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e-Briefing

What's Hot

October 19, 2000

Free long-distance calls over the Internet. We're not talking about computer-to-computer calls, which won't work unless the person you're calling happens to be online and using the right software. That's too hard-core geek. This is better, although the sound quality suggests you're calling from a cheap cordless phone. At least 16 companies now let you make free calls from your PC or Mac to any phone in the U.S. via the Internet. Some even let you use your phone to do it -- although your PC still needs to be involved. For a list, point your browser to http://www.ctdepot.com.

What's Not

Paying 10 cents or more per minute for long distance. The biggest long-distance companies have all settled around 7 cents per minute, plus a monthly fee of about $5. But smaller players such as GTE Telecom and PowerNet Global offer better rates and lower fees. And even Sprint will give you 5 cents per minute, no monthly fee, if you also have the company's wireless phone service. Visit http://www.abelltolls.com for a shopping list.

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