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Once again, a breaking story that should be a lead on news websites

shows that the structure of many UK sites is lacking when something happens and how totally reliant many are on the Press Association. Saturday morning saw the death of Princess Margaret. By 9.45am, while TV news services such as the BBC and ITV had comprehensive coverage on their sites, many of the online newspaper sites failed to offer their own coverage and just went with PA copy. The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph had the death on their home page but other sites, including The Mirror and The Sun, failed to show any reference. What does this mean for readers? Well, if they start seeing and reading the same material across different sites they’ll wonder what makes each site unique if the words are all the same.


Talking of online updates, both The Sunday People and Sunday Mirror seem to forget they come out on Sunday. Recently, some readers have e-mailed me and said I should go to their sites on Sunday and see what they’ve got. Well, I did and at 9am on Sunday morning, the online versions of the papers were still running with last week’s issue of the papers – and when I looked again at 7.45pm they still hadn’t changed. A Trinity Mirror spokesman said they were aware of the problem, which doesn’t affect The Mirror website.

"Both are automated sites with automated feeds and we have experienced technical problems when updating them," he said. "However, the sites are monitored and we endeavour to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible." So why not tell that to users, as anyone going to the site on a Sunday seeing a week-old site will wonder what exactly is going on.


The UK version of Ask Jeeves (www.ask.co.uk) that was half- owned by Granada and Carlton has been sold back to its original owners. The US-based Ask Jeeves is to give Carlton and Granada around £1.8m in cash and shares to buy itself back. At the time when Carlton and Granada bought into the joint venture in December 1999, they were said to have promised funding the venture to a tune of upwards of £40m.


If you are running out of hard disk space, then an external hard drive could be just what you are after. Maxtor (www.maxtor) has just launched a device that has a capacity for 120GB of space and is connected via USB.

Expect to pay £275 for the Maxtor 300LE.


Leslie Bunder

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