Internet: 17Dec1998

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Internet Story: 17 Dec 1998

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In this issue:

Satellites Track Santa

Surf 'n' Spend!

Seedy Underbelly

Gift for Someone Special ;-)

Send an E-CARD

Satellites Track Santa   It's official, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) will be tracking the movements of Santa on Christmas Eve/Day as he treks across the world delivering hope and joy to millions of children.  Be sure to check their special web site on the day at  If you want to see how they do it and what equipment is used check their "How We Track Santa" page.


Surf More, Spend More   Online spending increases as consumers spend more time on the Internet, according to a Wharton School study that tracked the online buying habits of more than 10,000 people. The median spending of the surveyed group rose to $300 after five years on the Internet from more than $150 after five months on the Internet. In 1997, the same panel reported spending from $50 to $100 over the same period.


Seedy side of the Net   "Must be porn, right?"  No.  "OK, must be racist nazis having a go?"  No.  "Ok, it's a wind up, it's about some seed merchant selling their wares."  Nope.  It's yet another seedy underbelly of the Net, the tobacco and alcohol industry trying to get around the current advertising laws which don't yet cover the Net.  According to a study ("Alcohol and Tobacco on the Web: New Threats to Youth") by the Center for Media Education the industry is targeting underage drinkers & smokers.  They found that 62 percent of the sites deploy "youth-oriented" features, such as interactive games and contests and product-themed cartoon characters.  Apparently it's quite subtle.   The companies are not directly promoting such behavior on there own corporate sites but are, for example, using print ads to point to independently run "pro-smoking" sites.  More than 35 major spirits and beer brands are represented on commercial Web sites, and a large portion of them contain features that the CME believes are designed to be attractive to youngsters.  Of the spirits sites, 45 percent offered games and contests, compared with 43 percent of the beer sites, the report states.  Of all the sites studied on the Budweiser site actually has any information about the adverse effects of their products!  The authors of the study recommend that the law be toughened up to cater for the Net.  See also this ZDNet article.


The Gift for that Special Person   For that person you hate the most who has everything, go check out the ideal gift for them at Revenge Unlimited.   You can send them, for example, a variety of dead flowers.  How about "One dozen long stem rose stems with the rose CUT OFF!! Just to tell that un-special guy or girl that they lack that certain something. Direct shipped to the recipient home or (recommended) OFFICE with greens, filler water picks and a card (if desired) from the sender. Cost $39 plus shipping".  Interesting concept of e-commerce.  Don't tell them we sent you!


Send and E-CARD  Want to send a Christmas E-Card (or any other card)?  It's not too late.  Check out "BIRDIE'S NESTFUL OF E-CARDS".   There just HAS to be one there for you!


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1998


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