Twinkle, twinkle Ken Starr
By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 21, 1998
ast week was a good one for the Net: Cuddly Ken Starr released his report, and within hours it was placed on governmental Web servers for all to see. Within minutes it was mirrored to other Web servers. While there were large spikes in traffic, the Internet didn't collapse or brown out under the strain. Could it be that we've cottoned on to the idea it's a "serious" medium for information delivery? I think so.
This week's longest URL leads to Wired.com and to a great article from reporter Jon Katz. Jon is one of those guys who must be an editor's dream (unlike yours truly), as he consistently puts out a vast quantity of quality words and spaces. Sure, the words are more enjoyable than the spaces, but without one, you can't have the other. Now that the stories of Bill and Monica are revving up, this pre-Starr report missive from Katz makes wonderful reading and accurately reflects the views of those with whom I have broached The Topic.
Ah yes, digital PDA gizmos such as the Palm Pilot. You either love the organization and simplicity they bring to your life or you wallow in piles of yellow sticky notes. To mangle Patrick Henry, give me technology or give me, um, something else. Should you be of the pocket doodad persuasion, Scott Andress' Digital Concepts page offers a glimpse of what might become the future. The graphics are phenomenal. A little Palm Pilot-centric, but considering the sheer volume of Pilots out there, all is forgiven.
Cast your mind back a few months (or look it up in your PDA) to the Bad Day video clip that was making the e-mail rounds -- the one where a large gentleman clobbered his computer with his keyboard supposedly to vent frustration. Well, the whole thing was a hoax but still quite enjoyable. If you got a kick out of it, you surely will enjoy this page that details how to really take it out on your miscreant PC. Hard hat required.
Facts! Figures! Trivia! My goodness, this site has everything. If you have ever been behind distracted parents in a store and listened to the rubbish some of them tell their kids to keep them quiet, you may wish you could have little cards with this URL printed on them. Or maybe you'd wish for carts with built-in Net access terminals like I do. We would not only end up with smarter kids but also with more broken limbs as hurried shoppers smash into those info-grazing. Viva mail order and it's is off to Infoplease.com with you.
All hail Ambrose Bierce, the patron(izing) saint of cynics. Ambrose authored the Devil's Dictionary, a turn-of-the-century humorous reference for the culturally disgruntled that doesn't have anything to do with Satanism, despite its title. Revel in gems such as "Nepotism: n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party." How could you not be entertained? It's a one-page document weighing in at a mighty 400k. Be patient. It's worth the wait.