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Time capsule to be buried on Web

Al Gore wants to leave a little something behind him

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US vice president Al Gore has backed a scheme for America's youth to create a millennium time capsule in cyberspace. Instead of using a pick and shovel to turn over the sods, the National Internet Time Capsule Science Project will let high school graduates of America's "Class of 2000" bury a time capsule on the Web instead. It is hoped the cybercapsule will reflect what life was like during the last year of the 20th century. In a letter to the project organisers, Gore said: "This is an exciting initiative which should provide a fascinating historical record of the turn of the 21st century and serve as in interactive educational tool for young people worldwide. "This project will help bring American students together in a richer learning environment, he said. In September, the project's "Messages to the Future" Web site will begin providing the interactive software to enable schools to take part. Students will be able to create their own "Messages to the Future" site about what defines life for them. As well as text and pictures, they'll also be able to include audio and video files. Once complete these sites will be linked together to create a permanent, National Interactive Library already lauded as "a gift to the American people of the 21st Century." Of course, the big question is what exactly America's youth will decide to bury. Dig around a few high schools today and you might just come across a racoon skin hat, draft card, 8-track tape or even one of IBM's very first PCs. For the "Class of 2000" it could be the latest MP3 file from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a Furby, a character from the latest Star Wars movie or the mobile phone number of their drug dealer. Who knows -- then again, who cares? ®

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