By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 3, 2000
Bring lawyers, browsers and money
While you may not think the rapidly evolving world of Internet law has anything to do with your life, you'd be misguided to ignore it. Some of the articles at the Internet Law Journal are a bit out of reach for many of us, but a good chunk of it will bring you along on intellectual property rights, legal Net-related trends, who's suing whom and so forth.
Less to deja view
Stories like this make a geek's bloodshot eyes fill with tears. No, the price of RAM hasn't gone up again, but Deja.com has become significantly less useful to us all. Before it decided to become yet another shopping comparison site, its focus was actively indexing Usenet, the Internet's global discussion forums. Sadly treated like some stepchild, this side of deja is, or was, an indispensable reference library in a world of constantly changing technology and social trends. You can use places such as Remarq.com, but they just don't have the depth that Deja had. Supposedly the terabyte-and-a-half of data will be back online soon. Fingers crossed, eh?
Remove when half done
A tongue-in-cheek Web address, but it's an addictive soup of geeks throwing ideas at the wall to see what will stick. If it's a Web-based idea, you can guarantee that somebody will post a URL to a working solution; that makes it worth a look by itself. The user-generated comments to user-generated topics are awesome. Some of my favorites include helicopters with ejector seats, an anti-parking-ticket system and spam-proof e-mail.
Ah yes, an idea whose time has come: a time-sensitive, self-cleaning, large-size, outgoing file repository for e-mail. Modem users will especially enjoy this because there's nothing worse than taking hours to send a multimegabyte missive only to have a muscle-bound mail server kick sand in your face because the attachment is too large. The idea is you send up to 75 megabytes of data, up to four files at once, to this place and then let the recipient know via a form on the site. After 14 days, the file is cleared from the system if you don't delete it first. It took an absolute age to get a password from the site so make sure you register in advance of needing the service. Places such as Yahoo's briefcase or x-drive.com will do the same thing but without the auto purge. It's great for people who leave their socks in the middle of the floor and don't like to clean up after themselves.
It's a great idea for people who have e-mail boxes all over the place. This software will allow you to see how many unread messages you have in each account, though it works only with Windows. And while I don't have America Online, I understand that you have to log on to each account to see if there's mail waiting. How tedious. EPrompter is a beta version, so take appropriate caution. In the age of the Internet, beta is a state of mind and nothing is ever finished. But if it does something nasty to your mail, you were warned.
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