A New Year of trouble waits. Rupert Murdoch -- one of the most powerful moguls in the world -- is suing AOL. But on another front, a belligerent start-up is holding 5 million AOL e-mail addresses hostage, demanding more access to AOL's users...or else.
Or else what? Even more spam. After one year of losing struggles, AOL's fight against spam just got more difficult.
And hackers haven't disappeared, either. High-tech vandals who returned to AOL's NetNoir area are just the beginning. A new wave of trouble-makers are apparently clustering in the underground, swapping information about AOL's system.

A year earlier, AOL was clogged with busy signals. Within weeks, government officials in 40 states were threatening lawsuits. AOL offered refunds (sort of)--then ramped up the marketing. And then their ongoing war on spam failed.

It's all a harbinger of troubles to come. Happy New Year, AOL...