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By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published August 9, 1999
The whizzy new cable modem that is sitting in my office has my mind spinning about PCs and other devices that are always available and connected to the Network of Networks. I did my research before signing up for cable and went with one that gives me a static IP address -- it doesn't randomly change as some cable systems do. This opens the door for all kinds of interesting things I can host on my home machines: innocent things such as a camera to see what Kitty's up to when I can't be there and useful things such as e-mail and paging when the alarm system trips. Enriched with technology such as that described at AllNetDevices, I have a wireless, always-on link between home sweet home and the big bad world. Who said the '90s aren't interesting?
A community with a twist
This is hardly a new concept -- places such as Slashdot (www.slashdot.org) and the Well (www.well.com) have been doing this kind of thing for ages. But, like Slashdot, the News for Nerds site, KnowPost has a community rating system. Posts are marked up or down by the users -- the dross drifts to the bottom while the cream rises to the top. One day all news media will be like this. In the meantime, it is Joe Average's posts that are being rated. Watch out Dan Rather. Topics range from Business and Arts to Sports and, of course, a healthy dose of computer stuff.
Oh the irony
I was searching for something interesting that would comment on the Woodstock riots, something powerful that would convey the rage of being young and something to which the over-30 set could relate. Instead I came up with this little gem: a Woodstock credit card. While Woodstock is hardly the last icon of free thought, the plastic speaks volumes about the state we are in and the abandonment Generation X feels. Rioting is no excuse for being disenfranchised, but sad and embarrassing boomer credit cards, for heaven's sake? Give me a break.
A twist on the dating game
Introductions from friends, meeting at church, reputable dating agencies and even singles bars had better watch out when this powerful message hits the bumper stickers of America's singles. Why take the rational way to true love when you can put phrases such as "Honk now, talk later!" above your e-mail address and slap it on your car's rear?
So how do you rate?
Someday all new business ideas will be based on Wired magazine's (www.wired.com) Jargon Watch list. I remember reading about Ego Surfing -- typing your name into a search engine to see how many times it comes up -- quite a while ago. Budding Net studs rejoice! Ego Surf has taken the drudge work out of looking for your online self and created a search engine just for you. More time to primp and preen in front of the mirror is a wonderful thing.
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