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Sex, Lies, and Webcams

©01 The Media Desk

         It's amazing what you can do with 'Javascript' and things like 'FLASH'. Maybe a keyword activated database like the old DOS program 'Ask Lisa' and her cousins. Add to that a randomized animated Gif or three... and Boy Howdy you can put up a neat website.
         The Desk checked out a link to a site that was supposed to be the home page of a movie.
         Well. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Who knows? And equally important... it doesn't matter.
         No it doesn't, not in the least.
         What is more important is what the desk stumbled into that claimed to be a 'live chat with one of our sexy dancers.'

         OK, the girl could be called 'sexy' in a Movie Bargirl kind of way. Too much makeup, a costume that did absolutely nothing for her (or me for that matter), and lighting that would never stand up to an OSHA workplace lighting audit.

         The first thing that gave it away that while she was 'their sexy dancer' she was neither live or in chat with me was the repetition cycle of picture. Before I logged in (as Wm Clint no less) I sat and watched it for a minute. Then I put in the name, and 'Hey Presto!' the girl's picture went through the same sequence of moves again. Typing, looking up, taking a drink, typing some more, smiling. OK, the picture of the pretty girl is a series of pictures cycling in some sort of random order with a variable delay built in. What about the 'chat window' conversation? It responded to a few selectively chosen keywords and when it didn't recognize what the Desk typed it came back with 'What is that supposed to mean to me?' That same line was a staple in the old 'Lisa' program.
         Well, that's a bust, no pun on Alisha's costume intended... Let's check out some of the rest of the site...

         They had a 'peeper cam' in the dressing room of the dancers. OK, that's pretty standard Adult Website stuff. Most of the time the only thing 'Live' is the lag in the feed. And it was the same here. The give-away was that the girl that was supposed to have been in the 'live sexy chat' was the one sitting on the side putting on her fishnet hose.
         Well, it is supposed to be a movie website. From 'the Magic Store' that is Hollywood. So the only thing likely to be real is the smoke and mirrors. Was Alisha a real girl? Probably. But most likely our 'live chat' had been pre-recorded sometime last year during pre-production of the movie.

         So what was this web site?

         It also doesn't matter, but here it is anyway, although the movie was billed as 'Center of the World', and so was the site, after a fashion. But it certainly didn't live up to the hype.

         Is this the only site like this? Not by a long shot. And this is a good example of 'Let the Surfer Beware'. NOTHING is what it seems on the Net. The Desk has said that many times, and people still believe the attractive young millionaire they are exchanging email with is exactly what they say they are, when in reality, they are a crippled old ugly sportswriter who buys beer by the three pack because it can't afford a six.
         If you sign up and PAY for live video chats with gorgeous college girls there's an even odds chance you'll end up watching a tape of the same girl over and over and typing romantic suggestions to a auto-responder plugged into keyword database, or somebody's grandmother will be egging you on to burn up time and thereby earn her money. We won't even talk about the free promotional offerings bound in with ads and interrupted by pop-up banners every other minute.

         When these things first became popular the Desk swung through several for the adult section of a local BBS. It rated and reviewed all sorts of things, including live girls wearing their underwear typing rather badly into a Windows Videoconference. Yes it was live, such as it was, and yes it was fun, for a time. Except the girls were simply window dressing for a pay adult site and they spent a lot of their time pushing you into signing up for the site so you could see them without their underwear. When backed into a corner by the Desk in a rather explicit cross-examination two of the girls confessed they had never even had their tops undone in front of a camera and they didn't even know who ran the adult site they were shilling for.
         So much for truth in advertising on the Net.

         Here it is again.
         THINK about what you are doing on the Net. THINK about where you are, and WHO may or may not be on the other end. Elvis is alive and well on the NET. So is Hitler. That really neat guy you met in a chat room may be a really neat guy, or one of the FBI's ten most wanted, or both.

         Anyway.... I need to go, Julia Roberts is going to be in the clothing optional chat room in a few....


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