Are you feeling miserable? There4me is ready
to offer help and confidential advice, with an Ask Sam column (an agony
aunt), a message board, and even some playable Shockwave games. The site
was launched yesterday by the NSPCC, and focuses on problems such as
abuse, bullying, drugs, and health and family worries.
I would certainly score highly in the Dereliction of
Duty category: sorry to say that for the nth year running, I forgot all
about the Sexiest Geek Alive contest. The pageant was held in Austin,
Texas, on March 12, and Chad Briggs carried off the prize. The site's
photo gallery has everything you need.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art now has a
well-stocked gallery devoted to net art. They all seem to be external
links, so the response times are somewhat variable. So is the quality,
which is hardly surprising, because everything submitted was accepted, and
works are ordered according to when they arrived. Actually, a lot of net
art exhibitions look as though they are produced that way, but this time
it's a feature.
Is this the world's first online graffiti
competition? It is almost certainly the first online graffiti site devoted
to promoting a computer game. Hints: you need to log in inside the cabin
then go outside to spray. New version of Shockwave probably required.
Flash 99% Good (a title that seems to be missing
a decimal point) is a site developed to promote a book about good web
design. It fails right out of the browser. It is no surprise that users
cannot vary the size of the type, and setting Internet Explorer's
Accessibility Options has no effect at all. Throw in a few stupid tricks -
for example, floating pop-up menus that pointlessly repeat text already on
the screen, rather than doing the simple thing and underlining links - and
you have yet another annoying Flash site, even if it is not as dumb as
most. The site's line drawings are a bit of a giveaway: they show people
being given urgent medical attention. Instead of patching up bad websites,
why not avoid injury by designing them properly in the first place?
If you happen to bump into a creationist when you
don't have Richard Dawkins and a carrier bag of BBC documentaries to hand,
you could do worse than point them to Becoming Human. It provides what
looks like a comprehensive guide to human evolution, presented by The
Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. It's a tricksy
Flash 5 website with a slick design of the sort that is eminently suitable
for a multimedia CD-Rom. However, a fast Pentium 4 machine with lots of
memory and a good broadband internet connection comes close enough to
reproducing the same effects as a 27p disc. A smarter operation would just
offer the programme as one a huge file so users could download it
overnight and burn one themselves.
At last, after all this time, Google is finally
offering a specialist search service for Microsoft-oriented websites. It
has had a Mac-specific search offering for more than two years, and the
Linux-specific version goes back to the dawn of time (May 1998). You can
find links to the topic-specific search pages at the bottom of the
Advanced Search page. Google-doodle collectors should make sure they don't
overlook these different designs.