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TBTF for 1995-07-10: Cybersickness and BevHills 90210

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Mon, 10 Jul 1995 21:09:23 -0400

>>From Edupage:

Complaints over LSD-like cybersickness "flashbacks" are on the rise, and
researchers now think they know what causes them. Simulator sickness occurs
when virtual reality creates audio and visual illusions of motion but lacks
other physical clues, such as inertia, that the brain expects to encounter.
To resolve the conflict the brain opens new neural pathways, which can re-
sult in flashbacks hours or even days after the simulation is over. "This
is a totally new phenomenon. It may bring new kinds of emotional disturb-
ances and mental illnesses," says a McGill University psychologist, who warns,
"There could be some big lawsuits looming." (Business Week 1995-07-10

[An irresistible story for the media, but I wonder what the actual incidence
of such complaints is. There's a technical term for the brain opening new
neural pathways: it's called "learning."]

A recent survey of Web users' buying preferences and habits showed that per
capita spending on the Web is up 35% compared to six months ago, with
another 70% increase expected in the next six months. But, whereas Web
sites providing "commercial information about products/services" are among
the most commonly visited, shopping is dead last as a primary motivation for
using the Web. For those who do shop, the most popular categories were
software, hardware, books, music, and travel. The least popular items were
apparel and legal services. Details available at the HERMES site
http://www.umich.edu/~sgupta/hermes/, or by sending e-mail to
sgupta@umich.edu with subject "HERMES Info".

[An interesting experiment in presenting survey results via the Web. They
don't have all the irons wrinkled out yet. The site offers Adobe PDF (with
and without thumbnails), PostScript, and HTML; you can also download the
datasets and do your own analysis.]

>>From the Weekly Recap:

MCI, ANS CO+RE Systems, Inc. and Sprint announced they have signed
bilateral agreements to interconnect their Internet networks for
direct exchange of traffic, with plans for service performance
objectives and standard operational procedures to enable a high
quality of service for Internet access subscribers. The companies
say that the goal of the agreements is to assure universal
connectivity for all parts of the Internet, in light of the
Internet's growth and the new decentralized structure of the
internet since the elimination of the National Science Foundation
Network (NSFNet) in May. The companies say that they transport
around 80% of the total Internet traffic on their network

[ANS is now a subsidiary of America Online.]

Beverly Hills Internet is offering a "homesteading program" with
free personal home pages for virtual habitation within its 10
virtual communities called "GeoCities," which include advertisers
and sponsors associated with each community. New GeoCities include
SiliconValley, CapitolHill, Paris and Tokyo, at

[bhi90210 provides tools for neophytes to construct Web pages. The results
put me in mind of the time when of cheap fonts first became widely avail-
able; for example see <http://www.geopages.com/Hollywood/1070/>.]

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Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.