Machine Age

  • B Side: Star Wars fan site Countingdown.com cleverly worded a gimmick last week claiming they would have a big file to download that evening. Fans immediately thought it was the upcoming Trailer B, which premiered in theaters last Friday. Aint-it-cool-news even created a link to the site saying it was something everyone should check out. Alas, the 15-meg file the site offered was only a South Park parody of Star Wars. But the real joke was on Lucasfilm, which issued a warning to Countingdown not to release the trailer before its official debut. Unwilling to be upstaged, Lucasfilm unveiled the full trailer at www.starwars.com last Thursday, a day before its premiere. The menace continues.

  • Dead Head: Sympathetic to those oppressed for decades by the hackneyed hippieism and ruthless marketing of the Grateful Dead, John Wooden, the mastermind behind Chickenhead.com, turned his sardonic social critique on Jerry Garcia. Chickenhead was named ZDNet's "Cool Site of the Day" last week for its "reenactment of the most rockingest autopsy of all time!!" Despite the striking resemblance of Garcia's organs to gizzards, the reenactment seems oddly believable. Chickenhead's also been named "Cruel Site of the Day" several times in the year since its creation, and not without reason. Highlights include the fake ad banners and this month's news feature, "Dog Fancy Magazine Announces 1999's 'Sexiest Bitch Alive!' "

  • Award Obsession: In a showdown between prestige and palooza, two cyber ceremonies are tooting their horns and hoping to distinguish themselves in an age when award shows come around as often as ice skating specials. The first annual Independent Games Festival Awards hopes to bring together undiscovered talent in gamer circles by recognizing the best new unpublished games. The Indies, which started Tuesday and continue through Thursday in San Jose, California, are going for the Sundance slice of the scene, flying a rebel-with-a-cause banner in the face of industry consolidation. Sponsored by Miller Freeman and game publishers Gathering of Developers, the forum aims to direct resources to burgeoning developers.

    At the other end of the bay on Thursday, Oscar-like aspirations will be openly flaunted at San Francisco's Herbst Theatre when the Webby Awards are given out for top Internet sites. At the tender age of three, the Webbies have accumulated a star-studded roster of judges— including X-Files diva Gillian Anderson, David Bowie, Francis Ford Coppola, Chasing Amy director Kevin Smith, and ubiquitous bag designer Kate Spade— all members of the industry group International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). IADAS chose the best within 22 categories, so what's left is 110 nominees rubbing sweaty palms awards night hoping to bring the coveted trophies home.


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    EBay Auction of the Week:

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    contributors: Edmund Lee, Jeff Howe, Athima Chansanchai

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