Back in 1996 Michael Kinsley, former editor of the New Republic, got the backing of Microsoft to launch Slate (www.slate.com), an online and print current affairs/arts magazine. Over the years it has developed into an intelligent look at life without showing any real favouritism towards its Microsoft backers, apart from that nowadays it appears as part of Microsoft’s MSN service. During 2000, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser (a former adviser to Peter Mandelson) sought backing to get a dedicated UK version off the ground but then joined The Guardian as, at the time, he couldn’t raise the needed funds. Now a UK section has finally appeared, with a rather bullish statement – anonymity for its writers. "One peculiarity of Slate UK will be that many of its writers will be anonymous," it says. "Anonymity confers greater freedom on contributors linked to other publications." Slate says there are future plans for the e-zine, but at the moment: "Slate UK is more of an annex than a fully fledged, stand-alone magazine. Think of a section within a newspaper rather than a paper in its own right." One to watch for as it develops.
If, like me, you are fed up with annoying "pop" up advertisements that appear on your screen while you are on the web, then the following useful site has all the essential links on how to make sure the vast majority of them stop appearing. Just go to http: //technoerotica.net/
mylog/optouts.html and you will be able to click on many of the offending companies and stop them from appearing.
As we all know, Google (www.google.com) is just about the best way to search the web. But instead of having to go to the Google site to find what you are looking for, why not let Google come direct to your browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, you can download a special
toolbar that will bolt on a Google search facility into your browser.
Tiscali (www.tiscali.co.uk), the Italian-owned internet provider, has just launched a new service that allows you to listen to your e-mails over the phone. The free service will read out e-mails sent to your Tiscali address as well as any e-mail that has been downloaded via POP3. And you can set up a Tiscali account for nothing. Dial a national rate number, enter your PIN and registered phone number, and the system then accesses your e-mails. You can also send e-mails which are sent as attachments containing your voice. In the future, of course,
it should be possible to dictate an e-mail on your phone and have it sent as a text message.