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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2000

Search me

The problem of indexing the Web isn't just something for the big boys to worry about. Before you know it, a small Web site can become a medium-size one, and organizing the content so even the owner can navigate it becomes a chore. If that's the case, imagine how your users feel. It's Atomz to the rescue. For sites that are 500 or fewer pages, you can get a free search engine. The search results are customizable, so it will look like your site. The only requirement is that you include Atomz's "powered by" logo somewhere on the results page. The most useful feature might be the reports that show you what people are looking for. Based on those phrases, you can weight pages on your site so they show up first. Very, very cool.

Tourism in space

If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, there's a good chance that you could shovel a heap of it in the direction of MirCorp and get yourself the vacation of a lifetime. According to CNN, a non-scientist customer is hoping to spend $15-million to get into orbit. Providing the repair crew on the Russian space station doesn't run out of duct tape and chewing gum, that is. If you're a financial mortal, space travel probably is out of the question during your lifetime, so take your laptop up a tree and enjoy this site.

Elvis and exploding computers?

And you thought tech stocks were the only explosive thing in your world. From the folks who often report Elvis sightings, we have this item, which I suppose you'll surely get from someone by e-mail and will be able to laugh it off. The premise is that through software, a skilled virus writer can create code that will turn your computer's processor into a bomb and make it detonate. I hope this is an April Fool's joke that doesn't get pulled from the site. Should there be a documented case of this happening in the next five years, I'll Buy and serve my editor's lunches for an entire week.

Birds-eye view

A few years ago, digital cameras hooked to Web sites burst onto the scene, giving us peeks at everything from city scapes to aquariums. Some, such as the semifamous Jenni-Cam, put cameras in their personal living space and broadcast unexpurgated segments of real life (some of that is going on in the Tampa Bay area). It was vicarious entertainment for those missing a life of their own. The cam novelty has worn off but occasionally a real attention-getter pops up, such as this one. I'm not really a nature buff, but I can't keep my eyes away from watching these falcons in their nest atop the Kodak building in Rochester, N.Y. As I write, the female is incubating the three eggs and surely the chicks will hatch soon. Maybe I need a life of my own, too.

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