Tying A Virtual String Around Your Finger

O.K., SO YOU FORGOT MOM'S birthday. You forgot your sister's graduation and your parents' anniversary. Mother's Day is coming--you've got one more chance at redemption. But you're afraid you'll forget to call. Not to worry, USA.NET Inc. has the answer: an E-mail nudge--as many and as frequently as you think you'll need. The Colorado Springs (Colo.) provider of a free E-mail service lets users schedule reminders to themselves. And for the more ambitious, messages may be written and stored for delivery up to five years in advance.

Automatic reminders are becoming more popular as free E-mail services try to build heavily trafficked Web sites, which then attract advertisers. But USA.NET, which has more than 3 million subscribers, is trying to do just a bit more. It also automatically checks and forwards mail from up to five accounts at regular intervals. And, users can send messages with up to five attachments containing a total of 5 Mb--useful for shipping images over the Internet. Oh, and don't forget: Mother's Day is May 10.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.