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A new study by Market Facts, conducted for MSNBC on the Internet, shows the Internet gaining ground as the medium of choice for news users. The survey data show 53% of the U.S. Internet population regularly use the Internet as a source for news, compared with 57% for magazines, 71% for cable TV, 74% for radio and 82% each for broadcast TV and newspapers. The survey also found that about one-fourth of those who use the Internet for news use it every day.

In a separate study released Feb. 18 by Media Metrix, older baby boomers and retirees are passing Gen-Xers in time spent on home PCs. According to the study, the 45-and-older crowd spent 31% more time on their home PCs than the 18-to-34 age group. Boomers spent an average 2,148 minutes per month while the 18-to-34-year-olds spent 1,643 minutes per month.

HotBot and LookSmart Ltd. have formed a partnership to give HotBot users category search capabilities and direct access to LookSmart editorially reviewed databases. LookSmart has recently made deals with AltaVista, @Home, CompuServe, Netscape, Bigfoot, Microsoft Corp. and Desktop News.

Copyright February 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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