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White House offers 'Virtual' holiday tours

The White House is giving a virtual peek this year at its holiday decorations, which are off-limits to the public due to tightened security following the 11th September attacks.

Visitors to the official White House Web site are greeted with a view of the gleaming foyer with flocked trees and sparkling white lights, and invited to take a "360 degree virtual holiday tour of the White House."

The White House has been stung by criticism for canceling the popular holiday season tours, which Washington, D.C. officials have said conflicted with President Bush's calls to revive tourism and hurt their own efforts to bring visitors to the capital.

"It's hard to have normalcy when you know the White House is a target," Bush said. "We urged the Secret Service to be more open-minded, but they convinced us that the security risk is such that we cannot jeopardize the lives of others," he added.

The technology used in this "Virtual Tour" is from IPIX, a java plugin will be required to view.

(I just hope that the Whitehouse's web server can withstand the onslaught of the traffic! Ed.)

News source: Reuters

View: WhiteHouse 360 Virtual Tour

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