Volume 95, Issue 50

Thursday, November 29, 2001
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Study targets AIDS infection

Geeks get organized

Afghan refugee horror

Less housing available in London

Profs: complication clouds cloning

Study: 7.3 per cent drink and drive

New hate crime office to open in London

News Briefs

Geeks get organized

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

If you have ever wanted to know 'what's up' at Western, the answer is now only a couple of mouse clicks away.

A recently launched website, www.brainfuel.ca, offers message boards, event listings, polls and other Western and London-related information.

Brainfuel is the brainchild of three undergraduate students who met in an entrepreneurial club at Western, said Sam Tabbera, a second-year engineering student and one of the site's founders.

"We had the idea that the Internet could offer a great meeting ground, especially for first-year students," Tabbera said.

"If we could create a Western meeting place on the Internet – we could create a Western culture online," he said.

"What's Up" software, currently in beta testing, will be launched in January along with a new marketing campaign, Tabbera said.

The free software will be available to download from the website. "It pops up at a user set time and asks you, 'What's up, Western? What are you doing tonight?,'" he said.

Students will be able to vote for what they plan to do – for example, go to a certain bar – while their demographic information is collected.

"Hopefully, this will solve that age-old problem of, 'what do you want to do tonight? I don't know, what do you want to do tonight?,'" Tabbera added.

The site has been funded by the founding students' own money and there are no plans for in-your-face advertisements. "We don't want it to become a corporate site," he said.

None of the information collected about users will be given to any third party, Taberra added.

First-year social science student Jen Heald said she would consider using the 'What's Up' software.

"I think it's a very good idea because it allows you to know what other first-year students are doing," she said.

"It's high tech, it's now, it's happening, " said Aaron Lycett, manager of London's Laser Quest, which supports the Brainfuel site.

Laser Quest became part of the site's entertainment section after being approached by Tabbera.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001