Business Bytes

By The Huntsville Times

A group of Tuscaloosa comedians is using the Internet computer network to become stars, according to a national magazine.

Mike Ragsdale, Darren Nelson, Scott Davis and Sean Michael are known as "Hecklers Online" on the America Online service.

Virtual City magazine ranks these humorists among "the most talented creators in cyberspace."

They started their on-line careers by simply interrupting other people's electronic forums with silly questions or comments.

Virtual City chronicles: "Was (rock singer Mick) Jagger appearing in some deada-- forum? They'd ask if he slept with David Bowie.

``At a certain point they realized that what routinely passes for wit in chat rows was content -- that the background could become foreground. Thus was born Hecklers Online."

Not many other people have reached star status on the Internet, but Virtual City lists several people who have in the magazine's spring issue.

To check out "Hecklers On line," check America Online and use the keyword "hecklers."

Readers of Computerworld magazine have named their four favorite sites on the World Wide Web, the multimedia part of the Internet computer network.

The Ultimate Online Music Store tops the list. The electronic store offers 145,000 albums on compact disc or cassette.

Music fans can search for their favorite hits by artist, album, song or record label.

This site is at the electronic address

The Investors Edge is another popular site. This one provides in-depth information about stocks, corporations and industries.

The site also allows people to create spreadsheets that they can add to their personal-finance software.

The Investors Edge is at

The City of Palo Alto site is a model for public-service sites, said a Computerworld reader. Palo Alto's Web page includes a wealth of information about the city, plus maps, police bulletins and a photo directory of city employees.

Palo Alto's site is at

The Gordon & Glickson law firm also reportedly is a model site for helping clients find legal information. It is at

Internet users are more active voters than most Americans, according to NetGuide magazine.

Only 34 percent of the general public voted in the 1992 presidential election, but 86 percent of Internet users did, the magazine said.

It cited a poll by a group called Votelink, which has a site on the World Wide Web at the address

Votelink is offering presidential candidates a campaign opportunity to go on-line.

Experts disagree about how successful the stripped-down, $500 computer will be.

These machines, built only to use the Internet, "will create an obsession greater than the hula hoop," said Paul Saffo, director of California's Institute for the Future, in HomePC magazine.

But Chris Miksanek of Computerworld magazine said consumers can buy "a comparably crippled machine at a garage sale for $75."

We want your technology news. Please send information or ideas to James McWilliams, The Huntsville Times, P.O. Box 1487, West Station, Huntsville, Ala. 35807. Technology news can also be sent to our e-mail address, You can fax us information at 532-4420, or you can simply call 720-6913.

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