PC Magazine -- March 25, 1997

Web News While You Work

HeadLiner goes to the source in order to deliver news and information to your PC

Jon Kaufthal

Web Utilities

Lanacom's HeadLiner delivers exactly the news you want, the way you want it. Like PointCast Network, HeadLiner is a free, Web-based service; but unlike PCN, HeadLiner ventures out into uncharted territory to get your news.

Based on software-agent technology, HeadLiner combs the Web for news, weather, stock quotes, and more. Instead of using a proprietary system, HeadLiner goes directly to your favorite Web sites and pulls content straight from the pages. Using separate profiles--or content agents--for each Web site, HeadLiner identifies the site's headlines and story links. The service then brings the data directly to your PC.

Getting started is a breeze: A setup wizard asks a few questions about your location and interests, and then suggests several Web sites. You can modify this list by choosing as many as 40 sites via a simple checklist. HeadLiner can either check for news when you connect to the Internet or dial up on its own; the program also checks newsgroups and e-mail. Automatic daily check-ins with Lanacom's server ensure that you get software updates and profiles for new and modified sites.

To suit different tastes, HeadLiner provides several delivery routes. There's a flashy screen saver--similar to PCN's--and a news ticker that scrolls across the top of your screen. Our favorite feature was NewsTitle, which puts the latest headlines in the title bar of the active application, conserving valuable screen real estate; click on a NewsTitle headline and your Web browser displays the full story.

HeadLiner's Manager lets you tweak settings and view archived news; filters and alerts put you in control of which headlines you see. News is sorted by day and by site on one side of the program's interface; a panel on the other side shows the full story.

A free beta release of HeadLiner is currently available from Lanacom's Web site. In addition, a Plus Package, featuring enhanced capabilities, is scheduled for sale later this year. This add-on includes intranet support as well as the ability to subscribe to an unlimited number of sites and create your own agents.

In short, HeadLiner provides all the news that's fit to download.

HeadLiner.List price: Free. Requires: 8MB RAM, 3MB hard disk space, Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows NT with Dial-Up Networking. Lanacom Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 416-490-7744; EXTRA, EXTRA: HeadLiner brings you all your news the way you like to see it.

Copyright (c) 1997 Ziff-Davis Publishing Company

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