Network: Web Sites - Try jamming live with Dave Stewart live

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The Independent Culture
Sly-fi network

"Renaissance man" is too old-fashioned a description of Dave Stewart, suggests the online bio: "millennium man" might be more appropriate. The artist seems happier with the slightly more modest "cultural engineer" and is content to call his revamped site a "multi-media playground". Tomorrow's official launch sees various frolics including a live webcast and the first episode of SlyTV, a home movie collage featuring lengthy footage of his mate Dylan wandering around Camden Town, as well as Lou Reed, Natalie Imbruglia, Jon Bon Jovi and others. En route to buying, or downloading, the new album, viewers will get the chance to win a trip to swinging London (US fans only), and to access a virtual studio where they can jam live online with Stewart as he mixes samples contributed by them over the Net. Further movies, sounds and artworks are promised, and it is all held together by a rotating, Java-powered cube.

Gone to the dogs

Greyhound racing has been almost trendy for about a decade now, but this official site is still at great pains to state that a trip to the tracks is not about cloth caps and shady characters, but plush restaurants, corporate entertainment, private boxes and couples having a good night out. The British Greyhound Racing Board here offers a humane repositioning of the sport, including details of the Retired Greyhound Trust and suggestions for taking the animals as pets - once away from the race, they are lazy, loveable creatures who need only two 20-minute walks a day and who relate marvellously to cats. There is lots of useful advice, including a real- time results service and general tips on betting - an online facility is planned for the near future. Visually, it is a bit like being inside a Blur album cover, but most fascinating may be the hall of fame for star performers. Here, heads held high, are Dolores Rocket and Mick the Miller and Scurlogue Champ: "had he been human, the old rascal would have been a swashbuckling film star, a real ladies' man".

An atlas of cyberspaces

The boundless reaches of cyberspace, tamed and contained by cartography? Not really - there is little of the Ordnance Survey in this vivid collection, compiled by the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. Maps, here, can be conceptual, graphical, or historical, and also just as much works of art as the most antique, sea-serpent infested parchment. Start with the little Miro-like blobs representing Usenet, Gopher and FTP-space circa 1994, follow the trace-route utilities that chart the progress of packets of information through the system, and submit to the subatomic-psychedelic bombardments of the topology section and DNA-style "semantic constellations". A 3D section is in development, and at the other end of the spectrum, there is a prehistoric doodle representing "the first node on ARPANET at UCLA on the 2nd of September 1969".

Evan's Star Wars cinema

Toy figures, monster puppets and an industrial-size box of Lego are the filmic resources used by Evan Mather in Seattle to create these remakes of the George Lucas trilogy. Certainly more economical, and probably funnier than the forthcoming big-screen instalments of the saga, these clips seem so far to have trusted the "force" to protect them from Lucasfilm's lawyers. Wielding Power Mac and camcorder, Mather started with "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars", featuring the Reservoir Droids, and went on to make "Godzilla Versus Disco Lando", in which a marauding Saurian is added to the late- Seventies mix and temporarily devours the hapless Yoda. Earlier clips include a repeated sequence of a Coke can being opened in the respective styles of Scorsese, Lynch and Woody Allen. Like a true auteur, the director includes sequences on the making of his masterworks, from storyboard on, and claims to have been a guerrilla, if not a Godzilla, film-maker since childhood. Selected RealPlayer clips help to dodge the distinctly sub- lightspeed downloads.

Keep or fire questionnaire interactive/quiz/employee-evaluation.shtml

Do you deserve termination? Businesslike in tooth and claw, this rather ruthless questionnaire from a US site aimed at small companies offers a quick and easy way to decide if the time has come to (as they put it) "terminate an employee". Tick the boxes to see if the victim, for instance, constantly sidesteps problems, blames others when things go wrong or is consistently late for work or meetings. Employees might want to take the test themselves.

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