Hot on the Web
Lost in Cyberspace
Online San Diego
Feature Articles
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
Music Reviews
Favorite quotates
Contact Me

Opening the mail bag

Hot on the Web

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on June 21, 2002
(Issue 2025, Gather 'Round the Computer)

Haven't stolen ideas from our loyal readers in a while ... but it's seems to be those of you out there sending me stuff that find the most interesting sites – good thing I don't have to do this on my own ...


This site is run by San Diego-based Bremsstrahlung Recordings, a label specializing in electronic music. But what made Arnold Marquez notice this site and send me a link to it is the fact that the entire site looks and acts like an old classic Macintosh computer, running System 2.0 or so. The navigation is GUI-based – click on an icon to open that link; click the upper left-hand corner of a window to return to the previous page.

It's a pretty impressive bit of web design – you don't have to be a Mac fan to appreciate what they've done here.


Since we're talking Macs for a second, I thought I'd point out that there is a new weblogging package for the Mac. Tinderbox runs on Mac OS versions 8.6-X. Not only will Tinderbox take your notes and blog them for you, but it even looks through your notes and tries to find relationships you may have missed.

How long can it be before our computers are running their own blogs without us?


Anyone who's ever worked in public relations, or had to deal with the mighty p.r. machinery of our modern economy, knows how quickly buzz words can move through the system and become ubiquitous. They become annoying almost immediately after that. Teri McCready of sent me the link for BuzzWhack, a site that claims it is "Dedicated to de-mystifying buzzwords."

But the best part of this site is the Buzzword of the Day. Recent entries include such over-used p.r.-speak as "empowerment," "scalable" and "collaborative." The Buzzword Compliant Dictionary is great help when trying to write a business plan or marketing strategy – you can get all the right terminology in there to impress the mid-level bureaucrats who decide funding issues.

Another entertaining feature is the Whack of the Week, in which they post an actual press release that abuses the language through its reliance on buzz words. (Sadly enough, when I read a recent winner, like, The alliance will enable expanded collaborative commerce across product design, configuration, order management, supply chain management, and product service and support addressing the needs of enterprises and private exchanges in industries such as automotive, aerospace, high tech, and industrial machinery, I have to admit that I've actually written gibberish like that in my various capacities ...)


My brother-in-law, Thom, sent in a link to OKbridge, which touts itself as "The premier provider of live bridge on the internet." Not quite sure just how competitive a field that is, but according to Thom there are often more than 5,000 people playing euchre (along with whist, an early variant of modern bridge).

Thom finds this quite exciting, and, indeed, it may well be. Given that you have to pay to play, it's certainly impressive. What was less impressive was the fact that there was very little information about the service – the home page asks you to sign up for a free seven-day trial membership, but I couldn't find information on the variants – there was no info on euchre, for instance, at least not before turning over a credit card number.

Some months back, we did a roundup of various Web sites dedicated to golf. Seeing as how the column runs in San Diego and Denver, you'd think I'd at least get all the local sites. Seems I missed one, though – Steve Chang sent me the link to his site,

This is an outstanding, comprehensive site, with full, complete information on every course in the county that I could think of. It is every bit as good as Martin Olivera's San Diego Golf pages; it is odd that the two best online guides to golf in San Diego are both one-man operations that kick butt over their better-financed corporate sites. Go figure ...