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Palm Unveils MyPalm Portal

Access for the leading personal digital assistant got a little more convenient this week as Palm Inc. slipped its long-awaited MyPalm portal release in after Christmas and before the new year.

MyPalm is a personal information service accessible through a downloadable Web clipping application, which is formatted with handheld screens in mind.

The portal lets users schedule meetings at anytime, set up reminders for important events, access contacts from anywhere -- and it may be synchronized with a desktop or handheld organizer.

Though the launch seems to come during a week of dead calm in the high-tech sector, the news hardly slipped in under the radar -- rights to MyPalm.com did not come without a little haggling as the domain name was registered by one Dominic Hulewicz.

An owner of a British Internet consulting firm who uses the name as his personal e-mail address, Hulewicz had purchased the domain name last year, but Palm hadn't realized the slice of Web real estate had been taken.

When Palm did find out it acted quickly, having lawyers try to strong-arm him for the domain name. Perhaps wishing to avoid a "bully" stereotype, the popular PDA maker later agreed to work out a deal to let him keep the domain name for his personal e-mail address as long as traffic for MyPalm is sent to Palm Inc. Hulewicz was paid an undisclosed sum for the domain.

To head off any confusion, Palm has opted to use the address "my.palm.com" instead of "mypalm.com," but neither of those Web addresses yield much -- the latter redirects traffic to the former, which, for some reason, is not valid at this time.

Attempts were made to contact both Palm and its public relations handler, A & R Partners Inc., in order to find out why the address is invalid, but all appropriate parties are on vacation through the new year.

However, those users interested in the new service need not worry as MyPalm is available free from Palm's site.

The portal launch comes a week after the firm's purchase of wireless synchronizer WeSync for about $45 million in cash or stock.



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