ST Report: 24-Oct-97 #1342From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 24-Oct-97 #1342 Date: Mon Oct 27 08:40:19 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) October 24, 1997 No.1342 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 1-978-670-5896 10/24/97 STR 1342 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Intel Sued Again - Gov.'s NIX Tax Ban - Win98 in Trouble? - AOL's Email Suit - Linux Forum - Live, Educom97 - E-Checking Now - IBM; Job Buy-Outs - SUN wants $35m! - People Talking - Classics & Gaming DOJ Tilting at Windmills - Again! Compaq at Center of MSIE Probe Taxing the Net 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: 10/18/97: one of six numbers >From the Editor's Desk... Whaddaya know! Old. Janet (Waco & Ruby Ridge) Reno is at it again. Persecuting Microsoft. This time though, I'm willing to bet she's throwing up a monstrous smoke screen to hide her "pussyfooting" around the Slick Willie Campaign $$BUX$$ issues and the abysmal failure of the Justice Department to put a stop to the runaway Drug Problems this nation is suffering from. Yes sir, the DOJ is a master a diversion. Imagine that. and its not even election time yet. Elsewhere is this issue, we cover the matter with an opinion of our own. 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 Randy Noak 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 Correspondent Staff 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 Europe Probes Microsoft Practice A complaint about Microsoft Corp.'s licensing practices reportedly is being probed by the European Commission, mirroring actions by U.S. antitrust authorities From Brussels, Amelia Torres of the Reuter News Service quotes European Union sources as saying the EU will organize a hearing before the end of 1997. Adds Torres, "The news come only a week after the European Union's executive forced Digital Equipment Corp. ... to change its supply and pricing of software and hardware maintenance services." However, says one of the sources, this is not "a frontal attack against Microsoft." The source says that as in the case of Digital the probe could come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Reuters says the Commission sent a so-called statement of objections to Microsoft less than six months ago after it received a complaint about the licensing practices of the U.S. software company, said the EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. They declined to identify the complaining party. The wire service says the investigation also concerns discounts granted by Microsoft to certain companies that might complicate competitors' life. Reuters says Microsoft already has replied to the EU's objections and a closed-door hearing will be organized as part of the procedure into alleged restrictive practices and abuse of dominant positions, the sources said. Feds Crack Down on Microsoft IE The U.S. Justice Department says it believes Microsoft Corp. violates a 1995 court order by requiring computer manufacturers to license and distribute its Internet Explorer web browser as a condition of licensing Windows 95. Federal authorities today asked a federal court today to hold the computer software giant in contempt of the court order the government obtained to bar the company from anticompetitive licensing practices and seeks a $1 million a day fine. Attorney General Janet Reno told reporters, "Microsoft is unlawfully taking advantage of its Windows monopoly to protect and extend that monopoly." Associated Press writer Michael J. Sniffen says the announcement had an immediate impact on Wall Street, with Microsoft's stock, which had gained as much as $3 earlier in the day, down $2.25 to $130 by early afternoon on the Nasdaq stock market. Meanwhile, shares of rival Netscape surged more than $6 -- or 18 percent -- to $41.12. Meanwhile, Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray told Sniffen the Justice Department action is "unfortunate and misguided," adding, "The facts will show that Microsoft is in full compliance with the consent decree" governing the dispute. He said the decree "specifically allows Microsoft to integrate new features into the operating system. That's what consumers want and that's how the software industry has operated for years." But Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, head of the antitrust division, told reporters Microsoft's action was designed to undermine the dominant market position of Netscape. Web browsers are important, he said, because they "could erode Microsoft's operating system monopoly" in the Windows operating system and "this kind of product forcing is an abuse of monopoly power and we seek to put an end to it." Klein said the Justice Department still is investigating other practices by Microsoft but declined to give details. AP says federal authorities object to Microsoft's requirement that computer manufacturers who want to license the Windows 95 operating system also license its internet browser, known as Internet Explorer. Most personal computer makers install Windows 95 at the factory. "These are two different products," Klein said, and they should be sold as two separate products and denied the government is taking sides in the battle for market share between Microsoft and Netscape, whose browser is known as Navigator. "Each of Microsoft's products should compete on its own merits," he said. "Anyone can give away a browser, but no one can force it onto a computer desktop unless you have monopoly power," Klein said. Antitrust law does not bar monopolies achieved by a company's talent and ingenuity, but does prevent abuse of that monopoly. "When you use that power to snuff out a new entrant, that's what's prohibited," he said. Besides a fine of $1 million a day, the department asked the U.S. District Court here to: z Require Microsoft to notify consumers who own personal computers with Windows 95 that they are not required to use Internet Explorer and to give them instructions on how to remove the visual Internet Explorer icon from their computer desktop if they choose. z Strike down parts of Microsoft agreements with customers that the government said could be used to withhold vital information. Compaq at Center of Microsoft Probe Compaq Computer Corp. has supplied federal investigators with documents alleging Microsoft Corp. threatened to withhold its Windows 95 software from PC makers if they did not include a link to its Web software on the main display of their computers. The Houston computer maker had a plan to make it easier for buyers to use Netscape Navigator to explore the Internet instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but, says Associated Press writer Cassandra Burrell, "had a change of heart when Microsoft threatened to deny its ultra-popular Windows 95 computer operating system." Burrell says Compaq had an established relationship with Netscape Navigator's manufacturer, Netscape Communications Inc., and had removed the icon of Internet Explorer from the computer "desktop" screen that confronts users when they turn on their computers. But, according to court documents, "Microsoft Corp. moved aggressively to stop that in May 1996," says AP. "The Justice Department is citing details of that incident to support its allegations that Microsoft is using its powerful position in the software market to muscle customers into using its browser." As reported earlier, the Justice Department says it believes Microsoft violates a 1995 court order by requiring computer manufacturers to license and distribute its Internet Explorer web browser as a condition of licensing Windows 95. On the Compaq case, Burrell says Stephen Decker, Compaq's director of software procurement, has told Justice Department lawyers that after seeing Compaq had removed Internet Explorer's icon from computer desktops, Microsoft threatened to revoke the company's license to copy and distribute Windows 95. In an Oct. 17 deposition, Decker said that since Windows 95 is pre-installed on all of the Compaq computers sold to consumers, Compaq had a problem, adding, "When they found out about it, they sent a letter to us telling us that, you know, they would terminate our agreement for doing so." Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to maintain it simply is enforcing the terms of its licensing agreement and promoting consistency. Microsoft spokesman Greg Shaw told the wire service, "Internet Explorer, which is the Web browser that's part of Windows 95, is part of the functionality of Windows 95, so when we license Windows 95 to PC manufacturers, part of the license of that operating system is the requirement that all of the functionality of Windows 95 be provided to customers. Customers really expect that Internet Explorer is part of Windows when they go to buy a PC." AP says Decker's sworn interview is among more than 250 pages of documents filed in U.S. District court in Washington as exhibits. They included a follow-up letter in which Microsoft said it would back off its threat if Compaq restored the Internet Explorer icon within 60 days. In the same package of data is information that computer maker Micron Electronics Inc. also ran into trouble with Microsoft in 1996 after entering into an agreement with SpryNet, an Internet service provider that planned to offer its customers a choice of using Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. "Micron considered removing Internet Explorer from the package of software pre-installed on its computers," Burrell reports, but "dropped that idea after Microsoft said no." Eric Browning, Micron's department manager for product enhancement, said in an Oct. 14 deposition, "The Microsoft representative informed me that deleting the icons would not be allowed." Gov't Move Puts Win98 in Doubt Yesterday's Department of Justice action against Microsoft Corp. and its Internet Explorer 4.0 bundling practices throw into question a planned update to Windows 95 that was to integrate the browser. According to trade journal Computer Reseller News, the software giant is planning a stopgap measure prior to the arrival of Windows 98. The publication reports that Microsoft will ship a new version of Windows 95 -- tentatively called "OSR 2.5" -- to computer manufacturers within the next few months. The release will consist of the most recent version of Windows 95 and updated software from America Online, CompuServe, AT&T and The Microsoft Network; as well as the Internet Explorer 4.0 desktop code, sources told the publication. One official with a major original equipment manufacturer (OEM), who requested anonymity, told Computer Reseller News he didn't see why Microsoft needed the update. "Users are already downloading IE 4.0 and installing it themselves," he said. "Why do they need us to provide (IE 4.0) to them?" Yet another OEM, also requesting anonymity, said, "We hear we're supposed to get the (OSR 2.5) code in mid-December. After that, because of our OEM agreements with Microsoft, we have 60 to 90 days to make it available." Governors Oppose Net Tax Ban A federal bill aimed at restricting new taxes on the Internet would worsen financial problems for the states and cities, the nation's governors and local officials are saying. The National Governors' Association estimates states lose $4 billion in sales taxes annually from mail-order catalog sales, says tax writer Rob Wells of The Associated Press. "That's because states, cities and counties generally lack the authority to capture sales taxes on such sales if the catalog business is headquartered out of state," Wells notes, adding, "That problem could only intensify based on the projected growth of electronic commerce." One study projects $1.5 trillion in sales on the Internet by 2002. Joining in opposing the Internet tax bill are leaders from the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors. As reported, Rep. Chris Cox, R-California, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, have sponsored similar bills that would bar any new taxes on computer transactions -- such as taxes on Internet access or online services -- for an unspecified time while Congress studies the whole issue. The measure would exceptions to the moratorium for: z Income earned through an Internet service. z Local business license taxes, if the Internet provider is located within the appropriate jurisdiction. z Sales or use taxes, so long as they are the same as charged for mail or telephone orders. Opponent Brian J. O'Neill, a Philadelphia city councilman, representing the National League of Cities, contends the technical language of the bill contains a broad pre-emption of state and local taxes. Wyden spokesman David Seldin strongly disagrees, though, saying, "We have bent over backwards to clarify language of the bill so there can be no questions" that local governments retain authority to levy the same taxes on the Internet that are assessed on catalog sales. Seldin says the bill seeks to halt new local taxes aimed specifically at Internet businesses. French Enter Encryption Fight The world business community and the European Commission are alarmed by a proposed French law ensuring government access to corporate electronic communications. Reporter Jennifer L. Schenker notes this morning in The Wall Street Journal that France is presenting the law as a liberalization of its current policy. Currently, France "is the only Western country that bans any domestic use of cryptography-technology that encodes data for protection against prying eyes," Schenker writes, adding the country also places strict controls on the export of encryption tools, a restriction imposed by certain other countries, including the U.S. The new rules, submitted to the European Commission last week, would: z Allow businesses operating in France to encode their corporate secrets. z But also require that keys to unlock the code be given to a French government-approved entity in which the majority of the capital or votes is retained by French nationals. z And require companies selling products with embedded encryption software in France to reveal the source code. Objections have been raised by Microsoft Corp., Netscape Communications Corp. and the Business Software Association, which represents major international software publishers and high-tech companies, including Novell Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Apple Computer Inc. and Lotus, a unit of IBM. Look for the BSA's European chapter to release a statement supporting the European Commission's decision earlier this month to reject the key-recovery approach to encryption, which is championed by both the U.S. and France. Cyber Promotions Loses Web Site Junk e-mail specialist Cyber Promotions Inc. has been disconnected from the World Wide Web site it leased from Apex Global Internet Services. However, CP President Sanford Wallace says of the AGIS action, "The anti-spammers have not won this war. They have just made it more difficult for themselves as we will now send mail from different sources." Speaking from his Philadelphia offices with Patrick McKenna of Newsbytes, Wallace added, "We have been disconnected, but we have other means to continue mailings. It is going to be hard to keep us from sending mail. We are looking into getting our Web site up, but this does not mean we are out of business." As reported, AGIS lawyers earlier sought to disconnect Cyber Promotions -- which boasts of sending up to 4 million unsolicited email messages a day -- but federal Judge Anita Brody ruled the company had to fulfill an obligation of 30 days' notice. "With the notification period ended," says McKenna, " http://www.cyberpromo.com is no longer accessible as a Web site." Noting his legal battles with CompuServe, America Online, Earthlink, BigFoot and others, Wallace said, "We want the same free speech rights as any commercial advertiser." Court Weighs 'Annoying' E-Mail Legality of a Communications Decency Act provision that forbids the electronic transfer of obscene, indecent or lewd messages will be addressed by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. United Press International the three-judge panel is set to hear from lawyers representing the World Wide Web site known as annoy.com, who will blast the provision that makes it a felony to communicate anything "indecent" online "with intent to annoy" another person. UPI says the suit was brought by Clinton Fein, owner of a San Francisco company called ApolloMedia, which operates annoy.com. "Fein's web site," says the wire service, "makes it possible for visitors to annoy President Clinton, Sen. Jesse Helms and other public figures by sending them e-mail and blunt electronic 'postcards' on controversial subjects." As reported, violations of the Act could result in a two-year prison sentence and $100,000 fine. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Act intended to restrict access to pornography on the Internet, but the section related to annoying people was not part of that case. UPI says the section makes it illegal to electronically transmit any "comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person." Fein says he is not challenging the language in the law making it illegal to harass, abuse or threaten someone else. AOL Sues Firm Over E-Mail Citing repeated unsolicited bulk e-mail to its members, despite repeated requests to refrain, America Online has brought federal suit against Over the Air Equipment Inc. Reporting from AOL's Dulles, Va., headquarters, United Press International quotes the suit as alleging Over the Air Equipment used deceptive practices, including falsifying e-mail transmission data, to avoid AOL's mail controls and to repeatedly transmit vast quantities of unsolicited e-mail to AOL members. "E-mail sent to AOL members from Over the Air Equipment included a link to their cyber-stripper offerings on the World Wide Web," UPI says. "To further confuse AOL subscribers, AOL said Over the Air Equipment copied an America Online trademark fraudulently suggesting their site had AOL approval." The suit contends that despite repeated demands to Over the Air Equipment to cease, the company continued to use a variety of deceptive practices, including forging e-mail headers and counterfeiting routing information to escape detection. AOL also alleges Over the Air Equipment ignored AOL member requests to be removed from Over the Air Equipment's mail lists and continued to transmit unwanted junk e-mail to frustrated AOL members. IBM Offering Job Buy-Outs Quietly, IBM has begun offering a voluntary job-buyout plan to most of its 241,000 employees worldwide, a cost-cutting move that expert says could eliminate several thousand jobs. It is IBM's first broad job-reduction program in years. Reporting for The Wall Street Journal, writer Raju Narisetti says the move "illustrates a growing dilemma for IBM's top managers, who are juggling several poorly performing divisions such as software and mid-range computers while trying to rapidly expand booming businesses like computer services, where the company is adding thousands of jobs." Narisetti notes IBM has downsized from a peak of 406,000 employees in 1985 to 220,000 in 1994, but in the past two years, the firm's work force has been expanding again as it has added new hires and begun acquiring companies, such as Lotus Development. "Now," says the Journal, "IBM needs the savings from more job cuts - expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on how many employees leave." An IBM spokesman has confirmed a "broad-based voluntary separation program" is under way on a unit-by-unit basis, but declines to say how many employees the company expects will take the offer. Analyst John Jones Jr. of Salomon Brothers Inc. told Narisetti the company will continue to have "balancing acts going on" in hiring new employees in one unit and downsizing other parts of the company, adding the expense associated with such "ebb and flow of business doesn't qualify or should not be called out as a one-time charge." Microsoft, Inktomi Make Deal For undisclosed terms, Microsoft Corp. is entering a licensing deal with Inktomi Corp., a closely held San Mateo, California corporation, to create new World Wide Web search capabilities as part of a series of strategy changes for its online service. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporters Don Clark and David Bank say Microsoft will launch the search service early next year "as part of an effort to beef up a Web site called MSN.com, the free part of its subscription based Microsoft Network online service." The paper says the MSN.com site is increasingly seen as a competitor for companies such as Yahoo Corp., Lycos Inc. and Excite Inc. and the new search capabilities could help it increase its audience. Add Clark and Bank, "The fields of Web search and content feature a blizzard of deals in which companies simultaneously compete and collaborate with each other. For example, Microsoft's latest Web browser software already promotes Yahoo's service for personalizing Web page. Executives of Yahoo, Santa Clara, California, disclosed during a recent conference call with analysts that it was talking with Microsoft about other alliances, including sharing its flagship directory." Analyst David Simons with Digital Video Investments in New York comments, "Everybody is going around selling their Web real-estate willy-nilly. It's looking very much like suburban sprawl, with strip malls, no zoning, no planning." The Journal comments that Inktomi's technology, which will be combined with Microsoft software, is considered among the most powerful in automatically sorting through millions of Web pages and producing results based on key word searches. By contrast, Yahoo has a directory that is based on Web pages submitted from other companies and recommendations to users from its staff. As reported here earlier this month, Inktomi is selling an equity stake in the company to chipmaker Intel Corp. for about $2 million as part of a strategic alliance. Known mostly for developing the HotBot Internet search engine software, Inktomi also is developing technologies to improve speed and access in corporate networks and the Internet. Intel Sued Over Patents Datapoint Corp. is suing Intel Corp. for infringing on its videoconferencing patents. According to the lawsuit, filed in Dallas U.S. District Court, Datapoint advised Intel that it is infringing on the patents, "but Intel continues its infringement willfully and with full knowledge of plaintiffs' rights" in the patents. Datapoint says its patents enable users to establish their own multi-point videoconferences utilizing voice, video and data. Datapoint is seeking an injunction against Intel as well as unspecified damages. "Intel is one of the fastest growing companies in the videoconferencing market, and a major contributor to their growth has been the infringement of Datapoint's patents," says Blake Thomas, Datapoint's president. "Another significant factor in Intel's dramatic growth has been our multi-speed networking patents, which create compatibility between systems of varying speeds." Datapoint also has a suit pending against Intel on its multi-speed networking patents, as well as similar suits pending against PictureTel and Compression Labs Inc. Apple Upgrades MessagePad An upgrade to the handheld MessagePad device, with more memory and enhanced networking capabilities, is being unveiled by Apple Computer Inc.'s Newton unit. Reporting from San Francisco, the Reuter News Service says the MessagePad 2100, targeted to mobile professionals and mobile healthcare providers, will be priced at $1,000 and available sometime in early November. The system will have four megabytes of dynamic random access memory instead of one megabyte as in the MessagePad 2000 and an Ethernet card, to provide a 20 percent faster connection with corporate networks. It also will have enhanced software, to make electronic mail and Internet browsing easier. Apple officials told the wire service current MessagePad customers who want to upgrade to the MessagePad 2100 can do for $99, if they purchase a MessagePad 2000 before Nov. 7. For purchases after that date, the upgrade is $199. CompuServe Sets Forum Deals CompuServe Corp. reports it has signed contracts with 58 independent business partners to manage a total of 425 Forums for its new "C from CompuServe" Web-based service. Company officials say they expect the total to exceed 500 Forums when "C from CompuServe" debuts later this year, immediately making it one of the largest sites on the Web. "Independent partners who have managed Forums on our existing CSi service for years are responding enthusiastically to our new Web-based product," says Sam Uretsky, vice president of business management for the online service. "In conjunction with these seasoned experts, we will enable Internet users to experience our acclaimed Forums for the first time. 'C from CompuServe' will bring a wealth of unique content and an enhanced sense of community to the Web." Internet users will be able to access the Forums on a "read only" basis at no charge, and can actively participate for a monthly flat-rate subscription fee to be announced later, says Uretsky. "A crucial advantage is that 'C from CompuServe' subscribers will be joining mature, highly populated discussion groups, rather than start-up communities. From day one, they will be able to communicate seamlessly with members of our existing CSi online service and subject-matter experts who share their interests." CSi members will also have access to the new product for no additional fee. The Forums are aimed at business, professional, technical and other sophisticated consumers and cover a wide range of work and lifestyle topics, according to CSi executive producer Bob Kington. "CompuServe Forums are the most tightly focused discussion groups in the online world. They provide opportunities to exchange information and opinions with peers and experts, as well as vast downloadable file libraries." Kington notes that the 58 business partners signed to date will contribute a collective staff of more than 2,600 people, and over 10,000 aggregate years of experience in managing online interactive discussion groups. Micron Boosts PC Memory Micron Electronics Inc. has increased the amount of standard memory on its PCs. The Micron Millennia and ClientPro lines, which included 32MB and 48MB of RAM, have been increased to 64MB. Other Micron models with 16MB of RAM have been doubled to 32MB. "We're driving a new standard in memory to better support more memory-intensive applications, simultaneously boosting the value and power of our PCs for our customers," says Jeff Moeser, Micron's vice president of desktop products. Anti-Virus Software Market Soars The anti-virus software market is soaring, with unit sales up 84 percent compared to the same time last year, reports PC Data Inc. Dollar sales are up 77 percent. The Reston, Virginia, market research firm notes that Symantec leads the anti-virus industry with a 45 percent market share, followed by McAfee at 41 percent, Touchstone at 6 percent, Dr. Solomon at 5 percent and IBM at 2 percent. Senator Warns of Millennium Bug Visiting Germany, U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) says he worries European companies and governments are failing to tackle the computer data problem known as the "millennium bug." Reporting from Bonn, the Reuter News Service says Bennett told a group of German business leaders in Bonn he fears a worldwide computer crisis in the year 2000 could even lead to a global recession, adding, "I don't mean to be a fear mongerer, but I am worried that the problem is not being addressed seriously enough. It could trigger a worldwide recession. People couldn't get to their money, they couldn't get what they need." As reported, at issue here is a worldwide programming problem that could cause computers to view the year 2000 as the year 1900. This would occur as a result of a programming fault which only allows computers to accept the last two digits of a year. Bennett told the wire service he has spoken to business leaders in several countries on a tour through Europe and is alarmed that so little was being done, saying Europe lags far behind the United States in dealing with the millennium problem. Said Bennett, "I was talking to one business leader in Bulgaria about it and he said it shouldn't be a problem. He told me they would just ask Bill Gates to come over and fix it for them. I hope our partners in Europe realize how serious this problem facing us is." "The solution is, in principle, easy," said Bennett, who was a successful entrepreneur and businessman before entering the senate in 1992. "A two-digit field has to be made into a four-digit field." Reuters adds Bennett compares the re-programming computers to changing all the rivets on the Golden Gate bridge while traffic was moving on it. "Finding and changing one rivet was not hard," says Reuters, "but making sure they were all found and changed was a greater challenge that had to be met." Commission: US Systems Vulnerable A presidential commission has found the U.S. is vulnerable to cyber attacks on critical services and urges the government to step up measures to protect itself against computer terrorists. In a summary of the classified report it delivered yesterday to the White House, the Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection wrote, "National defense is not just about government anymore, and economic security is not just about business anymore," adding the country's dependence on computers for its security, economy and way of life make the country increasingly vulnerable to computer attacks that could easily wipe out communications and power grids. Said the commission, "Today, the right command sent over the Internet to a power generating station's control computer could be just as effective as a backpack full of explosives and the perpetrator would be harder to identify and apprehend." The Associated Press says the report recommends: z Setting up a nationwide program to educate people on the scope of a problem through White House conferences, presentations at professional clubs and public education. z Revising existing laws to ensure protection against electronic attacks through the Internet. z Doubling the $250 million the federal government now spends on research aimed at countering threats of computer attacks. z Once the figure is doubled in 1999, it would then be increased by $100 million each year until $1 billion is dedicated to the problem by 2004, the paper said, citing unidentified administration sources. z Providing money to universities and private firms that could come up with more sophisticated intrusion detection devices. AP quotes the report as saying, "Law has failed to keep pace with technology. Some laws capable of promoting assurance are not as clear or effective as they could be... We identified existing laws that could help the government take the lead and serve as a model of standards and practices for the private sector. We identified other areas of law that ... can enable infrastructure owners and operators to take precautions proportionate to the threat." White House spokesman P.J. Crowley told the wire service a task force of representatives from several government agencies will review the commission's report and come up with recommendations, which is likely to take the rest of the year. Also, an advisory committee headed by former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., and former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick will work with the private sector on ways to protect against cyber attacks. 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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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Taxing The Net Sun Seeks $35 Million In Java Suit Microsoft's European Sales Practices Under Scrutiny Excite Buys Web Shopping Company MIT Puts Computer Sales Online NBC Puts Local Content On Web Spam Wars And Gold Rush Days AT&T Gets New CEO Reno Says Microsoft Violated Antitrust Agreement A Third Of College Courses Use E-Mail France Proposes Key Encryption Law What's In A (Domain) Name? Report On Computer Terrorism Spam Wars: The AOL Frontline The Check Is On The Net Australian Telco Sues For Lower Net Phone Rates Microsoft Competitors Testify To Tough Tactics Intel, Digital Settle Alpha Suit Intel Heads Up PC-Based Arcade Effort Costa Rica Testing Online Elections Virginia Library Applies Internet Filters To Adult Patrons Chat Rooms Could Boost Business, Says Jupiter The Transition From Technology To Business Technostress (Do You Get Nervous Without Edupage?) Live, Streaming Educom97 TAXING THE NET The National Governors' Association is attacking proposed federal legislation that would bar states from imposing new sales taxes on Internet-related businesses for up to six years. NGA chairman George Voinovich, governor of Ohio, says: "If enacted, the legislation coming out of the House would undercut state and local sales taxes and lead to a virtual sales tax collapse over the next 10 years that would be felt by every American community." The fear is that such restrictions would not only deprive states of additional tax revenues but would also cut into existing sales taxes by driving consumers away from local merchants and onto the Internet. However, governors of states such as California, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia, all of which are home to substantial computer-related industries, are in favor of the legislation. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 18 Oct 97) SUN SEEKS $35 MILLION IN JAVA SUIT Sun Microsystems has amended its lawsuit against Microsoft, filed earlier this month, to specify that it will seek $35 million in damages from the software maker. The suit alleges that Microsoft violated a licensing agreement for use of Sun's Java programming language. Sun's specifications dictate that Java-based programs must run on any platform, but some of Microsoft's programs use Java in a way that makes it compatible only with Microsoft's Windows operating system. Besides the $35 million, Sun also wants Microsoft to pay additional unspecified damages for misuse of a Java-compatible logo. Meanwhile, Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale, voicing the frustration of the other 116 Java licensees, has warned Sun that if the allegations hold up and it doesn't revoke Microsoft's Java license, he will sue Sun. (Bloomberg News Oct 17 97) MICROSOFT'S EUROPEAN SALES PRACTICES UNDER SCRUTINY The European Union's competition commission is taking a close look at Microsoft's sales practices abroad, and has sent a "statement of objections" to the company based on a complaint from a competitor. The commission is investigating other complaints as well, and will hold hearings on Microsoft's practices before the end of the year. (Wall Street Journal 17 Oct 97) EXCITE BUYS WEB SHOPPING COMPANY Excite, an Internet search service, is buying Seattle-based Netbot, which makes software called "Jango" for shopping on the Web. Jango is based on technology licensed from the University of Washington, and that institution will receive more than $1 million from the sale, as well as a share of future royalties. (USA Today 18 Oct 97) MIT PUTS COMPUTER SALES ONLINE The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is moving its computer sales to students online, with orders taken via a special Web site, MCC/Online. The site will be operated by NECX under contract to MIT. "The education discounts aren't what they used to be," says MIT's director of administration and finance for information systems. These days, he says, the prices from local stores are so competitive that students can often get a better deal there. By eliminating the overhead associated with running traditional bricks-and-mortar computer sales operations, educational institutions can offer their clientele better deals. Other schools, including Cornell University, are following suit, and some, like Tufts University, are getting out of computer sales altogether. (Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Oct 97) NBC PUTS LOCAL CONTENT ON WEB NBC has launched its Interactive Neighborhood program, offering network affiliates customized information gleaned from Microsoft Sidewalk city guides, Big Yellow online directories, and Realtor.com and Rent Net housing ads. "With this launch, we're tapping into the most valuable content online -- local content," says NBC Cable president Tom Rogers. The network plans to add classified and personal ads in the next few weeks. (Broadcasting & Cable 13 Oct 97) SPAM WARS AND GOLD RUSH DAYS Internet service provider Apex Global Internet Services (AGIS) will no longer offer Internet access to Sanford Wallace's Cyber Promotions, a company widely known for sending huge volumes of unsolicited commercial e-mail messages on the Internet. Wallace has recently indicated that such a turn of events will have relatively little impact on him: "We've become more of a consulting and software business." He compares his business to the companies that made money during California Gold Rush days by selling equipment to the miners, and is selling the raw materials and expertise to others who want to send bulk e-mail. (New York Times 18 Oct 97) AT&T GETS NEW CEO The new chairman of chief executive of AT&T, the nation's largest long-distance company, will be Hughes Electronics Inc. Chief Executive C. Michael Armstrong. Industry analyst Jeffrey Kagan warns, "Armstrong has to take center stage, rally and inspire the troops, and shout from every podium that AT&T is back. Anything short of that is trouble." (Washington Post 18 Oct 97) RENO SAYS MICROSOFT VIOLATED ANTITRUST AGREEMENT Attorney General Janet Reno has filed a petition in federal court asserting that Microsoft has violated a 1995 consent decree by requiring computer manufacturers who install its Windows 95 operating system to also license and install its Internet Explorer software for browsing the World Wide Web. Reno's charge: "Microsoft is unlawfully taking advantage of its Windows monopoly to protect and extend that monopoly and undermine consumer choice. This administration has taken great efforts to encourage and spur technological innovation, promote competition and make sure that the consumers have the ability to choose among competing products. Today's action shows that we won't tolerate any coercion by dominant companies in any way that distorts competition." The response from Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates: "A fundamental principle at Microsoft is that Windows gets better and makes the PC easier to use with each new version. Today people want to use PCs to access the Internet. We are providing that functionality in Windows, and providing a platform for innovation by thousands of other software companies. It would be a great disservice to our customers if Microsoft did not enhance Windows with Internet-related features, and rapidly distribute updated versions of Windows through PC manufacturers." (New York Times 21 Oct 97) A THIRD OF COLLEGE COURSES USE E-MAIL The annual Campus Computing Project survey shows that nearly 33% of courses offered at the 605 institutions polled use e-mail, up from 25% last year and 8% in 1994. At private universities, the percentage of courses sing e-mail is 60% and nearly half of public university courses use it. More than 14% of all institutions put class materials, such as syllabi, on the Web and more than 24% use other Web resources, such as online encyclopedias other Web sites. The No. 1 problem facing campus-computing administrators continues to be user support, both technical and in terms of faculty assistance. "These are flip sides of the same coin," says survey director Kenneth C. Green. "People continue to ask, 'How do we use this stuff?' It's still entirely new." (Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Oct 97) FRANCE PROPOSES KEY ENCRYPTION LAW The French government has proposed a law that would mandate a key-recovery system for all encrypted electronic documents, a move that is opposed by the business community and the European Commission. Earlier this month, the European Commission rejected the key-recovery approach to encryption, which some believe would make it easier for competitors to gain access to a company's business secrets. "I do not say this is the best system," says the chief of France's Central Service for the Security of Information Systems. "It is the least bad in trying to find a balance between national-security interests, economic interests and the protection of personal privacy." (Wall Street Journal 20 Oct 97) WHAT'S IN A (DOMAIN) NAME? The decision to create additional top-level domains may not solve the current crowding in Internet domain names, says columnist Wendy Grossman: "Judging from the comments I've seen, people hate the names: .firm, store, .web, .arts, .rec and .nom (for personal domains). 'What is the problem we are trying to solve?' asks Donna Hoffman, an electronic commerce specialist at Vanderbilt University. If, she argues, we want to create more 'good' names, this system fails because companies will register multiple names. If the goal is a directory structure, it fails again, because the names are confusing. 'The categories should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive but also flexible enough to accommodate evolution,' she says... The right structure could solve a number of persistent problems if it took into account the changing nature of the Net, the fact that rules will always be broken, and the increasing value names and concepts acquire with use. The current plan does not do enough of the first two things, although it correctly says that domain names are a public trust, reflecting the human ability to create something valuable out of nothing." (Scientific American Oct 97) REPORT ON COMPUTER TERRORISM The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection says that the country's communications networks are increasingly vulnerable to attack by terrorists using computers and urges the government to establish a new directorate within the National Security Council to coordinate actions that would guard against such attacks, and to collect and trade information between the government and the private sector. (Washington Post 21 Oct 97) SPAM WARS: THE AOL FRONTLINE America Online is suing Prime Data Worldnet Systems for evading AOL's anti-spamming measures to send large quantities of unsolicited email messages to America Online subscribers. (Wired News 21 Oct 97) THE CHECK IS ON THE NET The U.S. government is starting a year-long market test of its Web server software, which will enable it to pay government contractors over the Internet. The test is sponsored by the Financial Services Technology Consortium, a nonprofit group composed of banks, other financial service companies, high-tech businesses, national laboratories, universities and government agencies. The goal is eventually to move all government financial transactions online. The two banks involved, NationsBank and BankBoston Corp., will deposit the electronic checks into vendors' checking accounts, clearing them electronically through the Federal Reserve. The software for the banks was created by IBM and the software for the Fed by Sun Microsystems. "We expect this market trial to be the first in a series, leading to a commercial rollout that will lay the groundwork for this electronic payment mechanism to meet and exceed market demands long into the 21st century," says the project director for the consortium. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Oct 97) AUSTRALIAN TELCO SUES FOR LOWER NET PHONE RATES Australian company Telstra Corp. has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC to force the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to review its Internet phone payment rules. The company wants U.S. phone companies to shoulder a larger share of the costs involved in transmitting Internet phone calls between the two countries. Internet traffic flows primarily from Australia to this country, although rates are based on historic flow in the other direction, says Telstra's attorney. That situation is costing Telstra $15 million a year, he says. (St. Petersburg Times 20 Oct 97) MICROSOFT COMPETITORS TESTIFY TO TOUGH TACTICS A Compaq Computer executive says in a deposition that his company decided against providing PC buyers easy access to Netscape Communications' Web browser software after Microsoft threatened to end Compaq's Windows 95 license. Compaq had planned to include a Netscape icon on its computer screens, but "When they (Microsoft) found out about it, they sent a letter to us telling us that, you know, they would terminate our agreement for doing so." A Microsoft VP says his company was simply enforcing the terms of the Windows 95 license. Microsoft's position regarding the 1995 consent decree reached with the U.S. Justice Department is that it has the right to integrate new features into the operating system, and the Internet Explorer browser software is one of those features. He added that PC makers were free to add software from other companies, as long as they keep Internet Explorer, too. (Wall Street Journal 23 Oct 97) INTEL, DIGITAL SETTLE ALPHA SUIT Intel and Digital Equipment Corp. have reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement that will require Intel to pay Digital $1.6 billion -- 50% in cash and the rest in discounts on Intel chip purchases. In return, Intel will have access to Digital's Alpha microprocessor technology, and will help Digital develop products for it. (Investor's Business Daily 22 Oct 97) INTEL HEADS UP PC-BASED ARCADE EFFORT Intel Corp. is leading a group of more than 80 companies in developing PC-based, coin-operated arcade machines that incorporate Intel microprocessors and Windows NT operating systems. In the past, arcade games have used cheaper circuitry and chip-stored rather than disk-drive-stored games, making it difficult to upgrade systems to play different games. Under the PC-based system, an arcade owner who wanted to switch to a more popular game could simply slip in a new CD-ROM, rather than install a new system board or buy a new machine. Intel says it isn't so much interested in the machines themselves, but the fact that the arcade business stretches computer performance in graphics and other areas, enabling Intel to incorporate those developments more quickly into PCs. "Everything we do goes back to boosting demand for our primary market," says and Intel VP. "In doing so, we're bringing the economics of the computer business to operators of arcades." (Wall Street Journal 23 Oct 97) COSTA RICA TESTING ONLINE ELECTIONS With the help of students from Villanova University Law School, the government of Costa Rica is launching what appears to be the first test of a national election online, with hopes that if the test is successful, paper ballots will have been eliminated entirely by the next election in 2002. The project will use computers located in schools around the country and linked to the Internet, and security experts at AT&T Labs in New Jersey will help design and implement the system. (New York Times CyberTimes 22 Oct 97) VIRGINIA LIBRARY APPLIES INTERNET FILTERS TO ADULT PATRONS The library board of Loudon County, Virginia, has voted 5-4 to apply filters that would prevent all patrons, including adults, from viewing "pornographic and obscene material" or from accessing sexually explicit e-mail or chat rooms in the library. The head of the American Civil Liberties Union calls the policy "an outright violation of your First Amendment rights under the Constitution." (Washington Post 22 Oct 97) [Postscript: Filtering software recently caused Edupage to be blocked for a brief time at a high school in California. The blocking was subsequently deemed by school administrators to have been a "mistake," and Edupage distribution was reinstated.] CHAT ROOMS COULD BOOST BUSINESS, SAYS JUPITER Businesses could improve relations with their clients and market their products more effectively if they sponsored "chat rooms" on their Web sites that would enable customers to exchange information among themselves, says researcher Jupiter Communications. Opportunities to chat would also help companies close sales, position themselves competitively and build communities. About 25% of online users now visit chat rooms. (Investor's Business Daily 23 Oct 97) THE TRANSITION FROM TECHNOLOGY TO BUSINESS Asked how technologists can make the shift from technical to business-related jobs, Novell Chief Executive Eric Schmidt answers: "Businesses are mostly people-intensive, and technologists usually discount the value of personal relationships. Managers can fuse influence as well as 'being right' to get things done. If you love people, you can easily make the transition." (IEEE Internet Computing Sep/Oct 97) TECHNOSTRESS (DO YOU GET NERVOUS WITHOUT EDUPAGE?) In their new book, "TechnoStress," psychologists Michelle M. Weil and Larry D. Rosen say that the growing dependence on technology affects us negatively, and that we count on our machines to do so much that when something goes wrong with our technology, we are thrown into a tailspin. " Some people become so immersed in technology that they risk losing their own identity" -- a syndrome called "technosis." You are a victim of technosis if you answer "yes" to questions such as: "Do you feel out of touch when you haven't checked your answering machine or voice mail in the last 12 hours?" Symptoms of technosis include overdoing work and never feeling finished, believing faster is better, and not knowing how to function successfully without technology. ("TechnoStress," John Wiley & Sons 1997) LIVE, STREAMING EDUCOM97 The three keynote sessions at EDUCOM'97 will be available as live, streaming webcasts via RealMedia at www.educom.edu/conf/97/webcast.html. Viewers will need the RealPlayer, Version 5 (at www.real.com) and at least a 28.8 connection to the Internet (as always, faster connections are better). Webcast times (CST) are 9:30 am October 29 (Educom Medal awards and address by Eli Noam), 9:45 am October 30 (address by Sherry Turkle), and 11:15 am October 31 (address by John Perry Barlow). The webcasts are produced through the cooperative efforts of colleagues at the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, and RealNetworks. STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! 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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 15% Holiday Discount for Month of October. DOJ vs Microsoft; Right or Wrong? STR Spotlight An opinion. DOJ Tilting at Windmills - AGAIN! An Opinion by Ralph F. Mariano To begin.. I respectfully submit. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Justice Department Monday accused Microsoft Corp. of using its Windows "monopoly" to force computer makers to include the Microsoft Internet browser in pre-loaded software, putting rivals such as Netscape at a competitive disadvantage. The department charged that the software giant had violated its 1995 antitrust agreement with the government and asked a federal court here to slap a $1 million a day fine on Microsoft if the alleged violations continue. The new legal assault represents a big boost for Netscape Communications Corp., a bitter rival in the "browser war" that had accused Microsoft of using "clandestine" tactics to persuade personal computer makers and others to offer its browser rather than Netscape's. Browsers are used to navigate the Internet's World Wide Web. In its petition, the Justice Department asked the court to stop Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, from requiring PC manufacturers to accept Internet Explorer as a condition of receiving the company's widely used Windows 95 software. It sought to force Microsoft to notify consumers who have Windows 95 that they do not have to use Internet Explorer and that they can use any compatible Internet browser. Consumers also would receive simple instructions on how to remove the Internet Explorer browser icon from their PC. To get more companies to offer evidence against Microsoft, the department wants the court to nullify key portions of the secrecy pacts Microsoft requires manufacturers to sign. Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates defended the company's strategy. "Today people want to use PCs to access the Internet. We are providing that functionality in Windows, and providing a platform for innovation by thousands of other software companies," Gates said in a statement. The department, meanwhile, said a wide-ranging investigation of Microsoft's practices would continue. "Forcing PC manufacturers to take one Microsoft product as a condition of buying a monopoly product like Windows 95 is not only a violation of the court order, but it's plain wrong," Attorney Janet Reno told a news conference. Microsoft's stock skidded on the news to $131 before rebounding to end up 37.5 cents at $132.625, while Netscape's stock surged $4.3125 to end at $39.25, both on Nasdaq. Separately, Microsoft said its first-quarter profit from operations jumped 53 percent, slightly better than Wall Street had expected, on strong sales of its PC software products. Microsoft said it had net income of $663 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $614 million, or 47 cents, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 36 percent to $3.13 billion from $2.295 billion. The 1995 consent decree barred Microsoft from imposing anti-competitive licensing terms on personal computer makers. The company agreed to modify its licensing practices. The department said it brought Monday's action to enforce that pact and prevent Microsoft from being able to expand its monopoly in the market for PC operating systems through anti-competitive practices. Microsoft will have 11 days to respond formally to the department's charges. A spokesman said Microsoft is confident it is operating within limits set by the 1995 consent decree, which he said "specifically allows Microsoft to integrate new features into the operating system", such as its Internet Explorer browser. "We have never tried to stop any computer manufacturer from shipping any other browser," said spokesman Mark Murray. According to the department, much of Microsoft's market power today stems from the fact that most applications programs for PCs -- such as word processing, spread sheets and money managers -- are written to work with Microsoft's Windows 95 PC operating system. Microsoft's operating system is installed on more than 80 percent of the nation's PCs. The department said many PC makers want to choose freely among competing software products when they decide what to package with their computers. "Even as we go forward with this action, we also want to make clear that we have an ongoing and wide-ranging investigation to determine whether Microsoft's actions are stifling innovation and consumer choice," said assistant attorney general Joel Klein, who is in charge of the department's antitrust division. The department charged that Microsoft had refused requests from at least three PC makers to remove the Internet Explorer program or the browser's icon from the Windows 95 package. It cited a 1996 incident in which Microsoft issued a formal notice to one of the nation's largest computer makers that it intended to end its Windows 95 license agreement unless the manufacturer continued to preinstall the Internet Explorer icon and another Microsoft icon. "Browsers are potentially the kind of product that could erode Microsoft's operating system monopoly," said Klein. Department officials stressed that they were not taking sides in the battle between Microsoft and Netscape, or in any emerging competition between Windows and other products. The Computer & Communications Industry Association applauded the move, saying Microsoft's practice seemed "designed to leverage the dominance of Microsoft's operating system ... and choke off competition in the browser market." In Mountain View, Calif., Netscape Chief Counsel Roberta Katz said the company supports the department's action against Microsoft. But she said it was too early to judge the financial implications for Netscape's business. Industry estimates suggest that Netscape accounts for about 70 percent to 80 percent of the browser market and that Microsoft accounts for about 30 percent. The numbers can add up to more than 100 percent because computer users can use more than one browser. What exactly is this country and its government coming to? Why are the Whigs on the Hill (Reno & Co.) trying so hard to divert attention away from the matters that will and do affect the nation's citizens the most? What is Janet Reno's point in trying to persecute (that's right persecute instead of prosecute) Microsoft Corporation? I'll try to answer these questions as I see it. In my best. "Telling it like it is manner". On the Hill, we have a both a lame duck Congress and Senate divided Republican vs. Democrat. A "herd" of elected representatives so busy shooting at each other and trying to destroy the gains made by each party that the genuine issues that strongly concern and affect this Nation's citizens and taxpayers are falling, left and right, by the wayside. That, my friends, is the real CRIME the DOJ should be vigorously pursuing. Madam Reno and the DOJ should be posting wonderful and highly reassuring headlines about the TRUE interdiction and curtailment, if not the eradication, of DRUGS flowing freely into the USA. But no, they're ever so busy pounding on Microsoft's Door to seemingly make headlines for themselves. This couldn't also be a diversion to take the heat off RENO about side stepping, backpedaling and coddling "Slick Willie" over the Campaign Funds Issue now could it?? Obviously, Janet Reno hasn't a clue about the huge amount of tax money Microsoft generates both directly and indirectly Federally and for each and every State in the Union nor does she seem to care. Yet on the real CRIME FRONT. One can only wonder why the Drug Lords are operating with impunity and why the Mafioso based in Las Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, New Jersey and Boston still have an iron grip on commercial fishing, unions, concrete distribution, trucking construction, garbage collection, medical coverage plans, fuel distribution terminals, transportation enterprises and entertainment centers. not to mention the underworld activities flourishing without what appears to be the least bit of DOJ interception or mere interference. Microsoft is unlawfully taking advantage of its Windows monopoly to protect and to extend that monopoly and undermine consumer choice." Attorney General Janet Reno "We have never tried to stop any computer manufacturer from shipping any other browser." Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray The government asked the federal court in Washington to hold Microsoft in contempt of a 1995 court order barring the Redmond, Wash.-based company from anti-competitive software licensing practices. "This action is unfortunate and misguided," said Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray. "The facts will show that Microsoft is in full compliance with the consent decree." William Neukom, senior vice president of law and corporate affairs at Microsoft, said the consent degree affirms Microsoft's right to enhance its operating system. "This was carefully negotiated with the then-lawyers at the antitrust division of the Department of Justice," Neukom said. Those negotiations support "that Microsoft was quite free to do precisely what we have done," and add new functions to the operating system. The agreement especially allows new functions that permit users of operating systems to locate and collect information from new sources_in this case, the Internet. Internet is New Battle Ground In many ways, the Internet is the biggest threat to Microsoft. The company makes the software that runs more than 80 percent of the personal computers in the United States. It also makes word processing programs, spreadsheets, databases and programming tools, all closely linked with the Windows 95 operating system. Microsoft's dominance of these markets allows it to collect huge licensing revenues. But the Internet is eroding the importance of operating systems. As use of the Internet grows, and the software for accessing it more sophisticated, it doesn't matter whether the computer being used runs Windows 95 or not. "This is not about the Internet," said Netscape's general counsel, Roberta Katz. "It's about doing away with competition in the browser market because the browser threatens the operating system." The government told the court that "as Microsoft fears, Browsers have the potential to become both alternative "platforms" on which various software applications and programs can run and alternative `interfaces' that PC users can employ to obtain and work with such applications and programs." Its fairly obvious Katz is sidestepping the real issue at hand. Who is to be the "Big Dog" on the Internet and make the rules. Netscape is already the predominate Browser in use. so, what's HER Problem?? They want their (Netscape, Oracle, Sun) version of Java to be the THE Java used by everyone. By MS using a variation, the user is indirectly protected from the monopolistic shot being taken by Oracle, Netscape and Sun at tying up the Net in their snare. OOOOPs, all of a sudden the shoe is in the other foot. How about that? Web Trends pages all over the net that show the statistics prove this time and time again. Yet Katz is saying its not about the Net? Come now, are back to trying to sell bridges in Brooklyn? Of Course, it ALL about the `Net. Netscape's Communicator Four is the best Netscape can muster against Internet Explorer 4. So, in light of this fact. Netscape has every reason to be putting up all sorts of weird fronts. Has anybody asked about the Stringent requirements Netscape puts forth relative to PLUGINS and how they steadfastly refuse to accommodate the users in the midi and active areas? No, that's ok for poor little old downtrodden Netscape to do these things while taking pot shots at IE4 at the same time. Sorry, but somebody at Justice had better take a deeper more informed look at this entire picture. Windows Dominance Threatened Netscape's software, Communicator, acts as both platform and interface. It gives users an all-in-one program for e-mail, the World Wide Web and allows groups to collaborate over a network. And it runs on more than just Windows machines. And Java, a software language from Sun Microsystems, allows programs to be run straight off the Web, without worrying about the operating system. Already, crude word processors and spreadsheets are available, and they don't need Windows 95 to run. Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Netscape and other companies are working on low-cost personal computers that use Java rather than Windows programs stored on personal computers' hard drives. Folks, there is no threat to Windows95 or any later version for that matter.. The REAL underlying reason for Oracle, Sun, Netscape and Compaq prodding the DOJ to act is because THEY wish to take the `Net over with their Net TV garbage. People. the whole premise behind the Net TV thing is to ultimately bring the user into total dependence upon the service provider ie, Oracle . you will RENT the use of programs. Once you log off you no longer have access to the program(s) until you rent the use of it again. Talk about a fleecing monopoly! Give these sharpies half a chance and you'll PAY dearly for every split second you're on the `Net. We might as well hook up intravenously and let `em have the pint of blood right off the bat!! After all that's what they are really after. And if Windows becomes irrelevant, Microsoft's dominance of these other software sectors could come crashing down. To avoid such a fate, Microsoft's strategy is to siphon away Netscape's customers and control the browser market, one that Netscape currently dominates with a 62 percent marketshare. And by tightly integrating its browser with the operating system, Microsoft can ensure that Windows 95 and its successor, Windows 98, which is due out by next summer, remain in a dominant position. Netscape would be pushed off the desktop. Control of the operating system market allows Microsoft to set standards that software designers have to use, whether they want to or not, said Mike Morris, general counsel for Sun. "When they control the standards it means they know first what's coming down the pipe," he said. "Their developers will get a leg up." Legal Troubles for Microsoft If U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson agrees Microsoft violated the court order but Microsoft continues the questioned licensing, the government wants a record $1 million daily fine, well above the $10,000 a day it usually requests in antitrust contempt actions. Microsoft has 11 days to file a written response. A hearing is likely later. "This is a very serious abuse," said Assistant Attorney General Joel I. Klein, head of the antitrust division. He argued that Windows and Internet Explorer "are two different products" and should be sold separately. "Each of Microsoft's products should compete on its own merits." Justice's action comes on the heels of a lawsuit by Sun accusing Microsoft of improperly adapting Sun's Java language for Internet Explorer. "This is just one more piece of bad news for Microsoft about their new browser, which has gotten very strong technical reviews but seems to be having some trouble on the legal front," said Dwight Davis of Windows Watcher newsletter in Redmond. Microsoft Corporation is one of the world's largest employers. Microsoft employ thousands of folks globally. But by far, not larger than say. General Motors, or the HUGE Grain and FEED Conglomerates like General Mills, ConAgra etc.. Yet the Department of Justice (Justice?) under the seemingly inept and woefully inadequate Leadership and Guidance of Janet Reno the DOJ sees fit to hack away at Microsoft, almost continually, for the last two and half to three years for one absurd reason or another. Why? Because Microsoft is in the forefront of tomorrow's technology today? Because MS has produced the most powerful and reliable Operating System for the everyday computer user and the very best Web Browser?? No, its primarily because Microsoft's competition (lame at best) has found Reno's "magic GO button!" The competition, (if you wish to call them that, I call them all sour grapes), have discovered the DOJ underlings who are seemingly willing to institute most any action involving MS to gain notoriety for themselves. (the very same ones year in and year out, check who were the DOJ rep(s) in each and every instance of their constant hounding of MS) They seem to have forgotten they are public servants, each and every one of them, from Reno on down. Is what they are doing and the amount of taxpayer dollars they are consuming (read wasting) in the public's best interest or, is it in the best interests of say. Netscape.. Sun. or any other wild and opportunistic number of Microsoft wanna-be's? Steven Decker of Compaq Computer Corp. supplied government lawyers with documents and testimony that allegedly show Microsoft Corp. threatened to withhold its Windows 95 operating system from PC makers if they did not include a link to its Web software on their computer display. Documents and testimony from Compaq, a Microsoft ally and the world's biggest PC maker, other PC makers and Microsoft are the underpinnings bolstering the Justice Department's complaint Microsoft violated a 1995 antitrust agreement. The fact that the Justice Department revealed the documents showed its lawyers are confident they have a good case, an antitrust expert said. Someone ought to ask Mr. Decker and the others at Compaq about the high priced proprietary hardware they use in their assembled computers they sell as the industry's "best." About the close-outs and Job lots they buy to build these things, about the $25.00 chassis rails and custom connectors they use thus forcing the consumer to pay through the nose for simple upgrades and repairs. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a positive and proven 15-year history of adding features and functionality to its operating systems products to provide more value for consumers and a rich platform for software development. Microsoft generally requires PC manufacturers to ship all of Windows, so that customers and software developers will have the full benefit of the platform and a consistent experience. From time to time Microsoft also issues updates to Windows to keep pace with consumer demand for new features and functionality, and PC manufacturers generally ship the latest updates to Windows as they become available. Over the past two years Microsoft has been enhancing Windows with a broad range of Internet functionality, including Internet Explorer. PC manufacturers and customers have greeted these enhancements to Windows with enthusiasm. Today nearly all of the leading PC manufacturers are already shipping or plan soon to ship Internet Explorer 4.0, the latest update to Windows, though they are not contractually obligated to do so at this time. PC manufacturers are shipping Internet Explorer 4.0 because they want to provide their customers with the latest operating system technology. That will continue regardless of the outcome of the Justice Department's proceeding against Microsoft. It is important to note that all PC manufacturers are always free to ship any other software product from any other vendor. For example, consumers today can purchase PCs loaded with the Windows operating system and the Netscape Navigator browser from a variety of manufacturers, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Digital, Toshiba, Compaq and others. Is the DOJ going to fine Microsoft $1 million a day for non-compliance with the consent decree? No, the DOJ does not have the authority to impose any fines. The DOJ has asked the court to impose certain requirements on Microsoft, and to fine Microsoft if the company fails to comply with those new requirements in the future. The DOJ is not seeking any fine for things that happened in the past. What are the next steps now that DOJ has filed suit? Microsoft will have the opportunity to present its facts and arguments to the Hon. Thomas Penfield Jackson, the federal district judge who oversees the consent decree, within the next few weeks. Microsoft is confident that the Court will agree that Microsoft is complying with the consent decree, and is competing in a fair and appropriate manner. Will this action delay the shipment or impact the shipment of Windows '98? No. Today's Justice Department action does not address Windows '98. The Justice Department expressed concern that the non-disclosure provisions in Microsoft's license agreements might discourage computer manufacturers from providing information to the government's investigation. Is there something unique about Microsoft's non-disclosure provisions? No. There is nothing unusual about the non-disclosure provisions in Microsoft's licenses. Microsoft's non-disclosure provisions are standard provisions, very similar or identical to provisions used by virtually every other software company. In Summation.. If and when anyone can prove the actions of Reno and the DOJ are in the TAXPAYER'S and Citizens of this great Nation's best interests. We will all begin to listen very seriously. So far, all everyone has seen is another magnanimous grandstanding attempt by Reno and Co. to take the public eye away from; z its coddling Slick Willie and his antics with campaign dollars z the White Water Affair z the Paula Jones "thing" z its failure to eliminate the Mafia z eliminate the curse of illegal drugs which poison our entire society in one way or another. One last point.. when is Janet (Waco & Ruby Ridge) Reno going to face up to the fact the DOJ is a miserable failure under the inept guidance Reno offers or, FAILS to offer? Have a differing viewpoint or opinion?? Let me hear from you and we'll publish it right here in follow-ups to our ongoing series "The DOJ vs. Microsoft Right or Wrong?" Is this emblem soon to be regarded as a Turkey rather than the proud Eagle it is?? Reno appears determined to make it either a Roasted Turkey or a miserably Lame Duck! Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view Hello, readers. It's been a very busy summer and start of the fall for my family and me. I've not been able to devote as much time to the magazine as I have in the past. We have been doing a major home renovation and remodeling project. In addition, in case you didn't notice when Jason announced the news several weeks back, we are expecting a baby in December. That's the major reason for all the home improvements. Once again, I'm looking for some assistant reviewers to join up. Angelo is on an indefinite hiatus due to time constraints. Jason didn't have much interest in educational software and has moved on to write his own column about computer games. Qualifications are that you can write well and can objectively evaluate software. If you are interested, send a short writing sample (it doesn't have to be a review) to email@example.com . If you have any questions, send them along too. I'll try to post some more specifics in next week's magazine. And now for something completely different, it's time for a new contest. Name Frank's Baby is the contest's title. We've been told to expect a boy, but you're welcome to send names for a girl too. We won't necessarily use the winning entry, but the person sending that entry will get a children's software package as a prize. Just send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of Baby Name. You can send one male and one female name with each e-mail. Each name entry should include a first and middle name (or initial). The surname will be supplied by the parents. All entries must be received by December 1st (the current due date is December 12th). I'll have more details worked out about the prize next week. I might even post some of the better names for everyone to see. KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE ANNOUNCES EXCITING NEW ACTIVITY CENTER LINE Knowledge Adventure licenses hot entertainment properties -- Superman, Adventures of Batman & Robin, and FairyTale - A True Story -- to bring kids exciting new interactive adventures this holiday season GLENDALE, Calif., Oct. 21, 1997 - Knowledge Adventure, Inc., a leader in educational multimedia software, is launching an exciting new Activity Center line based on popular licensed properties from Warner Bros., DC Comics and Paramount Pictures Corp. Three new CD-ROMs - The SupermanT Activity Center, The Adventures of Batman & RobinT Activity Center, and FairyTale -A True StoryT Activity Center - each combine popular entertainment with the power and enchantment of multimedia. The Superman Activity Center and The Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center are based on the hit DC Comics series and Warner Bros. animated TV series. These new activity centers provide exciting opportunities for kids to interact with their favorite superheroes, while helping them build critical thinking, problem-solving and deductive reasoning skills. FairyTale - A True Story Activity Center is based on Paramount's upcoming motion picture, starring Peter O'Toole and Harvey Keitel, which recounts the true story of two young English girls who convince Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that fairies truly exist. Says Larry Gross, president of Knowledge Adventure, "Warner Bros. and DC Comics have a long history of success in children's cartoon programming and character development. Superman and Batman & Robin are among the most recognized and well-loved superheroes in the world. Kids will love to interact with their favorite characters in these challenging and educational adventures. "We're also excited to bring Paramount's upcoming family film, "FairyTale - A True Story," to CD-ROM. Girls, in particular, have reacted extremely well to this activity center's enchanting world of fairies and fantasy. By capturing the magic and charm of the film and providing endless opportunities for exploration and creativity, we believe this CD-ROM will be irresistible." Superman Activity Center Based on the hit DC Comics series and Warner Bros. animated TV show, the Superman Activity Center is filled with 13 games, puzzles and activities that allow kids to interact with their favorite superhero. Kids ages 5 - 10 can roam through three worlds -- Krypton, Smallville and Metropolis -- to solve puzzles and defeat villains as they build their critical thinking, problem-solving and deductive reasoning skills. They will have fun writing their own Daily Planet front page story with Lois Lane and Clark Kent, learning valuable safety tips using Clark's X-ray vision, and matching wits with Lex Luthor in a game of strategy and skill. The Superman Activity Center features original voice-over talent from the animated television series, adjustable skill levels and two modes of play. Availability: Holiday Season Format: Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh CD-ROM Approximate Price in Stores: $20 FairyTale - A True Story Activity Center Based on Paramount's upcoming motion picture, "FairyTale - A True Story," this enchanting CD-ROM for children ages 7 - 11 will sweep them away with fairy folklore and 14 fun-filled activities. Set against an interactive 3D scrolling garden filled with magical imageries, historical facts and fairylore, FairyTale - A True Story Activity Center provides endless opportunities for exploration and creativity. Kids will have fun creating their own theatre based on fairy adventures, writing in their interactive journal and watching over 15 actual clips from the movie. Availability: Holiday Season Format: Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh CD-ROM Approximate Price in Stores: $30 The Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center The Adventures of Batman & RobinTActivity Center takes young crime-fighters ages 5 - 10 on exciting interactive adventures through Gotham City. Based on the hit DC Comics series and Warner Bros. animated TV show, The Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center challenges kids to capture Batman's foes by playing 11 replayable activities, mind-bending puzzles and exciting games designed to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The mazes, puzzles and games re-set into new patterns each time they are played, creating a new challenge every time. Kids will have lots of fun exploring the world of Batman & Robin, including Wayne Manor, The Batcave, Gotham City and Arkham Asylum. The Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center features original voice-over talent from the animated TV series and adjustable skill levels. Availability: Now Format: Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh CD-ROM Approximate Price in Stores: $20 Knowledge Adventure, Inc. is a leading educational software publisher best known for pioneering grade-based software with the best-selling, award- winning JumpStart Learning System. The company is also known for its Adventure series and new Activity Center line. Founded in 1991,Knowledge Adventure is a subsidiary of CUC Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU). Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which includes the Licensing, Studio Stores, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, WB Sport and WB Toys divisions, is a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. DC Comics is a division of Warner Bros., a Time Warner Entertainment Company. Since 1938, DC has created over 5,000 characters, including the world's most popular super-heroes: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. These and other characters have starred in comic books, movies, television, TV-animation, the Broadway stage and cyberspace. Viacom Consumer Products merchandises properties on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television and Simon & Schuster as well as third-party properties. Viacom Consumer Products, a unit of Viacom Entertainment Group, is a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE SHIPS JUMPSTART ADVENTURES 5TH GRADE: JO HAMMET, KID DETECTIVE The #1 selling grade-based software series expands with JumpStart 5th Grade, a cool mystery adventure designed to prepare kids for success in middle school GLENDALE, Calif., Oct. 15, 1997 - The best-selling, critically acclaimed JumpStart Learning System has expanded with JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade: Jo Hammet, Kid Detective, now available from Knowledge Adventure. In this exciting extension of the company's rapidly growing series of full-grade CD- ROMs, kids ages 9 - 11 can boost their "brain power" by applying lessons in language arts, math, history, science and art to unravel an action-packed mystery adventure. Providing a cool, hip environment for fifth graders to learn important skills, JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade boasts a compelling storyline, solid educational challenges, entertaining gameplay, stunning graphics and animation, and richly scored, original music. Developed by education experts and extensively tested by teachers and students, JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade was designed to prepare students for success in middle school. The software includes several brain- twisting, curriculum-building games that cover a full year of fifth grade curriculum, including language arts, U.S. history, art history, long division, multiplication, decimals, fractions, ratios, logic, prepositions, pronouns and physical science. Featuring Knowledge Adventure's exclusive Adaptive Learning Technology, JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade automatically adjusts to the student's skill level -- keeping kids motivated and challenged as their learning needs change over the course of the school year. Knowledge Adventure pioneered the Adaptive Learning Technology in 1995, and this innovative technology is now a unique feature in all JumpStart products. JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade also features an extensive Parent's Progress Report to help parents monitor their child's progress in all subject areas. Says Bernadette Gonzalez, executive producer at Knowledge Adventure, "We're delighted to expand the depth and breadth of the JumpStart line with JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade. The JumpStart approach is still relevant at the higher grade levels. The cross-curricular activities, which are woven into an exciting adventure game format, motivate students to develop a thorough understanding of fifth grade curriculum. "Throughout the development process, we worked closely with a team of fifth grade teachers and students to make sure that the program meets curriculum requirements and is motivating for students. Our collaboration resulted in an exciting program with a cool, edgy feel and intriguing adventure storyline, offering a fresh alternative to standard drill-and-practice programs." Grade-Based Learning in an Action-Packed Mystery Adventure In JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade, kids assume the role of Jo Hammet, a savvy 5th grade gumshoe who is hot on a case. While visiting the Hooverville Arts and History Museum on a field trip, Jo uncovers a sinister plot by the mad genius Dr. X, who intends to destroy the city's factories and power plants. Players join Jo on her skateboard as they cruise the city on a mission to capture Dr. X and save six sabotage sites planted in Hooverville. While dodging Dr. X's goons and searching for clues to unravel the mystery, kids encounter a variety of brain-twisting, curriculum-building games: Art History Students explore the Hooverville Arts and History Museum, where they can view and learn about more than 70 historic and contemporary works of art. Geography Students learn about world geography by manipulating a huge rotating globe in the museum, then testing their knowledge by completing challenging crossword puzzles. Whole Number Math Many of Dr. X's secrets are locked behind special doors. To decipher the codes, students solve math problems that include complex multiplication and long division with remainders. Language Arts Dr. X's henchmen can provide information that will help solve the case. Players use special glasses to read their minds, then fill in the correct nouns, verbs and adjectives to complete the paragraph. U.S. History Players venture deep into the mine shaft, where they must dodge giant boulders and ride in mine cars to discover artifacts from U.S. and Native American history. Fractions Players visit the Squishy Juice Bar, where they learn complex fractions with varied numerators and denominators while mixing grade-school beverage concoctions. Physical Science and Decimals To defuse the bombs that threaten the city, players manipulate circuit switch boxes to obtain the correct voltage number. JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade provides two modes of play: kids can follow the adventure all the way through, or test their skill at almost any activity in the simulated Detective Training Center, which can be launched from the Progress Report. The JumpStart Learning System Offering the most comprehensive solution to help kids succeed in school, the JumpStart Learning System includes nearly 20 titles for children ages 6 months to 11 years. The best-selling, award-winning series includes full- grade, subject-specific and learning tool products: JumpStart Full Grades take a comprehensive, methodical approach to teaching an entire school year. These products cover all the major subjects taught in that particular grade, assuring an integrated approach to learning that mirrors the classroom curriculum. Products range from JumpStart Baby to JumpStart 5th Grade. JumpStart Subjects complement the cross-curricular approach of the JumpStart full- grade products by offering dedicated grade-specific learning in critical subject areas like reading and math. Titles include JumpStart Kindergarten Reading, JumpStart 1st Grade Reading, JumpStart 1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math. JumpStart Learning Tools offer the same integrated approach found in other JumpStart products to complement a child's education in supplemental skill areas. Products include JumpStart Spanish and JumpStart Typing. Availability, Pricing and System Requirements JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade is immediately available at most major computer stores and mass-merchant chains nationwide. The Windows 95/Windows 3.1/ Macintosh CD-ROM is expected to be priced at approximately $30. Customers can call (800) 542-4240 for sales and ordering information. System requirements for JumpStart Adventures 5th Grade are as follows: Windows 95 and 3.1 486DX 66 MHz or faster; double-speed CD-ROM Windows 3.1 CD-ROM drive; 16 MB RAM for Windows 95/8 MB RAM for Windows 3.1; 15 MB available on hard drive; SVGA 256-color graphics adapter; MPC-compatible sound card. Macintosh CD-ROM 68040 25 MHz or PowerPC processor; double-speed CD-ROM drive; 8 MB RAM available; 15 MB available on hard drive; 256-color graphics capability; 13" or larger color monitor; System 7.1 or higher. Availability: Now Ages: 9 - 11 Format: Win 95/Win 3.1/Mac CD-ROM Approximate Street Price: $30 Sales and Ordering Info: (800) 542-4240 Web Site: www.adventure.com Knowledge Adventure, Inc. is a leading educational software publisher best known for pioneering grade-based software with the best-selling, award- winning JumpStart Learning System. Offering a total solution to help kids succeed in school, the JumpStart series includes nearly 20 full-grade and subject-based products for children ages 6 months to 11 years. The company is also known for its Adventure series and new Activity Center line, which includes The Adventures of Batman and Robin Activity Center and Superman Activity Center. Founded in 1991, Knowledge Adventure is a division of CUC Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU). # # # JUNIOR TYPISTS "GO FOR THE GOLD" AS THEY PARTICIPATE IN JUMPSTART TYPING AN OLYMPIC-STYLE KEYBOARDING COMPETITION FROM KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE Bringing exciting new thrills to learning how to type, JumpStart Typing helps kids ages 7 - 10 build important keyboarding skills that prepare them for success in today's computer-dominated world GLENDALE, Calif., - Junior typists from around the world will soon be "chasing the dream" as they build important keyboarding skills by participating in Olympic-style keyboarding events in JumpStart Typing, fun new multimedia software for kids ages 7-10 now available from Knowledge Adventure. Branching out from the company's line of grade-based software, JumpStart Typing is the first in Knowledge Adventure's new series of "Learning Tools," designed to offer the same integrated approach found in other JumpStart products to complement a child's education in supplemental skill areas. An exciting, comprehensive approach to learning how to type, JumpStart Typing prepares youngsters for success in today's computer-dominated world. Kids undergo the ultimate keyboard workout as they play "extreme sports" -- such as rock-climbing, snowboarding and skateboarding -- and take on more than 30 valuable lessons in an electrifying environment. Says Larry Gross, president of Knowledge Adventure, "We're excited to expand our best-selling JumpStart system of full-grade and subject-based software with 'real world' learning tools such as JumpStart Typing. By learning correct typing technique at an early age, kids have a useful skill that they can apply throughout life. JumpStart Typing brings a fresh, fun approach to building valuable keyboarding skills, and offers a high level of customization to meet kids' individual needs." Let the Games Begin! It's opening day at Sparks Stadium, the site of the first Extreme Keyboarding Competition. The stadium is glistening with the most technologically advanced sports equipment, and the most skilled typists from around the world are arriving to compete for top scores in the most extreme and daring keyboarding games. Just before opening ceremonies, mischievous Polly Spark (of JumpStart Adventures 3rd GradeT), one of the shining stars of the Sparks Dream Team, locks the head coach inside the trophy closet. Players learn that the coach had excluded Polly from the competition because she did not practice her typing with the team. To save the competition and free the coach, kids become key players for the Sparks Dream Team. Before participating in the keyboarding events, kids must build their strength by taking lessons and timed typing tests in the Keyboard Training Center. The lessons introduce players to all the keys - from the "home row" to the more difficult number and punctuation keys - via a color keyboard system. JumpStart Typing features Knowledge Adventure's exclusive Diagnostic Technology, which evaluates kids' strengths and weaknesses and adjusts the level of difficulty accordingly. In addition, the Training Center features movie clips, fashioned after 1950s training films and commercials, that teach kids correct hand placement and proper typing posture. Once kids build enough strength from practicing their typing skills, they can take the field and participate in various keyboarding events such as: Keyboard Kicks A combination of soccer and table-top foosball, this game challenges players to accurately type the letters, letter combinations and words found in the scoreboards. Players move their soccer players and kick the ball with every accurate letter entry. As players type successfully, the ball movement accelerates, making this a very fast-paced, action-packed game. Trail Blazer In this snowboarding competition, plays must clear the jump on a switchback trail by accurately and quickly typing the letter or key combinations that appear above the individual snowboarders that race down the mountain. Watch out for polar bears throwing snowballs! Cliff Hanging Players climb a treacherous mountain, Mount Keys, by accurately typing letters and key combinations that appear below the hand grips. As the player's typing speed and accuracy increase, "Wall Crawlers" pop out of nooks and drop globs of neon slime to prevent players from progressing up the mountain. Roller Racing Kids perform dazzling skateboard stunts on an extreme course full of typing hurdles. To jump over or duck under the many obstacles, players must type the correct letters that pop onto the course. As the player's speed and accuracy increase, the letter obstacles spell words. Fans Go Wild Players can take a time-out from the competition by visiting their fans in the stadium. In this race against the clock, the fans hold flip cards that display letters. As players accurately type the letters that pop up, the fans flip over the cards, which gradually reveal encouraging messages such as "Way to Go" and "Impressive Typing!". Cool New Technology JumpStart Typing is one of the first educational software programs to employ a proprietary horizontal and vertical parallax scrolling technology to heighten the excitement of gameplay. This technology -- which is used in the wall-climbing ("Cliff Hanging") and skateboarding ("Roller Racing") events -- enables players to watch the action scroll past them at varying speeds, providing the illusion, sensation and thrill of actually participating in the games. Key Features and Benefits To make learning how to type easy and fun, JumpStart Typing offers many unique features and benefits such as: Over 30 typing lessons and thrilling, Olympic-style games that bring an exciting new dimension to learning important keyboarding skills Exclusive Diagnostic Technology, which evaluates kids' strengths and weaknesses and adjusts difficulty accordingly - keeping kids motivated and challenged Movie clips that teach correct hand placement and posture Entertaining typing passages, which draw from a pool of over 5,000 words, ranging from a first grade through sixth grade difficulty level, add variety to lessons and timed tests A printable progress report that provides an "at-a-glance" record of typing WPM speed and accuracy A unique parallax scrolling technology that heightens the excitement of gameplay The JumpStart Learning System Offering the most comprehensive solution to help kids succeed in school, the JumpStart Learning System includes nearly 20 titles for children ages 6 months to 11 years. The best-selling, award-winning series includes full- grade, subject-specific and learning tool products: JumpStart Full Grades take a comprehensive, methodical approach to teaching an entire school year. These products cover all the major subjects taught in that particular grade, assuring an integrated approach to learning that mirrors the classroom curriculum. Products range from JumpStart Baby to JumpStart 5th Grade. JumpStart Subjects complement the cross-curricular approach of the JumpStart full- grade products by offering dedicated grade-specific learning in critical subject areas like reading and math. Titles include JumpStart 1st Grade Reading, JumpStart 1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math. JumpStart Learning Tools offer the same integrated approach found in other JumpStart products to complement a child's education in supplemental skill areas. Products include JumpStart Spanish and JumpStart Typing. Availability, Pricing and System Requirements JumpStart Typing is immediately available at most major computer stores and mass-merchant chains nationwide. The Windows 95/Macintosh CD-ROM is expected to be priced at approximately $30. Customers can call (800) 542- 4240 for sales and ordering information. System requirements for JumpStart Typing are as follows: Windows 95 CD-ROM 486DX 66 MHz or faster; quad-speed CD-ROM drive; Windows 95; 16 MB of RAM; SVGA 640x480 at 256 colors; MPC-compatible sound card. Macintosh CD-ROM68040 or Power Mac; quad-speed CD-ROM drive; System 7.1 or higher; 16 MB of RAM; 13" or larger color monitor. Availability: Now Ages: 7 - 10 Format: Win 95/Mac CD-ROM Approximate Street Price: $30 Sales and Ordering Info: (800) 542-4240 Web Site: www.adventure.com Knowledge Adventure, Inc. is a leading educational software publisher best known for pioneering grade-based software with the best-selling, award- winning JumpStart Learning System. Offering a total solution to help kids succeed in school, the JumpStart series includes nearly 20 full-grade and subject-based products for children ages 6 months to 11 years. The company is also known for its Adventure series and new Activity Center line, which includes The Adventures of Batman and Robin Activity Center and Superman Activity Center. Founded in 1991, Knowledge Adventure is a division of CUC Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU). # # # A FANCIFUL TREEHOUSE WITH LOADS OF ACTIVITIES MAKES LEARNING FUN IN DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES, INC.'S FISHER-PRICE READY FOR SCHOOL - FIRST GRADE First graders will build important early-learning skills in reading, math, science, telling time, and more TORRANCE, Calif. - Imagine a forest filled with treehouses, where every room offers the delights of childhood: going on a treasure hunt, singing silly songs, choosing toys to buy, playing in the garden. That's exactly the experience first graders will have with Fisher-Price Ready for School - First Grade, the latest in Davidson's popular Fisher-Price line of CD-ROMs, which is shipping now. Fisher-Price Ready for School - First Grade helps youngsters focus on essential skills for first-grade curriculum with subjects such as phonics, science, reading comprehension, telling time, and money & math. Davidson's award-winning Kid Works Deluxe on the second CD reinforces reading and writing skills learned on the first disc. A colorful, printed activity book complements the activities on both CD-ROMs. "With this addition to the Fisher-Price Ready For School series, parents will find a complete learning system for their children from toddlerhood through first grade," said Larry Gross, president of Davidson & Associates, Inc. "Starting as young as 18 months, children can play and learn with Fisher-Price CD-ROMs. The Fisher-Price name, one of the most recognized brands in the world, assures parents that their children will have positive, exciting learning experiences with age-appropriate activities." Added Ed Powderly, Director of Licensing at Fisher-Price, "An additional benefit of Fisher-Price Ready for School - First Grade is the added value customers will receive with a second CD-ROM and the activity book. This extends the learning process - both on and off the computer - and adds new worlds to explore." Fun-Filled Activities with Multiple Play Levels First graders enter a world filled with animal hosts who represent different learning games. Each game has three levels of difficulty, which automatically adjust as the child's skills improve. A skills matrix is included to help parents identify the skills covered and track their children's progress. Kids will delight in playing these games while building an important foundation for first-grade success: z Science Exploratory Lab Kids join Lanny Lizard in the lab to learn about the world around them as they participate in the scientist's experiments. Skills covered: Thinking & observation, estimation, color mixing, astronomy, geology z Cuckoo Clock Connection Von Bat helps kids learn about time on digital and analog clocks. Skills covered: Telling time by hour and half hour z Acorn Arcade Young readers target phonics and word building in this interactive video arcade, where acorns are the ammunition for reading. Skills covered: Reading comprehension, phonics, spelling, vocabulary building, rhyming z Price and Play As first-graders select their favorite toys to buy, they are challenged to apply math and money skills to the purchase. Skills covered: Addition, subtraction, counting, money, using a number line z Silly Songs Kids will have fun making music with the animal band as they orchestrate their own musical sequences and watch the band play. Skills covered: Music appreciation, sequencing, creativity, memory building z Treasure Hunt Learning about north, south, east and west is made fun in this map-reading game. Logic and planning make this treasure hunt a real find! Skills covered: Reading a map, understanding directions, reading comprehension z Build Your Own Treehouse Kids personalize the main screen by adding their own treehouses. Skills covered: Creativity, art & design z Create a Poster Young readers follow written directions to create a poster that will decorate their treehouse. Skills covered: Sentence structure, vocabulary, following directions, reading comprehension z Making Shapes Geometrical shapes come to life as kids complete patterns with Lady Liana. Skills covered: Early geometry, patterns Pricing, Availability and System Requirements Fisher-Price Ready for School - First Grade is immediately available in most major computer stores and mass-merchant chains nationwide; the Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh two-CD-ROM-set, along with a four-color, printed activity book, is expected to be priced at approximately $30. The software includes toll-free technical support, available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time every business day. Customers can call (800) 545-7677 for sales and ordering information. System requirements for the software are: Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 CD-ROM A 66 MHz 486 or faster personal computer; 256-color SVGA graphics; Windows 3.1 or higher, or Windows 95; 8 MB of RAM; a Windows-compatible sound card; and a double-speed CD-ROM drive. Macintosh CD-ROM Motorola 68040 processor or Power PC; System 7.1 or higher; 256 colors; 12 MB of RAM (with 8 MB available of hard disk space); and a double-speed CD- ROM drive. Availability: Now Ages: 5 to 7 Format: Win 95/Win 3.1/Mac CD-ROM Approximate Street Price: $30 Sales and Ordering Info: (800) 545-7677 Web Site Address: www.education.com Davidson & Associates, Inc. is a leading publisher and distributor of multimedia educational and entertainment software for both the home and school markets. The company is internationally renowned for its award winning Blaster Learning System, which has sold 5 million copies; the Fisher-Price series, CD-ROMs based on popular Fisher-Price toys; and many other innovative multimedia titles for children of all ages. Founded in 1982, Davidson & Associates, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CUC Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU). Fisher-Price, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of infant and preschool toys and juvenile products, headquartered in East Aurora, NY. # # # Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com Intense 3D Voodoo 6 MB Graphics Accelerator List Price: $229.95 Intergraph Huntsville, AL 35894 www.intergraph.com firstname.lastname@example.org System Requirements IBM PC, Intergraph PC or compatible computer, 8MB system RAM, CD ROM drive, available PCI bus slot, Windows 95 or WindowsNT 4.0 A couple of weeks ago, I introduced to you an inexpensive and innovative board from Intergraph. This week we are looking at a much more powerful and advanced board entitled the Intense 3D Voodoo from the same company. This board has many graphic, multimedia, 2D, and 3D features. It outperforms less powerful 4MB graphic cards while staying in the same price range. Three fully enhanced 3D games are also included with this 6MB board. If you care less about price and more about power, this card is for you. The graphic features on this board are very extensive. The 128-bit 2D multimedia processor sets this board apart from the competition. It is the only board with this high speed 2D processor and the performance shows. 190 MHz RAMDAC creates refresh rates as high as 200Hz too. Intense 3D Voodoo was the only board on a recent performance test to have a stereoscopic display interface. It outperformed 3D Lab's Permedia, the Matrox Mystique, Rendtion Verite, ATI Rage 2, and the S3 Virge VX, just to name a few, by at least 110 performance points in a recent performance test as well Multimedia features include DVD video thru VMI or VESA feature connector. "DVD" stands for Digital Video Disc. The board has two separate ways to view DVD and also two more NTSC video outlets. These may be plugged into the back of any VCR and most new television sets. Many 2D and 3D features are located on this board as well. I already mentioned the 128-bit 2D processor. This board allows multiple independent video windows and simultaneous 2D and 3D rendering. Bi-linear filter scaling as well as bi-linear and also tri-linear texture filtering are included with the Intense 3D Voodoo. Gouraud shading, texture modulation, and all of the normal advancements come with this board too. It always 24- bit color and can stand up to anything 3D games have to offer. Coming with Intergraph's new board are three enhanced and fully registered games. They are Moto Racer from Electronic Arts, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter by Acclaim, and Longbow FX made by people at Jane's Combat Simulations. I must say that Moto Racer and Turok were very addictive and fun to play. Their graphics and gameplay were both very advanced and I enjoyed both of them. Longbow FX did not play as well as the others however. It was like most flying sims I have played and with no instructions included with the game, it was very confusing. But still, the retail values of the three games is around $150 all together so it is definitely a plus if you purchase this board. 3D Voodoo is much more powerful than other accelerators on the market today. However, if price is a consideration when you buy hardware for your computer, Intergraph's Intense 3D 100 is also on sale for $99.00. Still, $229.95 is around the going price for most graphic accelerators and most of those are only 4 MB. Plus, when the three enhanced games are added with the package Intense 3D Voodoo almost seems a must-buy. If you are looking for more power and performance in your graphic accelerator take a look at Intense 3D Voodoo from Intergraph. The Linux Advocate by Scott Dowdle LOGIN: Hello from Great Falls, Montana. My name is Scott Dowdle and I hope to write a continuous bi-weekly (or monthly) column on the Linux Operating System here in STR. Who am I? I'm not a computer professional but I hope to be one someday as I'm pursuing a BS in Computer Information Systems at Montana State University Northern, Great Falls campus. As you can tell, I'm not a professional writer but I do try and that's what counts, right? :) Rather than go into an abbreviated history of myself, I'll just refer anyone interested to my Internet homepage where I've gone into pretty good depth already. Scott Dowdle's Homepage: http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle ...and feel free to contact me via email: email@example.com If you feel that you must, you can call long distance information and ask for Scott Dowdle in Great Falls, Montana and talk to me over the phone, but I'd prefer email first. I don't claim to be a Unix guru nor an expert on Linux but I feel that I know enough to point people in the right direction(s) even on Linux topics that I've not gone too far into. Let it be known that the mother load of Linux information is provided by the Linux Documentation Project. The LDP is a collection of digital books, HOWTOs and man pages, among other things, that have been gathered up by the LDP team to benefit the Linux community. The LDP is available from many different sites on the Internet (ie mirrored) and the Internet URL I use is: http://www.caldera.com/LDP/ If that Internet URL seems to be slow for you, do a search for "Linux Documentation Project" on your favorite Internet Search Engine (like www.yahoo.com) and see what you come up with. There are literally thousands upon thousands of Linux related homepages and sites. As part of my efforts to inform the reader, I'll include URLs for what I consider to be the better Linux related Internet resources. Planned format for this column: I'm a fairly spontaneous person (perhaps a fault) who likes to keep things loose BUT I plan on following a general outline. With each release of this column, I hope to devote a certain amount of space to the following topics: 1. Linux History 2. Linux News 3. Linux Myth Dispelling 4. Linux Distribution Spotlight 5. Linux Application Spotlight. Of course you'll find plenty of personal comments and opinions thrown in for good measure and I plan to have a "Why Use Linux - special applications" feature, just not ever column installment. Just keep in mind, your mileage may vary. In the future I'll probably rearrange the order some to keep people from falling asleep. :) Also, although no graphics (ie screenshots) are included in this edition of the column, I plan on including them in future columns where they seem appropriate and when given the blessing of STR's editor. I might as well get started. Linux History: First of all, what is Linux? Just so you know, I've been using Linux for about three years and I feel very comfortable with it. Linux is an Operating System kernel that is available for many different computer platforms. Linux was originally "born" in 1991 on the Intel 80386 family, a child of then college student (University of Helsinki, Finland) Linus Torvalds. At the very beginning Linus announced his intention to write a Unix like operating system kernel that takes advantage of the special features of the Intel 80386 processor. Linus was both inspired and frustrated by a semi-commercial Operating System named Minix. Minix was/is an Operating System that is freely available with a book called OPERATING SYSTEMS DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION by Andrew S. Tannenbaum. Linus got into Unix in college and wanted to run a Unix like system at home and the only affordable choice at the time was Minix. Minix was/is written almost completely in C and complete source code for the system is included in the book (now in its 2nd edition), as examining computer operating system theory as well as how to implement theory in code is the main point of the book. Minix was Unix-like but since it didn't use any of the advanced features of the 80386, which seemed to be specially designed for multitasking and all of the issues that come along with it (like memory protection), Linus started hacking away at a system of his own. He made a public announcement on the comp.os.minix newsgroup letting people know of his plans and asking them to join in if they wanted to, as he planned to release the complete C source code publicly via the Internet so that anyone interested could get it. Computer hacker/geeks WERE interested and the rest is history... a history that I'll do my best to document as the columns go by. Enough history for now. Linux News: None this month. It's a new column so everything is news this time. :) Dispelling some Linux myths: There are two big factors that have been a great source of MYTHS about Linux, and understandably so. I plan to use this part of the column to dispell as many myths as I can. The factors I mentioned are: 1) Linux is freely distributable and built with freely distributable development tools, and 2) Linux is a flavor of the Unix operating system. Someone has already delved heavily into dispelling Linux myths and has made an Internet homepage out of the topic. In future columns, I will probably borrow heavily from this information resource and the reader is certainly encouraged to visit: http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html It isn't the most well written site, as the author doesn't spell well sometimes (must be a computer hacker/geek thing - as they tend not to spell well, and as a matter of fact, my spelling ability is diminishing with the more CIS education I get, haha)... but don't let that stop you. The site is full of understandable content, and that is what is important, right? Anyway, now onto some myth introduction statements. It is human nature to assume that if something is free, it can't be very good, and it certainly couldn't hold up to commercial products, right? While that can be and is true for many things in life, it is an absolute fallacy when it comes to Linux and over time, I'll try my best to prove that. The Unix Operating System (and forgive me for ignoring to put "(tm)" after every usage of the world Unix) was originally developed by Bell Labs for AT&T in 1969 and refined in the early 70's. I will not attempt a historical review of Unix because that has little to do with the myth I'm trying to dispell. The myth is --- that Unix is ancient, written for mainframe computers and has a horrible user interface. Many silly myths have sprung up as a result of the previously mentioned myth. Some people think that Unix requires a 8 inch floppy disk, reel to reel tape drives, and couldn't possibly have a color display or use a mouse. Like the "Linux is free and free stuff can't be any good" myth, the Unix is ancient and too hard to use myth is... another absolute fallacy. While it is true that most of the core Unix software tools still rely on a command line interface with lots of command flag parameters, which strikes fear into the hearts of "Windows-babies" (to twist a borrowed term from the very editor of this publication, Ralph Mariano, who basically called anyone who complained about the upcoming Microsoft Windows 98 release "DOS-babies"). Fear not babies, Unix has the best of both the GUI and the CLI Worlds once you know where to look. I'll get into giving some examples of that in this part of the column as time goes by. :) Just so you know, it is a fact that Microsoft is making every new release of their Windows Operating Systems (NT and 95/98) more Unix like even if it isn't obvious in the enduser. In fact, "The Bill" claimed at the introduction of Windows NT that NT would be "a better Unix than Unix." For me, when it comes to making Windows NT a better Unix than Unix... I think NT stands for "Nice Try." :) hahahaa Distribution Spotlight: Ok, so above (or on the previous page, whatever the case may be) I told you that Linux was an "operating system kernel" and you might have wondered... THATS GREAT, BUT WHAT IS THAT AND WHAT CAN IT DO FOR ME? That's where the Distributions of Linux come in. What is a distribution? Basically, a distribution of Linux is a nice, convenient package of the Linux kernel, the core Unix software tools, and a slew of optional software utilities and applications... ALL in a nice and easy to install package, usually on CD-ROM. A distribution maker gathers up the best available software from the vast Unix software resources (ie, the Internet) and provides a method of installing and removing software as well as basic configurations for the most complex software packages. In other words, the distribution makers are the people who make Linux into a usable system... to take it from the level of "Hacker Only" and attempt to make Linux into an "End User" system. Distribution makers don't stand still for very long and are constantly refining their work. There are about a dozen different Linux distributions to choose from but I'll stick to the more popular packages for simplicity... besides, I'm not familiar with every Linux distribution, just the more popular ones. In the next column I plan on covering the Red Hat Commercial Linux distribution. Since this column is running long I'll leave it at that but I do want to provide some Internet WWW links for those who don't want to have to wait on me. :) Software in the Public Interest aka Debian - http://www.debian.org Red Hat Software - http://www.redhat.com Caldera Inc. - http://www.caldera.com Application Spotlight: Again, due to space limitations, I'm going to skip this part of the column this month. In the next column I plan on a mini-review of ApplixWare for Linux distributed by Red Hat Software. For advanced info on ApplixWare, feel free to visit the previously mentioned Red Hat homepage and cruise the links there. I'm NOT trying to push Red Hat Software or anything and will most certainly be bringing up other products and topics as time goes by. In any event, yet again, there already exists an excellent, organized Internet resource for links to hundreds of Linux applications. This is the Linux Applications Homepage and it can be found at the following URL: http://www.xnet.com/~blatura/linapps.shtml LOGOUT: That's more than enough for this edition of The Linux Advocate column. I hope it provided some reasonable information as well as some further reading resources that you will find enjoyable. Again, I'd like to encourage interested readers to contact me via email or to visit my homepage (see the LOGIN section at the beginning of this column) NOT because I'm some egotistical person trying to gather WWW hits (I don't even have a counter on my homepage) but because I enjoy leading people to Linux and helping them along the way. I remember what it was like to be a computer beginner and don't look down my nose at anyone at any level. 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 Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" It's really slim-pickings this week! In a way, it's fortunate for me personally, but always a dreadful sign as a magazine editor! If it isn't one things, it's another. One of these days, my wife and I are going to be able to enjoy some free time. The house is slowly taking shape. So what do we do to complicate things? We adopted a dog (make that a puppy), and now he's taking up precious time. Don't get me wrong, we're both happy about it even though he's got more energy than the EverReady bunny! This pooch just doesn't want to shut down! But anyway, enough on this week's saga - the house nor pup had no influence on this week's issue. It's just been a slow week. I have heard that CAB 2.5 is slowly making its way to the U.S./Canada. This is good news. The "bad" might be that CAB 2.5 users may need a multitasking environment to run this new CAB. Worse is the rumor that it must be a preemptive multitasking environment. This does not bode well, or so I have heard, for users of Geneva. We'll have to take a wait-and-see attitude to more specific information becomes public. That's about it for the Atari front this week. No articles this week yet, as of this note. So let's move on and see what's happening in the gaming industry these days. Until next time... Gaming Section Bowling Hall of Fame 'Inductee'! "Daytona USA Deluxe"! GamePro Tips! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Capcom Ships First 3D Street Fighter: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (Oct. 23) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 23, 1997 - Capcom Entertainment today announced that it has shipped its new 3D fighting game, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha(TM). Heralded as the king of 2D fighters, this marks the first time in Capcom's successful history that the multi-million unit selling Street Fighter series makes the jump into the world of 3D fighting games. Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha delivers Capcom's signature game play and incredible control that millions of fans worldwide have loved for years. In addition, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha boasts the return of favorite Street Fighter II characters like Chun Li, Ryu and Ken, appearing for the first time in 3D. They are joined by an eclectic cast of Capcom characters, each with a unique link to previous Street Fighter games. Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha is available exclusively for the Sony PlayStation and sells at a suggested retail price of $49.99. "Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha marks a big milestone in the history of Capcom and the Street Fighter series," says Robert Lindsey, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Capcom Entertainment. "For years the Street Fighter series has been heralded as the king of fighters and provided the world with great characters and signature game play and control. "Now, we've taken everything that's made the series everlasting and incorporated it into the world of 3D fighters. This is what Street Fighter fans have been waiting for and Capcom is pleased to deliver." Based on the arcade hit, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha explodes in 3D with classic, special moves, advanced characters, all new super-combos and multi-hit barrages that have made Street Fighter famous. The huge cast of 23 characters includes the return of favorite Street Fighter characters, Guile, Zangief, M. Bison and Akuma. It also introduces all-new characters like Skullomania, Pullum Purna, Hokotu, Garuda and Cracker Jack. Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha boasts three new hidden characters and bosses from the arcade release. Take Your PC Into Overdrive with Sega's Force Feedback Technology REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. (Oct. 21) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 21, 1997 - Ladies and gentlemen, start your PCs! Sega(R) Entertainment, Inc. (SEI) announced today the release of its newest Sega Racing(TM) game, "Daytona USA(TM) Deluxe." This high-speed, true-to-life racing experience has been optimized for the PC with force feedback technology, eight-player network play and an all-new PC track. "Daytona USA Deluxe" will be available in stores nationwide beginning this week. "Unlike most force feedback games on the market, 'Daytona USA Deluxe' was built from the ground up with force feedback technology," said Jill Braff, director of marketing, SEI. "Since our developers were thinking about the force feedback effects from day one of development, they implemented intense motion responses everywhere they need to be, giving PC gamers the most gratifying and realistic racing experience possible." Gamers begin their test drive by choosing from eight different stock cars, each with their own specific strengths ranging from grip and acceleration to speed. From there, players can adjust the car settings including the suspension, handling, transmission and the height of the front and rear of the car for optimized performance. "Daytona USA Deluxe" features six high-resolutions courses with treacherous twists and turns in locations varying from canyons, beaches, national parks and deserts. As a new addition, "Daytona USA Deluxe" includes an original PC track -- Silver Ocean Crossway -- to add another element of fun and surprise to the game for those familiar with the arcade and Sega Saturn(R) versions. "Daytona USA Deluxe" features amazingly realistic perspectives such as first person and behind-the-car, and four modes of play including arcade, time attack, one/two players via split screen and network play via LAN, modem, serial link and the Internet. There are also new soundtracks with CD-quality sound and roaring engine special effects. "Daytona USA Deluxe" will be available nationwide this week and operates on a minimum specification of at 90 Mhz Pentium with memory of 16 MB. "Daytona USA Deluxe" supports play on a keyboard or any analog or digital Windows 95 compatible peripheral, including force feedback joysticks. ASC Games' Ten Pin Alley "Inducted" Into The Hall of Fame DARIEN, CONN. (Oct. 22) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 22, 1997 - Most Realistic Bowling Video Game Of All-Time To Join Bowling's Elite For the first time, an honor usually reserved for elite professional athletes has been awarded to a video game. The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has selected ASC Games' Ten Pin Alley as an "inductee" into the historic halls of the St. Louis based bowling landmark. Ten Pin Alley will also become a permanent fixture at this historic bowling landmark at an interactive kiosk where gamers and bowlers alike can test their skills on the wackiest, most true-to-life and realistic bowling simulation of all-time. Ten Pin Alley is currently available for the Sony PlayStation and PC-CD-ROM, and is scheduled for release on October 30th for the Sega Saturn. "It is a true privilege to have Ten Pin Alley enshrined in The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame," stated David Klein, President and COO of ASC Games. "We wanted to create a game that simulated the total bowling experience, capturing all of the subtle nuances of America's No. 1 indoor participation sport, so that it could be appreciated and enjoyed by bowlers and non-bowlers alike. This honor serves as a testament to the success we attained in creating the most realistic and coolest bowling game ever!" With its corporate headquarters in Darien, Connecticut, ASC Games has quickly emerged as a creative force in the video game industry as a developer, publisher and distributor of products for the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC CD-ROM. In an effort to bring the best in interactive entertainment to the market, ASC Games has partnered with some of the top development studios in the world, including Dreamforge Intertainment, Player 1, Realtime Associates and Visual Concepts. For more information on Ten Pin Alley and ASC Games, visit us on the web at www.ascgames.com. GamePro Magazine's November Issue Lets You in on the Secrets SAN MATEO, Calif., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Interactive gamers can check out all of the secret moves and tactics for today's hottest games in the November issue of GamePro magazine -- the world's largest multiplatform gaming publication -- available on newsstands everywhere beginning October 21, 1997. This holiday season, gamers are waiting anxiously for the most highly-anticipated sequel yet for the PlayStation -- Tomb Raider II -- by Eidos Interactive (developed by Core Design). They say if it ain't broke don't fix it and Eidos and Core certainly seem to agree. GamePro takes a look at some of Lara's new skills and weapons as well as the explosion of enemies! Lara will face a horde of 'em -- animals, human, and whatever. The November issue of GamePro also features Final Fantasy VII ProStrategy Guide, Part 2 for the PlayStation, developed by Squaresoft (See the October issue of GamePro for Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide, Part 1). Fear not Final Fantasy fans, GamePro provides a survival guide, not a blow-by-blow fun spoiler. Also check out Madden 64 for the Nintendo 64 by EA Sports, arguably the most fun football game ever created. Madden 64 tackles football fans with everything they demand both on and off the field -- exciting gameplay, great features, and some very cool graphics. Other highlights include Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi for the PlayStation -- the fighting game pros at LucasArts reveal how they mastered Teras Kasi and the Force. In addition, gamers can also check out Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee by GT Interactive with a step-by-step guide to help them plot their odyssey across Abe's odd world. If you like Duke Nukem, you will be wowed with Shadow Warrior by GT Interactive for the PC (developed by 3D Realms). Lo Wang is 3D Realm's newest action hero in his debut title, Shadow Warrior. This game is loaded with new monsters to slaughter and more than 20 involving levels to attain. Get ready to see a lot of blood. Shadow Warrior has a lot in common with Duke Nukem. It's enhanced difficulty level, sound track, and environments make it a fun game. Nintendo Settles Case Against Games City MONTEREY PARK, CALIF. (Oct. 23) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 23, 1997 - Nintendo of America Inc. today announced they have reached a settlement with Games City and have agreed to the settlement of all outstanding claims in the litigation pending in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Games City has agreed to permanently cease all direct, contributory and willfull acts of infringement by advertising and distributing unauthorized copies of Nintendo video games and the "Game Doctor" and the "Doctor V64" video game copying devices. The settlement ends the litigation filed in May by Nintendo against Games City for violating Nintendo's copyright and trademark rights. The Court had issued a Temporary Restraining Order against Games City in June ordering them to immediately cease advertising, (including on its Internet web-site), selling, importing and distributing the copying devices and unauthorized copies of Nintendo software. As part of the terms of the recent settlement, Games City has signed a Consent Judgment in the amount of $100,000 and agreed to a Permanent Injunction. The "Game Doctor" and the "Doctor V64" are copying devices, which, when connected to Nintendo's Super NES and Nintendo 64 hardware systems allow for unlawful copying of Nintendo video games from the original cartridge format to a computer disk or to the hard drive of a personal computer. Nintendo's action against Games City is part of a worldwide effort to stop the distribution of counterfeit Nintendo video game products and the distribution of game copying devices. Nintendo has waged an aggressive campaign to combat the production and sale of counterfeit video game products worldwide, which, last year, cost Nintendo, its publishers and developers an estimated $810 million in sales worldwide. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Another week has come and gone and it's time to look at what other Atarians are talking about online. I know that many of you will be surprised to find out that I haven't got a soapbox to stand on this week. Usually I spend the first several paragraphs of this column beating you over the head with my latest crusade or faulty thought process. Well, that's not the case this week. I'm afraid that I haven't got anything rattling around in my brain that needs getting out and airing in the light of day (or the light of a computer monitor, as the case may be). We've got CompuServe getting ready to provide access to their forums via the internet (something that Delphi has been doing for a while now), PC computer prices falling, chip manufacturers saying they've found a way to make processor chips run faster and cooler, and Internet Service Providers merging and expanding all over the place. All in all, not a lot for me to complain about.... Maybe next week. <grin> We took a look at the messages on Delphi last time, so this time we'll look at what's floating around on the UseNet... >From the COMP.SYS.ATARI.ST NewsGroup Jo Even Skarstein posts: "I've just bought a HP Deskjet 670C, which works very well with NVDI's Deskjet 550C driver. I want to use the 600dpi mode as well, and wondered if anybody has made such a driver, or know where I can get one. Given the proper documentation I can easily make one myself, but it looks like HP doesn't like to give away this info..." Malcolm (Cookie) Cooke tells Jo: "With the print driver editor for nvdi look at the laserjet printer the commands as very close build a new one and try it out or look at the print drivers in Papyrus v4 or 5 these have the deskjet printer 670c i think and you can see the commands there! Hope this helps." Boris Cahan adds his thoughts: "I just got a 672C myself, and the 550C driver works just fine with it. If you want, you can get the PCL codes from their web-site http://www.hp.com/go/peripherals, but unless you KNOW PCL, forget it. And I mean REALLY KNOW! Just set up your paper size properly, and the rest is easy. On the control codes page, Iin the start page command line is a ESC (*t300R) line make that ...t600... and change any other lines that have 300 to 600. Using makeprn.prg, you can copy the 300 dpi to a new entry, then rename the new entry to 600 DPI. CAUTION! If the 670 is the same as the 672, color is only 300 x 300, so make sure in the color page that you set it to B/W. The F HP manual says use the 550C driver! The problem is not that they don't want to, it's just that the Techs on the phone lines, and the ones who wrote the manual, think that the only computer is The PeeWee! Tell them its an Atari, they sound dumb and say "we don't support that"! IF you persist and spend 10 hrs or so trying to find an intelligent tech, you can actually get some real help. But at long distance toll rates." Martin-Eric Racine asks for help with GhostScript, the PostScript/Adobe Acrobat reader: "How does it work??? I unpacked the basic package (gs315.zoo I think), and every time CAB passes it a .PDF file, GS gives me an error message, saying it cannot locate some of its config files?!! What is the black magical spell one must recite when installing it? There was no ReadMe with this archive." Jo Even Skarstein tells Martin: "I never got GhostScript 3.33 to work either, it always complained about missing configuration-files. Somebody mentioned that a newer version would be better, but I haven't needed GS since then (trying to print out some pages of the Atari Compendium) so I haven't bothered downloading the latest version. Atari GhostScript has a dedicated web-site, I don't remember the URL but a quick search should locate it." "Mike" asks for help for a friend: "Hello Atari Users, I am an IBM user that would like to setup a friend on the net who has an Atari ST. I see alot of software like STING that looks like what I need. I see its compressed by mathods like LHARC or ZOO. I am familiar with the IBM versions of these. what do I need to get to be able to install an archiver like LHARC on my friends Atari? If I have no archiver yet, what do I need to get to install it, and where can I download it ?" William Pike tells Mike: "There are Atari versions of LHArc, Zoo,Zip,ARC, and sever other programs that are directly compatable with the versions for other systems. They should be available from any Atari Archive." Boris Cahan adds: "There are several atari sites that are still good. The ftp.umich.atari (? I am not sure if this is the right adress??) site has a file called starter.tos at the end of its directory, that has a bunch of simple archivers, of several styles. Get it with FTP, copy it to a dos 720K disk, and load it into his ST. It'll read OK. Then run it, and it is a self-extracting archive itself. That'll get him started, till he gets more full featured archivers." Neil Bradley posts: " I have a couple of Degas (pi1) files that I want to print out on a HP Deskjet 500. As I can't find a printer driver for the printer, I was hoping I could find a program that will convert the file to .gif so I can print it out using my PC. Suggestions as to programs (with URL to go to) will be appreciated." David De Ridder tells Neil: "You can print it with DMC Calamus, which is a very wide-spread commercial DTP package for the Atari. If you want to convert your PI1 to GIF, you could use Speed-of-Light (shareware) or if you also want to convert to other PC formats (like BMP), you should try GEMview (shareware). I don't have any exact web locations for these but you should try: ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/atari or http://www.hensa.ac.uk (which has a restricted access)" Peter Rottengatter, the author of STinG, the ST Next Generation TCP/IP software, posts: "The PPP code in STinG contained a couple of bad bugs, which I just fixed. So you might want to try again in a few days when the new code is available." Daniel Cohen tells Peter: "Interesting. STinG seemed to work for me OK using PP. Mind you, as I'm setting up a system for a friend (I use MagicMac, so Web browsing is done on the Mac side), I haven;t used it much yet. Still, I had no troubles with Ping, Traceroute (which I tried just to see how the connection worked), and the demo of Cab 2.0." On the subject of "The Year 2000 Bug", Mario Becroft tells us: "I don't think it will be as serious as you might think. I set my date to a year past 2000, and all the software I tried seemed to work fine. I didn't look into it in detail, however, I just tried it out for half an hour or so. There definitely will be problems, but I hope they won't be very serious." Gaven Miller goes into a bit more detail: "My TT with TOS 3.05 seems OK to 2033 (2033 has some significance to me, and I haven't tried any later date) Marios TT (with TOS 3.06) should behave similarly to mine in this regard I cannot comment about earlier/later TOS versions however (the only other ST I own [TOS 1.02 Mega ST] has been sitting in its box unused for the last few years and unpacking it will prove difficult). TOS has a function call that programmers use to get or set the date. This is done via a sixteen bit number into which is encoded the date. This sixteen bit number conains a seven bit number that TOS uses to denote the year. (The remaining nine bits are used to encode the month [four bits] and day [five bits]) This seven bit number can store either 1) 0 to 127 or 2) -64 to 63. These values are seen by TOS as offsets from 1980. Therefore the date range is either 1) 1980 to 2107 or 2) 1916 to 2043." Christopher Kmiec asks for help in finding an assembler: "I'm looking for an assembler for the ST. If I remember correctly, the beast one was DevPac3. Can anyone tell me where can I buy/get a copy of it? Also, are there any PD assemblers out there?" Dave Forrai tells him: "Yes, DevPak was/is considered the best. It was also the most expensive. There was a shareware one named TurboAss that was supposed to be pretty good. I used AssemPro and GFA Assembler. AssemPro had some really nice features (eg. reassembly) but unfortunately a little buggy. It would have been great if an AssemPro v2 had been released to clean it up a bit. Still, it was/is a decent assembler for building programs. GFA Assembler had less bugs but not as many features as AssemPro. Like all GFA products, it tended to be a bit quirky in its interface. Another plus for GFA is that it produces C object code. Unfortunately, it only generated the Alcyon format. I got a copy of GFA Assembler off a UK magazine. I don't remember what issue but perhaps someone has a copy to sell." David Leaver tells Chris and the other Dave: "I use both DevPac and Assempro. The latter is 68000 only, no fpu stuff. DevPac covers 68030 and 68881/2. Unfortunately they recognise different source codes (such as local labels, macros) The debuggers in both won't work under NVDI." Ross Purves asks: "Does anybody know if there are any cannon bj10e fonts to download on the net - I am sick of sans serif and co!!!" Mark Burmeister tells Ross: "Unless you have software that can print soft fonts in graphics mode, you won't be able to add any more to the BJ10e. The BJ10ex did add a Roman font and a few others I think. I own one of each. The BJ200 has all of the Epson fonts, so it can do a script font as well as Roman, sans-seriff and some others. Some Atari software may be able to print out different fonts on the BJ10 by using it in graphics mode, but I'm not aware of it." Hallvard Tangerass tells Ross and Mark: "Talking about the BJ-10(e/ex)... I have the BJ-10ex and I've spent a lot of time trying to configure it. I've finally got it to print in Papyrus using it's own driver, but NVDI is a bit more problematic. I have now managed to edit the driver for both 180 and 360 dpi. The only problem seems to be that in 360dpi mode an additonal formfeed is made, so that another paper is drawn into the printer (from the sheetfeeder). I don't want this! I want it to stop after 1 printing the current page (works fine in 180dpi mode as it stops shortly after the paper is drawn all the way through. My printer is set in BJ-130 emulation/mode 1/2 (DIP switch 10=ON, 11=OFF) as this was what I experienced to work best. As an answer to your question about Speedo fonts... You need NVDI for this (or some other GDOS replacement) -forget about the old and bulky original GDOS -it's plain rubbish!! And I don't think it ever supported vector fonts. I also want to recommend an excellent printout program -"Idealist" (currently at version 3.80 I think). I've managed to make a pretty decent printer driver for the BJ-10ex with proper character translations. I'm hoping to be able to get access to just about all the characters in the printer (regardless of character set mode it's set to with the DIP switches) -do any of you think this is possible and can give me some tips and pointers? It *seems* like it's possible, looking in the printer's manual and seeing the printer commands, but I wouldn't know how to use those commands properly.. But first of all, the problem with NVDI's driver in 360dpi mode -how do I stop it doing that extra form feed which feeds a new sheet from the sheet feeder?" Well folks, that's about it for this time around. 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 EDITORIAL QUICKIES "If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?" --- Linda Ellerbee 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. 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