The proliferation of online newspapers and magazines should provide you with a balanced view of just about everything, but there is one major drawback - there simply isn't enough time to visit each newspaper or magazine regularly and search for the news that might interest you.
There are a number of solutions to the problem. Sites can register your interests and alert you via email when a matching article has been published, or you can use a search engine to scan specific parts of the Web. But neither of these is ideal - you still have to visit the sites to see exactly what they can offer you.
The future, according to Cambridge-based Autonomy - www.agentware.com - is Intelligent Agents - programs which roam the Net for you, visiting the newspaper and magazine sites that you ask for and selecting articles according to their content. You can tell the Autonomy agents in plain English what you are looking for, and if they retrieve something you don't want, the system will learn from its mistakes.
Best of all, an agent-based system doesn't just provide you with a list of URLs to visit; instead, it transfers the articles to your hard disk and constructs a virtual newspaper, ready for you to look at whenever you want. Autonomy's system can even handle the newspapers which require a name and password to view them, and you can set it to search the Web and log off, retrieving the results later.
Will agents make traditional newspapers redundant? It's possible, but there's also a chance that some people may ban them from their sites.
After all, you may welcome a custom newspaper without any adverts to get in the way but will the press barons?
How to use the listings
We have divided our listings into sections. The professional magazines are listed first, with a selection of the "e-zines" produced by enthusiasts, followed by sites which cover more than one magazine. Where the zines are concerned, it is impossible to be completely comprehensive or up to date. Even the professional titles change frequently, so you'll also find a selection of links which will take you to indexes of magazines at the end of the listings.
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