BPA International, New York, started general traffic auditing for nine sites published by IDG Publications, Boston, on Sept. 1. Sites correspond to IDG titles including Computer World, PC World, Info World, Mac World, Network World, Java World and Netscape World. BPA recently announced audit business with competing sites iWorld, from Mecklermedia Corp. (http://www.iworld.com), and Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.'s ZD Net (http://www.zdnet.com).
CompuServe said that H&R Block, which owns 80% of CompuServe shares, will not present a proposed spinoff to shareholders at Block's annual meeting Sept. 11. The decision was based, in part, on CompuServe's first-quarter and projected second-quarter losses. CompuServe, provider of online and Internet access service, said Block's board still plans an eventual spinoff.
Agents Inc., the MIT spinoff specializing in intelligent agents, changed its name to Firefly Network and began licensing its tools to companies including Reuters NewMedia, Yahoo! and Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.'s ZD Net. Agents is the creator of Firefly (http://www.firefly.com), a Web site that uses agents to help users find music and movies of interest to them. The new software will give consumers their own personal Firefly agent and offer businesses a way to personalize communications.
America Online and its European partner Bertelsmann launched a trial to provide online services to domestic TV sets via a decoder. If successful, it will open up a much wider audience for online providers. "For many people the PC is still a technical barrier, but the TV is easier to handle," said Bernd Schiphorst, president-CEO of Bertelsmann New Media.
BellSouth Corp. is online with its Internet access product, BellSouth.net. The service will be offered first in Atlanta and New Orleans, with six other markets planned for October. .*.*. Greg Stuart, former VP-marketing of Interactive Imaginations, is opening a New York consultancy, gregstuart@webrite, to work with agencies and Web media sites (AA, Aug. 26).