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The Independent Online



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 anestablished trend, the obvious point being that with HTML beauty, andcoherence, is in the eye of the beholding software. The latest example isRiot, a new program from Mark Napier, creator of the Digital Landfill andunrepentant mutator of hapless Barbies. Riot creates sometimes spectacularcomposites by overlaying the last three pages surfed by previous visitors."Content become abstraction. Text becomes graphics. Informationbecomes art," according to the site.


This is aless pretty but perhaps more fundamental rewriting of browser orthodoxy.Trying it out involves downloading both Netomat itself and Java RuntimeEnvironment. The resulting display expresses the Web as a variable-speedstream of text and images, with data is pulled into the flow from all overthe Net, or entered by the user using keywords or a URL. It works as asort of improvised search engine which, in theory at least, can retrievetext, images, jpegs, wav and RealAudio, liberate them from theirpage context, and merge them all in an unstoppable flow. It'sintended as a critique of "rigid information distribution and passivebrowsing". Like certain more conventional browsers, Netomat plans tomake its source code available so that everyone will be able to create their ownversion. For an earlier variation see The WebStalker.

International Trepanation Advocacy Group (ITAG)

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


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

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