- By Judi Hasson
- Sep 24, 2001
Tipping the Internet
Not only did the Internet perform admirably after the Sept. 11 attacks
on the United States, it is now proving to be an excellent investigative
tool. The Internet is generating the majority of the tips the FBI is receiving
for its probe into the worst terrorist incidents on U.S. soil.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said Sept. 18 that the FBI's special
terrorist tip Web site had received more than 54,000 tips. That compares
with 9,000 from a phone hot line and 33,000 generated by FBI agents. Ashcroft
did not discuss the credibility of the tips received at www.ifccfbi.gov.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been
handling some of the government's disaster relief efforts, has reorganized
its Web page to provide easier access to resources for those affected by
the attacks. "The new Web page is a one-stop site for people to turn to
for information on how to help if they want to and where to get help for
themselves, family or friends," said HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. The site
(www.hhs.gov) contains information on blood donations, how to volunteer
and help for seniors.
New Face for USDA
The Agriculture Department will launch a redesigned Web site this fall,
according to Webmaster Vic Powell. The format will be condensed, information
will be easier to locate, and there will be fewer links on the home page.
The idea is now being reviewed by the 40 departments within the USDA that
have their own Web sites, Powell said.
The Bush administration "wanted a new approach and some fresh material
on the opening page," he said. The redesign, which was done internally and
cost nothing but staff time, can't come soon enough for visitors to the
site. That number reached 1.3 million the week of Aug. 28, the last time
the USDA counted Web visitors.
The Real Web
The Voice of America officially launched its new Web site for China
this month at www.voachinese.com. It offers U.S. and international news
in Mandarin and features an interview with former President Jimmy Carter,
who observed a village election outside Shanghai.
Carter told VOA that the villagers "are voting in a completely secret
way. They apparently have a very high turnout today, maybe because Voice
of America is here."
The new site expands an e-mail service VOA has been sending to Chinese
subscribers since 1997, when VOA's Chinese Web team developed and sent condensed
scripts of Chinese-language news of international and domestic events not
reported by the state-run media.
Meanwhile, far away in Antarctica, the National Science Foundation is
spending more than $200 million a year for expeditions to study the South
Pole. A number of Web sites sponsored by NSF and other academic groups provide
a wealth of information about polar studies, including the search for meteorites
in Antarctica (www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/media/01/fs meteorites.htm).
Students who want to correspond with a scientist at the South Pole can
contact NSF to arrange it. Did you know, for instance, that Antarctica holds
90 percent of the world's ice and represents 70 percent of the world's fresh
Got a tip? Send it to [email protected].