EVENT OF THE MONTH
The Net returns to the airwaves at 11.15pm on 13 January on BBC2. Now in its third series, this magazine-style programme about computers and digital culture promises even more for technology-hungry viewers. Benjamin Wooley and new presenter Fenella George offer an exciting mix of news, reviews, predictions and investigations into the cultural impact of digital technology. The first programme, entitled Space, looks into how the world seems to have shrunk as a result of our increasing use of digital communications.
It also investigates the arrival in the UK of Internet access via satellite, and asks about its real benefits. Audience participation has been expanded with an online magazine and an interactive research project, called The Mirror, where registered viewers enter graphical worlds and communicate with each other and play games.
Event: The Net
Contact: email - [email protected] The Mirror is available on www.bbc.co.uk/the_net
IT WEB SITE OF THE MONTH
Hyperstand is our IT Web site of the month. It is an online version of the US-based New Media Magazine, but offers so much more besides. It is aimed at professional Web and multimedia developers who want information at their fingertips. Split into several sections, the site covers news on events, products, reviews and developments. Today's News provides a daily update of all the latest launches and companies. Here, you can also delve into the archives for past developments. In Daily Download, an expert recommends the best Internet utilities, such as plug-ins, that will improve the way you use the Web. There is a section called Sound Off which features rants and raves from the magazine's editors and contributors. Radio Hyperstand features audio clips of presentations from industry figures. To round it all off, there is April One: The Soap Opera. This is a compelling online story about a multimedia publishing company which, believe it or not, started out as an April Fool.
IT Web site: Hyperstand
BOOK OF THE MONTH
On 12 January 1997 in Urbana, Illinois, HAL will be born. This will be a special day in the history of computers, and the main reason for this book. The HAL 9000 computer is the creation of Arthur C Clarke in his infamous novel and film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The 1960's book is remembered not for the futuristic space travel it describes, but for the ship's all-powerful computer. The volume discusses HAL's unquestionable influence on the development of the silicon world. Each chapter is written by an expert, and based on different aspects of HAL's fictional capabilities.
Clarke himself writes an introduction, outlining his reasons for creating Hal, and recounting stories of how the book made it to the big screen.
HAL's Legacy covers computer ethics and chip design. It is an interesting read on various levels, whether you are a techie, Trekkie, or you just want to know once and for all why Hal wouldn't open the pod bay doors.
Book: HAL's Legacy
Contact: The MIT Press on 0171 306 0603
CD-ROM OF THE MONTH
It's what all lovers of good food and fine wines have been waiting for - a CD-ROM version of the well-established printed guide to the best hotels and restaurants in the UK. By combining the reputation of the Egon Ronay guides with multimedia technology, it is now even easier to find out information on 3,200 top-rated hotels and restaurants. You can search for the ideal place by location, price, type of accommodation, cuisine, and whether you can bring your dog or arrange a rowdy office party. More discerning business travellers can look for hotels according to architecture and ambience. As an added attraction, there is a link to the Egon Ronay Internet site where you can look at frequently-updated hotel and restaurant reviews and take a tour of their facilities.
CD-ROM: Egon Ronay's VISA Guide to Hotels and Restaurants 1997
Contact: Koch Media on 01420 541880
BUSINESS WEB SITE OF THE MONTH
European Business News Interactive is the ideal site for executives who need up-to-the-minute information on all the latest business news and share prices. This UK-based site with a European spin, makes a refreshing change from many of the best business information pages which are dominated by US news and share prices. EBN knows its EMUs from its Ecus, and never forgets that Wall Street is not the be-all and end-all of the financial world. As well as providing four updates an hour on 19 of the world's key stock markets, bond markets, currency and commodities exchanges, EBN Interactive provides news on the important business stories of the day.
The site also has daily features which provide users with detailed information on topical issues and popular subject areas. There's even an excellent fantasy share portfolio game using 3D VRML technology. Well designed and easy to navigate, this site is great fun to read.
Business Web site: European Business News Interactive Contact: www.ebn.co.uk.
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