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Published: Saturday, 2/14/2004

Fusion: Webisodes; Boombox

WEBISODES

Jerry Seinfeld will star in a series of “Webisodes” for American Express. The comedian and Superman will appear in live-action and animated productions. American Express Chief Marketing Officer John Hess announced the in Los Angeles, saying the five-minute video programs will be available exclusively on AmericanExpress.com.

www.AmericanExpress.com

FRIEND FILTER

ZoEmail, a new Web-based e-mail service compiles an address book in which each correspondent is assigned a “key” consisting of a customizable series of words or numbers. Instead of an address like homer (AT)simpson.com, a keyed address would look something like homer.snackfood(AT)simpson.com. Messages with the special keyed addresses are allowed to pass through the system and land in your in-box. Mail without the address keys is blocked.

ZoEmail can import existing e-mail address books and send a change-of-address message, complete with key, to each person. Recipients need only save your new address in their e-mail address books to keep a personal key to your mailbox.

ZoEmail (www.zoemail.com) costs $12 a year for 12 megabytes of mail storage and 10 megabytes of attachments.

BOOMBOX

Apple iPod owners can plug into Altec Lansing s inMotion portable audio system. Unfold the system, which is the size of a paperback, and you have a dock for the iPod flanked by two small speakers. Placed in the dock, the iPod can handle data transfers and synchronization that a standard, free-standing iPod dock does; the dock can also charge any iPod with a docking connector. The $149 system can play for up to 24 hours on four AA batteries, thanks to a high-efficiency switching amplifier that delivers two watts to each speaker.

Despite its tweeter-size speakers, the 15-ounce system produces impossibly deep bass. MaxxBass, a technology from Waves, a maker of audio digital signal-processing equipment; generates harmonics that fool the listener into “hearing” the missing tones.

www.store.apple.com

POWER STRIP

Batteries influence the form of the devices they power, because designers must make room. Duracell s new battery line is going smaller. The new batteries look like smaller, flattened versions of 1.5-volt AA s and 3-volt D s.

The CP1 lithium prismatic battery is a rectangular disposable battery less than a quarter-inch thick that will cost $8 to $12 when it is released in early March. The LP1, an alkaline prismatic battery that resembles a thick stick of chewing gum, will cost $5 a pair when it reaches stores this summer or early fall.

The first products to use prismatic batteries include the Atrac CD Walkman Player from Sony, the iRiver SlimX 550 digital audio player and the Nikon Coolpix 3700 digital camera.

DIGITAL BABIES

Japan s popular digital pet from the 1990s is coming back. And this time Tamagotchi will be able to date, fall in love and even have babies.

Launched in 1996 but discontinued in 1998, Tamagotchi was an egg-shaped, pocket-sized gadget with a cartoon pet that appeared on a screen. Owners reared it by punching buttons that would feed the creature, play games with it or groom it. The pet “grew” from an infant into a virtual adulthood, and better players could make it live longer.

The new Tamagotchi Plus goes on sale in Japan on March 20 for 1,980 yen ($19), and will be introduced overseas this summer.

It will be able to communicate with other digital pets through infrared signals.

NAPSTER GOES TO COLLEGE

Napster has negotiated a second agreement to provide its service to college students. The 3,700 students living in residence halls at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) will get free access to the music streaming and downloading service later this semester. Fees during the first year of availability will be paid by the university.

Napster said it would also work with the university s Eastman School of Music to enable musical works from students and faculty to be distributed across the entire Napster network.

TOLEDOBLADE.COM

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www.toledoblade.com

FROM THE BLADE S WIRE SERVICES AND STAFF.

CONTACT FUSION AT KCESARZ@THEBLADE.COM



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