Some bankers, not to mention the Justice Department, didn't welcome the prospect of Microsoft Corp. buying the maker of the popular Quicken personal finance software. But the connected folks at Wired magazine say the newfound interest and fears surrounding home banking are just so much hype.

In an item that went to press before the deal fell through, Wired's Steve B. Steinberg noted that while the technical hurdles to home banking are easily overcome, the results "have always been commercial disasters."

Indeed, home banking ranked third on the magazine's July "Hype List." PC banking, Mr. Steinberg wrote, "would offer few advantages to the consumer (but) give banks a new excuse for exorbitant service charges. Expect an aggressive promotional campaign."

Topping the magazine's list of ballyhooed technologies was security on the Internet.

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