AOL Time Warner?

We already had Worldcom change its name to MCI to avoid negative connotations. And now...

The management at America Online has asked AOL Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons to drop the AOL from the company's name, saying the identification of AOL Time Warner's corporate problems with the service are also tarnishing the unit's brand name, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Wait, wait... so AOL thinks that its brand is being tarnished by Time Warner? And not the other way around (i.e. that the AOL dinosaur is dragging down the corporate behemoth)? Whatev.

Meanwhile, AOL 9.0 is out, I guess! Hooray! Because we all needed more junk mail CD-ROMs to throw away/make into drink coasters!

Aha, but this one has marvelous new features, like:

Mail in AOL 9 still evaporates out of your inbox after a week, but you now get 20 megabytes of online mail storage per screen name, accessible from any copy of AOL 9. The update also adds a "Manage Mail" view that clearly presents your online and offline mail folders.

It doesn't, unfortunately, help you organize the messages you'll start to accumulate: You can't sort mail saved on AOL into different folders, nor can you filter incoming e-mail by its sender.
OK... why hasn't AOL caught up with Netscape from five years ago?

You can dress up your IM personality with a "SuperBuddy," a giggle-worthy icon that reacts to your chatter -- type "lol" (short for "laughing out loud"), and your SuperBuddy chuckles; "cool" causes it to put on sunglasses, and "XOXO" makes this little avatar smooch the screen.
Wow, what a major fucking enhancement that is. Those are some funky fresh ideas coming out of Dulles.

Most useful of all is AOL 9's free voice chat, which allows you to have a real, two-way conversation, just like on the phone, between any two microphone-equipped PCs running AOL 9, anywhere in the world.
Once again... this is the hot new technology of five years ago. That everyone has since realized doesn't work and stopped using.

In the D.C. area, AOL's only high-speed offering is a $54-a-month, Verizon-run digital-subscriber-line service. The same basic connection, but with MSN software, is available directly from Verizon for $35 a month.
Ridiculous. People, stop giving your money to AOL. You can get the real Internet via DSL connection for cheaper. The Verizon straight-up DSL is good stuff, and they lowered the price recently. Please do that instead. Do The Right Thing, as Spike TV would say.

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