Long Distance E-Mail

One of the most exciting THINGS ABOUT THE INTERNET is that it allows people in remote locations to keep in touch. Consider Coast Guard Cmdr. Mike Powers, who is stationed on the USCGC Polar Sea in the Arctic Ocean. His ship is part of a U.S.-Canadian joint expedition carrying 70 scientists. They hook up to the Internet when the air force's Lincoln Experimental Satellite is in range. The satellite transmits to a Miami computer. Powers says they exchange data with colleagues at home. More important, for a 55-day stint in the middle of nowhere, is the ability to write to family and hear back in day or two.