In this week's Cybershake we explore director Tim Burton's complaints about the Internet, new computer gaming software, and students in Texas doing their course work online.
Director Tim Burton’s Internet Complaints
Movie director Tim Burton may have hit on his hands with Planet of the Apes, but on the Internet, he feels like he's the one taking the hits.
"The Internet is scary. People got to take it easy with it," he says. "It's going to take us down a bad path."
Burton complains that things written about him on the Internet have been off the mark.
"Some guy in a cabin in Montana writes on the Internet and then all of a sudden it catches on and becomes a story in USA Today," says the director known for films like Batman and Beetlejuice that explore a darker side of things.
"I feel like I'm living in my own parallel universe or have an evil twin that's out there doing things that I don't know about."
He points to one recent piece of fiction: A "three-headed ape baby that I had last week."
"It shows a negative side of humanity," he says.
— Larry Jacobs, ABCNEWS
Math in a Virtual Classroom
Some high school students in a North Texas school district are attending an experimental cyber summer school.
Students like Ashley Brezina, 14, log onto a chat room that becomes their virtual algebra class.
"What you need to do first is solve the equation and find out what y equals, but I can't seem to figure it out," she said, working on a problem recently.
Teacher Ronda Schaefer helped Brezina solve that one.
"To me it's not any different than a classroom because sometimes you have four different people asking you questions at the same time," Schaefer says. "You have to be a fast typer and a fast reader."
Schaefer says her strength is in math, so, "It's very challenging" to explain what her students should do, "using words."
But Ashley Brezina says Schaefer's pretty good at it.
"She explains it really clearly and I get what she's saying most of the time."
Brezina's pretty good, too. She will be able to skip freshman algebra next year and move on to geometry, reports the Web site of Dallas/Fort Worth radio station WFAA.
If the experiment proves a success it could be a real boon to the disabled and those who call in sick.
Seven cyberspace courses will be offered in the fall.
— Karen Chase, ABCNEWS
Hot Games for the Summertime
A bunch of hot games are out for video game consoles and PCs, such as one for racing fans: Sony's Gran Turismo 3 for the PlayStation 2.
"The graphics are absolutely realistic. You couldn't have done anything like this before," says James Meilke, editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly. "You've got games like Red Faction. You've got games like Twisted Metal Black. Each console that comes out has a life span of 3 or 4 years. This is an industry where technology waits for no one."
For the Sega Dreamcast, Sonic the Hedgehog is 10 years old as he stars in Sonic Adventure 2.
As for the classics, a "lot of the older games are coming up at a much lower price point, like $19 and stuff," says Barr.
And for your PC, in sync with the timing of the movie, there's a new Jurassic Park game.
— Michael Barr, ABCNEWS
Cybershake is produced for ABCNEWS Radio by Andrea J. Smith.