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© St. Petersburg Times, published March 12, 2001

Renegade suffixes join Net's dot-coms

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Defying the authority that governs Internet names, a California start-up began selling Web addresses based on 20 new and unsanctioned suffixes including ".kids," ".sport," ".travel" and ".xxx". Although other unsanctioned suffixes exist, none are backed by a group with the apparent economic clout or publicity-generating ability of that involved in last week's announcement. Offering addresses for $25 apiece as alternatives to ".com," ".net" and other established domains is of Pasadena, Calif. The start-up has partnered with Internet service providers including Earthlink Inc., NetZero Inc. and ExciteHome Corp., which it says will automatically route users to the new Web addresses. Its 20 suffixes are not sanctioned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which was selected by the U.S. Commerce Department in 1998 to coordinate Internet names.

Game Boy Advanced arriving in U.S. on June 11

TOKYO -- Nintendo Co. is out to prove that Mario doesn't need super-sophisticated computer graphics to sell. Game Boy Advance, the revamped version of the Game Boy portable video game machine, is set to hit Japanese stores March 21 for $82 and U.S. stores for $99.95 on June 11. That's just in time for summer vacation for the target market: kids. Mario, the red-capped acrobatic plumber, jumps, runs and catches gold coins the same as ever on the Game Boy Advance. The monitor can show 32,000 colors, far more than the 56 of Game Boy Color, which went on sale in 1998.

Xbox sales could top 5-million in first year

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft Corp. will sell slightly more than 5-million Xbox video game consoles in the fiscal year in which it is introduced, Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Henry Blodget said in a report. That compares with 8-million to 9-million units rival Sony Corp. has shipped since its PlayStation 2 console was introduced in Japan in March 2000. Xbox, Microsoft's first game console, is scheduled to go on sale in the United States and Japan this fall. That would put it on the market for seven to 10 months of the company's fiscal year ending June 2002. Microsoft, which is seeking to expand businesses that aren't tied to personal computers, hopes Xbox will take sales from Sony's PlayStation 2 in the $20-billion worldwide video game market.

Netscape to link AOL Time Warner sites

NEW YORK -- AOL Time Warner, the biggest Internet and media company, said it will link some of its most popular Time Warner Web sites, such as People and Time magazines, with Netscape electronic mail and search technology. The Netscape tool bar will allow visitors to send instant messages and e-mail from the Time Warner sites. It will be available whether the visitor is using Netscape or Microsoft Corp.'s browser, Netscape spokesman Marty Gordon said. The integration effort is one of the first since America Online Inc. bought Time Warner Inc. in January for $124-billion. AOL Time Warner is seeking to use the America Online service, which has more than 27-million subscribers, and other brands to promote content such as Warner Bros. films. The latest effort is aimed at keeping visitors on the Time Warner sites longer and at attracting new Netscape users.

- Compiled from Times wires.

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