BITS AND BYTES FROM THE NEW-MEDIA FRONT.

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Brushing up their Internet skills. Smithkline Beecham thought the 'net would be a perfect place to sample its new Aquafresh Whitening toothpaste. It posted a message on the newsgroup alt.consumers.free-stuff, and instead of getting flamed, newsgroup users flooded Smithkline's 800-number with requests for samples. Says company exec Scott Martin: "Our first trip on the 'net has been a white-hot experience."

Fear of bytes. CMP Publications' HomePC is looking for a technophobe willing to face his or her worst fears. A contest appearing in the magazine's May and June issues asks readers to submit essays on someone they know "who panics at the sight of a PC." The grand-prize winner will get a multimedia computer, printer, scanner and training. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

'Toon into the Web. Being big "Dilbert" fans, we love the new United Media Web home page (http://www.unitedmedia.com), where we can chronicle cartoonist Scott Adams' career. But we have one request: Keep it current. On April 5, a feature purportedly showcasing the day's "Dilbert" was dated March 29. We're sure Dilbert would say it's the marketing team's fault.

E-mail Scott Donaton, executive editor/interactive and new media, at YWKJ04A@prodigy.com. or SDonaton@eworld.com or @aol.com. E-mail Interactive Media & Marketing Managing Editor Debra Aho Williamson at YNXB44A@prodigy.com or DWilliamsn@eworld.com.

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