Today it was found out that Shrewsbury 6th form college has blocked the popular chill-out and news portal ImAFish.com. ImAFish and SSFC have worked closely in the previous term to keep people up to date with important events such as the election but today it was found out that the college computer admin have had enough of ImaFish?s popularity so have blocked the site. Though efforts are being made to give access back to the college the site owners are furious that a proportion of its traffic is being diverted to its proxy server error page.

One pupil told us earlier that his studies may be effected because of this decision ?I tried to get onto ImAFish earlier to use the sites powerful search capabilities which searches multiple search engines, I found to my disappointment that the site had been blocked.?

The creators of the site feel it?s a great shame that this has happened the second day back to college and it was hoping to secure a lot more traffic from the first year students which have just joined the college. What ever happens the site will have to put up a valid argument as to why it should have its site unblocked, one suggestion was to put more academic content on to the site though the creators say already the site is used for academic purposes. These being its search capabilities and the large amount of knowledge held in its articles. ImAFish 5 that was recently launched to try to clean up the image of the site clearly has not worked.

Though its unclear if the SSFC computer admin were just worried about the site being used for non academic purposes or that they were feeling trigger happy is unknown yet. The creators will try their hardest to get the site back to the viewers of the college they will back up all their data first just incase the admin are familiar with BOFHS (http://imafish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=182).

Tonight the popular show that put 8 celebrities in the Australian out back came to a conclusion with Tony Blackburn as the winner with 55% of the votes. Over 1.5million people voted in the final that was between Tony and Tara and to a lot of peoples surprise Tony just won, this largely because of Tony?s large radio listens fan base.

The show that has been running for 2 weeks now witted 8 celebrities against each other from all different professions including Christina Hamilton, Darren Day and Uri Geller in the Australian outback to survive without the luxuries of life. Then each day for the last week the public has voted out the celebrity they least liked the first being Uri Geller who promised not to use his psychic powers to help win the game show. I?m a Celebrity screened by ITV and presented by Ant and Dec has been very popular with viewers but not everyone has thought it being good television.

A debate on channel 5's 'the wright stuff' brought up the argument that the program is not good tv and doesn't really show any educational values, but it was argued back that the public are very interested in real life tv shows such as I?m a Celebrity and big brother. The show is yet another idea to try to get as many viewers as possible to make more money for advertising, another series is planned for the same time next year it is rumored. Another show following the same steps as last year is popstars the rivals, where 2 bands (1 male and 1 female) will battle it out for the Christmas number one but more of that to come in a future article.

China blocks Google

By Pete | @kingpetey | 02 Sep 2002

The Chinese government have blocked the popular search engine Google it appears in their continued struggle to keep control over what their people view on the net. Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world and was very popular with the Chinese because of its ease of use and its ability to run searches in the Chinese language.

China keeps extreme control over what its people can view online and the government employs over 30,000 people to keep an eye on what people view online, chat rooms and their private emails. China has also blocked certain news sites but has never blocked a major search engine before. The country has also recently shut down over 150,000 unlicensed internet cafes in the last few months, and the ones which still exist have to abide by strict rules and install special software blocking certain sites.

Internet use in China is as popular as ever with over 45.8 million people online in the country, the government is worried that these people will get to know anti communism news thus causing trouble for the government in this politically sensitive time.

Though Google was blocked the web portal Yahoo was still accessible which uses Google for its searches which shows the Chinese government still need to do their homework. Luckily the popular news and comedy site ImAFish.com is still unaffected and will not stop bringing controversial content to its site to please the Chinese government.

About ImAFish

By Pete | @kingpetey | 01 Sep 2002

ImAFish.com is the brainchild of Pete White (pwhite) and Ben Powell (Benjie) in April 2001 when they were working on their GCSE exams. Along with James Vardill (Yammez) they created the site ImAFish.com version 1. The site was an instant success with its wide range of topics covered including gaming, downloads and a forum, though the site had a hard time staying online because of different hosting problems on geocities. Then in September 2001 Version 2 was launched on their new hosting on f2s.com with the new help from Ben Shenton and Matthew Shannon, here the site continued to become popular and in November 2001 version 3 was launched. Yammez sadly decided to move on from the site because of lack of time commitments.

Christmas came and so did news that f2s was closing its free hosting section so the move was made to purchase some professional hosting. Shortly after in February came the launch of ImAFish 4 was the sites biggest success so far attracting many new visitors and starting to build up an active forum and IRC community. The site celebrated its 1year birthday in April with a number of activities on the forum such as the awards and Big Brother. The following months brought further success to the site with the Articles and Columns sections and throughout June and July the sites traffic significantly increased.

One of the most popular areas found was to be the IRC bot called Xbot many of these hits were coming from sites such as Google. Xbot provides a good free IRC bot that can do almost everything a channel owner needs from a bot which it seems not many other free bots can provide. In August 2002 it was decided to start work on designing ImAFish 5 with the aim of delivering dynamic content to the users fast and effectively in a way that is simple and easy to understand. The site also wanted to attract more writers and to keep the current visitors coming back to the site to read the articles and take part in other site activities. For a more detailed history I suggest you take a look at http://imafish.com/history.php .

The End of Planetarion?

By Pete | @kingpetey | 29 Aug 2002

Yesterday is was announced that the 8th round of Planetarion would be the last one, Planetarion the online text based game which started in January 2000 has found it increasing difficult over the last few months to keep the game going financially, so 5th season AS (the company behind Planetarion) announced in a special creators hour last night that the game will be ending after the next round.

Though some people think that this may be a scam to get more people to play Planetarion incase round 8 is the last round the community is clearly shocked that this has come this sudden. In Planetarion?s peak the game had over 100,000 players though once the game went pay to play the game slowly lost players. Efforts have been made to try to get new players to join the game and a number of free accounts were given out for new people to try out the game, however these free accounts didn't seem to bring Planetarion the new players it needed to stay alive. An irc channel has already been setup on the netgamers.org irc network.

The people behind #pa-stay are looking for over 10k players to play Planetarion next round, however if pa was continue then the community will need to have at least 10k paying players each round. Though it has not been said if the amount of money generated by 10k players will cover the costs of the game and pay off any remaining debts.

There has also been talk about whether the IRC network itself will be effected by Planetarion closing, however the general aim is that netgamers.org will keep going however its not certain how many people will remain on the network as most of the users are pa related. It looks like the forums will not remain if Planetarion was to end unless suitable hosting was found for them, however with no game a lot of the discussions which happen on the boards will not take place as a lot of the conversation is pa related. No one seems quite sure how long the 'creators' have been planning to close the game, though perhaps moving the irc network away from Planetarion was one of their first steps.

They have also announced that they have been working on another game based on football leagues however it's still unsure if they intend to release this game and if they intend to charge for it. I would have thought that many of the pa clones will try to take as many players as they can one of the popular alternatives being Starsphere. What ever happens the future of Planetarion seems uncertain and what happens over the coming months could decide the fate of Planetarion and its community.

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