THE BIG PICTURE Ever get the feeling you're being watched? You probably are, at least by a satellite. Now you can play Big Brother too, thanks to GlobeXplorer www.globexplorer.com) a new website that aggregates and organizes global satellite photos. Type in an address, and GlobeXplorer shows a satellite picture of that exact location, down to individual trees and rooftops. Spooky, isn't it?
BUSINESS AS VIRTUAL You may not be a dotcom entrepreneur--but now you can play one on a PC! A French company called Monte Cristo has just released Start-Up 2000 ($26.87, Windows only), a "sim"-style video game in which you play the CEO of a new high-tech company charged with parlaying its seed money into a Bill Gates-style fortune. Negotiate bank loans! Study market reports! Lay off employees! Sure, maybe it's a little too real, but at least when the venture capital dries up, you can start a new game.
COMMUTER COMPUTER Think of it as the traffic-copter killer. Working with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the website Traffic.com has installed sensors along major U.S. highways that will deliver real-time traffic data to the Web. Last week the service was launched in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area. Iron City residents can now use the Internet to check major traffic routes for accident reports and congestion. Coming soon to a traffic jam near you.
--By Lev Grossman