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A British Internet start-up is to offer Net users cash in return for looking at ads. SurfMILES plans to take on other similar schemes including Sharkhunt.com (see earlier story) and the US-based company Alladvantage which recently announced its entry into Britain and Canada. Net users will, in effect, be paid 30 pence an hour to receive ads online. When users have accumulated enough "surfmiles" they can then be cashed in batches of 1500 units -- or £15.00. The full banner ad service should be up and running by mid-to-late September but users who subscribe now will be allocated surfmiles in advance. They will also receive surfmiles if they buy goods and services from any of the company's partners which include Amazon, Dell, Tower Records, Disney Store Online and CDNow. In that respect, surfmiles bear a striking similarity to another "online currency" although it should be noted that beenz can only be exchanged for goods and services and not redeemed for cash. Yesterday, the beenz central bank said that there were 100,000,000 beenz in circulation. It also confirmed that the millionth beenz transaction had taken place -- although there was no indication exactly what was bought. ®

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