ST Report: 19-Dec-97 #1350

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/24/97-01:55:22 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 19-Dec-97 #1350
Date: Wed Dec 24 13:55:22 1997

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 December 19, 1997                                                No.1350

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 12/13/97: three of six numbers with three matches

>From the Editor's Desk...

     Why?  Why is it we find the DOJ, Reno, Klein and & Co., so hell bent
for leather??  This cannot be a simple case of "notoriety reaching."   It
must be deeper than this.  Somehow or other I cannot get it out of my mind
that the "fix" is in.  On no, not that type of fix.  Its a real fancy
political fix instead.  You see, what do the great and wonderful politicos
of this Congress and Administration have to boast of?  Not a doggoned
thing... other than Paula Jones, Ruby Ridge, Waco and the promised "short
term" involvement in Bosnia.  Has either Congress or Clinton's crew really
done anything to directly benefit John Q. Taxpayer??  I don't think so.
So, what have we staring us in the face besides the US Government butting
in where they have no expertise, no real knowledge and for certain no right
to be.  Telling Microsoft how to run its business.  What a joke!!

     The "almighty DOJ, once before, decided to interfere with "big
business" remember the "big breakup" of AT&T??  Think its STILL broken up?
You  really do think it's still broken up the way the DOJ so self
righteously declared?  "How AT&T must be broken up to protect the
communications consumer."   Joke... Joke and more Joke.  AT&T is more
powerful and profitable today than ever.  Not to mention it is in the
process of rebuilding its multi billion dollar empire within the BS
guidelines of the foolish edicts of the anti-trust group at Justice that
were reccommended to the deciding  judge.  Today,  AT&T simply has
diversified its holdings but still has all sorts of patents, all sorts of
inroads into telecommunications and is busily buying up the "Baby Bells" it
was divested of a decade ago.

     One can see the very same type of garbage coming from this latest
witch hunt the DOJ is putting on.  They've hired a super high priced,
$550.00 per hour, NY Lawyer  to "help" them wage the anti-trust suit
planned against Microsoft.  This has got to be the biggest screwing ever
set-up for the US citizen and taxpayer to forcefully endure.  First, we
must pay this slick lawyer while he tries to hammer Microsoft and then...
if this mouthpiece is successful we'll be forced to re-do all our software
and operating systems with the morphed trash the DOJ geeks come up with
while they are rolling in bed  with the likes of Ellison, Barksdale and the
rest of the cry babies that found themselves unable to compete with MS.

     One can only wonder how Ellison and his Oracle bunch would've behaved
had they been in MS's shoes.  After all, isn't it Ellison who wants to do
away with "owning programs" and "allowing" (forcing) users, corporate
and/or private, to lease program use time over the `net??  Sure!!  And I
might point out this plays right into the hands of the RABID Government
Control Freaks who really wish to control your every move from womb to
tomb.  Barksdale is very busy trying to pull the same stunts with Netscape
that he and the others are crying foul over  with MS and Internet Explorer.
Buy-offs, rebates and special accommodations go to those isp's, software
houses and publishers  who bundle Netscape with their products.  But since
its not Microsoft and is one of the cry babies... its ok with Reno & Co..

     Does anyone out there remember the $1200.00 "hammer" or, better yet is
anyone really comfortable with Reno's  "I see no reason for a special
prosecutor over the handling of campaign donations" or the outrageously un-
believable "I smoked it but didn't inhale" baloney?  It stands to reason
that the very same skepticism must be applied to the so-called
justifications being proffered for persecuting Microsoft.  Somebody ought
to track the dollar.  What dollar you say??  How about the mega bucks
invested in Netscape, Oracle etc., stock and bonds.  Somebody ought to
track down every Stock and Bond certificate sold.  Then,  make public those
holders of said stocks and bonds who are active members of this Congress.
Including past members of Congress and/or the relatives of said past or
present members of either  Congress or anyone in the Executive Branch
either in a position of power or close to it.

     If Reno & Co., were to use the millions they plan to blow chasing
Microsoft to build homes for the homeless, provide care to our veterans and
step medical research for cures of the most deadly affliction facing
mankind since the Bubonic Plague AIDS... they be doing this country and the
world a far greater service.

     Sorry for the soapbox treatment folks... but I cannot help but see our
Federal Bureaucracy become more and more ridiculous with every passing

     I pray that each and every one of you enjoy a warm, healthy and
festive Holiday Season with your loved ones.

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                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                       Judge Rules Against Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. has been ordered by a federal judge to stop -- at least
temporarily -- requiring computer makers to license and distribute its
Internet Explorer web browser as a condition for licensing the Windows 95
operating system.  However, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield
Jackson also rejected a civil contempt suit brought by the U.S. Justice
Department seeking to slap a million-dollar-a-day fine on Microsoft.
United Press International quotes the judge's 25-page ruling as ordering
Microsoft to "cease and desist" from linking access to Windows 95 to an
"express or implied" condition to install any Microsoft web browser.
Microsoft is free to market Internet Explorer, the judge said, but must
give computer manufacturers a choice.

The case isn't over, though. Judge Jackson also appointed Harvard Law
School professor Lawrence Lessig as a special judicial officer to study the
facts of the case and relevant legal precedents. Lessig, noted expert in
technology law, is to rule May 31 on the legal issues raised in the case.
UPI says a statement from Joel Klein, assistant attorney general of the
Justice Department antitrust division, quoted the judge as saying:

"The probability that Microsoft will not only continue to reinforce its
operating system monopoly by its licensing practices, but might also
require yet another monopoly in the Internet browser market, is simply too
great to tolerate indefinitely. No consumer should be denied the browser of
their choice because Microsoft made their computer vendor an offer they
couldn't refuse."

As reported earlier, the Justice Department suit, filed in October, accused
Microsoft of violating a 1995 court order against "anti-competitive
licensing terms." Attorney General Janet Reno said at the time the
government's purpose was "to prevent Microsoft from protecting and
expanding its Windows PC operating system monopoly by anti-competitive

As expected, reactions vary:

z    UPI quotes some industry analysts as calling Jackson's decision a
  victory  for Netscape, Microsoft's closest competitor in Internet browsing
z    Associated Press writer Rob Wells comments, "A clear concern for
  Microsoft now is the impact of Jackson's order on its planned release of
  Windows 98 ... due out next spring (and) to fully integrate the Internet
  browser with the operating system."
z    Microsoft spokesman Greg Shaw acknowledged the effect of the ruling
  "is a little unclear," adding, "We hope the matter will be resolved before
  then." He also said the company was pleased the judge did not hold it in
  contempt. "This is clearly a preliminary decision," he said, "and the court
  agrees with our position that more facts are needed. We remain confident
  that what we are doing is good for the software industry and good for
z    Reno is claiming victory, telling AP, "It will help ensure a
  competitive market and prevent Microsoft from using its dominance to gain
  an unfair advantage in the browser market."

Wells quotes Jackson's ruling as saying that forcing Microsoft not to
bundle IE with Windows 95 "will not cause a significant hardship" for the
company since it already sells the product separately.

Wrote the judge, "Microsoft will remain free to market and promote
(Internet Explorer) just as it presently does -- or in any other manner it
sees fit -- so long as (computer manufacturers) are given the choice of
whether or not to accept the product."  Wells says the judge ruled that
part of the 1995 court order "does reach Microsoft's controversial
licensing practices in some respect." But, acknowledging the complexity of
the case, he said the ultimate question of whether Microsoft was violating
the agreement "remains to be decided."

Said Jackson,"Without the benefit of further evidence in the record, an
attempt to answer that question would be premature."  AP found no
consistent ruling of judge's decision among analysts.  For instance, Jim
Balderston, analyst at Zona Research in Redwood City, California, told
Wells, "The judge did not throw Justice's case out the door. Nor did he
rule with Justice and say, "Microsoft, you're bad.' He just said "Stop, and
I'm going to review it further."

                       Microsoft Not Hurt by Ruling

Despite a federal judge's preliminary injunction against it, Microsoft
Corp. is unlikely, analysts say, to delay any products or to lose much
short-term profit. And a compromise appears to be in the works.  As
reported earlier, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson last week
ordered Microsoft to stop -- at least temporarily -- requiring computer
makers to license and distribute its Internet Explorer web browser as a
condition for licensing the Windows 95 operating system.

But, writing in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Don Clark quotes a
Justice official as saying the agency would be satisfied if Microsoft
offers a simple and economical way for PC makers to delete Internet
Explorer, even if the product is shipped together with the current Windows
95 or with Windows 98. He added he expects the two sides to meet in the
next few days to agree on an approach to satisfy the order.  "Such a move,"
says Clark, " would give PC makers a choice between Microsoft's product and
Netscape Communications Corp.'s browser, which is rapidly losing market

However, the Journal says most major computer makers -- Compaq Computer
Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Corp. and Packard Bell NEC -- say
they plan to keep using Internet Explorer along with Microsoft's operating
systems. They note the Microsoft browser is free, while Netscape charges
them an estimated $1 to $10 a copy for its browser.  Over the weekend, a
Microsoft spokesman told the paper the company still is studying whether to
appeal the ruling, but believes the preliminary ruling shouldn't cause it
to delay the shipment next spring of Windows 98 in any case.

                        Microsoft Appealing Ruling

Microsoft Corp. is set to appeal last week's court ruling barring it from
compelling computer makers to use the Microsoft Internet Explorer web
browser software along with its operating systems.  Writing in The Wall
Street Journal this morning, reporters Don Clark and John R. Wilke quote
Microsoft officials as saying the company will comply with the preliminary
injunction while the appeal is pending.  However, they add, "its plans for
giving personal  computer makers a way to separate the two software
products drew immediate fire from the Justice Department."  The Redmond,
Washington, software giant said it will give PC makers that don't want to
use its World Wide Web browser software a choice of simply deleting the
browser files from its Windows 95 software -- an act that Microsoft
contends makes the operating system fail to work properly -- or using a
1995 version of the operating system.

But, the Journal reports, "A Justice Department official said giving PC
makers what amounts to a choice of an old or broken operating system isn't
satisfactory."  The unidentified official added, "The policy that Microsoft
has announced does not comply with the judge's order," and that the agency
is considering whether to go back to court to force Microsoft to comply.
As reported earlier, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
ordered Microsoft to stop -- at least temporarily -- requiring computer
makers to license and distribute its Internet Explorer web browser as a
condition for licensing the Windows 95 operating system.  Clark and Wilke
report Jackson's ruling "is expected to have little short-term impact but
pose a long-term threat to the company's ability to use its dominance of
operating-system software as a wedge into new markets."

                    Microsoft Alleged to be in Contempt

The U.S. Justice Department says Microsoft Corp. is making a "naked
attempt" to defeat the purpose of a court order regarding separation of its
Internet software and operating systems and has asked a federal judge to
hold the company in contempt.  Writing in The Wall Street Journal this
morning, reporter Don Clark observes "escalating tensions between the
government and the software giant," adding Justice Department attorneys
argue Microsoft's response to the court order effectively asks
personal-computer makers to settle for old or broken software if they want
to use Microsoft operating systems without its World Wide Web browser

The federal agency has filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Thomas
Penfield Jackson not only hold Microsoft in civil contempt, but fine the
company $1 million for each day Microsoft violates his order.  Joel Klein,
assistant attorney general for antitrust, told the paper, "Microsoft has
gone from tying its products to tying the hands of its vendors. The more
Microsoft continues its practices, the more consumers are harmed."

On the other side of the aisle, Microsoft Vice President Brad Chase says
his employer is in complete compliance with the order and what Justice had
originally sought, adding, "What the Justice Department asked for then and
what they said today are as different as night and day."  Meanwhile,
antitrust lawyers tell Clark that while they aren't sure  Justice will be
able to win a contempt citation, they question whether Microsoft's
aggressive stance will win points with the judge or the public.

Said J. Thomas Rosch, a San Francisco antitrust attorney who has followed
the case, "If one is in violation of the spirit of an order while complying
with the letter, that can indeed come back to haunt you."  Jackson's
preliminary injunction ordered Microsoft to cease and desist from requiring
computer makers to use its World Wide Web browser software as a condition
of licensing its operating systems. That ruling came after the Justice
Department sued, alleging Microsoft violated a 1995 consent decree. As
reported earlier, the Redmond, Washington, software publisher says it will
appeal, arguing the judge overstepped his authority.

                      States Eye Microsoft Challenge

As the U.S. Justice Department turns up the heat against Microsoft Corp.,
state officials are considering a united national antitrust battle against
the software giant.  "I think action by the states is close to a
certainty," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told reporter
Gail Appleson of the Reuter News Service, adding he expects the state
attorneys general will decide by early next year whether to take action
against Microsoft.  Fresh from winning an unprecedented settlement with the
tobacco industry, the state attorneys general have been eying a Microsoft
contest for some time, but Blumenthal told the wire service the state
officers have not yet determined whether they will file separate actions or
seek to intervene in the Justice Department lawsuit.

Reuters says they were holding conference calls and possibly will hold a
meeting soon to determine how they might go forward.  Meanwhile, on another
front, the California attorney general's office says it is investigating
Microsoft. "I can confirm that we are investigating Microsoft," said Staci
Turner, spokeswoman for state Attorney General Dan Lungren. "Since it is an
open investigation, there are no details that I can provide on the

Earlier, Texas sued Microsoft, alleging the state's antitrust probe was
being impeded by Microsoft's licensing agreement, which requires client
companies to notify the company before talking to government investigators.
Back on the national level, while it is not unusual for the attorneys
general to work together in bringing civil consumer fraud actions, "their
unified power has gained new respect since the tobacco deal was reached on
June 20," Appleson said. "Even though the $368.5 billion settlement could
be changed by Congress, the attorneys general won concessions from the
powerful tobacco industry, which had boasted it never spent a cent on
personal injury damages and would never settle a lawsuit."

Now some of the same attorneys general who were involved in the tobacco
talks, including Blumenthal and those from Florida and New York, also are
involved in the Microsoft discussions.   Reuters says representatives from
nine states met last week in Chicago for three days to discuss a possible
strategy for suing Microsoft. Other states involved in the talks are
California, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.

                      Apple May Not Make CEO Deadline

Analysts say it appears Apple Computer won't meet its self-imposed deadline
to name a new chief executive officer by year's end.  "Part of the
problem," says The Associated Press, "is finding a top-flight candidate
willing to tackle the tough turnaround job as long as acting CEO Steve Jobs
remains on Apple's board."  As noted, Apple has been searching for a new
CEO since Gil Amelio was forced out in July. Jobs has been interim CEO
since September.  "But," says AP, "the odds are dwindling that Apple will
be able to announce a new CEO and anew strategy at Macworld Expo, which
begins in San Francisco on Jan. 6."

The San Jose Mercury News quotes a spokeswoman at Apple's Cupertino,
California, headquarters as saying, "The Apple board has always said it
expects to name a CEO by the end of the year, but expectations change."
"As recently as two weeks ago, Apple board members said they had focused on
a single serious candidate, whom they did not name," AP reports. "The
Mercury News reported that Ed Zander, a veteran Sun Microsystems executive,
was offered the top Apple job but turned it down because Jobs would not
agree to leave the board."  Zander declined to comment, but a source told
the Mercury News he "didn't want Steve looking over his shoulder,
second-guessing him on every decision."

                     FTC Finds Net Gathers Kids' Data

In a "snapshot survey" of 126 Web sites, the Federal Trade Commission has
found many Internet sites collect personal information from children
without asking parents or allowing parents to control how the information
is used.  The FTC adds it also found 86 percent of the surveyed sites were
collecting names, e-mail and postal addresses and telephone numbers.

Writing for The Associated Press, reporter John D. McClain says the
commission also reported:

z    Fewer than 30 percent of the sites collecting the data posted either a
  privacy policy or a confidentiality statement.
z    Only 4 percent required parental authorization before collecting the

The FTC survey was conducted on Oct. 14, "Kids Privacy Surf Day," using
sites listed by a popular directory of child-oriented Internet locations
known as "Yahooligans!"  McClain notes the FTC has not issued regulations
on advertising for children over the Internet and other online services,
but has released an "opinion letter" stating the agency's jurisdiction over
deceptive market practices extends to the international computer network.

Director Jodie Bernstein of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection told the
wire service, "Any company that engages in deceptive or unfair practices
involving children violates the FTC Act. The FTC can bring legal action to
halt such violations and seek an order imposing restrictions on future
practices to ensure compliance with the FTC Act."

Bernstein said the FTC has not determined that the online information
collection practices of any of the sites violated federal law, but added
the sites in question will be sent e-mail messages notifying them that the
FTC considers it deceptive to collect personal information from a child
when the information will be used for another purpose. The FTC will tell
the sites parental consent must be obtained before it is released to a
third party.

Noting the Internet industry has proposed self-regulatory guidelines to
govern the collection and use of children's information, Bernstein
commented, "This survey `snapshot' demonstrates that these guidelines need
to be more broadly implemented."  The FTC says it plans a systematic review
of Internet information-collection practices in March for a report to
Congress on the extent to which Internet sites, including children's sites,
are posting privacy policies.

                         Yahoo Reveals E-Mail Scam

A scam reportedly seeking to bilk Internet users out of their credit card
numbers has been uncovered by Yahoo Inc.  Johanna Bennett of the Dow Jones
news service reports the company learned last week that someone pretending
to be a Yahoo employee sent letters via a Yahoo free e-mail account telling
people they had won a modem.  Yahoo spokeswoman Katie Burke told the wire
service the only hitch was that each recipient was to have to provide their
name, phone number, address and credit-card number to cover shipping costs.

Bennett says Burke declined to reveal how many people submitted credit-card
information, but said about 100 people responded to the Dec. 11 missive,
either providing copies of their credit-card numbers or asking for more
information about the contest.  Dow Jones notes, "Yahoo started offering
free e-mail accounts in October with the tag line The e-mail
address under investigation was issued about two weeks ago, Burke said.
Yahoo officials said that as far as their investigation can determine, none
of the credit-card numbers have been used fraudulently. "

Burke added, "It is obviously very important to us to keep this kind of
abuse to a minimum ... or better eliminate it completely."  The wire
service says letters were sent to anyone responding to the scam, warning
them that the contests was a fraud and advising them to contact their
credit-card companies immediately.

                        Privacy Guidelines Adopted

Guidelines to help keep sensitive personal information such as Social
Security numbers and a mother's maiden name out of publicly accessed
databases have been adopted voluntarily by the computer data industry, the
Federal Trade Commission says.  In a report to Congress, the FTC says the
agreement was signed by a group of leading information companies that make
up 90 percent of the database industry, including Lexis-Nexis and the
nation's three main credit reporting bureaus.

Associated Press writer Eun-Kyung Kim quotes FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky
as saying, "The information industry's innovative and far-reaching,
self-regulatory program will go a long way to address these concerns and
lessen the risk that these services will be misused. The industry should be
commended for its responsiveness and commitment."  However, Pitofsky also
expressed concern that the deal failed to give individuals enough access to
certain types of public information, including mortgage agreements,
marriage and divorce licenses and birth certificates. He said access to
such court documents would allow people to discover and correct any

AP further quotes the chairman as observing, "We trust the industry will
bring the same spirit of cooperation to resolving these remaining issues.
We also encourage industries doing business on-line to develop similar
self-regulatory efforts to protect consumers' privacy."  The wire service
says the agreement calls for the 14 companies not to release to the general
public certain types of non-public information, including:

z    Social Security numbers.
z    Birth dates.
z    Credit history.
z    A mother's maiden name.
z    Unlisted telephone numbers obtained from non-public records.
z    Unlisted addresses from telephone companies.

AP says the restrictions would not apply to sensitive information that is
derived from public records, such as birth certificates or state motor
vehicle information. Qualified subscribers, such as law enforcement
agencies and private investigators, would still have access to all data.
And the companies agreed to be reviewed once a year to ensure their
compliance with the new standards. Results of the audit would be made
public.  The FTC report to Congress noted, "The present challenge is to
protect consumers from threats to their psychological, financial and
physical well-being while preserving the free flow of truthful information
and other important benefits of individual reference services."

                         AOL Declares Spam Victory

 America Online is declaring a victory in its battle against spam.  The
online service, based in Dulles, Virginia, reports that Over the Air
Equipment Inc., a Las Vegas-based e-mailer that advertised pornographic Web
sites, has agreed to an injunction barring it from sending unsolicited
e-mail to AOL members.  "Spammers have little regard for the people who
receive their solicitations -- a problem that's only magnified when a child
is on the receiving end of an objectionable piece of junk e-mail," says
Steve Case, AOL's chairman and CEO. "That's why we're going to continue to
use every tool at our disposal to fight against spam and work toward a
long-term solution to this problem, which affects all Internet users."

AOL notes that Over the Air Equipment, which until recently was sending AOL
members hundreds of thousands of junk e-mails a day, agreed to a court
order that prohibits the company from ever sending unsolicited e-mail to
AOL members again. Over the Air Equipment also agreed to pay AOL an
undisclosed sum in damages. AOL says it will apply the damages paid in the
suit toward supporting industry-wide safety education initiatives aimed at
young people and their parents.

"This is not just a victory for AOL members, but a victory for every
Internet user," says George Vradenburg, AOL's general counsel. "The
successful resolution of this lawsuit sends a pointed message to junk
e-mailers that they will be held responsible for their actions."  The AOL
suit, which was filed Oct. 2, 1997, accused Over the Air Equipment of using
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.

                           Western Digital Sued

A federal class-action lawsuit has been brought by investors who bought
shares in hard disk maker Western Digital Corp. during a year-long period.
According to the Reuter News Service, the complaint, filed in U.S. District
Court in Southern California, alleges Western Digital issued false and
misleading press releases and financial statements for 1996 and 1997. It
also claims the company improperly deferred the write-down of its inventory
of obsolete hard drives.  As a result, alleges the suit, the price of
Western Digital's stock was "substantially artificially" inflated between
Dec. 28, 1996, and Dec. 2, 1997.  The complaint also contends high-ranking
Western Digital insiders disposed of thousands of their own shares of
company stock at artificially inflated prices, raising millions of dollars
from the sales.

                      Computer Parts Fraud Uncovered

A California company has pleaded guilty to money-laundering, ending a 5
1/2-year federal investigation that discovered theft of computer  parts,
fraud and illegal resales.  Oliver-Allen Corp. of Larkspur, California,
which posted net profits of $2 million last year on $42 million in revenue,
has entered the plea, agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and was sentenced to
one year's probation, according to David Martin of the Reuter News Service.

Martin says the firm pleaded guilty in Staten Island, New York, to a charge
of possession of stolen property. Two employees, a vice president and a
salesman, also entered guilty pleas to stolen-property charges and agreed
to pay fines.  Reuters says the investigation began in 1992 when Joseph
Lentine, then 23, and his partner, Joseph Terrano, set up companies to buy
parts from IBM.

Authorities told the wire service the pair was able to circumvent normal
delivery and payment procedures with help from an inside co-conspirator and
to receive some $35 million worth of computer parts, mostly for IBM AS/400
midrange computer systems. Reuters says, "According to court papers,
Lentine had most of the parts shipped to his elderly grandmother, and then
he and Terrano resold the parts to other companies, including Oliver-Allen.

 The two men were arrested in 1993 after they fled to the Cayman Islands.
Both have entered guilty pleas to wire fraud charges. Lentine was sentenced
to nine years in prison, and Terrano was sentenced to over a year behind

                      Some Fear V-Chips Coming to Net

Civil libertarians and computer makers are said to be scurrying to fight
what some characterize as a remote possibility that the "V-chip" will be
proposed for personal computers to block racy material from the Internet.
Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Roger Fillion says the
Federal Communications Commission is being asked to clarify new rules to
ensure the V-chip is not applied to the Internet. As noted, the device
initially is intended to let parents filter steamy programs only on

Writes Fillion, "The broad -- some say sloppy -- wording of the FCC's
V-chip proposal has left it open to wide interpretation, critics contend.
FCC officials insist the Internet is not a target. But some in the Internet
community fear that Uncle Sam will 'overstep' the intent of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 when carrying out the law's V-chip
provisions."  Such "unintended consequences" concern Business Software
Alliance, a trade group representing the computer software industry, which
told the FCC its rules should reflect that most PCs are not designed to
receive TV signals. Consequently, a child can't stumble across a TV show
"by simply turning on a computer," the group said in a filing with the

Fillion adds, "It's hard to find a group that advocates using the V-chip
for the Internet. Some experts say it's not possible technically. Moreover,
special Internet filters already exist. But a company that plans to make
the technology says it can be adapted to cyberspace."  Chris Cunningham of
Tri-Vision International Ltd., a Toronto company that plans to produce a
V-chip prototype designed by a Canadian professor, told the wire service,
"It's my hope they would set up a similar ratings program for the
Internet." Cunningham added the V-chip could be used for the Internet via
high-definition digital TV.

                       ITAA Wants Fed Y2K Task Force

The Information Technology Association of America is calling on President
Clinton to greet 1998 by working to head off widespread information
technology disruptions in the year 2000.  In a letter to the President,
ITAA President Harris Miller asked the White House to create a National
Year 2000 Task Force to help the nation's computers make a seamless
transition to the new millennium.  Suggesting that Vice President Al Gore
be appointed to lead the task force, Miller wrote that its purpose should
be to increase attention to solutions in the federal government, assist
states and localities in solving their Year 2000 challenges and to begin
tracking the implementation of Year 2000 modifications in the commercial

"Such a Task Force, including representatives of all segments of our
national life which provide and use ... information systems, would be
tasked with bringing greater attention, and urging increased action to
address this situation," wrote Miller. "Our public policy makers must make
greater use of the 'Bully Pulpit' and such vehicles as the Vice President's
National Performance Review initiative to provide, respectively, increased
governmental activity and marketplace assurances to this matter."  Learn
more about ITAA by connecting to its Web site at

                      Clinton Signs Net Copyright Law

A controversial bill to impose criminal penalties on online violators of
copyright -- even those who do not profit from their actions -- has been
signed into law by President Clinton.  The No Electronic Theft Act, passed
by Congress last month, had strong backing from the software and
entertainment industries, but, as reported recently, drew criticism from
science and academic groups who fear the law will inhibit research.  The
Reuter News Service notes the new law provides that a person who
"willfully" infringes on copyrighted material worth at least $1,000 could
be subject to criminal prosecution even if he does not profit thereby. This
differs from current law, under which copyright violators haven't been
charged with criminal misconduct unless they profit from the violations.

Backing the new law are the Business Software Alliance, the Motion Picture
Association and the Association of American Publishers, all of which had
said the change is essential to protect software, music recordings and
other creative products easily pirated over the Internet.  Notes Reuters,
"They cited a 1994 court case dismissing criminal copyright charges against
an Massachusetts Institute of Technology student who posted on the Internet
for free downloading copies of popular software programs."

However, as reported earlier, scientists in the Association for Computing
last month urged Clinton to veto the bill because it might inadvertently
criminalize many scientific publications available over the Internet, and
might limit the "fair use" doctrine.  Reuters says the new law includes a
sliding scale of penalties depending on the severity of the copyright

For making one or more copies with a total retail value of at least $1,000
but less than $2,500, the violator could be imprisoned for up to one year
and fined up to $100,000.  For copies with a retail value of $2,500 or
more, the violator could imprisoned for up to three years and fined up to
$250,000.  A second offense could lead to a prison term of up to six years.

                      U.S. States Getting Net Grants

The 50 U.S. states will share some $425 million in grants to help prepare
teachers and students to learn to use the Internet.  In a recent White
House ceremony, Vice President Al Gore announced the funding, saying,
"Today, more than ever, education is the key to success and we can use
technology as a powerful tool to help teach our children what they need to
know to compete and win in the 21st Century. We know that technology will
not just build the schools of the future, it will help to prepare our kids
for that future."

According to the Reuter News Service, the money comes from the Technology
Literacy Challenge Fund and is designed to help state and local efforts to
improve teaching and learning with the use of technology.  Also
participated in the ceremony, Education Secretary Richard Riley said: "We
certainly need a more up to date approach to teaching young people advanced
skills." He added, "One of the most exciting aspects of American education
today is developing this important link between education and technology."

                       Online Reaches Critical Mass

Online services are reaching mass market proportions, according to a new
report published by IDC/LINK.    The Framingham, Massachusetts, market
research firm's study predicts that 17.7 million U.S. households will be
online by the end of 1997. This figure equals 18 percent of all households,
up from 13 percent in 1996. The report projects that approximately 40
million U.S. households, 38 percent, will subscribe to at least one service
by 2001.  "Barriers to use in the consumer online services market are
falling much more quickly than previously anticipated," says Jill Frankle,
a senior analyst in IDC/LINK's consumer Internet research program.
"Declining PC prices and the introduction of the sub-$1,000 PC have helped
to drive consumer adoption of the PC and therefore, online services in the
home. In addition, the wired workplace has enabled people to become more
educated about the information and content that can be found within an
online service and on the Internet. People are taking this knowledge home
with them."

IDC/LINK believes many companies are not taking advantage of the incredible
opportunity provided through the rapid growth of the U.S.  consumer online
services market. "The mass market Web is the new prime business location,"
says Frankle. "In the near future, we will see many new entrants to the
market, each fighting to become the most successful content provider."
IDC's Web site, located at, contains additional company
information and recent news releases. It also offers full-text searching of
recent research.

                        Clinton Honors Net Pioneers

Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn -- inventors of the TCI/IP protocol which link
military computers by radio, satellite and phone wires 25 years ago and
evolved into the Internet -- have been awarded the national medal of
technology by President Clinton.  Cerf and Kahn told the audience in
Washington yesterday they started their research to solve a military
command and control problem, never dreaming it would end up spawning a vast
new medium for commerce and communications.

The Reuter News Service quotes Kahn, now president of the Corporation for
National Research Initiatives, as saying, "We weren't thinking in
megalomaniac terms. It was a very small-scale scientific problem -- how do
we get machines on different nets to work together."  Cerf, senior vice
president at MCI Communications Corp. added, "We were thinking about
getting these three damn networks to work together."

Their protocol allowed different types of computers running different
software to exchange information without any central, top-down control.
"Contrary to popular myth," Reuters observes, "the goal was not to help the
network survive a nuclear attack, but rather to allow computers to be
connected quickly in a war situation over radio and satellite links without
a pre-designed plan."

Said Cerf, "This was a self-organizing network. It was intended to be sort
of dropped out of the backs of airplanes with parachutes, land on the
ground and organize itself because you couldn't plan what the topology was
going to be."  Previous winners of the technology award include Microsoft
Corp chairman Bill Gates and Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corp.

                       Microsoft Ships Win 98 Beta 3

Microsoft Corp. reports it has started the next major testing phase of
Windows 98, the planned update to Windows 95.  The software giant says Beta
3 is now available to registered technical beta testers worldwide, meeting
its stated goal of releasing the beta in December 1997.  "We have
integrated feedback from our customers, incorporating over 3,000 product
enhancements since Windows 95," said Jonathan Roberts, Microsoft's director
of Windows marketing. "We are really excited to enter the next stage of
testing Windows 98, with our No. 1 goal to deliver a high-quality product."

Microsoft promises that Windows 98 will be a major step toward transforming
the PC into a home information and entertainment center. Key improvements
aim to provide higher quality and reliability, an easier Internet
experience, better entertainment with high-performance graphics and audio
and support for the latest hardware technologies.  Microsoft also claims
that Windows 98 will be easier for businesses to deploy. It says the
product will reduce support costs and offer better performance and
reliability.  Windows 98 is scheduled for release in the second quarter of

                        Outlook 98 Beta 2 Released

Microsoft Corp. has begun distributing the second beta version of its
Microsoft Outlook 98 messaging and collaboration client.  The release,
which is available on Microsoft's Web site, offers new fax functionality
for Internet e-mail users, support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 and
NetMeeting 2.1 conferencing software, improved calendar performance and
design improvements to the product's Find and Organize tools as well as to
the Outlook Today user interface.

Microsoft says it will also make a new Outlook 98 administration kit
available to corporate beta testers.  Microsoft notes that the first beta
release, which was recommended only for advanced users and software
developers, has been downloaded by more than 67,000 users in less than one
month.  "Outlook 98 improves upon its predecessor in the critical areas of
simplicity, performance and Internet standards support," says John Ludwig,
vice president of Microsoft's Internet client and collaboration division.
"We've used customer feedback to deliver the best possible product for the
growing numbers of Internet e-mail users as well as for our Office suite
and Exchange server customers."

The beta release is available for free at
The final version of Outlook 98 is scheduled to ship in the first half of
1998. Final pricing details have yet  to be announced, but Microsoft has
stated that all users of Office 97, Exchange and Outlook 97 will be
eligible for free upgrades to Outlook 98.

                           Boca Ships 112K Modem

Boca Research Inc. has started shipping its 112K bps DynamicDuo modem set.
The Boca Raton, Florida, company reports that its $279 device combines two
K56flex fax/data modems onto a single ISA card, allowing data transfer
rates over regular telephone lines at near-ISDN speeds. To reach the
accelerated speeds, users need two phone lines and Internet service
provider accounts. If the ISP does not yet support K56flex, the modems will
fall back to 33.6K bps to achieve a combined rate of up to 67K bps.  The
product also allows users to place or receive calls without losing the
Internet connection or interrupting a file download. Additionally, if one
of the phone lines has call waiting, the 56K bps modem managing that line
will drop its Internet connection to allow a call to be completed.
Meanwhile, the second 56K bps modem will retain the Internet connection or
continue to download the file. When the call has ended, the modem will
automatically redial the ISP number, reestablishing the high-speed

Boca will bundle the 112K DynamicDuo with a software package that manages
both 56K modem connections, directing each modem to constantly request and
download Internet data files. The software is also responsible for
splitting the data and graphic files in half, enabling the PC to receive
one half of the file through one modem connection while receiving the
second half in parallel through the second connection.

"End users want a faster data communications product now, without having to
invest a great deal of money," says Tony Zalenski, Boca's President and
CEO. "We recognize the need for a transitional product to help end users
migrate from today's analog modems to tomorrow's xDSL and cable modem
technologies. By delivering our 112K DynamicDuo to market, we have offered
a robust, cost-effective, higher-speed modem that end users can use today."
More details are available on the Web at

                       Iomega Delays Jaz 2GB Release

Iomega Corp. says its new Jaz 2GB disk drive, scheduled for release by the
end of this year, has been delayed until the first quarter of 1998.  "The
decision not to ship Jaz 2GB this quarter is based on allowing Iomega to
conduct further quality testing to assure that Jaz 2GB fully meets our
rigorous quality standards before releasing the product for customer
shipment," says Fred Forsyth, president of the Roy, Utah, company's
professional products division.  Upon release, the external version of the
Jaz 2GB will sell for $649; the internal model will be priced at $549. A
three-pack of Jaz 2GB disks will cost $149.  More details are available at
Iomega's Web site, which is located at

                      Online Stamp Sales Test Begins

The U.S. Postal Service has begun selling postage stamps and related
products online in a short-term test.  During the two week trial, which
ends Dec. 28, 2,300 pre-registered customers will be able to purchase a
limited selection of products on the Postal Service's Web site
(, and have the option to pay for purchases with their
credit cards. The service is scheduled to be offered to the general public
early next year.
"In today's competitive environment, our customers told us they wanted to
have the convenience of being able to purchase stamps and stamp products
online -- quickly and safely," says Postmaster General Marvin Runyon."

Just as the Postal Service has protected the integrity of the mail for more
than 200 years, StampsOnline will incorporate the latest technology to
ensure the security of online transactions."  StampsOnline shoppers will
browse through the online post office, make selections and fill their
virtual "shopping cart." Utilizing industry standard security measures,
each online credit card transaction will be electronically encrypted.
Customers not using a credit card will be able to place orders by calling
800-STAMP24 or printing an order form and mailing it to the Postal
Service's Stamp Fulfillment Services unit.

                     Sculley Touts Net Image Business

A "monster market," useful to medical practitioners and clothes vendors
alike, is how former Apple Computer Inc. CEO John Sculley see
high-resolution Internet images.  Speaking this weekend at Fall Internet
World trade show in New York, Sculley demonstrated how Live Picture Corp's
Reality Studio tool can zoom in on pictures posted on the World Wide Web to
reveal the texture of a sports jacket or the hands of a clock set in a
car's dashboard.

Of course, Sculley has a vested interest in the technology. These days, he
is chairman of Live Picture, a California-based digital imaging company.
Covering the speech, the Reuter News Service notes, "While high-density
imaging in not new to the Internet, Live Picture is counting on the
relatively small file size used by Reality Studio to set the product
apart."  Live Picture expects to begin shipping Reality Studio in March,
but the technology will be available for download next week from the
company's Web site (

                      Microsoft Office Embraces HTML

Hypertext Markup Language, the Internet standard protocol known as HTML, is
being embraced by Microsoft Corp. in the next version of its popular Office
software suite, in an effort to foster more efficient use of corporate
Intranets.  The Reuter News Service quotes officials with the Redmond,
Washington, software giant as saying the firm will give higher priority to
saving documents in HTML, right alongside its own proprietary format.
"Documents written in Office applications, when saved in HTML format, can
be viewed in any web browser, and can more easily be posted to web pages,"
Reuters notes.  By making HTML a high priority option, the software will
allow Office users to turn their word processor or spreadsheet documents
into  web-ready documents. They can then keep Intranets fresh with data,
and bypass the process of submitting data to another person who then
transfers it into HTML.

                        Intel Dolls a Surprise Hit

Hey, Intel Corp., if the chip thing doesn't work out, you can always make
it in the bean-bag doll business!  That's right -- a surprise hit of the
current Christmas shopping season is the computer chip maker's
bean-and-batting-filled toys based on the shimmering clean-room technicians
who dance to "Shake Your Groove Thing" in its commercials.  Business writer
William McCall of The Associated Press reports an initial promotional
production run of 25,000 of the dolls has mushroomed into an order for
500,000.  In fact, the company already has sold more than 200,000 dolls,
mostly to Intel employees, says Intel spokesman Bill Calder. Intel is
making the 7-inch-tall figures available to the public in limited
quantities for about $7 on the Internet
( and through selected retail outlets,
including CompUSA.  "It's definitely bigger than we expected," said Joanne
Hagn, Intel's logo merchandise manager at company headquarters in Santa
Clara, California. "It's turning into kind of a phenomenon that's spreading

                         Study: DVD Awareness Low

Despite ample publicity surrounding this year's launch of DVD (Digital
Versatile Disc) hardware and software, a new study from the Yankee Group
suggests that consumer awareness of the format remains surprisingly low.
Only 28 percent of the more than 1,900 U.S. households surveyed by the
Boston market research firm were familiar with DVD, a new optical storage
format that can be used to distribute full-length movies, computer software
and other types of information. Among consumers who had heard about DVD,
about 13 percent said they were "very" or "somewhat likely" to purchase a
DVD player within the next 12 months.

"Raising DVD's profile in the marketplace should be a top priority for  all
of the hardware and software vendors backing the format," says James
Penhune, Yankee Group's program manager. "Purchase intentions are fairly
high among those households who are aware of DVD, but consumers who haven't
heard of the product can't possibly buy it."  DVD movie players and titles
have been available in the U.S. since March, while PCs equipped with
DVD-ROM drives began shipping during the third quarter. Still, DVD is
competing for the consumer's attention with a host of other new
"convergence" products that are available now or on the drawing board,"
says Penhune. "Our research shows higher levels of awareness for Digital
TV, for example, which is not expected to reach the market for at least a

                       Internet World, Shopper Fold

Magazine publisher Mecklermedia Corp. is shutting down bimonthly Internet
Shopper and the monthly Internet World, though the latter's name will be
transferred to a Mecklermedia weekly that has been called Web Week up until
now.  Writing in The Wall Street Journal's interactive edition, reporter
Nick Wingfield notes this leaves the Westport, Connecticut, company with
one print publication. Mecklermedia said the closings were made in order to
consolidate its operations around high-tech trade shows and Web sites.  As
reported, this isn't the only company suffering from a shakeout of
publications focused on the Net. At least a dozen magazines have gone under
because of poor readership and a dwindling base of advertising, including
Ziff Davis Publishing Co.'s Internet Underground and CMP Media Inc.'s
NetGuide.   "Analysts say consumer Internet magazines have been especially
hard-hit," Wingfield observes, "as users increasingly gather information
about the Internet from the Internet itself."  Mecklermedia Chairman/CEO
Alan Meckler told Wingfield the Internet Shopper magazine illustrated the
pressures, adding online shoppers are more apt to look for information
about goods online because it is more timely.

Said Meckler, "It became very logical to me that, unless we did (the
magazine) daily, anybody who was going to shop online was going to research
it online."  The Journal notes Mecklermedia earlier closed a technically
oriented publication called Web Developer. Internet World magazine was
revamped earlier this year to focus on a business audience, but the company
was concerned that market costs associated with its paid-circulation format
would become too costly.  Meckler said Web Week also is aimed at a business
audience, but goes to a qualified audience of 125,000 Internet
professionals, a more attractive demographic for advertisers.

                       Slate E-Mag to Charge Readers

Starting early next year, Microsoft Corp.'s Slate electronic magazine will
begin charging for subscriptions, though neither the price nor the timing
of the move has yet been determined.  Publisher Rogers Weed told The
Associated Press, that with about 140,000 readers, the magazine found it
finally feasible to charge subscription fees.  Slate debuted in June 1996
with Michael Kinsley, formerly of The New Republic, as editor and a promise
to bill readers $19.95 for a year's subscription. In his introductory
column, Kinsley wrote: "We believe that expecting readers to share the
cost, as they do in print, is the only way serious journalism on the Web
can be self-supporting."  However, billing problems and readers' grumbling
caused Slate to "chicken out," as Kinsley observed early this year.  AP
says Slate is the second largest e-zine on the Web, after HotWired, a
publication from Wired Ventures Inc. HotWired, with about 800,000
registered members, does not charge for subscriptions and has no plans to
charge in the future, said spokesman Andrew de Vries.

                     Wrong Font Leads to Court Losses

Using the wrong font and perhaps too small a point size in the printing of
court filings on two different occasions is being cited as the reason the
state of Georgia has lost an appeal of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.
Reporting from Atlanta, United Press International writes, "The Georgia
Court of Appeals twice dismissed an appeal of a jury's $2.7 million
personal injury award against the state because the Attorney General's
office used a Times New Roman font in its paperwork instead of the  Courier
font the court requires."  Because of the fiasco, Attorney General Thurbert
Baker says he has demoted a top aide.

UPI says a county court had awarded $2.7 million to a Georgia man who was
seriously injured when he was hit by a drunk driver as he worked at a
highway construction site. Baker's office filed a brief in September asking
for the award against the Department of Transportation to be overturned.
"The first brief was rejected by the court because the type was too small,"
UPI reports. "The court allowed the brief to be re-filed, but the court
said the second filing was 'nothing more than a computer printout or
photocopy of the original brief.' The state filed the brief a third time,
using the correct font, but it was too late."  The case was settled this
month for $1 million.  Attorneys and the appeals court told the wire
service the font requirement is intended to ensure documents are easy to

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EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed



Judge's Temporary Order:  Microsoft
Can't Bundle Browser
Motorola Looks To Systems-On-A-Chip
For Its Future
WorldGate Moves Overseas
Avoiding "Pseudo-Interactivity"
Clinton To Order Year 2000 Fix
Designing For The World Wide Web
High-Tech Industry Praises Canadian
Immigration Officials
Cyberbooze ... Or Cybersnooze?
Companies Vie For Set-Top Box
Microsoft Appeals Court Ruling
FCC Reduces Technology Support To
Qwest's Internet Telephony Offers
7.5-Cent Long-Distance Calls
Intel Eyes The Other 60%
Intel And Sun Form Alliance Based
On Merced Chip
Sun, Compaq Beef Up Customer
Netscape's Battle Tactics
Justice Seeks Contempt Ruling In
Microsoft Case
Clinton Honors Net Pioneers, Okays
$96 Million In New Tech Funding
Tactical Shift By Workstation
Debate Over Privacy Issue:
Regulation Vs. Self-Regulation
New Domain Name Group Offers To
Expand Membership
Information Technology At Cal State

                         JUDGE'S TEMPORARY ORDER:
                      MICROSOFT CAN'T BUNDLE BROWSER

A federal judge in the U.S. District in Washington issued a temporary order
declaring that Microsoft may no  longer bundle its Internet Explorer
browsing software with the Windows operating system, until such time as
the judge receives a report to the court from a Harvard Law School
professor who will serve as a "special  master" to study the complex legal
and factual issues the case presents. Though refusing to impose the million-
dollar-a-day penalty against that the Justice Department had requested,
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wrote:   "The probability that Microsoft will
not only continue to reinforce its operating system monopoly by its
licensing practices, but might also acquire yet another monopoly in the
Internet browser market, is simply too  great to tolerate indefinitely
until the issue is finally resolved."  Industry analysts are predicting the
basic  dispute over placing limits on Microsoft's power will not be
resolved for a number of years.  (New York Times 12 Dec 97)


Motorola is giving up its dream of challenging Intel in the desktop
microprocessor market, focusing instead on a  new breed of customized chips
that will merge memory, logic and other circuit types onto one silicon
wedge.   "We intend to turn what has been a weakness -- a broad array of
technologies -- into a powerful weapon no one  else has," says the
president of Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector.  The company sports
a portfolio of  more than 50,000 chips, including the PowerPC
microprocessor that Motorola had sought to promote via Apple  Macintosh
computers.  System chip sales currently run only $4 billion a year, or 3%
of the world market, but by  2001, sales could top $70 billion -- triple
the size of today's microprocessor market.  (Business Week 15 Dec  97)

                         WORLDGATE MOVES OVERSEAS

WorldGate Communications, a startup company that offers Internet access via
cable television systems, has  signed an agreement to test its service on
cable systems in Singapore, the U.K., Venezuela, New Zealand and  Austria.
If the trials are successful, WorldGate will be looking at 3.8 potential
new customers, in addition to its  150,000 subscriber base in the U.S.  The
company offers access to the World Wide Web and e-mail through  customers'
television sets for about $5 a month.  The WorldGate system differs from
competitors such as  WebTV, because does not require the purchase of a set-
top box.  "There's a much bigger market for a lower- cost, lower-function
product for the mass market," says WorldGate's CEO.  (Wall Street Journal
12 Dec 97)


Learning Technologies Interactive founder Luyen Chou says most interactive
software today is basically  boring:  "With my background as a teacher, one
of the fascinating things I've seen is how quickly kids -- and  even Gen
Xers -- are becoming bored with the genre-based multimedia titles, whether
they're shoot-'em-up  games or reference products.  What we're hearing from
the marketplace is a growing impatience with pseudo- interactivity.
They're looking for something that interacts with their synapses as much as
their fingertips."  (Upside Jan 98)

                      CLINTON TO ORDER YEAR 2000 FIX

The Clinton administration intends to order more than a dozen federal
agencies to redirect hundreds of millions  of dollars in their technology
budgets to fix the year 2000 computer problem, an administration official
said  today.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plans to order the
agencies to "reprogram" their existing  technology budgets to direct funds
into the year 2000 fix, an agency official said, speaking on condition of
anonymity.  These funds were already appropriated by Congress, but OMB can
order the money directed to  other purposes.  An OMB review of 24 cabinet
agencies showed that seven had made "insufficient progress" in  fixing the
year 2000 problem while nine remained "of concern" and eight had the
problem under control, the  official said.  (Ottawa Sun 12 Dec 97)


Because most Web users tend to be North American, many Web designers are
oblivious to the subtle cultural  connotations that language, colors and
design can take on in a foreign setting.  Companies wishing to
internationalize their sites should be particularly sensitive to language
(no colloquialisms, such as using  "wicked" to mean "good"), colors (white
denotes purity in Western countries, but death in many Asian nations), and
the gestures made by models (showing the palms, as in a wave, is considered
an insult in some  Mediterranean countries).  "Color takes on enormously
different overtones from one country to the next," says  one corporate
globalization consultant.  "That doesn't mean you can't use those colors.
It just means you want  to rethink what the visuals look like on your pages
and on your links."  (CIO Web Business 1 Dec 97)


Canada's high-technology industry praised that country's immigration
authorities for extending an experiment to  speed up the entry of people
with specialized software skills into Canada.  The Software Human Resource
Council said that more than 200 people have already entered Canada under
the rules that allow companies to  bring in software designers without
first having to prove that no Canadians can fill the job.   The experiment
started last spring, despite protests from some legislators who felt it was
unfair to unemployed Canadians, and  will now be extended until the end of
March.  The Council expects the number of software specialists coming to
Canada will reach 400 to 600 by the end of the experiment.  (Ottawa Citizen
9 Dec 97)

                      CYBERBOOZE ... OR CYBERSNOOZE?

New York state attorney general Dennis Vacco says an undercover sting
operation has shown that underage  customers can order alcoholic beverages
through the World Wide Web and have them delivered to their homes  with "no
questions asked."  Merchants who sell wine and beer via the Internet scoff
at the notion that this is a  real, rather than a theoretical, problem.
One vendor pointed out his that his beer sells for $27 for two six-packs,
and said it was absurd to think that a teenager would pay that much and
then wait several days for delivery.  A spokesman for one beer-of-the-month
club called the controversy an "emotional red herring" and blamed the
beverage wholesalers for instigating it to protect their traditional market
mechanisms.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 13 Dec 97)


Microsoft, Intel and other high-tech companies are negotiating with Tele-
Communications Inc. in a major bid to  supply advanced set-top boxes for
the next-generation of cable television.  TCI is expected to purchase
between  10 million and 25 million of the devices, and companies reportedly
are offering "very creative financing" in  order to snare the coveted
contract.  "If you can win the TCI business, you've won a very important
chunk of the  cable operator's business," says an Intel VP.  Meanwhile, TCI
CEO John Malone says he expects to sign  contracts with several providers:
"If there were a single operating system, it would have to be virtually
owned  by the cable industry.  We don't want to be slave to any proprietary
system.  We don't want any of them to get  such a proprietary hook that
it's either junk $5 billion in investment or go ahead with their next
plan." (Wall Street Journal 15 Dec 97)


Microsoft has appealed the ruling of U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield
Jackson, charging that the judge  exceeded his authority by issuing a
temporary injunction against the company's practice of bundling its
Internet  Explorer software into the Microsoft  Windows 95 operating
system.   Microsoft has also indicated that, as a  matter of fact,  none of
the large PC manufacturers plan to ship Windows without Internet Explorer,
even though the court order allows them to do so. (Washington Post 16 Dec


The Federal Communications Commission has tentatively decided to reduce (by
about $750 million less than  the $2.65 billion authorized) the fees that
long-distance companies will pay to support investments in Internet  access
by schools, libraries, and health care institutions.  The FCC decision came
after the phone companies  said the fees could lead to higher rates - and
after AT&T and MCI said they would specify the charges on  customer bills.
(New York Times 15 Dec 97)

                       7.5-CENT LONG-DISTANCE CALLS

Qwest Communications will be using Internet technology -- which it says is
more efficient than the aging  switching networking owned by its long-
distance phone rivals -- to offer long-distance calls at any time of day
or night for just 7.5 cents a minute. The   service will be rolled out to
25 cities by summer 1998 and 125 cities  by the end of the year.  Industry
analyst Brian Adamik says:  "We are seeing breakthroughs every couple of
months.  Consumers may soon find they can no longer tell whether a call is
going over the Internet."  (Wall  Street Journal 15 Dec 97)

                         INTEL EYES THE OTHER 60%

Intel CEO Andy Grove explains his company's recent switch from focusing on
high-end desktop  microprocessors, where it dominates 90% of the market, to
engineering chips specifically designed for cheap  PCs and low-cost
electronic devices:  "First of all, there are $20 processors in our
portfolio today, in the  embedded area [chips that go into products such as
cars and printers].  I don't think the news is going to be in  $20
processors.  I think the news is going to be in penetration into a wider
population - the proverbial 60% of  U.S. homes that don't have a computer.
Why don't those 60% have a computer?  What we're trying to do is put a need
in there, and at the same time, make this stuff affordable.  And if that
formula starts working, we want to  make the same kind of money we're
accustomed to.  And the only way we can do that is to design for the
target."  (Business Week 22 Dec 97)


Intel and Sun have reached an patent cross-licensing agreement that will
allow the two companies to share  technologies related to the new Merced
chip, which was designed by Intel and Hewlett-Packard and which will  begin
shipping in 1999.  Sun will also adapt Solaris, its version of the Unix
operating system, to run on the  Merced chip.  (Wall Street Journal 16 Dec


After cracking the upscale corporate computer market long enjoyed by the
likes of IBM and Hewlett-Packard,  Sun Microsystems and Compaq Computer now
are beginning to focus on keeping the customers they've won.   "Five years
ago, service was almost never a determining factor," says the president of
Sun's service division.   "Now, at least in servers, it is almost always
one of the two or three most important factors.  It's a weapon; it's  an
advantage."  While Sun is moving quickly on providing the kind of hand-
holding that many corporate clients  require, industry observers expect
that Compaq probably will solve the problem by purchasing a major services
operation, such as Unisys, Wang Laboratories, Decision One or possibly
Digital Equipment Corporation, which  already has a contract for hardware
maintenance and software support  for Compaq machines.  (Investor's
Business Daily 15 Dec 97)

                         NETSCAPE'S BATTLE TACTICS

Seeking to take advantage of the court order prohibiting Microsoft from
requiring PC manufacturers that license  The Windows 95 operating system to
install Internet Explorer browser on the computers they sell, Netscape
Communications is taking three major actions:  it is using hundreds of Web
sites to provide instructions and  software for eliminating Explorer from a
user's computer;  negotiating with PC makers to convince them to add
Netscape Navigator to new computers;  and launching a massive campaign to
distribute Navigator through third  parties.  (Washington Post 17 Dec 97)


The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge to hold Microsoft in
contempt for what it terms a "naked  attempt" to circumvent the purpose of
a court order mandating the separation of its Internet Explorer browser
software from its Windows operating system.  "Microsoft has gone from
tying its products to tying the hands of  its vendors," says an assistant
attorney general for the antitrust division.  "The more Microsoft continues
its practices, the more consumers are harmed."  A Microsoft VP counters
that the company is complying with the  court order by offering PC makers a
choice of deleting the Internet Explorer software, which then impairs the
newer Windows 95 operating system, or installing an older 1995 version that
works without the browser.   Meanwhile, an antitrust attorney following the
case warns:  "If one is in violation of the spirit of an order while
complying with the letter, that can indeed come back to haunt you."  (Wall
Street Journal 18 Dec 97)

                            IN NEW TECH FUNDING

President Clinton has awarded Vint Cerf and Robert E. Kahn the National
Medal of Technology for their  creation of the TCP/IP protocol.  In
addition, Clinton announced $96 million in new funding for technology  R&D
projects, including smaller microcomputer and microprocessor development,
handheld videophones, and  radio ID cards for missing children.  The new
money will combine with industry-pledged funds totaling $200  million in
R&D for government-sponsored projects in 1998.  (TechWeb 16 Dec 97)


Silicon Graphics Inc.'s plan to allow SGI graphics software to run on
Microsoft's Windows NT operating  system provides new evidence that a
growing number of companies are giving up on Unix and instead
standardizing on Windows NT.  SGI hopes to be able to use its experience in
developing high-end graphics  software without having to spend a great deal
of time building the underlying technology represented by an  operating
system. (Washington Post  17 Dec 97)

                        DEBATE OVER PRIVACY ISSUE:
                      REGULATION VS. SELF-REGULATION

Civil libertarians are unhappy with the Federal Trade Commission's decision
to allow self-policing and  "voluntary guidelines" by companies that
maintain personal information on people -- companies such as Lexis- Nexis,
Equifax, and Information America.  "Privacy Times" newsletter editor Evan
Hendricks says:  "The  reality is that many of the players here don't have
a very good history of complying either with the Fair Credit  Reporting Act
or voluntary guidelines.  Congress should just do its job and pass a law
and give Americans the   rights they deserve."  But FTC chairman Robert
Pitofsky says: "This is an impressive step in the direction of  self-
regulation.  The history of self-regulation is you start here and then see
where you go in the future."  (New York Times 18 Dec 97)


The Geneva-based Policy Oversight Committee -- the group attempting to
replace the U.S. government's role as  Internet domain name allocator - has
offered to increase its membership from 11 to 20 members, including
representatives of Internet service providers and users.  The committee
hopes this latest move will help to  deflect some of the criticism it has
faced, but some members say this latest move is too insignificant to give
it  the moral authority it will need to do its job effectively. Currently,
there are 200 organizations supporting the  Geneva group's efforts.  "I
think that 1,000-plus members need to be recruited first to give it
credibility," says one British committee member.  The U.S. will give up its
responsibility on March 31, 1998.  (TechWeb 16 Dec 97)


The Chronicle of Higher Education is issuing the following correction of
its article last week about a proposed  technology plan for the California
State University system:  Rather than automatically receiving the money
that  the system currently budgets each year for computing technology, the
partnership envisioned in the plan would  make proposals to individual
campuses to win their business.  Also, people who are now employees of the
university system would remain so.  (Chronicle of Higher Education 19 Dec

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                            The Linux Advocate

by Scott Dowdle


Hello again.  Boy, I sure have had a very busy last few weeks.  As I have
mentioned before, I am a student Montana State University Northern, Great
Falls campus and in the past few weeks I've had two papers due as well as
finals... so I haven't had enough time to devote to this installment...
but I wanted to include something so here it is. :)

News items:

On December 1st, Red Hat Software released Red Hat Linux 5.0 and shortly
after that they released a minor upgrade to ApplixWare as well.  Being an
ApplixWare owner I decided to order  the upgrade and it was rather nicely
priced... and only put me out $15 plus shipping.  Red Hat seemed to be a
little slow on the shipping because it took about 2 weeks to get my 2 day
Federal Express package but I can't complain really as the ApplixWare
upgrade happens to include Red  Hat Linux 5.0.  Only having gotten the
package this past Monday I've not had a lot of time to put  all of it
through the paces.  I did get it all installed though and I decided to just
go ahead and do a  clean install of RHL 5.0 to see what all had changed
with the installation program.  It was the easiest install I've done in my
3 year history running Linux and I must state that distribution makers have
really mainstreamed Linux.

I'll not bother to provide details on what's new with RHL 5.0 (and I'm
still working on a review of ApplixWare for a future column) but I will say
that they have added several new user level GUI tools as well as provide
some command line equivalents of several of their previously  GUI-only
system administration tools.  It appears that Red Hat is listening.  There
is much more  to the upgrade but one other noteworthy software package
addition is The Gimp.  The Gimp (see is a completely
fantastic image manipulation program that is an attempt at cloning Adobe's
PhotoShop application.  While the version of The Gimp included with RHL 5.0
is a few months out of date it is still rather good and since it's easily
installed with Red Hat's RPM package manager the home user has it up and
running in no time flat.  If one wants to keep up on The Gimp development
just point your favorite ftp client at and look around until
you find their rpm directory.

 The Gimp folks are putting out new releases in various compressed formats
and RPM happens to be one of them so upgrading to the latest version is a
snap.  Look for more details next column but in the mean time feel free to
check out Red Hat's Online User's Guide to 5.0 at the following URL:

I'm sure there have been other noteworthy news items since the last column
but my mind is drawing a blank as I write this and for that I'm sorry.
Please stay tuned for the next column installment.  I'm done with school
for this semester so I should have more freetime.


Ah, Christmas is approaching so quickly.  My parents are flying into Great
Falls, Montana in a few hours from Memphis, Tennessee and I haven't seen
them in about 2 years so this is going to be a very festive holiday season
for my family.  I want to wish everyone out there in Linux land (as well as
everywhere else) happiness and joy over the next few weeks and I'll see you
right back here next time, ok? :)

Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor

                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                             From Frank's Desk
This is the last issue before the holidays, so I'd like to wish everyone
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.  May you enjoy the love of friends and
family during this season of joy and holiday shopping.  Let's try to bring
the spirit of these holy days to every day.  Peace, joy and love to all.

                         Hoyle Classic Board Games
                              Windows CD-ROM
                             for ages 6 and up
                                 about $30
                              Sierra On-line
                            3380 146th Place SE
                                 Suite 300
                             Bellevue WA 98007
                           Program Requirements
                              OS:       Windows 3.1
                              CPU:      486/66
                              HD Space: 4.5 MB
                              Memory:   8 MB
                              Graphics: SVGA
                              CD-ROM:   Double-speed
                              Audio:         8-bit sound card
                              Optional: modem for Internet play
review by Frank Sereno (

If you're doing some last minute Christmas shopping, you won't find a
better family gift than Sierra's Hoyle Classic Board Games.  This
assortment of classic games offers challenging fun to all ages at a
fantastic bargain price.

This package actually features thirteen games.  The ten board games are
Backgammon, Battling Ships, Checkers, Chess, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes,
Pachisi, Snakes and Ladders, Yacht and Zen Bones.  In addition, the disc
includes two bonus demo games from Sierra's Hoyle Classic Card Games,
Hearts and Pyramid.  Finally, you get Hoyle Blackjack on a separate CD-ROM.

Each game is fun and done well.  I think the Battling Ships game alone is
worth the $30 street price for this package.  What really makes the game
shine for younger players is the assortment of zany computer opponents.
You can choose from twelve animated opponents and you have the option to
set their "attitude meter."  Have you ever been trash-talked by a sweet-
talking, silver-haired grandmother?   Computer opponents can be set to
three levels of competence to make the games challenging for players of all
ages.  In addition, Sierra includes Internet-play options if you ever get
bored with the provided opponents.

Sierra always provides great value in its products.  Hoyle Classic Board
Games is no exception.  If you're looking for a treat for the entire
family, Hoyle Classic Board Games is sure to please all with its great
humor, classic games and energetic competition.
                                In the News

                       IN JUMPSTART 1ST GRADE MATHT
                      AND JUMPSTART 2ND GRADE MATHT,
                       NEW FROM KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE

New grade-based, math-specific JumpStart CD-ROMs feature tutorial lessons,
offering problem-solving strategies to help kids master math fundamentals

GLENDALE, Calif., Dec. 16, 1997 - Knowledge Adventure announced today that
the company is enriching its #1 selling grade-based JumpStart Learning
SystemT with its exclusive Kid's Tutor TechnologyT, which has been
augmented in the recently shipping JumpStart 1st Grade MathT and JumpStart
2nd Grade MathT.  By incorporating a special tutoring aide, these two new
math-specific JumpStart CD-ROMs help kids progressively master an entire
school year of age-appropriate math curricula and build a solid foundation
for success in school.

In JumpStart 1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math, the Kid's Tutor
Technology automatically detects when the child is having difficulty and
offers special instruction to teach important math concepts.  In each CD-
ROM, kids can access a reference book with approximately 25 mini-lessons
that break down problems and concepts into logical, easy-to-understand

Says David Fratto, executive producer at Knowledge Adventure, "JumpStart
1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math prepare kids for success in
math and build their confidence through a comprehensive, multi-step
process.  Each program introduces kids to progressively challenging
concepts that reinforce what they're learning at school.  This dedicated,
grade-specific approach to math provides kids the necessary foundation for
mastering the next math concept.

"One of the most important considerations in teaching children math is
ensuring that they really understand the logic behind the problem-solving
process.  To provide kids the needed, on-hand support to learn important
early math skills, we strengthened and expanded our existing Kid's Tutor
Technology in both of these math-specific JumpStart programs."

JumpStart 1st Grade Math
In JumpStart 1st Grade Math, children ages 5 to 7 join Frankie the
Dachshund (from JumpStart 1st GradeT and JumpStart 1st Grade ReadingT) on a
charming adventure through an oversized backyard. After being disrespectful
of the creatures that co-exist with him in the backyard, the Queen Bee
casts a magical spell on Frankie that shrinks him down to the size of an
ant.  Kids can help restore him to normal size by playing a variety of fun
games and activities that build important math fundamentals such as:

 Sorting and Grouping
 Counting Money and Telling Time
 Basic Geometry and Spatial Relations
 Sequencing and Patterns
 Measurement and Estimation

JumpStart 2nd Grade Math
In JumpStart 2nd Grade Math, children ages 6 to 8 join CJ the Frog and
Edison the Firefly (from JumpStart 2nd GradeT) on an enchanting medieval
adventure.  The evil rodent Duke Ratso has taken over the castle and
imprisoned the royal family in a magic mirror.  Using a book of magic
spells, kids help CJ and Edison disarm Ratso's traps by playing exciting
games that expand on math fundamentals introduced in JumpStart 1st Grade
Math such as:

 Telling Time
 Addition with Carrying Over
 Subtraction with Borrowing
 Measurement and Fractions
 Logic and Problem-Solving

Adaptive Learning Technology
In addition to the Kid's Tutor Technology, JumpStart 1st Grade Math and
JumpStart 2nd Grade Math both feature Knowledge Adventure's exclusive
Adaptive Learning TechnologyT.  This innovative technology automatically
adjusts the game difficulty level to the student's skill level -- keeping
kids motivated and challenged as their learning needs change over the
course of the school year.

The Adaptive Learning Technology also integrates with the Kid's Tutor
Technology.  Each tutorial lesson offers three versions (introductory,
intermediate, advanced) that correspond with the three levels of game
difficulty, offering players the appropriate degree of support.  For
instance, an introductory lesson will appear if the child is playing on
Level 1; a more advanced lesson will appear if the child is playing on
Level 3.  This highly customized approach helps kids understand the logic
behind progressively challenging math concepts as they advance through the

Key Features and Benefits
JumpStart 1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math also offer the
following key features and benefits:

 Grade-based approach teaches a full year of math curriculum specific to
the 1st grade and 2nd grade levels.

 Exciting, arcade-style games and rich, vibrant art keep kids engaged while
teaching important math fundamentals and building a solid foundation for
success in school.

 An extensive Progress Report helps parents monitor their child's progress
in all math subject areas.

 Printable workbook activities extend and reinforce learning away from the

Availability, Pricing and System Requirements
JumpStart 1st Grade Math and JumpStart 2nd Grade Math are both immediately
available at most major computer stores and mass-merchant chains
nationwide.  The Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh CD-ROMs are expected to
be priced at approximately $30 each.  Customers can call (800) 542-4240 for
sales and ordering information.  System requirements for both products are
as follows:

Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 CD-ROM
486DX66 PC or higher; double speed CD-ROM drive; Windows 3.1 or Windows 95;
16 MB RAM; SVGA 640x480 at 256 colors; MPC-compatible sound card.

Macintosh CD-ROM
68040 or Power Mac; double speed CD-ROM drive; System 7.1 or higher; 16 MB
of RAM; 13" or larger color monitor.

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 18 months to 11 years.  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).

                               #     #     #

CHRISTMAS! STR FOCUS   .......A familiar tale, with a new twist!

                         The Night Before Christmas

        'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ship
               Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip;
               The phasers were hung in the armory securely,
             In hopes that no aliens would get up that early.
             The crewmen were nestled all snug in their bunks
              (Except for the few who were partying drunks);
             And Picard in his nightshirt and Bev in her lace,
             Had just settled down for a neat face-to-face...
             When out in the halls there arose such a racket,
         That we leapt from our beds, pulling on pants and jacket.
                 Away to the lifts we all shot like a gun,
            Leapt into the cars and yelled loudly, "Deck One!"
        The bridge Red-Alert lights, which flashed through the din,
                 Gave a lustre of Hades to objects within.
          When, what, on the viewscreen, should our eyes behold,
         But a weird kind of sleigh, and some guy who looked old.
            But the glint in his eyes was so strange and askew
                 That we knew in a moment it had to be Q.
              His sleigh grew much larger as closer he came.
          Then he zapped on the bridge and addressed us by name:
              "It's Riker! It's Data! It's Worf and Jean-Luc!
                It's Geordi! And Wesley, the genetic fluke!
             To the top of the bridge, to the top of the hall!
               Now float away! Float away! Float away all!"
            As leaves in the autumn are whisked off the street,
            So the floor of the bridge came away from our feet,
                And up to the ceiling our bodies they flew,
          As the captain called out, "What the hell is this, Q?!"
             The prankster just laughed and expanded his grin,
               And, snapping his fingers, he vanished again.
             As we took in our plight and were looking around,
           The spell was removed, and we crashed to the ground.
             Then Q, dressed in fur from his head to his toe,
                Appeared once again, to continue the show.
                    "That's enough!" cried the captain,
                        "You'll stop this at once!"
              And Riker said, "Worf! Take aim at this dunce!"
                "I'm deeply offended, Jean-Luc," replied Q,
              "I just want to celebrate Christmas with you."
           As we scoffed at his words, he produced a large sack.
             He dumped out the contents and took a step back.
         "I've brought gifts," he said, "just to show I'm sincere.
             There's something delightful for everyone here."
                He sat on the floor and dug into his pile,
            And handed out gifts with his most charming smile:
             "For Counsellor Troi, there's no need to explain.
                 Here's Tylenol-Beta for all of your pain.
          For Worf I've some mints as his breath's not too great,
                And for Geordi LaForge, an inflatable date.
              For Wesley, some hormones, and Clearasil-Plus;
                For Data, a joke book; for Riker, a truss.
               For Beverly Crusher, there's sleek lingerie,
        And for Jean-Luc, the thrill of just seeing her that way."
           Then he sprang to his feet with that grin on his face
             And, clapping his hands, disappeared into space.
            But we heard him exclaim as he dwindled from sight,
            "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!"

         Based on "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore
                Adaptation Copyright 1990, Eric R. Rountree

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                     Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest!!!
Win your very own copy of Recipe Box for Windows 95:
All you have to do is send in your favorite Holiday Cookie Recipe to:

      As an example: My favorite and very best Holiday Cookie Recipe.
                   Ralph's Chocolate Chip Diet Spoilers
                            They're Delicious!

                      2 cups Grade A, unsalted butter
                                1 tsp. salt
                               2 cups sugar
                           3 tsp. baking powder
                            2 cups brown sugar
                            3 tsp. baking soda
                           4 large grade A eggs
                   24 oz. chocolate chips or M&M candies
         3 tsp.  Flavor extract (Vanilla, Rum, Butterscotch, etc.)
           1 chocolate bar (8 oz.), sweet or bittersweet, grated
                            4 cups sifted flour
                      3 cups chopped nuts (optional)
                      5 cups smooth blended oatmeal*
         assorted Holiday Colors in sprinkle toppings (optional)**
     Melt butter slowly under very low heat and fold in both sugars, stir
to a creamy smooth texture.       Thoroughly but gently stir eggs and
flavor extract together using a wisk.  In a large bowl,  mix prepared
ingredients together with flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking powder and
soda.  Fold in chocolate chips and grated chocolate bar.  Add chopped nuts
(if desired).  Roll mixed cookie dough into 3/4 inch balls and place about
two inches apart on buttered cookie sheets.

     A few tips; for a light colored cookie; chill the chocolate chips and
add them and the grated chocolate to the batter last.  For a chewy cookie;
add one more bar of butter.  Bar=4oz.  For larger, fancy cookies use an ice
cream scoop or a cup shaped tablespoon portion measuring spoon.For effect,
granulated sugar may be sprinkled on top of the cookies before baking
instead of the colored sprinkles.  If chocolate sprinkles are used, add
immediately after removing cookies from oven.

     Also, instead of chocolate chips etc.. and grated chocolate, candied
fruits may be used.  However, they must be diced and used sparingly.
Omitting all added goodies (chips, candied fruits, chocoates, sprinkles
etc.) and using only the genuine flavor extract (no imitations) of your
choice and topping with granulated sugar will yeild fantastic holiday sugar

     Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.   Makes approximately 100 cookies
(recipe may be doubled or halved as desired).

*    Measure oatmeal (not instant) and blend in a blender until a fine,
silky powder.
**   Sprinkle colored candy toppings on cookies about 15 seconds before

Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

>From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"

     It's hard to believe that this year is almost over!  Christmas only a
few days away, and then 1998...

     So, what's new these days?  Well, other than the news below, we have
one nice item to report to you this week that you likely are not aware:
Suzy B's Software has a couple of new CD compilations ready to go shortly -
if not already available (I just received my review copies!).  Remember
the Suzy B's double-CD set that came out a couple of years ago?  Well, it's
available again as a compressed single CDROM.  That's right, all of the
files are compressed to fit onto one CD.  More convenient to use rather
than having to change CDs to find a file; and, compressed files for those
of us looking to add files to our BBS file libraries.

     The new CD is a continuation of where that Unabashed Atariophile,
Michael Burkley, left off.  Lots of "older" programs mixed in with tons of
the latest Atari shareware/public domain/freeware software available today.
I've only had a day or two to browse through this CD, but I already know
there's a lot of terrific stuff in here!  I can't wait to go through it
thoroughly and report on what I find!

     Another CD is a compilation of MANY of the files that were archived in
the Atari Forums on CompuServe (8-bit through Falcon).  In an herculean
effort to prevent those files from being lost forever before the Atari
forums were shut down a few months ago, we managed to obtain an account for
Michael so he, along with a few others, could download as much as possible.
CompuServe's Atari forums have been around for a _long_ time  and there
were a lot of files there that didn't exist anywhere else online.  Some of
these files date back to the early Antic magazine days!  I'm not sure
whether or not this CD will be available commercially.  But if it is, you
can't pass it up!

     The last CD that I received is a collection of  "Christmas for the
Eyes, Ears, and Soul" that Michael put together.  I haven't been able to
try this one yet, but going through the "table of contents" I saw a number
of Christmas songs on there that are compositions by Atari musicians.  The
best-known that I recognized immediately were a few songs done by John
Eidsvoog (CodeHead Software)!  There is a lot of music and graphics on this
CD collection.  The CD is probably best utilized on a PC, but Atari users
can still get a good use from it listening to the various music and looking
at the graphics separately.  Great gift idea for those who enjoy holiday
music collections!

     So, let's get to the rest of this week's issue.  Since next week's
issue will appear after Christmas, I'd like to take this opportunity to
wish you, our readers, a very happy holiday (whichever you happen to
celebrate).  Please take it easy at the office parties and other holiday
celebrations - if you're going to drink, be sure someone who isn't is
behind the wheel of the car!

Until next time...

DA's Layout v6.1 Atari Now Available in English!

                              MAXIMUM LAYOUT
minimal outlay!

We are pleased to announce that DA's Layout v6.1 for Atari is here! This
version is the anxiously awaited full commercial English language release
and is ready for shipping NOW!
An integrated solution that incorporates powerful Page Layout tools, Type
Setting tools, Bezier Vector Editing tools, Image Processing tools,
Transformation tools and so much more, DA's Layout is all you need to
create stunning advertisements, packaging artwork, business stationary etc.
in black and white or full color. Having your creations printed is a snap
with our full support for the worldwide industry standard, genuine Adobe
PostScript(R) Level 2 page description language.

DA's Layout supports PostScript Type 1, Calamus(R) CFN as well as Didot DFN
font formats - you can even print documents that contain all of these font
formats to any PostScript device!

Sharing artwork with other packages is a breeze as well! DA's Layout loads
and saves any object, or a complete document in  the Calamus CVG vector
format, IMG vector format, DIG vector format and EPS as well as the
worldwide industry standard bitmapped image format - TIFF. You can even
view color separations directly within DA's Layout! Have you ever gone to
press and received results that were unsatisfactory? We have! Our
Separation Preview feature eliminates these costly errors.

DA's Layout is filled with industry leading features such as: Multiple Page
Sizes in a document, Document Wide Layers, 2 methods of Vertical
Justification (leading grid as well as vertical justification with user
definable offset), the ability to output film with objects on the same page
that are assigned independant Chromatic and Achromatic Separation methods,
Independant or Global Gradation settings, Object Level Trapping, Up to 12
Color Separation Plates, Set Text on any Vector Path and so much more! You
can even calories bitmapped images!

DA's Layout Pro is expandible with Plug-In modules that enhance your
creativity to the max! We have modules for Font Editing, Barcode
Generation, Vector Auto Tracing, Adobe Illustrator level 3 file support,
PostScript Clipping Paths, Archival Visual Database, 3D Extrusions with
user definable light source, Monitor Calibration for printed ink simulation
on-screen and Composition Merge Filters with user definable saturation,
luminance and transparency settings. In addition we offer PhotoScreen, our
FM Stochastic screening method up to 3600 dpi and the multi-award winning
Reference.K auto-K separation tables that ensure quality one step 4 color
separations - every time!

We have pre-bundled these modules in three superb packages that provide
excellent value for the dollar!
DA's Layout can save your documents in many different ways. You can save
and load any page, layer, object or a complete document. We even have a
unique portable document format that embeds fonts and images for reliable
cross platform with 100% compatibility! No need to send your fonts and
images with your documents and leave lady luck in charge - simply save the
file in our embedded format! This feature allows you to save a Layout
document created on an Atari and open it on a Macintosh.

Download DA's Layout v6.1 now! Place your order for DA's Layout and get
instant access to download your copy now from our web server! Naturally, we
will still send your master disks and users manual in the mail. This new
technology allows you to start using DA's Layout today. See our web site
for more information on the features found in DA's Layout Atari!

 A demo is available for download!

See our web site for more information on the features found in DA's Layout

 A demo is available for download!

Basic Package.
DA's Layout v6.1 ... $299.99 US.
Special Bundled Packages.
DA's Layout Pro v6.1 ... $499.99 US.
(includes 3 modules! Font Editor, Vector Tracer, Barcode)
DA's Layout EPS bundle v6.1 ... $649.99 US. - Save $300.00 US!
(includes the above 3 modules plus Illustrator EPS support and Clipping
DA's Layout Designer Bundle v6.1 ... $999.99 US. - Save $450.00 US!
(includes the above 5 modules plus Archive, Calibration, Compose and
Individual Modules.
DA's Archive ... $100.00 US.
DA's 3D Extruder ... $100.00 US.
DA's Compose ... $150.00 US.
DA's Calibration ... $150.00 US.
DA's Clipping Path Extensions ... $150.00 US.
DA's EPS Illustrator 3 driver ... $300.00 US.
Reference.K ... $215.00 US.
PhotoScreening up to 720 dpi ... $215.00 US.
PhotoScreening up to 3600 dpi ... $350.00 US.
All prices are in US Dollars, FOB Edmonton Canada. Postage and Packing
in Canada - $10.00 Cdn., Continental USA $10.00 US. All other points
$15.00 US.
Canadian residents please add 7% GST.
Orders Only: 1-800-547-9203 M-F 9:00 a.m - 5.00 p.m.
Info and Support: 403-496-2488 M-F 9:00 a.m - 5.00 p.m.
24 Hour Fax line: 403-496-2489


Mailing Address:
Digital Arts Publishing (North America)
A division of Computer Direct
Ste. 1210, 9909-04 Street
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
T5K 2G5.

UK customers please contact our UK distributor.
Titan Designs/Black Scorpion Software
6 Witherford Way, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 4AX. U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)121-693 6669
Fax: +44 (0)121-414 1630

Ultimate Virus Killer 2000 - SPECIAL OFFER!

Good day to all,  Atari friends!

I am releasing a definitive version of my "Ultimate Virus Killer", now
called "Ultimate Virus Killer 2000", version 8.0. Now is your chance to get
your hands on the definitive piece of virus killing software for the Atari
ST/TT/Falcon range of computers. Here's what it can do...

1) It can kill more viruses than any other virus killer...right now over
2) It is the only virus killer that can recognize "UVD Virus", "Carpe Diem
Virus" and "Pharaohs Curse Virus"
3) For the past two years or so it's been the only virus killer that's
still updated, and it will continue to be updated at least twice per year
4) It works on any ST/TT/Falcon system with 1 Mb of memory (or more)
5) It supports any multi-tasking OS that exists
6) It also runs on GEMulator and PacifiST on the PC

This piece of software can now be yours for the amazing price of US$10 (or
5 British pounds, or 15 German marks, or 15 Dutch guilders) - and that
includes postage! And the special offer is that, if you send off your order
before 1 january 1998, you will get the next update (to be released around
summer 1998) COMPLETELY FOR FREE (sorry for my shouting :-).

So don't think twice and get the definitive virus killing tool for the
Atari range of computers, the "Ultimate Virus Killer 2000" version 8.0,
right this minute.

If you need more info, email to me at

The address to order at is Richard Karsmakers, P.O. Box 67, NL-3500
AB, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Of course, while I'm at it, I would like to use this message to wish all of
you the best Christmas you've ever had, with a cool 1998 to follow!

                               * AniPlayer *

Didier Mequignon has just released v1.21 of AniPlayer, his freeware GEM

The next version will support NOVA 16-bit (Hades) and maybe zoom 2x in
window.  You will find AniPlayer at:

* MyMail *

This email client by Erik Hdll is updated (again) to v0.46. He added a
window to display depacking of file attachments and it's possible to abort
this if necessary.

* Swedish HomePage Penguin Pro HTML-manual under construction *

This will appear at my homepage and as a packed zip-file. It's already at: but I'm working with it every day
now. The manual contains instructions and snapshots of the dialogs.

There's no Swedish RSC-file to download; it's in the original package.

* Spanish CAB version *

David Gonzalez Flores (Mexico) just corrected some errors to the previous
release. You can now download the Spanish version of CAB from my download
page with docs bundled, along with Spanish version of GEMjing and the
plug-ins that CAB uses at the moment.

* Application Systems Heidelberg *

I just received permission to translate the ASH commercial apps Fiffi
(FTP-client) and ASH Emailer to use with PPP-Connect. The Swedish versions
of these (RSC-files) with HTML-manuals will be available from my homepage
before this year turns into 1998. These files won't be bundled with the
original packages from ASH; they will be downloadable from my homepage

Best Regards

Mille Babic
channel Atari:

                              Gaming Section

FOX Sports Interactive!
Super Street Fighter II Collection
Resident Evil" Scores!
And more!

>From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!

     It's Christmas time; and this is the gaming section of the magazine.
What more can I say but have a great gaming holiday - I hope you find all
of your anticipated gaming gifts under the tree next week - there's plenty
to choose from this year!  In this week's issue, we'll have some reports of
some of the latest offerings for that last-minute gift idea.

Until next time...

Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile  -  The Latest Gaming News!

                  Fox Sports and Fox Interactive Team Up
                     To Launch FOX Sports Interactive

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 15) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 15, 1997 - Leveraging one of
America's strongest and growing brands, two separate Fox divisions, FOX
Sports, recognized as the premier and most innovative sports broadcaster in
the United States, and FOX Interactive, a leader in worldwide game
publishing, Monday announced that they are joining forces to create what is
destined to be one of the most popular game franchises ever -- FOX Sports
Interactive.  The new venture calls for Fox Interactive, in concert with
Fox Sports, to create and market a comprehensive, multi-platform line of
compelling  interactive sports games for the North American market. The
announcement was made Monday by Jon Richmond, president of FOX Interactive,
and Tracy Dolgin, executive vice president, FOX Sports and chief operating
officer, FOX Sports Net.   Of the announcement, Dolgin noted, "This is a
perfect way to extend the dominance of the FOX Sports brand.  Since its
creation, FOX Sports has become synonymous with fun, innovation and
excitement, and now we can bring these powerful assets to bear on the
lucrative video game market."

"Having established Fox Interactive as a significant competitor in the
video game arena, leveraging Fox studio properties as well as developing
our own characters and game franchises, we're eager to partner with Fox
Sports to enter the sports video game market," said Richmond.  "FOX Sports
has revitalized sports broadcasting in the U.S. FOX Interactive has proven
itself time and again to deliver compelling games that have propelled it to
the forefront of the highly competitive video gaming industry.  The
combination of that powerful branding with outstanding gameplay will
produce the next generation of sports video games."

FOX Sports Interactive will launch a line of products in 1998 including FOX
Sports Hockey, FOX Sports Golf, FOX Sports Tennis and FOX Sports Soccer.
The games will be available for multiple formats including SONY PlayStation
and PC CD-ROM.  The games will be supported by a number of major partners
and endorsements, the first of which is the National Hockey League and the
National Hockey League Players Association for the NHL on FOX interactive
game to be released at the start of the 1998-99 Hockey season.

To support the launch of FOX Sports Interactive, Fox Interactive also
announced a long-term development agreement with Gremlin, a top British
games developer known for its critically acclaimed Actua Sports series of
games.   Richmond added, "We intend to bring to gaming the same attitude
that Fox brought to sports broadcasting and combine it with the outstanding
gameplay that is synonymous with our key developer, Gremlin, one of the
hottest sports games developers in the world."   In the November issue of
Electronic Gaming Monthly, a leading enthusiast publication, developer
Gremlin was named as one of the "hottest" developers in the United Kingdom:
"Gremlin is a company that deserves further observation.  Gremlin could
easily...propel a U.S. company into instant top 10 status."

In its short two-year history, FOX Interactive has achieved unparalleled
success with the launch of its first titles inspired by great FOX
first original property, CROC, is considered to be a best-selling title for
the crowded fourth quarter 1997 having already shipped nearly 700,000 units
on PlayStation in its first two months of release.  "The launch of FOX
Sports Interactive is a major step in the continued expansion of FOX
Interactive.  Spurred by our success over the last two years, the sports
video game category, which represents a major portion of the total $5.5
billion video and computer game industry, is an obvious extension for FOX
Interactive.  Our sister company, FOX Sports, is not only the recognized
leader in sports programming but also a marketing powerhouse that will
enable us to effectively compete in this highly-charged market," concluded

              Capcom Ships Super Street Fighter II Collection

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (Dec. 16) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 16, 1997 - Capcom
Entertainment today announced that they have shipped Super Street Fighter
II Collection(TM), a new 3-in-1 compilation of its mega-selling, Super
Street Fighter II series for the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn.   The
Super Street Fighter II Collection contains three classic games from
Capcom's flagship fighting series: "Super Street Fighter II," "Super Street
Fighter II Turbo" and "Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold," an enhanced version of
"Street Fighter Alpha 2" seen here for the first time in the United States.
Selling at a lower price point and packaged as a two-CD set, Super Street
Fighter II Collection offers these nostalgic fighting classics for the
first time ever on the next-generation gaming systems. Super Street Fighter
II Collection is currently available at a suggested retail price of $44.99.
"For the first time ever, Capcom has released these three arcade fighting
classics in one package. This is a tremendous value for our consumers,"
says Robert Lindsey, vice president of sales and marketing for Capcom
Entertainment. "The Super Street Fighter II Collection definitely has a
'nostalgic' appeal, for now the majority of gamers who once flocked to the
arcades can have exact translations on their next-generation home gaming

Super Street Fighter II Collection chronicles the best and the most
innovative advancements in the best-selling fighting game series of all
time. "Super Street Fighter II," originally released in 1993 for the
Arcade, SNES and Sega Genesis, set a precedent by introducing four new
characters to the Street Fighter series: Dee Jay, Feilong, T. Hawk and of
course, Cammy.  "Super Street Fighter II Turbo," originally released in
1994 for the arcade and the 3DO, introduced the Super Combo system of
fighting moves, which set the high standard in all future fighting games.
It was also the first time that the popular, yet mysterious character Akuma
was introduced to the series.  "Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold" is an upgrade
to "Street Fighter Alpha 2" and features alternate versions of select
characters, new animation, with new moves and modes of play.

            Resident Evil Franchise Tops $200 Million Worldwide

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (Dec. 17) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 17, 1997 - Capcom
Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Resident Evil and its licensed
properties have generated revenue of more than $200 million worldwide.
The overwhelming success of the company's best-selling survival horror
video game has established another huge franchise for Capcom. To date, more
than 4 million units of Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan) and
Resident Evil: Director's Cut have been sold worldwide. Nearly one million
units sold through in the U.S. market alone.

The skyrocketing success of the product has also made it a popular
licensing property.  Capcom has inked deals for the creation of a Resident
Evil feature film, a line of action figures, and a series of comic books.
This already successful franchise will intensify in January when Capcom
releases Resident Evil 2, hailed the most anticipated video game of 1998.
"We are very proud of what Resident Evil has achieved within the industry,"
said Robert Lindsey, senior vice president of sales and marketing for
Capcom Entertainment.  "The success of Resident Evil is a tremendous
compliment to Capcom R&D in Japan.  Not only did they create  a product
with worldwide consumer appeal, but they demonstrated their diversity as
developers.  We are focused on making Resident Evil the hottest property
available and all of the hard work and effort is paying off.

"With revenue exceeding $200 million, Resident Evil is already larger than
most theatrical motion picture releases.  Now all eyes are clearly focused
on Resident Evil 2, destined to become an instant classic and one of the
hottest games of '98.  Like our best-selling Mega Man and Street Fighter
franchises, Resident Evil is another winner for Capcom."   Since its
release in March 1996, Resident Evil has established a whole new genre in
the gaming industry, even spawning a series of "Resident Evil-like" clones.
Resident Evil has won industry awards including Sony's, "Consumer's Choice
Best PlayStation Game Overall" and the honor as one of Sony's highest
selling third party franchises of all time on the PlayStation.

Capcom released Resident Evil Director's Cut that included an interactive
demo of Resident Evil 2.  A two-disc set, Director's Cut sold through more
than 300,000 units since its release on Sept. 30, 1997 for the Sony
PlayStation.  Director's Cut contains three versions of the classic horror
game, including a newer, more difficult mode, which allowed players to
re-experience the intensity and suspense of Resident Evil.  Resident Evil
is available for both the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn.  Constantin
Films of Germany acquired the rights to Resident Evil for development into
a feature film earlier this year.  Screenwriter Alan McElroy, most recently
known for his work on the movie Spawn, has nearly finished writing the
screenplay that closely follows the storyline of the game.

Toy Biz, a leading toy manufacturer with several successful action figure
lines based on the Marvel Universe, in conjunction with Capcom, will create
a line of action figures based on Resident Evil. Toy Biz will launch the
first line of figures from the original Resident Evil, which will include
Chris, Jill, Tyrant and other popular characters, in the second quarter of
1998.  Toy Biz plans to release an assortment of Resident Evil 2 action
figures in the fourth quarter of 1998.

Jim Lee's Wildstorm Productions, distributed by Image Comics, and creators
of the popular Wildcats and GEN 13 comic books, has also teamed up with
Capcom and Resident Evil.  Wildstorm will develop a quarterly series of
comic books based on the Resident Evil line of products.  Available in
March 1998, the premier issue will tell the tale of the evil Umbrella
organization and the truth behind the terror taking place in Raccoon City.

            ASC Games Obtains North American Publishing Rights
                            to Grand Theft Auto

DARIEN, CONN. (Dec. 18) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 18, 1997 - Highly Acclaimed,
and Sometimes Controversial, Video Game Coming to PC and PlayStation.  The
nastiest crime family of them all is coming to North America as ASC Games,
a publisher and developer of video games for PlayStation, Sega Saturn and
PC CD-ROM, has obtained the North American publishing rights to one of
Europe's hottest video games of the year, Grand Theft Auto. Developed by
DMA Design and published in Europe by BMG Interactive, GTA is scheduled to
release in the U.S. on February 1, 1998 for the PC and in April 1998 for

"There have been many controversial opinions surrounding Grand Theft Auto
throughout the pre-launch period in Europe. However, we believe that it
features some of the best game play elements across any genre and is one of
the most original games to hit any platform in years," said Sharon Wood,
executive vice president of marketing at ASC Games.  "A simple Internet and
Newsgroup search query for 'Grand+Theft+Auto' further supported what we had
already suspected - pages and pages of individual web sites, news postings
and online competitions dedicated solely to GTA. The results were
staggering, especially for a game that, at the time, was still only
available as a downloadable demo here in the U.S."

Here's the scenario: Car-theft, dangerous driving, high-speed police chases
- Grand Theft Auto has everything one could want in a fast-paced,
arcade-style action game. As a carjacker working on behalf of the Mafia,
more than 200 missions will keep the action moving through 6,000 miles of
roads, freeways and allayer can steal any one of 30 different cars and take
the nearest shortcut on the sidewalk or through a local park - even if it
is fully loaded with innocent bystanders.   The campaign will include
television, online and print advertising; in-store point of sale
promotions; downloadable demos; as well as on ASC Games' web site at

Gaming Online STR InfoFile    -    Online Users Growl & Purr!

       Politically Correct Version of 'The Night Before Christmas!'

          'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
            How to live in a world that's politically correct?
               His workers no longer would answer to "Elves"
           "Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves
                  And labor conditions at the north pole
               Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul
            Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety
                Released to the wilds by the Humane Society
               And equal employment had made it quite clear
                That Santa had better not use just reindeer
                   So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid
        Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!
               The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
                The ruts were termed dangerous by the E P A
                And people had started to call for the cops
              When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops
     Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened
            His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened"
         And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows
            Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
              And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation
                Demanding millions in over-due compensation
             So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife
                Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life
           Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz
                  Demanding from now on her title was Ms
            And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
            That making a choice could cause so much commotion
                    Nothing of leather, nothing of fur
             Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her
                Nothing that might be construed to pollute
                     Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot
                Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise
                 Nothing for just girls. Or just for boys
                Nothing that claimed to be gender specific
                   Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific
            No candy or sweets ... they were bad for the tooth
                Nothing that seemed to embellish the truth
                 And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden
                Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden
            For they raised the hackles of those psychological
               Who claimed the only good gift was ecological
           No baseball, no football ... someone could get hurt;
               Besides; playing sports exposed kids to dirt
            Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
               And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away
             So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
               He just could not figure out what to do next
                   He tried to be merry, tried to be gay
             But you've got to be careful with that word today
               His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
                 Nothing fully acceptable was to be found
            Something special was needed, a gift that he might
            Give to all without angering the left or the right
               A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision
                   Each group of people, every religion;
                        Every ethnicity, every hue
                     Everyone, everywhere ... even you
             So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth ...
            "May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth"

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, the holidays are truly upon us.
There's snow on the ground (in my area, anyway) and the major hobby seems
to be shopping for that perpetual last gift.   I even feel that almost
magnetic tug as I pass a store or, dare I say it, a MALL.

     For those of you interested in using CAB, the Crystal Atari Browser,
to access the internet but don't like the idea of having to use a
particular operating system just to surf the web, I've got  good news for
you. I've finally gotten STinG to work for me... So it really DOES work. I
can now  use an ISP that requires a PPP connection. Once I learned which
parts of the documentation were  necessary to set the program up for the
internet (STinG also can be used to set up a Local Area  Network, or LAN) I
had surprisingly few problems. I even got STinG to work with CompuServe.
The problem with CompuServe is that, when logging in, it expects you to use
7 bit text. StinG  was configured for the VAST majority of internet service
providers who deal strictly in 8 bit text.  I've put all the necessary text
and files in the libraries of The Computer Club Forum on CompuServe if
you're interested.

I'm also become more and more impressed with CAB 2.5 the more I use it.
Sure, it doesn't have  the glitz of Netscape Navigator, and it doesn't take
over your entire system like the new Explorer  does, but it allows me to do
things I want to do. And THAT is where I want to go today. <grin>

Well, let's take a look at what's going 'round in the Atari UseNet
NewsGroups. There's some interesting stuff to be found there.

>From the NewsGroup

Several of us get together  and have a little conversation about CAB
2.5. Terry May posts:
     "I just received CAB 2.5 from Systems For Tomorrow and have been
     playing with it for a couple hours.


     What a nice upgrade.  The first thing you notice is the speed.
     It's much, much faster than even 2.0, especially in loading
     graphics.  And even while it's loading pages, it seems much more
     responsive.  It seems like you have installed an accellerator.
     Everything just seems quicker and more responsive.

     One nice new feature I really like is the ability to right-click
     on any graphic, which brings up the file selector, allowing you to
     save it anywhere with its original name already in the file
     selector.  No more 000000d3.jpg files and no more searching through
     the cache for graphics (though it has nice utilities for doing
     that, too)!

     Another nice feature is that it shows the bytes/sec rate in the
     status line.  Very nice for the larger files, allowing you to see
     just how fast you're getting data.

     It comes with lots of other nice little goodies, too, but I'm just
     getting started.  Suffice it to say, I'm _extremely_ happy with my
     $49.95 investment.  I can't wait for v2.6 to hit the English

     Oh, by the way, I still haven't tried PPP-Connect.  Peter's STinG
     is working so well, that's way down on my list of priorities.  I'll
     definitely give it a shot this weekend, though.  But given the lack
     of support for it, I won't stick with it.  I just want to see how
     well it works.  From looking at the docs, the interface looks very
     nice and user friendly.  (Of course, BubbleGEM is there to help, if

I tell Terry:
     "My absolute favorite feature in CAB 2.5 is the 'Ad-Buster' module
     that keeps you from wasting time downloading the web page ads that
     we always wished we could get away from."

Terry May tells me:
     "Strangely, I haven't tried that yet, but will do so today.

     Perhaps my favorite feature is the download module.  That is so
     cool, being able to download files in the background, with their
     original filenames.  I was downloading about 10 demos yesterday,
     all at the same time, while still surfing in the foreground.  And
     later I was downloading a bunch of other files at the same time,
     while surfing in the foreground. That is such a cool feature.  No
     more staring at the screen, waiting for a download to finish.

     I also love the ability to save any graphic, such as a cool icon,
     just by right clicking on it.  And again, you get the original
     filename instead of something like 0000006d.jpg.

     Oh, and lest I forget, ESPN's SportsZone now looks just fine!  No
     more text/picture alignment problems.  I frequent another site
     ( that still has that problem, though."

Jo Even Skarstein adds:
     "Sounds nice, I wish I could afford it... But the upgrade alone
     costs more than CAB 2 did in the first place. <frown>"

Magnus Kollberg tells Jo:
     "Yes this is a problem. ASH realy get what they can and a bit

     Someone showed me how much it would cost you if you bought version
     2.0 and upgraded every time you there were a new update....

     Minor updates shuld be for free and major updates shouldn't cost
     an arm and a leg as they do now."

When I mention:
     "I'm still waiting for support for cookies and a JAVA interpreter,
     but I'm not holding my breath. <grin>"

Terry May tells me:
     "Dan Ackerman has implemented cookie support in a beta version of
     his CAB.OVL for STiK / STinG, and I'm confident he'll soon release
     it... What are the advantages of cookie support?"

Howard Chu, the author of the CAB-For-MiNTNet overlay, tells Terry:
     "Depends on how a web server uses 'em. The idea is that the server
     can send you specific bits of info that it wants remembered, so
     that it can maintain a "session" for you. First you should note
     that HTTP is intended to be a stateless protocol, i.e., the server
     doesn't remember anything about any of the clients connecting to
     it; every request is ordinarily treated as fully independent,
     coming out of the blue. For some purposes though, it's necessary
     for the server to maintain the notion of a session, to remember
     who you are and what things you've accessed. Cookies provide a way
     for the server to keep track of session info. The server gives you
     a cookie, and then on subsequent requests to that same server, you
     send back the cookie. This way the server knows who you are and
     what you've done on the web site so far, etc.

     Generally this allows servers that require logins to keep track of
     the fact that you've logged in, etc. For servers that let you buy
     things, cookies are a simple way of maintaining a "shopping cart" -
     every item that you select for purchase goes into a cookie list.
     When it's time to check out and actually buy the stuff, the client
     hands all the cookies back to the server, so it can tell what
     you're buying...

     The shopping example is pretty unrealistic, I know. It comes
     straight out of the protocol spec, so I gave it. For the most part,
     sites that use cookies also need an alternate way for tracking,
     since not all browsers support 'em."

Martin-Eric Racine adds:
     "...However, there is sometimes "cookie abuse" on the Net. For
     instance, try ANY page (including user pages) on and you'll find yourself bombarded with
     cookies that serve no purpose.

     On the other hand, cookies CAN be usefull. WebCrawler uses them to
     remember your search preferences (hits per page, search logics,
     etc.) so that you can always have the search results formatted to
     your taste."

Mille Babic asks:
     "TOS v6 is under development, anyone know by whom? Who bought the
     rights before Atari was incorporated with JTS?  Is this another
     joke or what?"

John Kolak asks:
     "What happened to TOS 5? JTS took over Atari's intellectual
     property, and John Skrunch at JTS handles licensing. Wizztronics
     has been trying to buy TOS for nearly two years now. My last post
     concerning them actually buying it in February was contested, and
     there has been no additional confirmation."

Nicholas Bales tells Mille and John:
     "The french ST Magazine stated that TOS 6 was being developed for
     the Milan, based on the old TOS 5 betas (4.92 I think). Apparently
     the Milan people have obtained the license."

     Well folks, that's about it for this week. I hope to be able to log
some time with CAB 2.5 so that I can do a decent review of it soon. Up
until now, most of my time has been spent evaluating both I-Connect and
StinG, and deciding which I wanted to use. Now that I've made that
decision, all I require is time.

     I will of course be back again next week, same time, same station, so
be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

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