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

Outlook: AOL bear-hug

IF YOU cannot beat them, join them. Even after Freeserve's subscriber base topped the one million mark and the company announced plans to float on the stock market, AOL, the big daddy of American internet service provider, continued to insist stoically that it would not be entering the "free" ISP market and that it would persist in charging for its service, selling the product on superior quality, user friendliness and high levels of technical support.

AOL serves free challenge to rival

THE STRUGGLE to woo British Web surfers entered a new phase yesterday, as the world's biggest Internet access company, AOL, launched a free service to challenge Freeserve, the one-year-old company which is already the country's biggest Internet provider.

Bytes

THE INTERNET Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the non-profit organisation given the task of ensuring competition in the domain name registration business, is in danger of ceasing to function by next month.

Web Design: Killing the messengers

THE BATTLE lines are being drawn, and the rumbling of siege guns can be heard in the distance. The first skirmish of what may be the first great cyber-war is being fought. Microsoft and America Online (AOL) are coming into direct confrontation, fighting over the instant messaging market, which could grow as large as e-mail over the next few years.

The Latest News From The Motley Fool: Hooked on the internet

The Motley Fool started as an irreverent investment newsletter and has grown to become one of the most popular personal finance and investment websites. Anyone who follows its philosophy is called a 'Foolish investor'.

Coming soon: free gadget to access Net

GENTLEMEN, START your Internet gadgets. The race is on to supply the mass market with the cheapest possible device for accessing the Net - including one which will be given free to people who sign up with a particular Internet service.

Network: Casting the Net wide

AOL introduced the Internet to millions of users. But now it has to diversify.

Bytes

TESTIMONY IN the US government's anti-trust trial against Microsoft concluded in Washington last week. Microsoft's final witness, Richard Schmalensee, dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and an expert economic witness for the defence, argued that the state of competition in the computer industry was such that Microsoft was not a monopolist. He cited the deal between AOL and 3Com to allow Internet access via palm-held devices that ran no Microsoft software as evidence - and said that it did not use its dominance to gain unfair advantage for its other products, specifically its Web-browsing software.

AOL takes aim at Microsoft in `free-PC' talks

AMERICA ONLINE, the world's largest Internet access company, is rumoured to be on the verge of striking a deal that could lead to PCs being given away to Internet users.

Freeserve to sell float shares online

THE 1.25M subscribers to Freeserve, Dixons' Internet service provider, will be able to register online for the shares when it is floated within the next few weeks. It is thought to be the first time that subscribers have been able to register for a flotation issue on the Internet in Britain.

Network: Bytes

COMPAQ SAID last week that continuing slow sales throughout the year will result in a second-quarter loss of up to 15 cents per share, instead of an expected gain of 20 cents. It announced plans to restructure, which will include the formation of new business groups, unspecified redundancies and a restructuring charge of up to $2bn.

Host of copycats clouds Dixons' Freeserve float

News Analysis: The free Internet service could be worth anything from pounds 500m to pounds 2bn. The range hints at the uncertainties facing the fast- changing online sector

Network: It's cheaper by the minute

Free phone access would be great for Net users but risky for ISPs. By Stephen Pritchard

Network: Now chat is where it's at

Many people are eschewing e-mail for a quicker form of communication. By Matthew Burgess
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week