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Cheap -- and good www.efax.com

By JULES ALLEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 8, 1999


I used to lavish praise about those super 10-bucks-a-month fax services, what I think is a nifty idea. Cheaper, better, faster is the mantra of Internet-based companies, and eFax.com offers such a service for the sweet sum of nothing. So you can apply that $10 a month to a nice lunch somewhere. Your eFax phone number may be a long-distance call for the sender, which may or may not be a problem for you. You can receive, but not send, faxes. The service works with any computer that has a browser and an Internet connection, can receive e-mail attachments and view a TIFF-formatted graphic file, which is pretty much any machine built in the past 10 years.

News from home . . . www.metagrid.com

. . . Wherever that might be. I have been in Florida since 1989, and have met perhaps only 10 or 20 people who are from here. Conversely, not being good with numbers, I haven't been keeping track of how many people I have met who are not from here -- but there are a lot. If you're itching to keep up with the news from "home," this site will ferret out Web sites of local newspapers across the globe

Interesting timing msnbc.com/news/244979.asp

So let me get this right: A certain large software company that can't do a thing right in court and is being sued by the Department of Justice publishes a positive Linux story on a site it co-funds? Just change my e-mail alias to Mr. Suspicious

Shinzo sampler shinzo.com

Do you get a buzz from graphical games like Myst (www.myst.com)? To me, Myst was plenty of gorgeous scenery, not too much action, and a hunt to unearth mysterious hidden bits. Sort of like where I work, really. Shinzo.com runs along these lines with tons of whizzy, bandwidth-intensive, version 4.0 browser-friendly eye candies tucked away in the site's Design Lab

I hack you, you hack me . . .

I can't figure out whether this is serious work on PC-controlled automaton interaction with humans or some nerds fiddling around with a purple dinosaur toy. In these IPO-sodden times, it is difficult to measure the value of what might be classified as "playing" compared to industrial-themed memories. If you're not aware of the ActiMates (www.microsoft.com/actimates/) line of products, one of the stars is perennial toddler favorite Barney. This site isn't sanctioned by Microsoft, of course, but I hope it will offer you some insight into what you can hook to your computers and how useful such devices really could be one day. Just don't tell Jerry Falwell about the Teletubbies ActiMates.

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