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© St. Petersburg Times, published December 4, 2000

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Domain games

Annoyed that your dream domain Web address is taken? Business cards extended out an extra inch because your domain name has more characters than a bad soap opera? As you might know, domains haven't been free for quite some time and it takes up to $35 a year to keep one current. If you're in domain-grabbing mode, here's a list of ".coms" that were not renewed. And of course, they're up for grabs. Dotster is banking on you using it for the renewal, but you can use any domain registrar of your choosing.

Sign me up

Oh, how I dread the holidays and the banal, thoughtless gifts headed my way. Odd sweaters with zippers in places zippers really don't belong. My groans for donations to a charity of my choice are largely unheeded, so I'm hoping this year I get something out of the ordinary like, oh, say, a road sign. Call me weird (you wouldn't be the first) but I couldn't think of anything more magnificent to hang on a wall short of Jamie Lee Curtis' phone number. My life might be complete when armed with a roll of Police Line Do Not Cross tape, but I have a feeling that would get me into more trouble than it's worth.

eBye to eBay

Call me a late adopter, but I've recently become addicted to eBay never thrilled me, but this place has my attention. I'm a self-confessed book worm, and my non-fiction computer section rivals that of some of the local chain bookstores. Computer books, if you haven't noticed, are not best described as inexpensive. And as technology morphs, tech books quickly become as obsolete as last year's PC. So when I'm in need of an obscenely thick book to cuddle up with on these cold Florida nights, it's off to this place to see if I can find myself a deal. In addition to books, CDs, movies, music and games also are offered. Something for everybody.

Free advice

Peer rating systems for Web-based advice sites seem to work well, as long as the site has a decent amount of traffic. The theory goes that radicals and loonies are moderated and the cream rises to the top. That seems to be the rationale behind this site, which offers peer-to-peer advice for small businesses. The site is new, so if you've got a slant you're keen to promote, dishing out some brain juice could come back and pay off later. Otherwise, grab your salt lick and head over for some freebies.

Not Da way to do it

Remember that brouhaha and flurry of legal papers between Apple and eMachines regarding the latter's all-in-one PC design? Well, I wouldn't want to be sitting in D.A. Computing's legal department right now. First, I don't have a law degree so I'd probably be sitting in some lawyer's chair taking up space. Second, I'd be awaiting a mighty spanking from Apple, which has no sense of humor when its designs are copied. Like, say, completely ripping off the look of the Power Mac G4 Cube (

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