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Letterman switches networks again? David Letterman's Oscar-hosting gig is putting ABC in the unlikely position of promoting a rival network's show. The opening screen for ABC Online's Academy Awards area on America Online shows the famous Oscar statuettes and a smiling Mr. Letterman, front and center. Inside, there's a complete list of the nominees, news updates on the Academy Awards show production, Oscar trivia and message boards. On Oscar night, March 27, ABC will host a live online auditorium. But while ABC plans to host online chats with Oscar producer Gil Cates and legendary Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck, we bet the CBS "Late Show" host probably won't be found there.

Postcards from the edge. No money to take that African safari? Never fear, you can still e-mail a postcard of it courtesy of Mountain Travel/Sobek, the outdoor adventure tour company. Mountain Travel/Sobek's new World Wide Web site ( features nearly 200 postcard images of exotic destinations that you can "send" via e-mail. Nifty Internet trick of the day: Instead of receiving the actual postcard image via e-mail, the recipient gets a note telling him to visit the Mountain Travel/Sobek site to retrieve the postcard, thus ensuring the company of yet another visitor to its site.

What's brewing in '95? Skinny ties, sideburns and new wave music, according to a recent survey of 150 'net surfers by Miller Brewing Co.'s MGD Taproom ( Also: marching to the beat of your own drummer, third political parties and morality. What's out? Coffee houses, goatees and baggy pants. The question of whether the Internet is in or out wasn't asked.

Another brew-ha-ha. Computer users may get a buzz from Discovery Channel Multimedia's upcoming CD-ROM. "The Beer Hunter," to be released in June, features information on the color, taste and regional backgrounds of more than 500 American beers, as well as tips for home brewing. The disc carries a suggested retail price of $49.95, for which you could also buy a keg of beer and have change left over.

And for those who've moved beyond beer. No need to fret about whether the red has a touch too much oak or the chardonnay's nose is not complex enough. Simply go online next month and sample the cabernets and zinfandels with winemaking legend Louis Martini, the 76-year-old founder of the Louis M. Martini Winery, St. Helena, Calif., who will conduct what is believed to be one of the first online, real-time wine tastings. The tasting will be held in the Wine & Dine Online forum on America Online. Details of how participants will be able to line up their glasses with Louie for the event have run into some snags, however. The winery has limited distribution of some vintages, and government regulations prevent the winery from shipping bottles to all states.

E-mail Interactive Media & Marketing Editor Scott Donaton at [email protected] or [email protected] or E-mail Managing Editor Debra Aho Williamson at [email protected] or [email protected]

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