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OCTOBER 20, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 41 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK


Illustration by Emilio Rivera lll.
Cutting Edge
FLASH: Head for the Woods, Gamer

They say a crazy hermit killed some kids up there. They say those woods are haunted by the Blair Witch. They say you'd be crazy to go. But of course, you will anyway. You are a sucker for a good scare, and the new Blair Witch Project PC game, a spin-off of last year's year's blockbuster movie, delivers it. Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr is the first of a three-part series created by Terminal Reality, the developers of the 1999 horror-game hit, Nocturne. In this episode you play Nocturne character Doc Holliday, who comes to the infamous town of Burkittsville, Maryland in 1941 to investigate whether the gruesome murders of seven children by Rustin Parr were influenced by supernatural forces. Eerily distorted choir music, mysterious moaning sounds and low-lit scenes of those creepy woods make the game as scary as the movie. Keep the lights on for this one.

CHILD'S PLAY: Toys Imitate Life, Once Again

Move over, Furby. Play dead, Aibo. Make way for Amazing Baby — the latest installment in what is becoming a long line of microchip-enhanced toys that imitate living beings (sired by the great-granddad of them all, Tamagotchi). Besides performing the standard tricks like learning to talk over time (ho hum), the doll turns her head if you speak to her or make noise nearby. She also comes with special accessories and can tell, for example, if you give her the rattle versus the bottle. Put another Amazing Baby in the room and they can recognize each other's accessories and talk to each other. Try a demo at Playmatestoys.com. There are nine models, including "ethnic" varieties, but they aren't available in Asian stores. If you want to buy one (for $50), join the waiting list at Toysrus.com.

GADGETS: Wherever You Go, There You Are

Admit it, fellas. Asking for directions when lost is a threat to manhood, a disgraceful admission of failure. That's why real men will want to check out Global Positioning System (GPS) technology being developed by U.S.-based Applied Digital Solutions. The company's Digital Angel tracking device is a microchip and antenna that can monitor your precise location by signaling GPS satellites. Nothing new there, but this unit is smaller than a grain of rice and is designed to be implanted under the skin. Aside from face-saving applications, Applied Digital says the Digital Angel can monitor the whereabouts of pets and mis-routed luggage. Later this month, the company also hopes to demonstrate an implantable biosensor that captures and transmits vital body-function data. Next time someone asks how you're feeling, just send them a readout.

INTERNET: New Surf Turf for the Cash-Poor
Who says the Internet is only for the rich? A Philippines firm plans to bring the Net to the needy, the down-and-out — the pawnshop goers, to be exact. Diversified Financial Network wants to build 200 Web kiosks at pawn shops around the country, where users can, say, access banks to ask for a loan. How convenient —especially for DFNN. It makes software that enables online financial transactions. DFNN will list on Oct. 30 in Manila.

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