- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 15, 2006

Each week, the Browser features some pop-culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free interactive sounds and action.

Cyber Scary Movie

Director David Zucker and Dimension Films mock horror cinema once again in “Scary Movie 4.” It just opened Friday, and the continuation of the franchise features Carmen Electra, Bill Pullman, Leslie Nielsen and more sophomoric humor than audience members can shake a dismembered limb at.

The official Web site (www.scarymovie.com) more than adequately lets the older immature demographic know what to expect at movie theaters. Multimedia-rich interactive pages mix double entendres with slapstick comedy while paying twisted tribute to films such as “The Grudge,” “Saw,” “The Village” and “War of the Worlds.”

The front page shows some of the goofy main characters reacting to being touched by a mouse pointer (such as Dr. Phil trying to saw his head off or Brenda Meeks growing a massive afro hairdo while “I’m Your Boogie Man” plays in the background). After that interaction, fans of fine cinema will want to stop by the Goodies section for a few challenges.

After a look at the famed “Saw” puppet perched on a chair singing a song in his favorite grungy bathroom, visitors can download six wallpapers or five instant messaging icons or look to the right of the screen for more icons linked to the real fun.

Besides the ability to send a personalized “EEE-Card” featuring Carmen Electra being harassed by a Martian spaceship and writing captions for some still photographs, gamers will find silly exercises that involve shooting down missiles aimed at a pair of Earths or engaging in a Battle to the Death with celebrities.

The Battle allows a player to choose cartoony versions of Sumo wrestlers sporting the heads of Carmen Electra, the “Saw” puppet and caricatures of Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey. Correctly matching the keystrokes displayed on the screen powers up the player’s avatar and leads to the character gleefully pummeling an opponent, with the delivery of a painful wedgie not being out of the question.

Fans in need of some cyber-screen laughs will find the Entrailers section, which offers eight QuickTime-friendly clips shown on a screen in a Japanese-themed minitheater. In addition to the main trailer and television spots, the section contains a behind-the-scenes segment from “Extra” and a bizarre clip with the Hefner Girls playing Scrabble.

Loki to the rescue

Skyhook Wireless has developed a free search application that will help laptop owners with a WiFi card never again feel lost in a strange city.

Acting as a pseudo GPS system, Loki (www.loki.com) determines the physical location of a computer as it targets wireless access points in the top 100 U.S. cities and hones into the machine’s WiFi antennae or its IP address.

Through a quick download that sets up a custom toolbar in a Windows XP-based computer using either Internet Explorer (versions 5, 5.5 and 6) or Mozilla Firefox (versions 1.0, 1.5), computer users have the ability to quickly navigate their physical surroundings, greatly assisted by the digital world.

If a user’s location is not pinpointed, he can add it manually through the Tuner option and help enrich the Loki database and access all of the directional features.

So in Loki’s drop-down channel menu, which automatically inputs location information into familiar Web directories, users can quickly chart travel routes with Google Maps (http://maps.google.com), find a nearby restaurant with Zagat’s resources (www.zagat.com), see photographs of local places and events such as a Washington Nationals game or the C&O; Canal with Geo Snapper (www.geosnapper.com), purchase movie tickets at a local theater with Fandango (www.fandango.com) and listen to the closest radio stations with On the Radio.net (www.on theradio.net).

Another partnership with Skyhook enables access to the mobile community of Socialight (http:// socialight.com), which has users tag areas of interest with its StickyShadow message system. The points then are accessible through the Loki interface.

Skyhook promises no Adware, Spyware or Trackware is installed in a user’s computer, and it will not store any queries on its system, so Big Brother should not be watching.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send e-mail (jszadkowski@washington times.com). Joseph also writes a Web-exclusive column for the Washington Times Web site where he reviews educational software and family-friendly video games. Check it out at www. washingtontimes.com/family times/romperroom.htm.

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