In Brief

  • Share
  • Read Later
ORIGINAL SIM If you liked The Sims, the best-selling computer game that simulates ordinary life, you'll definitely have the hots for The Sims: Hot Date ($30). Building on the virtual world of The Sims, Hot Date adds more complex relationships and a funky downtown setting with night spots where your Sims can now engage in several new "interactions"--including the "suave kiss." the "dip kiss," and, if necessary, the Springeresque "slap fight."

BETTER BROWSER Coke and Pepsi, McDonald's and Burger King, Netscape and Internet Explorer--sometimes we forget there are more than two choices in life. Opera, a Web browser that hails from Norway, has a lot going for it that the others don't. Opera takes up less space on your hard drive--it's only a 3MB download--it crashes less often and in many cases it downloads Web pages faster than its rivals. A new and improved version, Opera 6.0, is now available free at

TV OR NOT TV Remember Tivo, the gadget that digitally records your favorite shows? The next generation is here: SonicBlue's ReplayTV 4000 ($699) works like a Tivo but also connects to the Internet so you can swap recorded shows online--if you have a fast connection, that is; these are big files. Trading TV shows over the Net for free? If this reminds you of the Napster flap, you're not alone: the Big Three networks are suing.