ghosts in the machine
by Steve Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly, June 13, 1997
One highly bizarre feature of today's Web is the expanding number of
sites whose creators have abandoned them, rather than having spent the
excruciatingly long hours necessary to keep them up to date. Like
crewless, drifting hulks, these "ghost sites" - unfettered by Web
regulation - pose a pesky nuisance to Net navigation. And they can
persist for years because taking them down is much more time-consuming
than letting them drift like so much cyberspace junk. Here, then, are
some of the Web's moldiest sites. It's amazing how natural they look in
Yes, folks, Woodstock '94 is still going on, or so this "official"
site would have you believe. Here you can follow a breathless
"countdown" to the concert, study detailed maps of the grounds so you
and your minivan don't get stuck in the mud, and tune in to a "live"
chat channel to hear the latest news. Woodstock-94 proves you don't
need LSD to experience flashbacks and sensory deprivation anymore.
WWW TV Bytes
Sometimes, you'll find a website that's actually been murdered, such
as WWW TV Bytes, once an encyclopedia of TV themes from the '50's and
'60's. All was well until sharp-eyed copyright holders bombarded site
creator Patrick Kenny with complaints, which caused him to deep-six the
whole thing. Most recent update: Christmas '96.
The Cable Guy
Nothing really can excuse the continuing existence of this sprawling
site devoted to 1996's Flop of Flops. "The Cable Guy is now playing at
a theatre near you," screams the prehistoric copy. The only thing to
scream back: "Liar, Liar!"
TEN Celebrity Wake-up On-Line Service Center
What a terrific idea for a celebrity-oriented service: Just fill out
an electronic form and a computer impersonating a celebrity will greet
you with a chirpy wake-up. Today, the site is littered with
malfunctioning pages and cryptic computer errors. Could it be that
people are unwilling to pay a few bucks to hear Jim Morrison call to
invite them out for a breakfast beer? Sad, because I'd pay hard cash to
have Bruce Willis - even a computerized Bruce Willis - yell at my boss
at 6:30 in the morning. Wouldn't you?
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