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New tool bar alerts eBay bidders

eBay is offering a new tool bar to members to help them search for items on its site and to remind them of auctions that are about to close. Developed by software company AtHoc, the free tool bar plugs into Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator Web browsers. The software, which syncs with eBay, can send pop-up alerts with sound concerning auctions that are about to close even when a user is not connected to the Internet.

eBay is only the latest online company to offer a tool bar plug-in for Internet Explorer and other Web browsers. Last month, Ask Jeeves-owned search engine Teoma debuted its own tool bar. Meanwhile, Yahoo launched a tool bar called Yahoo Companion three years ago. The software allows Yahoo customers to search Yahoo and instantly access personalized features on the site, such as their e-mail boxes.