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NetZero, the "Defenders of the Free World", as they so ironically put it, are going to start charging for usages over 40 hours. There are very few ultimately free dialup services out there anymore. Perhaps they could not take the rush of Free ISP users after 1stup.com went under. Perhaps they are getting hit by the dot-com pinch. Either way, it's a shame. Their service was excellent, and their software (for Windows), was fairly well-written in my experience.

I think that this move by the Defenders of the Free World is only going to see the number of accounts triple or quadruple to meet the demand. Charging after a certain amount of time isn't a good business model, but let's face it, neither is being a free ISP. Goodluck to them and their users, in this time of trouble.

I'm sure a few of you Everythingians are cheap and/or poor like myself and take advantage of Net Zero's free internet service. Do you long for the days when Net Zero provided you with unlimited free internet access? Well, I figured out one way to avoid their newly imposed forty hours per month limit on their free service.

So, I'm sure all of you have tried reinstalling and creating a new account, but Net Zero has some sort of Caller ID system that keeps track of the number of hours your phone number logs regardless of what account you use. There is a way to avoid this hurdle however. First, create a new account by reinstalling the program. Then, if go to modify your calling options you will notice it has a check box that allows you to disable call waiting, and it gives you a place to enter the number you'd dial to disable it (typically *70). Instead of putting in that number put in *67. This will block your number from being displayed on caller id machines at the numbers you call. Now whenever you dial your local number it will prefix it with *67. Voila! Now you will just have to make a new account every time you go over forty hours.

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