Flushed out:
At last, Norwich Council has had the gumption to do what all Councils should have done five years ago; line the sewers with cheap ‘dark fibre’. Let’s hope this links up with wi-fi nodes around Norwich too, as this could open up ‘redundant’ office space; wireless broadband & telephony + minaturisation of devices + lightweight flatpack furniture = most of gripes people had about old office space no longer apply.

Audio Adventure Engine:
Now this is interesting – an attempt at a proof-of-concept audio-based adventure game engine. Imagine you didn’t have to make adventure games using expensive animators, texture artists and 3D modellers; but could instead write relatively simple code-based ‘scripts’ which used your PC’s 512-voice wavetable audio card. Creating the game would be like writing a movie script. While the computer-generated actors would sound rather stilted – until we sort out better text-to-speech synthesis (coming soon), the visual special-effects and settings of such a game could be magnificent. Because – as with a radio play – your imagination would create the visuals, guided by the dialogue, FX & ambience. But the game would potentially be as interactive and as multi-linear as any visual game, bringing to fruition the old text-based games of the 1980s, via the point-&-click adventures of the mid 90s. The best-of-breed games would probably be quickly re-released as commercial products using actors. A handful of early audio-only game products are already in the market; GMA have four very different shareware games which all use speech synthesis.

3D; time for tea:
The winners of the 2002 3D Web Art competition are online, for those of you with the patience to download it and the demanding system specifications to run it. Suggested activity while waiting for it to download; go and make a cup of tea, have a snooze. You’ll need the energy to upgrade your system and install all the required VRML plug-ins.

When Sheep Pigs attack:
Even the woolly leftist Guardian backs war with Iraq, in an editorial today. Whatever next?