Cyberview 21-06-02

Had enough of junk e-mails? Then maybe you should consider signing up to Spamcop (www.spamcop.net). For $30 (£20) a year, the service will filter your e-mails and save time wasted on downloading spam. Spamcop identifies spam according to the e-mail address it comes from or what it may contain. Based on several years’ knowledge, it generally works pretty well. The service is aimed at home users but there is a package on offer to businesses as well. I started using Spamcop about a month ago and it has dramatically cut down the spam I receive. It doesn’t claim to offer a 100 per cent solution, but it does make control of e-mails more manageable.

Setting up the service was fairly easy. Tell Spamcop the user name and password of your mail accounts (it keeps these secure). Then every 20 minutes or so it will access your accounts and filter your e-mails. You access Spamcop and download your e-mails from there. Occasionally it will flag up as spam something you do want to receive; you can tell Spamcop this should not be treated as spam in future. All mail identified as spam is saved by Spamcop and you can log in and read it if you want to.

News on a search site is not new, but AltaVista (www.altavista.co.uk) has given it a new spin. If you run a search on its Moreover.com powered news links, you can translate the story from English to one of several languages. Given that most of the world speaks languages other than English, it makes it easier for others to read. The Systran (www.systransoft.com) translation gives a general impression of the content which makes it suitable for an overview of what it is about. The AltaVista news search rivals one that Google is beta-testing. It will be interesting to see how they both pan out in the next few months, especially as Google news is still US-centric.

 AOL has finally revealed its broadband internet access service which comes in at a whopping £35 a month – about £5 a month more expensive than most other offerings. But unlike other providers, AOL offers a Freefone support line.

Until the middle of July you can buy a modem from AOL for £25. After that it goes up to £85. Rival Freeserve currently advertises on its website monthly access for £30 a month plus £150 for modem. Previously it was offering a modem for £85. Before you commit to a broadband connection, shop around and refer to sites like www.adslguide.org.uk for user experiences. Finally, don’t lock yourself into a contract longer than three months, as prices are still going to come down.


Leslie Bunder

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