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This Week:
- Our favourite stories this year
- Photoshop the Queen

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B3ta email 23 - 21 DEC 2001 - "We remember the web"


: 2001 IN REVIEW

  It's has been a funny old year on the Internet,
  half our friends lost their jobs and agencies
  have been dropping like flies.

  However, there was some fun stuff too.

  Here are our the best stories that ended up in
  our inbox this year.


: Britney is Dead - Hoax

  Nerd bloke makes page saying that Britney has
  died in a road accident. World panics. BBC gets
  angry. Page taken down. Oh well.


: Hank the Dwarf dies

  Poor little Hank - he was Howard Sterns little
  side kick. Like many dwarfs before him - the
  booze got him.

  (BTW: Hank was once voted the "Internets'
  Most Beautiful Person" - after Stern organised
  a grass roots email campaign.)


: Scary Muscle Boy Pictures

  Yuck! What's that in our inbox? It's a
  SCHWARZENEGGER HANSON - a nine year old boy with
  enormous muscles. Stop it! You're making us feel



: Friends Reunited 

  Do you really want to know how well your old
  school mates are doing? Friends Reunited
  thought so. 

  Then users filled the site with nasty comments
  about their old teachers being child molesters,
  and got the site owners into legal hot water.



: My Cat Hates You

  Is your cat angry? Did you share the joke with
  a million bored cat lovers? Many did.



: All Your Base Are Belong To Us

  This phrase - a poorly translated bit of Japanese
  from an old console game - went from nerd joke
  to a  global phenomenon. It was cool until the
  twatty bloke on the next desk started saying it.


: Peter Pan found his Tinker-Bell. 

  Huh? I don't know - some weird bloke dressed in
  tights - managed to pull a woman with similar
  interests. Isn't that nice?


: Bert/Bin Laden is EVIL.

  Cool - some bloke made a weird Bert from Sesame
  Street image. Then a poster-maker used the web
  to source images for his Bin Laden poster. 

  This is used in pro-Taliban demonstration. A
  photo is taken - ends up on the news wires
  - and back on the net. We have a closed media
  loop. Prepare for the universe to collapse.


: Geri the Dog

  Popbitch - the music industry gossip newsletter
  - was looking for images of popstars with
  dogs - and used Google to find a mutt called

  They mentioned it - with the detail that the
  dog was housed at an animal sanctuary & needed
  a new owner.

  This story had legs and reached the tabloids
  and TV. Yay for animal interest stories & the
  power of the Google search engine.


: Kung-fu Chimp Video

  What is it with you people? Do you think
  monkeys are still funny? It didn't stop you
  mailing this video to each other. 


: Tourist Guy

  This photo turned up in everyone's email. A man
  standing on the WTC with a plane behind him.

  This was supposedly taken 10 seconds before the
  disaster - but turned out to be a photoshopped

  Thousands more images appeared - with him
  in front of different world disasters - all
  photoshopped nonsense. Then a Brazilian man
  came forward - saying that it was him.

  Volkswagen gave him a huge wad of cash - and
  he turned out to be a liar.

  Are you following this? Do you care? Tourist
  guy, FUCK OFF!


: J-Lo Email Bollocks.

  Oh god. We so wanted this to be true. An email
  transcript between Jenifer Lopez's publicist
  and some drone at Warner Brothers arguing 
  about holding up a film unless Lopez was
  credited   as "J-Lo". We were excited for
  a moment... a glimpse into the mundane
  mechanics of supporting   an insane diva's
  celebrity... But no - it was a joke. Arse.
  Didn't stop it going half way round the
  world and back again.


: WTC disaster closes the BBC site

  This was terrifying.
  We were sitting in the office with no TV or
  radio. A text message comes in saying "plane
  crash in New York."

  We go straight to the BCC site, and it's down.

  We go to the BBC site, and it's down.

  We had to use message boards such as Slashdot,
  Metafilter & Popbitch to work out what on earth
  was going on. Scary - but their news coverage
  turned out to be better than the mainstream.


: Napster Closing Down

  Arse. Fuck. Piss. No more free music. No more

  (So it wasn't all bad then.)


: Boo Closing

  Did you want to buy your clothes over the
  Internet with a cartoon avatar guiding your
  decisions? Apparently not. They spent 10
  million quid & closed. You can now read the
  inside   story of their fall in their book 
  "BooHoo" - and if the PR is to be believed,
  they've already sold the film rights.

  Jammy little shits.


: "I saw an arab... and he told me ..." 

  Did you fall for this shit? Did you phone
  your mates and tell them to get the hell out
  of Central London. Did you say, "It's true! My
  mate told me! And her mate told her"? Then
  sorry - you should read snopes2.com and learn
  a little about urban legends.


: That girl WITHOUT leukaemia - she didn't die!

  Simple story: Girl writes web page. Girl
  pretends to be dying. People get upset and send
  flowers. Girl dies. People try and attend
  funeral. Oops. The girl made it all up. Not
  everything on the Internet is true. Shock.


: Couple Court on Webcam - Shagging

  Yay. This was great. Boy buys webcam. Boy
  invites girl round. Boy shags girl. 3rd party
  takes stills from the video feed - and posts
  them all over the web.

  From obscurity to celebrity in two days.
  And then back again.


: "I send you this for your advice".. 

  Oh God. The fucking Sircam virus. This was
  annoying. And the once with the 7 dwarfs? And
  the one that just crashes your email package
  when you preview an email? 



: Queen mum fake death rumours

  "Look it's true. My friend at C4 said so.
  They're holding off breaking the news until the

  This story got a bit of press - but the old dear
  turned out not to be dead.

  However - we can confirm that David Icke is
  right: she IS a lizard. (She can't
  transmogrify her body any more - and the 
  bandages on her legs are hiding scales.)


: Robbie Williams isn't a nazi

  Did you see this one? A fantastic animation of
  Robbie Williams marching over swastikas to a 
  bomtempi organ version of Rock DJ. It was great
  - until RW's lawyers closed the site down.


: Jamie Oliver is a Cunt

  If you missed this, then you are blind. 1000s
  of images of the fat-tongued-one all doctored 
  to rip the piss. This was a combined Internet
  community effort. The web - we salute you - 
  for this was your finest hour. Woo.



  Results - winner - new challenge.

  Each week we run a competition to test your
  creative skills. We find an image, and you
  Photoshop it to death.

  Last week was Jesus website.

  The winner? Andy206's Titanic Jesus.

  This weeks challenge? Next year is the Queens
  Golden Jubilee. Celebrate in style.

  BTW: We can't take submissions via email.
  For details on hosting images elsewhere, please
  read ... 


  We're not going to publish a newsletter next
  week. We want a holiday. However, we're leaving
  the message board open, so have fun.

  (BTW: If you are a coder, and bored this Xmas
  we would really love you to think about making
  a game. Go on. Hide from your family this 
  Christmas and make something good.)


  Subscribe:  [email protected]
  Unsubscribe:  [email protected]


: Thanks this year to:

  Cal, Joel, Neil, Pep, Tom, Lucy, AndyK, Nicey,
  TheWife, Hal9000 and everyone who contributed
  so much to the message board, weblog, and image
  challenges. You all rock.

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