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Lost in Cyberspace

Take time to find fun on the Web

This article was originally published on June 7, 2000 by SignOn San Diego and Copley News Service.

Some days are simply too nice to spend worrying about how Congress or the FCC are likely to screw up the Internet, or to tie yourself into knots over the latest online privacy crisis.

There's simply too much fun to be had on the Web, too many neat things to explore and play with.

For instance, for pure silliness it's hard to beat the free trailer for "Geezers," an independent comedy film being marketed over the Internet. For trailers of most of the latest major releases ("Shaft," "Lord of the Rings," "Dinosaur," "The Patriot"), visit Apple's Quicktime trailers page.

Another interesting site is I-Courthouse. Here, anyone can be their very own Judge Judy. I-Courthouse allows anyone to sign up as a juror – and they pick which cases you want to hear. Judgment is by acclamation, and as many "jurors" as want to can weigh in on any of the posted cases. Decisions are exceedingly non-binding, but it's good fun and quite a few folks bring their disputes here – from the "People's Court"-caliber disputes between neighbors to sexual harassment complaints to arguments over copyright use and abuse on the 'Net. Contributing to the interest level (if not always a sense of fun) are the jurors' comments on each case – there is indeed a bit of Judge Judy inside each of us.

If it's ridiculous you crave, visit DotComGuy. He's some mid-20s geek who agreed to move into a bare house and stay there for a full 12 months, living his entire life online. Half a year into the "adventure," he's still at it. There's the typical live Web cam, a DotComGuy chat (what a thrill – chatting with someone who hasn't left home in six months ...), and a pending line of licensed DotComGuy merchandise for people with more money than sense.

For those of us too disorganized to remember to back up our files regularly, can be worth a visit. You get 25 megs of file space for free (plenty for backing up stuff like financial records, word processor documents, e-mail), or 300 megs if you fill out a consumer interest survey (similar to those that often come in the mail with promises of free samples and coupons). has a new drag and drop utility available in beta that lets you simply drag your files into the Web (which, unfortunately, only works with Windows). With different file-sharing options, you can use your account for file sharing with friends or colleagues, or as a handy way to work from home on your work files.