In the early days of dotcom, whole business models were based entirely on simply having an Internet presence. Mentioning that a company was web-based meant that money would appear like bad political speeches at a national disaster. The fact that the company provided neither a service nor products didn't seem to be an issue. When that whole system came to a crashing halt, a lot of the crazy charm went out of the Internet. People were less and less willing to launch sites with no apparent purpose and many of the fanciful money-making ideas disappeared. Soon, only sites selling tangible products and services (and, of course, porn and videos of people breaking their legs) could be found. So, it's nice to come across Ask for Cents, a site that, apparently, will attempt to make money by answering people's questions. Send a question on any topic to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from a team of willing answerers will give it a shot. The catch, if there is one, is that there is no guarantee about the veracity of the answers. I decided to test these sages out while the service is still free. My first question, "How does this site expect to make any money?" generated fairly pedestrian responses. So I then asked the question that is really on everyone's mind: who would win a fight between a bear and an octopus? In the search for truth, Ask for Cents sent two answers: "Probably a bear due mainly to its size, claws and teeth, but don't discount the octopus! They are seriously strong animals!" "I think it depends on the home territory advantage. If the fight was underwater, the bear would drown and the octopus would win. If the fight was on land, the octopus would flop around pathetically before the bear ripped it to shreds." And there you have it. Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee. What's he all about? Click here. For previous 40 bLinks, click here.