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Net offers a look at the color of new money


If you've admired the way the U.S. Mint has revamped our paper currency over the past couple of years, then you should know that beginning Monday you'll have a chance to actually have a voice in shaping our currency.

Beginning Monday, the U.S. Mint is hold a sort of online beauty contest in order to determine what its next-generation $1 coin will look like.

The chances that it'll carry the likeness of Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt are pretty slim -- much of the coin's likeness is spelled out already. We do know it will:

  • be similar in size to the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin

  • be golden in color
  • have a distinctive edge.
  • be issued in the year 2000.
  • bear the image of Sacagawea, the 16-year-old Shoshone Indian who, carrying her infant son on her back, helped lead the Lewis and Clark expedition through the Rocky Mountains in 1805.

There are six semi-finalist designs that'll be on display on the Web site and in various other venues.

The new dollar coin will replace the Susan B. Anthony coin, and its hoped the gold color will eliminate the constant confusion that the Susan B. coins caused by their similarity to the quarter.

The input is important, as the Mint plans to present the three finalists to the U.S. Fine Arts commission's Dec. 17th meeting, with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's final decision to come next month.

WALRUS ONLINE. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney announced last week he will stage a live one-man rock-and-roll variety show on the Internet on Thursday, at 1900 GMT (that's 2 p.m. to those of us on Eastern time).

``It's the first time that I've done anything quite like this. I'm excited but I'm also getting a bit nervous about hosting my own show for an hour,'' he said in a story by Reuters.

McCartney will present music, videos, movies and photography and will chat live to e-mailers at http://webevents.broadcast.com/mccartney/.

He'll also be autographing copies of Linda McCartney's "Wide Prairie" album for those whose questions get answered online.

Linda McCartney, the ex-Beatle's wife of nearly 30 years, died last April after a three-year battle against cancer. Since that time, Paul has been working on finishing "Wide Prairie."

NETSCAPE NEWS. On the heels of the announced purchase of Netscape Communications by America Online comes a sneak peek at the Netscapes next Web browser.

While it isn't available to the public yet -- but it will be by spring -- it did show Web developers that Netscape was working to get its browser in better shape.

Netscape Communicator, which encompasses the Navigator Web browser and other applications, is a sizeable download -- more than 10 Megs -- and even larger once it is installed.

Developers saw a slimmed-down and very, very fast Communicator 5.0 Web browser that will make use of the latest in HTML and other Web languages to provide superior display of Internet content.

Will Netscape succeed?

While it's too early to tell, it's worth noting that the new browser generated considerable interest -- higher than has been seen since the debut of the debut of Netscape Navigator 2.0. beta in 1995.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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