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PIERRE, S.D. ( — As his first act in office, Gov. Jim Barksdale signed an executive order today renaming the state "E-Dakota." The state's 860,000 residents, as well as livestock, personal belongings, and public and private buildings, will be reduced to digital signatures and reside on a "server farm" at

The E-Dakota site will also feature a search engine, extensive lists of fun and entertaining places to visit in the Dakotas and elsewhere, and an auction section.

"The truth is, no one ever came through South Dakota," said Barksdale, the Netscape founder, who moved to the state last year. "We were a gateway to Wyoming. That's about it. But as E-Dakota, we hope to be a portal state, a gateway site to America and the Internet."

In a separate statement, Barksdale pledged to cut state taxes by 20 percent, funds he says E-Dakota will recoup thanks to its new status as an official affiliate.


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