TRAVEL WEB SITE SHENANIGANS

I had to chuckle (to avoid crying) reading this article about the squabbles between Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia. At first, you’ll be sympathetic to the claims that Orbitz is competing unfairly by obtaining lower prices from its airline owners than are available to Travelocity and Expedia. But keep reading, and it becomes obvious that all three are would-be monopolists who have no interest in consumers, except to figure out the most effective ways to pick our pockets. […] continued

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POP-UP DOWNLOADS

You’re familiar with pop-up ads – the windows that appear spontaneously when you visit many web sites. Are you ready for pop-up downloads? Watch for a box to appear asking you to confirm a download, when you don’t recall asking to download anything. (Sometimes the download box is hidden in a blizzard of other pop-up ads.) […] continued

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U.S. GOVERNMENT WEB SITE

The U.S. government has reworked www.firstgov.gov. It’s meant to be the entry point for all web resources related to the federal government, as well as providing links to state governments and agencies. The government has spent gazillions of dollars organizing the site and trying to make it easy to navigate. […] continued

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WHALE SONGS

Here’s a web site where you can listen live to whales singing and talking, through a hydrophone suspended in the water off the coast of Maui. Best listening times are from 1-9am Pacific time, and it requires RealPlayer. The whales are particularly vocal during the full moon. Very cool!

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MOVIE REVIEWS

If you’re wondering whether Roger Ebert’s tepid review of Lord Of The Rings is typical (it’s not), or if everybody agrees that The Majestic is irredeemably sappy (they do), there’s two sites that give easy access to movie reviews.

The Internet Movie Database is enormous, a mind-boggling reference library on film. […] continued

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DUTTON-GOLDFIELD WINEGROWERS

Take a look at the web site for Dutton-Goldfield, Russian River Valley Winegrowers. The opening graphic is one of the most effective introductions to a web site that I’ve seen – it communicates an enormous amount in ten seconds or so. Oh, and they make wonderful wine, too.

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NET ADVERTISING

Ready for the Internet to get more annoying? Watch for several changes in advertising on the web. A number of sites have been experimenting with bigger advertisements, taking up more of the onscreen area. Another kind of ad will be widespread soon – advertisements that play when you click on a link, preventing you from seeing that link for fifteen or twenty seconds. […] continued

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SHRINKING INTERNET

The Internet is turning into just another broadcast medium – a limited number of channels controlled by big companies, designed to maximize revenues to copyright holders and megacorporations. And we’re facilitating the takeover.

A thought-provoking and disturbing study shows that the Internet is shrinking, collapsing in on itself. Here’s some statistics:

  • More than half of all time spent online centers around the web sites run by four companies – AOL Time Warner, Yahoo!,
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LINKS TO PUNDITS

A new addition to the Favorites page (under News / Links): Slate links, a collection of links to hundreds of political columnists, editorial pages, movie critics, book reviewers, gossip writers, and others.

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