Life and Style Dear Barry: Open letters have become the way high-flying individuals - and firms - get their message across

It used to be just angry celebrities (and Moses) who wrote open letters. Now, even America's top businesses are taking the president to task, says Clare Dwyer Hogg

Gay sailor wins compensation

THE United States navy and America's biggest Internet provider, America Online (AOL), have agreed compensation for a naval officer who faced dismissal, with no benefits, on grounds of homosexuality.

Faster modems - at last some standard practice

The announcement of a new standard for 56K modems should make life easier for ordinary users who want to buy a faster modem. However, there are still a few details that need to be ironed out.

Charges rise on the Internet

The world's most popular Internet service provider said yesterday that it will boost the monthly charge for unlimited use to $21.95 (pounds 13.71) from $19.95. America Online said the move was necessary to keep pace with increased online usage by its subscribers.

Internet Investor: The fool's approach to investment is not to be jeered at

After the way the stock market has been behaving recently, plenty of investors, both professional and private, may be feeling a little foolish about some of their investment decisions. However, there is one website which glories in its foolishness - The Motley Fool.

Net snared US sailor in `gay sacking' row

An allegedly gay sailor is challenging his discharge from the US Navy, claiming that the Navy and a major Internet service provider breached his right to privacy.

e-mail

AOL's fight against spammers

Byte: Surfers can't get no satisfaction

Communications between users of AOL and MSN broke down as users of MSN 2.5 found their e-mail to AOL being bounced for several days. Normal service was resumed last week, but with no one quite sure what had gone wrong. Aware that neither company has been without its e-mail problems in the past, the competitors did not indulge in the sort of high-profile slanging match that rivals in computing industries seem so disposed towards. "It is not yet clear what caused the problem," AOL spokesman Rich D'Amato said. "What's important is that the mail is flowing again. AOL and MSN together are trying to determine what the problem was and where it occurred."

Internet: Why the Web's `Spam King' has had his chips

Internet users have been up in arms for months about Sanford Wallace as his company Cyberpromo "spammed" the net with up to 20 million e-mails each day. So why is he not online anymore? And what is spamming? Charles Arthur on the battle over the Net's fut

Internet: The site that is bringing home entertainment to millions

A young American woman has a small video camera trained on her bedroom 24 hours a day. The camera, connected to a computer, relays continually updated colour photographs from her Washington flat into her Internet website, where 100 million visitors around

Internet giants join forces in $1.2bn deal

CompuServe, the pioneer of online services in the 1980s, is to be swallowed up by its glitzier nemesis of the 1990s, America Online, in a $1.2bn (pounds 758m), three-way deal also involving the long-distance telephone giant, WorldCom.

Comment: Making money on the Internet is not so easy

Even in an enterprise as hip, new and fashionable as the Internet, commercial reality has a nasty habit of coming home to roost. It is reckoned that by the turn of the Century, the Internet in all its various guises will have attracted some $200bn of investment worldwide. The revenue earning powers of the Internet, however, will be lucky to have breached the $50bn mark. What this means is that for the time being the worldwide web is more about hope and expectation than anything else, at least in commercial terms. All but the lucky few will continue to lose money on it into the indefinite future.

Wimbledon 97: Court Circular: Net gains for Gimelstob

Gary Lineker once famously cited Teletext as the only way to watch Wimbledon play football. The world has moved on and there are now such useful tools as the Internet. For the price of a local telephone call, anybody in the world can follow a game as it develops, point by point.

America Online targets smaller rival

CompuServe, the pioneer computer on-line service widely used in Europe but which has been struggling in the United States, may be about to be gobbled up by its brashly successful rival, America Online.

Network: Net privacy

If you subscribe to CompuServe, AOL or the Microsoft Network, you can stop them giving out your home address by locating the relevant customer services forum. On AOL, for instance, type in the keyword COS, which stands for "conditions of service". This will take you to an area where you can instruct AOL to remove you from mailing lists that they sell.
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