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Glitch leaves users out in the cold

A software glitch at the free email site bars nonmembers from accessing its Web site for at least a day, the company confirms.

A software glitch at barred nonmembers from accessing the company's Web site for at least a day, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Executives at New York-based, which offers free email services, said the problem began after technicians installed new personalization software Tuesday evening. Stef Bensi,'s senior director of operations, said he expected the site to be operating normally by Wednesday evening. As of 3:30 PST, the site appeared to be accessible.

The new software was designed to recognize previous visitors and then show them pages that they had shown an interest in before. Instead, the site acted as a gatekeeper, granting admittance only to those who had visited the site prior to the software installation. Anyone who tried to log on for the first time after the installation received a blank page.

Bensi estimated that a small amount of people would be affected by the glitch, saying that between 90 percent and 95 percent of all page turns on's site are by its members.