Many online magazines have all the visual appeal of a phone book. @tlas, a more or less quarterly product of San Francisco's @tlas Web Design, is a distinct exception. The current Winter '97 issue includes a gallery of 26 drawings by 26 artists, each based upon a letter of the alphabet, a multimedia ''graphic novel,'' and an animated movie that I could only get to play on a Macintosh. The content is very arty, and much of it defies easy description. But it's well worth an exploration.
Want to give state-of-the-art speech synthesis a try? Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs offers a text-to-speech system that lets you type in what you would like to hear, then play it back in your choice of eight different voices, such as a man, a woman, or a child. The site also offers test-to-speech synthesis in German and Mandarin Chinese, plus a ''translator'' that will render your English text in pig latin. For those with a serious interest in the topic, Bell Labs also makes available a wealth of research papers on speech synthesis.
If you are interested in putting money into high-tech stocks, the Silicon Investor Web site is a useful stop. Access to all services, including the ability to post messages in discussion groups, requires a $45 subscription. However, much of the information on the site is available for free, including such things as financials, historical trading data, and charts. There are also discussion groups where, as always, the advice should be taken with a grain of silicon.