Published: Monday 15 April 1996

Toll-free phone
Installing the right software can transform the computer into a toll- free phone. To connect, both parties must have Internet accounts, the same brand of telephone software and multimedia computers with 486 processors or better. Internet Phone, a software developed by VocalTecof Northvale, New Jersey is currently the most popular and can be installed for $50. International Discount Telecommunications of Hackensack, New Jersey is planning to introduce Net2Fone. This software would enable a PC owner to dial any phone number anywhere in the world, the call would travel through the net to the destination and jump back to the local phone system.

Smoking net
Stymied by numerous crackdowns on advertising in the conventional media, tobacco traders have chosen the obvious alternative for adver- tising their products: the Net. Marketers on the web with names like CyberSmoke (Miami, Florida) and Smoco (Alberta, Canada) aren't likely to pose a severe threat to the tobacco giants, but they have report- ed increasing sales over the last six months. Ralph Guitterez, who runs CyberSmoke from his Miami home claimed that more than 1200 poten- tial customers visited his website since January 1.

Cyber sacrilege
In one of the most unique copyright violation cases concerning the Internet, a Federal judge found Arnaldo Lerma of Arlington, Virginia, guilty when he dumped sacred texts of the Church of Scientology onto the net. The Church was founded by L Ron Hubbard and his texts describe procedures for cleansing humans of spiritual trau- mas. David Post, co-director of the Cyberspace Law Institute al: Georgetown University said that the ruling was 'inevitable' because 'copy- right laws can't mean something very different Ul cyberspace.'

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