ST Report: 1-Aug-97 #1331From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 1-Aug-97 #1331 Date: Thu Aug 14 12:31:03 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) August 01, 1997 No.1331 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 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 Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.0? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 08/01/97 STR 1331 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Canon cuts Printer $$ - Links Pelican Hill - GW2K prez Walks - HP sells PCs < $1000 - Iomega SUES Syquest - Csi adds Safeguards - HAYES Merger - STR MailCall - Atari ReUnion! - People Talking - Classics & Gaming National Semi Buys Cyrix Corp. FTC NIXES Probe MS Request! Intel Cuts Pentium Prices STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, 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 Celebrating Our Tenth Year! 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 07/26/97: six of six numbers with 5 two number matches >From the Editor's Desk... Is it a week already?? Unbelievable, this past week was spent shutting down and bringing up the systems more times than I care to yap about. The electrical storms this past week were horrid. Sure I have UPSs and such but have you ever seen what lightning can do? I'd rather be safe than sorry. Danny (The Hurricane) had us all concerned for some time. Wasn't he the indecisive lad? All's well that ends well. There's been quite a bit of speculation about the advent of "Windows 98". When will it ship? Is it really very different from Win95? How much faster is it? What new features are included? Folks, truthfully speaking, Windows 98 is a remarkable improvement and is getting closer and closer to the ultimate goals. I believe it will be in distribution well in time to not harm holiday sales and still please the vast majority of users. I've seen Windows 98 come along very nicely and I'll tell you this much. you'll not be disappointed in its positive changes, performance, value and reliability. The series of articles relative to Adobe's Masterful offerings in DeskTop Publishing, Photo Editing and Document Creation are coming along very nicely. Look for the series to start in the next week or so. It's going to be quite revealing. I can almost hear the crying and verbal squirming some of the other publishers and "two steppers" are going engage in. Adobe has the "kind" why bother with the "also rans". We'll back that up with plenty of information geared to reveal the bottom line about the hype in the DTP and Photo-Editing world that's designed to relieve you of your dollars while leaving you wondering what happened... 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/FTP Site, 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. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - 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 Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet email@example.com 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 Happy Birthday, TRS-80 This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the TRS-80, the first mass-marketed home computer. The TRS-80, which was developed by Tandy Corp. for less than $150,000, was unveiled at New York's Warwick Hotel on August 3, 1977. Although primitive by today's standards, the TRS-8O was a significant achievement at the time. It is widely recognized as the first completely assembled computer and the first affordable computer available at retail. Sold through Radio Shack stores, the $599.95 system featured a black-and-white-monitor, cassette tape storage, 4KB of RAM (expandable to 52K) and a Z80 8-bit 1.77MHz processor. Windows 98 to Be Released Next Year During the first three months of next year, look for release of Windows 98, the Microsoft Corp. program formerly code-named "Memphis." Business writer George Tibbits of The Associated Press, reporting from Seattle, say Microsoft executives indicates the new version won't be the technological leap that marked the introduction of Windows 95 two years ago, but promise the software will blend Internet, radio, television and other media into personal computers, while being more reliable and far simpler to operate. Adds Tibbits, "Microsoft said it was taking to heart the longstanding complaints by computer users that software is too hard to use, unreliable and unwieldy." Vice President Jon DeVaan of Microsoft's desktop applications division said new versions of Microsoft programs, including Windows and Office, will be far cheaper for businesses to maintain and won't be "bloatware," adding, "Frankly, we haven't done as good a job as we should at keeping our programs simple." As noted, the initial "beta" version of Windows 98 was released June 30 to a select group of software developers and testers. Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the personal and business systems group, said an updated version will go out soon and test results will determine the final product's shipping date. Editor Note: George. All I can say is you're close BUT you get NO Cigar. Nice guess about the release times. I'm wagering we see Win'98 in time for the Holidays. RFM Intel Cuts Pentium Prices Prices of the Pentium microprocessor are being slashed up to 50 percent this weekend by Intel Corp. Reporter Kourosh Karimkhany of the Reuter News Service notes Intel cuts Pentium prices about once a quarter, but this year's scheduled summer price cut will be steeper than usual. "What's more," Karimkhany adds, "Intel will cut prices again in November, a scheduled price cut it skipped last year. Intel has to get rid of its supply of an older generation of Pentium chips. The company also is moving to stay ahead of competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Cyrix Corp., which are supplying state-of-the-art chips for lower prices." Microprocessor Report, an industry newsletter, says the price of the low-end Pentium 133 and Pentium 150 are expected to be cut to $93 from about $130 to $150 currently. The price of the high-end Pentium MMX 233 is expected to be cut to $375, down from $594. The Santa Clara, California, chip giant introduced the Pentium MMX, a version with souped-up graphics and sound capability, in January. Then in the spring, the company introduced the Pentium II, a next-generation chip that runs most software much faster. "Demand for the Pentium MMX and the Pentium II has been tremendous," Reuters says, "but their popularity has annihilated demand for the plain-vanilla Pentium without MMX, leaving Intel with too many older chips and not enough newer ones." Canon Cuts Color Printer Price Canon Computer Systems Inc. has cut the price on its BJC- 620 Color Bubble Jet printer by $30 to $299. The BJC-620, introduced last August, offers users photographic-quality printing on plain paper at a 720 by 720 dots per inch (dpi) resolution. The four-color ink system allows users to replace each individual color as needed, rather than the entire cartridge. Information about Canon printers is available on the Costa Mesa, California, company's Web site at www.ccsi.canon.com. HP to Sell PCs for Under $1,000 Hewlett-Packard Co. is entering the crowded market for personal computers costing less than $1,000, saying that by the fall, it will be shipping a new Pavilion 3100 computer that will retail for $999. Reporting from HP's Palo Alto, California, headquarters, The Wall Street Journal says the machine will have a Pentium microprocessor whose speed has not yet been determined, along with 16 megabytes of memory and a 2.1 gigabyte hard-disk drive. "Bringing out a sub-$1,000 machine," adds the paper, "represents a switch for HP, which earlier in the year said it saw no reason to sell such a device." The Journal adds the company was forced to change tack by the strong demand for the low-cost units from home PC shoppers, who have made the sub-$1,000 systems from such firms as Compaq Computer Corp. and Packard Bell NEC Corp. among the best-selling of all PCs. Beside the new low-cost PC, HP also will introduce five Pavilion models priced from $1,899 to $2,999. Claris Unveils ClarisWorks Office Claris Corp. has introduced ClarisWorks Office, a small business software bundle priced under $100. ClarisWorks Office features the new ClarisWorks 5.0 integrated software with word processing, spreadsheet and other program modules; Claris Home Page Lite; and more than 230 ready-to-use business documents. "ClarisWorks Office is ideal for the home-based startup looking to build a business, and also offers a lot for the small business," says Ray Boggs, director of small business and home office research at IDC/LINK. "ClarisWorks Office connects a number of key software building blocks to let the entrepreneur's vision flourish without gobbling up all the space on the hard drive." ClarisWorks Office is scheduled to ship in the U.S. in September on Windows 95, NT 4.0 and Mac OS platforms. Lotus to Bundle IE 4.0 Microsoft says it has reached an agreement with Lotus Development Corp. to bundle its upcoming Internet Explorer 4.0 browser software with selected Lotus products. According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 4.0 will be added to the Lotus Notes 4.6 client package, as well as to SmartSuite, Lotus' business software suite, soon after the upgraded browser becomes available. Lotus, an IBM subsidiary, has shipped Internet Explorer 3.0 with selected products since early this year. "Users need to know that their favorite products will work together, so they can get on with their core business and not be distracted by dueling interpretations of standards," says Jeff Papows, Lotus' president. "With Notes 4.6, Lotus is taking an evolutionary step in client functionality by extending the browser functionality beyond mere browsing. "The collaborative approach between Microsoft and Lotus to make computing easier not only meets the goals of our two companies, but will deliver great benefits to our vast base of shared customers worldwide," adds Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "Lotus continues to deliver products that are extremely well-integrated with Windows NT, and we anticipate that interoperability with offerings like Notes and Domino will tighten further with Windows NT 5.0." Sanyo Has No-Glasses 3D Display Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. has developed a 15-inch, high- resolution 3-D display that doesn't require users to wear special glasses. The Japanese company notes that the LCD screen includes a sensor that detects the position of the viewer's head and adjusts images automatically for the left and right eyes. The display provides an XGA resolution of 1,024 by 768 dots. Sanyo already offers 4-inch, 6-inch and 10-inch 3D displays that don't require glasses. The products are targeted at commercial, medical and entertainment applications. The company hasn't announced a release date or pricing for its new display. Apple Board Member Resigns Delano E. Lewis, president and CEO of National Public Radio, has resigned from Apple Computer Inc.'s board of directors. The move leaves the struggling computer maker with four open board seats. Lewis, 58, submitted his resignation from Apple's board, citing pressing time demands at National Public Radio. "I have appreciated the opportunity to serve Apple and I wish the company every success facing the challenges for the future," said Lewis in a statement issued by Apple. "I have every confidence that the board, executive management team, and employees will meet those challenges with confidence and vigor." Jobs Returning as Apple Chairman? A San Francisco newspaper is quoting insiders today as saying Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs will be returning as company chairman. The San Francisco Chronicle says sources close to the Cupertino, California, computer maker tell it Jobs will be named chairman next Wednesday at Boston's Macworld Expo. United Press International notes Jobs, who returned to Apple last December as a part-time adviser, is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the trade show. As reported, Apple bought Jobs' Next Software Inc. shortly before hiring him back to be a steadying influence and now, says UPI, "Apple's board of directors reportedly feel Jobs would help map out a strategy for the troubled company." Recently, Apple fired a number of executives, including CEO/Chairman Gil Amelio and an unidentified Silicon Valley insider has told The Chronicle, "Apple needs someone who can articulate a grand plan and knows the business. They need to give the Macintosh market a reason to believe." Apple lost $1.6 billion over the past 17 months, with Macintosh sales slipping to less than 5 percent of the U.S. computer market. "Observers feel Apple is in dire need of a leader to prepare a solid, long-range plan for Wall Street, Macintosh developers and consumers as the company tries to turn around its sagging fortunes," UPI comments. "However, sources caution that the appointment is not a certainty. Apple, which seeks to name a new CEO within three months, has a history of changing plans at the last minute." Jobs Running Apple Without Title Word on Wall Street is that Steve Jobs has rejected offers from Apple Computer Inc. to return to the helm of the company he co-founded as chairman/CEO. "But he's taking charge anyway," writes reporter Jim Carlton in The Wall Street Journal this morning, who adds, "Since Gilbert F. Amelio was ousted as chairman and CEO three weeks ago, Mr. Jobs has been running meetings, setting product direction and firing off internal memos to the troops." Carlton quotes one unidentified former Apple executive as saying that last weekend, Jobs called day-long meetings of Apple's marketing and other departments to review the company's strategy for the Macworld Expo trade show next week in Boston, where he is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. As reported, The San Francisco Chronicle has quoted sources close to the Cupertino, California, computer maker as saying Jobs will be named chairman at next Wednesday's Macworld Expo. While Jobs is keeping mum on the reports, the Journal quotes sources as saying he also has held meetings at which he determined which products would be developed and which would not. In fact, writes Carlton, "Jobs's influence was also clear when he issued a companywide electronic memo several days ago announcing that the Apple board had decided to reprice employee stock options in a morale-boosting move that gave the options more value. The repricing had been considered but not acted on during Dr. Amelio's tenure, as a tactic to slow an exodus of workers from Apple." And, notes the Journal, Jobs's memo was signed, "Steve and the Executive Team," and it included a slogan going out on all companywide correspondence these days: "You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best. Steve Jobs." Investors seem bullish on Jobs coming back to Apple. The company's stock soared 5 percent yesterday on the strength of the San Francisco Chronicle story. "Mr. Jobs brooded for years over the way he was forced out of the company in 1985," Carlton comments, "and the posts he was offered over the past three weeks would have given him more power than he had in the early days. But people close to Mr. Jobs say he rejected the board's overtures, citing his involvement in the company Pixar Animation Studios and a desire to spend more time with his family." A close Jobs associate told Carlton that Jobs wants simply to oversee Apple's affairs long enough to "point them in a positive direction, hire a great CEO and make sure the ship is sailing smoothly. I think Apple is deep in his heart and he doesn't want the company to tank, but he doesn't want to run it." Gateway President Steps Down In order to form a venture-capital company, Richard D. Snyder has resigned as president/chief operating officer of Gateway 2000 Inc. The North Sioux City, South Dakota, computer maker/retailer has launched a search for a successor. The 38-year-old Snyder joined the firm in July 1991 as executive vice president, chief operating officer and corporate secretary. "In those roles," writes reporter Evan Ramstad of The Wall Street Journal this morning, "he was widely viewed as second in command to Ted Waitt, chairman and chief executive officer, who started the company with a friend at his family farm in 1985." Ramstad notes Snyder succeeded Waitt as president in January 1996, but "further progress was unlikely, though, since Mr. Waitt is 34, owns 46 percent of the company and is considered unlikely to be leaving." Snyder told the paper he has been considering launching a venture-capital firm for months and decided to do so in Michigan, where he grew up, adding, "Most of the venture-capital activities tend to be on the coasts. I think there's an opportunity to support a lot of bright entrepreneurs in the Midwest. I've got a business plan and several investors." Digital Countersues Intel Firing back on the antitrust front, Digital Equipment Corp. accuses Intel Corp. of using "monopoly power" to harm Digital by demanding the return of Intel technical documents. Reporters Dean Takahashi and By Jon G. Auerbach write in The Wall Street Journal this morning the allegations are in a response to a suit that Intel filed against Digital on May 27 in federal court in San Jose, California. That suit demanded return of technical information about its chips that Digital received as a major customer. The Journal says Digital's response seeks a dismissal of that suit, arguing it is an attempt to pressure Digital to drop a May 12 patent suit that began the dispute. "Though Digital executives have verbally accused Intel of monopolistic tactics," write Takahashi and Auerbach, "the new filing escalates the fight by raising antitrust issues in court. The computer maker's response argues that Intel's recall of the confidential data about its chips could leave Digital stranded in the technology race, and is an 'unlawful refusal to deal under the antitrust laws.'" Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy characterized Digital's new filing as a "rehash" of its previous public comments about the case and denied violating antitrust laws. The Journal says Digital's original suit accused Intel of violating patents on a Digital chip called Alpha. The ensuing Intel suit demanded that Digital return confidential information about upcoming microprocessors such as its Merced microprocessor being jointly developed with Hewlett-Packard Co. As reported earlier, Digital says it will return information about the Merced chip but won't return other documents about chips that Intel supplies to other computer makers to help design their products. "Digital had the Merced information," says the Journal, "so that it could give design feedback to Intel, but it decided it no longer needed the data since it will not help Intel improve that design." AT&T Files Net Scam Lawsuit AT&T has filed a $7 million lawsuit against a California communications company, alleging it was defrauded of millions of dollars in unpaid charges for toll-free service. The suit, filed on July 28 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Connect America, parent company ICB Telecommunications, OneSource Communications and a number of individuals set up fictitious accounts and resold the service for profit to Internet service providers. The suit charges the defendants with wire-fraud racketeering, civil conspiracy and violations of the Communications Act. AT&T claims that when it restricted the accounts for non-payment or suspicious calling patterns, the group established additional fraudulent accounts, substituting the restricted toll-free numbers with replacements. AT&T says uncovered the alleged scam through a combination of improved telecommunications systems monitoring and investigatory work. "AT&T vigorously combats telecommunications fraud," says Dan Stark, vice president of law for AT&T's business markets division. "We take swift and decisive action against all those involved, as evidenced by this lawsuit." AT&T is seeking an injunction and an attachment of the defendants' assets, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Iomega Sues SyQuest Iomega Corp. is suing SyQuest Technology Inc., claiming that the storage device maker is infringing on patents used in Iomega's Jaz and Zip disk drives. A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for Delaware alleges infringement of patents covering Iomega's read/write protection system and the design of its Jaz cartridge. Iomega also charges that SyQuest caused unfair competition through use of Iomega's "JET" trademarks. "This is a simple case of protecting Iomega's intellectual property," says Kim Edwards, Iomega's president and CEO. "Iomega's award-winning Jaz and Zip products are fast emerging as the industry standard for removable personal storage solutions and we intend to enforce our rights with respect to Iomega's patented technology." Iomega is seeking injunctions and unspecified monetary damages. National Semi Buys Cyrix Corp. In a stock deal valued at $550 million, chipmaker National Semiconductor Corp. has agreed to buy rival Cyrix Corp., a maker of Intel Corp. chip clones. The deal, which lines up National as a major competitor with Intel Corp., "is also a big bet by the stodgy semiconductor company on the future of super-cheap personal computers and so-called information appliances," comments reporter Kieran Murray of the Reuter News Service. Murray notes the Santa Clara, California, firm is best known for its older, analog components, and more recently for networking chips. However, National and Cyrix say they will develop new computer chip technology aimed at the low-cost personal computer -- the sub-$500 market -- and the information-appliance markets. Says National CEO Brian Halla, "We have now put into place all of the pieces and building blocks necessary to put a complete PC system on a chip ... Now it is truly possible to enable computing and the information age to reach the masses." The firm says the merger will allow them to offer chips for sub-$500 personal computers and that these low-cost devices could be on the market by early 1998. Cowen & Co. analyst Drew Peck told the wire service the most interesting part of the deal "is that National believes that the inevitable march of the PC is to the sub-$500 PC." And Dataquest Inc. analyst Nathan Brookwood calls the deal a good one for Cyrix, which has lacked manufacturing. "National Semi can manufacture the parts that Cyrix has designed, that's a good thing for both," he said. The tax-free transaction, which still requires approval by Cyrix shareholders, calls for Cyrix investors to receive 0.825 of a National Semiconductor share for each Cyrix share held. The merger is expected to be completed in November. National says it will take an unspecified, one-time charge in that quarter. It has been the week for chip industry consolidation. As reported, Intel Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Chips and Technologies Inc. of San Jose, California, a move aimed at advancing capabilities for graphics and visual computing in mobile PCs. Adds Murray, "Analysts said there will likely be even more consolidation in the industry, as more semiconductor firms seek to develop 'system-on-a-chip' processors and bigger firms buy smaller firms with the technology to complete the missing pieces." Web Ad Revenues Skyrocket A new study finds that Web advertising revenue totaled $217.3 million through the first six months of 1997, a 256.2 percent increase over the $61.0 million recorded in the first six months of 1996. According to Electronic Advertising & Marketplace Report, a newsletter published by Stamford, Connecticut-based Cowles/Simba Information, Web advertising is on pace to reach $446.0 million this year. "If Web advertising in 1997 follows the trends of 1996, Web publishers will experience a summer slowdown in the third quarter in which revenue will drop, followed by a booming fourth quarter as advertisers gear up for the holiday season," says Matt Kinsman, the newsletter's editor. Search engines continue to be the dominant advertising forum, notes the study, accounting for 45 percent of ad revenue among the Web's top sites. Technology publishers comprise the second largest market with 35 percent of ad revenue among top sites, while the growing consumer/news category represent 20 percent. "Despite the call for more targeted advertising, search engines remain the most popular buy because they have the brands that both advertisers and Web users are familiar with, and they consistently provide a large consumer audience, something few other sites can do at this time," says Kinsman. "Technology sites will retain their status as the second most popular ad buy because their content and audience remain the most compatible with the Web." Cowles/Simba Information's Web site is located at http://www.simbanet.com. Greed, Not Glitches, Jams Net Research suggests that instead of computer glitches and goof-ups, it is greed; a failure to share the resources, that causes the occasional gridlock on the Internet. In an article in Science journal, physicist Bernardo Huberman and his student Rajan Lukose see Internet congestion as an example of the classic sociological problem of "the tragedy of the commons." "Given a finite communal resource," explains Associated Press writer Elizabeth Weise, "individuals will seek to maximize their own gain. If there is no outside force keeping them in line, they will eventually destroy the resource for all." Huberman says the principle that applies to grazing sheep also works for Internet surfing. "Because users can't see how their use of the finite pipelines that carry data online affects others," reports Weise, "they have no incentive to use less so that there's enough to go around." Huberman developed a statistical model of Internet usage at Xerox' Palo Alto Research Center in California to study the problem. Says AP, "Rather than following a simple Bell curve with gradual increases and decreases, Internet use, they found, is fairly steady most of the time but is randomly hit with sudden, steep increases in traffic followed by a less steep declines." How does this happen? The statistical model indicates: z When enough people come online, things begin to slow down. But everyone keeps surfing, despite the increasing lag times. z At what appears to be a totally random point, suddenly enough people are shipping around data that the pipelines start to fill up, and everything comes to a near halt. z Then the millions of individuals who are surfing the Net suddenly decide almost collectively when enough is enough, and they all log off, in the hope that things will be less congested when they come back. In other words, while ordinary Net congestion follows the ebb and flow of the day, these Net "storms" come at random times, generally happening during a peak usage period -- but not during every peak usage period - - and their very unpredictability makes them an interesting statistical problem. So, what do we do about it? You aren't going to like this. Well, says Huberman, since users treat the Internet as an unlimited resource, the solution is the charge individuals in proportion to their consumption, just as toll roads charge users per mile. Net Growth Slumps in 2nd Quarter America's love affair with the Internet may be cooling, with the second quarter marking the lowest rate of growth for consumer online/Internet services in nearly a decade, reports Telecommunications Reports International Inc. The Washington-based company's Interactive Services Report newsletter finds that household Internet accounts increased a meager 3.8 percent -- only 766,700 net new customers -- between April 1 and June 30, well below the 10 percent to 12 percent pace of the previous two quarters. As of June 30, U.S.-based service providers reached a total of 21,069,400 users, up from 20,302,700 at the end of March. "The reasons for the slower growth are numerous," says Rod Kuckro, Interactive Services Report's editor. "Traditionally, the second quarter is not as robust for the online services as is the first quarter, when holiday PC purchasers activate online accounts. For providers, new subscribers are harder to come by as the combined price of a fully functional multimedia PC and the monthly cost of an added phone line and service are out of the reach of most American households. Kuckro adds that the delay in competition for local phone service is slowing greater consumer access. "Indeed, many consumers may be waiting for the widescale introduction of low-cost Internet-access terminals or the maturation of Internet TV services," he says. Poll Nixes 'Lonely Nerd' Image Notions that Net surfers are "lonely nerds" are being challenged by a new survey from London, which instead suggests Internet users are active, affluent adults who use the Internet for work and leisure. ...And we're probably all good lookin' too... "The 'lonely nerd' stereotype is now invalid," say officials with Yahoo! UK, a provider of Internet search engines which commissioned the poll by Continental Research. Instead, adds Yahoo! UK, Netizens are "affluent, well-read adults with careers, homes and families who live life to the full." The Reuter News Service reports the survey of 1,258 respondents found: z 59 percent of the service's users are aged 25 to 44, 83 percent are part of households comprising two or more people, and 54 percent have families. z The average income for Yahoo! users in households of more than two people is 44,000 pounds, more than three times the national average. z 85 percent use the Internet in the office and at home, 97 percent communicate by email, 73 percent use the Internet daily, and 59 percent spend at least six hours a week using the Internet. Adds Reuters, "As a result of spending time on the Internet, 56 percent of respondents said they watch less television; 52 percent said they send fewer letters and memos; 30 percent spend less time reading newspapers, 28 percent talk less on the telephone, 21 percent spend less time reading magazines, and 15 percent reported working less." Firm Said Selling Beer by Net A North Carolina company has been accused by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon of marketing and selling beer to minors over the Internet. Reporting from St. Louis, United Press International says Nixon has filed suit against Hog's Head Beer Cellars for allegedly accepting a credit card order on its site on the World Wide Web from an 18-year-old who placed the order at the behest of the attorney general's office and the state liquor control division. The suit contends that at no time did Hog's Head require the minor to prove she was 21 or older, adding delivery was made July 15 without any instructions to restrict it to an adult. Nixon told the wire service the company is providing minors who obtain a credit card the ability "to buy alcohol, no questions asked," adding his suit seeks a court order preventing Hog's Head from marketing and selling alcohol without a Missouri license and engaging in the sale of alcohol to minors or failing to verify the age of a customer. Schoolgirl Web Site Shut A Web site that ranked 152 girls at a Palo Alto middle school by looks, personality and sexuality has been shut down by the Geocities Web page hosting service. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that school officials are searching for the individuals responsible for the list. Irv Rollins, assistant superintendent of the Palo Alto Unified School District, told the newspaper he would recommend expulsion for the guilty parties if school computers were used to create the Web site. The Web page identified by name eighth-grade girls from Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, giving them such labels as "wide load," "sexually confused" and "scary big chick." School board president John Tuomy said identifying the girls by name on the World Wide Web had placed them in potential danger. A Geocities spokesman told the newspaper the site was shut down because the user violated an anti-hate speech agreement with the company. Net's Junk Data Plagues Doctors Junk data from the Internet is beginning to jam medical offices, doctors are saying. For instance, Dr. Judith Hall of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is quoted by United Press International as saying it is not unusual for families with genetic disorders to come to her clinic with a foot-high stack of print-outs. However, many people, she says, "don't have the ability to discriminate between proper studies, peer-reviewed studies, and junk -- and there's a lot of junk out there." Speaking as one of several researchers at an annual genetics briefing week at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, Hall says it took her about eight hours to wade through a pile of Internet-generated papers given to her by a patient. The bulk of it was useless. And fetal-test expert Dr. Diana Bianchi of the New England Medical Center, Boston, says she fears some patients may make the irreversible decision to terminate a pregnancy following a worrisome prenatal diagnosis because of something they found on the Internet. Meanwhile, genetics researcher John A. Phillips of Vanderbilt University Medical Center sees some good points to patients using the Internet to research medical problems. Sometimes patients find something their doctor missed. Hall said she would like to see a method of grading studies on the Internet for scientific accuracy, but until then, she is suggesting people with genetic conditions look for patient-organized support groups, which are often careful about screening information. School Technology Spending Rises U.S. school districts will spend an estimated $5.2 billion on educational technology during the 1997-98 school year, up from $4.3 billion in 1996-97, finds a new report from Quality Education Data (QED), a Denver-based research firm. "It has been several years since we have seen a projected growth rate this high," says Jeanne Hayes, QED's president. "This increase is due to a substantial infusion of extraordinary funds for technology from federal, state and local grants, as well as from bond issues. QED reports that Microsoft products lead the list of school districts' planned software purchases, followed by programs from Broderbund, Claris, Tom Snyder Productions, and Sunburst. "It is interesting to note the emphasis on productivity tools in the software educators intend to purchase," says Hayes. "This demonstrates a continuing commitment to exposing students to technology tools that they will be using in their future workplace." John Updike Starts Cyber Story Pulitzer-Prize winning author John Updike has written the beginning of an original story titled "Murder Makes the Magazine" exclusively for online bookseller Amazon.com. The first paragraph is to appear on the bookseller's Web site (http://www.amazon.com) today. Over the next 44 days, visitors will be invited to write and submit their own paragraphs to continue the story. Then on Sept. 12, Updike will write the final paragraph of this collaborative tale. Writers of paragraphs selected by the Amazon.com editorial staff to continue the story will each receive $1,000. All visitors to the contest site may register to win a grand prize of $100,000. The winner will be announced at the close of the contest. "This is all about fun, Amazon.com founder/CEO Jeff Bezos said at the company's Seattle headquarters. "We are pleased Mr. Updike decided to make his first foray onto the Internet with Amazon.com. We are committed to giving our customers rich and unique experiences. Forty-four talented people will get to collaborate in real-time with John Updike, the greatest living writer. We will all watch this collaboration unfold every day for 46 days." CompuServe Adds Safeguards CompuServe is launching a plan to keep children away from adult-oriented content online, while at the same time enabling grown-ups to obtain passwords and proof of age to enter the restricted areas. Starting next week, members signing on with the Adult Community will receive passwords and must provide their names, ages and other information. The company will mail confirmation of access to account holders CompuServe already has identified as adults. "This isn't foolproof, but it's a start," CompuServe spokesman Steve Conway told The Associated Press. "Everybody is taking a different approach to keep kids out of adult material. All online services are trying to put controls and safeguards on adult-oriented material." Conway, who is vice president of corporate communications, notes CompuServe does not put pornography online but has allowed access to adult-oriented material to meet demand of its 5.4 million customers worldwide. "We recognize that demand but at the same time we want to provide some strong standards and safeguards," he added. CompuServe says all adult chat rooms, games and other materials on the system will be moved into the Adult Community starting Aug. 5. The content of the Adult Community will be controlled by Microsystems Software Inc., which already provides CompuServe with software that allows parents to control what their children see. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based Microsystems will use the SafeSurf Internet Rating Standard, a voluntary system measuring sex, adult themes, violence, intolerance, gambling, drug use and profanity. Content is rated on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being the least potentially offensive. CompuServe said it will not accept content rated higher than 5. Net Names Consensus Sought Various Internet interest groups converge on Washington today and tomorrow in hopes of hammering out a consensus on expanding Internet addresses, a controversy that is attracting the attention of several federal government agencies. Already: z The Clinton White House has formed an inter-agency task force to examine the address issue. z The Commerce Department last month asked for suggestions on how the Net naming system could be fixed. z The Justice Department this month confirmed it was conducting an antitrust probe into address registrations. Reporter Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News Service comments, "The online community has largely avoided government regulation on issues like privacy and indecency by forging broad agreements relying on private-sector solutions. But a red-hot feud has broken out over the seemingly mundane question of how best to expand the number of network addresses, like microsoft.com or whitehouse.gov, that direct email, web surfing and all other Internet activity." Because the Commerce Department's comment period ends next month with further possible government involvement imminent, several Internet groups outside of the dispute scheduled these two days of meetings at a Washington hotel to try to bring together the warring factions. President Harris Miller of the Information Technology Association of America, which is co-sponsoring the meeting, told Pressman, "If we can lower some of the divisiveness and get people talking in a constructive way, we'll feel we've accomplished something. We hope at the end of the conference that there is a constructive dialogue underway." Right now, all Internet addresses end with two or three letter designation known as a top level domain. Each country has its own top level domain, but most addresses are registered in a handful of generic domains including ".com" for commercial sites, ".edu" for schools and ".org" for non-profit groups. As noted, Network Solutions Inc. of Herndon, Va. has an exclusive contract from the National Science Foundation to register addresses in the most popular generic top-level domains. But the agreement expires next March and the science agency has said the contract will not be renewed. Now, as available addresses in the popular domains begin shrinking, bidding wars are breaking out over desirable names and even lawsuits are being filed by trademark holders claiming infringement. In addition, Network Solutions has been criticized for charging $100 for a two-year registration. Last February, a group of traditional Internet standards-setting bodies agreed on a plan to add seven new top-level domains and add up to 28 competing registries. The plan gained the support of some major players, including MCI Communications Corp., but failed to garner the backing of online services. Pressman says that plan still is expected to form the basis of an eventual compromise, but Network Solutions has its own plan as does a group of small Internet Service providers known as the Enhanced Domain Name Service. Stay tuned. Bill's Goal: More Net Privacy A key telecommunications lawmaker has introduced a bill to give computer users greater privacy protections particularly over personal information that can be collected on them as the surf sites on the Internet. The measure proposed by Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) would bar companies from disclosing or using without consent people's medical and financial records, as well as government information such as social security numbers that are available online. Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa says Tauzin, chairman of the House Commerce Committee's telecommunications subcommittee, has considerable power to advance legislation through the chamber. A hearing is planned for this fall. Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson says the bill also would require companies to adopt voluntary guidelines to protect computer users' privacy when personal and other information is collected from them online for marketing purposes. Aversa notes owners of World Wide Web sites on the Internet can use technology to track hobbies and buying habits of visitors. The owners can then sell the information to advertisers and other interested parties without the consent or knowledge of the computer user. As reported, the Federal Trade Commission now is looking into the issue. Meanwhile, hoping to head off regulatory action, companies including Microsoft Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp. have proposed letting computer users specify what personal information they are willing to share and with which Web sites. Tauzin's bill also would require companies to adopt voluntary guidelines aimed at reducing junk e-mail. IBM Unveils Web Agent Technology IBM has introduced a software agent technology that aims to make it easier for businesses to obtain, distribute and control information on the World Wide Web. Web Browser Intelligence (WBI) serves as an independent intermediary between a Web browser and server. WBI (pronounced Webby) lets users recall a previously visited Web site, search previously viewed sites by keyword, receive alerts to link speeds, find changes at a Web site, rank the order viewed sites by frequency or visit date, learn user patterns and find shortcuts. WBI could be used in customer service to personalize site visits by remembering a visitor's personal history and usage patterns. It could also alert customers to site changes and deliver custom content. "By using agents to factor in more sophisticated user preferences, new levels of control over Web information are delivered to users that go beyond today's push and pull technologies," says Don Gilbert, manager of IBM's Intelligent Agents Center. IBM is offering a free version of WBI for personal use at http://www.networking.ibm.com/iag/iaghome.html 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. 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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 Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley firstname.lastname@example.org Be back next Week.. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents AOL Won't Give Phone Numbers To TelemarketersAT&T WorldNet President Sees One Network For Data, VoiceGateway Targets Business CustomersCourt Forces Microsoft To Give Benefits To Contract WorkersWar Games Move To Electronic RealmEducator Questions Computer Use In K-12 Instruction Steve Jobs May Become Chair Of Apple Board Why Is The Economy Humming? "Computers," Says Greenspan Virginia Tech Wants Graduate Work Posted On Web AOL Switches From Middleman To Landlord ISPs Unite Against Crackers Intel, AMD, And National Semi Chip Away At Each Other Retailers Worry Windows 98 Might Sabotage Holiday Sales N2K Sells Single CD Tracks Online Hundt Supports The BT/MCI Merger Plan NTT's Eye On America Researchers Advocate Internet Use Charge Smaller Wireless Firms Unite Hayes Merger FTC Rejects Request To Investigate Microsoft Super-Speedy Web Graphics Yahoo!, Visa Broaden E-Commerce Partnership Civil Libertarians Alarmed By Library's New Internet Policy Internet Call Manager Motorola Aims New Mac At Power Users Entrust Skirts Export Rules On Encryption Software Amdahl Now Owned By Fujitsu AOL WON'T GIVE PHONE NUMBERS TO TELEMARKETERS In the face of a storm of protest from subscribers, America Online says it's not going to give members' phone numbers away to telemarketing firms after all. Instead, it will consider using its own employees to make telephone sales pitches. AOL already sells its list of member names and mailing addresses, but the move to combine phone numbers with other personal information such as demographic profiles went too far. "We should have been clearer about the fact that we changed the terms of service, and about the rationale for the change," said CEO Steve Case in an online statement. "Obviously, by not being more proactive, we've generated a lot of confusion and concern." (AP 25 Jul 97) AT&T WORLDNET PRESIDENT SEES ONE NETWORK FOR DATA, VOICE Tom Evslin, outgoing president of AT&T's WorldNet Services, sees a single IP network replacing the switched circuit telephone network: "I predict that in five years, there will be no separate telephony and Internet networks, but a single network -- to homes and businesses -- which will support wireless, telephony, Internet access, and possibly cable... There will be a single seamless IP network, with more advanced security, that will support different quality of service level guarantees. We will see an end-to-end packet service, and voice will be in packets, just like any other form of data." Evslin is leaving WorldNet to head up ITXC, a start- up in which AT&T has a vested interest, which will focus on the Internet and Internet telephony. (InfoWorld Electric 24 Jul 97) GATEWAY TARGETS BUSINESS CUSTOMERS Gateway 2000 is going after the corporate PC market, targeting the same customers prized by Dell, Compaq and other big PC makers. In May, it created a separate line of desktop PCs for business, and is banking on its cheaper prices to lure business customers its way. The move is risky, however, because corporate clients tend not to make decisions based solely on price. Gateway will have to beef up both its sales force and its customer support operations in order to make a place for itself in the corporate market. Its presence, however, will put pressure on competitors to keep their prices low. (Wall Street Journal 25 Jul 97) COURT FORCES MICROSOFT TO GIVE BENEFITS TO CONTRACT WORKERS The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Microsoft could not exclude freelance workers hired before 1990 from an employee stock plan, which allowed participants to buy company stock at a 15% discount. In 1990, when the Internal Revenue Service told Microsoft that its software freelancers could not be considered independent contractors, the company gave many of them staff positions, but some chose to remain freelancers and work for Microsoft through temporary employment agencies. A lawyer for an industry association supporting the Microsoft position says: "Nobody forced these people to work for Microsoft. These people knew they were not going to get benefits." (New York Times 25 Jul 97) WAR GAMES MOVE TO ELECTRONIC REALM The U.S. military, in conjunction with its allies, is conducting the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration 1997 -- with thousands of military and civilian personnel testing information systems and satellite communications under simulated warfare conditions. "These demonstrations have profoundly changed the way we conduct coalition operations," says the Army officer sponsoring the British part of the demo. This year, the target is to integrate the U.S. Defense Department Messaging System with its equivalent in the U.K., Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. "We will be looking at how we can move large data files around this year... The aim is to find golden nuggets of technology that may have been developed by someone else. We are taking lots of commercially available off-the-shelf equipment and seeing what it has to offer." The hope is that by finding a shrink-wrapped solution, the military will be able to sharply reduce the millions of dollars it spends on information systems and communications. (TechWire 24 Jul 97) EDUCATOR QUESTIONS COMPUTER USE IN K-12 INSTRUCTION Samuel Sava, head of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, says: "I have not the slightest doubt about the value of computers in our society. But I question whether we have learned to apply this technology to K-8 instruction... If computers make a difference, it has yet to show up in achievement. We must have the courage to resist the public enthusiasm for sexy hardware and argue for the funds necessary to train our teachers. We cannot send them into the computer room with nothing but a user's manual. If you've ever read ne of those things . . .they give new meaning to the phrase, 'English as a second language.'" (USA Today 25-17 Jul 97) STEVE JOBS MAY BECOME CHAIR OF APPLE BOARD A resignation from Apple's board of directors by board member Delano E. Lewis leaves the company now with total of only five members. Sources close to the San Jose Mercury News, as well as the MacWorld Web site, say that co-founder Steve Jobs may be named chairman of the board this week. (San Jose Mercury News 26 Jul 97) WHY IS THE ECONOMY HUMMING? "COMPUTERS," SAYS GREENSPAN Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan thinks the reason that inflation seems to be under control in spite of vigorous growth in the current economy is that information technology first introduced on a large scale in the 1980s is finally producing better business performance in the 1990s. "An expected result of the widespread and effective application of information and other technologies would be a significant increase in productivity and reduction in business costs." Is there also a downside to the good news? Technological innovation has "brought with it a heightened sense of job insecurity and, as a consequence, subdued wage gains ... It is one thing to believe that the economy, indeed the job market, will do well overall, but quite another to feel secure about one individual situation, given the accelerated pace of corporate restructuring and the heightened fear of skill obsolescence that has apparently characterized this expansion." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 27 Jul 97) VIRGINIA TECH WANTS GRADUATE WORK POSTED ON WEB Virginia Tech is the first American university to require that all graduate theses and dissertations be posted on the Web. The new rule is intended to make the latest graduate research more timely and accessible and to strike a blow against the steadily increasing subscription prices of scholarly journals. Journal publishers and other critics maintain that posting of documents on the Internet diminishes the effectiveness of the "peer review process" for reviewing original research, but Virginia Tech vice president Earving L. Blythes says that the publishers are part of the problem: "What we've seen is cartel-like behavior. Essentially, what's happening is the research and scholarly work is produced on campus; they want it published so they give it to publishers, who sell it at exorbitant prices." (New York Times 28 Jul 97) AOL SWITCHES FROM MIDDLEMAN TO LANDLORD America Online is changing its strategy for making money off of online shopping, opting to collect "rent" from its electronic retailers rather than taking a cut of their online sales. The problem with the commission model, says AOL, is that because there was no penalty for low sales, the retailers incurred no risk in the arrangement. "No one loses, but no one gains on the old model," says AOL's VP of electronic commerce. Under the new system, AOL will be guaranteed a certain income up-front. The online service says commissions won't disappear entirely, but they will play a much smaller role in its overall revenue-generating activities. AOL's redesigned mall, dubbed the Shopping Channel, will be divided into 15 channels, with the most prominent screen buttons renting for $250,000 a year. (Wall Street Journal 28 Jul 97) ISPs UNITE AGAINST CRACKERS The nation's leading Internet service providers, led by CompuServe, MCI and WorldCom, have formed the ISP Security Consortium to deal with Internet users' security concerns and develop defenses against hackers and crackers, who pose the greatest threat to the success of electronic commerce ventures. (St. Petersburg Times 28 Jul 97) INTEL, AMD, AND NATIONAL SEMI CHIP AWAY AT EACH OTHER In a flurry of activity signaling consolidation in the computer chip business, Intel has slashed prices on its Pentium microprocessors and bought chip maker Chips & Technologies, while Advanced Micro Devices responded with steep price cuts of its own, and National Semiconductor announced it was buying the Cyrix Corporation. (Atlanta Journal- Constitution 29 Jul 97) RETAILERS WORRY WINDOWS 98 MIGHT SABOTAGE HOLIDAY SALES Microsoft's highly touted Windows 98 release, scheduled for the first quarter of 1998, could undermine traditionally robust holiday sales, as consumers put off purchases until machines with the latest operating system are available. Meanwhile, the boxed Windows 98 upgrade could hit the market later this year. "January isn't the best time to do a launch - - we all know that," says a Microsoft product manager. "We're working closely with PC makers to ensure it will be available the same time as the retail box. We want a smooth and quick transition." The problem will be mitigated somewhat by the inclusion of coupons and upgrade guarantees by some system vendors. "If Microsoft does it right, it shouldn't affect anybody," says one optimistic retailer. "If you said the Pentium III is coming in January, then I'd be concerned." (Computer Retail Week 28 Jul 97) NTK SELLS SINGLE CD TRACKS ONLINE N2K Inc., an online music marketer, is selling CD-quality singles online. The "e_mod" encoded music online delivery service sells single tunes for 99 cents apiece, with selections from artists such as Chick Corea and Paquito D'Rivera. Buyers can create custom CDs using a compatible recordable CD drive. A similar service is offered by Silicon Valley start- up Global Music Outlet. (Broadcasting & Cable 21 Jul 97) HUNDT SUPPORTS THE BT/MCI MERGER PLAN Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed E. Hundt says he will endorse the $21-billion acquisition by British Telecommunications of U.S. long-distance company MCI. His endorsement comes as a consequence of concessions made by the two companies ensuring that their American and British rivals would not be placed at an unfair advantage in competing for transatlantic phone calls. (New York Times 28 Jul 97) NTT'S EYE ON AMERICA New laws passed in June will enable Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., the world's largest telephone company, to pursue international business opportunities, and analysts are guessing as to where the communications giant will invest first. "NTT is a huge company; it had more revenue last year than AT&T," says an analyst with the Yankee Group in Tokyo. "But NTT is coming a few years late to the international market, and it's not going to be able to compete with a firm like BT/MCI at first... The FCC has said it won't allow NTT and KDD [Japan's long-distance carrier] into the U.S. domestic market because Japan is still maintaining a 20% investment cap" in Japanese phone companies. One observer predicts that NTT will actively move into other Asian markets, such as China and Thailand, and will form strategic alliances to serve its Japanese customers' needs in Europe and the U.S. Others predict NTT will hook up with one of the global alliances -- Concert (BT/MCI), Global One (Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom), or World Partners (AT&T and others). (Investor's Business Daily 28 Jul 97) RESEARCHERS ADVOCATE INTERNET USE CHARGE Researchers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center conducted tests that showed the average packet of digital data took 189 milliseconds to travel from Stanford University to Cranfield University in Great Britain and then back to Stanford. They then developed a statistical model of Internet traffic showing that when users are encouraged by fast response times, they ramp up their Internet activities, thus creating the "storms," or bursts of congestion, that continually plague the Net. When the response time slows to a crawl, users back off, and eventually things get back to normal. To avoid the feast-or-famine scenario, the researchers advocate charging all users according to the amount of bandwidth they use. (Chronicle of Higher Education 1 Aug 97) SMALLER WIRELESS FIRMS UNITE A group of seven wireless phone companies in the U.S. and Canada have banded together in a joint venture called GSM Alliance. The combined coverage of the Alliance is about 97% of the U.S. and Canada, putting it on a par with much larger companies such as Cellular One Group or MobiLink. The group plans to use the GSM (global system for mobile communications) standard for its digital wireless transmissions, and will offer customers uniform rates for traveling outside their home service territories. Included in the Alliance are Pacific Bell Mobile Services, Aerial Communications Inc., Omnipoint Corp., Western Wireless Corp., Powertel Inc., Microcell Telecommunications Inc., and BellSouth Mobility Inc. (Wall Street Journal 31 Jul 97) HAYES MERGER Georgia-based modem manufacturer Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. is merging with Maryland-based Access Beyond Inc. (a manufacturer of servers and other network and telecommunications equipment), to form ommunications, a publicly traded company headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. Hayes emerged last year from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now has company sales about half of those of market leader U.S. Robotics. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 30 Jul 97) FTC REJECTS REQUEST TO INVESTIGATE MICROSOFT The Federal Trade Commission will decline a request from four U.S. senators that it investigate unfair trade charges against Microsoft. Netscape and other companies have complained about Microsoft's practice of giving discounts on its Windows 95 operating system to manufacturers who agree to feature Microsoft's Explorer software for browsing the World Wide Web. The Commission said such an investigation "could involve a substantial duplication of effort as well as raise serious concerns about fairness to the targets and potential witnesses." (New York Times 30 Jul 97) SUPER-SPEEDY WEB GRAPHICS A new technology called Rush promises to reduce the size of digital images and graphics by 85% to 95%, enabling the data to zoom over the Internet at Mach speeds. Rush, developed by RMX Technologies Inc. of Ottawa, Ont., uses a special software language to process bulky images into slim streams of code containing all the details for reconstructing the original. On the receiving end, special plug-in modules for Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer instantly reverse the process. (Business Week 4 Aug 97) YAHOO!, VISA BROADEN E-COMMERCE PARTNERSHIP Yahoo! Inc. and Visa International have restructured an existing partnership, making Visa a shareholder in the fast-growing Internet search service. The two companies plan to set up a comprehensive Web shopping guide with listings for some 100,000 merchants, along with a co-branded credit card that will be aimed specifically at Net users. In addition, Visa will be designated the credit card of choice on Yahoo!, and will expand its advertising throughout Yahoo!'s sites. (Wall Street Journal 30 Jul 97) CIVIL LIBERTARIANS ALARMED BY LIBRARY'S NEW INTERNET POLICY Civil libertarians are concerned about a new policy adopted by the Loudoun County (Va.) Library Board requiring that Net surfers younger than 17 who want unfiltered access to the Internet must have a parent or guardian present and that adults who want access to all Internet sites must request it from a library employee. An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union says she is "alarmed by the fact that adults would have to make a special request for information that is constitutionally protected." (Washington Post 31 Jul 97) INTERNET CALL MANAGER The Internet Call Manager, developed by Canadian firm InfoInterActive Inc., enables users to field incoming hone calls at the same time they're connected to the Internet, all on a single telephone line. If a user is online and a call comes in, a caller ID window pops up on the computer screen indicating who's on the line. "With Internet Call Manager, you have a number of options. You can click 'answer,' which means disconnecting and picking up the phone. You can acknowledge the call with a message. You can ignore it, or you can redirect it to another number," says InfoInterActive's president. The $5 per month charge is much cheaper than installing a second phone line, he points out. (Chronicle-Herald Mail-Star 30 Jul 97) MOTOROLA AIMS NEW MAC AT POWER USERS Motorola's new Mac clone, the StarMax Pro 6000, runs on the newest PowerPC chip at speeds up to 266 MHz and is targeted at "power hungry" users. The company says the new model is the first system based on CHRP architecture, which accepts a wider range of PC peripherals. Prices start at $3,900. (Investor's Business Daily 31 Jul 97) ENTRUST SKIRTS EXPORT RULES ON ENCRYPTION SOFTWARE Ottawa-based Entrust Technologies has side-stepped controversial export regulations, bringing software to individual and educational computer users that allows them to protect their files and e-mail from prying eyes. Entrust's software, called "Solo," can be downloaded free of charge from the company's Web site and can be used by individuals to encrypt any kind of computer file or message, to compress them, and to authenticate digital signatures. It is part of a controversial class of software, encryption technology that is so effective that many law enforcement agencies want it severely restricted in an effort to prevent criminals from using it as an impenetrable digital shield. Entrust will export Solo from Canada under a section of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that covers packaged or shrink-wrapped software. The company notes the Canadian government has ruled that Solo falls under that GATT section, and it maintains it complies with both Canadian and American restrictions on the export of encryption technology. The report pointed out that because Solo is being exported from Canada, it does not require approval from the United States. <http://www.entrust.com/ > (Toronto Globe & Mail 29 July 97) AMDAHL NOW OWNED BY FUJITSU Fujitsu Ltd. Of Japan, which already owned 42% of the Amdahl Corporation, is paying $850 million to buy the rest of it, though both the Amdahl name and its current management will be maintained. Amdahl has in recent years been transforming itself from a traditional mainframe company to one focused on software and services. (New York Times 31 Jul 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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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 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 Apple/Mac Section Help Wanted STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content In reply to our editorial about the ONGOING Decline of Apple Corp. To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Smith) Subject: Apple Death Spiral, ed #1330 X-UIDL: 09f6c533b0a6443cc81c3ab634c1a61b Would it be possible to keeping STReport's articles more factual, without the hyperbole? The short filler article "New Mac OS Gives Apple New Lease on Life." Was just too much not to comment on. I found the comment "...but it is not enought to pull Apple out of its death spiral." to be gratuitous. The article "New Mac OS: Hit or Hype?" also deserves at least some criticism. The article with it's "less prone to crash" comment implies that the Mac OS is prone to crashing. That is just not so. I have owned computers runing DOS, Atari TOS, Windows and Mac OS. None were or are more stable than my current setup. I have not experienced a crash since the installation of Mac OS 7.6 on Independence Day this year. I know that is less than a month past, but I do not expect the crash free characterisic of my computer to change. You may find the following article interesting: This announcement is from: Frans Susilo, <email@example.com> July 15, 1997, VANCOUVER, BC -- After one and a half months, the Vanhacking Challenge contest has come to an end. On June 1, 1997, the challenge was announced to the global hacker community as an invitation to bypass the security of a Macintosh World Wide Web server. The good news is -- according to contest sponsor VirTech Communications Inc.-- there is no winner! "This proves that Macintosh server is definitely one of the most secure servers on the planet," comments Frans Susilo, VirTech's Director of Operations. Much excitement surrounds the Vanhacking Challenge contest which is part of VirTech's Internet security campaign to make the streets of Cyberspace a safe place to do business. The contest was mentioned by Wired Magazine, MacWorld Sweden, The Boston Globe, The San Jose Mercury News, and twice on the front page of Apple Computer's web site. The site has generated 283,479 hits since its launching on June 1, 1997. Analysis of the site log shows that there have been approximately 127,456 serious crack attempts on the server. The extraordinary extent of the Internet and the interest generated by the contest is evident from the site's domain log: Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, and Zimbabwe, among others. Notable interested visitors have been registered from such influential entities as Apple Computer Inc., Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, PGP Inc., the US Navy, the US Military, and the US government. To share the benefits and findings of the Vanhacking Challenge outcome, VirTech will place a summary of the server preparation, system configuration, and the events logs from the duration of the contest at the Vanhacking site (www.vanhacking.com) by the end of this week. VirTech will soon be transforming the site into a global forum for the discussion of World Wide Web security issues and solutions. At the future site, news about online security will be updated periodically from people all over the world. As well, there will be a helpful section about tips and tricks for securing company networks. VirTech plans to unite the online community in an effort to make electronic security effective and resistant. VirTech will work together with companies worldwide to affirm that the Internet is a secure and dependable place to do business. VirTech Communications Inc. is a privately held Vancouver-based company specializing in developing new media business solutions for corporate clients. VirTech's web site is located at <http://www.virtech-ca.com> Contact info: ATT. VANHACKING CONTEST VirTech Communications Inc. 2043 Quebec Street Vancouver, BC V7S 2A3 Canada (604) 879-3022 <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> General information: <http://www.virtech-ca.com> Vanhacking site: <http://www.vanhacking.com/> I have been an STReport reader for many years. Considering your history with the Atari ST, I am amazed at your negative attitude toward Mac. We all benefit from "techno-diversity" and we all loose when that diversity diminishes. Nice article Joe, now if the rest of STReport would support techno-diversity, we would all benefit. I do disagree about Microsoft's intent. They have repeatedly choosen to market competing 'standards' rather than support existing standards they could not control. The most recent example is the marketing of JDirect instead of supporting '100% Pure Java'. As a request, I would like to see STReport publish an article, stating why the Apple Macintosh is deserving of such negative press. In parting, are you so sure you want your computing experience to be as Bill Gates wants it to be, that you willingly use this medium to discourage others from examining the choices that exist? David, Williamsport, PA. US http://www.williamsport-pa.com/ mail, email@example.com http://www.microserve.net/ using; PowerComputing PB 200, Mac OS 7.6 http://www.powercc.com/ Hewlett Packard 200LX, ROM DOS 5.0 http://www.palmtop.net/ Dave, I certainly appreciate your viewpoint but. (you knew that was coming) when one considers the losses thus far by the bungling, inept, elitist and very highly paid Apple Management most of whom are gone by now with another, I might add, leaving this week. $1.6 BILLION down the "proverbial tubes" ain't HAY! <g> Apple had plenty of "Editorial Advice" and Commentary coming from many different directions including our own editorials well over four years ago. You see, I was coming fresh from the Atari tradgedy, it was rather easy for me to see it coming straight for Apple. Ask Randy Noak about how I felt relative to Apple and its future. Randy heard it all from me. For your benefit I'll let you in on a "little secret.." Apple could pull out of their misery tommorrow if only they'd wake up today and begin to manufacture ultra high quality clones. Clones with muscle power motherboards and super fast performance. To continue down the MOT "68000" trail is only going to lead to a "Killing Cliff" same as the Indians used in deliberately harvesting stampeded Buffalo. I include the following for your reading pleasure... This message was forwarded to you from ZDNet AnchorDesk - http://www.anchordesk.com If you would like to receive further high-tech news alerts, simply forward this message to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will automatically receive a free sample. Berst Alert Jesse Berst, Editorial Director ZDNet AnchorDesk Monday, July 28, 1997 Regular AnchorDesk readers know I've warned for a long time that Apple was headed for trouble. Recent events have borne out my predictions. But some of you say I'm part of the problem, for spotlighting problems without offering solutions. In response to your suggestions, I propose we put our heads together to bail out Apple. Here's the plan. The industry sorely needs a robust alternative to the Wintel monopoly. (Even if you use Windows, you want Microsoft to stay on its toes, right?) Thanks to the Internet, we have the technology to reach agreement on what needs to be done (see the Save-the-Mac link in the sidebar). Once we reach consensus, I'll take your message to Cupertino. First we need to determine what that message should be. I've compiled five possible strategies. Go to our Save-the-Mac page and choose which message you want delivered to Apple HQ. Use the comment box for additional suggestions. Sell the company to a strong partner. A number of names have been suggested -- Sun Microsystems, Oracle, even Microsoft (see the Inter@ctive Week column linked in the sidebar for more on that). Hire a marketing whiz. Many of you argue that Apple's technology has suffered at the hands of inept marketers. If you choose this option, it means you want the board to hire a CEO with experience in the customer- driven marketing wars. Fund the Next Big Idea. This is a Dave Winer recommendation I mentioned previously (see link in sidebar). Apple would direct its energies to funding innovative startups and trying to cash in on the Next Big Idea. Focus on hardware. Get rid of the software and focus on computers for consumers and graphics specialists. Produce fewer models but pack them with options; go direct to consumers over the Net and build-to-order the way Dell and Gateway do in the Wintel market. Focus on software. Specialize in building great operating systems and extensions; let someone else manufacture the low-margin hardware. Additional suggestions. If you think there's a better way to save Apple than the options listed above, click here and use the comment box to forward your suggestion. To vote, just click the Save-the-Mac link above. To send me a personal message about this matter, click the Post TalkBack link below. I'll post the best responses right below this story. And if you'd like to discuss this issue with other AnchorDesk readers, join Jesse's Berst Alerts forum. I'm waiting for your votes and your suggestions. Once you've made it clear what you want Apple to do next, I'll take your message to the executives and report their response to you. To continue. Granted, Berst may possibly be capitalizing on Apple's misery. Regardless HE like many others, myself included, are telling the truth. The fact remains that "where there is smoke there is fire." At Apple its already a four alarmer! Apple is, once again, being guided by Steve Jobs. I hope he has the visionary abilities and willful strength to realize it's the not same as when he was there before and that he must pull some pretty fancy rabbits out of the hat. Now Dave, if this upsets you its time for you to take three steps back and calm down. This sort of thing happens all the time in the computing world. Can you say Osborne? Or, Wang? Just for openers. The bottom line is really quite simple. The truth is, Apple is losing it and if something isn't done forthwith they'll soon be part of history and not part of the contemporary computing scene. Thanks for reading STReport and especially for writing. One thing io certain there's always sumthin' happenin' in the world of `Putes. <g> Ralph. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com CalComp UltraSlate 6x9 Graphics Tablet http://www.calcomp.com (800)932-1212 Suggested Retail $340 - $670 Review by Donna Lines I received a CalComp UltraSlate (PC version) for review. This is a Plug N Play 6" by 9" active area graphics tablet with overlay. The unit itself measures 11" x 12" and weighs only 1.7 pounds. Bundled software includes Fractal Design's DabblerT or Live Picture's Live Pix SET. The package contains everything you need to get started: tablet; battery-less, pressure-sensitive pen; adapter cable; CD-ROM software & on-line manual; and interchangeable logo strips. The test system - a Pentium Pro 200 running Windows 95 -- had difficulty detecting the new hardware. The PC version uses a free serial port (com port) and also connects through your keyboard port. After 5 attempts to install the unit, the PC finally recognized it. This may have been due, in part, to the Plug `n Play modem on the test system not being assigned a specific com port. The unit shipped with version 4.0 of the drivers. Technical Support sent the 4.2 version of the drivers and a new pen during testing due to some erratica I experienced with the tablet. Both versions of the drivers were stable. Features of the tablet include a cordless, battery-less pen. Two programmable side buttons let you assign commands, i.e., left click, right click, eraser, etc. The pen can be detected up to .4 inches above the surface of the tablet. This allows you to trace materials placed on the tablet or under the overlay. The power light on the tablet goes out when the pen is in range of the tablet surface. When the pen is out of range, the light goes on. This is the opposite of some of the other CalComp tablets, such as the DrawingSlate. The pen features "fumble free" erasing. You assign a button for the eraser and -- when you're using software that supports this feature -- you simply click the button to begin erasing with the tip of the pen. This worked well in CorelDRAW, Corel Photo-PaintT, and Meta Creations/Fractal Design PainterT. The pen supports up to 512 levels of pressure, and has a resolution of up to 2,540 lines per inch. The UltraSlate provides on-screen pop-up hot keys like a tool box so you will never have to look down at the tablet. Because the hot keys are programmable, you can customize the tablet to fit your needs. Just program in your most used commands, then click the hot key button and select the on- screen hot key to execute the command. The hot keys were very easy to program. However, I found the button for the hot key to be a little touchy. You have to have perfect timing to get it right on the first try. The hot key tool box rarely opened on the first click. Unfortunately, unlike the mouse, you cannot customize the click speed on the UltraSlate pen buttons. Hopefully, this will be a feature that CalComp will incorporate in the future. There are many user-customizable settings in the CalComp Tablet Control Panel. You can set the pen pressure, or even use the mapping feature to utilize the entire active tablet area in relation to the screen size or map out only a small section to reflect the available on-screen drawing area. You can even rotate the tablet in 90' increments to accommodate your drawing style. CalComp offers toll free telephone support and assistance at their web site. They offer additional support via a fax back service and through their BBS. I found the Technical Support personnel to be very knowledgeable about the product and very helpful. I found the tablet easy to balance on my lap and easy to use. However, it is rather easy to accidentally hit a side button while you are drawing. Overall, I would recommend the tablet. A graphics tablet is an absolute must have if you are using a paint or graphics program. Not only does it give you greater control, but it is ergonomically better suited for your hand than even the best designed mouse. Once you try an UltraSlate, you won't want to live without it. System Requirements: IBM PC AT, PS/2 or compatible 8 MB RAM serial and keyboard port Microsoft Windows (3.1, NT 3.51 or 95) CD-ROM Drive 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. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. z Most of all.. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF New Times Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Pelican Hill Now Available For Links Pro CD & Mac Versions of Links! With the Launch of Pelican Hill, Access Software Now Offers 24 Courses For Play With Links LS! Once you're at the tee on The Ocean Course at Pelican Hill Golf Club, you'll easily see why this seaside golfing paradise was named "The Best New Resort Course" by Golf Digest in January 1993. Carved into the canyons and bluffs north of Crystal Cove in Newport Coast, CA, this Tom Fazio designed course features the Pacific as a backdrop on every hole. Access Software has rendered the software version of Pelican Hill to be accurate to within inches of every tree and shrub. This Links Championship Course is the product of months of research, topographical mapping, aerial photography and digitized rendering. Although its $175 green fees would discourage many, Pelican Hill has played close to capacity since the first day it opened on November 16, 1991. From Bermuda fairways lined by eucalyptus and pine trees, to dramatic canyon-crossing tee shots, The Ocean Course at Pelican Hill is 6,634 yards of golfing splendor. Two of Pelican Hill's more memorable holes are the 16th and 18th, the latter being a quintessential finishing hole with the tee box chiseled into the canyon wall. It requires a 1 75-yard first drive over a chasm to make the fairway and then the dogleg right forces golfers to hit back over the winding canyon. The 16th hole looks like the last golf hole on the edge of the earth--across a canyon on the point of a knoll sits a lone Toyon tree with the flag silhouetted by the ocean. The lonely beauty of the l 6th hole is one of the most memorable images in golf. Access Software Inc. is currently in its sixteenth year producing the highest quality entertainment software possible. 4750 WILEY POST WAY, BUILDING 1 SUITE 200, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84116 z (801359-2900 z WATTS (800) . 800-4880 z FAX (801)359-2968 Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" This has been a really slow week, both personally and editorially and content-wise for this issue. Well, not so much personally, I guess. The packing is on-going for the pending move to the new house. It's almost become a ritual as I've moved a number of times over the years, starting when I was in college some twenty-odd years ago. Atari-wise, things are happening for me which are supplementing my current support for Atari users. In addition to my activity with my Atari BBS and STReport, today marks my debut as Forum Manager in the Atari forum on the Delphi online service. Long-time Atari-supporter and Forum Manager, Clay Walnum has decided he needs to devote more time to other activities and couldn't maintain the online activity and support that he felt that it deserved. Since I'm already an active member on Delphi already, I felt that the extra responsibilities wouldn't be over-burdensome for me. I try to help out as much as I can now - hey, we're Atari users and always look out for each other! It's not something really new for me. So, it should be fun. Which leads me to something that most people are aware, but perhaps not as conscious of as they once were: online services. Sure, the Internet is the current buzzword these days. And for good reason. The Internet has a lot to offer; and for a monthly fee, people can log on to almost anywhere on the Web. But, it's my opinion that the Internet lacks something that and online service, or BBS, can provide - personal interactions. We need places like Delphi, CompuServe, and Genie. Historically, they have been a huge meeting place for Atari users to meet, discuss, learn, and download. I look at the Internet as something Atari users have to supplement our online activity - not replace it. And for those of you who do like the Internet, the online services have those capabilities to add to your online experiences. If you've never experienced an online service or BBS - you should at least try it. If you've done it but have moved on for one reason or another, you might want to reconsider it again. There's nothing like it. Those of you who are trying to read between the lines and think that all I'm doing is trying to promote Delphi - forget about it. I'm an avid member of both CompuServe and Delphi (I dropped GEnie). I have many friends on each system; and in some instances, in both. Will I be promoting Delphi? You betcha. Will I still recommend CompuServe? Right again. It's not the service, but the activity that keeps me positive. Bulletin boards and the online services have been what has kept me going all these years. Without them, my Atari experience would likely have rapidly diminished. It would not have been the same without them. Where could I go if they weren't around? An Atari dealer? They were rare in Atari's heyday, much less today. Think about it. I did some introspection when asked to take over for Clay. It's my online experience, coupled with what I already do within the Atari community that made me realize [again] just how important the online experience has been for me and many like me, and continues to be. What I'm suggesting is there's an ongoing alternative/supplement to the Internet. If you like the Internet, you'll really enjoy a service such as CompuServe or Delphi (and others). Until next time... Gaming Section "Enemy Zero" Midway Distribution Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Luscious Jackson Joins Sega to Create the Sci-Fi Video Game "Enemy Zero" Luscious Jackson lead singer Jill Cunniff comes together with Sega(R) of America to create the highly anticipated video game/interactive movie, "Enemy Zero(TM)," as she records the voice for the strong-willed lead character, Laura Lewis. Coming to the Sega Saturn(TM) and PC this November, "Enemy Zero" is an alien adventure game that requires players to rely on all their senses to kill a deadly attacker they cannot see. Crystal Dynamics Forms Distribution Partnership With Midway Midway to Handle U.S. Distribution of Crystal Dynamics Premium Titles: GEX: Enter the Gecko and Pandemonium 2; Midway Also Committed to Bringing GEX to Nintendo 64 MENLO PARK, Calif., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Crystal Dynamics, a leading Sony PlayStation and PC CD-ROM game publisher, today announced that gaming veteran Midway will distribute two of its most highly anticipated action games in the U.S. -- GEX: Enter the Gecko and Pandemonium 2. Under the agreement, Midway has secured the exclusive U.S. distribution rights to both Crystal Dynamics titles for the Sony PlayStation and PC. The company will release the PlayStation versions of both titles in 1997 with PC versions following shortly thereafter. In addition, Midway has also committed to bringing GEX: Enter the Gecko to the Nintendo 64 with new and exclusive levels and features. "GEX: Enter the Gecko is one of the hottest properties on the gaming horizon today. It pushes the PlayStation to limits that were cited as unattainable just a few months ago and thus is ideally positioned to smoothly move to the Nintendo 64," said Rob Dyer, president of Crystal Dynamics. "Our stellar titles, combined with Midway's expertise and industry credibility, will ensure that we have a major impact on this year's holiday season." The relationship with Midway continues Crystal Dynamics' commitment to its entertainment studio model. This model allows the company to focus its resources on what it does best: design and market original gaming software. This frees the company from the costly burden of product distribution by securing strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Midway to distribute its Crystal-branded entertainment software titles. "Both titles fill a very important niche for us and perfectly complement our existing product lineup. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be working with Crystal Dynamics," said Byron Cook, president of Midway Home Entertainment. As sequels to popular titles that originally appeared on the PlayStation, GEX: Enter the Gecko and Pandemonium 2 are both character-based action games that utilize the latest in 3D gaming technology including entirely free-roaming gameplay, dynamic backgrounds and environments. Pandemonium 2 will be available in October, and GEX: Enter the Gecko will be available for the holidays. Out of Sight! Atari Celebrates 25 Years! By Donald A. Thomas, Jr. 1997 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Those who know me, know my undying commitment to remember how much fun I had with Atari products throughout the early years of the industry's evolution. Atari was once one of the most popular tradenames in the world. It ranked almost as high as Coca-Cola in brand name recognition and household members either read about it, spoke about it or played an Atari product virtually every day of their lives. Aside from the pure entertainment value that Atari provided over the years, Atari has influenced the industry in ways that most of us will never fathom. Apple Computer was born of Atari employees and the first Apple system ever manufactured is said to have been of parts "borrowed" from Atari engineering labs. Today, Apple Computer suffers from many of the same symptoms that Atari experienced prior to its unceremonious passing not long ago. After all these years, even Steve Jobs is wisely backing away from an "opportunity" at the helm. Apple might be wise to call on ex-Atari executives to advise them what not to do. SC&T, a formidable maker of video game driving controllers was founded by an ex-Atari employee and so was Activision. Ex-Atari people work at 3Com, AverMedia, Capcom, Creative Labs, Electronic Arts, Intel, JTS Corporation, Midway, NetManage, Photronics, Piiceon, Playnet, Reality Quest, Sega of America, Silicon Gaming, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sun Microsystems, Super Dimension, Tecnomatix Technologies, U.S. Robotics, . . . virtually every imaginable Silicon Valley technology company in existence. In each case, their experiences from Atari help shape what they do in their present jobs and they will affect the way we enjoy tomorrow's technology. Those like me that remember Atari so fondly clearly recall "Pong", but many of us will remember different forms of the game. The Silicon Valley remembers a coin-operated stand-up system that had electronics affixed to an oversized electronics board and played through an off-the-shelf black- and-white Zenith television. Much of the country may remember a dedicated home-based console with two integrated paddles and several modes for one or two players. But what assuredly everyone over 18 remembers is the Atari Video Computer System (VCS aka 2600) and the elaborate forms of "Pong" it could play in color. And soon forthcoming was "Air/Sea Battle", "Breakout", "Combat", "Outlaw", "Slot Racer", "Super Breakout", "Surround", "Video Olympics" and many other innovative titles that exploited the pixel in every 2k way possible. On Tuesday, June 27, 1972, Atari was incorporated. Although Atari had roots that traced back more than a year prior, this is the date that many people recognize was the formal birth date. . . making Atari 25 years old in the year 1997. On Friday, July 12, 1996, Atari Corporation was informed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that their intentions to merge with Jugi Tandon Storage, Inc. (JTS) was approved pending the formality of a Shareholder's vote. On Tuesday, July 30, Atari Corporation hosted a special meeting of stockholders in the offices of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. in Palo Alto, California. The meeting was said to have taken about four to six minutes. With an outcome of approximately 42 million votes in favor and about 11,000 against, the stockholders ratified the decision to merge. Trading of ATC shares were halted at the end of the day. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Sam Tramiel arranged to pick up the severance checks for himself and his siblings. Mr. Jack Tramiel, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atari Corporation, remained to assist with a smooth transition with the handful of surviving Atari personnel. Essentially, July 30 was the final day Atari existed as an entity of its own. A handful of ex-Atari employees, who had remained faithful in a hope that someone or something would hear a heartbeat and jolt it back to life, accepted no new checks with an Atari logo. JTS stepped in, delegated any remaining liabilities and reassigned the staff to the task of selling hard disk drives. On Monday, July 28, a friend of mine sent to my attention the following notice: ATARI ALUMNI REUNION Wednesday, August 13, 6-9 PM San Jose Live! 150 South First Street, San Jose (408-294-5483) z 25 years ago, in June of 1972, Atari was born! z Come join Atarians from all the ages as we celebrate 25 years of innovation, technology, and countless memories. z Come play Pong (1972) and San Francisco Rush (1997) and see what 25 years of technology hath wrought. SPREAD THE WORD! All current and former Atari employees are welcome! z Bring old photos and memorabilla - come swap lies with some of the best! z Open Bar from 6 to 8 PM z Video Games. Video Games. Video Games. z Spotlight Event: High Stakes cash prize Video Game contest starring former Atari executives. z Please RSVP by phone, fax or E-mail to: Karen (Graham) Jefferson 408-434-3738 408-434-3910 (fax) email@example.com Deborah Geyer 408-473-9427 408-473-9488 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org COME CELEBRATE ATARI'S 25th ANNIVERSARY The notice clearly states that the event on August 13 is open to "all current and former Atari employees". The festivities will banner Atari's 25th Anniversary and historic being. I have a copy of the original flyer and I noticed some interesting things: z The word "Atari" (or a derivative) appears 6 times. z There are 25 lines of type on the actual announcement. z The expression "Video Game" is found 4 times. z The term "25 years" or "25th anniversary" appears 4 times. z Both RSVP e-mail addresses end in @agames.com "@agames"? Atari Games? Hmmm. I don't know much about San Jose Live! or how big the establishment is, but could this event be intended for just Atari Games? Flashback to the "wee hours" of Monday, July 2, 1984, when Tramel Technology, Ltd. (Mr. Jack Tramiel) acquired the assets of Atari from Warner Communications by promising $240 million in long-term notes and a 32% interest in the home-computer and home-game divisions. The resulting deal specified that Warner communications retain the arcade game and telecommunications (AtariTel) divisions of Atari. The deal with the Tramiels was initiated by Warner with a phone call to Mr. Garry Tramiel who was working as a broker at Merill-Lynch in Sunnyvale. Since that time in 1984, Atari Coin-op and Atari Home Consumer Products were more than separate divisions, they were entirely separate companies, but the deal that Jack made with Warner saved both companies and Atari survived as two companies for over a decade more. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what they will be celebrating at San Jose Live! On Wednesday, August 13, but it definitely is not an Atari Alumni Reunion. When I spoke to Karen to RSVP, she pointed out that this was only for the coin-op company which is currently owned by Williams and still calls itself Atari Games. Interesting, the terms "Atari Games", "Coin-Op" and "Consumer Products Atari not invited" appear no where on the invitation. How does that phrase go? . . . Out of sight, out of mind? ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors! I really hate to show off but, guess what I'm getting! An Atari TT! Yep, that's right. All that can be called the state of the art in the computer world... and only seven or eight years late. <grin> The fact is that, when Atari decided to clear out their warehouse a few years ago, I tried to purchase one of the TTs they had left. I was too late unfortunately, and had to content myself with the thought that someone who _had_ "made the cut" would end up selling theirs. And that's exactly what happened. Now I know that some of you are saying "Hey, I thought that Joe said he'd get a PC when he finally got another computer!", and you're right. But when this chance came up, I saw that it was just too good a deal to walk away from. The fact is that I will end up getting a PC one of these days, but... not today! <grin> Of course the transition from Mega STe to TT is going to be almost as traumatic as if I had gone from the Mega to a PC, but when all is said and done, I'll still have my favorite desktop and most of my favorite programs to use. I've tried doing some of the things I do with my Mega STe (like capturing info for, and actually compiling this column) with a PC, up to and including a 200 MHz Pentium, and can honestly say that TOS makes it much easier. I've been called a fanatic and told that I'm anti-progress. This simply isn't true. I've very pro-progress (Con- gress is the opposite of progress <grin>). I just don't consider spending ten times the money to do half as much progress. When you factor in all the new software I'd have to buy, the time I'd have to spend learning to work around problems, and the fact that a new PC would probably become useless to me much faster than the TT will, it seems that I made a pretty good choice... At least for now. Well, let's take a look at all the news, hints, tips, and info available every week here on CompuServe. From the Atari Computing Forum Since cruising the internet's web pages, ftp sites, and newsgroups has become so popular I've heard many people complain about getting into the Atari Archives at The University of Michigan's FTP (File transfer Protocol) site. Rick Detlefsen posts: "I have found that if I can't get into atari.archive.umich.edu, I don't have a problem getting into amiga.archive.umich.edu, then using cd to change to the atari dir." Sysop Bob Retelle tells Rick: "Heh.... that's a good trick, Rick... using the Amiga "backdoor" to get into the Atari archives. I'll have to remember that..!" Me too! That's an ingenious idea. Just the kind of thing an Atari user would come up with. See that? That's the difference between an Atari user and a PC user right there! While the Atari user finds a way around the problem, a PC user would whine and cry like a baby girl (my apologies to all the baby girls out there) about the problem and tell anyone who would listen that this is just not right... that they are _entitled_ to be able to do whatever they want to do just because they want to do it. Score one for the good guys. Meanwhile, on the subject of my problems with getting ICDs boot utilities to work with MagiC, Michel Tavir tells me: "We're using SCSITOOLS and HUSHI both on our ST and our Falcon, we don't have any problems with them, and our Atari man here says it's much better than ICD or HDX. Actually after trying to re-partition the Falcon's IDE hard disk with HDX that was on it (we'd bought it second hand), we ended up with a C-drive which couldn't boot any more, and nobody knows how to fix this! To boot our Falcon, now, it has to read the HUSHI.SYS file from a floppy or from a second hard disk which is on the SCSI chain. Oh, yes, and Magic is booting fine from the Falcon! BUT... I think I remember also experiencing your problem (not passing the second boot-up at some other time - maybe when the set-up of the MAGIC.INF file didn't fit to the computer being used (someone had to tell us to give a certain value to a variable _ the FLG maybe? , a value which was specific to the Falcon and didn't appear in Magic's documentation. If this might be the case, I'll try to research into it if you want to." I tell Michel: "I would appreciate any information that _anyone_ can give! I'm now using HDDriver, and it does allow me to boot MagiC, but it will NOT allow proper use of my Insite FLOPtical. Any disks in that drive must first be formatted using an AHDI-compatable scheme. This greatly reduces the usefullness of the drive, since I routinely use it for reading Atari/PC formatted 1.44 Meg disks. I've looked at the MAGIC.INF file and found nothing that might be causing the problem with the ICD software. Of course, there might be a variable that is _not_ in the INF file that should be. In that case, I wouldn't notice that it wasn't there." Michel tells me: "Sorry, I just don't know at this point: not familiar with that set-up. As said, try maybe SCSICTRL instead?" Joris Vincken posts this: "Copying files from Atari to PC. I use Cubase on a Atari Falcon,and write CD's on my pentium,so I have to transfer big files all the time(up to 600mb).I use a 1 gig hard drive wich I swap from my PC to my Falcon.I formatted it with win95. On the Falcon I use 'big Dos', a program wich let's you read up to 2 gigabyte DOS partitions.This works perfect.The only thing is that you need a SCSI card on your PC,and on your Atari(if you don t have a Falcon). But SCSI is the best thing to go on a PC anyway if you're doing audio." Well folks, I know that the column is a bit short this week but, like me, many folks are on vacation and not posting in the forum much, so we'll just end it here and say goodnight. Be sure to tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers 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" August 01, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1331
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