Heres to the New
By Brad Ross
The internet and the rest of technology that surrounds
us, is still in its infancy. Looking forward and back can be a fascinating
The Internet is not unlike the wheel in its
R&D stages. Cave dwellers knew they were onto something, and through grunts and a
simultaneous quest for fire, they discovered that, perhaps if they rounded the edges this
wheel thing might be made a tad more effective.
The grunting continues on the net-front today. Fire has pretty well been
fine-tuned, but those darn rough edges of the net still abound.
The web, and the technology that supports and delivers it, is truly mind-boggling. Some
of us are so overwhelmed or averse to it, that theyve simply abandoned it for
now. Others, of course, embrace technology and what it holds for the future.
The web sites reviewed below are all interesting, educational and fun. As we approach
the pivotal Year 2000, the Y2K bug is front and centre. While its unlikely to be
technologys downfall, all eyes will be on computers of various ages and complexities
as internal clocks click over on December 31.
The dawn of the new millennium is a celebration and Ontario is celebrating in many fun
and exciting ways. The future also holds out great hope and promise, as eyes are cast to
the stars and the unending quest for more knowledge. Then there are the Luddites. Believe
it or not, they have a web site.
As 1999 draws to a close, the phrase "Y2K"
will permeate every media outlet, utility bill insert and after-dinner discussion. This
web site, or web page rather, provides an excellent primer on what the Y2K bug is all
about and what is being done to ensure our tech-dependent lives dont grind to a halt
at one second past midnight.
The irony of this sites very existence is sweet
indeed. It takes a run at technology and those who embrace it. As the site declares,
"Our user-friendly graphic interface allows you to discuss strategies for undermining
the growing cybourgeoisie and explore luddite-related links on the hated Internet. We even
have t-shirts (printed by hand of course)." The underpinning of the site, of course,
is to simply let people know that not everyone is wedded to technology and that life does,
indeed, go on without it. Fun and informative.
Celebrations abound all over the world as we pass into
a new millennium. In Ontario, much is being done to ring in the future not just on
December 31, but throughout 1999 and 2000. Truly interactive, this site is great fun for
children and adults alike, with quizzes and events throughout the province. The site also
includes an opportunity to submit names of those whose lives have spanned three centuries
NASA Human Spaceflight
What net column about the future would be
complete without a reference to NASA? Information, images and the always-enjoyable
artists renditions make this particular NASA site more than eye candy it also
excellent educational value. For example, research on life sciences, earth sciences and
space science are discussed in detail.
This is Brad Rosss final NetWatch column. Brad is now manager of public
relations for a Toronto high-tech firm specializing in web-based business solutions. We
wish him all the best in his new endeavours.