For those who don't like the unsolicited junk e-mail that comes with free Web-based e-mail accounts, a small German software company has launched Coldmail, a way to give spam the cold shoulder.
Users of Coldmail -- a play on the name Hotmail, the free e-mail service offered by Microsoft -- can set up a free e-mail account which will only send them e-mail from pre-approved names which the users register themselves.
All other mail is filtered, and those who try to send them are informed via e-mail that only approved users can have their mails answered, according to Alpenland GmbH, the company which offers the service.
Alpenland, which gets its name from its setting in a small town in the Bavarian countryside, specializes in helping users destroy unwanted electronic files for data security reasons. It works with users in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Benelux countries.
Coldmail is strictly a German-language service, but Alpenland offers an English version of what it calls Euro Plus Quick -- software which, when running in the background on a PC, can automatically convert 18 currencies into euros. The program functions with Microsoft Corp.'s Word and Excel, as well as with most Windows-based applications.