Tardy Bell Rings for Erates

Program designed to get disadvantaged schools online is a success–sort of Since its inception in the late 1990s, the Erate program that supplies rural and poor American schools with funding for Internet access has had its share of successes and setbacks. Dubbed the Gore Tax after the former vice president who championed the cause, the Erate program continues to get disadvantaged schools online. But despite its successes, lingering concerns surround the program and even its supporters

Money For Nothing, Hits For Free

Giveaway Websites find there’s money to be made selling the information they collect While the something-for-nothing business model has gone the way of Dionysian launch parties, two Web-based free sampling companies are trying to evolve into full-scale market research firms. Both FreeSamples.com and StartSampling started their businesses by offering free product samples from their respective Websites. But now, both realize that the real value of these offers is the information collected from the people who respond.

Studios Put Sets On The Auction Block

Props For Sale Feature films are rarely launched without a companion Website. The latest offer not only a sneak peek at the trailer and other tidbits, but the chance to buy a real piece of the action through online auctions. Think eBay, Hollywood-style. Like Brad Pitt’s outfit in a fight scene? Now you can bid for it, sweat stains and all. Even though such auctions generate a mere pittance in the world of moviemaking, they do

Five Questions with Nathan Myhrvold

What former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold does with his abundant free time. Though still a vital force in the world of computing, former Microsoft Chief Technical Officer Nathan Myhrvold is now active in paleontology-an Indiana Jones of the dinosaur set. At 41, he’s become an intrepid adventurer, journeying around the world to pursue childhood dreams-to collect scientific artifacts and explore dusty paleontological sites in search of the next great dinosaur discovery. Aren’t you on sabbatical? I

Bringing Down The House Ad

Sites struggle with blank banners Just because online advertising is a revenue bust doesn’t mean there are fewer ads crowding your Web browser. The number of online “house” advertisements, self-promotional banners placed by a host site, are on the rise, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, an Internet analysis firm. On some sites, particularly those devoted to gaming and entertainment, as many as 30 percent of the banners are self-referential. Portals and news sites place house ads

Elevator Ads Take Riders To New Heights

Averted eye contact and awkward silences will soon become a thing of the past if a company billing itself as an elevator media network has its way. Captivate Network claims to uplift the elevator rider’s experience by providing more to look at than the backs of people’s heads or blinking floor numbers. Captivate accomplishes this by installing flat-panel video screens in elevators of high-rise office towers. These 12-inch devices serve as a wireless platform for delivering