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Cyber Digest

A weekly spin on the Web

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HEAVY PET-ING Most men only dream of having Pamela Anderson in the sweaty palms of their hands. Now the bouncy V.I.P. star has been added to Eruptor’s lineup of handheld PortaPets, which include the PortaMonkey and PortaHo (yes, that kind of ho). Managing Pam’s career on your palmtop isn’t without responsibilities: After cell-phoning her agent for a gig, you have to feed her low-fat smoothies, fight off paparazzi, and keep her fit by doing — what else? — jumping jacks. A 48-hour demo is available on the site (eruptor.com/portapets) and the unlimited version costs $4.99 — look, it’s as close to Pam as your hands are ever going to get.

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE TVT Records, one of the largest indie labels (tvtrecords.com), became the first to settle with Napster last week (Bertelsmann, you’ll recall, will drop its suit only after Napster builds a service amenable to artists and labels). TVT was seeking $150,000 in damages for each of its songs that had been Napsterized, and while monetary terms were not disclosed, TVT is guaranteed a nugget of Napster’s future — including dibs on promoting its roster of artists, who include Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes and Sevendust, to the service’s 58 million users.

OLD FLAMES Weeks before Survivor 2’s premiere, Amber Brkich had a fan site. And she’s still winning the Miss Popularity contest at Yahoo!, with five pages (as opposed to three or fewer for each of the other contestants). Since so little is known about Brkich, the sites all have the exact same photos and bios. So which one’s worth visiting? Only on Westminster College’s Amber Fan Club message boards (geocities.com/AmberFans) will you find alums of the New Wilmington, Pa., school reminiscing about all the times they lusted after the public relations major in class. ”She was very popular,” says webmaster and Westminster senior Eric Bass. ”She’s one of those girls that was really attractive but wasn’t stuck up about it.”

TOUCH HIS MONKEY You won’t see Brendan Fraser on BiteMyMonkey.com, but it is the website for his upcoming live-action/stop-motion/CGI animated movie Monkeybone. The site is full of tricks, from a fake front page to a ”Prank School” that offers blueprints for revenge. The nifty Random Insult Generator lets you set a string of PG-rated epithets to jazz, country, techno, or rap music and e-mail the monkey-gram to a friend. Coming soon: instructions on how to keep your knuckles from dragging on the ground.

A ZOO OUT THERE Cartoon bands are more Saturday- morning TV than Friday-night fun, Josie and the Pussycats notwithstanding. But Virgin Records hopes to change that with Gorillaz (gorillaz.com), a virtual foursome (Murdoc, 2D, Russel, and Noodle) drawn by Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlett and existing only in cyber-fantasyland. A tour of the group’s messy bedrooms, hard drives, and assorted toys is so much fun you’ll wonder why Limp Bizkit’s site is so bland. Much as Virgin would like everyone to treat them as a true-to-life band (we were even offered an interview with Murdoc), it’s difficult to get past the fact that the Gorillaz tunes are sung by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and include the musical stylings of Dan the Automator and Del the Funky Homosapien.

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