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Penthouse thanks computer industry

Penthouse says it's the most visited Web publication, and computer industry employees are a big reason why.

Penthouse has declared itself the most-visited publication site on the Web, its popularity fueled largely by regular visits from students at top U.S. universities and employees at IBM, Apple Computer, AT&T, and Hewlett-Packard.

The publication's claim is based on an audit of the site's visitors conducted in December by Nielsen-I/Pro. The site received 54 million hits and 2,085,520 visits in a one-month period, according to the report, an average of 86,897 a day.

Universities accounted for 86,500 of the visits during the month, while IBM employees paid 4,556 visits, Apple workers 4,462, and AT&T employees 3,805--all, of course, on company time, which Nielsen-I/Pro knows because it determined the origin of the visits by client domain name.

The survey defined "hits" as a single access of a file, while a visit is a single user logging on to the site. The audit couldn't determine the identities of individuals.

A separate gauge of Web site popularity, the NPD PC/Meter system that measures traffic from a sampling of homes with Internet access, also rated Penthouse the most popular publication on the Web, according to the magazine.