Date The excitement caused by Madonna's Brixton Academy appearance earlier this year was palpable not only because it was her first British show in years. but also because it was her live web broadcast debut. Nine million fans logged on to watch the webcast. though many saw very little as Microsoft's system struggled to cope with demand. This was a somewhat stuttery start to Microsoft's big push into the webcast market; 85% of the market share is currently held by RealNetWOrks.

Predlctlon Bear in mind there is a big difference between down the front at a Radiohead gig and viewing it relayed on a two-inch wide frame on a computer screen. However. quality and reliability of webcasts is growing and the internet's erasing of geography means fans will get to see bands who don't come to them. Paul McCartney's show at the Cavern last year was seen by only a couple of hundred punters in the flesh but, until Madge. the biggest audience for a webcast at three million users. For more see

but. Shopping on-line gets ever more popular. key factors being variety of products, price and speed of delivery. In the fashion stakes. customising on-line is increasing: in the US you can create your own Levi's Original Spin jeans

I. t: . . or design your own shoes with Nike's Design ID service ~ ~ .

Pndlctlon More exciting is the creation of a virtual changing room. You can already scan in your photo to try out hairstyles on-Iine. but within the next few years optical scanners should be widely available; scanning in your body shape to create a SD portrait which can be stored on a smart card, letting you really. virtually try before you buy.

Date 80 you want to go to Las Vegas? Go to

a lt's that easy. In the last five years the travel industry has been turned upside down with anyone on the internet seizing control and finding the best deals for themselves.

Predlctlon You can go direct to the airlines or check out one of the independent sites , , , ,

-7 egg»: , w i; *2; v Compareflight times. prices. routes and numerous other factors until you find what you're looking for. With accommodation it's a similarstoryas ~ ' m, ' .. and numerous others try to out-do each other with special offers. It's hard to see how the high street travel agents can compete.

Data The existence of this company that allows users to swap music. film and other computer files over the net hangs in a very shoogley balance. Despite a favourable court ruling giving it a stay of execution. pressure from record companies means that Napster. ' ~ , will cease to be free. Predletlon The most probable outcome is a subscription system requiring Napster users to pay a fee for music that will be legitimately available. However. the bootlegs and pre- release music available now will surely vanish; the first real internet music rebellion is nearly over. In the meantime. numerous Napster-alike programmes will prosper until the same fate befalls them. Enjoy them while you can.

16 THI LIST 1-15 Mar 2001

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Data The future of buying art is most definitely through the internet. Websites devoted to on-line art retailing are becoming increasingly popular. Notably

. ' - '~ . where at the click of a mouse. you too can own a limited edition spot print by Damien Hirst for around 922000. or perhaps an Andy Goldsworthy or Sebastiao Salgado print for as little as $350. The work of emerging and established artists can be found

at L ' and. closer to home.

' offers original artwork for

under £300. Predletlon By cutting out the middleman (ie the gallery) costs are reduced allowing more and more people the chance

to own original art. Wave goodbye to Mark Rothko posters from lkea. (Hang on . . . I've got one of those.)

There were three

mllllon vlrtual Madonnee when Madge went on-llne

Date Napster. though the subject of ongoing litigation in the US. is a household name. and Gnutella isn't far behind. But since 1997 geekier types have had afar more powerful file-swapping tool at their disposal that has somehow avoided hitting the headlines. Hotline (and clones like Carracho) allows users to turn their home computer into a server to share and swap anything from near-DVD quality films. high-end software. MP3s and. this being the internet. pornography. Like Napster. the Hotline community rides roughshod over copyright and intellectual property. but maintains semi-legal status thanks to carefully worded user agreements and no Napster-style search


Predletlon Three million Hotline users can't be wrong. and the opponunity to download anything from Hannibal months before its UK release to Photoshop 6 free and gratis isn't to be sniffed at. And now the software is set to be licensed to other internet companies. it could revolutionise the way we all use the web. See

: and