A round-up of what's online and on our minds

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  • While it has its equal share of doubters and believers, the virtual world that is Second Life has a friend in the Swedish embassy, which has recently opened doors to the world's first virtual embassy. Linden Labs, the party responsible for Second Life, welcomed the Swedes at a real-world press conference in Stockholm this week. The site includes a room that commemorates Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save thousands of Jews in World War II, along with an art exhibition, pictures of Sweden, fact sheets and radio news via iPod. Diplomacy never tasted so hi-tech.
  • The hype of it being the next lucrative marketing tool may precede it, but the widget is nonetheless a clever way of sidling up mini-ads on random sites and turning the consumer into the advertiser. Now, Freewebs, a giant advocate of the embedded technology who has sold the widget strategy to major film studios and such, is opening its vault, so to speak, to the site's members with its Widget Bank. The Freewebs Widget Bank gives its users unlimited access to thousands of widgets, a database that will be constantly updated to included accoutrements like games, clocks, RSS feed readers, maps, video players and more. The Maryland-based company, which has partnered with YouTube, Craigslist and Miniclip among others for this effort, basically promises to make HTML go bye-bye.
  • Heavy.com, the online purveyor for the CollegeHumor/Adult Swim set, has expanded upon its Hot Tamales Ice advertainment, coined "Circus of Awesome," by turning it into an original series, replete with yo-yo experts, human slinkys and (flag)pole dancers. See the Cavemen beat that.
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