Websites: Beetlemania is back
Monday 23 November 1998
"Do you have a life?" is one of the Frequently Asked Questions here. "Yes, I do, I think," replies the Dutch creator of this site, a claim in some ways hard to dispute, since his daily routine is wired to the Internet. Every room in his house is monitored: from the front door onwards, sensors and webcams log exits and entrances and all the activity in between. The fridge has not only a Fridgecam but an itemised list of its entire contents, entered by means of bar codes. "The world's first online trash bin" similarly records the rubbish. Yes, there is a cat-cam, but luckily not a toilet cam. Visitors are also invited to program the occupant's alarm each morning by voting from a shortlist of MP3 music files. This amusing experiment has lots of possibilities - supermarkets could automatically replenish next day's groceries based on the bin contents, for example - and could also be the blueprint for a surveillance nightmare.
The New Beetle
At the US launch of the "people's car" for the new millennium, it seems executives were made to dress in floral shirts and wear flowers in their hair, in homage to the Beetle's nostalgic and vaguely hippy image. The UK site also does its best to humanise its hi-tech Shockwave attack. It's doubly flashy, in fact, since the site also includes a Flashing Lights game - claimed to be an internationally recognised sign of friendship between Bug owners - and the idea is to beam a friendly flicker at passing Beetlemaniacs without losing points by dazzling a police car. Such a habit implies the need for sunglasses, and here they are along with other Beetle merchandise soon to be available online: except the car itself, which won't be available until late in 1999.
Arts and Letters Daily
This page affects the look of an old newspaper complete with masthead and antiquated typeface. The limited, but useful, aim of these cyberfogeys is to offer selected links to items of cultural and literary interest elsewhere on the Web, from Salon to The Independent.
Send quirky, unusual or, at a pinch, cool site recommendations to email@example.com
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Before They Pass Away: In pictures
Kylie Minogue, Kiss Me Once tour, London O2 - review: Pop princess still reigns supreme
Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican lead female comedy breakthrough
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Simpsons death: Character killed off - but not the one you thought
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
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