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CYBER BRIEFS

Qwest changes mind on fee

DENVER (AP) -- Qwest Communications International has withdrawn a plan to charge customers $1 monthly to keep their addresses out of the directory listings. Colorado officials had balked at the plan.

It also would have included a set-up fee of $8 for consumers and $12 for businesses.

Colorado Public Utilities commissioners last week said it would require hearings on the proposal.

Wrong Afghan site shut down

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Web site operated by opponents of Afghanistan's Taliban regime will likely remain offline for at least another month after hackers took it out of commission in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Visitors sent about 10,000 hate messages soon after the Sept. 11 terrorism strikes, and hackers brought down the "AfghanGovernment.org" site within days.

Jalaluddin Rabbani, the site's Webmaster, said that the hate messages primarily came from people who wrongly assumed his site was affiliated with the Taliban, the Afghan ruling militia.

The site is actually affiliated with his father, Burhanuddin Rabbani, whom most foreign governments recognize as Afghanistan's legitimate president and whose group holds the U.N. mission. The elder Rabbani was deposed in 1996 and now heads the loosely knit northern alliance that is fighting the Taliban.

AOL launches radio feature

NEW YORK (AP) -- America Online recently introduced a new radio feature Tuesday as part of an upgraded version of its service, AOL 7.0. The announcement came after rival Microsoft Corp. announced an upgrade of its online service, MSN.

AOL, which is part of the media and entertainment conglomerate AOL Time Warner, said the new radio service would carry 75 different channels of music as well as news, sports and talk programming.

AOL said it would offer the 7.0 upgrade to existing customers for no extra charge. On Monday, Microsoft said the new version of its MSN service and Web portal would more heavily promote the company's paid Internet services and be closely tied to its new operating system, Windows XP.

EarthLink acquires Cidco
Internet provider EarthLink has reached an agreement to acquire Morgan Hill, Calif.-based e-mail appliance manufacturer Cidco Inc.

The acquisition will give the Atlanta ISP the capability to deliver Internet services to non-PC devices, boosting the company's subscriber list by 120,000.

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