AltaVista relaunches site

By Pete | @kingpetey | 13 Nov 2002

The search engine AltaVista this week relaunched its site with a new more simple and easy to use interface that is trying to help bring back visitors it has lost in recent years. Millions of visitors have left AltaVista to use its rivals sites that include Google and Yahoo. AltaVista have seen a 62% fall in visitors from 16million to 6 million in the last few years but the company is hopeful that the site can attract many of its past visitors back to the site with its new look and enhanced features. We tried the new AltaVista against Google to try to find key parts of the ImAFish site. ImAFish gets many hits from Google mainly looking for Xbot mainly. I first searched for ImAFish on both engines, Google came up with about 5 pages worth of links to a number of ImAFish's page and sites that mention ImAFish.

When I searched AltaVista I only found 3 results for ImAFish, 2 being the homepage and another being another site with reference to ImAFish. I searched for a number of other features from ImAFish on Google and AltaVista including Xbot and Comedy, both times Google came up with more results but Altavista did come up with the correct results for ImAFish it even gave the handy tool of translating ImAFish into other languages.

Though the new AltaVista looks a lot more up to date and is even more easier to use its still not as powerful search wise then it is compared to Google. Some people do like not having as many search results as it takes them less time to search them but most do prefer to have a number of options to look through until your get the results that you want. I think AltaVista still has as way to go before it can become better then its rivals and take back the visitors it has lost over the past few years.

Xbox Outsells Gamecube

By Pete | @kingpetey | 11 Nov 2002

This month sees the Xbox taking over the GameCube in sales, Xboxes sales jumped by 42% to 10,371 in the past week according to sales analysts Chart Track. It means Microsoft's gaming system has taken a small lead over the Nintendo?s, with 233,503 XBoxes sold in the Britain compared to 230,876 GameCubes.

However Sony?s Playstation 2 still remains the market leader with almost 3million sales in the UK. The Playstation 2 is now the oldest console out of the 3 best sellers but is still continuing to sell more then its rivals. While the Xbox and GameCube only have a few best selling games such as Halo and Mario the Playstation 2 has had lots of best selling games including the best game of last year, Grand Theft Auto 3 and its follow up GTA ? Vice City that was launched last week.

The game GTA ? Vice City has already sold out in many shops for the PS2 but has caused a lot of controversy because of its gangster like content and excessive killing sprees ? a must have game basically. Vice City builds on the features of its predecessor with such items as motorbikes and helicopters. The game also features the sound tracks from over 10 well-known artists and is set to take best game of the year again. Australia has already told take 2, the producers of Vice City to remove scenes with prostitutes from the game in order to comply with their rules.

Holiday

By Pete | @kingpetey | 08 Nov 2002

I'm back from holiday and its time for another update to my world known column. After spending a week in Tunisia I'm glad to be back home, I had a good time though the Tunisians do get annoying. For those of you that don't know about Tunisia it is a country on North Africa that is in a pre broadband era at the moment though they do have Internet access.

I spent a week in a 4star hotel in the city of Sousse. The food was very nice and the hotel was very good too and most of the 'locals' were nice however it was annoying having to tip them for everything you do especially when they hover around and ask for money.

I got the distinct impression they were trying to get as much money out of us as possible, though this is most peoples goal the Tunisians didn't seem to do this with any respect or hide the fact that they wanted to rip us off.

Another thing I found really annoying is all the hassle they gave you especially when walking round the town, though we are told that they do this to everyone and it was part of the culture it seemed they only ever approached westerners perhaps cause we may have had more money. Though I tried my hardest to look German in the hope they may not pester me I could not make myself look moody enough.

As for the site I want to thank everyone for filling in the questionnaires (I now have almost 30) and I want to thank Steph for writing the articles while I was away and thanks to the columnists who updated their columns while I was away.

Tablet PC

By Pete | @kingpetey | 08 Nov 2002

Microsoft has finally unveiled its Tablet PC that hopes to make massive changes in the way we use computers in the next few years. The Startrek look alike ?pad? uses a smart screen and a special pen to simulate the effect of writing onto paper. The tablet pc can also have a keyboard and can be used as a normal Windows pc.

Other companies such as Apple and IBM have tried similar ideas but have failed, Microsoft hopes to succeed where they failed with better hardware and an improved version of XP.

The tablet pc will be distributed by a number of companies including Fujitsu, Toshiba, Acer, Hewlett Packard and Research Machines. The Tablet will come in two forms at launch. One looks like an ordinary laptop but its screen swivels round and flips over to let people write on it like a traditional paper notepad. The other type has its smart screen separate from the rest of the laptop and only takes keyboard input united with a base station.

The tablet pc will allow you to wonder around your office connected to your network with new Bluetooth technology. Both versions let you write notes on the screen as shown below.

The tablet pc is ideal for places where a laptop is not convenient such as in hospitals and while on field sites. The Tablet PC also comes with 25 new emoticons designed by the people behind Wallace and Gromit.








However all of this comes at a price and the Tablet PCs are set to go on the market at around ?2000 which makes them a lot more expensive then a normal laptop or a PDA. The price should fall with time making the Tablet PC an affordable option for many people.

The European court has sent a letter to the Greek Government threatening to take them to court over the controversial ban on computer games. The Greek government are in breech of European law because it of article 28 of the European Community Treaty because it may restrict imports from other EU member states. The law may also be violating peoples principle of proportionality meaning people should have the right to play games for entertainment purposes. I

n august this year a law came into effect banning all computer and video games in Greece as they may be contributing towards gambling which the government is trying to completely outlaw. However the government have lost court cases from people playing games in there home ImAFish reported about this here http://imafish.com/articles.php?ID=0052 .

Many people believe that this law doesn't distinct between gambling and pure entertainment. The Greek government have 2 months to reply before further legal action will be taken by the European Commission. Internet cafes throughout Greece have had to shut down because of the new law as much of their business came from gamers wanting to play online. The letter was prompted by games producers who can no longer sell games to Greece. MPs in parliament have also raised this issue a few times stating that it is not a fair rule.

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