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Eclipse1999

Eclipse1999

Choose the BBC over a Cornish B&B as your host for observing next month'seclipse. This collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) hasthe advantage of weatherproof coverage courtesy of the Solar and HeliocentricObservatory satellite, as well as webcam views from Plymouth of the events of11 August. Viewers will also be able to track the progress of the eclipseacross Europe while enjoying commentary by both Patrick Moore and Mystic Meg.

Space.com

If you believethey put a man on the moon, you will enjoy this comprehensive new space siteput together by a former CNN financial news anchor. Pitched at a newlydefined group called the "international space community", contentincludes updates on the latest shuttle action but also less well-publicisedrocketry from India, China and elsewhere. The overall mood isbusinesslike, as interested in Star Wars receipts and satellite-basedInternet as in earthrises or astronomy. But there is still room for asci-fi page with the latest in the Dune saga, and as if to disclaimanorakhood, a section on The Emotions of Space. For light relief, apage called Tab Wrap summarises the latest tabloid speculations: "One infive dogs and cats are descended from space aliens", according to the Weekly World News.

Interspecies Telepathic Communication

Oneway to assess a favourite pet's ET potential might be to inquiredirectly, using these resources for psychic Dr Dolittles. It's all amatter of imagination and imaging, according to this holistic pet-fooddistributor promoting courses in animal telepathy. The California-basedpage offers testimonies about (and indirectly from) Dancer the Hot DogEating Llama, Kisa the Healer Cat, Chuckie the Chicken Who was Hatched bya Duck, and others of various species who have established more thanconventional rapports with their owners.

Kodak PicturePlayground

YouAnimal You! is one of the image modifications on offer here, a chance toget in touch with your photogenic inner chimp (or whatever).Basically an online graphics program, this site from Kodak enables users toupload their digital snaps or scans, or borrow an image from elsewhere on theweb, and modify them in a variety of ways. The result may then bedownloaded and printed, e-mailed to a friend, or turned into asouvenir mug or T- shirt. "Please do not submit material containingnudity, sexual content, or dangerous situations," warnsKodak. The current morph special is a tie-in with Woodstock 99, andwill convincingly pychedelicise both you and yourcat.

DIRT

Hackers group TheCult of the Dead Cow launched the latest version of its notorious Back Orificeprogram, allowing remote monitoring and control of other peoples'computers, at the Def Con convention earlier this month. But for sometime now a similar, "legitimate" facility has been on offer from thisdigital detective site. The real dirt on DIRT (that's DataInterception by Remote Transmission) is, however, only available toauthorised users. It works by surreptitiously, virus-style,installing itself on the host computer by means of an exe. file or attachmentand then captures and transmits the record of the user's keystrokes to aremote location. Data retrieved can include encryption keys and in some casesthe contents of one's hard drive. Further details are restricted to"military, government and law-enforcement agencies" and peoplewith an "agency letterhead". So that's all right then.

Send interesting, quirky or, at a pinch, cool site recommendations to websites@dircon.co.uk

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