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Site-seeing: Self-induced 'Truman Show'

By JULES ALLEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 8, 1999


http://www.IcePick.com

This one raised its amusing head a few months ago. Before I got chance to make a note of it, I was distracted by a barking dog, or something like that. Sometimes I have to wonder if the hypertext nature of the Web has done my powers of concentration any good. What were we talking about again? So, IcePick.com is a home automation experiment gone wild: A person from the Netherlands has hooked his fridge, doorbell, phone, trash can and his cat, Blackie, to the Net for the whole planet to ogle. Why ask why?

Mockett to 'em

http://www.mockett.com

Should the winds of Lottery riches ever blow my way and should I get bored with all the martinis, I'll take a crack at coming up with functional yet really cool computer gizmos like Doug Mockett does. Sure, anybody can take a stab at designing a keyboard holder, but it takes a minor stroke of genius to come up with the Contraption or the Desktop Power Grommet. Maybe I'll suggest Mockett come up with a gizmo that'll allow me to stack piles of papers and magazines at least twice as high as they are now. A tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind.

Web Authoring 101

http://www.gettingstarted.net

It is a brave soul who puts up a basic Web how-to site these days. You can throw a brick in any restaurant and stand a good chance of beaning an author of something similar. But the more I dug into Getting Started, the more I realized that this was really well-explained, accurate stuff. It is also fully up to date with the latest standards, which can't be said of many of the stale, cob-Web tutorial sites.

Eye candy

http://www.os-web.com/in-depth/

I'm a sucker for gorgeous graphics and all things to do with eye candy. If you share the same fetish, In Depth is your kind of bandwidth-sucking site because pretty things abound. There are plenty of desktop background images, and the site promises a screen saver section soon. No plug-ins required, but a screen resolution of 800x600 and a fast connection are recommended.

Mr. 20 Percent

http://www.Amazon.com

So, farewell then, 20 percent discount at Barnes and Noble. It seems the bricks-and-mortar division of the 800-pound bookselling giant has discontinued the on-the-spot discount when the corporate American Express card was presented. The nice person who helped me pay an extra $7.99 for my book said the new policy was very unpopular with customers, such as myself, who were used to the discount. Such a shame -- they've just removed the only reason I don't buy all my books online.

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