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Monday, April 16, 2001
Latest in IT world

E-novel launch on April 15

STARTING out with the idea that everyone would love to peek into someone elseís e-mail, an Indian writer has hit upon an innovative idea to serialise a novel. Titled Inbox Outbox, Mumbai-based author Jerry Pintoís e-novel can be read by accessing the "mail" of protagonist Jai Mathur and his friends on Internet Web sites that are owned and run by Cafe Networks. "We all feel tempted to read other peopleís mail," the 34-year-old writer said last week. "In the novel, you enter Jaiís world by reading his mail." To get a daily glimpse of Jai Mathurís life, readers will have to go to www.cafemumbai.com, www.cafekolkata.com or www.cafedelhi.com, log on to the novel and open his "e-mail." The novel is in the same format as normal e-mail on Internet Web sites, complete with inbox, outbox and folders titled Personal, Work, Drafts and Trash which give readers access to Mathurís mails to his girlfriend, boss, mother and others. The novel will be launched on April 15.


AOL agrees to scale back ad claims on privacy

Leading Internet service America Online said that it has agreed to modify its advertising to clarify that it cannot vouch for its customersí privacy when they venture out onto the Web. The Better Business Bureauís advertising division had asked the Internetís largest service provider to change language in a television ad that said the service provided strong privacy and security protections to its 28 million customers. "At America Online, your security and privacy are always protected," the ad said. The independent oversight group was concerned that new users might think the privacy protections applied to the Internet as a whole. America Online is a division of media and online conglomerate AOL Time Warner Inc.

Microsoft uses hated "Clippy" to pitch new Office

Users of Microsoft Corp.ís Office software are familiar with ó and annoyed by ó the animated paper clip "helper" that interrupts tasks with blazingly obvious comments like, "It looks like youíre writing a letter." Now the software leader is capitalising on the featureís near-universal loathing to promote its upcoming version of the software, Office XP, which it claims is so easy to use that you wonít need pesky cartoons to help you figure it out. Office includes programs like the word processor Word, spreadsheet Excel and presentation software PowerPoint. Last week Microsoft kicked off an online campaign that plays up the annoying personality of the paper clip ó known as "Clippy" ó with things like animated videos showing people cursing him while praising Office XP .


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