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Logging on to web spies and video games

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So, this column is paranoid about cookies, but I am happy to report that they are under fire from the Data Protection Act - along with all the other spy-ware generated by the plain nosey, by website owners inflated with their own importance and by marketing operations desperate to learn what sort of information you are looking up.

According to trade paper Computer Weekly, an amnesty phase in the Act ends in mid October when the commissioner will get tough. Some hope. Internet-watcher Cyveillance (www. cyveillance.

co. uk/web/uk/) reports that the US.Com Group argues, correctly, that cookies are not inherently bad, just that they can be used for bad purposes. It says: 'Many advertising agencies and e-retailers are collecting information about the news a person reads while online and even the medical research a consumer might do.'

Cyveillance adds that the use of internet bugs has increased by 488 per cent in the past three years.

You read it here: retailers such as Amazon (www. amazon. co. uk) and MD (www. microdirect. co. uk ) have been the first to advertise the Logitech iFeel mouse - using the interesting pound-fordollar price of £40. As I predicted earlier this year, the cost of 15in TFT LCD screens has dropped to a bit more than £300 - I bought one the other day for about £280, including VAT, from Watford (www. watford. co. uk). Now it is flogging a 17in LCD screen for £420 inclusive. No, I do not get commission.

And while we are still shopping, Myst III: Exile, with its 360infinity panning (just like some of the AJPlus website images), will now be out at about £25 from your local game-store.

There was a Myst convention, Mysterium 2001 (mystcon. tripod. com), in early August in Mexico and a meeting of artists at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art voted the new Exile, 'the most beautiful game they have ever seen', according to a newsletter from Ubisoft. They would say that, wouldn't they?

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