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1997 Lost in Cyberspace Archives

copyright 1997 by H.B. Koplowitz, all rights reserved.

1. Cybersex and AOL 8/97
When America Online <> began offering a flat fee for unlimited use a year ago, it seemed like a win-win-win situation. Subscribers would pay less for unlimited service, advertisers would gain millions more online customers, and AOL would reap the profits. But there was one factor the company overlooked: Cybersex.

2. The Beat Goes Online 8/97
Poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs were seminal figures of the beat generation. Both died of heart attacks earlier this year. But their legacy lives online in the Web pages of beatnik aficionados.

3. Elvis Online 8/97
He may have sold a billion records and starred in 33 movies. His musical blending of blues, gospel and hillbilly may have popularized, if not created, rock and roll. And his swiveling hips may have done as much to usher in a social and sexual revolution as pot and the pill. But on the 20th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, cyberspace commemorated the King of Rock and Roll mostly with Elvis sightings, Elvis impersonators, and, of course, Elvis merchandising.

4. Cyberchat 9/97
As I write this column, I am having a private online conversation with a friend. Only I'm not signed on to America Online or in some Web-based chat room. Rather, I am using a simple, free, stand-alone instant messaging software application, the latest conspiracy by the computer industrial complex to turn us all into cybersluts.

5. Princess Di Online 9/97
The mainstream media consensus is that the whole world is mourning the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. But on the unfiltered Internet, emotions amongst the cyber commoners are decidedly mixed. Equal venom is being spewed at the "stalkarazzi" and the "people's princess," and, as always, at each other.

6. 9/97
Once upon a time -- just a couple of years ago, in fact -- there was a place on the Internet where people with unusual and sometimes unspeakable fetishes could find each other. Where personal ads were placed for sex with animals, or stuffed animals, and others indulged their secret obsessions with spanking, chloroform, even robots.

7. Guerilla Filmmaking Online 9/97
Ken Tipton wants to make it in Hollywood. With persistence, and creative marketing on the World Wide Web, the 44-year-old entrepreneur turned actor, writer, producer and director, just might.

8. Star Dreck 10/97
I try to avoid reviewing "official" Web sites. But how can I expect trade-outs, comps and other perks unless I suck up to promoters? So here's some Web sites I have been "encouraged" to review. Warning: Some of the following may have been taken verbatim from press releases.

9. Cyber Bar 10/97
Billboard Live, a hot new nightclub on the  Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, aspires to be a watering hole for music  moguls and a launch pad for upcoming bands. It's got all the right amenities -- bar, restaurant,  entertainment, dance floor, and a members only club in the basement. It's also got enough high tech  gadgetry to give new meaning to "cyber bar."

10. Streaming Video 10/97
While typing these words into my computer, I’m watching astronauts aboard the Russian spacecraft Mir give a press conference. The image on my computer screen is tiny, blurred and jerky, and the sound fades in and out. Still, I’m able to see and hear a live feed from outer space on my home computer. What makes this possible is a new technology called “streaming” audio and video, and NASA TV is but one of the kewl ways pioneers have been using this new medium.

11. High Tech Hate 11/97
According to the Anti-Defamation League, "hate sites" are expanding on the Internet. The ADL says more KKK, anti-government militias, Holocaust deniers and other "hate and extremist" groups are going online "to recruit and propagandize, especially targeting youth." But most hate sites are pretty lame.

12. Colleges Online 11/97
Applying to college keeps getting easier, as higher education takes the competition for students into cyberspace.

13. Cyber Thanksgiving 11/97
For Native Americans, Thanksgiving is kind of like Woodstock, i.e., the last time they experienced three days of peace and love with whitey. Here's several Turkey Day Web sites that separate Thanksgiving facts from fiction.

14. El Nino El Schnino 11/07
As the 1997-98 version of El Nino threatens to become the Comet Kahoutek of global weather phenomenon, it's having a similar impact in cyberspace. There are more than 800 El Nino Southern Oscillation or "ENSO" Web sites. But so far they aren't making many waves either.

15. Worst of the Web 12/97
"Harsh Site of the Day" claims links to "funny, offbeat and sometimes bizarre"  websites. The sites are nominated by visitors, and I must admit, this Worst of the Web collection may  well be.

16. Consider a Mac 12/97
For entertainment, education, desktop publishing, surfing the net and a lot of other activities, the Macintosh computer is simpler, easier and more fun to use. Period.

17. Cyber Bingo 12/97
Aunt Alice always loved bingo. Bingo at the club, bingo at the hall, bingo at family gatherings. Now  that Aunt Alice is older, she doesn't get out as much. But at a website called "Gamesville,"  she could play bingo 18 hours a day if she wanted, without leaving home.

18. All Things Titanic 12/29/97
At least James Cameron's movie "Titanic" hasn't spawned an avalanche of merchandising -- no McDonald's boats that sink in your bathtub. But it has revived an interest in all things Titanic, and there are plenty of Titanic-related resources on computer.

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