Stories by Paul Heltzel

Message in a Portal: Yahoo's Messenger 3.0

There's still no gold standard when it comes to free chat clients. But Yahoo Inc.'s new Messenger, released this week, should win over anyone who uses Yahoo's mail, chat, or finance services.

Surfing With Oscar

The idea of watching the Academy Awards online last night seemed on first thought blush, pointless and dull. Why trade my big screen and comfy recliner for a postage stamp-sized window, choppy video, and my stiff-backed -- but ergonomically correct -- office chair? Like an insurance adjuster, I checked out the damage because it's my job.

Suds on the Web

No time to head down to the local pub for a brew? All your pals out of town? Why not log in to and buy a new friend some suds, even from across the Atlantic? Amplifies Site Inc. has introduced two new streaming music applications and launched a redesign of its Web site to lure visitors with its interactive entertainment.

Updated Programs Crush Cookies

Slowly but surely, your hard drive is collecting cookies from all over the Web. Maybe it's time for a little dust-off.

Search Stylishly With NeoPlanet Update

Your browser is boring, but it isn't your fault. Netscape Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp. haven't released major upgrades in ages. Don't worry--a quick makeover is just 2MB away, courtesy of the free NeoPlanet Inc. add-on, and some handy Web navigation tools.

Web PIM Goes Wireless

You're running late Monday morning, you're caught in traffic, and then it hits you: Don't you have an appointment first thing this morning?

Homestead Helps Build Sweet Home Page

Pay for a Web site? Why, you'd rather pay for water...or your browser. Ha! There's no shortage of providers who will beg you to build a site on their server (with display advertisements on your pages, of course). Inc.'s recently updated SiteBuilder makes a compelling argument to settle in with the free Web host.

Bitlocker Builds Web Databases Quickly

If you've ever tried to publish a database on the Web, you know it can be a complex and dull job. A new service called Bitlocker Inc. aims to make the process simple by cleverly taking the whole process to the Web.

Refuge in the Jungle of Online Business

Your new business is growing like crazy, and so are your expenses. You could cut costs by using free productivity apps on the Web. But who wants to use a handful of providers to handle day-to-day tasks? Certainly not the makers of Inc.