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The Independent Culture

The more seamless and sophisticated the Web becomes, the more fun there is in scrambling its hard-won certainties. "Antibrowsers" are already, despite themselves, something of an established trend, the obvious point being that with HTML beauty, and coherence, is in the eye of the beholding software. The latest example is , a new program from Mark Napier, creator of the Digital Landfill and unrepentant mutator of hapless Barbies. creates sometimes spectacular composites by overlaying the last three pages surfed by previous visitors. "Content become abstraction. Text becomes graphics. Information becomes art," according to the site.


This is a less pretty but perhaps more fundamental rewriting of browser orthodoxy. Trying it out involves downloading both Netomat itself and Java Runtime Environment. The resulting display expresses the Web as a variable-speed stream of text and images, with data is pulled into the flow from all over the Net, or entered by the user using keywords or a URL. It works as a sort of improvised search engine which, in theory at least, can retrieve text, images, jpegs, wav and RealAudio, liberate them from their page context, and merge them all in an unstoppable flow. It's intended as a critique of "rigid information distribution and passive browsing". Like certain more conventional browsers, Netomat plans to make its source code available so that everyone will be able to create their own version. For an earlier variation see The Web Stalker, http://

International Trepanation Advocacy Group (ITAG)

The human brain is, of course, the ultimate reality browser, and this site suggests ways of improving it by drilling a hole in one's head. Trepanning goes back to Neolithic times, and this group, which proposes a revival of the practice, promises guidance in approaching a GP with a request for the procedure. The theory of "bloodbrainvolume" is outlined, with its proposal that young children are endowed with greater creativity because of an "intercranial pulse pressure" which disappears when their craniums suture into the traditional, hermetically sealed skull of an adult. A new hole, however, can restore that youthful spark. It's all perfectly po-faced.


New and highly commercial perspectives abound at this site for a 360- degree imaging system. "The world is round, so why are your photos flat?" asks the blurb, and while not 3D, these high-definition shots are assembled using a "double fish-eye" technique to give a spherical field of view, explorable using the cursor.

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