Quick Hits

While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, for the blind, it’s the ears that have it. And, based on that knowledge, students from London-based Utrecht School of Arts have developed a driving “video” game for the blind that uses audio clues for success.

Called Drive, the aim of the game is to drive a test vehicle as fast as possible while overcoming oral objects in your path, including an irritating back-seat driver. There are no visuals onscreen, forcing players to depend entirely on their hearing for clues. The game is available as a free download from drive.soundsupport.net, and players from around the world can compete with one another for high scores.

White House goes on tour

If you have plans to tour the White House any time soon, you may want to make other arrangements. According to the U.S. government, since the attacks of Sept. 11, White House tours have been cut back.

Still, President George Bush and First Lady Laura have decided they will personally give the guided tours – online. Visitors to the U.S. government Web site can now receive video views of the West Wing by Vice-President Dick Cheney, a seven-minute Oval Office tour by the president himself, and a virtual visit of the diplomatic reception room by the First Lady. The site works with Real Player software and is expected to run on Windows Media player before the end of the year. According to a White House spokesperson, the virtual tour may be extended to include the Rose Garden and Air Force One, the presidential plane. Visit the site at www.whitehouse.gov.

Online panhandler gets the green

When in debt, ask strangers. That was what Karyn Bosnak did when she found herself laden with a US$20,000 debt and unemployed. After 18 months of splurging for the likes of Gucci and Prada, the 29-year-old former television producer turned to the World Wide Web to sort out her money woes by launching savekaryn.com.

Four months since the site was launched, Bosnak says she has received more than US$13,000 from donors worldwide, and coupled with the online auction of some of the high-ticket items that drove her into debt, she has broken even. And, while many kind souls sent money to help Bosnak, there was some Internet backlash from those who condemned her method. Anti-Karyn sites including dontsavekaryn.com, promised to “waste your money in inventive and creative ways.”

Internet called virtual home wrecker

According to two-thirds of lawyers at an annual conference in Chicago, more and more spouses are blaming the Web for breaking up their marriages.

The lawyers found that meeting a new lover online and obsessions with pornography were the top two problems cited in the majority of Internet-related divorce cases. Almost 80 per cent of the lawyers who were questioned said that incriminatory e-mails had been part of divorce proceedings and 65 per cent said computer and financial records had been incorporated into divorce records.

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