ST Report-26-Jun-98 #1425

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/27/98-01:30:35 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report-26-Jun-98 #1425
Date: Sat Jun 27 13:30:35 1998

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 June 26, 1998                                                     No.1425

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06/26/98 STR 1425

                     "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

- CPU Industry Report        - Netscape "Sour  Grapes"    - Corel Suffers Losses
- CompUSA buys C. City       - Spectral Fingerprint?      - AT&T Acquires TCI
- Year 2K Worries CIA        - Say It with Email!         - MS sez Consumers WIN!
- Hatch "At It" AGAIN!       - People Talking             - Classics & Gaming

                        Appeals Court Overturns Microsoft Injunction
                              NSA DECLASSIFIES ENCRYPTION CODE
                             Gore Warns Execs Over Net Privacy

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    From the Editor's Desk...

    Its that time of the year again Oh! Before I forget so far, the
    Mayor's office here in Jax has yet to reply to last week's
    editorial. I'm willing to bet they never say a word. Believe me,
    I've got my ducks in a row. Thye summer months present a unique
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    I am having fun here in Jax, FL. After the rampaging brush fires,
    and now the apocalyptic like T-Storms that are rumbling through on
    almost a daily basis. The Bell South trunk for analog line got
    nailed by lightning and kissed my Kflex 56kbd modem goodbye for
    me. On top of that. The smoke from the brush fires so aggravated
    my sinuses that now I have cold like symptoms to get shed of.
    Yessir! All part of the summer fun in the south. Never the less,
    the fishing is superb. In the last two weeks we've managed to boat
    twenty six flounders (fluke to you snowbirds) all of a decent
    size 2 1/2 to 5 pounds. We'll be making the offshore jaunts in
    approximately three weeks. We'll let you know what we

    For now, let me wish everyone a great summer. Enjoy!



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                                  Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                     Compaq Goes Portal With AltaVista

        Compaq Computer Corp., taking aim at the red-hot Web portal
        business, said it will transform its AltaVista search
        engine into a primary Internet destination later this year.
        Rod Schrock, vice president and general manager of the
        Consumer Products Group at Compaq, said the company will
        add e-mail service and original content to its search
        engine, which it acquired when the company purchased
        Digital Equipment Corp. The content is expected to be
        provided by unnamed "top 10 Web sites," Schrock said.

        Schrock said the company plans to launch a Compaq Easy
        Internet Access program, offering consumers another
        Internet service provider option; in addition, the company
        plans to add an AltaVista icon to every Compaq PC sold,
        linking consumers directly to the service. The access
        service, which is provided by GTE Corp., will be available
        initially to purchasers of Compaq's Presario PC and will
        later be made generally available.

        "The search engines are trying to find ways to keep
        subscribers on their pages, and adding content, e-mail and
        Internet access is a natural move that can help facilitate
        that," said Jill Frankle, an analyst at International Data
        Corp. Compaq can be reached at GTE can be
        reached at

                     Windows Users Unsure About Upgrade

        With one week to go before Microsoft's Windows 98 hits
        retail stores, inquiring computer users want to know:
        Should they shell out the $90 or so for new software to
        upgrade their machines?

        The new software, to be launched June 25, isn't the huge
        advance that Windows 95 was. Microsoft Corp., acknowledging
        the less dramatic impact of the upgrade - and perhaps
        reluctant to make a splash as it fights a federal antitrust
        lawsuit - hasn't duplicated the huge advertising campaign
        of three years ago.

        Computer game players may want the system's improved 3-D
        technology. And those who spend a lot of time nosing around
        the Internet might like the way Microsoft's Web browser is
        integrated into the operating system. But most computer
        users will find far fewer enhancements than the Windows 95
        upgrade offered, and nearly all new applications will work
        with either Windows 95 or 98.

        "In my opinion, what little we will get above and beyond
        (what) we already have ... is not worth $109," said
        Rajendra Gondhalekar, a civil engineer in Birmingham, Ala.
        Windows 98 is expected to sell for about $20 less than its
        $109 list price." Microsoft readily acknowledges that
        Windows 98 is more of a tuneup thanan overhaul. But the
        company says it offers a variety of solid improvements that
        most consumers would find useful and allow them torun
        programs easier, faster and more reliably. Computing
        publications and industry analysts, meanwhile, say the
        decision to upgrade should be based on how consumers use
        their PCs and what new tasks they might want them to

        "For the pedestrian home users, who are happy with what
        they're doing and don't plan major changes, I don't
        understand why any of (them) should be motivated to run out
        and get this," said Harry Fenik, an analyst with Zona
        Research in Redwood City, Calif., who has tested Windows 98
        for several weeks and likes it.

        "Alternatively, people who tend to buy the latest and
        greatest and add new peripherals on a regular basis are
        probably going to find their world less crazy than they did
        before," he said. Anyone who's bought a PC with Windows 95
        in the last year already has many of the new program's
        upgrades, though not the browser integration. Anyone with a
        PC more than a couple of years old may simply want to take
        advantage of low prices and buy a new machine, which will
        come with Windows 98.

        Joel Diamond, technical director of WUGNET, Windows User
        Group Network, is conducting live Windows 98 forums on
        CompuServe and plans a live Internet discussion the day of
        the launch. ``We know there are going tobe a lot of people
        who want their questions answered," he said. Windows 95 was
        a dramatic improvement over its predecessor, Windows 3.1,
        in making a PC easier to use, and helped spur computer

        Windows 98's main improvement is that it builds Microsoft's
        Internet Explorer browser into the operating system. The
        browser lets users find and manage information stored on
        the PC's hard drive as if they were surfing the Web,
        clicking on back and forward buttons. Channels, direct
        links to customized Web sites, are offered on the desktop.
        Users can ask to be alerted when information on a selected
        site is updated.

        In addition, Windows 98 starts up and shuts down more
        quickly than Windows 95 and is less prone to crash. It also
        boasts a more efficient file-storing system. Richard
        Pulcrano, owner of a mobile radiology service in
        Huntington, W. Va., continuously gets on and off the Web
        and believes Windows 98 will let him work more efficiently.
        Pulcrano put his order in for Windows 98 several months
        ago. ``It's such a cheap way to get things done," he said.
        "Time is money, and $100 is nothing compared with how much
        time it saves me."

               Microsoft Sets Low Expectations For Windows 98

        Windows 98, the computer system at the heart of the
        landmark antitrust case against software giant Microsoft
        Corp., goes on sale this week amid subdued expectations and
        lukewarm early reviews. While Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
        and his marketing wizards will ensure the software upgrade
        gets its share of the media spotlight when it is launched
        formally Thursday, the atmosphere is far removed from the
        virtual frenzy that greeted its predecessor Windows 95
        nearly three years ago.

        Hitting the market just as personal computers were becoming
        commonplace in the home, Windows 95 was awaited
        breathlessly on Main Street and Wall Street, where
        investors hoped for a multibillion-dollar upgrade wave that
        developed more slowly than expected. But if Windows 95 was
        a breakthrough with its new user interface and advanced
        platform for software developers, Windows 98 is more of a
        tuneup that wraps together all the bug fixes, feature
        improvements and Internet enhancements Microsoft has added
        in the past three years. "This is a packaging exercise,"
        said Dataquest analyst Chris Le Tocq. "This is not a little
        slice of operating system heaven," he said. "If you have a
        system that's working right now on Windows 95, your need to
        go out and mess with it is zero."

        Nevertheless, he expects Microsoft to sell 5.5 million
        copies of the product at retail, where it will fetch about
        $90, and another 11 million copies next year. That is a far
        slower upgrade rate than Windows 95 but still enough to
        generate more than $1.3 billion in incremental revenue for
        Microsoft. Windows 98 also is expected to replace Windows
        95 completely as the operating system preloaded on new
        computers for the consumer market, although most businesses
        are expected to stick with Windows 95 for now.

        In recent days, Microsoft's stock price has been creeping
        up, and some analysts suggest that Microsoft executives
        have been deliberately keeping expectations low. "I do
        think the product has a little bit of a potential to be a
        sleeper success story," conceded Yusuf Mehdi, director of
        Windows marketing. He noted that even if Windows 98 has a
        lower rate of penetration it will do well because the
        installed base of computers -- including more than 120
        million running Windows 95 -- is so much bigger than it was
        three years ago.

        Like most major Microsoft products Windows 98 is coming to
        market late, but at least it is coming to market. Federal
        and state regulators who are suing Microsoft over alleged
        abuse of its monopoly position considered asking a federal
        judge to block the release of Windows 98 because of its
        tight integration of Internet browsing features. The U.S.
        Justice Department's antitrust division and attorneys
        general from 20 states argue that Microsoft is illegally
        leveraging its 95 percent share of the operating system
        market to take over the market for Internet browsers.

        But instead of trying to block the new version, the
        antitrust complaints seek an order forcing the Redmond,
        Wash.- based company to make changes to the operating
        system -- an issue that will be decided after a trial set
        to begin Sept. 8. In fact the Windows 98 browser is the
        same Internet Explorer version 3.0 preloaded on new
        computers with the latest versions of Windows 95. Computer
        makers and users are free to install a rival browser from
        Netscape Communications, but Microsoft is likely to see its
        share of the strategically important browser market
        continue to rise.

        Among other new features Windows 98 relies on the browser
        functionality and the Internet itself to make it easier for
        users to get help and keep their system up-to-date. And the
        software includes built-in support for a new generation of
        hardware peripherals such as color scanners, digital
        cameras and even television tuning boards.

        Microsoft also is touting the system as faster and more
        reliable than Windows 95. But Microsoft is counseling
        business customers to steer clear of Windows 98 entirely
        and opt instead for its higher- priced Windows NT system,
        which is expected to have a long- awaited major upgrade
        available by early next year.

        That is the product Gates and other Microsoft executives
        see as truly critical to the company's future and its
        ambitions to move its software into ever-larger corporate
        and enterprise installations.

                Appeals Court Overturns Microsoft Injunction

        A U.S. Appeals Court has overturned a preliminary
        injunction against Microsoft Corp., saying that a lower
        court made substantial errors when it prohibited Microsoft
        from requiring computer manufacturers that license Windows
        95 to license the Internet Explorer browser as well. The
        2-1 decision issued today says that a lower court made both
        procedural and substantial errors when it ruled that the
        company had to remove the Internet Explorer browser from
        Windows 95.

        In its ruling, the appeals court stated that the addition
        of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 does constitute an
        integrated product and not simply the combination of two
        separate products, and therefore does not violate an
        earlier agreement between the government and Microsoft. In
        the current suit against Microsoft, the U.S. Department of
        Justice accuses Microsoft of violating antitrust
        regulations and the earlier consent decree by bundling its
        browser with its operating system. The DOJ had asked for
        and won a preliminary injunction requiring Microsoft to
        remove IE from Windows 95.

        Microsoft had argued that Windows 95 would not function if
        the company removed all of the code related to IE. In the
        end, the company reached a settlement with the Justice
        Department to remove some of the code from the operating
        systems, and the browser functionality would be "hidden"
        from users. Basically, the two sides disputed whether the
        browser represented a new product or an improvement to the
        operating system itself. In the government's argument,
        Microsoft was guilty of "tying" its browser to the
        operating system, conduct that is forbidden under the
        earlier consent decree.

        But the appellate court ruled that Microsoft is allowed to
        market "any genuine technological integration, regardless
        of whether elements of the integrated package are marketed
        separately." And, the court argued, Windows 95 is an
        integrated product. "On the facts before us, Microsoft has
        clearly met the burden of ascribing facially plausible
        benefits to its integrated design as compared to an
        operating system combined with a stand-alone browser such
        as Netscape [Communications Corp.'s] Navigator," the court

        The appellate court stated that, while its decision does
        not end all debate on the suit, "on the facts before us,
        however, we are inclined to conclude that the Windows 95/IE
        package is a genuine integration; consequently, [the
        consent decree] does not bar Microsoft from offering it as
        one product." The appellate court also held that Microsoft
        had not received sufficient notice of the request for a
        preliminary injunction, because the DOJ's request was not
        properly written.

        "The request for a permanent injunction amounted to no more
        than a request for a clarification, and thus would require
        only a showing that the Department's reading of the consent
        decree was correct," the decision said. Also, the court
        found that the government did not make a sufficient case
        that allowing Microsoft to continue with its practices
        would cause "irreparable harm," the standard for issuing a
        preliminary injunction.

        "Thus a finding of probable violation of the consent decree
        could not support a presumption of irreparable harm even
        under the most extravagant version of the doctrine the
        government invokes," the court said. The DOJ's broader
        antitrust suit, which alleges that Microsoft competed
        unfairly against competitors, is scheduled to go to trial
        Sept. 8.

        Chronology Of Microsoft Antitrust Case

        Following are key events in the latest antitrust
        confrontation between software giant Microsoft and the U.S.

           * June 1990: Federal Trade Commission secretly
             investigates possible collusion between Microsoft and
           * Feb. 5, 1993: FTC takes no action against Microsoft
             after 2- 2 vote of its commissioners.
           * Aug. 21, 1993: U.S. Justice Department takes over
             Microsoft investigation.
           * July 15, 1994: Microsoft and Justice sign consent
             decree that says Microsoft cannot require computer
             makers that license its Windows operating system to
             also license any other software product, but Microsoft
             may develop "integrated products."
           * Feb. 14, 1995: U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin
             throws out consent decree as too easy on Microsoft.
           * June 16, 1995: Appellate court overturns Sporkin
             ruling at joint request of Microsoft and Justice
             Department and case is transferred to a different
           * Aug. 21, 1995: U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield
             Jackson approves consent decree.
           * September 1996: Government investigates possible
             violation of consent decree by Microsoft.
           * Oct. 20, 1997: Justice Department asks a federal judge
             to fine Microsoft $1 million a day for allegedly
             violating the consent decree by bundling Internet
             Explorer with Windows 95. Microsoft says browser is an
             integrated part of the operating system.
           * Dec. 11, 1997: Judge Jackson issues preliminary
             injunction against Microsoft, requires unbundling of
             Web browser from operating system. Appoints "special
             master" to advise him.
           * Dec. 16, 1997: Microsoft appeals Jackson's decision
             and offers computer makers old or "broken" version of
             Windows 95 without Internet Explorer. One day later,
             Justice Department asks Jackson to hold Microsoft in
             contempt for failing to obey order.
           * Jan. 13-15, 1998: Jackson rejects assertions of
             Microsoft lawyers and a company executive during
             contempt hearing.
           * Jan. 16, 1998: Microsoft appeals appointment of
             special master to U.S. Court of Appeals.
           * Jan. 22, 1998: Facing certain contempt citation,
             Microsoft signs agreement giving computer makers
             freedom to install Windows 95 without Internet
             Explorer icon.
           * Feb. 2, 1998: Court of Appeals halts proceedings
             before special master.
           * May 12, 1998: Appeals Court rules that injunction
             against Microsoft should not apply to Windows 98,
             allowing Microsoft to proceed with launch of new
           * May 18, 1998: Justice Department, 20 U.S. states and
             the District of Columbia file major new antitrust
             cases alleging Microsoft abuses its market power to
             thwart competition.
           * June 23, 1998: Appeals Court overturns Windows 95
             injunction, ruling that Jackson made both procedural
             and substantive errors.

             Carnegie Mellon Robotic Helicopter Will Help NASA
        Scientists To Explore a Remote Arctic Crater and Learn More
                                 About Mars

        To learn more about Mars and its early history, NASA
        scientists will use an experimental robotic helicopter and
        other technologies developed by researchers at Carnegie
        Mellon University's Robotics Institute to explore a barren
        meteorite impact crater on a tiny island in the Arctic

        Circle. From June 22 to July 26, a 20-member science team
        from NASA, Carnegie Mellon and several other research
        organizations will explore the Haughton Impact Crater on
        Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Scientists
        consider the site to be a potential Mars analog because
        many of its geologic features, including ice-rich terrains,
        ancient lake sediments and nearby networks of small
        valleys, resemble those reported at the surface of Mars.
        The site may shed light on the red planet's early history
        when its climate may have been wetter and warmer.

        During the expedition, Carnegie Mellon Systems Scientist
        Omead Amidi and other engineers from the university will
        conduct field tests with the robotic helicopter to assess
        its potential for future aerial mapping, exploration and
        reconnaissance. The small, 160-pound autonomous machine has
        vision-based stability and position control, as well as an
        on-board navigation computer, laser rangefinder and video
        capture hardware for site mapping. The scientists believe
        the helicopter could prove useful for field reconnaissance
        and systematic mapping of the crater.

        "This mission provides a great opportunity to demonstrate
        the feasibility and the value of robotic aircraft for
        unmanned mapping and surveying applications," Amidi said.
        The autonomous helicopter project began in 1991 as the
        subject of Amidi's doctoral thesis. Amidi started with an
        electrical model helicopter mounted on a swiveling arm
        platform attached to poles by graphite rods. He worked for
        nearly three years to perfect its position estimation and
        control systems and by 1995 he had a machine that could fly
        autonomously. He continued to work on free flight and
        vision issues, and by 1996 the system could take off and
        land autonomously, perform in 40-to-45-mile-per-hour wind
        gusts, sense its position in the field, track multiple
        objects, discriminate colors and build aerial maps. In July
        1997, Amidi's helicopter won the seventh International
        Unmanned Aerial Robotics competition at Disney World.

        "An unmanned vision-based helicopter will open up views of
        this exploration that are not easily available," said
        Robotics Institute Director Takeo Kanade, who was Amidi's
        thesis adviser. "This project also can open up a broad
        range of applications for the helicopter, including rescue,
        mapping, remote filming and inspection." More information
        about the helicopter can be found at .

        Other Carnegie Mellon researchers on the Haughton Mars
        expedition will conduct experiments with a
        ground-penetrating radar system and a field spectrometer,
        which are being developed to aid robotic exploration for
        meteorites in Antarctica. Both systems were tested earlier
        this year on an expedition to Patriot Hills on the frozen

        The field spectrometer will be deployed by hand, along with
        a metal detector and magnetometer around the Haughton
        crater, to determine the site's reflective qualities and
        better understand its compositional evolution. At the same
        time, it will gather data on autonomous classification and
        "understanding" of rock data by a robot. The radar system
        will be deployed in an attempt to map ground-ice and other
        subsurface conditions within and outside the crater's
        20-kilometer (12-mile) diameter. The radar echoes will be
        contrasted to near surface core drilling samples that will
        be extracted at the same locations.

        A portable stereo camera system developed by Carnegie
        Mellon scientists and previously used aboard the
        university's Nomad rover during its unprecedented 133-mile
        wheeled trek through Chile's Atacama Desert last summer,
        will be used to acquire high-resolution images of the site
        and produce images for a 360-degree photo-realistic virtual
        reality project being developed by Ames' Intelligent
        Mechanisms Group.

        Team members will operate from a base camp on a terrace of
        the Haughton River within the crater's perimeter and
        explore the site using All Terrain Vehicles. Supplies will
        be brought in by Twin Otter airplane, while a helicopter
        will aid exploration of remote sites. The scientists will
        communicate with other field team members and send live
        images to each other via a wireless link using laptop
        computer systems and "mobile workstations" developed by
        Ames' Intelligent Mobile Technologies Team.

        NASA is funding the $80,000 project in part with a grant
        from the National Research Council. Additional support is
        being provided by the Johnson Space Center, Houston; the
        Geological Survey of Canada; the Polar Continental Shelf
        Project of Canada, the Nunavut Research Institute, Carnegie
        Mellon's Robotics Institute, NovAtel Communications,
        Calgary, Alberta, and the National Geographic Society. The
        Web site for the Haughton Mars project is

         Irvine Sensors Developing `Spectral Fingerprint' Processor
            Cube, To Be Compatible With Plug-in VIP/ Balboa(TM)
                               Daughter Card

        Irvine Sensors Corporation (Nasdaq: IRSN; BSE: ISC)
        announced that it is under contract to the United States
        Air Force, Air Force Material Command, Air Force Research
        Laboratory (AFRL), Phillips Research Site, Kirtland Air
        Force Base, New Mexico, to develop an enhanced version of
        its "Silicon Neuron" image processor cube to permit
        simultaneous processing of images in thousands of color
        bands. This type of "spectral fingerprinting" is intended
        to deal with difficult military target recognition
        problems, as well as improve satellite earth resource
        monitoring and weather analysis. In addition, the
        technology is expected to enable new approaches to medical
        imaging and manufacturing control tasks in which subtle
        spectral gradations are important diagnostic tools.

        The new version of the Neural Processing Module ("NPM")
        Cube is being designed with the same trillions of
        operations/second (tera-ops) speed as the original, while
        offering more processing flexibility and increased
        functionality for a broader range of remote image
        recognition applications. The original NPM Cube was
        developed for strategic target recognition, robotics, and
        medical imaging under the sponsorship of the Ballistic
        Missile Defense Organization, the office of Naval Research,
        and Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The device uses
        Irvine Sensors' patented chip-stacking technology to
        integrate its components into the cube.

        "In addition to its already sophisticated image recognition
        and high-speed neural network applications, this enhanced
        version of the NPM Cube will have the added capability to
        analyze hyperspectral images where there are hundreds to
        thousands of different colors embedded in each pixel
        location," said John C. Carson, Irvine Sensors' Sr. Vice
        President and Chief Technical Officer. "Being able to
        capture this spectral fingerprint could allow you to
        recognize objects and patterns that would normally be
        beyond the resolution of the sensor."

        Irvine Sensors intends to integrate the new version of the
        NPM Cube on its Vector Image Processing board
        (VIP/Balboa(TM)) that it has in development, and which is
        based on its proprietary Balboa high-speed image processing
        architecture. According to Randy Carlson, Irvine Sensors'
        Director of Image Processing Systems, "The VIP/Balboa
        system is designed to have thousands of times the
        throughput of the fastest Digital Signal Processors, or
        DSPs, currently available, setting a new standard for image
        and signal recognition systems. We expect to begin sampling
        the VIP board in the third calendar quarter of this year."
        Carlson continued, "Both the original NPM Cube and its
        second generation hyperspectral version will be designed to
        fit a plug-in daughtercard that we're developing for the
        VIP/Balboa board. This daughtercard will be designed to
        address high-speed neural network problems at a speed
        greater than 1,000 giga-ops or 1 trillion operations per
        second. We expect to sample the NPM daughtercard in the
        third calendar quarter of 1999."

        The AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate contract is an
        eighteen-month Phase II award, entitled "3D Hyperspectral
        Processor", under the Small Business Innovation Research
        (SBIR) program. Worth an approximate $738,000, the program
        is being funded by the United States Air Force. Irvine
        Sensors Corporation (, headquartered
        in Costa Mesa, California, is primarily engaged in the
        development and sale of high density electronics, MEMS
        sensors, sensor readout circuits, digital imaging units,
        image processing devices, wireless infrared communications
        products, and low-power analog integrated circuits for
        diverse systems applications.

        Except for historical information contained herein, the
        matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking
        statements that are dependent on risks and uncertainties
        including such factors, among others, as the development
        risks inherent in new technology, the impact of competitive
        technologies and the pace at which new markets develop.
        Further information on Irvine Sensors Corporation is
        contained in publicly-filed disclosures available through
        the SEC's EDGAR database ( or from the
        Company's Investor Relations.

                   Super-M Ltd. Presents Advanced Pattern
                           Recognition Solutions

        Super-M LTD (SML) is a high technology Israeli company
        specializing in advanced pattern recognition solutions. The
        company is currently developing its first application based
        on its unique tools. This is an automatic check amount
        recognition system for banks. Super-M's core technology
        includes generic recognition engines, handwriting
        recognition (on-line and off-line), noise removal and image
        enhancement. This technology can be implemented in
        applications including Mail Sorting, Forms Recognition, Pen
        Computing, Data Mining and Automatic Quality Control.

        Script-tech by Super-M, offers natural handwriting
        recognition technology for all styles - cursive, print and
        mix, for pen computing applications. It is Windows 95/CE
        compatible. Employing and unifying various orthogonal and
        presumably incompatible scientific techniques, such as
        neural net and descriptive modeling, Script-tech achieves
        unparalleled accuracy and reliability.

        VeriCheck is ICR software that automatically recognizes the
        check amount from a scanned mage, and it integrates with
        financial imaging systems. It recognizes both the courtesy
        amount and the legal amount of the check. Cross matching
        the two numbers results in an unsurpassed recognition
        level. Super-M operates in two totally different industries
        and markets:

        The end users for VeriCheck are banks, check clearing
        houses and financial institutions, while potential
        customers are SI's and OEM's such as, BancTec, NCR and
        Unisys. A few companies are offering CAR systems that have
        limited accuracy, as they rely on the digits' field only.
        We plan to use pull strategies to sell our product, while
        signing OEM agreements with major system integrators.

        The market for Scrip-tech includes manufacturers of PDA's,
        pen computers, digitizing tablets and other electronic
        devices that use handwriting recognition input.

        Checks: To become a leading provider of automatic check
        amount recognition systems by licensing our product to
        OEM's and system integrators.

        Pen: To become the industry's choice for natural
        handwriting recognition software by offering superior
        products through OEM licensing agreements.

           CyberChemics' Drug Discovery Software Honored in 1998
                          Discover Magazine Awards

        CyberChemics, Inc. today announced that its drug discovery
        method was awarded the 1998 Discover Award for
        Technological Innovation in the category of computer
        software. Winners and finalists appear in the July issue of
        Discover magazine, which will highlight CyberChemics' In
        Virtuo drug discovery software on its cover and in a
        feature article entitled "Darwin's Drugs."

        CyberChemics, Inc. developed the software on the principle
        that drug discovery can be conducted most effectively by
        encoding the drugs themselves as strands of genetic code,
        then allowing this digital DNA to compete until natural
        selection arrives at the eventual best candidates. This
        electronic evolution, called In Virtuo discovery, contrasts
        with the many years' worth of trial and error required to
        tinker with or engineer drugs directly, like laborious

        "In the design of new medicine, it has been fascinating to
        watch evolution at work," said Dr. David Noever, a
        CyberChemics' scientific founder and software designer.
        "Before putting an engineer's precision to the final drug
        candidate, we first let breeding and the biology itself go
        to work." A the culmination of a nine-month-long program to
        single out breakthrough developments, the 1998 Discover
        Awards' nominations were drawn from more than 4,000
        corporate, academic, and government research centers. Among
        the 44 global finalists, winners were announced on June 6
        at an awards gala at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.
        Other 1998 finalists included IBM's supercomputer, Deep
        Blue, the first Grand Master Chess Champion; the stealth
        F-22 fighter jet from Lockheed Martin Skunkworks; the atom
        laser from MIT; and NASA's Mars Rover.

        "The Discover Award is a terrific honor to CyberChemics,
        and we appreciate the scientific recognition of Discover
        Magazine and their distinguished judges," said Noever.
        Originated in 1990, the Discover Awards historically have
        nominated research from more than 11 US government national
        laboratories and 70 of the Fortune 500 companies, including
        those generating over $1.7 trillion in annual revenues.
        Seven out of the top 10 US companies have appeared as
        finalists. Previous winners of the software category have
        featured Microsoft Corporation (1991) for development of
        Windows 3.1 and Sun Microsystems (1996) for development of
        the Internet programming language, Java.

        CyberChemics has developed proprietary drug discovery
        software using a method called the genetic algorithm. In
        Nature magazine's year-end 1997 Industry Trend Section,
        entitled "Biotechnologies to Watch," this technology was
        highlighted as one of the top ten "hot" technologies.
        Nature Biotechnology summarized CyberChemics as the first
        and pioneer company using the genetic algorithm "to attack
        the so-called 'holy-grail' of drug development -- de novo
        drug design. This approach is potentially a very powerful
        tool for drug design...[and] poised to become the flight
        simulator of drug design and molecular interaction studies,
        dramatically reducing the time and cost of laboratory

        CyberChemics, Inc. was founded in June 1995 and is based in
        Huntsville, AL, with laboratories in Stony Brook, NY. For
        more information about CyberChemics, visit the company
        website at For more information
        about the 1998 Discover Awards, visit   on the World Wide Web.

                 Zoran DVD Software Ships In Intel Products

        Zoran said that Intel is including Zoran's digital video
        disk (DVD) software in graphics cards Intel sells to
        computer makers that allows PCs to run high-resolution
        video. In a statement, Zoran said its SoftDVD DVD
        decoder/player with Intel's eight megabyte Intel Express
        three-dimensional (3D) graphics card and in a motherboard,
        or basic computer chassis, Intel manufactures with DVD
        features. Shipments are expected to begin on June 22.

        Zoran's SoftDVD allows PC users to playback better than
        laser disc quality DVD movies on their PCs. The news
        follows recent announcements by several leading PC makers
        and manufactures of PC-related products that they had
        licensed Zoran's DVD software for use in their products. In
        addition, Microsoft recently announced it has licensed some
        of the Zoran SoftDVD features for use in its Windows 98
        operating systems, a Zoran spokeswoman said.

                 Companies Try To Respect Internet Privacy

        Leading companies doing business on the Internet pledged
        Monday to better respect consumers' privacy, but their
        efforts may be too late to head off new privacy protection
        laws. Following a year of prodding by the Clinton
        administration and several studies showing rampant,
        undisclosed collection of personal information on the
        Internet, the companies said they would clearly reveal what
        information they collected on the World Wide Web and how it
        would be used.

        The group of about 50 companies and trade groups, calling
        themselves the Online Privacy Alliance, also said they
        would give consumers some choice about how personal data
        could be used. But the plan did not include detailed
        enforcement mechanisms. Members of the group "have worked
        to create policies and practices that can make privacy a
        reality for everyone on the Internet," said Christine
        Varney, a former Federal Trade Commissioner advising the

        The new policy gives the industry something positive to
        tout at a conference on privacy and self-regulation
        starting Tuesday and sponsored by the Department of
        Commerce. But privacy advocates said the alliance's policy
        would do little to reassure consumers because it lacked
        strong enforcement, contained some loopholes and was not
        adopted by enough companies. "You have to appreciate their
        effort but also realize that they haven't been able to pull
        in the breadth of actors you need," said Dierdre Mulligan,
        staff counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology,
        a Washington non-profit group.

        The private-sector guidelines "are not at the level of
        detail to provide substantive protections," she added.
        "Even with the best efforts of industry actors, they need
        some government activity to help set the baseline." Members
        of the alliance included prominent online operations like
        Microsoft, AT&T, and America Online, other high- tech
        companies and business groups: the Direct Marketing
        Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American
        Electronics Association.

        Industry officials maintained that privacy policies would
        be strongly enforced and said they would develop more
        specific recommendations within three months.
        "Self-regulation is a particularly difficult area when it
        comes to the idea of enforcement," Saul Klein, senior vice
        president with Microsoft's Firefly division, said. Various
        industries favor different enforcement mechanisms, he

        "In the same way that consumers should have the ability to
        be in control of their information, businesses should have
        the ability to choose between a number of different and
        appropriate enforcement mechanisms," Klein said. Firefly  has developed software to allow
        people to express their privacy preferences to Web sites
        they visit in a uniform manner. Klein also highlighted
        voluntary labeling initiatives, like TrustE , that warn consumers of data
        collection on Web sites.

        But TrustE has been slow to catch on and recently abandoned
        a series of informative ratings on its labels indicating
        what was done with information collected at Web sites.
        Instead, the group offers a single label indicating only
        that sites have a privacy policy. The alliance's policy,
        available at , said members
        should adopt privacy policies for their sites on the
        Internet's World Wide Web. Such policies should clearly
        state what information is collected and how it will be

            Direct Marketers Get Low Marks On Privacy Protection

        A survey of Web sites owned by direct marketing companies
        has found few of the firms abiding by their industry's 1997
        self-regulatory privacy protection rules. But officials for
        the Direct Marketing Association criticized the survey's
        methodology and pointed to an earlier poll that found
        privacy practices improving. The survey, by the non-profit
        Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), reviewed the
        Web sites of 40 new members of the association and found
        only three abiding by the group's privacy guidelines.

        In October 1997, the association adopted rules requiring
        all its 3,600 members to provide notice to people who
        visited their Web sites about what personal information was
        collected and how the data would be used. Companies were
        also supposed to allow people to choose not to have their
        information sold to others. The EPIC survey found all 40 of
        the company sites collected personal information, mostly
        through registration, feedback, contact or other forms. But
        only eight sites had any privacy policy posted at all and
        of those only three met the association's 1997 guidelines,
        EPIC said.

        "Almost a year after the DMA pledged a comprehensive
        privacy policy, we find that new members to the association
        don't even bother with privacy notices," EPIC's executive
        director Marc Rotenberg said. "It's pretty pathetic."
        Connie Heatley, senior vice president at the direct
        marketers group, responded that new members would be less
        familiar with the privacy guidelines. The industry's
        efforts have consistently improved as members became more
        educated about the issue, she added. A survey of leading
        business Web sites conducted for the association in May
        found 64 percent of sites had privacy policies compared to
        38 percent in January.

        "Education makes a difference," Heatly said. "Businesses do
        have a concern about privacy and when this issue is brought
        to their attention they post a privacy policy." Rotenberg
        said the survey results dealt another blow to the Clinton
        administration's policy of allowing the private sector to
        decide how best to protect consumers' privacy rights in

        Based on our survey of the DMA's new members, we have real
        doubts that self-regulation is the right way to go for
        privacy protection," he said. The policy will be the focus
        of intense scrutiny at a Commerce Department conference
        here starting today. Earlier Monday, a group of almost 50
        companies and groups, including the direct marketers,
        pledged to do better to protect the privacy of people
        visiting their Web sites. But the group's plan was short on
        specific enforcement mechanisms to ensure Web sites
        followed the rules.

                     Gore Warns Execs Over Net Privacy

        Vice President Al Gore warned high-tech executives
        Wednesday that the government will impose new laws unless
        their industry develops ways to better protect consumer
        privacy on the Internet. Gore said the government is
        willing to give companies the chance to come up with their
        own privacy solutions before looking at new laws, but
        warned: ``If not, we will be obliged to take action

        "People will not put their faith, their trust or their cash
        into electronic commerce if they feel that in order to buy
        a product, they must first sell their privacy," Gore said
        in a speech sent by satellite to the World Congress on
        Information Technology in nearby Fairfax, Va. Gore added:
        "We ought to start with strong, private-sector efforts,
        like self-regulation."

        The Clinton administration has urged businesses that sell
        products on the Internet to better protect the information
        they collect about customers, such as names, postal and
        e-mail addresses and tastes in reading and products. Some
        Web sites sell the information to third-party advertisers
        and others. Privacy advocates have complained that the
        online industry has done a poor job, and they've urged the
        administration to adopt tough new laws now. The White House
        has said it's worried about stifling the growth of
        fledgling electronic commerce.

        Gore praised the announcement earlier this week by nearly
        50 companies to form the Online Privacy Alliance, a trade
        group to develop privacy rules for businesses. The group
        has already urged online companies not to collect
        information from children under 13 and to give consumers
        the choice not to have their personal data collected.

        But it hasn't yet announced how it will punish companies
        that don't follow the rules, saying it will make that
        contentious decision by Sept. 15. "As any 13-year-old can
        tell you, no enforcement means no rule," Gore told
        executives. ``We must have enforceable rules for privacy
        for electronic commerce. It's your commercial
        responsibility, and it's our civic responsibility because
        the public looks to the government for consumer

                House Votes To Keep Taxman Out of Cyberspace

        The House, vowing to keep the taxman out of cyberspace at
        least for now, voted Tuesday to bar new state and local
        taxation of the Internet for three years. "Read my e-mail.
        No new Net taxes!" said Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., who
        sponsored the bill that sailed through the House without
        opposition. Under the moratorium, no state or local
        government could tax the monthly fee millions of Americans
        pay to companies like America Online, CompuServe, or Erol's
        for Internet access. Eight states that presently tax
        Internet access could continue, but only if their
        legislatures vote within a year to give them the green

                A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N


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EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                                      Edupage


  Lucent Sues Cisco For Patent Infringement    Ericsson Is Shopping Around

  IBM Picks Apache As Web Server Software      Industry Given More Time To Develop Privacy

  Disney Makes Deal With Infoseek              TI To Sell Chip Business To Micron

  Software Piracy Battle Heats Up              Microsoft To Invest In Korean-Language

  Academics Push For Online Publishing         Intel Files Countersuit Against Intergraph

  IBM Begins Making Fast-Cheap Silicon         Broderbund Acquired By The Learning Company
  Germanium Chip

  Computer Security Testing Jeopardized By     Anonymous Call Rejection
  Proposed Legislation

  Global Internet Project Targets Internet     ISPs Not Liable For Actions Of Subscribers

  U.K.'S Yellow Pages And Equifax Form         AT&T Acquires TCI

  Mobile Systems Join Forces To Battle         EU Okays MCI-WorldCom Merger
  Microsoft Hegemony

  NSA Declassifies Encryption Code             "Deconstructing The Digital Kid"

  Say It With E-Mail                           Y2K Problem Worries CIA

  Students Are Dropping Out-Tuning In To
  Industry Paychecks


Lucent Technologies has filed a lawsuit against rival Cisco Systems, accusing it of
violating eight patents related to digital networking technology. Lucent holds several
thousand patents previously owned by Bell Labs, the research division of AT&T that became
part of Lucent when it was spun off into a separate company. "The patents cover a
substantial amount of Cisco's sales," says a Lucent spokesman. Lucent's suit was filed in
response to an Oct. 8 letter from Cisco charging Lucent with violating three patents held
by a Cisco subsidiary. "That's sort of the standard: If someone goes after you, you pull
out your portfolio," says a technology patent attorney. "That's why you keep your
portfolio: for defense... What is surprising is that given the kind of firepower that
Lucent has, that Cisco would go after them... Lucent probably took its top 100 patents and
filtered them down to eight that they could sue on." The aggressive move on Lucent's part
does not bode well for other high tech companies, warns a telecommunications analyst. "This
could impact of lot of Cisco's products, not to mention other companies' and maybe the
entire industry." (TechInvestor 19 Jun 98)

                                 ERICSSON IS SHOPPING AROUND

Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, the Swedish telephone giant, is in talks with three U.S.
telecommunications networking companies and has its eye on seven more. The company declined
to name the companies, but says it won't overpay for its acquisitions. "Recently, there
have been big acquisitions in Silicon Valley that were overpriced," says Ericsson's CEO,
referring to the Northern Telecom-Bay Networks deal. "We have certain acquisition targets,
but the price has to be right." Ericsson is expected to have $1.5 billion to $2 billion in
cash by the end of the year. (Reuters 19 Jun 98)

                           IBM PICKS APACHE AS WEB SERVER SOFTWARE

IBM is becoming part of a team developing "Apache," Web server software developed and
distributed without charge by a worldwide coalition of programmers. Although Apache
controls the majority of this market (in competition with Microsoft's free Internet
Information Server software and Netscape's $1300 Enterprise Server software), it has until
now not been adopted by large corporations that usually demand fully supported commercial
products when they choose software. (Washington Post 19 Jun 98)


The Clinton Administration says it will give Internet businesses more time to develop
privacy rules that will protect personal information collected over the Internet, such as
names, addresses, credit card numbers, medical histories, and purchasing habits. Commerce
Department associate administrator Becky Burr says, "We believe it is a mistake for
government to regulate unless it's clear that this problem is not going to be taken
careof." Privacy advocates are critical of the delay, and David Banisar of the Electronic
Privacy Information Center says, "They've had 20 years to practice self-regulation and have
yet to come up with anything moderately useful. It's hard to imagine in the next few some
miracle will occur." (San Jose Mercury News 19 Jun 98)

                               DISNEY MAKES DEAL WITH INFOSEEK

A $900 million deal with search engine company Infoseek will allow the Walt Disney Company
to construct an Internet "gateway" or "portal" site that customers can select to be their
entry point for exploring the World Wide Web. Industry analyst Alec Ellison says, "The
search engines have become to the Internet what Windows is to the computer desktop," and
Disney executive Jake Winebaum claims, "There is no site that has both the breadth of
Infoseek's search and directory service and the depth of Disney's news, sports,
entertainment and family content." (New York Times 19 Jun 98)

                             TI TO SELL CHIP BUSINESS TO MICRON

Texas Instruments is selling its struggling DRAM chip business to Micron Technology for
about $830 million. Average DRAM prices dropped 60% in 1997, and TI plans to focus on more
profitable DSP chips, used in cell phones and other electronic devices. Under the terms of
the deal, TI will receive a 12% stake in Micron, becoming its largest shareholder. Micron
will assume about $190 million of TI's debt and give TI an additional $750 million in cash
to refurbish its chip plants. (Los Angeles Times 19 Jun 98)

                               SOFTWARE PIRACY BATTLE HEATS UP

A report released earlier this week by the Software Publishers Association and the Business
Software Alliance shows the industry lost $11.4 billion to pirates who produce illegal
copies of software. SPA now acknowledges that its strategy of settling infractions with a
fine and a confidentiality agreement has not been very successful, and vows to begin
pressing charges and publicizing the names of offenders. "I don't like doing that, but it
serves as an education to companies in a similar situation," says the SPA's director of
anti-piracy efforts. "If they want to keep ripping off our members, why should we treat
them nicely?" Some areas have shown improvement -- Europe, which had a piracy rate of 90%
five years ago, is now down to 50%  still, that's almost twice as high as the U.S., which
is 27%. (TechWeb 19 Jun 98)


Microsoft is investing between $10 million and $20 million for a 19% stake in Hangul &
Computer, which specializes in Korean language word processing software. (Investor's
Business Daily 19 Jun 98)

                            ACADEMICS PUSH FOR ONLINE PUBLISHING

A small group of influential academics is pushing to introduce online peer review and
publishing of scholarly works, as an alternative source of information to high-price
journals. Some journals, particularly in science and technology, can cost as much as
$15,000 a year. The group, which includes academic officers from the University of
Rochester, Columbia University and the California Institute of Technology, wants professors
to publish online rather than in print, and wants universities to recognize online posting
as "publishing" for the purposes of career advancement decisions. "We are calling for
neither a lessening of the importance of research in the criteria for promotion and tenure,
nor a turning away from peer review," says a paper produced by the Association of American
Universities and the Association of Research Libraries.. "What we seek is an alternate
means of achieving those ends." Under the proposed plan the papers, once posted online,
would be peer-reviewed by a panel of experts, just as is now the case with print-published
papers. The panels, which would be established by scholarly groups, would give each article
a grade or a stamp of approval. The response so far from some disciplinary groups has been
lukewarm. (Chronicle of Higher Education 26 Jun 98)


Intel has launched a counterattack against charges that it had unfairly denied competitors
access to vital technical information about its chips. The chip giant's countersuit against
accuser Intergraph charges that Intergraph violated seven of its patents related to various
aspects of computer design. In a separate filing, Intel demanded that the Federal Trade
Commission, which is investigating Intel on antitrust grounds, provide a more definitive
statement of its charges. Intel also asked the court to dismiss an Intergraph patent claim,
saying that it already owns rights to Intergraph's Clipper chip technology through a
cross-license arrangement with National Semiconductor Corp. (Wall Street Journal 22 Jun 98)


IBM has begun large-scale production of a silicon germanium chip predicted to bring about
dramatic improvements in the price, performance and portability of cellular phones and
other communications devices. Germanium is an extremely efficient conductor of electricity.
Other potential applications include home receivers for direct-broadcast satellite
television, portable devices for wireless connections to the Internet, and "soft radios" --
the industry's term for a kind of cellular phone that could be programmed to conform
automatically to whatever format and frequency the local cellular systems employs.
Electrical engineering professor Lawrence Larson of the University of California at San
Diego says, "This is the Holy Grail for the cellular telephone industry." (New York Times
22 Jun 98)


Broderbund, the maker of the Myst and Carmen Sandiego software series, is being acquired
for $420 million by the Learning Company, another maker of software for education and
entertainment. Learning Company president Kevin O'Leary says, "Software is becoming a
commodity like music, books and videos. The era of a small software company being
competitive is gone." The combined company is expected to emphasize the education side of
its business. O'Leary says, "We're going out of our way to explain that we're not an
entertainment company. We will maintain Riven and Myst, but they are not our focus."
(Investor's Business Daily 23 Jun 98)


Efforts to test computer security by attempting to break the security safeguards could
become illegal if Congress passes a bill intended to keep people from undermining online
copyright protection. The proposed bill, which has the backing of some of the largest U.S.
media companies and software publishers, would ratify but go further than two international
treaties negotiated under the authority of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
One security consultant complains: "Why should security products be exempt from Consumer
Reports-style analysis?" (New York Times 22 Jun 98)

                                  ANONYMOUS CALL REJECTION

The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to allow Pacific Bell to offer a
service that allows customers to reject calls from people who have blocked transmission of
their own phone numbers, a service called "anonymous call rejection" (ACR). The ruling is
an attempt to balance the rights of caller and the party being called. Consumer advocate
Charles Carbone explains, "People are pretty passionate about ACR and complete blocking and
select blocking. I get people who call up and say, 'I consider complete blocking a critical
issue and one that protects my privacy,' and from people who say, 'It's my right to know
who's calling me and I don't want to take a call from someone who doesn't want to tell me
who they are.'" (Los Angeles Times 22 Jun 98)


Thirteen high-tech companies, including AT&T, MCI, Netscape, Oracle, IBM and Cisco Systems,
have launched a Global Internet Project and are calling for a summit to work out remedies
to "potentially crippling bottlenecks" that they say threaten the viability of the
Internet. The group warns that too many software and hardware companies are creating
products with proprietary technology; that there is too much monopolistic control over the
communications pipes into the home; and that there are too few interconnections between
major Internet backbone operators. Conspicuously absent from participation in the Global
Internet Project are some of the companies about which these concerns are being voiced:
Microsoft and theregional Bell companies. (Wall Street Journal 23 Jun 98)


The Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that frees Internet service providers
such as America Online from legal liability for information one subscriber circulates to
millions of others. The appeals court said that federal law "plainly immunizes computer
service providers like AOL from liability for information that originates with third
parties." The case is Zeran vs. America Online, 97-1488. (San Jose Mercury News 22 Jun 98)


Yellow Pages, British Telecom's classified business information subsidiary, is forming a
strategic alliance with Equifax, a U.S. information technology group. The five-year
arrangement calls for sharing business data, co-developing new products, and
cross-licensing each others' products and services. The cooperative venture will enable
customers, using Equifax tools, to check on a company's profitability and management
details, as well as build and manage marketing databases. (Financial Times 22 Jun 98)

                                      AT&T ACQUIRES TCI

AT&T, the nation's largest long-distance phone company, is acquiring the No. 2 provider of
cable TV service, Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI), in a $31-billion deal that represents the
most dramatic result so far of the 1996 deregulation of the telecommunications industry.
FCC chairman William E. Kennard has reacted favorably to the proposed acquisition: "These
companies bring some synergies that are quite compelling. They're not direct head-to-head
competitors, but both of them have said in the past that they want to offer a package of
services to consumers. If through the combination they are able to bundle services and be
more competitive with the incumbent providers, it's a good thing." The deal is expected to
give AT&T a strong position from which to compete in the local phone service market, as
well as to offer customers a range of Internet-based services. (New York Times 25 Jun 98)


Finland's Nokia, Sweden's Ericsson, and Motorola are teaming up with Britain's Psion to
develop products based on Psion's EPOC computer operating system. The new joint venture
company, called Symbian, plans to harness the power of the owners' 80% market share in cell
phone equipment to challenge Microsoft's attempt to make its competing software -- Windows
CE -- the industry standard. "We intend to set new standards for the mobile digital markets
of tomorrow. The new generation of products will be ingenious and they'll be everywhere,"
says Psion's chairman. The companies plan to develop a range of products, including "smart"
phones, sophisticated paging devices and hand-held computers. An analyst at Nomura says,
"Psion has gone from defense to offense. This could knock Bill Gates out of the market."
(Financial Times 25 Jun 98)

                                EU OKAYS MCI, WORLDCOM MERGER

The European Commission has given its stamp of approval to the proposed $37-billion merger
of MCI Communications and WorldCom, after the two companies met the commission's demand
that they eliminate any overlap in their Internet businesses. MCI announced several weeks
ago that it would sell off its Internet business to Cable and Wireless, but according to
people familiar with the negotiations, the merger terms are likely to include a no-compete
clause, and possibly a requirement that the merged entity be prohibited from serving
customers of whatever company acquiresMCI's Internet business. After the EU approval is
final, the union must still be approved by the U.S. Justice Department. (Wall Street
Journal 24 Jun 98)

                              NSA DECLASSIFIES ENCRYPTION CODE

The National Security Agency for the first time has declassified its 80-bit-length Skipjack
encryption algorithm and its 1,024-bit-length key exchange algorithm, and made them
publicly available. "This declassification is an essential part of the Department of
Defense's efforts to work with commercial industry in developing reasonably priced
computer-protection products," says the Pentagon. "This declassification decision will
enable industry to develop software- and smart card-based security products, which are
interoperable with Fortezza." The Skipjack algorithm is used in the Fortezza PC smart card,
which controls access to computers in the Defense Message System and other DoD
applications. (EE Times 24 Jun 98)

                              "DECONSTRUCTING THE DIGITAL KID"

In its recently released "Deconstructing the Digital Kid" study, Jupiter Communications
predicts that the number of teens (ages 13 to 18) online will rise from 4.5 million today
to 11 million by 2002, and the number of children (ages 12 and under) will skyrocket from 3
million today to 20 million during the same period. That increase will mark one of the
single biggest demographic shifts seen on the Web so far. The study also found that 68% of
parents surveyed were concerned about their children's Internet usage, and that more than
25% said they would be willing to pay for services to restrict their children's access to
adult or undesirable sites. Two-thirds prohibit their children from giving out personal
information over the Web and 62% don't allow online shopping. According to the results,
boys tended to surf for gaming opportunities and sports content, and girls were more likely
to focus on e-mail and instant messaging. (TechWeb 25 Jun 98)

                                     SAY IT WITH E-MAIL

IBM and Dictaphone have unveiled a new Boomerang device that combines voice and electronic
messaging systems to send a recorded voice message as a WAV file that can be sent as an
e-mail message and then be opened and played back on the message recipient's computer.
(Information Week 17 Jun 98)

                                  Y2K PROBLEM WORRIES CIA

Central Intelligence Agency director George Tennant is warning that the Year 2000 computer
bug (found when programs are unable to correctly interpret dates past 1999) "provides all
kinds of opportunities for someone with hostile intent" to gain information or plant
viruses. "We are building an information infrastructure, the most complex the world has
ever known, on an insecure foundation." (USA Today 25 Jun 98)


Reacting to the increasing numbers of both graduate and undergraduate computer science
students who drop out of school for high-paying jobs in industry, George Mason University
professor and administrator Peter Denning worries that fundamental research will suffer and
says: "I'm afraid we're eating our seed corn." The students may also be hurting their own
long-term interest, and California Polytechnic's James L. Beug explains: "My fear is that
these kids who haven't finished will last about seven years on the job market. If they
haven't learned to learn and can't go sideways into management, what happens to them?" But
the temptation for immediate rewards is great. Santa Barbara multimedia lab director Guy
Smith says: "Without wanting to sound hysterical, this is really changing the shape of
education in a fundamental way. You hear of kids leaving high school and making almost six
figures. Recently we brought in 30 computer information officers and asked them about
entry-level skills. I didn't hear the word 'degree' come up very often." (New York Times 25
Jun 98)

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              Consumers Win as Judges Grant Microsoft's Appeal
                               in DOJ Lawsuit
                     Over Windows' Internet Integration


    MS PressPass


    A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals today ruled in
    favor of Microsoft in its appeal of a district court decision
    concerning Microsoft's Windows operating system software. The
    Court unanimously overturned the preliminary injunction issued
    last December by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield
    Jackson, which ordered Microsoft to give personal computer
    manufacturers the option of licensing Microsoft's Windows 95
    operating system without its Internet Explorer software.

    In overturning the injunction, the Court stated that Microsoft has
    "clearly" demonstrated "benefits to its integrated design" of
    Windows 95 with Web browsing functionality. The Court recognized
    that "integration of functionality into the operating system can
    bring benefits" for customers.

    As the Court explained, "Antitrust scholars have long recognized
    the undesirability of having courts oversee product design, and
    any dampening of technological innovation would be at
    cross-purposes with antitrust law."

    "This decision is good news for consumers and the entire computer
    industry," said Bob Herbold, Microsoft executive vice president
    and chief operating officer. "Our integration of Internet
    technology into Windows makes our operating system and the
    personal computer a more powerful and useful tool for our

    William H. Neukom, Microsoft senior vice president for law and
    corporate affairs, added: "We're gratified the Appeals Court has
    agreed with Microsoft that there was no basis for the entry of a
    preliminary injunction against our efforts to add new Internet
    capabilities to Windows.The Court today has helped focus the legal
    issues squarely where they belong, by concentrating on whether a
    product innovation brings new benefits to consumers. We have long
    been confident that our Internet improvements to both Windows 95
    and Windows 98 meet this test."

    The Appeals Court action effectively rejects the main claim that
    the Government made in its October 1997 lawsuit: that Windows and
    Internet Explorer are separate products. In its ruling today, the
    Appeals Court noted that "the Department [of Justice] has not
    shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits," and
    added: "Microsoft has clearly met the burden of ascribing facially
    plausible benefits to its integrated design as compared to an
    operating system combined with a stand-alone browser such as
    Netscape's Navigator ...[W]e are inclined to conclude that the
    Windows 95/IE package is a genuine integration; consequently, [the
    Consent Decree] does not bar Microsoft from offering it as one

    For the full text of the appellate court's ruling, see

    Highlights of today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals:

    "Antitrust scholars have long recognized the undesirability of
    having courts oversee product design, and any dampening of
    technological innovation would be at cross-purposes with antitrust

    "We think that an "integrated product" is most reasonably
    understood as a product that combines functionalities (which may
    also be marketed separately and operated together) in a way that
    offers advantages unavailable if the functionalities are bought
    separately and combined by the purchaser."

    "[I]ntegration may be considered genuine if it is beneficial when
    compared to a purchaser combination. But we do not propose that in
    making this inquiry the court should embark on product design
    assessment. In antitrust law, from which this whole proceeding
    springs, the courts have recognized the limits of their
    institutional competence and have on that ground rejected theories
    of 'technological tying.'"

    "[T]he limited competence of courts to evaluate high-tech product
    designs and the high cost of error should make them wary of
    second-guessing the claimed benefits of a particular design

    "On the facts before us, Microsoft has clearly met the burden of
    ascribing facially plausible benefits to its integrated design as
    compared to an operating system combined with a stand-alone
    browser such as Netscape's Navigator."

    "[W]e are inclined to conclude that the Windows 95/IE package is a
    genuine integration; consequently, [the consent decree] does not
    bar Microsoft from offering it as one product."

    "The preliminary injunction was issued without adequate notice and
    on an erroneous reading of the consent decree. We accordingly
    reverse and remand. The reference to the [special] master was in
    effect the imposition on the parties of a surrogate judge and
    either a clear abuse of discretion or an exercise of wholly
    non-existent discretion."

    Anybody ready for the "Cheese and Whine?"

             Netscape Response to U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 23, 1998 -- Netscape Communications
    Corporation (Nasdaq: NSCP) today offered the following response to
    the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling No.

    Today's ruling concerns the 1995 consent decree between the U.S.
    Department of Justice (DOJ) and Microsoft as applied to Windows 95
    and was decided largely on procedural grounds. It most certainly
    did not decide the broad antitrust case against Microsoft that was
    filed on May 18, 1998 by the DOJ and 20 States.

    The May 18, 1998 case, filed under the Sherman Antitrust Act,
    focuses on Microsoft's role as a monopolist and on the question of
    whether it has abused its monopoly powers by engaging in predatory
    practices intended to prevent competitive software markets from
    developing. Under the Sherman Act, such predatory practices are

    The Sherman Act case will develop a full factual record for the
    courts to evaluate. Based on the evidence and the law, we believe
    the DOJ and the States will prevail against Microsoft in this

    Netscape Communications Corporation is a leading provider of open
    software and services for linking people and information over
    enterprise networks and the Internet. The company offers a full
    line of clients, servers, development tools, commercial
    applications and professional services to create a complete
    platform for next-generation, online applications. Traded on
    Nasdaq under the symbol NSCP, Netscape Communications Corporation
    is based in Mountain View, California.

    Additional information on Netscape Communications Corporation is
    available on the Internet at, by sending
    e-mail to, or by calling 650-937-2555
    (corporations) or 650-937-3777 (individuals).


                      Corel Continues to Suffer Losses

    By Ephraim Schwartz

    InfoWorld Electric

    Posted at 4:52 PM PT, Jun 24, 1998

    Corel apparently is continuing its downward spiral with the
    announcement Wednesday that it lost $8.3 million on net sales of
    $63 million for its second quarter ended May 31.

    The company announced that it would reduce its work force by 20
    percent, or approximately 530 positions, through a consolidation
    of its Orem, Utah, and Ottawa operations into a single site in

    At one time, Orem was the site of booming WordPerfect, whose
    phenomenal sales growth actually saw the company enter into the
    construction business so that it might leverage its additions of
    two new buildings per year at its Orem site.

    As Microsoft Word began to gobble up market share, WordPerfect was
    sold to Novell in March 1994 for approximately $850 million, and,
    finally, Corel paid approximately $180 million for WordPerfect,
    Perfect Office, and Quattro Pro in March 1996.

    In Ottawa, Corel will now house the Orem operations, which
    includes Corel's research and development engineering center. This
    consolidation will result in a savings of $33 million annually,
    according to a company representative.

    Corel Corp., in Ottawa, is at

    Corel Corporation

    Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized
    internationally as an award-winning developer and marketer of
    productivity applications, graphics and Internet software. Corels
    product line includes CorelDRAW, Corel. WordPerfect. Suite,
    Corel. Office Professional, Corel. WebMaster Suite, CorelVIDEO
    and CorelCAD. Corels products run on most operating systems,
    including: Windows., Macintosh., UNIX, MS-DOS, and OpenVMS and are
    consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. The
    company ships its products in over 17 languages through a network
    of more than 160 distributors in 70 countries worldwide. Corel is
    traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and the NASDAQ
     National Market System (symbol: COSFF). For more information
    visit Corels home page on the Internet at

    Corel, WordPerfect, Presentations, CorelDRAW, CorelVIDEO and
    CorelCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Corel
    Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited. Sylvan and Sylvan
    Learning Systems Centers are registered trademarks and Authorized
    Prometric Testing Centers and Sylvan Prometric are trademarks of
    Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., in the U.S. and Canada. All product
    and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their
    respective companies.

                                                     The Linux Advocate

Column #16

June 24th, 1998

by Scott Dowdle


Hello again. This is the largest edition to date, with three SPOTLIGHTs; Get your reading glasses out and sit back and
enjoy! I did verify all of the URLs before submission of this edition but given the dynamic properties of the Internet some
of them will surely move in following weeks or days as newer materials on various sites are presented.

Please note that I put this together mainly Thursday... the day Windows 98 is supposed to be released. I went to a couple
local computer stores here in Great Falls, Montana and asked around and no one seemed to have Windows 98 yet. Odd. I
remember all of the hoopla that Microsoft produced for the release of Windows 95. Maybe they decided to concentrate on the
larger cities or something? I've seen at least two organized events by SVLUG (Silicon Valley Linux User Group) to use the
release of Win98 as a sort of promotion for Linux. I wonder just how many other groups got together and had fun... that I
haven't heard about yet?

About 60 or so people from SVLUG went to Fry Electronics and CompUSA with banners, posters and FREE Linux CDs. One guy even
brought along a video camera and was running around being, "Linux TV." They handed out several hundred Linux CD-ROMSs and
the event was a great success. Please note that these people weren't being obnoxious or anything... it was all in good fun.
You can read more at the following URL:

Another event sponsored by the SVLUG is "Launch Win98" which is a take off on Microsoft's Win98 Launch campaign. This is
all in good fun too... where they take two Win98 beta CDs, cut them in half to make the fins of a rocket. This rocket will
be launched at the BayNAR rocket club's launch on Sunday, June 28 at 2PM at DeAnza College, Parking Lot B (in the Silicon
Valley area) because they have a weekly time with the necessary fire marshal and FAA approvals. You can read all about the
event at the following URL:

I had given much thought to a similar campaign here in my local community of Great Falls, Montana... but I couldn't find
enough people who were interested in going along with me. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say on posters either...
something like, "Bill only wants your bills, but Linus wants to set you free." I think I'll put more thought and effort
towards the launch of Windows NT 5 whenever that is. :)

Oh, btw... last column I called it quits for the news section. Forget that. I changed my mind. While I was correct in
stating that Slashdot and the Linux Weekly News site do a fantastic job in covering Linux news, they don't do it HERE in
the pages of STR... so I better keep it up... or a lot of you Windows babies will miss the boat!


Item #1: Proof that Linux is significant? - Datapro recently released the results of a survey they did, primarily of
professional industry managers and directors regarding various Operating System platforms. The results of the survey were
rather startling... or at least they should be for anyone not familiar with the Linux movement. Linux was the winner of
many of the survey items, and was at the top of nearly all of the areas surveyed. NT didn't fair very well in the vast
majority of categories but it did win a couple of items. The survey does not appear to be freely available (requires
registration), but Red Hat's synopsis can be found at the following URL:

Here is a slide to wet your appetite:

                                              [growth-slide.jpg (27146 bytes)]

Item #2: Beowulf, so powerful it's dangerous? - There was a snafu recently regarding the availability of all of the source
code to the Beowulf project. It appears that the same people at NASA that got the negative PR on the satellite parts to
China incident wanted to avoid any appearance of being responsible for exporting super-computer technologies that NASA just
happens to be responsible for producing in the first place. The super-computing exportation legal issues only apply to
super-computing HARDWARE and since Beowulf is Linux SOFTWARE, it doesn't apply... but it appears that the NASA people are
being a little paranoid. According to Don Becker, the worst that will probably happen is that NASA will pull their official
sponsorship by removing the NASA logo from the official distribution page. They are getting it all straightened out and
distribution of the complete Beowulf package remains unfettered everywhere but from it's official site. In fact, Red Hat
and Don Becker expect to have an upgraded Extreme Linux package out by the end of the summer. Check out press story
entitled, "NASA Disables Beowulf Project - Missiles to China and Linux Parallel Machines," at the following URL:

There was also an interview with Don Becker on TechNetCast. Load up your copy of RealVideo or RealAudio and check out the
following media clips:

video: pnm://

audio: pnm://

Item #3: A server on a 486SX/33 w/8MB of RAM? - A contractor had a customer with a rather unusual request. Ok, it wasn't
unusual for Linux but for most other platforms it would have been virtually impossible to do. Check out the write-up that
was done about installing a complete Internet gateway slash Intranet server on what is considered by most as legacy
hardware at the

following URL:

Item #4: Caldera announces beta of Caldera Netware Server for Linux - While Linux has had Novell Netware support for some
time now, Caldera is producing a package that allows it to be a fully compatible Netware Directory Services server. This
will in essence make Linux a completely compatible Netware alternative... along with the other networking services Linux
handles already. Caldera is freely giving away a 3-license beta version of their package and pledges to give away similar
when they declare the production version. Check out their press release at the following URL:

Item #5: Mainstream Computer OnLine Press promoting Linux? - Check out the article entitled, "How Linux Could Kill Windows
NT," by Jesse Berst, Editorial Director of ZDNet AnchorDesk. I don't necessarily agree with his suggestions on what Linux
needs to become a killer but they aren't bad suggestions. Currently, I'm working on a feature length article in response to
some of the points Mr. Berst brought up which may or may not be ready for next week. Check out what Mr. Berst has to say at
the following URL:

Item #6: NC World online magazine appears to have died. Nicholas Petreley, the primary editor, has presented an article for
InfoWorld where he talks about why it died and how he thinks the market fairs for the whole NC concept. Check out his
article entitled, "The network computer is dying of OS/2-itis, but the question is, who cares?," at the following URL:

Item #6: An apology for Mozilla? - Michael Toy recently published a piece on the Mozilla homepage that he calls, "An
apology for Mozilla," in which he details the condition in which the ozilla source was released and how it is considered by
many to be an "impossible" task for the hacker community to be productive with it. He does point out a few of the other
impossible things hat the hacker community has actually been productive with. This is sort of a tounge-in-cheek writing but
it's an honest appraisal of the Mozilla source as Netscape released it. If you are interested in such an article you can
check it out at the following URL:

Item #7: Linux around the world! - PC Quest magazine in India has done yet another article about Linux, this one entitled,
"Tux may make life tough for Microsoft." They have even declared a regular Linux section in their magazine. With the
amazing growth of Linux, I forecast that most non-Microsoft specific computer magazines (like PC World and PC Magazine)
will follow suite with regular Linux coverage within a year... or sooner. While we are waiting, check out the PC Quest
articles at the following URLs:

Considering I entitled this news item Linux Around the World, it's only fitting that I include an article from the South
China Morning Post... since President Clinton is involved with a visit there. Don't worry, it's in English. Check out the
following, really long URL where you'll probably see a picture of the President in the margins. :)

Item #8: The Maltese Penguin? - A satirical piece was written recently entitled, "The Maltese Penguin." It's a rather
hilarious story based on the Maltese Falcon movie where the PI is tasked with a Linux related task. A few comical comments
are made regarding Microsoft but it ends with the concept that Linux still isn't ready for the mainstream,
not-so-computer-literate person to install it on their home machine. It's a valid argument rapped up in cool comedy worth
your time to read, so check it out at the following URL:

Item #9: Red Hat double-take? - How do these Red Hat guys get so much free publicity lately? recent article by Joel B.
Obermayer appears in two different publications and can be found at either of the following URLs:

The Cats in the Red Hats


Red Hat software takes on the big guys

Item #10: Eyes opened in a public forum? - A Microsoft Rep. found himself defending Windows N to a crowd of Linux using EDA
engineers. What has been dubbed, "Linux vs. NT in a public forum, Showdown - June 16th, 1998," has received a bit of
coverage, at least by ISD magazine. his involves a recent Electronic Design Automation trade show where a panel held a
discussion bout platforms for EDA applications. What happened in this unstaged event was that the Microsoft rep. found
himself defending NT among a crowd that appeared to be mostly professional engineers in the EDA workplace who prefer Linux
hands down over Windows NT.

The brief, original story appeared at the following URL:

A RealAudio recording of the event (which is rather cool Linux listening) is available. Just load up your copy of RealVideo
or RealAudio and open the following location:


ISD Magazine went even farther by presenting a rather lengthy editorial slash article that presents commentary from various
industry experts on the subject of Windows NT vs. Linux in the EDA marketplace. This is a good look at just how serious
many people in professional engineering career fields are about using Linux at work. You can find it at the following URL:

An Internet site has even been devoted to the topic of Linux and EDA. Check out the obviously named site at the following

SPOTLIGHT #1: Beowulf

The number of Beowulf installations across the US is currently unknown but the last unofficial report I heard presented a
figure around 30. I'm sure the numbers have been steadily growing since then, and I've also heard of one upcoming project
that supposedly will put over 1,000 desktop machines to work in a single network cluster... more on that as it progresses.
In the mean time check out this press release from people at a new addition to the Beowulf userbase --- A cluster named

(begin long quote here)


LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 18, 1998 - A supercomputer built from ordinary persona computer components is among the 500 fastest
computers in the world, an international survey reported today. The Avalon computer cost just $150,000 to build, and can
compute more than 20 billion mathematical operations in a second, said Michael Warren of Los Alamos National Laboratory's
Theoretical Astrophysics Group.

Avalon made the 315th spot on the 11th TOP500 list released at the Supercomputer '98 conference in Mannheim, Germany. The
list is the best-known ranking of supercomputer performance. "It's now possible for a small group of motivated people to
design and build their own parallel supercomputer using off-the-shelf computer parts and easily available software," Warren
said. "Only a handful of companies in the world produce a computer this fast, and the least expensive costs well over a
million dollars."

Avalon is built out of 68 high-end personal computers that use the Digital Equipment Corporation Alpha microprocessor,
connected by 3Com network switches similar to those found in a university department or small business. Each processor in
the Los Alamos supercomputer is an ordinary PC, using the same type of memory and disk drives found in a computer on an
office desktop.

"Each of these processors theoretically is capable of performing over one billion operations a second, and we bought them
at consumer prices," said Warren. But hardware is only half of the equation. Software is the hardest part of getting many
processors to work together on the same problem. The Los Alamos team used the open source Linux operating system and other
software available on the Internet.

"The key to the success of these machines lies in their software, and the most important part of that software is the Linux
operating system," Warren explained. "Linux can be obtained at no cost through the Internet, but that is minor compared to
its other advantages. In my experience, the reliability and performance of Linux has no peer."

"We have stressed Linux well beyond where one would expect it to fail, and it has performed admirably. Because it is being
developed as open source software, we can go to the source code and fix many problems immediately," Warren continued. "If
we can't fix it ourselves, we can tap the huge pool of Linux expertise on the Internet."

While some question the reliability, complexity and difficulty of a "do-it-yourself" supercomputer, Warren and his team had
no problems. "We got most of the parts for Avalon on Friday, April 10. Three days later, the machine was computing at over
10 billion operations per second." he said. By Wednesday, which was the deadline for TOP500 list entries, Avalon had
achieved 19.2 billion floating point operations per second. The computer hasn't suffered a single hardware failure or
operating system crash on any of the 68 processors during the last six weeks.

Working with Warren to build Avalon were David Neal, systems administrator for Los Alamos' Center for Nonlinear Studies,
and David Moulton and Aric Hagberg, both from the Mathematical Modeling and Analysis Group. In its short life, Avalon
already has performed some significant scientific computations.

One of the first simulations followed the evolution of a shock wave through 60 million atoms. The simulation ran for more
than 300 hours on Avalon, calculating about 10 billion floating point operations per second. Physicist Peter Lomdahl, who
won the Gordon Bell prize for significant achievement in parallel processing using the Connection Machine 5 supercomputer
at Los Alamos said the Avalon system was extremely easy to use.

"We ported our molecular dynamics code over in about a day and have been able to perform state-of-the-art simulations of
shock-waves in metals that ordinarily would have required the Lab's large-scale shared-memory parallel systems" Lomdahl
said. "Not only does the Avalon system run slightly faster than a similarly sized commercial system, it does it at a tenth
of the cost, and is much easier to use."

Warren will use the machine in his computational astrophysics research, performing simulations of galaxies. "I am
interested in simulating the evolution of the universe from its very early stages up to the present day," Warren said. "We
can test different ideas about the way the universe is put together by comparing the galaxies simulated inside the computer
with real observations made by the latest generation of telescopes. Avalon puts the computational power we need to do those
simulations inside our own building, at a price we can afford."

In its "spare time," Avalon helped crack the Certicom Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem challenge, winning a $4,000 prize that
was donated to the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation led the development of many of the software tools Avalon uses.
The code-breaking calculations ran at the same time as other large simulations, but only made progress when the computer
didn't have anything else to do.

Initial funds to buy and build Avalon came from the Center for Nonlinear Studies. Other funding came from the Laboratory
Directed Research and Development program and the Theoretical Division. Shi-yi Chen, deputy leader of the Center for
Nonlinear Studies, said "Avalon will be used for fundamental research in nonlinear sciences for a variety of areas,
including applied mathematics, materials science, complex systems and climate modeling."

Warren has used parallel computers throughout his career, including several which have held records as world's fastest at
the time. In 1996, he built his first off-the shelf computer, Loki, which last year won the Gordon Bell prize in the
"price-performance" category. "Loki proved itself as the most cost-effective way to perform large-scale scientific
simulations last year, and now Avalon provides ten times that performance for only three times the price," Warren said.

Computers using off-the-shelf technology like Loki and Avalon are called "Beowulf" computers, after the project begun by
Thomas Sterling at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "Avalon is a dramatic demonstration of the long-term potential of
the Beowulf model for scalable, high-end computing to perform real-world applications in science and engineering at
unprecedented price-to-performance ratios," Sterling said. "Since 1994 when the earliest Beowulf systems were developed at
NASA, a rapidly growing community world-wide has emerged to apply the Beowulf approach to a broad range of important

"Avalon represents a new generation of Beowulf systems - breaking new ground in performance and extending their utility to
new and important areas," Sterling said. Warren thinks that Avalon's success is only the beginning. "In the future, I
imagine hundreds or thousands of machines of this type, working on important science, engineering and business problems,"
he said. "You will probably never hear about those computers, because they are simply a tool; the problems that they solve
and the progress they enable is the important news."

More information about Avalon is available at the following URL on the World Wide Web:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy.

CONTACT: Jim Danneskiold, (505) 667-1640

(end long quote here)

SPOTLIGHT #2: Alan Cox Online Interview

Surely Alan Cox should get a decent introduction in this column but I think the contents of the following IRC interview
slash discussion will serve nicely. I did take the trouble of cleaning up the transcript a bit by adding some punctuation
here and there and with a little help on the formatting to make it easier reading... but rest assured that the contents
represented are unedited.

(begin long quote here)

Description: This is the transcript of SomeNet's fourth online forum, with Alan Cox as guest speaker. It was held on
Saturday, June 20th, 1998 at 1:30PM EDT (5:30pm GMT).

Purpose: The purpose of this forum was to speak with Alan and find out more about him, what he does for Red Hat, and his
views on various Linux topics.

Hosted By: Phillip Smith (aka Teknix) of the SomeNet IRC Network.

Session Start: Sat Jun 20 13:30:45 1998

<Teknix> Welcome, once again, to the fourth SomeNet forum with Alan Cox as guest speaker. I'd like to extend our gratitude
to Alan (aka Anarchy) for being with us today. Good to have you, Alan. :)

<Anarchy> Hello.

<Teknix> I'd like to start the forum off by asking you how you got started in computers, and what got you interested in

<Anarchy> Computers, I'm not sure about. They had facsinated me since I was tiny.

<Anarchy> I got a chance to learn basic on a TRS80 and some Commodore pets when I was at school and caught the disease on
the spot.

<Teknix> Did you immediately take to hacking around on the TRS80's and C64's.. or did that come later?

<Anarchy> Linux was a bit of an accident. When I was a student, I'd become a fan of MUD (in this case the original Essex
MUD). I and several other folks wrote a thing called AberMUD. I needed a unix like platform to run it on. By the time I had
got beyond basic I'd got a Sinclair ZX81 and then a ZX Spectrum, and was learning Z80 assembler. I didn't actually discover
B and C until I was at university.

<Teknix> So you discovered Linux and began using it to play MUD's. What got you involved in other aspects of Linux, such as
kernel programming, etc.?

<Anarchy> I was actually using it to write MUD stuff rather than play it. I got Linux initially because 386BSD needed an
FPU and I could only just afford the 386 machine. The university computer society also got a Linux box and fairly soon
needed TCP/IP networking as the campus went ethernet. The networking didn't work so I started trying to fix it.

<Teknix> So you started early in working with TCP/IP networking under Linux. How did you actually get involved with NET-2?
Did you just discover the project, and start posting patches?

<Anarchy> By the time we were using the machine for the computer society Ross Biro had done the original networking stack,
and while it wasn't terribly good or terribly to specification it sort of worked, and was certainly no worse than the DOS
TCP/IP stacks of the same era. I started sending Ross fixes. Ross had a bit of a bust up with various people and wanted to
concentrate on real work (Thesis I believe) and Fred van Kempen took over. So I started sending patches to Fred. Fred
wanted to redo a lot of the code to his new grand plan (Second system effect in action) and I kept fixing the old stuff.
Eventually Linus started including my fixes, and Fred's code never quite got finished or included.

<Teknix> What did you enjoy most about working with the networking aspects?

<Anarchy> Initially it was fun because it was seeing real results. Every week the computer society machine stayed up
longer, and by 1.0 the code was just about usable. After that I kept fixing the bugs and starting to clean up the code
more. By 1.2 I had code that I could actually regard as "reasonable" and by 2.0 I was pretty happy with it. By the time we
were into 1.3.x series kernels however there were a lot of other people doing networking stuff. Linus optimised. It
followed all the specifications and behaved nicely in error cases, and then in 2.0.30, DaveM put his clock cycle counting
hat on and really optimised it a lot. I haven't actually done much in the networking part of Linux since about 2.0.25. I
guess the main thing was the fact I was continually learning more new things.

<Teknix> What was your one major success with networking that stands out in your mind from all the rest, besides the fact
that you pretty much made it take off in those early days of development? :)

<Anarchy> I'm not sure there's any one thing that stands out. I guess fixing the memory leak about 0.99.13 was a big one,
simply because people had been hunting the little horror for about 3 months.

<Teknix> You've worked on other projects, such as SMP... would you care to talk to us a little bit about that?

<Anarchy> SMP was another accident. I'd mentioned a few times on IRC that SMP would be a really good idea and it would be
fun to hack on (more new things to learn). That got back to the guys at Caldera and they basically said, "Have a dual P90
[this is back when that cost more than a box of matches] and do it." I started hacking on SMP about 1.3.37 and rapidly
realised I'd almost bitten off more than I could chew. I ended up with things like LED's on the parallel port before I got
the second CPU to boot into the Linux kernel and crash, as opposed to mysteriously crashing. 1.3.42 SMP sort of worked so
long as you didn't actually use it. Mostly, I did it to find out how SMP worked and how it should have been done. Its also
another project I dropped after 2.0. Transmeta bought Linus a much better SMP computer than I ever had, and DaveM & Linus
started doing the fine grained locking work for 2.1.x.

<Teknix> I think we've all benefitted greatly from your efforts in the networking an SMP areas, and I'm sure others would
agree with me. :) What other Linux related projects have you worked on?

<Anarchy> Umm.. Linux/SGI, Linux/Mac68K, Linux/8086, TV card drivers, sound and probably a few other things. Whatever
seemed like it needed some help or had hack value the 3c501 and Linux/8086 are hack value.

<Teknix> Of those, where do you feel your best contributions have been made?

<Anarchy> The sound is probably the most important one - it'll mean that an end user picking up a Linux CD off the shelf
will be able to set sound up without compiling their kernel - that's the main reason Red Hat funded that paticular piece of
work. The most effective has probably been Linux/8086 - that was a joke that got out of hand. So far out of hand in fact
it's almost approaching usability because other folks thought it worth doing - Alistair Riddoch especially.

<Teknix> Will Linux/8086 have positive effects for non-8086 Linux users?

<Anarchy> I think that's highly improbable. The uCLinux project (Linux for Palmpilot) is a sane model for MMU-less and
palmtop machines. The only other people who might benefit from Linux8086 would be owners of PDP/11's and other roomsized
computers from the same era.

<Teknix> Interesting.. I really hope the palm pilot stuff continues to grow. How is the Linux/SGI project going?

<Anarchy> I installed the unofficial Red Hat 5.1 that Alex de Vries, Ralf and others have been doing all the hard work for
today. A lot of the packages are somewhat buggy and we don't have an X server at all yet - one reason for that is the Indy
has somewhat unusual and extremely clever graphics hardware - stuff the PC world really only started to get over the past
9-12 months.

<Teknix> Is this a project that will have strong benefits for the community as a whole, or will it only effect a small core

<Anarchy> The Indy hardware overlaps with other Linux projects - and it's only part of the Linux/MIPS project in itself.
It'll help the MIPS ports, it will help the Amiga SCSI controller people, and it's going to provide a lot of good
background for thinking how to control the next generation of high performance 3D graphics cards cleanly with X and OpenGL
(or MESA) in our case.

<Teknix> So how is MESA coming along? Is it important to Linux's growth? I'm getting a lot of questions about GGI/KGI
kernel support as well, so maybe you would like to comment on those. :)

<Anarchy> MESA I dont follow directly so I cant answer on that one at all. With GGI and KGI the right things are happening
in the background even if not visibly on comp.os.Linux.flameof the day. A lot of KGI was duplicated work and the bits that
are not are being made to fit nicely with the frame buffer console support other platforms already have. That should give
people the option of slightly slower and more reliable X graphics if they want, but without adding tons of duplicated
kernel code, breaking existing drivers or forcing people to upgrade or use new X servers.

<Teknix> Where do you feel that KGI belongs.. in the kernel, or in the user space of X11?

<Anarchy> Thats a hard question. See, for the fastest possible graphics on most existing video cards you don't want to go
via the kernel at all. With some of the more modern cards there is at least an architecture suited to doing this sort of
thing right. To do what it has to do KGI has to be in the kernel. It does some fairly clever stuff with acceleration
buffering to avoid slow downs but at the end of the day an X server using KGI will be slower than one that hits the metal,
that's unavoidable. It's a question of - do you want to pay the price for stability?

<Teknix> Could you describe for us what you're doing at Red Hat, and how you came into that position?

<Anarchy> I'd been working at for a while and various people wanted me to move to its sister company i2it,
hacking proprietary GUI tools for their Linux based internet 'appliance' thing. I'd rather be working on GPL stuff all the
time so I asked Erik Troan for a job. Much to my suprise he said yes. The actual arrangements with Red Hat are pretty loose
- occasionally they have specific things they want doing, otherwise they just pay me to hack whatever Linux stuff I think
is a good idea.

<Teknix> Sounds like a cool job. :)

<Anarchy> It's one of the better job offers I've ever had. I do need to find a new hobby or two now though.

<Teknix> Ok.. on to some other questions. I'd like to get your views on what you think about Open Source vs. Free Software.

<Anarchy> It's always been Free Software to me, and I guess always will be. Open Source doesn't say anything about what the
software really is either. Does open mean, "equally accessible but you have to pay for it?" For example - that's what it
means to the big boys like Open Group, and what it means to folks like ITU for their idea of an "open standard".

<Teknix> Argh. Do you feel that the Red Hat folks are really committed to Open Source?

<Anarchy> Argh 8) Red Hat definitely are committed to open source in everything I've seen otherwise I'd be working
somewhere else. I'm happy with their commitment.

<Teknix> How do you feel about other distributions of Linux? How do the Red Hat folks feel?

<Anarchy> I'm glad to see there's a lot of distributions. There are some I like and some I think completely suck - but
that's down to peoples preferences. I've actually been running a Red Hat based system since I got sent a free Red Hat 1.1.
Before that I ran a mix of slackware and SuSE. SuSE at the time was fun: the non-English speakers got revenge as bits of
SuSE weren't translated into English. 8) I've still got one non-Red Hat box - it runs MCC 2.0+.

<Teknix> What do you think about the effect that the Linux community has had on commercial unix vendors? (i.e., Sun and
Solaris 2.6 is definately a response to Linux with reference to networking speed improvements)

<Anarchy> I dont think Linux actually has a lot to do with Suns networking performance work. That's been entirely driven by
a market requirement to beat the crap out of NT in every benchmark ZDnet and similar people try. I've actually heard
positive things from a lot of Linux vendors. I get SCO people delighted that Linux exists as they can now sell a Unix
desktop and a SCO server + Oracle + the usual, whereas if it was Windows desktop it would be hard to sell anything but an
NT server. The only people I know whom definitely got hurt by Linux are MWC (Mark Williams Corp.) - the folks who used to
make Coherent. Linux took their entire hobbyist market in one swoop. If Linux helps push commercial unix prices down and
actually make vendors listen to their customers for a change thats great - better product and more choice. Most of it
however is down to the giant crushing feet of Microsoft not to us.

<Teknix> Is it good for Linux to get more involved with the Unix98 project? Would the community benefit from Unix98

<Anarchy> I'm unconvinced. The word "unix" is associated with ancient mainframe horrors. I don't think it has much value
any more. There are certainly some folks who are into big corporate markets for whom Unix98 is of probable value. The
biggest problem though is trusting the Open Group - after the X11R6.4 affair and the subsequent CERT hoohah they caused. I
don't think anyone trusts them one inch. And you can't build a working relationship with someone you can't trust.

<Teknix> This is very true. What are Linux's plans for Merced, clustering, process migration, and other new technologies?

<Anarchy> Merced is a wait and see I think. It'll depend how Intel wants to play things... also if Intel actually manages
to make the chip work. I guess fingers crossed and wait. Clustering and process migration are sort of tied together (unless
your name is Larry McVoy). Right now there are two sets of migration code around for Linux. Condor is a 'non-free' solution
that's designed to run big batch jobs on spare computers around a lab, and there is most of a free checkpoint/restart
system someone is writing (and whose name I unfortunately forget). Not a 2.2 thing but it may become a 2.3 item I guess.
MOSIX is the one I missed out on. That's apparently going to appear for Red Hat Linux at some point. The existing MOSIX is
non-free and I don't yet know if the Linux one will attempt to be the same way. Mosix goes back to V7 unix era and is an
Israeli system where you really can't tell that your Unix box is made out of 6 PC's and a collection of twisted pair wire.
As for other new technologies: There is IRDA, Firewire and USB support for Linux all moving in the right direct (IRDA is
almost finished). There is TV card support so the world where you click on you TV picture and get an XDM login box isn't
far off either. The new CPU technologies are the most exciting I think - both at the low end with the ARM (and having seen
Itsy at the Expo I want one). Netwinder and other incredibly small, efficient, machines... and also at the high end with
the Alpha 21264 board Digital showed. That machine was just _so_ fast it was incredible, and it only had 1 CPU. So, I'm
looking forward to finding out both how big and how small we can make Linux.

<Teknix> Alan, I'd like to thank you for bearing with us today, and for coming over and speaking with us. I think it's time
to open it up to everyone so that they can get a few questions of their own in. Is there anything you'd like to add before
we do that?

<Anarchy> Nothing springs to mind.

<lilo> So, again, thanks to everyone for coming, to Teknix for his excellent moderation. Thank you very much, Alan Cox, for
a fascinating forum. On behalf of SomeNet and OpenProjects.Net, this ends the formal discussion portion.

Session Close: Sat Jun 20 16:04 1998

(end long quote here)

SPOTLIGHT #2: The following is a rundown on what's new in the 2.1.x development kernel by Kevin Fenzi of the Boulder Linux
Users' Group in Boulder, Colorado.

This spotlight coincides with the recent release of the 2.1.107 kernel. Hmmm, one hundred and seven beta releases so far...
it'll be interesting when it's declared 2.2 and the Linux distribution makers adapt their distros to reflect the
enhancements of the new production kernel. It is just amazing how many valid upgrades and enhancements the Linux kernel
development team can make to the kernel in such a short time. There are some people who feel the 2.1.x development cycle
has been a rather long one including Linus who pledges that the development cycle for 2.3.x will be much shorter.
Personally I think Linus is being hard on himself considering how long it took Micrsoft to release the considerably
insignificant upgrade that Windows 98 appears to be. Anyway... before I get too carried away, check out Mr. Fenzi's
overview! He presents it from a hacker point of view... one who gets the source code to the kernel and does most everything
by hand. Novices need not worry, as mentioned earlier, the distro makers will quickly update everything with new distro
versions for those not inclined towards the by-hand methods presented below. :)

(begin long quote here)

Whats new in 2.1.x

Last modified: Tue Jun 9 09:23:43 MDT 1998


In this talk I will go over some of the new features of the Linux 2.1.x kernel. Many things have changed and a great deal
of new functionality is there. There is no way I can go over all the changes that have happened since the 2.0.x stable
series, but I will try and hit the high points.

What to do before running 2.1

The 2.1.x kernel series has many interface changes to it. Thus, many user space programs have had to change. Before you can
run a 2.1.x kernel (safely) on your machine, you should make sure you have an up to date userspace. Linux HQ is a good
place to start. Go and look at the versions of userspace programs you need to upgrade. In most cases new userpace programs
are backward compatible, so your current kernel should work fine with them as well. Also the 'Changes' file in
/usr/src/Linux/Documentation/ should list what versions of programs are required and how to check them.

If you have a pretty recent distribution, you may not need to upgrade very many userspace programs. Also, if you don't run
some things, you will not need to bother upgrading them (nfs/ppp/etc).

Getting 2.1.x

If this is your first foray into the 2.1.x kernel world, go ahead and grab the entire Linux-2.1.x.tar.gz (or 2.1.x.tar.bz2)
where x is the newest version. (105 as of this writing). There are a number of sites with kernel source. The "main" site is, and is hosted at Transmeta (The place Linus works). It's often full and slow these days (especially since
2.0.34 just came out). You can also find out what the current 2.1.x kernel is by doing: finger, which
should tell you the current stable and devel kernels. If you already have the last version, patches are availble so you
don't have to download the entire thing again. Just get the patch and do a zcat patch-2.1.x.gz | patch -p1 while you are in

Building 2.1.x

Now that you have pulled down the tar file, move your old kernel source out of the way: mv /usr/src/Linux
/usr/src/Linux-old-version and unpack the new kernel source: zcat Linux-2.1.x.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Building a 2.1.x kernel is just like building a 2.0 kernel. You use the same steps:

make config (or make menuconfig or make xconfig)

make dep; make clean; make zImage (or make zlilo or make bzImage); make modules; make modules_install

If you get an error about your kernel being too large, you need to make bzImage instead of make zImage. (This is because
zImages fit in 640k and if you go over that, you need a bzImage to get around this anoying legacy problem).

You will also want to check the top level Linux Makefile (/usr/src/Linux/Makefile). If you have a SMP machine, you are
aready all set (linus leaves SMP enabled by default), if you only have one processor you'll want to comment out the SMP=1
line in the Makefile. There is a patch to move the SMP option into the normal kernel config process, and it should be
integrated soon. SMP kernels have been known to work on UP (Uni processor) machines, but you will get a faster kernel if
you don't compile SMP.

Whats NEW in 2.1?

So whats new in 2.1.x? Lots and lots of things. I am going to gloss over some and go into more detail on others. Let me
know if you have any corrections to this document.

Does size matter?

The 2.1.x kernels are larger than the 2.0 ones. Lots of new device drivers, and lots of new supported arch's. 11321604 May
21 00:02 Linux-2.1.105.tar.gz 6573183 Dec 16 22:55 Linux-2.0.33.tar.gz

The gzipped source is almost twice as large in 2.1.105 as 2.0.33. THe 2.1.x kernels don't typically take up more memory
than older kernels, they just allow more options.

kerneld and kmod

In the 2.0.x series, there is a user space daemon process that communicates with the kernel and loads and unloads modules
on demand. This daemon is called 'kerneld'. In the later 2.1.x kernels, kerneld has been replaced by a kernel thread called
kmod that automattically loads requested modules. Note that kmod doesn't unload modules, it just loads them when requested.
It's suggested you put a cron job in to call 'rmmod -a' every few minutes and release unused modules. Also, it's a bad idea
to run kmod and kerneld at the same time. If you are about to go boot a 2.1.x ernel, make sure kerneld is not
automattically started.

New Arch's

The complete merge of the various other platforms into the main 2.1.x tree has not yet been completed (ie, you can't build
2.1.105 out of the box on all the other platforms yet). This is on-going as of this writing. When 2.2 comes out, this merge
should be done and you should be able to compile a Linux kernel on:

alpha, arm, i386, m68k, mips, ppc, sparc, and sparc64.

The alpha code should compile out of the box currently. The 2.0.x stable series only had: alpha, i386, m68k, mips,ppc, and
sparc, and it would only compile out of box on i386. Lots of enhancements to the various platform specific code has been
made. alpha, ppc, and sparc all can do SMP now.

New Drivers

lots and lots of new drivers have been added...far too many to list. If you had a device that you couldn't get Linux to see
before, you might try a new 2.1.x kernel and see if things have changed. Lots of platform specific drivers have been added
(mac hardware, acorn, etc)


There have been a number of new interesting filesystems added in the 2.1.x kernels. Also bugs have been fixed in older
fs'es and things have gotten faster. Sean mentioned CODA in his expo reports. Coda is a very interesting filesystem. It has
a lot of very cool features. You look at coda for more information. Devpts is another new filesystem. It allows a kernel
created /dev/pts filesystem so you don't need to create new pty devices all the time if you need more and also can handle
more than 256 ptys open at a time.

include files

Include files have been cleaned up some and (combined with glibc) are less entangled in userspace.


A few new command line options have been introduced. By default Linux now will cold boot your box on a reboot. You can
change this with a 'reboot=warm or reboot=bios'. 2.1.x kernels should correctly recognize all your computers memory... no
longer any need to specify mem=128m to make your machine see all 128meg of your memory.

SMP improvements

One of the main things in 2.1.x is the improvment of SMP (Semetric Multi Processing) computers - machine swith more than 1
cpu. Under 2.0.x there was only one kernel lock. Basically anytime anything needed to be done in kernel space (write to
disk/read from disk, inturrupt, read something from kernel memory, etc) one cpu went and did that and the other(s) had to
wait until it was finished before they could do any kernel activity of their own (they could still run a userspace task,
but would block when they got to kernel access).

Under 2.1.x, there are many kernel locks and a number of places in the kernel have been re-worked so they don't require any
locking at all! This means that several cpu's can all be doing tasks in kernel space at the same time. This results in a
large increase in performance on SMP machines.

Intel SMP boards also have a IO-APIC inturrupt handler built into the board. Under 2.0.x kernels nothing was done with this
and irq's were always handled by the first cpu (the boot cpu). Under 2.1.x full advantage is taken of the IO-APIC feature.
This means that irq's can be distributed to whichever cpu is not busy. This increases the amount of irq's a system can
handle. You also can have cards use irq's 15-20 (on some MB's only) and give you more irq's than you had before! There is
also a patch out there to make SMP a config option like everything else. Hopefully this will get merged soon.

Memory Management

Memory management has gotten a large going over. Everything is much faster. There is still a lingering problem with
machines less than 8meg. Something odd with swapping on them. All other machines seem fine. They are working on tuning
things even more, so 2.2 should be a screamer.


The network has also had a lot of fixes/rewrites. You can notice the network code being faster under 2.1.x (At least I sure
can). Dave Miller has been working on this, and I think all his changes/rewrites have been merged in.

Other cool stuff!

Some other cool things in 2.1.x that didn't seem to fit anywhere else. Magic SysRq. If you enable Magic SysRq keys in your
config, you will get a set of nice keys that go directly to the kernel. Alt+SysRq+x where x is another key. You can sync
your disks, you can unmount your disks, you can reboot, you can dump registers, you can return your console to a good
state. All sorts of usefull things.

(end long quote here)


I've really wanted to do more original writing for this edition but on a weekly schedule, I just can't produce a feature
length, origial article. Hopefully I'll have something for next week but no promises. If not, I'm sure I can round up lots
more stuff to include. Seriously though, there were so many new things in the world of Linux I really had to choose
carefully; this edition could have easily been five times longer. :)

Enjoy and send me feedback with any questions or comments.

                                                    Taking Another Look!

                                         Software group asks Justice to widen probe

A software trade group asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Microsoft Corp. is trying to leverage its
dominance of desktop computers into computer network software. "It is using many of the same techniques that enabled it to
acquire other monopolies," said Ken Wasch, president of the Software Publishers Association. The Justice Department this
spring filed a broad antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft but is continuing its investigation of the company's competitive
practices. The Software Publishers Association's 40-page report said Microsoft is trying to replace universal standards
with its own proprietary standards on networks that run servers, the computers that provide information to desktop
computers, ATM machines and others.

                                        High court sides with AOL in defamation case

The Supreme Court handed America Online Inc. a victory Monday, letting stand a ruling that computer service providers may
not be held liable for defamatory material posted on their systems. The justices left intact the first federal appeals
court ruling which determined that a section of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 gives online firms immunity from
liability for information that originates with third parties. The high court without comment or dissent denied an appeal by
Kenneth Zeran, who sued AOL for defamation and argued that the case presented the justices with the chance to decide "novel
issues of public significance."

                                    Amdahl to launch faster mainframe than IBM - report

Amdahl Corp. will announce a new generation of mainframes that run faster than IBM?s newest models due out in August, the
Wall Street Journal reported. The paper said Amdhal, a California-based unit of Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., will formally
announce the new mainframes, known as the Millennium 800 series, Tuesday. Last month, IBM said its System 390 G5 models
will start shipping in August with a single processor operating at 125 MIPS, or millions of instructions per second.
Customers could potentially string together up to 10 processors for a system operated at about 900 MIPS, the paper said.

                                          CompUSA to buy Computer City from Tandy

CompUSA said it agreed to buy rival Tandy Corp.'s Computer City unit for about $275 million in cash and debt. Specific
details about the acquisition were not immediately available. Officials from CompUSA were not immediately available to
comment further. CompUSA operates 160 stores throughout the U.S. CompUSA, in the press statement, said it expects to gain
"synergies and efficiencies" from the acquisition, although did not provide details.

                                   Peru president refuses to free accused U.S. terrorist

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori rejected a proposal Tuesday by his prime minister to free U.S. citizen Lori Berenson,
jailed for life on terrorism charges in a top security prison in the Andes. Prime Minister Javier Valle Riestra recommended
this week that Fujimori pardon and expel Berenson, 28, raising expectations the New Yorker would leave Peru after more than
two years in a frigid cell in the high-altitude Yanamayo jail. But Fujimori said he had no doubt Berenson was a "terrorist"
affiliated to the Marxist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and freeing her would send a "negative signal" to Peruvians
and the international community alike.

                                     Peru president stops PM quitting over U.S. convict

Peru's Prime Minister Javier Valle Riestra said Wednesday President Alberto Fujimori had refused to accept his resignation
despite a public clash over his proposal to free a U.S. woman jailed as a terrorist. Valle Riestra, an outspoken lawyer who
joined the government in June with a brief to address Peru's human rights record, said he offered his resignation because
Fujimori would not pardon Lori Berenson, 28, serving life in a frigid Andean prison. The prime minister sparked controversy
in Peru when he contradicted Fujimori's stance on Berenson, arguing her expulsion from Peru would defuse criticism from the
U.S. and human rights groups over her secret military trial. AND WE CALL THESE PEOPLE ALLIES??

                                        Hatch Grandstanding Again, Now with Tobacco?

Trying to revive anti-smoking legislation a week after its demise, Sen. Orrin Hatch unveiled another big tobacco bill
Tuesday closely modeled on the deal cigarette makers negotiated with states suing them last year. The Utah Republican said
10 other senators - three Democrats and seven Republicans - have joined him as co-sponsors. But several other senators who
have played high profile roles in the year-long tobacco debate expressed skepticism that the Hatch bill would gain
momentum, coming a week after the Senate killed off a tougher anti-smoking bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

                                    Update: Appeals Court gives Microsoft broad victory

A federal appeals court gave Microsoft Corp. a major victory Tuesday over the Justice Department, giving it broad scope to
design and integrate software such as its Internet Explorer Web browser with its Windows 95 operating system. The decision
interprets a 1995 contract between the government and Microsoft, leaving open the question of what may happen under a new
case filed against Microsoft last month by the Justice Department and 20 states. In its decision on the 1995 agreement, the
court panel tossed out a lower court judge's preliminary injunction and dumped a "special master" he had appointed to delve
into facts and the law.

                                        House votes to keep taxman out of cyberspace

The House, vowing to keep the taxman out of cyberspace at least for now, voted Tuesday to bar new state and local taxation
of the Internet for three years. "Read my e-mail. No new Net taxes!" said Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., who sponsored the
bill that sailed through the House without opposition. Under the moratorium, no state or local government could tax the
monthly fee millions of Americans pay to companies like America Online, CompuServe, or Erol's for Internet access. Eight
states that presently tax Internet access could continue, but only if their legislatures vote within a year to give them
the green light.

                                          Satellite pictures now just a click away

Until recently the exclusive realm of top brass and spies, sharp satellite pictures went on sale Tuesday to anyone with a
credit card and Internet access. The images, available for as little as $7.95, appear on a new Microsoft web site, known as
the TerraServer ( The site bills itself as the world's largest Web database, most detailed
global atlas and a prime example of how technology is yielding quick access to an incredible wealth of information. The
debut of the on-line archive marks a new step toward ending the monopoly that the national security establishments of
advanced countries held on the fruit of spying from space for nearly four decades.

                                      1/3rd of 911 calls in Washington D.C. hit snags

One third of all emergency calls to the District of Columbia police department are answered only after lengthy delays, or
not at all, the city's inspector general said Tuesday. "I hope this will serve as a wake-up call," Barrett Prettyman said
in releasing the results of a study triggered by mounting citizen complaints to his office. Of the nearly 250,000 calls
placed to 911 in the nation's capital since January, almost 50,000, or 20%, were not answered for at least 16 seconds, the
report said. Worse yet, 13% of all calls were not answered at all because callers gave up and hung up the phone, added the
report, which pointed to abuse of sick leave by telephone operators as a major culprit.

                                    Acer to unveil its first PC-like electronic devices

Taiwanese computer maker Acer Group will unveil the first products in its ambitious plan to create new electronics devices
with all the power of personal computers at a fraction of the cost. At a speech in Washington on Tuesday, Acer Chairman and
Chief Executive Stan Shih will detail plans for what his company calls its XC, or X Computer, to distinguish it from
traditional PCs, or personal computers. Among the products Acer plans to offer starting later this year are a kid's
computer priced at $199 and a two pound sub-notebook computer for students and journalists priced at between $600 and $700,
Shih said. The XCs would be more like appliances with only one use, much like a toaster, a VCR, or a microwave oven.

                                            Cisco Systems to remain independent

Cisco Systems Inc. said it will remain an independent maker of telecommunications networking equipment after acknowledging
it tried and failed to create partnerships with Lucent Technologies and Northern Telecom Ltd., the New York Times reported.
In an interview with the paper, Cisco's chief executive John Chambers said: "We are not going to do a blockbuster merger
with somebody else. Zero chance. It would be a disaster for the shareholders." Chambers dispelling any thoughts that Cisco
would take part in the rapid consolidation of the networking industry that could leave just a few independent equipment
makers. However Chambers told the Times that he would consider smaller acquisitions.


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        STReport International Online Magazine


        Classics & Gaming Section
        Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

        Well, it's officially summer! What happened to spring?!?!
        Regardless, I'm glad it's here! Sorry to disappoint Joe
        Mirando (as you'll see in his column this week), but I'm on
        vacation again, for two weeks. The pool is officially open
        and it's been inaugurated a number of times this past week.
        What a pleasure it is to come home from work and jump in a
        refreshing pool and cool off! Grab a drink and sit and
        relax; I could get used to this! <grin>

        I've already got the holiday barbecues and "pool parties"
        planned so it should be an interesting couple of weeks.
        Living in the city all these years didn't really allow for
        friends to come over and relax outside for a few beers and
        steaks. With the house, it's an entirely different
        atmosphere! Round off the vacation with some golf and some
        work on the house (probably _in_ that order!); and it will
        be a terrific vacation.

        At the moment, I'm not sure if I'll have columns for the
        next two issues, but I will attempt to do so. With the
        summer upon us, news is on the dry side (as depicted with
        this issue), but we'll see what happens.

        Until next time...

                        PowerST 0.1 & NoSTalgia 0.52

        PowerST 0.1 and NoSTalgia 0.52 are OUT !
        PowerST 0.1:

        PowerST is a new ST emulator:

        - Up to 3 times faster (using the Asgard 68000 asm engine),
        it runs the

        Gem Desktop at full speed on any PowerMacintosh.

        - Up to 14Mb of ST Ram

        - Support of TOS 1.0, 1.2, 1.4

        - Midi In/Out.

        - Hard disk.

        - Shifter, Mfp, Keyboard, Joystsick, FDC, PSG,.... from
        NoSTalgia 0.5

        PowerST 0.1 is shareware.

        NoSTalgia 0.52:

        - NoSTalgia 0.52 runs MagiC, the multitasking OS for the

        - Better speed control.

        - Better mouse handling .

        - Extended Bus Error and Address error detection.

        - Real Time clock.

        - Bugs corrections.

        NoSTalgia is freeware and the hard disk driver is

        Infos and Downloads at <>

        Enjoy !


        Philippe Girin


                              Gaming Section

           * MediaX!
           * Summer's Here!

        Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming

             MediaX Announces Collaborative Technology Exchange

        CULVER CITY, CALIF. (June 25) BUSINESS WIRE - June 25, 1998
        - MediaX Corp. Thursday announced its collaborative
        exchange of proprietary technologies with Argonaut
        (London), one of the world's leading 3-D technology
        development houses. Argonaut is responsible for one of the
        first 3-D acceleration chips ever shipped in mass-market
        quantities, and continues to lead the pack by developing
        high-performance RISC cores and cutting-edge real-time 3-D
        rendering technology. Argonaut developed the 3-D hit "Star
        Fox" for Nintendo, and is currently developing major
        marquee titles for different leading publishers.

        The exchange between the two companies involved proprietary
        real-time 3-D authoring technology developed by MediaX for
        advanced real-time lighting effects and proprietary new
        segments of Argonaut's rendering system. The MediaX code
        was developed in-house by MediaX engineers working on the
        upcoming major new title "Big Brother."

        "Big Brother" is based on an exclusive license of George
        Orwell's sci-fi epic "1984" and has been introduced to a
        very enthusiastic response during the recent E3
        entertainment show in Atlanta. MediaX engineers traveled to
        England to work collaboratively with Argonaut engineers and

        to make the final exchange. MediaX and Argonaut have been
        working together for several years. Their relationship
        began during a development collaboration of MediaX with
        Silicon Graphics -- the world leader in advanced 3-D
        technology  involving the development and application of
        advanced interactive 3-D authoring technologies.

        "We are extremely pleased to be working with Argonaut, whom
        we consider to be one of the top computer graphics houses
        in the world. Argonaut's rendering technology continues to
        lead the gaming industry, and their long experience
        shipping groundbreaking game titles guarantees us a

        solid platform for future innovation. We are extremely
        pleased that Argonaut has chosen our proprietary technology
        for inclusion into their rendering system," said Matthew
        MacLaurin, MediaX executive vice president responsible for
        all development.

        MediaX is currently also extending its expertise into the
        technology area in reference to potentially licensing its
        Real Time 3-D tools. The first licensing agreements will be
        offered to third-party developers after the release of its
        exclusive title "Big Brother" based on George Orwell's
        "1984," in order to exclusively receive the full benefits
        of the technological advantage created by this technology.

        The company has also commenced with strong entries into the
        Internet and the rapidly growing electronic commerce market
        and has now begun executing on plans that have been in
        development for a period of time. MediaX expects these
        areas to make considerable contributions to its revenue
        stream in the near future.

        ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

        Compiled by Joe Mirando

        Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, another week has come
        and gone, and I'm now a week closer to vacation. Go ahead
        and be mad at me... I know what it feels like to hear
        someone talk about their vacation. Ain't that right, Dana?

        Well, at any rate, I'd just like to mention that Dan
        Ackerman has released a beta version of his CAB overlay
        file. For those of you who don't know, the overlay file is
        what you need to get CAB to browse the internet. Without
        it, all you can do is look at files on your hard drive.
        I'll try to remember to leave Dan's website address in his
        post a little farther down.

        On another note I'd like to mention, as Dana did a few
        issues back, that I am now doing the HTML-to-ASCII
        conversion of each issue of the magazine for email and
        online service distribution. I'm not looking for sympathy
        here, but I just thought you might like to know what's
        involved in the conversion.

        First, I tool on up to the STReport website, download the
        HTML version in ZIP format, and unZIP it. Then I wash it
        through one of two programs. Usually, either HTML2TXT or
        CONVERT will turn the HTML pages into good, god-fearing
        ASCII. On occasions when there is a coding problem and one
        of the programs chokes on it, I've been lucky in that the
        other one has been able to take up the chore. Then,
        depending on which program actually worked, I use a program
        called TEXTO to change those annoying WINDoze standard
        ASCII characters into the STANDARD standard characters
        (Many,many thanks to Alejandro Aguilar for pointing me in
        the right direction on this one). Then I go through and
        remove any formatting garbage that any of the previous
        programs might have left behind and make sure that there
        aren't any blocks of blank spaces left. Then I run a few
        macros that I've written to replace the 'ampersand' codes
        favored by whatever Microsoft cyber-minion was used to
        compose the whole web version in the first place (Gee, with
        51 Billion in estimated personal assets, you'd think the
        guy would have the decency to leave out the little booby
        traps that can make life tougher for those of us who refuse
        to join the parade and take up the Microsoft banner).

        Then I load the whole thing up into WordWriter and center
        all of the things that are supposed to be centered and make
        sure that everything fits into the required 73 columns per
        line. After that, it's all easy. ZIPping the end result and
        uploading it to Dana, who sees to it that everyone who
        wants a copy of the ASCII version gets one. It's both
        easier and harder than it sounds, but I'm not complaining.
        At least this way I get a second chance to review my column
        before some of you see it.

        Before we get to the UseNet stuff, I'd like to share this
        with you: Driving home from work a while ago, I saw a great
        bumpersticker. It said "Smith & Wesson: The ORIGINAL 'Point
        and Click" Interface".

        Well, let's get on with the reason for this column in the
        first place... all the great news, hints, tips, and info
        available about our computers.

        From the NewsGroup

        Johan Klockars tells us:

        "fVDI, the Fenix/Free/Fast VDI, has now reached a stage
        where it's actually very usable, IMHO. I think I've fixed
        most major problems (I finally found the CAB/AtariWorks
        bug) and the speed is quite good in both monochrome and 16
        colour modes. I can only run fVDI on my Falcon+AB040
        myself, but from what I've heard it runs fine (and
        reasonably close to, or even above, NVDI's speed in
        monochrome) on both STs and ordinary Falcons as well. (On
        my machine fVDI v0.85 is significantly faster than NVDI in
        monochrome.) Lots of things are still not implemented, for
        example - text effects or horizontal
        alignment/justification - arcs, circles, ellipses, pies,
        markers but what's there seems to be enough for most
        programs. In 16 colour mode, only black and white text,
        mono-expand blits and pattern fills are currently possible
        and text is only partially accelerated (should still be
        faster than the standard VDI). Unlike in the last
        pre-release (or the version I showed at NAS last weekend)
        the normal blits should now be fully operational, though.
        I'm of course interested in bug reports and performance
        numbers from various hardware. Especially, though, I'd like
        to hear from people who'd like to help develop this program
        further. As can be seen from the included 15/16 bit device
        driver sources, porting fVDI to new hardware is really
        easy. You'll find fVDI, and lots of information about it,
        on my WWW pages at the address: WWW/ftp: "

        Louis Holleman tells Johan that he is...

        "gonna fetch this from your site sometimes, just curious
        what's it gonna do on my TT (and card, when the monitor
        comes back from fixin'). BTW, has this "Fenix VDI" anything
        to do with the new french clone Phenix?"

        Johan replies:

        "If you don't have NVDI, fVDI will speed up your graphics
        (in monochrome and 16 colours), but you'll currently lose
        some functionality (no circles or text effects for
        example). Most of the programs I use work very well indeed
        with fVDI v0.85. Naturally, the monochrome device driver
        would work on a graphics card as well in a mono mode. The
        current 15/16 bit drivers are _slow_, however, so I
        wouldn't recommend that you use those.

        It's possible that a TT with FastRAM is fast enough that
        you can turn on the shadow screen in fVDI and get a
        speedup. I really do think you need an '040 for that,
        though. If you do have NVDI, there's probably not much
        point in using fVDI right now (apart from helping the
        project along by reporting bugs), since the speed is most
        often not better and you'll lose vector fonts and printer
        drivers (among other things). fVDI should work (I have
        never tested it, but there's not reason it shouldn't work)
        with proportional system fonts, though, which supposedly
        NVDI4 does not.

        fVDI is more of a project for the future: - It's free (as
        in GPL) This means that anyone can help out or write their
        own drivers. It also means that things like FreeType (a
        free high quality TrueType (and soon PS Type 1 and 2, it
        seems) font rendering engine) can be used. - It's easily
        portable PCI cards can already be used on some of the
        clones and there have been rumours about boards for the
        Falcon as well. Device drivers could also be written in
        native code on emulators, giving nice fast high resolution
        true colour modes in for example PaCifiST, TOSBox or StonX.
        - It will be usable as a Fenix shared library Personally, I
        use fVDI more and more, since the shadow buffer is really
        good for scrolling windows with my AB040 and the small
        system font (which I always use when editing text) is drawn
        a lot quicker (up to five times faster) than with NVDI. No,
        [Fenix VDI has nothing to do with the new french clone
        Phenix] but it has something to do with the OS replacement
        project Fenix (there's a link on the fVDI top page). The
        two are not related."

        Louis grabs the file and tells Johan:

        "OK, I only did some quick runs with it. First from MagiC,
        I had some weird stuff on my screen and finally MagiC
        crashed completely with the infamous "memoryblock
        destroyed" message. So I ran from ST-high without an
        autofolder, this looked OK. Then tested it shortly in
        TT-medium, also with no autofolder and 2 or 3 ACC's
        running. Looked OK and quicker than the regular VDI to me.
        I ran MGIF from it in the two resolutions, no problems. Ran
        Gemview which sometimes had a minor screen redraw problem
        when scrolling a picture. Graftool had no problems at all.
        Now I still got to set up the SYS file according to my
        liking and do some more extensive tests (incl. running the
        Gembench) but for working on my card in truecolor or 256
        colors it's no good at the moment, since I need NVDI to
        drive my card (the Matrixdrivers never were good enough,
        not one single version of them). Anyway, will keep you
        posted by Email. BTW: is 0.85 the last one? I took the 85c,
        85d and 85e files with the main archive, but are these
        predecessors or later updates? Also (OK, haven't read the
        docs completely yet) do you set up the SYS about the same
        way as Assign.sys? i.e. different lines for the various
        resolutions? I just ran the SYS from the package and I just
        happened to have this bloody Monaco font in my Gemsys..."

        Johan replies:

        "Perhaps we should move this to email, but there are a few
        things here I think might be of use to others. As it says
        in the documentation, I have heard about problems with
        MagiC. I don't have MagiC myself, so any information on
        that is welcome. One possible cause is the way fVDI
        currently is started after the MagiC esktop (and perhaps
        various ACCs and applications) have already opened their
        virtual workstations. This can lead to lots of problems,
        but under normal TOS they usually aren't fatal. It should
        be quite a bit faster than the normal VDI in monochrome.

        Are you sure fVDI was actually running during all your

        Some easy ways to see that would be:

        The menu titles are drawn in the small system font right
        after fVDI is started (this goes away later).

           * No text effects (italics, underline etc)
           * No line patterns
           * No coloured text

        It's actually quite possible that one of the 15/16 bit
        drivers will work with your card. NVDI will most likely
        have to be running before you start fVDI then, though, and
        it will definitely be _very_ slow. The ones with letters in
        the name are pre-releases and have now been move to a
        subdirectory. The main archive is available from the WWW
        pages. FVDI.SYS is very similar to ASSIGN.SYS and will
        probably be more so in the future. Right now the main
        difference is that there can only be a single driver (the
        number is irrelevant) and that the device driver file
        specified _must_ be the correct one for the graphics mode
        you start fVDI rom (well, at least if you want to be able
        to see what's happening ;-). The active fonts in that
        supplied FVDI.SYS are probably all from my ConNect

        On the subject of internet connections, William Platt

        "I recently had to set up several internet accounts at
        work. We are using the same provider at work that I am
        using at home. The software for Windows 95 doesn't require
        that I put in the DNS #'s. Do I need to put these into the
        configuration in STing. The provider automatically gives
        the I.P address and the DNS.

        BTW; I remember someone saying that PC's and win 95 were
        easy to set up because of plug and play. I installed new
        modems at work and found that Plug-n-Play means Plug and
        Play with com port settings, irq settings, jumpers, and
        play a game of cards while you reinstall win95. <smile>"

        Steve Hammond tells William: "Win 95 does require DNS's -
        you need to tell the Dial Up Networking the DNS (primary
        and secondary) for the IPS that you are using. If the IPS
        dyamically allocates a DNS for your connection - this is
        automatic in both STinG and DUN (95). The difference is
        that with STinG you have to put the following string as
        part of the DIAL SCR. "GET_IP". DUN does automatically.
        OTOH I have TI Extensia Laptop that DUN refuses to work
        with - Microsoft, TI and Acer have yet to figure out what
        in the hell is going on. This has included a complete
        reload of Windows. As I have my TT I really don't worry
        about it anymore."

        Charles Silver adds:

        "Every STinG setup I've done requires a DNS number in the
        setup files. However, you may not need a dial script if the
        ISP truly uses a PAP protocol. Lately, I've found more and
        more ISP's just need the PAP info in your dial script. If
        your experienced in STinG setups, PAP is a piece of cake.
        You just need to try it and see."

        ** I'd just like to add that Charles has gone out of his
        way to help folks set up STinG. He's done a heck of a job,
        and he should be commended for it... Charles, if you're
        reading this... HERE'S TO YOU!

        Our old pal Terry May tells William:

        "Just enter in STinG for both the IP and DNS
        addresses. That's what I do here, as both are dynamic, like
        yours. That will ensure that STinG negotiates for both
        addresses. This also works in PPP-Connect."

        Charles asks Terry:

        "Are you sure about that DNS defaults? Those I've setup
        with PAP (no dial script) won't work with NAMESERVER = in the dial.scr and default files. Most ISP's will
        give you their DNS numbers. What I mean by don't work is
        that CAB won't resolve anything because STinG see's DNS as I have two ISP's, but both require dial scripts,
        so DNS numbers are needed. I haven't checked this out in a
        while, so if some ISP's using PAP will negotiate DNS
        numbers also with STinG is a plus. I just haven't run into
        any yet."

        Terry replies:

        "Absolutely. Both my CLIENT_IP and NAMESERVER addresses are
        set to, both in DEFAULT.CFG and DIAL.SCR (where
        applicable). I can only guess that it's not working because
        those ISPs are not using dynamic addresses. Mine does. So
        STinG (and PPP-Connect) negotiates my ISP's address each
        time I call. The only drawback (if it is a drawback) is if
        I edit my config with the Dialer, it saves my last
        negotiated address, instead of leaving it at It
        still works after that, but I'm not sure it's negotiating a
        new address each time after that, like it's supposed to.
        Obviously, I'm not using dial scripts, either. Yeah, it's
        certainly a plus. That's actually probably built into the
        PAP standard. I was a bit concerned when my ISP told me
        they use dynamic addresses, but as it turned out, both
        STinG and PPP-Connect handled that, so we're in good shape

        Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again
        next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen
        to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

        With Viagra such a hit, Pfizer is bringing forth a whole
        line of drugs oriented towards improving the performance of
        men in today's society....

        DIRECTRA - a dose of this drug given to men before leaving
        on car trips caused 72 percent of them to stop and ask
        directions when they got lost, compared to a control group
        of 0.2 percent.

        PROJECTRA - Men given this experimental new drug were far
        more likely to actually finish a household repair project
        before starting a new one.

        CHILDAGRA - Men taking this drug reported a sudden,
        over-whelming urge to perform more child-care tasks -
        especially cleaning up spills and "little accidents."

        COMPLIMENTRA - In clinical trials, 82 percent of
        middle-aged men administered this drug noticed that their
        wives had a new hairstyle. Currently being tested to see if
        its effects extend to noticing new clothing.

        BUYAGRA - Married and otherwise attached men reported a
        sudden urge to buy their sweeties expensive jewelry and
        gifts after talking this drug for only two days. Still to
        be seen: whether the drug can be continued for a period
        longer than your favorites store's return limit.

        NEGA-VIAGRA - Has the exact opposite effect of Viagra.
        Currently undergoing clinical trials on sitting U.S.

        NEGA-SPORTAGRA - This drug had the strange effect of making
        men want to turn off televised sports and actually converse
        with other family members.

        FLATULAGRA - This complex drug converts men's noxious
        intestinal gases back into food solids. Special bonus:
        Dosage can be doubled for long car rides.

        FLYAGRA - This drug has been showing great promise in
        treating men with O.F.D. (Open Fly Disorder). Especially
        useful for men on Viagra.

        PRYAGRA - About to fail its clinical trial, this drug gave
        men in the test group an irresistible urge to dig into the
        personal affairs of other people. Note: Apparent over-dose
        turned three test subjects into "special prosecutors."

        LIAGRA - This drug causes men to be less than truthful when
        being asked about their sexual affairs. Will be available
        Regular, Grand Jury and Presidential Strength versions.

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