ST Report: 21-Feb-97 #1308From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/23/97-09:29:46 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 21-Feb-97 #1308 Date: Sun Feb 23 21:29:46 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) February 21, 1997 No.1308 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password STReport published with MS Office 97 & Adobe Acrobat Pro v3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 02/21/97 STR 1308 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Access LINKS LS - Linux Corner - Frankie's Corner - CIS WOES! - Virgin Net - Hate Bytes - Mail Call - Year 2m Insurance - NET Cemetery - People Talking - Classics & Gaming U.S. PROBES SGI'S RUSSIAN SALES Apple Makes Deal With Iomega U.S. Robotics Sued by Motorola STReport International OnLine Magazine Featuring Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports STReport's BBS - The Bounty International BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the provision and distribution of STReport for their members. Please obtain the latest issue from either our Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Now in Our Tenth Year! 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 02/15/97: 5 of 6 numbers, 3 three number matches >From the Editor's Desk... We are moving toward Spring already. It about 84 degrees outside. The flowers are all in bloom and the grass is growing nicely. The pollen is killing me but it's worth it. Last night I enjoyed one of the rare treats one can find here in the south. It is full moon time or darn near it. At about midnight, I walked outside with Dujo my poodle and drank in the view of patio and pool area. It was indeed sight to behold, remember and treasure for a lifetime. The bright silvery light of the moon shimmering across the light breeze swept surface of the swimming pool was gorgeous. That. topped off by the shadows cast by the palm trees and other tropical vegetation bordering the patio simply made it an extremely pleasant "dreamscape". Thought I'd share that with you. Office 97 is out there and it's a dilly. This is the productivity package of both today and the future We've been doing STReport for some time with Word 95 and only recently went to the Office 97 Pro Suite. If you are looking for a fine package for any productive environment this is it. For years, we used Word Perfect. but I gotta tell you, ever since Word Perfect went out of Orem Utah, it lost something very important. Something that is hard to define but it could be the real look and feel. At the same time it became bloated with a bunch of useless clutter. Word Perfect in our opinion, is at this time a non-entity. We changed to Word 95 and then to Office 97 Pro. Believe this. there's no regrets at this location. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although it is in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01, 1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Allen Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Ron Satchwill Robert Satchwill Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson U.S. Robotics Sued by Motorola A complaint filed against U.S. Robotics Corp. alleges the firm infringed on a number of Motorola Inc.'s patents for high-speed modem technology. Motorola contends some of the patents may apply to next-generation 56-kilobit modem technology. The Reuter News Service quotes officials at U.S. Robotics as saying the firm is planning to ship modems in the next few days that allow users to download information from the Internet at a rate of 56 kilobits per second over ordinary, analog telephone lines. Meanwhile, Motorola officials say the lawsuit comes after several years of negotiations. Says Vice President Randy Battat, vice president of Motorola's information systems group, "Motorola actively invests in new technology for worldwide standards and is committed to making that technology available on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis. At the same time, the company will vigorously defend its intellectual property and its right to fair compensation for the use of that property." U.S. Robotics to Fight Motorola "A vigorous defense" is being promised by U.S. Robotics Corp. in a patent infringement lawsuit filed this week by Motorola Inc. over high-speed modem technology. As reported yesterday (GO OLT-179), Motorola contends some of the patents may apply to next-generation 56-kilobit modem technology. From its Skokie, Illinois, headquarters, the Reuter News Service quotes a U.S. Robotics statement as saying the company "believes it has meritorious defenses to Motorola's claims and intends to mount a vigorous defense of the lawsuit." Reuters says the patents at issue cover technologies essential to the international standard for current modem technology, adding U.S. Robotics has said it planned to ship the new 56-kilobit modems to retailers within days. Meanwhile, Motorola says it has settled similar litigation with Rockwell International Corp. and said it formed an alliance with Rockwell Semiconductor Systems to develop a 56-kilobit modem using Rockwell's technology Says the U.S. Robotics statement, "It is regrettable and unnecessary that Motorola has chosen to resort to the courts rather than to act in accordance with its often professed commitment to making its technology adapted for use in communications standards available on a 'fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis..'" Industry Boos Encryption Policy A failure is what various trade groups are labelling the Clinton Administration's new high-tech export policy, which relaxed rules on computer encoding technology a bit. The new policy "does not adequately address the needs of either the American business community or the general public," the 13 groups said in a letter to Clinton dated Feb. 11 and released yesterday. Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Aaron Pressman says the groups signing the letter included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and National Retail Federation, along with a host of high-tech industry groups such as the Business Software Alliance, the Information Technology Association of America, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Association of Research Libraries. Nonetheless, the current policy will be maintained, says White House spokeswoman Heidi Kukis, who told Pressman, "The administration is moving ahead with our encryption export liberalization policy." Kukis said the policy balances diverse interests by "allowing us to develop exports while protecting our national security." As reported, under the current policy, U.S. companies may not export products containing strong encryption, used to protect everything from a business' electronic mail to a consumer's credit card number sent over the Internet, unless the products also allow the government to crack the code by recovering the software keys. Firms can get a license to export medium-strength encryption lacking so-called key recovery features if they agree to incorporate key recovery in future products within two years. To date, the U.S. Commerce Department has issued threelicenses under the two-year provision -- Digital Equipment Corp., Trusted Information Systems Inc. and Cylink Corp. all promise to offer key recovery products by 1999 -- and IBM and Hewlett Packard Co. say they also are seeking licenses. However, notes Pressman, companies and privacy advocates rejected the administration's key recovery-based approach. In their letter to Clinton, the groups said the policy "fails to accommodate the competitiveness concerns of sellers of encryption products, the security concerns of the buyers of such products, or important privacy rights." The letter adds, "We believe a fundamental rethinking of this policy is necessary. We remain interested in working with you to achieve a constructive solution to this very difficult problem." The fight appears to be moving to Congress. As reported, several congressional proposals are being considered that would dramatically relax the export restrictions without requiring key recovery. However, the White House vows to oppose allowing unfettered strong encryption programs out of the country where the Clinton Administration says it fears they could be used by terrorists and other international criminals. 3 Apple Execs Cut in Reorganization Because their jobs have been eliminated in the company's latest reorganization, three top executives are leaving Apple Computer Inc. Reporting from Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters, The Associated Press says the departing execs are: z Satjiv Chahil, senior vice president of corporate worldwide marketing. z Fred Forsyth, senior vice president in charge of the Power Macintosh product group. z John Floisand, senior vice president of worldwide sales. This comes a week after Apple vice president Heidi Roizen, in charge of developer relations, and Christopher Escher of corporate communications, announced they are leaving as well. Apple told AP the latest departures are a result of the company's new, centralized organization. As noted, the computer maker has said it will cut $400 million in annual costs and perhaps discontinue, spin off or sell less-profitable product lines to regain profitability on lower revenues. Apple has said that layoffs will be part of its reorganization -- its second within a year -- but has not yet announced how many jobs will be cut. Industry analysts say estimates could run as high as 3,000 employees, about a fifth of Apple's work force. Massey Leaves CompuServe CEO Post To pursue other interests, Robert Massey is stepping down as president/CEO of CompuServe, a post he has held since June 1995. "Our goal remains a speedy and sustained turnaround at CompuServe and under Bob's leadership, the company has made progress in that direction," says a statement from Chairman Frank L. Salizzoni, who assumes Massey's duties on an interim basis until a successor is chosen. Salizzoni also is president/CEO of tax preparation firm H&R Block Inc., which owns about 80percent of CompuServe. The Reuter News Service quotes Salizzoni as saying, "We respect Bob's desire to pursue other interests and thank him for his years of service to CompuServe," and adding the board of directors will work quickly to find a new chief executive. Massey, 50, who joined CompuServe in 1976. Prior to being named president/CEO, he served as the company's executive vice president of the Network Services division. Matsushita Offers Digital Camera A super-thin digital still camera that makers say can be easily connected to television screens to view the pictures has been unveiled in Tokyo by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. It is 21 mm thick and weighs 140 grams, Matsushita adds. According to the Reuter News Service, the camera's pictures can be viewed on a personal computer as well as on a TV screen, when connected to the camera via the supplied cable. Matsushita -- whose products are sold under the "National," "Panasonics," and "Technics" brand names -- will begin sales in Japan in March 20, with monthly production projected at 10,000 units. Shipments to the U.S. market will begin in April. Apple Unveils New Digital Camera Apple Computer, Inc. today announced the QuickTake 200, a new digital color camera targeted at Mac OS users in the education, small office/home office and corporate markets. Apple notes that the QuickTake 200 gives customers several options for presenting their images on computers and/or televisions, including presentations, slide shows, video recording and real-time Internet videoconferencing. The QuickTake 200 offers a 1.8-inch LCD viewfinder, which can also be used to display stored images. Images are recorded on a removable storage card. The included 2MB card can store 30 standard-quality or 20 high-quality color images. The camera is bundled with Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Adobe PageMill and PictureWorks NetCard software, which collectively allow the user to edit, manipulate, and electronically share images, as well as create Web pages. The package also includes allcables required for full operation. "For customers who want to express themselves visually, the Apple QuickTake 200 is a tremendous tool; it gives them the flexibility to easily add the impact of images on-screen, in print media or on the Internet." says Maury Austin, vice president and general manager of Apple Computer's imaging division. The QuickTake 200 will sell for $600. The camera and additional accessories are expected to become available in North America starting March 1, and in Japan, Europe and South America in April. Hyundai Unit Makes NT Computers A line of high-end computer servers based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT software standard will be made by Axil Computer Inc., the American computer unit of Korean-based Hyundai Corp. The Reuter News Service, reporting from Santa Clara, California, notes that until now, Axil has made computers based on the Unix software standard, adding, "By making machines based on Windows NT, Axil will chase after a much more rapidly growing market." Axil President/CEO Charles Wilson told the wire service, "We've spent a considerable amount of time listening to IT professionals and anticipating market directions." Reuters notes Axil servers have been based on microprocessors and software from Sun Microsystems Inc., which specializes in mid-range Unix computer systems, but now is developing machines that use Intel Corp.'s Pentium Pro microprocessors and Windows NT software. Axil officials told Reuters the firm will develop servers that use eight Pentium Pro processors simultaneously and target customers who want to run massive databases or set up electronic commerce operations on the Internet. Practical Offers Modem Upgrades Practical Peripherals today announced that owners of its 33.6K bps and 28.8K bps modems can upgrade to a 56K bps model at a discounted price of $89. Customers with a 14.4K bps or slower modem can upgrade to a 56K bps unit for $99. The upgrade program includes external, internal and PCMCIA modems. A $15 shipping and handling fee will be charged for all upgrades, and upgrades must be redeemed by June 30, 1997, says the Atlanta-based company. A statement issued by Practical Peripherals notes that the company will also offer customers the option to increase their modem's functionality by adding voice capabilities for a "nominal additional cost." "We're providing our custmers a low cost Practical way to reach the highest speed available through analog modems and to add voice or full-duplex speakerphone capabilities to their modem," says Ash Dittakavi, Practical Peripherals' director. "With this upgrade program, we're making it easy for all Practical Peripherals customers to get up to 56K speed with Practical, including the option to upgrade to our award-winning speakerphone modem." Practical Peripherals says it will begin shipping its 56K products in early March. Apple Pro Power Macs Make Debut Apple Computer Inc. has introduced a new series of Power Macintosh computers for business, professional publishing and Internet/media authoring applications. The new line includes a high-performance Power Macintosh running at 233MHz, as well as 200MHz systems at prices ranging from approximately $1,700 for a general-productivity model to approximately $4,700 for a top-of-the-line multiprocessor system for professional graphics. The high-end systems feature an innovative tower industrial design that makes it easier to add new components. Apple says all of the new systems are designed to run future versions of the Mac OS as well as Apple's next- generation Macintosh system software code named Rhapsody. In addition, most of the new computers are designed with the processor on a removable card that can be replaced with a faster processor card when Apple or a third-party manufacturer makes one available. "These are faster, well-designed, high-quality systems, priced very aggressively," says Guerrino DeLuca, Apple's executive vice president of marketing. "They also feature the built-in technology that makes it easy for our customers to get high-quality results fast -- especially in the areas of graphics, multimedia and Internet communications." Be Makes Pact With Motorola Be Inc. -- the Menlo Park, California, firm that gained national attention late last year when it was thought Apple Computer Inc. would buy into its new operating system -- is set to sign a pact with Motorola Inc. The New York Times reports today Be will announce its system will be included in Motorola's Macintosh compatible computers. Interviewed by the paper, Jean-Louis Gassee, the former Apple executive who now heads Be, says Be Inc. is close to a similar pact with IBM. The Reuter News Service notes Be already has announced deals with other Macintosh clone makers. While the firm failed to sell its system to Apple, it "believes pacts with Motorola and IBM are equal or better than one with Apple because IBM and Motorola are Apple's partners in developing the Macintosh's Power PC chips," Reuters writes. Apple Makes Deal With Iomega Apple Computer Inc.'s new Power Macintosh 8600/200 will be shipped with an internal 100MB Zip drive as a standard feature beginning next month, Zip drive maker Iomega Corp. says. Reporting from Iomega's Roy, Utah, headquarters, the Reuter News Service quotes Iomega officials as saying Apple also expects to ship its Macintosh Performa 6400 computer with the internal Zip drive as a built-in feature later this month. It will be available at retailers such as Circuit City Stores Inc. for a limited time, the wire service adds. Iomega says its 100MB Zip drive and disks provide 70 times the capacity of traditional floppy disks, giving users unlimited capacity, increased flexibility and a built-in back-up system. NewCom Debuts 16X CD-ROM Drive NewCom Inc. has unveiled a 16X CD-ROM drive it describes as the fastest model available in the consumer marketplace. At an average access rate of 100 ms and a data-transfer rate of 2.4K bps, users can retrieve data from educational and entertainment CD-ROMs at unprecedented speeds, notes a statement issued by the Westlake Village, California, company. "Installation is quick and easy, and the drive comes complete with a CD audio cable and driver," adds the statement. NewCom's drive provides single and multisession support and is photo CD, Karaoke CD, VCD, CDI and MPEG compatible. The 16X CD-ROM drive will be packaged in a 16X Multimedia Kit and the 16X Audiophile Multimedia Kit. The Audiophile Kit will combine the drive with NewCom's high-fidelity plug- and-play sound card, an array of Internet and educational software and multimedia speakers. NewCom's 16X CD-ROM drive and 16X Audiophile Multimedia Kit carry suggested retail prices of $179.95 and $349, respectively. Redialer Battles Busy Signals PC users tired of encountering busy signals on lines operated by some online services and ISPs, can take advantage of PowerDialer Rev 7.0, a new high-speed dialing peripheral. The device's manufacturer, Technology Arts Inc., describes the unit as the world's fastest way to automatically redial busy numbers. The Watertown, Massachusetts, firm says the $249 PowerDialer repeatedly dials busy telephone numbers as quickly as the telephone company can process the calls -- as fast as twenty-five times per minute. When busy signals or "all circuits are busy" recordings are encountered, PowerDialer immediately hangs up and tries again. When PowerDialer encounters either a ringback or speech, meaning the call has gone through, an alarm sounds to signal a successfully connected call. David J. Hoch, Technology Arts' president, says PowerDialer was also designed to redial other telephone numbers that seem to be constantly busy, such as ticket ordering, radio contest and golf tee-off lines. Yahoo Founders Give $2 Million Gift Becoming the youngest philanthropists in Stanford University history, the founders of Yahoo, a popular Internet search engine, have given the institution a $2 million gift. Reporting from Palo Alto, California, United Press International quotes a Stanford spokeswoman as saying Jerry Yang, 28, and David Filo, 30, will endow a new chair in the school of engineering. The pair started Yahoo as a pet project while they were working on their engineering doctoral degrees at Stanford. It caught on, of course, and the two had one of Nasdaq's most successful initial public stock offerings last April. These days, Yahoo's site on the World Wide Web receives more than 20 million hits daily. UPI notes Yang and Filo did not finish their degrees, but say they felt obligated to give something back. New Study Finds Rapid New Growth IntelliQuest Information Group Inc. says its latest survey shows an Internet/online population of approximately 47 million adults (age 16 and above) in the U.S. in the fourt quarter of 1996. The statistic represents a 34 percent growth in the online population from the first quarter of 1996, when the Internet/online population was measured at 35 million. But the Austin, Texas, market research firm warns that despite the dramatic population growth in 1996, relatively few Netizens are "heavy" users, with only 4.25 million people using the Internet and online services 20 hours or more per week. Other study findings: z 22.3 million users primarily access at home, versus 13.3 million people who access from work and 6.8 million who access from school. z E-commerce is growing quickly with 15 percent users saying they purchased a product or information online in the last month. z Of all age segments, the 25 to 34 year old group has grown the quickest and now represents 30 percent of the online population. z 11.7 million people plan to begin using the Internet or an online service in 1997. z The online gender gap is shrinking; females now comprise 45 percent of the online population. z User satisfaction remained stable with 43 percent of users rating their overall satisfaction with the online world as "very good" or "excellent." z Sending/Receiving e-mail, getting information about hobbies and getting information about products and services are the top activities of online users. Standalone Programs Fading Away The standalone personal productivity market's last glimmer of life is being snuffed by office suites, reports International Data Corp. The Framingham, Massachusetts, market research firm notes that only 14 percent of total word processor shipments and six percent of spreadsheets were sold standalone in 1996. In 1996, 32-bit office suites made an immediate impact on the personal productivity market, says IDC. Right out of the starting box end-users embraced Windows 95, almost exclusively. Corporations, however, were a little less enthusiastic about their migration. As a result of slow enterprise acceptance, 16-bit versions of office suites remained dominant in early 1996, says IDC. But all that changed in the second half of the year as 32- bit applications represented 70 percent of shipments in the final quarter. Despite a mature market, worldwide Windows-based office suite shipments grew 99.3 percent (including product bundling deals) to reach revenues of $3.8 billion, notes IDC. Microsoft's Office 95 was the main force driving the market grabbing an overwhelming 89 percent market share. "Microsoft is putting more time, energy and money into Office 97 than any other major product release," says Mary Loffredo Wardley, manager of IDC's consumer and productivity applications program. "However, Internet technologies and open environments will offer a compelling choice to corporations beginning in late 1997." Other IDC predictions: z Windows 95-based productivity applications will continue to migrate rapidly. z 32-bit office suites will make up 80 percent of total Windows-based office suites in 1997. z Large OEM agreements will greatly inflate total shipments. z Corel Office for Java will not make a significant impact in '97 IDC's Web site (http://www.idcresearch.com) contains additional company information and recent news releases. The site also offers full-text searching of recent IDC research. Gates Says 'Hal' May Be Reality Computers like "Hal" in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" -- that is, systems that can talk, see and listen -- could be developed by the year 2011, says Microsoft Corp. chief Bill Gates. Addressing the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle, Gates says faster, more powerful microchips, combined with breakthroughs in software, will allow personal computers to recognize and converse with people. Covering the event, science reporter Michael Smith of United Press International quotes Gates as saing, "When people look back on the computers of today, they'll say: what did they do? They couldn't see, they couldn't listen, they couldn't speak." Gates also predicted the popularity of the Internet's World Wide Web also will continue to grow, and, says Smith, more powerful computers will let Web sites customize their information to suit each visitor. As a test, said Gates, "We want to build a Web site where you would go to decide what you want to do for a weekend ... so it'll know where you live, it'll know your preferences, if you're getting together with friends, it'll take their preferences into account." Gates says Microsoft is sponsoring basic scientific research that will address questions as how humans recognize patterns. "It's the best investment we can make," he said, adding it's unfortunate that governments and other companies seem unwilling to follow suit. Smith says Microsoft spends more than $2 billion a year for research and development, although the majority of that is aimed directly at creating products. Virus Awareness Month Announced Symantec Corp. has declared the period between Feb. 15 and March 15, "Virus Awareness Month." The Cupertino, California, anti-virus software publisher says the promotion is designed to educate computer users about new virus threats, using the well-known Michelangelo virus trigger date of March 6 as a message vehicle. "Because of the tremendous growth in communications via the Internet, computer virus threats are on the rise. Symantec is committed to protecting our customers from viruses, therefore we have established Virus Awareness Month," says Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's security and assistance business unit. "Six to nine new computer viruses are discovered every day," notes Salem. Congress Gets E-Mail Threats Forged e-mail messages directed at members of the Senate and House of Representatives and threatening to delete every file on Capitol Hill computers are being investigated by the FBI. The San Jose, California, Mercury News reports the messages which began appearing in government e-mail boxes Feb. 3 stating they are from a "gang of cypherpunks dedicated to the eradication of your systems," according to The Associated Press. "Although the messages bear the return addresses of a handful of legitimate Internet users," says AP, "the identities of those senders appear to have been forged by an unknown hacker or hackers. One of the victims was an edior at the Mercury News." John N. McConnell, a computer systems manager with the Rules and Administration Committee, which manages the chamber's computer systems, says there has been no damage to any government files in the Senate, adding, "We found no traffic or any attachments that could do damage, so we think it's just a threat by someone who seems to want to be disruptive." The FBI's Computer Crime Squad in New York is investigating, spokesman Jim Margolin told the wire service. Net Confusion Forces Name Change A leading developer of high-performance graphical software has changed its name from X Inside to Xi Graphics. The reason: ongoing confusion between the software developer and the increasing number of X-rated pornography companies on the Internet. "We develop software that solves performance, compatibility and correctness issues in the UNIX X Windows environment," explains Richard Van Dyke, vice president of marketing for the Denver-based company. "However, we do not address the performance issues of the sexually adventurous." The name X Inside brought a plethora of requests for pornographic material, and even impacted the company principals in their dealings with people outside the computer field. "An aspiring model even went so far as to show me a portfolio of highly suggestive photographs," says Thomas Roell, Xi Graphics' president and chief technology designer. "We felt a name change was in order." Xi Graphics' Web site is located at www.xig.com. Apple announces new products Apple Computer, Inc. announced Monday a bevy of new products. Among the products unveiled are the Macintosh PowerBook 3400, the fastest laptop computer on the market at 240 MHz; a complete line of high- performance Power Macintosh computers for professionals; fast Power Macintosh computers for K-12 education customers; the new eMate 300 mobile computer for K-12 education customers; the MessagePad 2000 handheld mobile Internet computer for business professionals; and a digital camera. Japanese temple to open cemetery on the Internet In Japan it will soon be possible to be virtually dead. A Buddhist temple in Hiroshima plans to open a "virtual graveyard" on the Internet. Visitors can choose different types of electronic tombstones and include photos of the deceased and family records on a Web page. They can create their own memorials in advance and leave informal wills for their families. A monk at the Kannonin temple said the idea came from people who live too far away from the temple to visit, but wanted to tend family memorials and pay respects to ancestors. IQ/LiveWeb upgrade released IQ Software, a provider of end-user decision support solutions, Monday announced version 6.0 of its web- enabled database reporting solution, IQ/LiveWeb. Version 6.0 simplifies and speeds implementation of the IQ/LiveWeb solution with new features that include automatic deployment of dynamic reporting, the ability to build and deploy linked multi-tier documents from a single report and enhancements to report development and HTML capabilities. For product information, visit IQ Software's web site (http://www.iqsoftware.com). Magic Solutions, Microsoft to integrate retrieval service Magic Solutions Inc., a provider of automated help desk and asset management software, announced Monday an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to integrate its full-text search and retrieval engine with a future edition of TechNet, Microsoft's information resource for technical professionals. The updated release of TechNet, with Magic Solution's Statistical Information Retrieval (SIR), is planned for fall 1997. Using embedded artificial intelligence, neural networks and natural language processing, SIR can search more than 150,000 pages of technical information in seconds. Black Entertainment Television, Inc. and Microsoft team up Black Entertainment Television, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. announced a joint venture Monday. MSBET, LLC., based in Washington, D.C., will produce and distribute programming aimed at the African-American community. The new MSBET site, located on the World Wide Web at www.msbet.com, will replace the existing BET Networks web site. MSBET.COM will offer a sneak premiere with "A Celebration of Black Culture." The full launch is slated for late spring. Offerings will include information, entertainment, education and networking platforms. Infinite Technologies offers cell phone e-mail access Infinite Technologies, provider of enterprise messaging solutions, Tuesday announced plans to integrate its Infinite InterChange remote e-mail server software with AT&T Wireless's PocketNet Phones using Unwired Planet's UP.Link platform. This will allow users to retrieve, reply, forward, delete and create new e-mail messages from anywhere via cellular telephones. UP.Link supports a variety of e-mail systems such as cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Exchange and ExpressIT! 2000. Software troubleshoots Windows NT server problems Microtest, Inc. Tuesday announced NT COMPAS, a software option that runs on Microtest's NetWare COMPAS. NetWare COMPAS is a handheld LAN troubleshooting tool designed to identify common problems that occur on Ethernet networks. The new software allows users to check and solve problems on their Windows NT server-based networks. COMPAS combines features of protocol analyzers, cable testers, NetWare, TCP/IP and NT utilities, and serial communications testers. IDC researches battle for leadership of server market Windows NT server shipments will lead the market by 1998, but revenues will only amount to 50 percent of the UNIX market in 2000, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) research. Revenue growth is projected to increase at a 56 percent annual rate from 1995-2000. This trend will continue through the year 2000 as the battle for market dominance continues. The server is the most important portion of the hardware segment because it dictates which peripherals can attach to it, what communication ports are available and what systems and applications software will run, IDC said. Toshiba announces 64 Megabit NAND flash EEPROM Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. Tuesday announced its latest generation of NAND flash electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM). The device (TC58V64FT) is a single 3.3 volt 64Mb NAND designed to meet the specific demands of a wide range of solid state mass storage products. The TC58V64FT incorporates the same pin-out as Toshiba's 16Mb NAND and 32Mb NAND enabling users to upgrade easily without having to change the layout of the printed circuit board, the company said. OnLive! and The Site announce virtual news studio OnLive! Technologies (http://www.onlive.com) and ZDTV's The Site (http://www.thesite.com) announced a partnership that plans to take multimedia interactivity to a new level with "The Virtual Site," a 3D environment that allows groups of people to talk together over the Internet, the companies said Tuesday. Visitors to The Virtual Site have the opportunity to talk with groups of people in the 3D setting, and also have the chance to meet on-air and on-site celebrities to talk about the show. Anyone with a multimedia Pentium and a basic 14.4 connection to the Internet can access The Virtual Site. New intranet software products released XcelleNet, Inc. Tuesday announced NetEssentials, a new family of software utility products being designed to simplify the way companies integrate intranet technologies into their existing enterprise systems. The NetEssentials product line is being developed to provide advanced system management to clients connected to corporate intranets. NetEssentials also is being designed to facilitate delivery of web-based content, Internet mail and software, the company said. Free web-based e-mail access service introduced Four11 Corporation Wednesday announced the beta launch of RocketMail, a free web-based e-mail service. Consumers and businesses can now use RocketMail to access their private e-mail messages from any computer connected to the web. RocketMail is fully integrated with the Four11 directory, which contains more than 11 million e-mail addresses. Anyone can get a RocketMail beta account by going to http://www.rocketmail.com and registering. RocketMail works on any platform, using any web browser, on computers connected to the Internet. Government crackdown on Internet modem scam The federal government Wednesday announced a crackdown on an Internet scam offering "free" software, which surreptitiously took over home computer modems and ran up costly international long-distance charges. The Federal Trade Commission won a court order ending the scam, in which consumers surfing the web came across advertisements at sites like "www.beavisbutthead.com" for "all nude all free" pictures. The catch? They had to download a special Windows 95 software viewer. Once the software was in the computer, it secretly took control of the modem. Web hackers may threaten bank accounts German hackers have found a way to trick people into transferring money into the computer robbers' bank accounts, New Scientist magazine reported Thursday. It quoted the Chaos Computer Club as saying it could hide a malicious computer program known as an "applet" in a web site. The applet would surreptitiously transfer itself into a person's computer when they dialed up that site. Once inside, it would search for Intuit Inc.'s Quicken, a financial management program that can be used to manage bank accounts via a modem. he next time the person dials up the bank, the applet slips in an order telling the bank to transfer money to the hacker's account. "Extensible HTML" available for web publishing The Graphic Communications Association and its Information Technologies division announced Wednesday its support for XML--a new, extensible "HTML" to support emerging web publishing requirements. Extensible Markup Language, XML, is a simple dialect of SGML. But XML is different from HTML in that it is extensible. This means that web publishers can either extend HTML by adding their own tags, or can create their own descriptive tag sets. File Mine offers downloadable shareware/freeware CMP's TechWeb Wednesday launched its 10th web site for technology news and information resources: File mine. The site, at http://www.filemine.com, features a comprehensive database of downloadable shareware/freeware files for DOS, Windows 3.1/95, Macintosh and other software platforms. The site helps users find files by either searching a database or a directory. Files fall into five major categories--games, home/education, Internet/intranet, multimedia/design and programs/utilities. Head-mounted display for wearable computers developed Xybernaut Corporation announced Thursday its head-mounted display (HMD) for integration into its latest computer system, the Mobile Assistant II. Greenway Engineering of San Jose, Calif., will produce the HMD. The Mobile Assistant II is a patented speech-activated wearable computer that consists of the HMD, a belt-worn processor unit and a battery pack. The Mobile Assistant II allows hands-free access to computer information. All-digital ultrasound system introduced ATL Ultrasound Thursday introduced the HDI 1000, a software-based, all- digital ultrasound system. The HDI 1000 system is an ultrasound system for general imaging based on ATL's broadband HDI technology and the creation of a sophisticated operating environment that harnesses the increasing power and cost efficiencies of advanced software. In the HDI 1000 system, ATL's Multitasking Software Management technology replaces more than half of the ultrasound system's hardware components with software. DOWNLOAD.COM is preferred Macintosh software site MacCentral has selected CNET's DOWNLOAD.COM (http://www.download.com) as the preferred source for software for the Macintosh platform. MacCentral (http://www.maccentral.com) will include a direct link to DOWNLOAD.COM on the front door of their web site. Offering a library of the Internet's top freeware and shareware titles for both the Mac and PC, DOWNLOAD.COM automatically determines what kind of computer the user has and groups the programs for that platform into categories for easy browsing. Voice Control Systems launches next "killer app" Voice Control Systems, Inc., a supplier of speech recognition technology, Thursday announced the introduction of a system that automatically answers and directs a company's telephone calls, as would a human receptionist. The Ready Receptionist asks callers for the name of the person or department being called. Using speech recognition understanding, the system immediately connects the call to the appropriate party. The Ready Receptionist also greets outside callers with the company name. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N CIS Woes STR Spotlight CompuServe Pink Slips 20 WOW Editors Does this event mark the End of an Era. Or, the beginning of a New Era? By R.F. Mariano CompuServe laid off 30 (approx) from the editorial group who had worked on the company's defunct WOW family service and were destined to be the Editors of Content on each of the current CISD forums. This entire concept has been the laughing stock of most experienced Online Service observers. The firings come close on the heels of Monday's announcement of the "resignation departure" of CEO Robert Massey, although more than one CompuServe representative insisted the two moves are unrelated. This reporter is assured by his sources that this is the beginning of a newer bolder CompuServe. Even if spokesperson William Giles stated "It's not a housecleaning," we feel it is just that and only the tip of the iceberg at this time. Giles patently termed the layoffs a "consolidation," and said "around 20" employees were directly affected. It is sad to see the conservatism and pinstripe attitude is still prevalent. Using terms like consolidation is corporate lingoism and the "Twenty" figure a bit of corporate doublespeak. Giles did however note the WOW staffers had been in a state of ever changing flux since WOW was decided to be a loser. CSI CompuServe Interactive. is another of the corporate word games that must bring sarcastic smiles to the faces of many who observe this sort of foolishness from as distance. What better way to the see the big picture? The goofy name game continues. CompuServe Information Services really sez it all and sez it well. CIS has had almost violent meetings over the Editorial schtick. Ever since the folding of WOW and the proposed migration of the WOW Editorial Group to CIS proper, there has been nothing but dissention and unrest among those contract holders who still cared. "The demise of the Editorial Group is a most welcome event." It was mentioned to this reporter. This past November, CompuServe conceded WOW was a turkey. Even after launching an extensive and very expensive per sub marketing campaign. The company has hardheadedly resisted moving to flat rate pricing, which many observers clearly state worked against efforts to draw in the disenchanted AOL subs looking to switch. While a number of employees formerly part of WOW, mostly in advertising and design, have found new positions within CompuServe, the editorial group had nowhere else to go in the company. While the Whigs at CIS called it "Content Creation", it was all clearly seen as an attempt to control everything seen and done on CIS. CompuServe has primarily gathered content from a variety of other sources, most highly acclaimed and of excellent quality. With these rather strange concepts of "WOW-like vanilla only" original writing and reporting, the entire flavor and character of CIS would have dramatically changed. Most informed folks felt this change would have only made CIS look like and behave as an AOL "wanna be". Giles continued... by adding that each of the laid-off workers was given the bad news during personal encounters with management. "It's a sad and very unfortunate thing." He said. Additionally, this past Monday, CompuServe's majority shareholder, H&R Block, announced that Massey would be exiting "to pursue other interests." Many informed observers speculated that Robert Massey's surprising but not unexpected departure could be a resolute beginning toward the selling of CompuServe. "Rumor has it there are those at H&R Block wanting to spin off CompuServe" Further it was said, "They want to make it (CompuServe) as attractive to prospective buyers as possible." CompuServe recently reported a loss of $58 million, or about 63 cents per share. This contrasts dramatically with a reported profit of $14 million, or 19 cents a share, almost a year earlier. Editor Note: On the STReport WEB Site, one can find an article written on 05/12/1995 about the "Demise of the Online Services. The Article is available through our Editorial Page.. If only the CIS Pinstripes and Whigs would've read it then and listened. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Telecom Pact Opens Up World Phone Markets Apple Shines Up Product Line U S West Rolls Out High-Speed Internet Access Year 2000 Insurance Virgin Net Compaq Breaks $1,000 Barrier With New Computer Mac Clone Sales Boost The Numbers Shaping Bandwidth For Big Results Hate Bytes Speeding Up Of Http Protocol H-P Cuts Distribution Time In Europe Motorola Mac Clones To Offer BeOs RealVideo Debut Companies Not Rushing To The Internet Is Business Chat The Killer App? Alta Vista Enhances Search Procedures U.S. Investigates Silicon Graphics' Russian Sales Experiment Shows Students Do Better Online Baghdad Sees Internet As End Of Civilization Internet White Pages Standard Gains Momentum Judge Shuts Down Another Cyberporn Scam Teledesic Looks At Scaling Back Can Supercomputers Really Replace Nuclear Testing? Software Piracy Estimated At $4 Billion Study Predicts NCs, WebTVs Will Fizzle Microsoft Bankrolls Game Software Designer TELECOM PACT OPENS UP WORLD PHONE MARKETS The nations of the World Trade Organization, including the U.S., have reached an agreement through the WTO to open up their telecommunications markets -- a move that is expected to usher in a new era of competition in phone service worldwide. Acting U.S. trade commissioner Charlene Barshefsy says that the agreement will lead to approximately 1 million new jobs in this country over the next 10 years because U.S. companies "are the most competitive telecommunications providers in the world," and Federal Communications Commissioner Reed Hundt calls the pact "great news for American consumers" because it purportedly will reduce the price of international calls by 80% over the next ten years. (Washington Post 16 Feb 97) APPLE SHINES UP PRODUCT LINE Apple is ready to announce the PowerBook 3400 computer it claims to be "the fastest notebook computer in the world," along with new desktop computers featuring higher performance and lower costs than current models. Saying that the company's objective "is to continue to dominate the publishing area," executive vice president Marco Landi says the company also will introduce a digital camera for personal publishing. In addition, Apple will begin marketing its Emate 300, which will sell to schools in the U.S. for about $700. (Financial Times 15 Feb 97) U S WEST ROLLS OUT HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS U S West is the first Baby Bell to proceed with plans for offering high- speed Internet access via digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, planning a first-quarter '97 launch in 11 markets throughout its 14-state territory. The high-speed service will cost $175 a month, plus a one-time installation fee. The U S West system will use Motorola modems and Netscape's Navigator browser. (Broadcasting & Cable 27 Jan 97) YEAR 2000 INSURANCE Marsh & McLennan Inc. is offering businesses a hedge against Year 2000 problems. The New York insurance broker will sell up to $200 million worth of insurance against business losses caused by the policyholder's own computer system, or by another company's neglect to become Year 2000- compliant, or by data supplied by another company's computers. Before the policy is issued, however, Marsh & McLennan will enlist experts to make sure that the policy-buyer is taking all possible steps to avoid Year 2000 problems. (Information Week 3 Feb 97) VIRGIN NET Richard Branson, founder and head of Virgin Atlantic Airways, says the Airline plans to be the first to offer the Internet available via "Virgin Net" at every seat, in every class, by year's end. "Besides the things you can now do on the Internet, there will be in-flight shopping, so that your duty-free will be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. You can answer your e-mail, do research, and conduct all sorts of business. Of course, you can also get information about your destination, make dinner and hotel reservations, book tours. These are things that you can do now, but may not have time for. But on a long flight, it could be a valuable service and provide fun." (Forbes ASAP 24 Feb 97) COMPAQ BREAKS $1,000 BARRIER WITH NEW COMPUTER Next week, Compaq Computer will release an ultra-low-cost, $999 PC designed to appeal to the 60% of U.S. homes still without a computer. The Presario 2000 comes with a 133-Mhz processor, a CD-ROM drive, a 33.6-Kpbs modem, and built-in stereo speakers. "We've tried to hit the market with a fully featured product -- one you don't have to apologize for," says a Compaq senior VP. The new approach to low-cost computer marketing is critical for the PC industry, which has already saturated the most likely market -- professional, high-income families with children. With growth slowing to 14% last year from 23% two years ago, industry observers say companies must develop new products to target lower-income households. (Business Week 17 Feb 97) MAC CLONE SALES BOOST THE NUMBERS Sales of Apple computers slid to 5.4% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Dataquest Inc., but when Mac clone sales are added in, the Macintosh market share rises to 7.2%. About a third of the Macintosh-type computers sold in the fourth quarter were non-Apple machines, most of them going to corporate, rather than personal, users. The corporate sales, not traditionally a strong market for Apple, boosted the Macintosh share of the business market to 9.4% in December, up from 7.4% for most of last year. "What you see in the clone numbers is potential: that if Apple can just turn corner on all the bad publicity, there are a lot of people in place to really grow this market," says a Dataquest analyst. (Wall Street Journal 14 Feb 97) SHAPING BANDWIDTH FOR BIG RESULTS Most companies are struggling to expand their bandwidth by adding faster network links, which is expensive and doesn't always guarantee faster access during periods of heavy and unexpected traffic. Packeteer Inc. takes a different approach with its PacketShaper product that enables network managers to "shape" and enforce policies on which individuals or groups of users should receive bandwidth priority. The hierarchical ranking system applies to both incoming and outgoing use, and can be configured based on connection speed, application type or IP address. (CIO 1 Feb 97) < http://www.packeteer.com > HATE BYTES Early findings of a study e-mail use at a large mid-Atlantic university suggest there is, in general, no more harassment by e-mail than by telephone or snail mail, but that sexual harassment of women by e-mail is four to five times more likely than racial or ethnic harassment. The Prejudice Institute, a nonprofit group in Baltimore that released the study, found that 10% of the women who responded to its survey said that they received threatening e-mail, while 3% of the survey respondents said they had received racial or ethnic hate mail. (New York Times 16 Feb 97) SPEEDING UP OF HTTP PROTOCOL The World Wide Web Consortium in Cambridge, Mass., an industry standards- setting group, says that a redesign of the http protocol that has been the basis of the Web since 1990 will speed up downloads by two to eight times. Browsers supporting the new H.T.T.P./1.1 protocol will be available in the spring. (New York Times 17 Feb 97) H-P CUTS DISTRIBUTION TIME IN EUROPE Hewlett-Packard is allowing some of its European distributors to assemble H- P's personal computers themselves, in order to cut delivery time to as little as two days. The move will make H-P more competitive with manufacturers that build their machines in Europe. (Atlanta Journal- Constitution 18 Feb 97) MOTOROLA MAC CLONES TO OFFER BEOS Motorola's Macintosh-compatible computers will now come with Be, Inc.'s operating system in addition to Mac/OS. Be's object-oriented operating system, which was designed to excel in the processing of video and audio data, is highly "multi-threaded," which means that it can break individual programs into multiple "threads" so that multiple processors can be added to the system to speed up processing by having each processor handle different threads. Be, which has made similar deals with other companies and is expected to be making one with IBM, plans to begin distributing its operating system free over the Web for installation on current-generation Macintosh machines this spring. In addition, the company is developing "Virtual Mac" software, which will allow a Macintosh user to run Macintosh applications simultaneously with the Be operating system. (New York Times 18 Feb 97) REALVIDEO DEBUT Now, from the makers of RealAudio, we have RealVideo - Progressive Networks' new software, touted as the first such product capable of delivering broadcast-quality video over the Internet. The software operates over modems operating at 28.8 Kbps and up. An analyst for Dataquest gives the product high marks for picture quality, and says, "It's going to force everyone to move at breakneck speed." RealVideo "squeezes more out of the bandwidth than anyone thought possible... but users won't be satisfied with what they will see this week for long." The beta version is available at <http://www.real.com>. (Broadcasting & Cable 10 Feb 97) COMPANIES NOT RUSHING TO THE INTERNET A Deloitte & Touche survey of almost 1,500 companies around the world found that the overwhelming majority have no plans to use the Internet for business transactions, and only one in 20 companies polled conduct business via the Internet. (Toronto Globe & Mail 18 Feb 97) IS BUSINESS CHAT THE KILLER APP? CEO James Tito of eShare Technologies Inc. says using "chat" as a strategy for doing business on the Internet is the Next Big Thing. And although the percentage of corporate sites using chat right now is "probably under 10%," says Tito, "it's going to grow dramatically over the next few years, though. According to some statistics, by 2000 the chat software market will be in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion. People are starting to realize how important chat is. It takes up something like 7.9 billion hours of online use. One report said that chat takes up one-fourth of all time spent online." (Investor's Business Daily 18 Feb 97) ALTA VISTA ENHANCES SEARCH PROCEDURES Digital's Alta Vista search engine has added an enhancement that categorizes Web search results. By clicking on a button, LiveTopics organizes pages with similar content into groups, bringing structure and meaning to the process. The LiveTopics software creates its topics dynamically using statistical analysis, rather than relying on a group of predefined categories. The beta version is available at: <http://altavista.digital.com/> (InfoWorld Electric 13 Feb 97) U.S. INVESTIGATES SILICON GRAPHICS' RUSSIAN SALES The U.S. Commerce Department is looking into Silicon Graphics' sale last fall of four supercomputers to the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Technical Physics without first obtaining an export license. The Institute is the new name for the notorious Chelyabinsk-70, the former super-secret laboratory that designs most of Russia's nuclear weapons. Silicon Graphics had been told the computers would be used for "modeling of earth-water pollution caused by extension of radioactive substance." The sale appears to violate a one-year-old Clinton administration prohibition against unlicensed sales of computers with speeds beyond two billion calculations per second to Russian nuclear labs. Violation of the ban could result in a fine, or the suspension of the company's export rights. (Wall Street Journal 18 Feb 97) EXPERIMENT SHOWS STUDENTS DO BETTER ONLINE A sociology professor at California State University at Northridge conducted his own experiment to test online learning, randomly dividing his statistics class in half, and teaching one half by lecture and the other half by Web assignments, online discussion groups and e-mail. The students who'd been banned from the physical classroom scored an average of 20% higher than those who'd attended in-person. "The motivation for doing this was to provide some hard, experimental evidence that didn't seem to exist anywhere," says the prof, who plans to expand his research to determine whether the online students performed better because they spent more time collaborating with their classmates, or because of the online format of the class. (Chronicle of Higher Education 21 Feb 97) BAGHDAD SEES INTERNET AS END OF CIVILIZATION An editorial in the Iraqi government newspaper Al-Jumhuriya says that the Internet -- which is not accessible in Iraq -- is "the end of civilizations, cultures, interests, and ethics," and "one of the American means to enter every house in the world. They want to become the only source for controlling human beings in the new electronic village." (AP 17 Feb 97) INTERNET WHITE PAGES STANDARD GAINS MOMENTUM The Internet Engineering Task Force is moving forward on its plan to develop a standard way to present White Pages directory information, including e-mail addresses, URLs and phone numbers, on the Internet. The White Pages are designed to standardize the way such information appears in Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories; the LDAP itself specifies only how information should be requested and updated. A final version of LDAP 3 should be available in the next few months. (InfoWorld Electric 14 Feb 97) JUDGE SHUTS DOWN ANOTHER CYBERPORN SCAM A federal district judge in New York has shut down an operation that lured pornography-seekers into visiting Web sites that surreptitiously dialed a telephone number in Moldova in the former Soviet Union, running up exorbitant long-distance phone charges. The scam is similar to several others which have been uncovered in recent months. A Web surfer is enticed to visit sites with names such as sexygirls, beavisbutthead, and ladult, which promise "All Nude All Free Pictures" and require that a special "viewer" must be downloaded to review the images. However, the viewer contains software that turns off the user's local connection to an Internet Service Provider and silently dials the number in Moldova. The Federal Trade Commission says this is "one of the most insidious scams" it has ever seen. (New York Times 20 Feb 97) TELEDESIC LOOKS AT SCALING BACK Teledesic Corp., the high-profile, $9-billion satellite communications project backed by cellular magnate Craig McCaw and computer mogul Bill Gates, is exploring options to scale back its 840-satellite system, beginning initially with just 288 "birds." The satellites will occupy a low-Earth orbit, 400-700 miles above the Earth, circling in 12 orbital planes or "rings," with 24 satellites in each ring. A spokesman for Teledesic says the company "has not altered" its original plan, but may start off with a more modest arrangement. (Wall Street Journal 19 Feb 97) CAN SUPERCOMPUTERS REALLY REPLACE NUCLEAR TESTING? Stanford University professor Robert Laughlin, who's worked on bomb-related physics at Lawrence Livermore Lab since 1981, has his doubts about the ability of supercomputers to accurately predict how nuclear weapons will react to aging and storage conditions: "Computer programs can only simulate the stuff you know. Suppose you left a personal computer out in the rain for a year. Is there a program that can tell you whether it will still run? Of course not -- it all depends on what happened to it. Changes happen over time that you are not sure how to measure. Some matter, some don't. The problem is the things you didn't think to put in the simulation." Indeed, past attempts to simulate very complex situations have not always been successful, and the software codes to predict whether bombs will explode or fizzle "are full of adjustable parameters that have been fit to (underground test) data. If the new codes don't match the old ones that correctly predicted experiment results," (and Laughlin bets they won't) "the designers will simply throw them out." (Scientific American Mar 97) SOFTWARE PIRACY ESTIMATED AT $4 BILLION According to provisional data released Feb. 13 by the Business Software Alliance and the Software Publishers Association, software company losses due to international piracy totaled around $4 billion last year. The data shows China ranking number one in illegal copying of programs, followed by Brazil, Russia, Italy and Canada. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 14 Feb 97) STUDY PREDICTS NCs, WEBTVs WILL FIZZLE A study by Aragon Consulting Group predicts that consumer demand for network computers and devices for connecting to the Internet through TV sets won't come close to meeting vendor expectations. "If you look at the 45% of U.S. households that have computers (which is the market targeted by NC makers), 85% of those have children, and those kids want the same level of computing at home that they have in school -- the ability to run different applications and store data, for example. The cost factor is diminished when you consider you can buy a used Pentium running at 75 MHz for about the same price as an NC. So why would you want to buy a low- grade home appliance?" says Aragon's president, who sees the outlook for WebTVs as equally dismal: "With this type of adjunct appliance, the industry hopes to address the 55% or 60% of American homes without computers, but, again, they haven't thought it through. Half of those households don't care at all about computers or the Internet and never will. And the other half, 25% or so of households, aren't very eager to enhance the capabilities of their TVs." (Investor's Business Daily 20 Feb 97) MICROSOFT BANKROLLS GAME SOFTWARE DESIGNER Microsoft is investing in a minority stake in Digital Anvil, a start-up company founded by a former VP at Origin Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Electronic Arts Inc. Microsoft has also pledged to fund production of Digital Anvil games and market them under a joint brand. Digital Anvil hopes to make other deals with film and media companies to develop interactive movies and online games for multiple players. The first two titles are expected to be science-fiction action games. (Wall Street Journal 19 Feb 97) Edupage is written by John Gehl (email@example.com) & Suzanne Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. 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(STR, STReport, CPU Report); z maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. z offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. z presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. z is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $200 per month Quarter Page - $400.00 per month Half Page - $800.00 per month Full Page - $1200.00 per month Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ARENA FREE STR Focus Yggdrasil approved by The World Wide Web Consortium to develop. "Arena" Web Browser Free software takes aim at web browsers. San Jose, CA -- February 17, 1997 -- The World Wide Web Consortium [W3C] has approved Yggdrasil Computing to coordinate future development of Arena, a powerful graphical web browser originally developed as the Consortium's research testbed. Under the agreement, Yggdrasil will undertake new development and support the developer community on the internet. Yggdrasil will issue regular releases, provide a centralized file archive and web site, integrate contributed enhancements and fixes, create mailing lists for developers and users, and facilitate widespread use of Arena by others. Yggdrasil's additions to Arena will be placed under the "GNU General Public License", which allows unlimited distribution both for profit and not for profit, provided that source code is made freely available, including source code to any modifications. No exclusive rights have been given to Yggdrasil. Anybody could legally do what Yggdrasil is doing, although the Consortium now considers Yggdrasil the formal maintainer of Arena. VEHICLE FOR BROWSER TECHNOLOGY The Arena web browser creates a new vehicle by which developers of browser technology will be able to reach large numbers of users. "We are eager to work with browser companies that want to use Arena to widely distribute free browser software as part of their marketing strategy. We are especially interested in working with members of the World Wide Web Consortium," explained Yggdrasil president Adam Richter. PLAN TO REACH WINDOWS USERS Although Arena currently only runs under Linux and Linux-like systems such as UNIX(R) and FreeBSD, Yggdrasil announced that it has taken the first step toward bringing Arena to MS-Windows platforms by licensing an X- Windows emulator from Pearl Software which will enable an MS-Windows version of Arena. "Because the Windows environment is not our focus, we are looking for a partner company to market the DOS product," said Richter. "We believe that CD-ROM titles that include a browser, the OEM market and other bundling arrangements would be substantial opportunities for such a company, just for starters." ABOUT ARENA Arena is a graphical web browser comprised entirely of free software. Its origins predate proprietary packages such as Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mosaic. It is the source of a number of innovations which have since been copied by other web browsers. "Arena has pioneered important HTML concepts like tables and style sheets. Without Arena, the Web would not look the same today," said Hakon Lie, Style Sheets Lead at W3C. "We are happy to see the Arena code being maintained by the free software community and Yggdrasil." Now that the free software community is organizing around Arena, development is expected to accelerate dramatically. "Our first developer snapshots incorporate an upgrade to the latest web library from the World Wide Web Consortium, which facilitates inclusion of URL types designed to ease interfaces to search engines" predicted Yggdrasil's Arena project coordinator, Qing Long. "After that, we expect to do developer maintenance releases as often as once a week as we stabilize the code and add new features." ABOUT THE WORLD WIDE WEB CONSORTIUM [W3C] The W3C was created to develop common protocols that enhance the interoperability and promote the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date over 156 organizations are Members of the Consortium. ABOUT PEARL SOFTWARE Pearl Software is a software company founded in 1993 to bring free graphical software developed by the Linux and unix communities to the Windows market. The Oakland, California, based company is best known for its Win-Emacs product, a Windows version of the popular Xemacs development environment. ABOUT YGGDRASIL Yggdrasil Computing is a software company founded in 1992 to turn free software developed on the internet into viable solutions for businesses and consumers. Yggdrasil publishes, supports and develops a line of products based on Linux, a clone of the UNIX(R) operating system consisting entirely of free software developed on the internet. The Arena web browser will play an important role in Yggdrasil's efforts to provide complete solutions to customers based on the free software model. DEVELOPER INFORMATION New releases of the Arena web browser are accessible on the internet under the URL ftp://ftp.yggdrasil.com/pub/dist/web/arena. There are two mailing lists for Arena: Arenadevelopers@yggdrasil.com Arenaemail@example.com. Participants may obtain information on subscribing to either list by sending an email message with "help" in the body of the message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bug reports should be sent to arena email@example.com. A web page is available at http://www.yggdrasil.com/Products/Arena. Contacts: Bill Selmeier Yggdrasil Computing, Inc. +1 408 261 6630 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.yggdrasil.com Sally Khudairi W3C - World Wide Web Consortium +1.617.253.8036 email@example.com http://www.w3.org/ Steve Cook Pearl Software (510) 642-4361 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pearlsoft.com UNIX is a registered trademark of X / O p e n Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News We have a winner in the Titanic software giveaway. He is Don Borchelt of Morris, Illinois. Congratulations to you and your family. We will be having another contest in a few weeks so watch for details here! The Atomic Files Windows CD-ROM Suggested Retail: $34.95 ages 10 and up L3 Interactive 3000 W. Olympic Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 264-4188 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.learningcube.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486/50 HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 16-bit sound card Optional: printer review by Jason Sereno (email@example.com) L3 Interactive recently released The Atomic Files, a multimedia CD-ROM that chronicles the Nuclear Age and its impact on the world. The Atomic Files uses a Learning Cube interface to present interesting information about the history of Nuclear energy from the first theories, to the devastation it has caused, and the prosperity it may bring. Honestly, the Learning Cube interface did not impress me. The Learning Cube is simple and intuitive, but it does suffer from lengthy animation sequences after user input. The interface itself is basically a way to pinpoint what information you would like to learn more about. There are nine different learning sections in three different chapters listed on the box. Each has its own information presented in short films and diagrams. After you choose one of these sections, you discover that each section has three different areas of its own. Two of the areas are movies that show different aspects of the particular event happening. These movies have real footage of the given topics. Occasionally, small pictures are placed along side of the movie while it is running. When clicked upon, these pictures give you information that was not in the movie. Although it is a good source of information, I was confused on how I was to watch the movie, then read the short captions under the pictures, and once again return to the movie. The pictures replace themselves after a short time, and it is very awkward stopping and starting the movie over and over again. The third of the sections is different because it has mostly diagrams, pictures and text. Some topics included in this part include the theories behind the nuclear bomb and the effects radiation had on people in cities such as Hiroshima. Some of these pictures would probably not be suitable for children of younger ages. The pictures, which show the effects of radiation, are not too gruesome, but they are definitely not uplifting. The music in the program is suitable for the theme. There are different songs for each section. The Hiroshima music does have a dramatic tone. I feel it is very appropriate considering the story that is told by Kaz Suyeishi, a survivor of an atomic bombing during World War II. The music collection includes many original pieces by award-winning composers. In fact, the overall sound in this program is remarkable. The sound with the movies and the narration are both done very well. The Atomic Files also has a web directory feature. This allows users to access atomic-related Internet links. With this function, users can get updates on current events, so the program will never become obsolete. You can obtain this information with any browser, but The Atomic Files does include an Internet access kit that will give first time web users the ability to access new information as it arises. The Atomic Files has great information and explains it easily enough for children of all ages to understand. The program may confuse children that are not at a junior high level of science because it deals with rather complex theories and early experiments. I found myself reading over materials more than once before I could comprehend them. The program has much more than just facts. It has an abundance of footage and pictures that will keep your child interested while learning at the same time. If you wish to learn more about the Atomic Age, then The Atomic Files would be a great investment for you and your family. Avery Cardoza's Casino Windows CD-ROM $49.95 Cardoza Entertainment 445 Marine View Ave., Suite 120 Del Mar, CA 92014 (619) 794-0401 e-mail: CardozaEnt@aol.com http://www.CardozaEnt.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486/66 HD Space: 8 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 16-bit sound card review by Frank Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) If you enjoy casino gambling, you're in for a real treat in Avery Cardoza's Casino. If you are a beginning gambler at casinos, this program is an excellent investment to protect your money. This is the most true-to-life simulation of the glitz and risks inherent in Las Vegas style gambling available today. Not only does this program give you the thrills of the big win and the chills of going bust, but it also is a tutorial to increase your odds in winning in the gaming halls. The program features detailed 3D graphics and interactive dealers. You can choose from six major games with each featuring numerous variations. Blackjack, craps, roulette, video poker, keno and slots are available for your pleasure. Gameplay reflects the true casino odds for the most realistic gambling simulation yet. The feature that really sets Avery Cardoza's Casino apart is the expert tutorial. Before you begin playing a game, you can ask the program for advice on the best way to play the action. You can also ask for advice between individual plays or you can set the expert to cue you when you make an unfavorable decision. Say you are playing "tens or better" video poker. You draw two hearts and three diamonds with a King high. If you try to discard your hearts to go for a diamond flush, the expert will beep in when you try to draw the new cards. It will tell you that the best play is to hold the king of diamonds and draw four new cards. This expert guidance is available for all the games of chance in the program. This advice is all based on scientific study of the variables and odds. If you can learn the many intricacies of the odds, you can increase your chances of making money or at least lengthening your gambling experience. The program also includes a 150-page book (a $15 value) filled with hints on how to beat the odds. Both the program and book advise the player that the odds are ALWAYS in the house's favor. This program features an easy to use interface. When you're in the main lobby of the casino, you can pick the game of your choice. You can change options or change games by clicking on the menu bar. You can study the statistics from your gambling sessions to see if your luck and skill are improving with practice. The Professional Statistical Tracking system holds 577 statistical fields and it display numerous graphs showing your success or lack of the same. The dealers are very talkative and say hundreds of phrases. The patter is generally friendly and light-hearted. This keeps the games lively and interesting. Of course, nobody wants to hear the blackjack dealer yell bust when you've gone over 21, but that's life at the tables. If you like games of chance, then Avery Cardoza's Casino is a must have for your library. If you have been thinking about going to a casino or you've never had any success at gaming, this program is a most worthwhile investment. $50 spent on this program can make the difference between winning and losing. A few hours of entertaining practice with this excellent educational program will be much to your advantage. It really is a lot of fun to play these games and you have nothing to lose but your bad luck in Avery Cardoza's Casino. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. 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Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming FEATURES OF LINKS LS After winning nearly every award for a sports simulation possible with LINKS 386, ACCESS Software had to dig deep and stretch the limits of technology to bring you the next generation of LINKS--LINKS LS. So what's new about LINKS LS? Every stroke, every blade of grass, every contour, every chirp...Everything is NEW! UNLIMITED SCREEN RESOLUTIONS AND UP TO 16.7 MILLION COLORS Unlimited screen resolutions means that LINKS LS can match any monitor's maximum viewing capabilities (even 1600x1200 and higher if you have the video RAM). Up to 16.7 million colors means the finest in near photo realistic quality possible with today's technology. LINKS LS supports color depths of 15 bit (32,000 colors), 16 bit (64,000 colors), and 24/32 bit (16.7 million colors). You've simply never seen software this good! TOTALLY NEW TERRAIN-RENDERING ENGINE AND BALL FLIGHT MODEL This gives LINKS LS a realism never before achieved in the gaming industry. As LINKS has always done, we render not just the hole itself but the entire course. You can literally hit your ball a half-mile out of bounds! Now, authentic ground, sand, and grass textures combine with dynamic shadows and fog to give you a course so lifelike you can almost feel the wet grass! LINKS LS features the most realistic ball flight ever. Our engineers have reworked the ball dynamics giving you true-to-life ball flight! Fade your drive just like the pros or watch as your high-arching wedge shot actually backs up on the green. GAME PLAY FORMATS If you get tired of stroke play (standard), you can indulge in a race for cash with the NEW Skins game. Also included are Match Play and Best Ball formats. LINKS LS will keep even the shortest of attention spans interested. MODEM AND NETWORK PLAY With Network Play you can have up to eight players in a single game (two workstations, four players per station). There is no restriction for network protocols. As long as both workstations are mapped to one concurrent drive, you're dancin'. You can play head to head with a real human opponent even if they are across the ocean. With modem play you can dial a remote computer anywhere the phone lines will reach and play a game of golf--rain or shine. 54 HOLES OF CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF Two stunning Hawaiian courses have been selected to inaugurate LINKS LS as the first in the Resort Courses Series--The Plantation and Village courses at Kapalua on the island of Maui. Along with Kapalua, Arnold Palmer's home course--Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania--completes the 54 holes of play. VIRTUAL REALITY--EXPLORE OUR 3-D WORLD Ever have the feeling you've been there before? Our NEW Virtual World Tour allows you to move freely in a three-dimensional environment of the Plantation Clubhouse at Kapalua as well as Arnie's workshop and trophy room. FOUR DIFFERENT GOLFER ANIMATION SETS Golfer animations include Arnold Palmer, a young man, a young woman, and a middle-age male golfer. Each features multiple reactions for both good and bad shots. Timing of golfer and swing indicator are now independent so you can witness the golfer animation in full motion video quality (up to 30 frames per second). MULTIPLE CAMERA VIEW WINDOWS Camera windows are user-selectable, user-sizable and are capable of displaying views from any of following cameras: Top View Camera - This is an overhead 'Blimp View' showing the current hole, ball flight, and the aiming marker. The user can position the aiming marker or 'drop' from the top view. Side View Camera - This is 'Side Blimp View' from a lower elevation and shows the current hole, ball flight, and aiming marker. The user can also position the aiming marker or 'drop' in the side view. Green View Camera - This camera is positioned beyond the green, about 40 feet off the ground, looking back towards the tee box. This view shows the player animation, ball flight, and aiming marker. The user can also position the aiming marker or drop in the green view. Chat View - for network and modem play. Custom Views - You can position the camera almost anywhere you choose to watch your shots like never before. Profile View Camera - This camera shows an elevation profile from the ball to the pin and displays appropriate elevation and distance information. In addition to being displayed in the normal full screen view, the aiming marker is also displayed by the Top View, Side View, Green View, and Custom View cameras and can be repositioned by clicking in any of these camera windows. SUPPORT FOR ALL PREVIOUS LINKS 386 SVGA COURSES All the Super VGA LINKS Championship Courses will be capable of being converted to the NEW LINKS LS course format. SOUND LIBRARY EDITOR The sound library editor allows you to use any standard wave (.wav) file and add your own sounds to most of the events in the game. For instance if you want a Bronx cheer assigned to a bogey, you can have it. POSITION DEPENDENT 3-D STEREO SOUND Sounds like waves crashing and dogs barking have a specific spatial position on the course. As the player approaches these locations, the sounds get louder. As the player turns left or right, the sounds pan across the stereo mix and seem to come from a certain direction. FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH WINDOWS 95 AND MS-DOS To insure full Windows 95 compatibility, we have developed the LINKS LS Sentry. The Sentry is a Windows application that runs along side LINKS LS and performs several important functions: z Uses Windows 95's Auto Play to launch SETUP.EXE & install LINKS LS z Creates a LINKS LS folder on your Windows 95 desktop z Checks to see if other programs that can interfere with LINKS LS are running and allows you to selectively close them z Maintains critical communications with Windows 95 to insure that any shutdown of LINKS LS is fully recoverable z Minimum of 16 MB of memory required for play under Windows 95 MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Your computer must be at least a 486 DX2 66 MHz CPU. (Not compatible with NexGen or other CPUs without math co-processor.) It must have 12MB of RAM (16MB to run in a window in Windows 95), 30 MB of free hard drive space (estimated), and a 2X (double speed) CD-ROM drive (MPC Level 2 compliant). Your video card must have at least 1 MB of video RAM (DRAM, VRAM or WRAM). The VESA bios must be VESA 2.0 compliant, capable of displaying 800 x 600 resolution with 32K colors. VESA does not refer to your BUS type. A PCI video card still must have a VESA bios to be VESA compliant. To get any sound you must have at least an 8-bit sound card. A mouse is required. OPTIMAL SYSTEM FOR LINKS LS Pentium 90 MHz CPU or faster, 16+ MB RAM, 4X (quad speed) or higher CD-ROM, 2 MB Local Bus video (optimum resolution 1600 x 1200 resolution in 65,000 colors requires 4 MB RAM on video card), 200 MB hard drive space, 16 bit industry standard compatible sound card, and a mouse. Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Famine... It had to happen this week; I could have bet the farm! I was hoping that we were in the beginning of a positive trend with last week's issue, but it just didn't happen. Oh well, there's always next week... I know I've been rambling about the Internet and doing Atari web pages the past few weeks. It still remains a lot of fun. I've been doing a lot of "web surfing", checking out the various Atari support sites - there are quite a few of them around and I haven't managed to view them all yet. Most of these sites are extremely well done, and informative as well. I now have an opportunity to learn more about Atari products, the people who created them, and the people who still use them - all over the world. It's not interactive as I'm used to seeing by calling somewhere like CompuServe, Delphi, or the Usenet - but, it does serve a useful purpose. And, it's still fun. If you haven't checked out any Atari web sites, I highly recommend that you do, including mine. I'm still updating my pages a little at a time. It takes time, and "research" to make sure that the links that I want to add are still existent (I found one today that changed to a new address!). I'm also trying to make the pages look aesthetic without appearing gaudy or laced with too many graphics - it just ties up the loading times. I still haven't composed my request for additions of web addresses for those of you who support Atari sites: BBS sites, user groups, dealers, developers, etc.; but I do plan to get that put together and posted over the weekend. Some of you have already sent me the information and I've begun to add those links - thanks! So, if you haven't already done so, grab a copy of STiK/CAB and start doing some browsing if you're able - it's a great addition to the Atari online experience! Until next time... The Ad.Lib Message Base is Reborn! From: Andy Curtis <email@example.com> Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:54:00 The Ad.Lib Message Base is Reborn! Hi There! Just a quick message to you crowd to let you know that Frank Charlton and myself have reinstated the Ad.Lib Message Base on the Internet as an email mailing list. The idea is to get all the old daftness going just as you remember it. With the sad passing of the BBS, this is a great way to translate some of the old spirit onto the Internet. If you logged on in the past, you can join us again through a simple mail list linkup. If you don't know what the heck I'm on about, give it a try anyway! Please spread this message as widely as possible to all you think might be interested in order to make this a worthy forum for all matters, whether they be Atari, Mac, PC or just plain silly. Anything goes, but keep the language reasonably restrained. The SysOps are, as ever, Andy Curtis and Frank Charlton. :-) To subscribe to the list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following in your message body: subscribe mbase [first name] [last name] (in my case this was: subscribe mbase andy curtis) Subject does not matter. I look forward to hearing from you all and chatting! Cheers for now, Andy Curtis & Frank Charlton Gaming Section Video Game Sales! MS Games? ID4 Debuts! And more... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Video Games Post Brisk Sales PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Sales of video games edged out other computer entertainment software in 1996, accounting for 55 percent of the industry's sales. NPD Group, the leading New York-based market researcher, reports the introduction of the Nintendo 64 system in late September and strong software sales for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn during the holidays helped video games capture 60 percent of the fourth-quarter market share. NPD spokesman Ryan Brock said even with recent improvements in computer gaming, such as 3D graphics, faster processing and surround sound, "consumers are still buying more games for console machines than for computers." According to NPD, the top five interactive entertainment software publishers ranked by units sold during 1996 were: Nintendo of America, Electronic Arts, Sega of America, Acclaim and CUC International. Many of the top entertainment software companies hedged their bets by publishing titles for both computers and video game consoles in 1996. Sixteen of the top 25 entertainment software manufacturers offered games for both computers and consoles. NPD tracks the interactive entertainment software industry through two retail point-of-sale tracking services. Get Ready For The 'ID4' Interactive Invasion Fox Interactive Day & Date PlayStation, Saturn & Windows(R) 95 CD-ROM Release Of Independence Day: The Game Up to $40 in Consumer Savings LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 19 /RNewswire/ -- Inspired by the #1 film and video of 1996 and destined to chart new territories for film-inspired interactive names, INDEPENDENCE DAY: THE GAME ('ID4') will simultaneously invade retail outlets across North America for PlayStation, Saturn and Windows(R)95 CD-ROM on March 11 from Fox Interactive. Heralding this arrival will be one of the industry's largest and most comprehensive marketing campaigns ever for a single title, which includes multiple partners, consumer savings of up to $40 and a dedicated, multi-million dollar media campaign. Suggested retail price for PlayStation and Sega is $54.98, Windows(R) 95 CD-ROM is $49.98. All marketing and sales for Fox interactive products is handled by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Hot off its phenomenal success with the multi-platform DieHard Trilogy game, Fox Interactive delivers a gaming experience for everyone. Rated K-A for all ages, 'ID4' is an arcade-style flying adventure that brings home all the fast-paced action and emotion of the blockbuster film, which puts the player in the ultimate race to save the world from an armada of Aliens set to wipe out civilization. Given the widespread appeal of 'ID4,' this unprecedented slate of marketing muscle, which will deliver more than 350 million target audience impressions, will extend beyond the hardcore "gamers" and well into the mainstream audience, similar to the theatrical and video marketing campaigns. "We've got a terrific immersive gaming experience based on the kind of incredible property that game developers dream about and retailers are clamoring for," noted Jon Richmond, President of Fox Interactive. "Accordingly, we've built one of the most comprehensive marketing campaigns -- with six partners and millions of dollars -- that this industry has ever seen for a single game release. Together, we intend to be a major force in the marketplace with 'ID4.'" To excite consumers to get ready to "kick some alien butt," outlined below are some specifies of the monstrous campaign tht has been built for the 'ID4' launch. In addition to the activities listed below, both Sega and Sony are mounting programs in support of their individual platforms including special trailers at in-store PlayStation kiosks and sampler discs bundled with Saturn units. MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS: Trailers: In a perfect blend of synergy and target-audience marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment placed a compelling, 20-second feature film-style trailer for the ID4 game at the beginning of the INDEPENDENCE DAY home video, the best-selling video of 1996, which has shipped nearly 22 million copies to date. The trailer can also be seen on the recent sell-through video release of BROKEN ARROW, which recently shipped more than 1 million copies and the Widescreen Series edition of INDEPENDENCE DAY in March. Dedicated Advertising: With a multi-million dollar budget, beginning in February, full-color print ads will run in national video trade and consumer gaming enthusiast publications including EGM, PC GAMER and GAMEPRO; national cable and top local market spot TV ads will begin in March on MTV, FOX SPORTS NET, among many other outlets; on the Internet, banner ads and contests will promote ID4 on popular video game sites such as GAMESPOT and HAPPY PUPPY. Up to $40 in savings: Consumers who purchase any version of 'ID4' will find a 10-page coupon booklet packed inside -- with offers of up to $40 in consumer saving and other special offers. Included in the $40 savings are the following partners and promotions: Orbitz(TM) Beverage: Clearly Canadian's new Orbitz(TM) Beverage will offer a $10 mail-in rebate with the purchase of the ID4 game and ten bottles of Orbitz (at 60,000 U.S. retail outlets from March 11 through May 15). More than 4 million custom-designed ID4 bottleneck tags and 2.4 million ID4 Orbitz(TM) bottle caps will provide details on the mail-in rebate. Orbitz(TM) will also support the promotion with in-store signage including static clings, cooler decals and mini-posters. Cross promotions will also run online through the www.foxinteractive.com and www.orbitz.com websites. Samsung: Consumers can receive a $25 mail-in rebate from Samsung with the purchase of ID4 and the new GXTV (est. SRP $299), a color television/monitor designed especially for video games. Gamers everywhere will be able to preview ID4 on special interactive GXTV kiosks, on display at more than 70 Electronics Boutiques and over 200 FunCo's from late February through March. Coupons for ID4 "Premium Packs" will also be inserted in GXTV boxes, offering limited-edition ID4 T-shirts, hats and Strategy Guides. Twentieth Century Fox Pay Television: Fox has also joined forces with sister company TCF Pay TV and more than 2,500 local cable operators and satellite systems for a special offer in conjunction with the March 1 Pay-Per-View premiere of the INDEPENDENCE DAY film. Cable subscribers who order the film on pay-per-view and purchase the ID4 video game are eligible for a $10 mail-in rebate and can receive three collectors' series INDEPENDENCE DAY posters. Local and regional media support includes direct mail pieces, cross-channel cable spots, cable guide ads and radio spots and promotions that should reach 35 million households in key cable markets beginning in early February. Planet Hollywood: As part of the Pay-Per-View Promotion, an in-store sweepstakes with 27 Planet Hollywood locations will run in March and April, including premium item giveaways and Sega Saturn interactive kiosks featuring the game. This promotion will be supported with radio advertising and promotions as well as custom table tent cards in all Planet Hollywood restaurants. Strategy Guide and Game Discounts: To make the invasion complete, cross-sell for the upcoming ID4 Strategy Guide from Metropolis Publishing and a coupon for $5 off Fox Interactive's three-in-one smash DIE HARD TRILOGY game will also be included with each game. On-Line Campaigns: Visitors to www.foxinteractive.com will soon be able to download screen shots, audio files and full-motion video from the game. Exclusive contests will offer gainers the chance to win copies of the game, ID4 T-shirts, caps and more. Special previews and sneak peaks will also take place at the site. In addition, all Club Fox members with registered email addresses will also receive a special email postcard containing information about the 1D4 game and the rebates and promotions. Microsoft Backs New Game Developer In a move aimed to solidify its position as a leading games publisher, Microsoft Corp.'s games group today announced it has entered into a long-term publishing agreement with Digital Anvil, an Austin, Texas-based startup founded by game industry superstars Chris Roberts, Tony Zurovec and Erin Roberts. Microsoft says the multi-title publishing deal includes a significant minority investment by Microsoft and ensures that Digital Anvil will work exclusively with Microsoft to produce cutting-edge games for the PC and online platforms. The deal's terms weren't disclosed. Digital Anvil is led by three former Electronic Arts designers who collectively have received more than 50 industry awards for their development efforts. Their Wing Commander and Crusader series have sold approximately 1.4 million licensed copies in the United States alone. "his is a major coup for the Microsoft games group and is in line with our strategy to establish long-term relationships with the best game developers in the world," says Pete Higgins, group vice president of the interactive media group at Microsoft. "Digital Anvil has assembled one of the industry's most respected game-development teams, and we're excited to work with them to create top-quality games that break new ground and deliver the best PC games experiences." "Microsoft has established itself as a leader in publishing quality entertainment software, and its powerful worldwide distribution and marketing systems will enable us to reach our global fan base," adds Chris Roberts, Digital Anvil's CEO. "This agreement will supply us with the necessary equity to boost our resources, and Microsoft's willingness to invest in the development periods and budgets necessary to build high-quality, groundbreaking products made them the ideal partner for Digital Anvil among all of our publishing alternatives." STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content Subject: Were is Battlespear? - Msg Number: 118972 From: J Reynolds 73110,713 To: Curt Vendel 75212,2071 Forum: ATARIGAMING Sec: 05-Lynx Date: 20-Feb-97 1:45 Just ask yourself if any other person or company could have marketed the Jaguar successfully. 3DO crashed and burned even tho they were backed by Panasonic, Goldstar and Electronic Arts to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Stop and think. These are the biggest hardware and (gaming) software manufacturers in the world. Sega couldn't sell a Jag knockoff, the 32X, nor could Nintendo keep afloat their Virtual Boy either. Next time you read anything from Steve Watkins, just ask yourself what he contributed to the world versus what the Tramiels founded and created: Commodore, Mostek Semiconductor (developed 6502 CPU and variations used in millions upon millions of successful products), Vic20, C64, 520/1040/TT/Falcon, Jag64, etc. Guys like Steve can give 2-bit opinions because that's just about the magnitude of his acheivements relative to the Tramiels. I'm not a rabid fan of how the Tramiels managed but I respect what they have accomplished despite the heavy odds against companies trying to survive in the consumer electronics marketplace. Subject: Were is Battlespear? - Msg Number: 118974 From: Ralph @ STReport 70007,4454 To: J Reynolds 73110,713 Forum: ATARIGAMING Sec: 05-Lynx Date: 20-Feb-97 7:59 Mr. Reynolds... You have every right in the world to say your piece. As do I, and... I must say I have never seen such a convoluted piece of diatribe aimed at total misinformation than what you have just posted. Truly before anything is posted it would be wise and prudent to have the facts at one's disposal. It has been the opinion of MANY people that the Tramiels torpedoed a wide variety of the "efforts" of Atari Corp. for varied money manipulation reasons. Because Steve Watkins or, anyone else for that matter, expresses their opinions gives you no right what-so- ever to attack them personally. That has been a blatant problem in the Atari community from day one. The fanatical blind loyalty has lead to more personal verbal assaults than that of any other computer/gaming platform. Address the issues, attack the thoughts but NOT the person. You may attack the premise of the Tramiels intentionally sinking the Jaguar, Portfolio, STBook, and any other number of high hyped no sale products Atari came up with. You may also compare JACK Tramiel's track record at Commodore to that of anyone. But if you must, be sure to also compare his track record at Commodore while both HE and Commodore were under investigation by the Canadian Securities Commission. Be certain to included Jack's turning state's evidence against his buddies at the original Commodore over the "Don Mills Stock Affair" along with the fact that if Irving Gould hadn't invested fresh, big money into Commodore after the Commission's Investigation penalty phase there would have been NO Commodore. Commodore was virtually an empty shell when the Commission was done with Tramiel & Co. Trying to compare J. Tramiel to something wonderful and above reproach is profoundly ridiculous. Jack Tramiel (business is war) was a man-eating businessman like no other seen in the last four decades. His temper tantrums and screaming tirades are well known throughout the labor force in all of Silicon Valley if not beyond. Other companies in the Valley, in most cases, immediately hired anyone coming from Atari Corp. especially if they worked there for any length of time. You see their premise was, if you could work there successfully under the Tramiels, you had to be good. His sons, Sam, Leonard and Garry, are truly the rest of the Tramiel tragic comedy act. They brought the family's business reputation to new and far greater heights of delirious amusement. In fact, I would not be surprised to see actual, "how not to" business and investment study courses written around their tragic but oh, so often comical activities. Personally speaking, the Tramiels are truly very likable folks. I especially liked Leonard he is an amazing character. But... when it came to business, there were no others like them. Probably never will be. Never, in the history of the computer business, has a private ownership group made a small fortune so completely and expertly as they did... out of a large fortune. The Tramiels, in their infinite wisdom and hardcore desire to do it their way, saw fit to buy Federated Stores when they had Atari "on a roll". They dropped over $500 million dollars to buy Federated. All went into the toilet a few short years later with Federated never coming out of the red under Garry's "steady guiding hand". Then there was the component buying... in any given model or, model year.. one could find five, six or perhaps ten or more different manufacturers of a particular component in use in their products. Have you any idea why this was? Check with D & B and learn more truth. Truth is, everything they touched after they had their initial success with the release of the 520st turned sour. Ralph Mariano @ STReport International Online Magazine - CompuServe & Internet Explorer 3.01 - ISDN, Simply the best! - WebSprite! Keeping up to date on the WEB is so EASY. - http://www.streport.com - EMail: email@example.com ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. What a busy week I've had. At my place of business, we've just undergone an audit for ISO 9002 certification. This certification tells customers that we have established procedures for every operation we do. Everything from phone inquiries to shipping is covered (and must be to qualify for certification). The down- side is the paperwork! Every procedure must be documented every time it is done. The catch-phrase that fits ISO certification best is "Say what you do, do what you say... and PROVE it". Heck, just when computers were finally getting to the point where the "paperless office" was a possibility, something comes along to bring in more paperwork! I think this is a plot concocted by the paper manufacturers. <snicker, snicker> We have met all the requirements necessary, so it looks like we'll be getting our ISO certification in the mail in the next month or so. The reason I'm telling you this is that, with all of this going on, I've had little time to answer email and have the conversations that I've gotten used to with my computer acquaintances. Now that the audit is over, I hope to be back to normal in a week or so. I'm one of the two people working on getting review copies of the two commercial web-browsing packages coming out shortly, and we hope to be able to have reviews ready for you to read shortly after the products become available. We'll keep you posted as to the status of these products and the reviews, so look here for info as it becomes available... We now return you to your regularly scheduled program. <grin> From the Atari Computing Forums Michael Robillard asks for help with MiNT: "When I run Mint I end up with all lowercase filenames and when I try to run a .prg I get the alert about show-print-cancel.Every file becomes a text file. Any Idea what I may be doing wrong?" Albert Dayes tells Michael: "[That is] probably because MINT is more or less based on Unix style filenames which are case sensitive unlike TOS/MS-DOS. You might try renaming (or making a copy of) the files to all uppercase filenames and see if that works." When Philippe Bogdan asks about a 25 MHz Stacy that he saw for sale, he wondered if this could really be true. I tell him: "[I'm] sorry to disappoint you, but FASTtech is no longer in business. when the Atari market went bad FASTtech stopped making product. There may well be others with these accelerators that might sell them, but I doubt that many would want to part with something that special... I know, I've looked for one too. You are quite correct that the STacy is ideal for music. I still use my 8 MHz STacy quite often and like it a lot. As you said, the speed is the only drawback." Philippe tells me that it's... "To bad I didn't know about FASTTech a few years ago... <frown> To be honest, for most of my work (as a professional arranger) the speed is OK. It's only when I starting dealing with score, then it's really too slow. I will look for this accelerator though and eventually may try get a second hand Mega STe or TT sometime. I'm only using the STACY for music. I work on a Mac for the rest. I've considered switching to Cubase Mac but I'm so used to and like the ATARI interface that I decided to stick with it <smile> Also, changing computers would mean spending quite a fair amount of money in software and harDware." Our friend and neighbor Simon Churchill adds: "If you want an accelerator card then you might like to consider a T28, system solution's say they can put one into a stacy. You might like to contact them and ask if it's possable etc. They are on the WWW. I left there address in another post, the old grey matter's not what it was. 8-) Another thought has come to me, (Dam grey matter!!) Have you tried a software accelerator? NVDI is very good. With a T28 and NVDI running you can get a graphic's report of 1000%+ and a CPU of 330%+ from Gembench 4." Gary Partington posts: "Can anyone please advise me as to what printer I should buy for my Atari STe I would like an ink jet but obviously the driver has to be available. I have been told the HP deskjet 500 is good but are there more than one type of 500 or not? I need it for use with Timeworks or the like. All advice appreciated." Good ol' Brian Gockley of the A-CT Atari Group tells Gary: "Your are dead right to go with the HP DeskJet. You can get almsot any version, as _as far as I know_ they are backwardly compatible. We are going to try out the Office Jet, which will double as a fax machine/copier!" Gary asks Brian: "Do you mean I can buy a brand new Deskjet and a driver for one will be OK for another?" Brian replies: "I have used DJ 500 drivers with the 550c and it worked fine. It is _supposed_ to be backward compatible." Simon Churchill adds: "I know some of the first HP 500's had problem's with talking to the ST and that meant you had to turn them on in a certain order. However I have a HP 520 and am very pleased with it, driver's are very easy to find for most packages as you can use laserjet driver's. I use First word +, Write on, Timework's DTP 2.04 with SpeedoGdos and many other packages as well as GDOS graphic packages, all print fine. If you need a driver call in the forum and someone can normally point you in the right direction." Gary also posts: "I have a problem with my keyboard - it keeps making quiet little sizzling noises but nothing happens and it goes away after a few seconds. Has anyone come across this problem and does it mean something is about to give up? Atari STe by the way." Simon Churchill asks Gary: "Is it the Keyboard sizzling or is it the ST itself? The keyboard sits above part of the motherboard and the sound may be coming from under the keyboard." Curt Vendel asks for info on video cards for the TT: "I'm getting ready to buy a TT030 and would like to install a video adapter into the 1/2 VME slot in the unit, can anyone recommend a good adapter and does anyone know where I can find one these days besides TOAD (They are way too overpriced)." Joe Villarreal tells Curt: "I am using a Nova Vme Plus graphics card on my TT. It's a true color card that displays 2, 256, 32,000, and 16 million colors in different resolutions starting from 320x200 to 848x640. I use the 640x480 256 color display most of the time. The Nova is a German made card. I believe the North America distributor is Homa Systems in Canada; I saw an ad from them in an issue of Current Notes. The Nova installs in the vme slot of the TT and Mega Ste. The vme part has a cable that connects to a black box outside the computer that contains the actual video card." James Spielman jumps in and asks Joe: "I have a Mega ST2 (not an STE) that has a relatively large slot in the middle of the board. Is this the VME slot you mention? Could this machine take a Nova card?" Albert Dayes tells James: "That is the Mega-bus slot which is not compatible with the VME type slots. There were only a few products that work with the Mega-bus slot as far as I remember." Brian Gockley tells James: "The Nova is sold in two versions, Mega bus and VME bus. You need the Mega bus. Most cards come in both flavors - if you can still find them..." Well folks, that's about it for this time around. Tune in again next week... same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Reviewing is no easy matter. To begin with, you must be sure that writing is your vocation, next you must be convinced that reviewing is not writing, hence the conclusion that your vocation is not reviewing. Well, once you feel that way, you can begin... STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through the Internet and OVER 250,000 BBS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 21, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1308
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