May the Source Be with You

A flood of information arrives at home via computers

For most families, household utilities usually mean electricity, the heating system and a supply of fresh water. But when middle-income New Yorkers next month begin moving into a newly completed 52-unit condominium at 260 West Broadway in Manhattan's Tribeca district, they will find not just sinks, tubs and electrical outlets, but builder-installed computer terminals. The inconspicuous machines, which look like small television sets with a keyboard, are hooked up to a McLean, Va., firm that styles itself an "information utility." Its daunting name: the Source....

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