Author

Patrizia DiLucchio

Jon Postel passes away

When Jon Postel died on Oct. 16 at the age of 55, of complications following heart surgery, cyberspace lost one of its original wizards. As head of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) at USC’s Information Sciences Institute, Postel developed and maintained the system of custom suffixes — .com, .edu, and the like — that link the Net’s numeric addressing system to its text-based URLs. ”The whole way the Web is designed reflects the highest ideals we have for ourselves,” notes virtual-reality pioneer Jaron Lanier.

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SixDegrees introduces online networking

It’s a small world, but who knew there were so many Kevin Bacons in it? Launched in 1997 and springing conceptually from the cultural meme popularized by John Guare’s 1990 play Six Degrees of Separation, SixDegrees.com (www.sixdegrees.com) is a high-concept Rolodex that allows you to network electronically: Once you register and pony up names and e-mail addresses of friends, relatives, and business contacts, you can retrieve information on members’ locations, occupations, movie preferences, and brushes with celebrity.

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Casting on the Net

Goodbye casting couch; hello modem. More than 240 film and TV casting directors are using the online service CastNet (www.castnet.com) to point and click their way through head shots, resumes, and audio-video demos of 35,000-plus thespic hopefuls. The site’s talent comes via agents (who get to post their client rosters free of charge) and trade ads, with more than 10,000 unknowns willing to pony up $150 a year for a basic head shot (video and audio cost extra).

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Cyberhosts help celebs chat online

It’s June, five months into the Simpson trial, and Kato Kaelin is about to make his first online appearance. Live! From CompuServe! It’s O.J.’s alibi!

Except he’s late.

Some 500 Simpson junkies, joined in computer-mediated communion, each paying $4.80 an hour in hopes of extracting information that even Johnnie Cochran can’t, are growing increasingly restless.

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