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Remember that '70s fad, mood rings? Well, get ready for mood software. No, your computer doesn't turn crimson when you're mad. But Elizabeth Charnock, CEO of Troba Inc., says her software program lets Web stores divine shoppers' moods by tracking their behavior. Users who constantly hit the back button, for example, are confused by bad site design. They show up on a computer simulation of an e-merchant's site as icons wandering in circles. Bored customers--people who leave the site quickly--check their watches, while the angry simply explode. The idea: fix flaws that stop shoppers.

After a slow start, Troba is attracting clients. "I thought: `If this does what they say it does, it's worth its weight in gold,"' says Carmine Villani, chief information officer at McKesson HBOC Inc. (MCK) Not surprisingly, McKesson's after just one customer mood...acquisitive.By Jeanette Brown


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