Japanese convenience store chain 7-Eleven and technology media company Softbank Corp. are planning an online book and CD retail site in in Japan. Online customers will be able to receive their purchases through the mail, or by picking them up at any of 7-Eleven's 7,800 stores in Japan.
Lycos and IntelliSeek introduced the Invisible Web Catalog, from the arts to governmental reports, an index with thousands of databases. Licensed to Lycos by IntelliSeek, the BullsEye service gives access to information and Web pages often not available because they are not indexed by traditional search-engine methods or they are in proprietary formats.
Amazon.com launched free digital downloads of music files. The online retailer offers full-length songs from established artists and major-label performers as a tease, hoping to sell the full CDs. Music fans can access the digital downloads using a player from Liquid Audio, while a limited number of cuts are available in the MP3 format.
Dell Computer introduced a free, unlimited Internet access service in the United Kingdom. The company also said it has plans to introduce such services in Europe this year. DellNet is available to all comers, not just users of the company's PCs. Users pay no fee to Dell, but do have to pay per-minute charges to British Telecommunications for phone calls.
ZDnet produced special reports about the Worm.Explore.Zip computer virus. The special effort includes a multimedia collection of news stories, commentary, preventive downloads and virus patches, online discussions, a description of the virus, and a special virus protection package.
Microsoft has joined reportedly the increasing-popular business model of offering free Internet access service in the United Kingdom. The move follows the Microsoft Network's loss of 150,000 subscribers in Great Britain this year, according to Bloomberg news.
Microsoft acquired wireless data company OmniBrowse Inc., adding a component in the launch of a Web service that will deliver news and information to cell phones, e-mail accounts and pagers. Users can sign up to receive services at http://mobile.msn.com. The MSN Mobile service includes customized sports and weather reports.
Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Compaq Computer and America Online and IBM Corp. are reported to have agreed on an Internet commerce standard to make online shopping easier and quicker. The so-called electronic wallet would allow online shoppers to enter their personal data once and it would be usable across other Web sites adopting the technology, known as electronic-commerce modeling language.
American Express agreed to a two-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship to market its financial services to small businesses through Netscape's Netcenter portal site.
Amazon.com made its first appearance among the 10 most popular Web sites, as measured by researcher Media Metrix. The e-tailer's site attracted almost 11 million unique users during May. Amazon.com's gains were helped by a general and continuing rise in the popularity of e-commerce.
Microsoft Corp. adopts technology from Centraal Corp. to make it easier for people to search for Web sites. The company announced a two-year agreement to incorporate the RealNames Web addressing and navigation service into its MSN Network's search tools.
DealTime.com launched an online shopping service that tracks consumer deals being offered through e-tailers, classified ads, and auction sites. The service will alert people on screen or by e-mail when a specified item has become available.
Yahoo Inc. has completed the first phase of integration of community-based Web site GeoCities. As many as 4.6 million "homesteaders" of GeoCities have access to Yahoo's communication and community features, while Yahoo users can use new Java-based home page publishing tools.
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