Internet Explorer 9, the new browser from Microsoft, became available free download Monday night at http://www.beautyoftheweb.com. It works only with Windows 7 and Windows Vista so if you are an XP user, you are out of luck.
If you have downloaded IE9 and are checking out the new features, here are some cool websites that take advantage of the new HTML5 Web standards:
Foursquare Playground. This is a digital cityscape rendering of the popular social check-in app Foursquare with you as a cartoon character. It has pink bubbles showing where people are checked in elsewhere. I just discovered that someone set up a "Newsroom Mens Bathroom" in The Seattle Times office. (Nobody was checked in at the time of this post.) The Foursquare app was built by Seattle design company Vectorform.
KEXP Archive. This website provides visualization of the KEXP song archives and when the station played each of the songs. It has links to purchase the song on Amazon.com, iTunes and other places. If you're a music fan, check out this site for The Killlers, a panoramic photo website.
The Endless Mural. This is an art site where you can create psychedelic animated murals online and see what other artists have created. Another interesting art creation site is Floweroscope, where you can create animations combining flowers with a kaleidoscope.
Rough Guides. This Make the Most website for travel publisher Rough Guides uses a compass to navigate images pulled from Flickr from travelers around the world.
Jack and the Beanstalk. This is an interactive storybook for children that will not be too exciting for iPad users, but it shows the convergence of Web and native applications.
Facebook. This does not look that different in Internet Explorer 9, but if you pin it to your Windows 7 taskbar (by dragging the tab to your taskbar), it will create a Facebook icon that shows a pink asterisk every time someone sends you a message or comments on your status update. This feature seems to have increased my Facebook daily visits by 500 percent.