery tour with aerial shots, biology, routes, history, and then info on how to arrange your own attempt to conquer the beast. Step 1 - get a complete physical, as 10 people a year die trying to climb this baby. The use of photographs and voiceovers within this site is very effective. Cinematic even.
Verdict: Toto would be proud. - SS
Hub Interactive (Flash)
Yet another hip and happening multi-media company selling it's creativity in a slickly packaged Flash site. These things are getting better and better as the staff go off on Macromedia training courses funded by the last batch of client commissions. This quasi-mechanical life-like tour of buttons, menus and zooming orbs is pushing us ever closer to broadband heaven, where our entire life will be a screen-based interactive trip through the imagination of dudes like this. Verdict: It all revolves around the talent. - SS
Who's Alive and Who's Dead
We've all been there. Sitting around the dinner table talking about some movie we saw a few years back, and trying to remember the name of one of the actors who played the bit part. Someone gets the name, and then everyone asks "is he alive or dead?" You don't know because you are not sure if the last time you saw him on Dave Letterman, whether it was a repeat or not. Media stars blur the distinction between existence and non-existence by staying in the biz through video tape and re-runs. Finally, a site to answer all your questions. Every time a celebrity dies, it is announced on the front page and they are given a tombstone in the master list, which contains category, age, status, and date of death. Quite fascinating really. All those celebs sitting there knowing that one day, that gravestone will appear for them.
Verdict: I'm completely mortified! - SS
This is a great idea. A place where you can go to ask any question you like from real live people who claim to know what they are talking about. A collective super-brain to guide the less enlightened through the confusion of life. Using their special software, any problem from stain removal to divorce can be fielded by a self-proclaimed but approved expert in the field, who can amazingly use your mouse and draw on your screen to help elucidate their point. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse for anything - you should have consulted an expert!
Verdict: A very clever way to use the power of the internet. - SS
The M & G ISA-Challenge
After conquering the North Pole a couple of years ago, this all-woman adventure team is hitting the South Pole with more thirst for excitement than ever. Coming from all walks of life, the CWA from hell is documenting an adventurer's world first. Both poles - all female team. Why? Because the male support crew are really good! (hehe) And the women are determined. Sounds like a successful marriage of purpose. They'll be tucked up at home in bed in London before you read this, but the web site and the next plan will still be there.
Verdict: I'm dreaming of a frostbite Christmas. - SS
New Deal - Smart Software
Throw away your Pentiums! It's time to rush back down to the garbage tip and recover all those 286's. New Deal have created the ultimate software packages for buffoons and morons to take the evolution out of the computer industry and make do with what we had 10 years ago. With their New Deal Office, Web Suite and School Suite packages 640K Ram and 10Meg HD is all you need! I don't know how they are doing it, since some plug-ins these days are up in the gigabyte scale. Somehow they have written up some streamlined code to allow enough functionality to satisfy Gypies, Tribal Elders and Bhuddist Monks.
Verdict: The De-evolution is here. - SS
Tommy Hilfiger (Flash)
In a very short time, Tommy has gone from being a small time sock maker to a world-famous fashion mogul, harnessing the power of product licensing and cross promotion to incredibly successful ends. This site is the company home. The image is clear - young, sexy, confident - and the site is a real treat to navigate with plenty of pop-up menus and mouse over action. Teaming up with artists and sport stars like Britney, Jewel and team Ferrari ensure mass acceptance of the brand name, and the product line just gets bigger and bigger, making Tommy more famous than all of them.
Verdict: I feel sexier already - just clicking through the site! - SS
M$ - Monopoly
Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to create an online monopoly board completely based around Bill Gates and Microsoft. Each position has a pop up window detailing some aspect of MS business. All in good fun, this satire is bound to raise a few chuckles. It even has the facility for you to contribute your own ideas to the game, by adding cards and modifying positions. The world has been waiting for this site for quite some time now, and now the courts agree, these guys can't even be sued!
Verdict: If this site gets any more successful, Bill's going to buy it. - SS
Enlightenment With a Vengeance
Are you tired of all the messiahs that keep getting persecuted and crucified for spreading the good news around? Well it's time to fight back. Ewav proposes that the time has come for son's of God everywhere to start kicking butt. Scott Christensen (note the surname) provides us with his marathon road trip to discovery, filled with hilarious observational humour and plenty of attempts to explain the mysteries of modern life. A nice way to take a holiday - travel America, write about it and whack it on your web site. Unlike a lot of sites like this, Scott actually has a talent for writing.
Verdict: The messiah strikes back. - SS
Las Vegas Strip History
Although this site doesn’t come close to matching the Razzamatazz of Vegas, it provides a very comprehensive look at the phenomenal growth of this casino city. Ever since Thomas E Hull drove through the area thinking it was so hot he'd love to jump into a pool - so he built one - Vegas has taken on a life of it's own and it's all documented here. The deals, the big shots, the movie stars, the money, the tackiness.
Verdict: Viva this Web Site! - SS
Googie Architecture On Line
A wonderful tribute to the 1950's/early 1960's trend towards designing a space-age world where every building looked like it was straight out of the Jetsons. The space race was on and the world was gripped with science fiction fever. A wonderful collection of weird and whacky designs that for some reason faded into obscurity… they actually look pretty cool. Maybe it's time for a comeback. This web site is doing its best to promote the cause. Certainly beats brick and tile square suburban boxes.
Verdict: Googie wonderland. - SS
A Century Of Physics
The 1900's were certainly the most event-filled years of human history. It all stemmed from scientific understanding - electricity, atomic science, mechanics - all our advances were made by the rapid falling into place of knowledge. Here the entire century is mapped out on a time line showing just how many and how dramatic the discoveries and breakthroughs were.