You could be forgiven for thinking that the hostage crisis at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru, is over, so totally has it dropped out of the headlines. In fact, 72 hostages are still inside, over four months since it was stormed by guerillas of the (MRTA). But the Web is filling this gap and there is now quite a selection of sites relating to the crisis. The MRTA has its own Spanish site, Voz Rebelde, and an English- language Solidarity Page, which publish all its communiques as well as giving its own weekly version of events. You can jump from here to a selection of Japanese links. For a more neutral Peruvian view, check out Peru-Info's special pages on the crisis (http://www.peru- info.com/Hostages.html).
Getting online is still difficult in most Arab countries. So it is perhaps unsurprising that there are relatively few Web sites covering Arab interests. Arab Net is starting to fill this gap. This giant umbrellla information site started late last year and it has now grown to over 1,900 pages of information. At its core is the Magic Carpet, a bulging directory (no, I'm not going to say Aladdin's Cave) of facts and figures on all 22 Arab countries. For each country, there are sections on history, geography, business, culture, transport and a tour guide. The latter gives detailed travel information and advice on questions such as visas. Each country also provides links to related sites.
"One of them is a nutcase. Two of them are in love. And one's the ghost of an old sea captain. And you thought your neighbours were weird." This is the faintly cheesy promo for Sitcom 2000, which claims to be the first situation comedy show to be created for both the Web and TV. The producers say it offers "a sneak peak at what the future of entertainment may hold". Only US cable subscribers will see it on TV, but anyone can enjoy it on the Web -- as long as you have the latest Web browser. The script of each episode is posted on the site, together with images and audio and video clips. But the Quicktime clip of the opening sequence which I tried was distinctly underwhelming. So poor was the image quality it was like watching TV through frosted glass. I hope the future is a bit better than this.
"Madonna, Brad Pitt and Sharon Stone aren't the only people who can get celebrity status." So says the puff for the all-new NETrageous publicity resource center, which promises to teach you the dark art of becoming famous. If you doubt it, check out the story of one Bob Vila. "He was just a construction worker until he used the media to become the nation's leading authority on home repair. If he can do it, anyone can".
Centre for Alternative Technology http://www.foe.co.uk/CAT
How green is your lifestyle? You can find out from this educational charity that is "working for a sustainable future". At the base in Wales, they design and test all kinds of green technologies and the site describes these projects. One of the highlights is a water-balanced cliff railway, which can take 15 people at a time up a 200ft incline. Via the site, CAT will also answer questions about the ins and outs of sustainable living practices.Reuse content