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INTERNET HITS AND MISSES ...

Yahoo, EarthLink team to fight spam problem

Yahoo and EarthLink said they are adding a feature that promises to reduce spam.

Known as DomainKeys, a digital signature is affixed to messages to help recipients verify e-mail is from a known sender.

"It provides a viable solution for increasing protection from e-mail forgery and phishing issues today," the company said in a statement. Yahoo developed the system and said users would not have to do anything to use it. It will be automatically applied and implemented.

Also, EarthLink recently said it has become the first major Internet service provider to use DomainKeys and will "determine how we can best implement this spam-fighting software." Last month, Google began using DomainKeys signature technology, too.

A streaming Webcaster

A controversial peer-to-peer Internet network has begun offering what it says is the Internet's first free, royalty-paying, streaming music on demand service.

Grokster Ltd., based in Nevis, West Indies, is partnering with a Silicon Valley start-up to allow registered users to search for and listen to songs on any computer logged into the Net.

Mercora Inc. developed the service that, in effect, turns every PC into a streaming Webcaster. Mercora believes it can avoid conflicts with music companies because it monitors streamed songs and pays royalty fees to publishing and recording rights groups, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. The system has been in testing for about 18 months and has almost 200,000 members who share 10 million song tracks, a company spokesman told the newspaper.

New indie music pact

Microsoft Corp. is hoping to make some beautiful music with GarageBand.com, a Web site that offers free legal downloads and radio streams from independent musicians. MSN Music is featuring the music site on its home page.

The alliance will help music fans easily discover their next favorite band without spending hours scouring multiple Web sites or CD stores, Microsoft said in a news release. "There's so much great music produced by independent artists, including music that may be in tomorrow's top 10," said Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment.

Lists of GarageBand.com's top-rated songs will appear on MSN Music. Free downloads from some of the 100,000 musicians will also be offered along with an MSN Music station that will be programmed with GarageBand.com's top hits.

AOL offers video

America Online has begun delivering streaming video through its instant-messenger software.

A report by BetaNews.com said AIM Video has 12 video clips in six channels including Music, Movies&TV and Sports. The content is free to subscribers, as is similar video programming from Microsoft's MSN.

Video ads, 30 seconds in length, precede the clips, according to the report. It said that a similar service will be added to the public AOL.com portal site.

Journalism honors

BBCNews.com and the VenturaCountyStar.com in California took the honors in the General Excellence category of the fifth annual Online Journalism Association awards.

The BBC was cited for providing breaking news around the world in multiple languages, extensively using audio and video, and actively managing bulletin boards. The Ventura Count, Calif. site was credited for strong daily news coverage, staff Weblogs, Webcams and interactivity.

The full list of ONA winners, announced at the association's recent meeting in Hollywood, is available at journalist.org.

Net ad value rises

The value of Internet advertising rose for an eighth consecutive quarter, according to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry trade group.

Advertising totaled approximately $2.43 billion in the third quarter of this year, a 35.3 percent increase from a year ago.

Greg Stuart, president and chief executive officer of IAB, said the second and fourth quarters are historically the strongest for online marketing spending.

"That the industry bested 2 billion in revenues is a testament to the confidence and success marketers have found in the medium. The holiday season should be a very merry one for the industry," he said in a statement.

Weblogs Inc. expands

Touting itself now as "the world's largest blog publisher," Weblogs Inc. announced it has hired an editorial director and a vice president of sales and marketing.

Judith Meskill, a communications consultant who writes a blog about social networking, will oversee the editorial side of the company.

"We're going to have 100 blogs by the end of this year (50 at present), and 300 in 2005. Judith's ability to create systems for managing growth is going to be invaluable," said Brian Alvey, a co-founder of Weblogs Inc.

Also, Shawn Gold, former president of eUniverse -- which used the Web and e-mail to distribute online greetings, games, cartoons, jokes and contests -- signed on to head up business and content strategy.

Net radio goes AM

FederalNewsRadio.com plans to be on the air in the nation's capital early next year. Its parent, Bonneville International, said it has acquired a Silver Spring, Md.,-based AM radio station for a reported $4 million.

The 4-year-old Federal NewsRadio.com is operated by Bonneville's WTOP, an all-news station in Washington, and is the creation of Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming.

The Net radio station and its Web site are freshened around the clock by a staff of at least six people. Programming features news and information of interest to government employees and suppliers.

"It was the next logical step to add distribution via an AM signal," said Joel Oxley, vice president and general manager.

Video from newspaper

The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., has begun a twice-daily video newscast on its site,Delawareonline.com.

Video footage and stills are gathered by the newspaper's photographers and producers. Two programs are produced daily in the newsroom, for play at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

They include stories from the newspaper, with links to their full text, as well as original interviews of newsmakers.

-- CBS MarketWatch

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