After the storm
By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 5, 1998
irst Interngate, then Georges. I don't know about you, but I hit the Web more than I hit the TV's channel changer looking for weather information. Internet Relay Chat rooms were buzzing with info on where you could get water and plywood. Now we are all stocked up. Let's hope we will never need any of it.
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Yes, I am a nerd. I got bullied in the school yard, was a member of the computer club, knew how all the AV equipment worked, wore polyester and so on and so forth. But I never realized just how nerdy I still am until I took the Nerdity Test. There are many versions of this test floating around via e-mail and Web pages. But this one is my favorite, as it gives the answers to most of the questions and grades you. I printed my grade out and plan to have a T-shirt made from it. You can never have too many work shirts.
This one was sent to me by a female friend. It is intended to be a resource for women who need information or have questions about ob-gyn exams. Men might benefit as well. For example, this could also be a great site if you are a single dad with newly minted teenagers and all of their questions ahead. Phew. Sorry about all this new man stuff. I think I'll go change the oil in my car and cut down a tree now
While I am in this rare mode where I think of others rather than myself and my stomach, here is a good launch site for kids. Sure, there are impersonal sites like Yahooligans (yahooligans.yahoo.com/) and others, but they lack the charm of Barbara Feldman's Surfing the Net With Kids. It is updated once a week and there is an e-mail edition for the terminally lazy. Sit down with your kids when they click around the Internet and nobody would need nannyware like Surf Watch (www.surfwatch.com/)
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Talking of Surf Watch, you may remember the now deceased Communications Decency Act. While its keep-kids-away-from-porn intentions were coming from the right place, it was a prime example of the tail wagging the dog. It was rendered unconstitutional. But this is America! Let's pass laws to ban online porn, yet allow online porn such as the soft-core tripe that made up much of the Starr report. Here is a list of your representatives who think they can have their cake and eat it too.
Been living in a box somewhere? Then you won't have noticed that online auctions have gone from being quite interesting to being massive, Web-based money machines. The recent IPO eBay has made its 31-year-old founder very rich. Not Bill Gates rich but I bet he could lend you $20 on Monday and still have enough lunch money for the rest of the week. So now Yahoo decides to get in on the act in a similar fashion to eBay (www.ebay.com/). I really like Yahoo's interface, and the search engine is blindingly fast. It is another high-traffic site to get rid of that extra stuff you don't need anymore