Cybernaut 

Webby Awards, Part III

The Webby Awards, awarded by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, recognize the top Web sites in 30 different categories. There are five nominees in each category, all of which were selected on the basis of visual appearance, use of technology, usefulness, impact, and content. Visit www.webbyawards.com for a more detailed explanation of the awards.

For the next few weeks, Cybernaut will be looking at the various sites that were nominated. We’ve covered Activism through Education.

Fasion

Hint Fashion Magazine – www.hintmag.com

With a wide range of columns and a long list of regular features Hint is young, edgy and deadly serious about fashion and beauty.

Japanese Streets – www.japanesestreets.com

Japan is the one market where trends still take hold, and creativity in fashion and art is encouraged. Japanese Streets looks at what’s happening in Japan’s cosmopolitan cities.

Lucire – www.lucire.com

Lucire takes a look at fashion and fashion people from an insider’s point of view.

Style.com – www.style.com

This is the online home of Vogue and W magazines, carrying some of the same content as well as a number of Web only features.

Film

Bright Lights Film Journal – www.brightlightsfilm.com

This is an eclectic (an artsy word for weird) collection of films, reviews coming from a very edgy, jaded and elitist place.

IndieWIRE – www.indiewire.com

This site is dedicated to the independent cinema industry, which these days includes productions under about $6 million US. Not only does it cover movies, actors and production people, it also covers the financial and political elements of filmmaking.

Metacritic – www.metacritic.com

Metacritic is nominated in both the Film and Music categories this year, and is a great resource for generally indecisive people. Basically, Metacritic compiles reviews from a list of respected critics and publications for film, music and games to come up with a mean Metascore for the product. Click on any title, and the reviews are listed from best to worst.

Rotten Tomatoes – www.rottentomatoes.com

Rotten Tomatoes is almost the same as Metacritic, although it takes far more reviews into account, and also has a scoring system that’s open to the public. There are interesting spolights and features, movie recommendations, a compilation of reviews, a look at celebrities – basically a lot of stuff to keep you coming back.

SPONGI – www.spongi.com

SPONGI is a collection of amateur short films and features produced for local cable access channels, like Whistler’s Cable 6. Although the filmmakers probably do want to break into the mainstream one day, most of SPONGI’s collection is light, funny, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Finance

ClearStation – http://clearstation.etrade.com

ClearStation provides free investment analysis to members (mostly through eTrade). Content includes stock recommendations, and a customized layout with graphs, real-time stock quotations, watch lists, portfolios, and stock discussions.

E-Loan – www.eloan.com

E-Loan.com is a Web extension of a bricks and mortar lending house in the U.S. that is popular for managing debt, consolidating loans and debts, refinancing mortgages and auto-plans, and much, much more. It’s U.S.-based, so tough luck.

PayPal – www.paypal.com

PayPal allows you to send money or bill online, essentially functioning as a middle man for online transactions, usually from online auctions. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, and with the use of escrow services, basically foolproof. Quicken – www.quicken.com

Quicken has changed the way families and small businesses do their budgets, with a wide range of capabilities and the ability to pay bills and bank online, with all changes reflected in the proper accounts. The Web site provides support for Quicken users, financial data, free updates and technical support, and other useful tools.

Yahoo! Finance – http://finance.yahoo.com

This is an online collection of financial news, that’s updated constantly during the course of the day. It’s a good resource for traders, buyers, and people who like to stay on top of their investments and market trends.

Games

A Tale in the Desert – www.atitd.com

This online game is billed as "A Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game." This is a free, non-violent game that takes place back in a land resembling ancient Egypt. You start with a personalized player, and advance in seven disciplines, manage networks and factories to earn money, and help to complete great works. It’s kind of like a Sims game, but it also includes games of guile, like Diplomacy. Pretty cool stuff.

Disney’s Toontown – www.toontown.com

This site features a wide variety of Disney-themed games featuring many popular Disney characters. There is a wide variety of styles of games for children of all ages, although many of them are challenging enough for adults.

The Indie Game Jam – www.indiegamejam.com

"The Indie Game Jam is a yearly game design and programming event designed to encourage experimentation and innovation in the game industry. A very small volunteer team of professional game developers creates a new custom game engine with a single technology focus, and then we invite a slightly larger group of game programmer-designers to get together and make as many innovative games as possible over a four-day period." You can play the games for free online, as they all become freeware. A lot of fun and variety, as well as some truly creative approaches.

Orisinal – www.orisinal.com

A collection of truly beautiful, simple and different games from the Orsinal art collection. Some plots include making ripples to feed acorns to ducks, guiding a jumping ship over icebergs with the help of whale, jumping underwater from ledge to ledge to the bottom of the sea while sharks swim by in the background, and run through a bamboo forest keeping your panda bear fed. There are more than 50 different games to choose from, all of them unique.

PopCap Games – www.popcap.com

PopCap Games are larger and more complicated than a lot of the mini games available on the Web, usually between three and five Megabytes in size. They are fun, free, different and feature some pretty good graphics. The games also change fairly often, so you’ll want to bookmark this one.

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