Electronic Town Hall. That’s how the Democratic Leadership
Council is billing Clinton’s appearance on the Web later today. But even
though you know he has a political agenda, 15,000 Netizens are going to
be able to participate — and lots of them aren’t going to agree with
the president’s policies, politics or anything else he does. This is the
wild and woolly Web, after all, which even its “founder” Al Gore can’t
control. So if you’d like to ask the prez a pointed question, you need
to be online today from 4-5:30 p.m. PST (7-8:30 EST).

First, head to Excite Town
Hall Chat
to make sure you have all the chatting software that’s
required. (If you don’t, you can download it for free from this page,
but it may take awhile, depending on the speed of your modem, so do this
early in the day.) For sure, WND readers will have some interesting
questions to ask!

Then, to take part in this online exercise, head to live
. It will probably pay to get there as early as
possible; 15,000 is a pretty small proportion of those on the Net at any
one time.

Microsoft Ruling Dissected. Almost no one who owns a computer
is neutral about Bill Gates and Microsoft, so the antitrust trial of the
software company by the Justice Department for possibly creating a
monopoly has been widely followed. The Web was all abuzz on Friday when
it was rumored that the decision was ready to be handed down. Obviously,
ZDNet used those hours well. By early Saturday morning it had a complete
up and running. Audio, video, full text of the ruling,
reactions and how the ruling might affect the digital economy, software
and even your home computer.

If you’d like to express your opinion, vote in a Harris
Poll Online
about whether you think the judge made the right
decision and what you believe will happen next. You can also read Jesse
Berst’s commentary
and express your opinion of the ruling in words rather than as a yes or

As the weekend wore on, more and more sites got their coverage,
opinion polls and so forth up and running. But ZDNet has to be commended
for getting there first with the mostest.

How Safe Is Your Neighborhood? Speaking of justice and law, a
reader from Hugoton, Kan., (which she jokes is 150 miles from nowhere)
e-mailed last week to recommend APB News.com. She says it’s a
great site for those who are news/crime/legal buffs, with links to other
crime-related pages and the ability to listen to the police scanners in
Boston, Chicago, Dallas, L.A., New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego,
San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. But what I liked best about
the site was the ability to type in a ZIP Code and have the crime risk
in that area ranked on a scale of 1-10. Fascinating.

Lifetime Learning. A Michigan reader recommends Free-ed.net. It’s a place to learn all
sorts of subjects, he says, from computer and political sciences to
foreign languages. These online courses, tutorials and study guides
aren’t for college credit, you understand, but for your own personal
satisfaction. There are even some to give kids extra practice in
subjects they’ve been having problems with or for AP students to get
additional practice.

The courses aren’t necessarily from Free-ed, but the site has
gathered a fabulous array of what’s available on the Web. For a foreign
language it not only tells you where to find a course that will help you
learn the language, but guides you to interactive dictionaries, online
radio broadcasts in the language, any e-zines, forums where you can chat
and on and on. Because the courses are independent, some are more
complete than others. (I sure wouldn’t be able to get a news job with
what I’d learn in the journalism classes, for instance, but I think I
could learn to speak German quite well.) I was extremely impressed by
this resource.

Remembering Our Veterans. Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day.
It’s a good time to salute our
nation’s heroes
. (Warning: It may load slowly.) The Department of
Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Day Home
tells the history of the day, marks the 100th anniversary of
the VFW and links to other sites of interest.

Let ‘Em Learn Young. Unless you live “150 miles from nowhere,”
traffic jams are probably an everyday fact of your life. Now there’s an
educational online game for kids that lets them try to get a car through
the gridlock of the Messed-Up
. For other ages and other games, connect to Clever Games
for Clever People

Ask ERIC. When parents, educators, librarians and concerned
citizens have education questions, ERIC (Educational Resources Information
Center) is the place to get answers. In addition to the Q&A service,
ERIC has a virtual library of lesson plans and information guides, as
well as the world’s largest database of educational information. This is
the spot to head when your community is discussing such things as
year-round schools and you’d like to know how that schedule affects
pupil performance.

If you’re a teacher, you need to check out Ed’s Oasis. It connects you to lots of
evaluated resources and lesson plans.

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