To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Thursday April 6, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Skulking you can make this world seem right

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Talk with 60 jr. skulkers at once -- free

SpiderPhone is a telephone conference call service that lets you set up a conference call of up to 60 parties with amplification so that everyone hears each other perfectly.  You setup calls yourself from their web site without needing an operator, and you can use this service for 30 days totally free!  As part of the signup process you must give them a credit card number, but if you are careful what features you use, nothing will be charged to it unless you use the service for more than the 30 day trial.

What's even more amazing is that while your conference is going on, you can see and control everything from a Java applet on their web site.  It displays a line for each caller showing their location (if available from their caller ID, and you can see the complete caller ID if you want), their userid (if they specify one from the web site before dialing in), and buttons to mute them so they can't talk, put them on hold so they can't listen while others talk, and hang up on them.  The display always shows which caller is talking right now (i.e. the line that noise is coming from) so if you are conferencing with people whose voices you wouldn't recognize, you can still knock off someone who is causing trouble.  Every participant can view and control the conference if you want, or some people can have more control than others.

The system has several other features, such as letting you upload computer files that participants can download, displaying PowerPoint slides to all participants, and automatically "tape" recording the conference into an audio file that you can download and keep.

Here's the catch:  to use the system for free, all of your callers must dial into their system's area code 212 number.  This is still a good deal because other conference systems charge by the minute for the conference service, in addition to any toll charges.  When the demo is over and you start paying for the service, you can also have callers dial a toll-free number at an additional price, and you can give commands to the Java applet to have the system make outgoing calls to add people.

To skulk and to serve

This site has "news, reviews, and downloads of the web's best servers."  After looking at this site, you might appreciate WebSkulker's frequent mentions of the importance of having a static IP address or a dynamic redirection service, especially if you have a DSL line or cable modem so your computer(s) are always connected to the Internet.  You can run your own web, ftp, email, IRC, proxy, etc. servers, and many of them are free for the download.

Skulking the future of Netscape

Netscape just released a preview version of the new generation of their web servers, and you can download it here.  They have versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Because the user interface has changed so much and because this 6.0 preview version is so early in the development cycle, it installs in a different folder than your present Netscape version and doesn't change anything on your system.  You can switch back and forth between your old Netscape and the preview version.

Skulking by remote control

WebSkulker lives in San Francisco -- home of Pacific Bell Park, the new baseball stadium for the Giants.  He looked at their web site to get some information about the ballpark and discovered that it had a web cam, but not one of those boring ones that just shows a picture of a cat food dish every minute, or something silly like that.  The Pac Bell Park cam takes high-resolution pictures and you can control it yourself to aim it in any direction and zoom in on anything you find interesting.  You can save interesting pictures in a photo album stored on the web site for other visitors to see.

It turns out that there are a lot of these remotely controllable web cams, all installed by the same company: Perceptual Robotics.  Click on the link above for links to all of their cameras.  They are all around the world, some in tourist areas, some in offices, and a couple in stores.  They even have one inside the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center!

The controls are very user-friendly.  You set a zoom level, then click your mouse on any spot of the current picture and the camera will move to that position and zoom.  WebSkulker predicts:  one of these days, this type of camera will deliver moving pictures.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Marvelena Quesada

Clever Computer Poem

A computer was something on TV
From a science fiction show of note
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of a goat.

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.

An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano.

Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3-in. floppy
You hoped nobody found out.

Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.

Log on was adding wood to the fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode.

Cut you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu.

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead.


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