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Talk of the day

Published June 16, 2006

New Netscape takes a community-inspired look

AOL has relaunched its Netscape Internet portal ( as an experiment in community journalism, trying to recapture the magic of the once-famous online brand. Netscape will rely on its users to submit, rank and comment on news stories, videos and blog postings from across the Web. Stories will be organized into 30 categories, such as movies, travel and money. The user-participation approach borrows from the model of technology sites such as Digg and Slashdot, and stands in contrast to Google News' reliance on software for compiling relevant stories. "It's kind of a metajournalism," said Jason McCabe Calacanis, the AOL executive who oversaw the Netscape redesign. After users post stories, professional editors will complement them with other material. For example, if a restaurant review rises to the top of the food and entertainment category, an editor might interview the chef for a response.

Grasso is really fond of the Fifth Amendment

Former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso invoked his Fifth Amendment rights more than 150 times in a deposition as federal regulators probed any possible attempts to prop up the stock price of American International Group Inc. in 2001. In deposition transcripts obtained by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Grasso repeatedly refused to answer questions on whether he aided in pressuring AIG's specialist firm, Spear Leeds & Kellogg Specialists LLC, to help keep the insurer's price higher while it attempted to buy a rival firm. Grasso's decision not to answer may have been a legal strategy designed to deprive regulators and prosecutors of any ammunition should the case go to court.

Other chatter

AMAZON ADDS GROCERY ITEMS: Inc. said it has begun selling 15,000 nonperishable grocery items in the United States, including diapers, in an attempt to boost sales.

FEDEX TO STORE SPARE PARTS AT KINKO'S: FedEx Corp. has started a service for high-tech companies wanting equipment or replacement parts in small inventories around the country. Critical Inventory Logistics is expected to appeal to customers in telecommunications, medicine and other high-tech fields. The service will focus on small stocks of replacement parts, emergency equipment and other items, such as medical devices for surgical implants, at selected Kinko's centers in major U.S. cities.

CARTOON NETWORK, MATTEL TEAM UP: Cartoon Network has signed a worldwide licensing deal with Mattel Inc., the world's largest toymaker, to produce action figures, puzzles and other toys tied to its children's TV shows. Mattel will release in 2007 the first batch of toys under the licensing pact, which will be based on one of Cartoon Network's most successful series, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

--Information from the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News was used in this report.

[Last modified June 16, 2006, 06:30:33]

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