``Surfing the Internet'' is considered by many to be a relatively inconsequential pastime for millions of computer users. But sometimes it can take on more of a sense of urgency. It can even become a tool for public safety.
Discussing the new on-line venture by the Herndon, Va.-based National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), David Cappert spoke of how, earlier this year, a Snap-On Inc. tool distributor was murdered in California.
``Within a matter of hours, one of the technicians out there had an image of the suspect uploaded and scanned onto the system,'' he said, ``along with a description. That information was available to people almost immediately. So the multiplicity of uses of on-line services is huge. There's one example of good will.''
No other details of the crime are known at this time.