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CYBER BRIEFS

Web-based payroll service set

Simpull Solutions in Buffalo announced it will offer Web-based payroll services through an agreement with PayMaxx Inc., a national payroll-processing company.

The Buffalo company, a provider of Web-based services for small business and the work-at-home market, will offer PayMaxx's "Power Payroll" service in a co-branding arrangement. Users who log in at Simpull's Web site, www.simpull.com, will be able to access the payroll and tax-filing service.

Web shopping directory opens

WorldWebDex, an online advertising company in Amherst, has launched its Internet shopping directory at www.worldwebdex.com.

The consumer-oriented directory lists merchants' Web sites, as well as phone numbers, in a Yellow Pages-style format.

The company plans to partner with other Web sites to host its search window, increasing is exposure to shoppers.

eBay to conceal addresses

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Online auction house eBay Inc. will soon start concealing the e-mail addresses of its customers, making it more difficult for junk-mail senders to harvest the information.

The new system also will make it harder for users to wrap up their deals outside eBay -- and lock the company out of its fees. A new warning will pop up about such deals, which are prohibited by the company.

Ebay receives hundreds of complaints each week from customers who receive unsolicited e-mail, spokesman Kevin Pursglove said.

Anyone registered on the site can currently view e-mail addresses by clicking on a seller's or bidder's username. Registration is free.

Microsoft names new software

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. announced new names Monday for the next versions of the software maker's biggest products, Windows XP and Office XP.

Until now, the desktop operating system had been code-named Whistler and the applications suite was known as Office 10. XP stands for experience.

"These breakthrough versions of Windows and Office will give people the most powerful end-to-end computing experiences ever available," said Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman.

Gates said both products would be linked closer to the Internet through the Microsoft.NET strategy.

Long-distance, Web plan offered

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- AT&T Corp., the No. 1 U.S. long distance phone and cable-television provider, said its consumer unit will begin offering combined Internet access and long-distance service for a $7 monthly fee.

The service, called AT&T 7/7 , will give consumers unlimited access to the Internet and a round-the-clock rate of 7 cents a minute on state-to-state long-distance calls.

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