• U.S.

In Brief: Aug. 13, 2001

2 minute read
Lev Grossman

BOT DOG i-Cybie is a robotic puppy that can walk, bark, lie down, scratch his ear and do dozens of other things real dogs do. And unlike real dogs, i-Cybie, made by Tiger Electronics, doesn’t relieve himself on the carpet. His 16 motors make him almost creepily lifelike. Human reactions range from “That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen” to “Get it off me! Get it off me!” Judge for yourself. i-Cybie can be yours for $200–cheap compared with Sony’s $1,500 Aibo.

LIGHT FANTASTIC Even as most Internet service providers are hiking their monthly rate–Earthlink bumped its rate $2 in June, and AOL did the same in July–one service is bucking the trend. BlueLight www.bluelight.com has announced that it’s cutting prices from $9.95 to $8.95 a month, making it the cheapest national unlimited-use ISP. It’s all relative, however. This time last year BlueLight was free.

HEAD GAMES First come the ominous e-mails. Then a voice on your answering machine threatens your nearest and dearest. No, you’re not the target of an IRS audit. You’re playing Majestic, a strange, sinister new computer game that doesn’t just take over your computer, it invades your life. For $9.99 a month (the first “episode” is free), players get the thrill of being harassed by a mysterious conspiracy via phone, e-mail, instant messaging and the Web. If that’s your idea of fun, sign up at http://www.majestic thegame.com

–By Lev Grossman

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