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ALL ALONDA WATCHTOWER
BMG announced today that Alonda Williams was named VP E-Commerce Business Development. In her new role, Williams will lead BMG's "exploration of new music club brands and business models." Williams joined BMG Direct in 1995 to help build the Specialty Music Club market. "Alonda brings to the business development group a wealth of experience and an impressive track record in the marketing field," said Elizabeth Rose, BMG VP Strategic Planning and E-Commerce. "She's also the best Minesweeper player I have ever met."

IT'S A ROBOT-EAT-DOG WORLD
The creator of Sony's robot dog Aibo said today that his toy would be the companion of the future. "In Japan, there is little hesitation when playing with robots," said Toshitada Doi, President of Sony Digital Creatures Laboratory. "Something which I'm not sure of in the U.S. and Europe." The first Aibo could go for walks, chase after a ball and wag its tail. The new Aibo is equipped with a camera in its nose and, according to the folks at Sony, can better express anger or joy and has a much cheaper price tag ($1,397). In an effort to break into the music biz, the new Aibo can also say, "You're my guy" and "It's a f**king smash!"

ANIMATED RESPONSE
Brilliant Digital Entertainment
announced that, through its joint venture Digital HipHop, a production agreement has been signed with the Island Def Jam Music Group to produce interactive animated digital music videos with Ja Rule ("6 Feet Underground"), DMX ("Good Girls, Bad Boys") and Jay-Z ("You, Me, Him and Her"). The format for the videos will include standard interactive 3D animation in streaming audio and video with additional e-commerce and promotional components. "The Island Def Jam Music Group constantly seeks to reduce the cost of marketing and promotion by targeting the consumer in a much more focused way," said IDJ President Lyor Cohen. "Digital HipHop will help us in those efforts. If that fails, we can always fall back on the traditional boost for rap sales—public gun-play."

WHY NOT "AMAZON" OR "IMDB"?
The Internet Underground Music Archive proudly announced the arrival of 10 newborn babies named "IUMA," in conjunction with the "Name Your Baby IUMA" contest. All 10 families were awarded the $5,000 winning prize—which will come in handy 15 or 16 years down the line when the child files to change his or her name to Amazon.

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC.COM
Music.com announced that Philippe Bellosguardo had been upped from President/CEO to Chairman of the Board. Michael Burton had held the Chairman's position during the start-up months and will remain a director of Music.com. "As President/CEO, Philippe has built Music.com and its brand into one of the most recognized and visited music destinations on the Internet," a company communication stated. "As Chairman, he is now positioned to lead the company's strategic growth and focus on the global rollout, partnerships and the future financial structure of the company. He's also the only one who knows how to fax our ordes into Starbucks."

VISIBILITY IS POOR
Word Of Net, a company that measures online visibility, announced its index of the Top 50 most visible Web sites for October 2000. The Word Of Net visibility index moves beyond basic tracking of Web traffic by measuring a series of statistically valid and weighted Web metrics to provide a quantitative ranking of online visibility—whatever that means. Well, the upshot is this: Topping the list is AOL.com. Also ranking in the Top 10 are ZDNet.com, MSN.com, Go.com, About.com & CNN.com. Hitsdailydouble.com was so far down the list as to be classified a "stealth site."

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Bring your umbrella.
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ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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