ST Report: 24-Apr-98 #1416

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/25/98-11:39:24 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 24-Apr-98 #1416
Date: Sat Apr 25 11:39:24 1998

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 April 24, 1998                                                    No.1416

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CPU Industry Report          E3Expo Approaching!          FREE Email Parade
Search Engine Wars           AOL RIOT for June First?     PCs for TYKES
STReport MailCall            NEW ID Theft Law             Borking Microsoft
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                                     IOMEGA IN TROUBLE!
                                   NETSCAPE UP FOR GRABS?
                             BOB DOLE & BOB BORK = DORK TWINS!

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
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>From the Editor's Desk...

Hmmm, Spring Fever is hitting here pretty hard. But the show must
go on. We might go to an every other week release or even once a
month for the summer. Well let you know.

It's one thing when liberal gadfly Ralph Nader jumps on Microsoft.
It's another when two conservative icons complain about
Microsoft's "predatory tactics." Yet that's just what happened
Tuesday with the announcement of the Dork Twins (Bob Dole/Robert
Bork) and the formation of the anti-Microsoft "Project to Promote
Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age"

Amazingly, we see the burnt out and worn out politicians jump on
the "Lets Screw Over MS" Bandwagon The two most notorious being
two losers. Robert Dole and Ex-Judge Robert Bork. Henceforth
known as the DORK Twins.. Whats going on in this country? Can it
be that unless someone is "downing" someone the populace is

Or, is it the fact that Barksdale and his cronies are taking their
corporate resources (read CASH) and blowing it on a bunch of
has-been politicians hoping theyll eventually get thrown that
bone by the DOJ? Heres a bit of news for the Dork Twins and the
Cry Babies Public Sentiment is slowly going the very same way it
did for Clinton. It is definitely moving in the direction of
support for the "target" and not the criers.

Im so sick of hearing and seeing Dole and Ghosts of Dole doing
just about anything to keep his antique name in the lights. Now,
with the "Borkomeister" jumping up making foolish noises. It is
downright sickening. Anybody remember why Bork is already very
well known?? Remember the Senate Confirmation Hearings?

Better yet anybody care to guess WHO is paying Dole & Bork (The
Dork Twins) the BIG Bucks to attack Microsoft? Netscape!! Atta Boy
Jim Barksdale(The MAIN CRY BABY) burn that Netscape money by
hiring political hack has-beens. Soon, REAL Soon, youll be right
in step with them as another has-been.

Also, did you know that Borkie Baby is also promoting a new book
he has written? Talk about opportunistic, shameless, mercenaries
scuse me, I gotta barf in my Bork Bag!. There are simply too many
two-bit shills popping up these days. Bob Dole ought to go home
and enjoy life. Bork? What I can I say, He is not content unless
somebody is getting BORKED!



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                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                   AOL Riot, June 1, 1998

WARNING: You must forward this letter to 10 people or your
account will be terminated on June 1, 1998. All recipients
of this e-mail are being tracked. When you received this,
when you forwarded it, who you forwarded it to, is all on
record. We are AOL's most elite hacker group, known as LcW.
We have hacked AOL's (easily infiltrated) systems on
numerous occasions. We have shut down AOL keywords, we can
kick any AOL Staff member off for 24 hours, we have gained
access to Steve Case's account, we have created AOL's most
famous hacking programs (Fate X, HaVoK, HeLL RaIsEr,
MaGeNtA) and we can certainly get your credit card info.
However, if you send this to 10 people, like you are told,
you will escape unharmed. We won't terminate your account
and you will be able to continue using AOL. So if you know
what's best for you, you will send this to 10 people as
soon as possible. If you think we are bluffing....just wait
till June 1, and see if you can sign or not.


Because of the outrage of AOL's increasing prices, LcW has
decided to create a riot ... that will cause havoc on AOL.
We will be sending viruses out to thousands of AOL users.
We will be terminating accounts. We will be hacking into
Guide chat rooms and kicking guides offline. There will be
no AOL Staff -- just complete pandemonium. If you want to
join this riot, we urge you to! You won't have to worry
about being TOSSed or Reported because there will be no
Guides online! So do whatever you want -- punt, scroll,
tos, just turn AOL into a war zone!


We represent LcW The following Hackers will be coordinating
the Riot and hacking AOL's mainframe computer, and
uploading viruses into the system.

WaReZxHaCk MaGuS ReDxKiNG HaVoK SkiD SeMeN NoStRa PhoneTap
InetXWeb Psy Acid PoiSon iV PaUsE CooLant InFeRnO XStatic
Chronic Burn Zone Degreez WaTcHeR

AOL RIOT ON JUNE 1, 1998 -- You have been warned LcW is
taking over America Online. This is no (expletive) joke
either. You have been warned.

Scared of the 'AOL Riot'? Don't Be

AOL members are under siege, but it doesn't appear likely
to amount to much. Over the past few weeks, e-mails --
claiming that on June 1 an "AOL riot" will break out --
have peppered users of America Online Inc. (AOL), the
biggest online service. The e-mail message, purportedly
from "AOL's most elite hacker group," said that credit card
numbers will be stolen and viruses unleashed on users'
computers. Pretty scary stuff. But "it is indeed a hoax,"
said Tatiana Gau,AOL's vice president of integrity
assurance. "It first popped up a few weeks ago, and we're
keeping an eye on the situation" and trying to spread the
word throughout AOL's security areas that there is nothing
to fear, she said.

Picking up on a hoax Gau said the most obvious clue that
the message is a joke is the fact that it's essentially a
chain letter. It reads in part, "Warning! You must forward
this letter to 10 people or your account will be terminated
on June 1, 1998," adding that "All recipients are being
tracked." Gau said there's no way for the e-mail to be
tracked, and no one can terminate AOL accounts except the
company. The e-mail also claims its senders can kick AOL
staff members off the system, will upload a virus onto AOL
and, most disturbingly, that they can access users' credit
card numbers -- but these, too, are idle threats, she said.

The note, which has circulated for several weeks, is also a
subject of discussion on Usenet. One hacker, discussing the
message on the newsgroup, said the list of
hackers at the end was a sure sign it was a hoax. "This
part I seriously get a kick out of," the man wrote. "No one
attempting to start an endeavor like this, or threatening
to do so, would be so stupid as to invite termination of
their own accounts."

E-mail concerns some users Still, it was pretty unsettling
to the America Online subscriber describing herself as "a
soccer grandma of computers." Even though the woman (who
asked that her name not be used) said she knows certain
e-mail attachments can contain viruses, the note made her
"worry that there might be another way for them (the
hackers) to attack my computer's innards." AOL officials
think that the hacker group, "LcW," probably exists only as
a vehicle for sending prank e-mails.

          Microsoft, Justice To Face Off In Court

Microsoft and the Justice Department confront each other
Tuesday in federal appeals court, but both sides are
already looking to the possibility of new, broader charges
that may be on the horizon. Microsoft asked the three-judge
panel to overturn a court order issued late last year by
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. The panel will
give each side 20 minutes to argue its side. The judge
ordered that Microsoft permit computer makers to buy its
Windows 95 operating system without also requiring them to
accept its Web browser. Internet browsers are the software
that permit people to find material on the World Wide Web.

"What is at stake is the right of computer companies to
decide what browsers are installed on the computers they
sell," said Jeff Blattner, the Justice Department's
antitrust division special counsel for information
technology. "Protecting that right enhances consumer
choice, promotes competition and encourages innovation," he
said. "That's the fundamental goal of sound antitrust

Bradford Smith, Microsoft's general counsel for law and
corporate affairs, was equally sweeping in laying out what
principles the Redmond, Wash., firm believes are at stake.
"The main event is the ability of companies to innovate and
improve products and that's what we really feel is
fundamental, " Smith said. Microsoft's view is that the Web
browser is an integrated part of the operating system. "We
are not an industry that has succeeded because of the
contracts that lawyers have written," Smith said. "We are
an industry that has succeeded because of the creative
nature of our product."

For the Justice Department, contracts are a big part of the
issue. The Department filed documentary evidence showing
that Microsoft threatened to cut off Compaq Computer's
access to Windows 95 because it planned to feature Netscape
Navigator exclusively on its computer "desktop."

Microsoft and Netscape have been bitter rivals in the
browser market.

Microsoft told Compaq to display an icon for Microsoft's
Web browser along with that of Netscape. Compaq -- which
could not sell its personal computers without the Windows
95 operating system -- complied. But early this year, under
threat of a contempt citation, Microsoft stipulated to the
judge and Justice Department that computer makers could
feature whatever browser they wanted, without putting
Microsoft's browser on the desktop.

The agreement applied only to Windows 95, which will be
outdated on June 25 when Windows 98 becomes available. So
once again, Microsoft will require computer makers to carry
its Web browser icon on the desktop, unless a judge rules
otherwise. Only a court can change that, Microsoft said.
"If there's a court order we'll of course comply," Smith
said. "But there's no court order today."

That appears to be an invitation for the Justice Department
to go back into court, and, in fact, Justice Department
staff attorneys have recommended a new and broad case
against Microsoft, sources said. But until now, the Justice
Department has merely been trying to prove that Microsoft
violated a 1995 agreement to foster software competition.
Antitrust experts say a new, broad case will be difficult
to prove.

They say the principles enunciated by Justice and Microsoft
are difficult to weigh: Can Microsoft innovate at the
expense of other companies, no matter what changes they
might choose to make? "You can't say that 'any time we
improve you can't touch us. ' I don't believe we can have
that flat a rule," said Harvey Goldschmid, a professor of
law specializing in antitrust at Columbia University. "But
I'm very hesitant to have too open a rule. We don't want to
unduly inhibit product change or improved efficiency."

   Judges Sharply Question Government Lawyer On Microsoft

Three federal appeals judges put a Justice Department
lawyer on the defensive Tuesday, sharply questioning the
government's antitrust case against Microsoft. The U.S.
Court of Appeals judges questioned the timing and rationale
in the government case. Microsoft had appealed a lower
court's preliminary injunction requiring that it sell
computer makers a version of Windows 95 without its
Internet Explorer Web browser.

The company also asked the appellate court to bar the lower
court judge from using a special master" to conduct fact-
finding hearings and report to him. Events have moved
swiftly since the Justice Department first charged last
fall that Microsoft was violating a 1995 consent decree
aimed at increasing competition in the software industry.
And the appellate judges gave every indication they knew
what was going on outside their courtroom.

The case before them -- which could takes weeks or months
to decide - would theoretically help determine the fate of
Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. In reality, its
successor program, Windows 98, is set for release to
computer manufacturers next month. Judge Patricia Wald
asked Justice Department lawyer Douglas Melamed whether
"once Windows 98 hits the market, (the case) will ... be
relevant." She observed the case may wind up in a "time
warp" and wondered if anyone will soon want Windows 95.

Melamed said PC makers may continue offering Windows 95,
but conceded the market would be "very small." In fact, the
Justice Department is watching Microsoft closely as its
senior officials ponder whether to file new broad charges
against the software giant that would not depend at all on
the 1995 consent decree. Microsoft lawyer Richard Urowsky
argued that the lower court judge made a fundamental error
in issuing his injunction under the decree and said the
case should have been dismissed.

The appellate judges were skeptical of the Justice
Department's interpretation of a key section of the 1995
agreement. That section bars Microsoft from tying the sale
of one product to another but permits it to integrate
products. Melamed said Microsoft could integrate products
only if they were not sold separately: For example,
Internet Explorer is sold separately, competing with
Netscape Communications' Navigator browser, and therefore
cannot be integrated with Windows 95. The judges explored
that question with both lawyers.

"This comes down to what an integrated product is," Wald
told Urowsky. "In the end, what is an integrated product?"
"An integrated product is a collection of software offered
to computer manufacturers," Urowsky said. He said that any
program -- such as Microsoft Word -- could be integrated
into the operating system, although it would not make
commercial sense to do so. Melamed said such a reading
would make the provision "entirely senseless," giving
Microsoft complete freedom to mix programs.

Judge Stephen Williams noted that most of the computer code
for Windows 95 and Internet Explorer overlapped, adding:
that would seem like an integrated program." Melamed also
ran into trouble defending the preliminary injunction,
which was granted by the lower court judge although the
Justice Department had not sought it.

Melamed said that the standard for a permanent and
preliminary injunction were the same according to key
antitrust precedent. Judge A. Raymond Randolph shot back:
"That can't be right." Even Wald, who is considered by
legal analysts to be the most sympathetic to the Justice
Department's case, proved unsympathetic to Melamed's
argument that the preliminary injunction was justified
because of the threat the 1995 consent decree would be
violated. "That's the not the way we hand out preliminary
injunctions up here," she said.

       Bork Urges Justice Dept. Act Against Microsoft

Former appellate Judge Robert Bork, one of the most
prominent conservative voices in antitrust law, called on
the Justice Department Monday to file a broad new antitrust
suit against Microsoft. Bork and former Senate Majority
Leader Robert Dole, speaking at a press conference called
by a new coalition of software companies dubbed the
"Project to Promote Competition and Innovation," asked the
Justice Department to take a closer look at Microsoft.

Bork made his appearance on the eve of a face-off between
Microsoft and the Justice Department before a three-judge
panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals on which Bork once sat.
He declined to take a position on that case. The former
judge was rejected by the Senate for a Supreme Court seat
in October of 1987 because his views were deemed too

Bork, who said he had been retained by Netscape
Communications Corp., Microsoft's rival in the Internet Web
browser market, said he would urge the Justice Department
to file a new case against Microsoft. "If the facts warrant
it, as I think they do, yes," he said. Any new case
presumably would affect Windows 98, the updated version of
Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system.

At the news conference, Bork said that although he was
being paid by Netscape, his position actually represented
his personal views. He said his stance was consistent with
the views he expressed in his highly influential 1978 book,
"The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself."

Having written a book I refuse to take a case that
contradicts my book because that would be altogether too
shabby, " he said. "And I won't." Dole, the 1996 Republican
candidate for president, also endorsed a close look at
Microsoft. "Microsoft currently enjoys a monopoly that
controls more than 90 percent of the desktop computers on
the market today," Dole said. Microsoft "can't be allowed
to violate antitrust laws that protect consumers by using
that monopoly to then stifle and to slow down innovation
and leverage itself into monopolies in other markets."

Dole left after his statement, turning the focus of the
press conference to Bork. Two public relations
representatives from Microsoft stood at the back of the
room during the news conference and later said they were
sure Bork's opinion could be changed. "We're very confident
that once Judge Bork understands the facts of these issues
that he'll agree our business practices are completely
legal," Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesman, told reporters
after the press conference. Ken Wasch, president of the
Software Publishers Association and one of the sponsors of
the news conference, asked Murray if Bork had spoken with
Microsoft before deciding to represent Netscape.

"I don't think it's fair to talk about what Judge Bork did
or didn't do," Murray replied. Bork is one of the most
prominent conservative theorists of the Chicago school of
antitrust, which revolutionized the field by arguing that
companies should have a far broader berth to operate
without interference of antitrust laws.

                     Iomega In Trouble

Storage maker Iomega Corp. faced the music on Thursday when
-- despite growing sales of its flagship Zip and Jaz drives
-- the company posted a $18.6 million loss for its first
quarter ending March 29. "Weak international sales,
combined with approximately $20 million in incremental
marketing expenses, were the major contributors to our
loss," said James E. Sierk, president and CEO of the Roy,
Utah firm, in a statement.

Sierk took over the helm three weeks ago, after president
and CEO Kim Edwards stepped down in the wake of Iomega's
(IOM) announcement that the firm expected a loss for this
quarter. The storage maker announced on Thursday a loss of
$18.6 million, or $0.07 per share, for the first quarter of
1998, as compared with a $23 million profit, or a diluted
$0.08 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

International sales hurting Despite growing sales in the
company's flagship Zip disk product, weak markets in Asia
and Europe have hurt the company immensely. While sales in
the Americas grew 32 percent to $299 million in the first
quarter of 1998, compared to $227 million in Q1 1997, sales
in Europe plummeted by 17 percent to $89 million. Asia also
declined, falling 26 percent year on year to $20 million.

The company doesn't expect sales abroad to turn around any
time soon, especially in Asia. "We don't expect too much
growth in Japan and the others [Asian countries]," said
Susan Stillings, spokeswoman for Iomega. Sales strategy
sings the blues Despite 13 percent year-over-year growth in
total revenue and 61 percent growth in the number of Zip
drives shipped, Iomega's revenues have not kept up.

"This is the fourth quarter in a row that Zip units
increased 60 percent year-over-year," said Sierk. Part of
the decrease in sales revenue was due to the shift of Zip
into the OEM channel, up to 50 percent of all sales. The
OEM channel is a much lower margin market, with lower
returns than products sold in the retail channel. If
anything, this is going to accelerate. "We are moving to be
a standard feature desktop storage solution," said Sierk
during a conference call.

But the lion's share of the problems is due to sales that
never materialized. While sales increased about $46 million
year-on-year, the cost of selling the products -- $305
million, up $51 million  canceled the growth. "The
spending on operating expenses was clearly too high," said
Leonard C. Purkis, the company's chief financial officer.
In addition, slow sales have added up to full warehouses.
The firm's inventories have grown to $314 million from $246
million three months before. Worse, the company's cash
reserves have fallen to $80.5 million from $116 million at
the end of 1997.

And all that Jaz ... Can Iomega get its costs under control
and sales back up? The company thinks so. To help out,
Iomega has hired Jim Taylor as executive vice president of
global sales and marketing. Taylor comes from Gateway 2000
Inc., where he led the marketing effort that put the
Holstein on Gateway's boxes. In addition, the company will
cut marketing and sales costs in the second and third
quarters of this year. As part of that push, Iomega will
move to a build-to-order model of manufacturing to shrink
inventories. Iomega's stock was down $0.25 to $7.13. The
announcement was made after trading closed on Thursday.

  Oracle's Ellison Says Apple's Jobs "Torn" About Staying

Oracle Chief Executive and Apple Computer board member
Larry Ellison said that Steve Jobs, Apple interim CEO, is
"torn" about staying on at the computer maker. "Steve
doesn't really want to stay," Ellison told reporters at an
Oracle news conference in Redwood Shores, Calif. "On the
other hand, he loves Apple." Asked if Apple was
interviewing candidates to find a permanent chief
executive, Ellison said he was, "not looking very hard."

Jobs, Apple's founder, has been serving as a temporary
chief since July when the previous CEO, Gilbert Amelio, was
fired. Apple's board has asked Jobs to stay on permanently,
but he has so far declined. In addition to Apple, Jobs is
the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios Inc., a cartoon studio.
"He's torn between his love for Pixar and he has a young
family," Ellison said. "The gratitude (for his performance
at Apple) has been overwhelming." Ellison noted that
Apple's stock price has doubled and the company has
reported two quarters of profits since Jobs took over at
the struggling computer maker.

         FCC to Reorganize Internet Subsidy Program

Amid criticism from some lawmakers, the Federal
Communications Commission plans to reorganize its
multibillion-dollar program subsidizing Internet
connections for schools, libraries and rural health care
providers, FCC Chairman William Kennard said. The FCC last
year established a non-profit corporation, Schools and
Libraries Corp., to administer part of the 1996
Telecommunications Act's mandate for Internet subsidies.

But lawmakers complained the corporation was inefficient,
and a General Accounting Office report concluded the FCC
had no authority to create such an entity. Kennard, in a
speech to university and college Internet groups, rejected
suggestions the FCC should administer the program itself
but said he would propose some reforms. In the next few
weeks, I'm going to make a proposal as to how we might
restructure the administrative structure to make it even
more efficient," Kennard said.

One option under consideration would combine administration
of the schools and libraries program with a separate entity
managing the rural health care program, an FCC official
said. The programs, like much of the older universal
service subsidy that lowers the cost of basic residential
phone service in rural and low-income areas, are paid for
out of access fees charged on long-distance calls.

The schools and libraries corporation is processing more
than 45,000 applications for subsidy support with a staff
of just 13 employees, Kennard noted. I'm very proud of
their accomplishments," he said. The program could not be
run from within the FCC, Kennard said. We've got a system
in place, it's efficient and it's working." Lawmakers from
states dependent on the older subsidy program have also
criticized the Internet subsidy program for possibly
drawing funds away from the older program.

Kennard said the Internet subsidy program would not
undermine support for the older universal service" regime.
We need not create a false choice," he said. This is a
classic example of zero-sum thinking and it leads to a dead
end." If requests for Internet subsidy funding exceed the
amount of available funds, capped at $2.25 billion
annually, Kennard said some requests would not be filled
but money would go first to poor areas.

This funding must go first and foremost to those places
where it is most desperately needed," he said. That is
something I am just not willing to compromise on, not now,
not ever." Schools and Libraries Corp. will not finish
processing the thousands of applications for several weeks,
so a complete estimate of the cost of the program for this
year is not yet available, Kennard said. In December, the
FCC said the schools and libraries program would collect
only $625 million for the first half of 1998, spurring
criticism that it was scaling back the program.

FCC officials said the cut reflected lower demand from
schools and libraries. The agency has not announced
spending for the second half of the year. Kennard said some
long-distance carriers have introduced new charges on their
bills stemming from the subsidy programs. But overall,
subsidy charges assessed on the carriers have declined, he
said. AT&T, MCI Communications and Sprint have chosen
different methods of assessing the fees on their customers.
Because of widespread consumer confusion, the FCC will
gather information about carrier billing practices. That
will allow commissioners to consider whether the industry
needs to undertake consumer education initiatives," Kennard

         Netscape Shares Rise Amid Takeover Rumors

Shares of Netscape surged 29 percent Thursday amid rumors
Sun Microsystems would buy the Internet software company.
But some people familiar with Netscape suggested other
reasons behind the jump in the stock price, including
speculation the company was near a deal for a partnership
on its NetCenter Internet directory. Mountain View,
Calif.-based Netscape has been trying to broaden the
popularity of its NetCenter web site, and is reported to be
exploring deals to sell the business outright or enter a
partnership with a larger Internet directory.

Some say a partnership or sale of the business would enable
the company to focus more energy on its enterprise software
division, which designs intranet" computer networks for
internal communications within companies. A Netscape
spokeswoman declined to comment on the rumors. Officials at
Sun were not immediately available. Netscape shares jumped
5-13/16 to 25-9/16 on Thursday. Michael Murphy, editor of
the California Technology Stock Letter, said that while
Netscape is "definitely on the block," he doubted the Sun
Microsystems rumor was true, because Netscape's valuation
was too high.

"Are they really going to pay six times book value for a
money-losing company? It would ruin Sun's earnings," he
said. "Strategically, it would be a logical sale," Murphy
added. "The problem is that at the current price, I don't
think anybody will buy it." Takeover rumors have been
swirling around Netscape for the last two months as the
company's earnings and market share eroded. In January,
Netscape reported its first quarterly loss since it went
public, and eliminated about 400 jobs.

Netscape, which was one of the first companies to develop
Internet browser software, but has been rapidly losing
market share to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Earlier this
year, Netscape began giving away the browser for free just
as Microsoft does, and in a controversial move, began
distributing the valued blueprint to its browser software.

                  Identity Theft Law News

Arizona Lawmaker to Address Data Mining Conference on
Identity Fraud Legislative Movement. Arizona State
Representative Tom Smith, author of the first legislation
in the country making Identity Theft a felony, will address
the 4th Annual Advanced Software Applications Conference on
May 5, 1998. Representative Smith will outline for fraud
prevention and data mining professionals the genesis of
Arizona's law, and how it is being used as the template for
other state and federal legislation to provide additional
protection against the fastest growing segment of credit
card fraud -- Identity Theft or True Name Fraud.

Identity Theft has received significant national media
attention over the past year, most recently being featured
on CBS' 48 Hours, Thursday April 9. That segment featured
the Arizona couple victimized by Identity Fraud that
spurred Representative Smith's legislation. Advanced
Software Applications (A.S.A) is a leading developer and
marketer of credit fraud prevention software that is being
used by some of the nation's largest credit card issuers as
a formidable weapon in reducing the billions of dollars
lost annually to credit card fraud.

While the fraudulent use of lost, stolen or counterfeit
credit cards is being addressed through a number of
measures; Identity Theft is growing unchecked at an
epidemic rate and in addition to monetary losses for
lenders, leads to ruined credit for tens of thousands of
honest consumers each year. Thieves use easily and often
legally obtainable, information such as Social Security
number, address and birth date to open accounts in the name
of a person with good credit. The consumer whose identity
has been stolen often is unaware of the problem until they
either apply for additional credit, or late notices begin
arriving in the mail.

Once it's been determined that Identity Fraud has been
committed the consumer is generally not responsible for the
monetary losses -- which often total in the tens of
thousands of dollars -- but they face the daunting task of
clearing their credit record and restoring their good name.
A.S.A's ScorXPRESS(R) software has proven highly successful
at helping lenders to stop Identity Fraud at the point when
credit is applied for by running a sophisticated
mathematical model that scores the application on the
likelihood of fraud. The software detects even the most
subtle fraud patterns. In addition, ScorXPRESS' pattern
recognition capabilities alert creditors to the possible
fraudulent use of a credit card that has been lost or
stolen, and it also can predict the probability of personal

The combination of software such as A.S.A's ScorXPRESS, and
legislation such as that authored by Representative Smith,
are providing lenders and law enforcement agencies with the
power to significantly reduce Identity Fraud, as well as
credit card fraud in general. In less than two years,
Arizona's tough stand on Identity Theft has led to hundreds
of prosecutions and convictions with the perpetrators
facing prison and restitution. And by prosecuting the
criminals the law also helps the innocent consumer to more
easily restore their credit rating.

       U.S. Cyber-Pirate Told to End Net Address Scam

A "cyber-pirate" who registered more than 100 Internet
addresses using corporate trademarks was ordered Friday to
stop on the grounds he was violating trademark law. The 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision
which found Dennis Toeppen was effectively attempting to
extort money from companies such as Panavision Lufthansa,
Delta Airlines and others by asking if they wanted to buy
back their own names for use as Internet addresses.
"Toeppen's business is to register trademarks as domain
names and then sell them to the rightful trademark owners.
He acts as a 'spoiler," the court said in its unanimous

       Researchers Work To Eliminate Net Bottlenecks

What's a few hundred nanoseconds between friends? An
eternity, really, when you realize that's all the time
today's Internet routers have to look at a speeding packet,
figure out where it's headed, and send it on its way before
it gets rear-ended by the next one in line. Recognizing
that the biggest bottlenecks lie in routers, George
Varghese and his team at Washington University in Saint
Louis have come up with two distinct solutions to reduce
the time needed to look up a message's address prefix and
fire the message back out into the ether.

Routers need to know more than 40,000 prefixes, but the
length of those prefixes varies from 8 to 32 bits. For
example, there's a database for all the 25-bit prefixes,
one for 26 bits, et cetera. Varghese's schemes could cut
the average prefix lookup time from 1.2 microseconds to 100
nanoseconds (a factor of 10). Varghese's first and simplest
method transforms a router database containing 32 possible
distinct prefix lengths into one containing a much smaller
number, with the help of a kind of binary wild-card scheme.

"If we think of prefixes as eggs and prefix lengths as
baskets, we are essentially increasing the number of eggs
but putting those eggs into fewer baskets," he says. The
second idea, binary search on prefix lengths, relies on an
algorithm built on a binary tree model. Like a game of
Twenty Questions, a yes or no response from the database
halves the remaining prefixes until the correct address is
discovered. "We can handle the current Internet with live
questions," Varghese explains.

But what about the Net five years from now, which will have
to support 128-bit prefixes due to the increase in the
number of addresses (your shoes will eventually need one)
and the rise in traffic (blame videostreaming)? The second
solution scales for such growth nicely. Varghese has
licensed the algorithms to two major router manufacturers,
a third and a fourth deal are in the works, and his
solutions should be built into the plumbing of the Net long
before the arrival of 128-bit addressing causes any bad
traffic accidents.

     Wired Guide: Here's The Score In Search Engine War

Their wallets flush with Wall Street dollars, the Big Four
search stations -- Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek and Lycos-are
madly accumulating services and features in an effort to
outpace each other, or at least keep up. What one does, the
others will surely-and shortly-follow. It simply won't do
to be outdone. While the myriad daily deals and
partnerships are too numerous to enumerate, there are a few
biggies worth noting. Here's a quick look at some of the
big moves by the search services in recent months. Note how
quickly their competitors followed suit:

Excite Gets Personal

Apr 13, 98: The company expands its personalization
features, allowing users to customize everything on the
Excite homepage from news feeds to shopping services.
Personalization features previously resided in a single
channel, My Excite.

Others follow suit:

Apr 13, 98: Lycos debuts Personal Guide, a "fully
customizable communications and lifestyle management
service" that users access from the Lycos homepage.

Apr 16, 98: Infoseek and Yahoo, which have personalized
areas, have not yet expanded their personalization services

Yahoo Buys Into Online Community

Jan 5, 98: The company's US$5 million dollar equity
investment in GeoCities gives its members access to
GeoCities Web-publishing services.

Others follow suit:

Feb3, 98: Lycos buys Tripod for $58 million in stock.

Apr 14, 98: Infoseek buys WebChat Broadcasting System for
$6.7 million in stock.

Apr 16, 98: Excite has yet to buy or partner with an online
community service.

Excite Launches Shopping Channel

Sep 2, 97: The Excite Shopping Channel features 16
"departments" offering various wares from vendors willing
to pay a hefty sum for prominent placement.

Others follow suit:

Sep 27, 97: Yahoo launches Visa Shopping Guide.

Oct 20, 97: Infoseek launches Infoseek Shopping Channel.

Nov 18, 97: Lycos launches Lycos Shopping Network.

Excite Offers Free Email Service

Jul 21, 97: With technology licensed from WhoWhere,
MailExcite lets users send and receive email for free
through their browsers at the MailExcite homepage.

Others follow suit:

Oct 8, 97: Lycos launches LycosMail with technology
licensed from iName.

Oct 8, 98: Yahoo debuts Yahoo Mail after buying directory
service Four 11 for its RocketMail free email service.

Apr 16, 98: Infoseek still does not offer free email.

Yahoo Offers Free Chat Service

Jan 7, 97: Yahoo Chat lets users babble for free with
technology licensed from Ichat.

Others follow suit:

May 12, 97: Excite unveils Excite People & Chat with
technology licensed from Virtual Places.

Oct 8,97: Lycos ponies up Lycos Chat, powered by technology
from Eshare.

Oct 20, 97: Infoseek offers up Infoseek Chat through a
partnership with Talk City.

Lycos Rolls Out Classified Ads

Jan 21, 97: Through a partnership with Classifieds2000,
Lycos Classifieds gives users free access to computer and
automotive ads. The service later expands to cover general

Others follow suit:

Feb 10, 97: Yahoo debuts Yahoo Classifieds, a comprehensive
free ad section built on numerous partnerships.

Mar 3, 97: Infoseek forms its own partnership with
Classifieds2000, and launches Infoseek Classifieds.

June 16, 97: Excite debuts Excite Classifieds.

    Gates Encounters Problems in Windows 98 Presentation

Computer mogul Bill Gates had a couple of his own run-ins
with technology on Monday as he kicked off a convention
where Microsoft Corp sought to impress with its most
user-friendly new offerings. It was awkward enough when the
presenter had trouble getting his microphone to work ahead
of Gates' keynote speech. But then Windows 98, Microsoft's
updated version of its operating system software, crashed
during Gates' presentation.

"While we're all very dependent on technology, it doesn't
always work," Gates joked. Gates was presenting his
"Windows Principles" -- of which Windows 98, to be released
early this summer, is an example -- at the COMDEX/Spring
'98 convention here. Windows 98 is designed to make the
computer simpler to use whatever the purpose, and uses a
browser to find everything from documents on an individual
computer to Web sites on the Internet.

         Gates Hedges On Release Date Of Windows 98

A day after an embarrassing crash of Windows 98 at a public
demonstration, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates declined to
say Tuesday whether the operating system would ship as
scheduled June 25. "The key thing is to get feedback ...
making sure of everything," Gates said at the BaanWorld 98
conference in Denver. But when asked specifically about the
announced June 25 date, Gates would only say, "It looks
like we're very close -- within a few months."

Gates claimed the software giant had not given a specific
release date, when in fact Microsoft issued a news release
on April 15 announcing the successor to the hugely popular
Windows 95 operating system would be available in stores on
June 25. Monday, as Gates kicked off a publicity campaign
for the upgrade with a speech at a huge industry convention
in Chicago, the system crashed during a demonstration by a
Microsoft employee.

Gates tried to make light of the embarrassment, saying,
"While we're all very dependent on technology, it doesn't
always work." At his Denver appearances, Gates
characterized the intensifying government inquiries as a
distraction fueled in part by his company's rivals.

"I wish our competitors would focus on their profits
instead of politics," Gates said.

Asked at a community college appearance about the
involvement of former Republican presidential candidate Bob
Dole, now a paid lobbyist for some of Microsoft's chief
rivals, Gates said: "The source of the criticism is from
our competitors ... they have chosen to pay various people
who used to be Republicans (to speak out)."

Gates said he also would be meeting with cable and
telephone industry executives in Denver, although not with
cable TV giant Tele-Communications Inc. Chairman John
Malone, who was out of town.

            Insight Ships Web-page Capture Tool

Insight Development Corp. late last week shipped Hot Off
The Web, a graphics tool that can layer messages or images
atop Web pages and then send them as e-mails or faxes.
Users annotate Web pages via digital "stickers," typed
messages, freehand drawings, highlighters or a combination
of all of them. Hot Off The Web automatically attaches the
annotated page as a self-extracting Zip file to an e-mail
program, officials said. Users view the file in Hot Off The
Web or in Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

Users can also organize and store portions of Web sites and
Hot Off The Web annotations in a scrapbook. Hot Off The Web
does not change the content of the Web page; additions are
laid over the original using HTML 4.0 layering, officials
said. Hot Off The Web, priced at $49.95, runs on Windows 95
and Windows NT 4.0. It works as a stand-alone product or
with Internet Explorer 4.0, with which it ships. Insight,
of San Ramon, Calif., is also developing versions of the
software that support the Macintosh operating system and
Netscape Communications Corp.'s browser. Officials did not
divulge scheduled release dates. The company can be reached

        Win Terminals To Take Center Stage at Comdex

Hydra will be rearing its many heads--and terminals--this
week. Hydra, the code name for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows
Terminal Server, may not ship for another month, but
several Windows-based terminals that rely on WTS will
dominate the scene at Comdex this week in Chicago. Several
companies, including Boundless Technologies Inc., Network
Computing Devices Inc. and Tektronix Inc., will show
Windows-based terminals, many of which use Windows CE and
work with WTS or Citrix Systems Inc.'s MetaFrame.

Boundless, of Hauppauge, N.Y., will show its ViewPoint TC
200 and 300 models. And NCD, of Mountain View, Calif., will
preview its new Windows CE-based Thinstar terminal, which
will be offered in groups of five for $4,695. In addition,
Cruise Technologies Inc. will demonstrate a wireless
Windows CE device that connects to WTS via a wireless LAN.
The next generation of the Arlington Heights, Ill.,
company's CruisePad wireless thin client for vertical
markets, code-named Wilke, is about 8.5 inches wide by 11
inches high and 1 inch thick. It will feature a 12.1-inch
color Super VGA display and a built-in wireless modem,
which will connect it to WTS using Microsoft's Remote
Desktop Protocol or to MetaFrame via Citrix's Independent
Computing Architecture protocol.

Wilke, due in the second half of the year, will be targeted
at vertical markets, including health care, manufacturing
and education. Also at the show, Micron Electronics Inc.,
of Nampa, Idaho, will refresh its notebook PC offerings.
The company will welcome the ultraportable GoBook--starting
at $2,599 for a model with a 233MHz Intel Corp. Pentium
Processor with MMX Technology--and the Transport Trek,
starting at $1,999, while it bids goodbye to Transport XKE
and VLX models.

Comdex/Spring, known primarily as a venue for business
software and hardware, will feature a new twist this year:
keynote addresses from heavyweights in the
telecommunications world. On Tuesday, MCI Communications
Corp. Chairman Bert Roberts will explore users' frustration
with inconsistencies and gaps between providers' networks,
equipment vendors and networking platforms. He will also
outline a suggested path toward a solution. The following
day, Sprint Chairman and CEO William Esrey will address the
current bottleneck in network bandwidth and outline how
Sprint's vision of a common data network architecture will
deliver relief.

               Amex Joins Free E-Mail Parade

American Express Co. is getting into the free e-mail
business. The credit-card company is teaming with free
e-mail provider USA.Net Inc. to offer its clients
electronic mail services under the American Express brand.
The deal signals the growing efforts by a broad range of
companies to use e-mail as a tool for building customer
loyalty and generating Web site traffic. Avariety of
content and navigation sites, such as Excite Inc., Time
Warner Inc.'s Pathfinder service and Yahoo! Inc., have
launched free e-mail during the past year. However,
American Express represents the most well-known nonmedia
corporation to launch into such e-mail services.

American Express Travel Related Services Co. has been
testing the USA.Net system since November 1997. The branded
free e-mail service is available to American Express card
holders at American Express can be
reached at USA.Net can be reached

         FDA Clears World's First Voice-Controlled
               Operating Room Control Center

Computer Motion's Operating System For The Operating Room
Capable Of Networking "Smart" Medical Devices Computer
Motion Inc. (NASDAQ National Market:RBOT) announced today
that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
has granted 510(k) market clearance for the HERMES(tm)
Operating Room (OR) Control Center, the world's first
system capable of networking medical equipment in the
operating room and allowing surgeons to have direct control
over these devices using simple verbal commands.

The voice-controlled HERMES OR Control Center and four
compatible medical devices (video camera, light source,
video printer and video cassette recorder) have been
cleared by the FDA. Computer Motion has pending 510(k)
applications for two additional HERMES-compatible medical
devices. The HERMES OR Control Center is comprised of
interactive interfaces and a centralized control unit which
is networked with multiple compatible devices. Surgeons
have direct control over these "smart" devices using either
voice control or a hand-held touch-screen pendant. HERMES
also provides visual (on a video monitor) and voice
feedback on the status of each device to the surgical team.
Increasing surgeon control and providing a useful means of
conveying important device information can improve safety
and augment the quality of care delivered to the patient.
Surgical procedures can be performed more quickly and the
need for additional operating room staff can be diminished,
which benefits both patients and hospitals.

Dr. Yulun Wang, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of
Computer Motion said, "In the operating room today, a major
limitation is the surgeon's reliance on other operating
room staff to set up and continually adjust and determine
the status of important medical devices. The
voice-controlled HERMES OR Control Center overcomes this
limitation by returning direct control of these devices to
the surgeon and providing the surgical team with
information on each device through voice and video
feedback. The development of HERMES marks the first major
step toward an open, standard computer server and Operating
System for the Operating Room(tm)."

Computer Motion has established an original equipment
manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Stryker Corporation, a
leading manufacturer of endoscopic equipment, to distribute
the HERMES OR Control Center and multiple, first generation
compatible devices. Computer Motion is actively pursuing
similar OEM relationships to interface HERMES with other
device manufacturers' products including operating tables,
energy sources, various imaging systems and devices for the
catheterization laboratory.

Robert W. Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion said,
"This FDA clearance marks the second product family
offering for Computer Motion and leverages our core
proprietary speech recognition platform. We believe that
Stryker's market introduction of HERMES will generate
significant additional interest from other medical device
manufacturers of operating room and clinical laboratory
equipment. The HERMES OR Control Center is the second piece
of a three part strategy that we firmly believe will form
the foundation for the way surgical health care will be
delivered in the operating room of tomorrow."

Computer Motion, the world leader in medical robotics,
develops, manufactures and markets proprietary robotic and
computerized surgical systems for the operating room. The
Company's mission is to enhance surgeons' capabilities,
improve outcomes and reduce costs using computers and
robotics. The Company currently markets AESOP(R), a
surgical robot capable of positioning an endoscope in
response to a surgeon's verbal commands. The Company is
also developing new products that leverage the core
technologies underlying the AESOP family of products
including the ZEUS(tm) Robotic Surgical System for new
minimally invasive microsurgery procedures such as
endoscopic coronary artery bypass grafting (E-CABG(tm)).
Computer Motion is traded on the NASDAQ National Market
under the stock symbol RBOT. The Company's Internet Web
site is

        Hewlett-Packard Unveils New Line Of Home PCs

Hewlett-Packard is introducing three new Intel-based home
PCs offering improved speed and storage capabilities over
older models.

The new computers are:

   * HP Pavilion 8290 PC powered by a Pentium II 400
     megahertz processor and a 12 gigabyte hard drive, for
     an estimated U.S. street price of $2,599.
   * the HP Pavilion 8250 PC powered by the new 266
     megahertz Intel Celeron processor and a 6 gigabyte
     hard drive, for an estimated U.S. street price of
   * the HP Pavilion 3265 PC with a 233 megahertz Pentium
     processor for an expected street price of $799.

The company said older PC models will be phased out as the
new line is introduced.

       Microsoft Says Windows Has 'Minor' Y2K Issues

Some of Microsoft's most widely used products, including
its Windows operating systems, will require "minor" updates
to work properly in the year 2000 and beyond, the software
giant said. But Microsoft executives said they have
discovered no glitches that would hamper the core
functionality of its Windows 3.11, Windows 95 and Windows
NT systems installed on tens of millions of computer
desktops worldwide.

"The vast majority of our products are doing proper date
handling," Microsoft executive Jason Matusow told reporters
and industry analysts in a conference call to discuss the
company's strategy for addressing the so-called millennium
bug. "These issues truly are minor and ... they truly are
not threats to the core stability of the operating system,"
Matusow said. Of the dozens of products tested so far, only
Microsoft's Word for DOS version 5.0 word processor and
Access 2.0 database manager have been rated "not compliant"
with the needs of the next century, meaning the company is
recommending that users scrap them and buy replacement

Other products, including Windows 95 and most versions of
the Internet Explorer browser, could cause "minor
inconveniences" if customers fail to update them with
patches the company will make available free over the
Internet, Matusow said. Microsoft's massive effort to
address the year 2000 issue, involving hundreds of
engineers and a new Web site detailing known issues
(, makes clear that even
talented software engineers working in the mid-1990s failed
to account for potential problems stemming from the
tendency to use two-digit shorthand for years.

"I think it's important to recognize the sociological
aspect of the year 2000 problem, that people think and work
in two-digit dates," he said. "That's true for people who
are programming computers as well." As a result, the
Windows 95 "find file" feature will not work correctly for
dates past Dec. 31, 1999. Although accurate file searches
will be possible, the utility will not be able to sort
files by the date of the most recent change.

The problem is eliminated by installing the latest version
of the Internet Explorer browser, but the browser itself
has what Matusow described as several "very minor" issues,
including one related to the use of two-digit dates in some
Web page addresses. Windows NT version 4.0, the company's
increasingly popular high-end desktop operating system for
business use, has several date-related issues that can be
addressed by installing software already available on the
company's Web site.

But for users still in the Dark Ages of computing with Word
version 5.0 for DOS the only solution will be to get new
software -- any efforts to create a new file after 1999
will result in a "corrupted" file that eventually will
crash the computer, Matusow said. For business users the
biggest problems likely will be caused by custom-developed
software written to be used with basic applications and
systems, Matusow said. While the world's biggest companies
are devoting massive resources to identifying and
addressing year 2000 issues, small businesses need to pay
more attention to the looming century change, and many may
find it cheaper to buy new software rather than attempt to
root out problems.

However, Matusow said Microsoft was not looking at the year
2000 as a revenue opportunity. Microsoft has pledged that
all future products, including the forthcoming Windows 98
and Windows NT 5.0 operating systems will fully address
year 2000 issues.

         Windows 98: To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?

To hear Microsoft tell it, consumer PC users can hardly
wait for the opportunity to junk the 3-year-old Windows 95
operating system and move up to its successor, Windows 98.
The press release announcing the otherwise ho-hum details
of the ship date (June 25!) and pricing (the same thing you
paid for Windows 95!) also includes breathless quotes from
a Microsoft (MSFT) marketing director who maintains
"Windows 98 is catching fire among the PC enthusiasts,"
citing results from a magazine survey showing the majority
of Windows users planning to switch will do so within six
months of the launch.

But what will they get for their $89-$109 and the time they
spend installing the software? Company officials brag about
quicker performance and data-storage improvements that will
free up an average of 28 percent more hard-disk space for
users upgrading from Windows 95, tweaks that will appeal to
home and office Windows 98 users alike. But some of the
meatiest improvements -- such as the ability to watch
digital video disc-format movies and receive television
broadcasts on the PC -- are aimed squarely at the consumer
market, and they're hardly things many home PC users can't
live without, according to industry analysts.

"The digital photos and the games are neat. Families
interested in the multimedia stuff will find things here
that appeal to them," said Peter Krasilovsky, an analyst
with Arlen Communications, in Bethesda, Md. And while he
said, "There's no question, this is a superior product" to
Windows 95, is it a must-have for the home PC user? Not
necessarily, Krasilovsky and other analysts said. Fixing
Win95 Ironically, one of the new OS's most valuable
improvements has as much to do with inherent flaws in
Windows 95 as it does with the assets of the new software,
said Rob Enderle, analyst with Giga Information Group, in
Santa Clara, Calif.

"I think a reason to upgrade that's more compelling than
all the gee-whiz DVD stuff is the fact that it fixes a lot
of the original Win95 glitches," Enderle said. "By
installing it, you will crash much less often, and it will
run much faster." This -- as even Microsoft officials admit
-- is hardly the basis for a slam-dunk marketing campaign.
"'Buy Windows 98 -- it sucks less!' is certainly not the ad
slogan I'd want," Enderle said.

Nonetheless, the company will hammer home the point of
Windows 98's basic reliability in pushing the new OS,
officials said. (They're opting for "Works Better, Plays
Better" as the official marketing pitch.) The song remains
(mostly) the same At first glance, Windows 98 doesn't look
much different than Windows 95, and that's by design,
according to Rob Bennett, group product manager for the new
OS at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.

Users in focus groups overwhelmingly requested tweaks such
as the networking improvements that will allow for quicker
Internet downloads, but they also made it clear that "They
didn't want to have to learn how to use a completely
different product," Bennett said. The company focused on
streamlining the user's navigation stream between different
applications, making it simpler to switch between e-mail,
word processors, spreadsheets and Web browsers by virtue of
what effectively functions as a universal toolbar in the
"Active Desktop."

The bottom line is that the new OS makes it simpler to
perform basic computing tasks, is cheaper to maintain
because of added help-desk support options, and offers more
consumer entertainment options -- from DVD to the native
Universal Serial Bus support that will allow users to
easily plug-in hardware add-ons such as digital cameras,
Bennett said. Sleeper hit? Interestingly, another thing
that will distance Windows 98 from its predecessor is the
pre-launch hype -- or lack thereof. While Windows 95 was
born amid an unprecedented media blitz, no such fanfare is
planned for Windows 98. "We think this OS will have a kind
of sleeper quality to it," Bennett said. "We believe it
will become steadily more popular as word of mouth

         America Online Membership Tops 12 Million

America Online's membership rolls have topped 12 million,
up one million in the last three months, the company said
today. AOL said it has added about 5 million subscribers in
the 15 months since it introduced flat-rate pricing in
December 1996. Membership passed the 11 million mark on
January 20. The company said its AOL International service
has more than 1.3 million members outside the United
States, with more than 1 million of those in Europe, a mark
it reached in March.

In addition to its own membership, AOL's recently acquired
CompuServe service has about 2 million members worldwide,
some of whom subscribe to AOL as well. The subscriber
growth has resulted in sharp increases in system usage,
with members averaging over 46 minutes online daily, up
from 36 minutes last year. The company said its peak usage
now exceeds 675,000 subscribers simultaneously.

"To stay ahead of this membership growth, AOL continues to
pay close attention to the expansion of the network to
ensure our members' ability to access the service," Bob
Pittman, president and chief operating officer, said in a
statement. The company continues to add 25,000 or more
modems each month, he said, and plans to field-test
high-speed xDSL broadband access for the service.

                       AOL Adds Cache

America Online Inc. on Wednesday gave a big boost to a
technology that cuts down the "World Wide Wait," saying it
will build caching into its network. Also getting a leg up
is startup Inktomi Corp., which will provide AOL with its
caching software. Caching speeds up Web access by storing
copies of frequently accessed Web pages at many locations
around the Internet. A user will see the copy of the Web
page closest to his physical location, cutting down on
transfer time.

An Inktomi executive compares the method to the movie
distribution system. "If the movie industry were
constructed like the Internet, we'd all have to fly to
Hollywood to see a movie," said Dave Peterschmidt,
Inktomi's CEO. "It's about bringing the content closer to
where the user is." A step up for cachingAOL's (AOL) deal
to license Inktomi's Traffic Server for its system, which
serves 11 million-plus users, will be the most visible
implementation of caching yet.

Caching has been gaining in popularity over the last year,
with Intel aggressively promoting Quick Web, its own flavor
of the technology. Boost for users, and for Inktomi "This
is part of our strategy to continue to bring the best
possible Web experience to our members," said Matt Korn,
AOL's senior vice president of operations. It's also a coup
for Inktomi, a 2-year-old company that grew out of
government-funded research at the University of California
at Berkeley.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup is best known for its
search engine technology, building Wired Digital's HotBot
and technology for Microsoft's upcoming Serengeti. But the
company is heading full-speed ahead into the caching world;
just this week it announced a licensing deal with business
ISP Digex Inc. Japanese telco NTT and cable-modem service
Knology Holdings Inc., of West Point, Ga., also license
Traffic Server.

Headed for broad use Inktomi sees the AOL deal as an
important step toward employing caching across the
Internet. "This will go first and foremost to big backbone
providers and major ISPs, but we believe that caching will
be part of most of the Net infrastructure," said
Peterschmidt. "We will see it getting into corporations and
their networks later this year as well." Inktomi now has
about 40 Traffic Server trials going on in the U.S., Europe
and Asia.

            InfoBeat Expands Service, Offerings

InfoBeat Inc., the world's largest e-mail publisher, has
formed a new division, InfoBeat Express, to provide
comprehensive e-mail communication services to companies
who want to reach their customers with solicited e-mail
delivery. By outsourcing e-mail to Express
(, businesses will reduce
communication costs, strengthen customer relationships,
drive revenue through 1-to-1 marketing and generate traffic
for their Web site.

With Express, InfoBeat jumps to the front of the e-mail
service bureau industry, a category projected to grow from
$8.5 million to nearly $1 billion by 2002. InfoBeat has
also launched InfoBeat MarketPlace, a new incentive-based
online mall. To drive traffic, shoppers will receive free
access to e-mail-based cartoons, columnists and crosswords.
InfoBeat Inc. has also created InfoBeat Select, a single
source for the best free e-mail publications from Time Inc.
New Media, Red Herring, MSNBC, Preview Travel and other
leading publishers.

Select provides value to InfoBeat's growing list of
subscribers, while offering publishers the opportunity to
expand circulation, extend brand into e-mail, and drive
traffic to Web sites.

   CompuServe's Van Camp Urges 'Leap of Faith' to the Net

CompuServe Inc. President Peter Van Camp had strong words
for corporations that have not yet incorporated the
Internet or its byproducts into their enterprise solutions.
During his keynote speech here at Spring Comdex this
afternoon, Van Camp characterized corporations not yet
implementing a managed end-to-end IP solution, an
enterprise Internet strategy or remote access as "behind."
Those companies that have ignored what he referred to as
the new dollar opportunities, such as electronic commerce,
he called "exposed.''

"Take the leap of faith toward the Internet,'' he implored
attendees, explaining that IP-based WANs will soon be more
capable and cost less. "Much of the technology needed to do
this is already here,'' Van Camp said. What's needed, he
added, is bandwidth. CompuServe Network Services is a
global network integrator that supports about 1,500
corporate customers with integrated Internet, intranet and
extranet connectivity services. Revenues in 1997 were $257
million, up from the year-ago period of $198 million. Van
Camp has been with the division, now a part of
telecommunications maverick WorldCom Inc., of Jackson,
Miss., since its inception in 1982.

Today he used the keynote to highlight three areas driving
corporations to implement Internet-based enterprise

   * the rapid evolution of the "extended enterprise;''
   * the explosion of remote access;
   * the fact that private networks could never do all that
     is capable with the Internet.

Down the road, Van Camp said to expect the ability to run
telephony over virtual private networks, application
hosting and advanced managed security through firewalls.

                   Internet Sites Honored

CHICAGO -- The Third Annual Global Information
Infrastructure Awards were all about connecting. Connecting
citizens to their government, investors to their stock
portfolios, and sick children to those who share their
woes. The awards, announced here Monday by ZD Comdex

Winners included:

   * Arts and Entertainment: Dia Center for the Arts, which
     posts artists' projects designed specifically for the
     Web. (New York)
   * Children's Award: Getting Real from Kidsites 3000, a
     site geared toward teen-agers.
   * Community Award: The Body -- An Aids and HIV
     Information Resource, a health information site geared
     toward AIDS patients, their loved ones and
   * Commerce Award: Charles Schwab

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

EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                          Edupage


  FCC's Kennard-NTIA's Irving   Racial Divide On The Net      Pentagon To Take Stronger
  Say Reject "False Choices"                                  Computer Security Measures

  Customized Degrees            Training Teachers To Use      New Specs For Displaying
                                Technology In The Schools     Math On The Web

  Telecommuting To The          E-Mail Pubs                   Apple "Thinks Different" In
  Executive Suites                                            Asia

  Brian Hawkins Picked For CEO  U S West To Offer             Oops -- GTE Prints 50000
  Of EDUCAUSE                   TV-Internet Access Over       Unlisted Phone Numbers
                                Phone Lines

  Reuters-Fantastic Team Up On  A Small Concession From       Court Says Net Name-Poaching
  Multimedia News               Microsoft                     Is Illegal

  International Chip-Making     The Borking Of Microsoft      Online Providers Not
  Group Broadens Membership                                   Responsible For Content From

  Technology Driving Bank       Reliability Is Big Hurdle     C-Guard Cuts Nuisance Cell
  Mergers                       For Internet Telephony        Phone Calls

  PCs For Little Tikes          IBM And Intel Revive Idea Of  Vandals Attack Pentagon
                                Network Computer              Computers

  Study Of Internet Brings Out  FCC Fines Company $5 Million
  Hate Mail                     For "Slamming"


At the Networking '98 conference co-sponsored by Educom last week,
FCC Chairman William Kennard urged participants to reject the
"false choice" between maintaining reasonable phone rates or
charging higher prices to provide universal service to high-cost
areas and low-income customers. Meanwhile, NTIA chief Larry Irving
warned against another false choice of reasonable rates or
providing special "E-rate" discounts on telecommunications
services to schools and libraries. Both speakers called for a
commitment to both initiatives, with an emphasis on serving
schools and regions where the need is greatest. "If there is more
demand than we can afford, we must make sure that the poor and
rural schools come first," said Kennard. Irving noted that his
agency was reviewing 47,000 applications for discounts under the
E-rate program. (Telecommunications Reports Daily 16 Apr 98)

                      RACIAL DIVIDE ON THE NET

A new study by Vanderbilt professors Donna Hoffman and Thomas
Novak indicates that African-Americans have a lower percentage of
access to the Web and use it less often than white Americans. The
authors conclude that the disparity isn't solely attributable to
education and income levels: when a group of similar households
with incomes below $40,000 were polled, whites were more than
twice as likely than African-Americans to have a computer in the
home. Among groups with high-school level or less education, 27%
of whites had a home computer, compared with just 16% of
African-Americans. The researchers did not study why
African-Americans are less likely to have computers, but say they
hope that future studies will examine that issue. President
Clinton's "aggressive plan to wire schools is only part of the
solution -- the other part has to come from industry itself," says
Hoffman. (Wall Street Journal 17 Apr 98)


Learning of numerous vulnerabilities in the security of the
computers accessed by its 2.1 million users worldwide, the
Department of Defense is formulating new plans to tighten security
systems. In a recent military exercise called "Eligible Receiver,"
cyber attacks were able to access the military's command and
control structure e in the Pacific (and could have shut it down);
the attacks also could have turned off the entire electrical power
grid in the U.S. (Washington Times 17 Apr 98)

                         CUSTOMIZED DEGREES

A survey of 100 business trainers found that 40% of large
corporate training groups plan to create corporate/university
partnerships this year, allowing corporations to negotiate
contracts that will encourage colleges and universities to provide
courses and technical degrees customized for a particular
business. The survey also indicated that by 2000 more than half of
this custom training will be delivered through technologies such
as the Internet and videoconferencing. (Computerworld 13 Apr 98)


Microsoft, Compaq, and Computer Curriculum Corporation have joined
in an effort with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Council of
the Great City Schools to offer workshops to help teachers use
computers and the Internet in their classrooms. Supporters of the
activity say the corporations will refrain from using the training
sessions to promote their own wares, and one project executive
defends corporate involvement in the training sessions by saying:
"Who else is going to do the teacher training? No one expects the
school district to write the textbooks. Nor should you expect them
to write the Internet curriculum." One education professor,
Jeffrey T. Fouts of Seattle Pacific University, suggests a
wait-and-see attitude about the value of technology in education:
"We've been training teachers in teaching strategies for years.
Sometimes they go back to the classroom and use them; sometimes
they don't. The extent to which they will use it will depend on
the educational value of the Internet." (New York Times 19 Apr 98)


The World Wide Web Consortium has recommended a new set of
technical specifications for displaying mathematical symbols and
equations on Web pages. MathML, or Mathematical Markup Language,
supplements HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), the standard coding
to create Web pages, and is compatible with XML (Extensible Markup
Language). Web users can download a "plug-in" that will work with
their browsers to view the MathML pages. < http://www.w3/org/Math
> (Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Apr 98)


No longer is telecommuting something done mainly by people doing
data entry or other lower paying work. At AT&T more than half of
the U.S. based managers telecommute at least six days every month,
and a study by market research firm FIND/SVP says that the average
telecommuter has an average household income of $51,000. There are
now more than 11.1 million Americans telecommuting, a 39% increase
since 1995. (USA Today 17 Apr 98)

                            E-MAIL PUBS

The Association for Interactive Media is offering two new e-mail
publications, the Internet Politics Insider and the Research
Update Service.


In Hong Kong there will be one rebel missing -- the Dalai Lama --
from billboards featuring the "Think Different" advertising
campaign in which Apple honors such revolutionary figures as
Gandhi, Einstein, Picasso, and (except in Hong Kong) the Dalai
Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader who symbolizes resistance to
oppression by the Chinese government. An Apple spokesperson has
defended dropping the Dalai Lama from the Asian campaign by
saying: "The Dalai Lama really stands for our message in the
United States. But in China, he may not get across the message
that Apple is trying to send." (New York Times 17 Apr 98)


Brian L. Hawkins, currently Senior Vice President of Brown
University, has been selected as the first president and chief
executive officer of EDUCAUSE, the new higher education
information technology association formed by the consolidation of
Educom and CAUSE. Hawkins says, "This new organization is borne of
a rich heritage of two extraordinary organizations, and our
challenge is now to capture the synergy of their consolidation."
EDUCAUSE presents a single representative voice for information
technology in higher education, in and among the institutions it
serves, and a strong, single, and more easily recognized voice in


For a cost "comparable" to the monthly fees charged by Cox
Communications (the primary cable company in Phoenix), U S West
plans to offer its Phoenix customers a video and data services
package via "variable digital subscriber lines," or VDSL. U S West
says its service will include some 120 TV channels and Internet
access. In the past year, cable companies have begun to offer
Internet access as part of their monthly service, and an analyst
with International Data says, "If you're a phone company, you're
going to want to roll out a package of services that will blunt
the attack from the cable companies, which are trying to take away
phone customers." (Wall Street Journal 20 Apr 98)


GTE says a computer glitch is responsible for printing the numbers
of some 50,000 customers who'd paid to have their information
withheld from a street directory leased to telemarketers. The
directories contain the names, demographics, addresses, and
business and residential phone numbers of customers in Southern
California. The company faces fines of up to $30,000 per customer,
but says that it doesn't think the California Public Utilities
Commission will take that action. The phone company has replaced
almost all of the 9,000 directories and has contacted all the
affected customers. It's offering those customers a new phone
number, free unlisted status for one year, and a small refund.
(Total Telecom 20 Apr 98)


Reuters is working with The Fantastic Corp. to develop a
multimedia news service scheduled for launch later this year. The
Web-based service will use Xing streaming technology to add MPEG-1
video to Reuters news content. The initiative marks Reuters' first
attempt to stream news content live online. (Broadcasting & Cable
13 Apr 98)


Microsoft has decided to allow PC manufacturers the option of not
displaying Microsoft's "channel bar" on the first screen users see
when turning on the Windows 98 operating system, which will be
introduced this June. The channel bar offers access to sites with
which Microsoft has made commercial agreements, such as Walt
Disney and Time Warner. Microsoft critic Ken Wasch, president of
the Software Publishers Association, says: "The real issue is
whether Microsoft will allow the PC makers to populate the channel
bar  with their own selections." (New York Times 21 Apr 98)


A federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that is illegal
to register an Internet address that appropriates a name that has
been previously trademarked by another company, and then to try to
sell the address to the owner of that trademark. The appellant had
argued, unsuccessfully, that trademark law did not apply to
Internet addresses. (San Jose Mercury News 18 Apr 98)


The World Semiconductor Council is broadening its international
participation by allowing foreign companies to join in its
technology forecasting activities, thereby providing a more global
perspective. The group also endorsed the IMF bailout of Asian
countries, provided the money's not used to subsidize a particular
industry, such as semiconductor manufacture. Finally, the Council
made plans to study the problem of chip dumping (selling chips
below cost). (Wall Street Journal 20 April 98)

                      THE BORKING OF MICROSOFT

Controversial former federal appellate judge Robert Bork has been
retained by ProComp (the Project to Promote Competition in the
Digital Age), an organization formed by Netscape and other
companies to help the U.S. Justice Dept.'s antitrust suit against
Microsoft. Former Republican presidential candidate Robert J. Dole
has been associated with the group for several months. Bork says
that Microsoft includes programming code in Windows "that makes it
difficult to use competitors' browsers, specifically Netscape's
... Microsoft has an overwhelming market share, and it imposes
conditions to exclude rivals." A Microsoft executive has dismissed
the group's formation as "no big surprise" and said: "These
companies and trade associations have been waging an all-out PR
and lobbying campaign against Microsoft for months. This is like
Dennis Rodman saying he's going to get a tattoo." (Washington Post
21 Apr 98)


U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman has ruled that AOL and other
Internet services, unlike traditional publishers, can not be sued
in civil courts for content they receive from others: "In
recognition of the speed with which information may be
disseminated and the near impossibility of regulating information
content, Congress decided not to treat providers of interactive
computer services like other information providers such as
newspapers, magazines or television and radio stations, all of
which may be held liable for  publishing or distributing obscene
or defamatory material written or prepared by others." The ruling
was made in the libel suit brought by Clinton advisor Sidney
Blumenthal against cyberjournalist Matt Judge and also against
America Online, which carries Drudge's column. (Washington Post 23
Apr 98)


Fueling the increasing number of banking mega-mergers are the
high-speed global computer networks that sell everything from
simple checking accounts to mutual funds and insurance policies.
"Unlike 10 or 15 years ago in the banking world, there are
virtually no business or strategic decisions that are not either
driven by technology or have immediate massive implications for
technology," says the head of IBM's banking consulting team. New
technologies like computerized check imaging are cutting costs,
and recent agreements on Internet standards are making it easier
to link online operations between banks with disparate systems.
And the ubiquitous ATM is transforming from a cash machine to a
selling tool -- offering customers brief, personalized messages on
IRAs or investment opportunities. (Wall Street Journal 23 Apr 98)


Although just about every communications hardware and software
maker is betting on the imminent convergence of voice and data
networking, the  technology has yet to prove itself in the real
world. Currently, the standard for voice networks is "five nines
of reliability" -- that's 99.9999% uptime. But private data
networks are only about 94% reliable, carrier data networks are
about 91% reliable and the public Internet is only about 61%
reliable. "When we can get the reliability of a packet equal to
the reliability of a dial tone, then convergence makes all the
sense in the world from a cost and utilization perspective," says
the CIO of Strong Capital Management. (Information Week 13 Apr 98)


Using technology developed by the Israeli military, Netline
Technologies has developed a device that eliminates cell phone
traffic in designated areas such as movie theaters, concert halls
and university lecture rooms. C-Guard is currently in beta testing
in Israel, and Netline hopes to begin shipping the product by the
end of the year. "What we basically do is to prevent the handshake
between the handset and the base station in a designated area,"
says the company's general manager. This is accomplished by
transmitting a low-power signal to the handset to prevent any
effective communication with the nearest base station. The device
could also be used in places like hospitals, laboratories and
airplanes. (TechWeb 22 Apr 98)

                        PCs FOR LITTLE TYKES

IBM and Rubbermaid's Little Tikes toy division are teaming up to
produce a toddler-proof PC geared toward the daycare center and
pre-school market. The Young Explorer machine looks like a
"plastic space pod" with the keyboard and monitor built into a
colorful desk unit that houses a bench seat for two. But the
insides aren't kid stuff -- the IBM PC 300 GL computer runs on a
Pentium processor and contains an internal CD-ROM drive, 16
megabytes of memory, a two-gigabit hard drive and a 14-inch color
monitor. "When you put a 2-1/2-year-old on a computer they can
pull wires," says one daycare center owner. "The children can't
mess this one up too much." (Wall Street Journal 23 Apr 98)


IBM and Intel will work together to tune the operating system
called Java OS for Business, based on Sun's Java computer
programming language, for use on network computers using Intel
Pentium processors. IBM's Lotus division is developing
applications for that company's new network computer, which IBM
says will be available late this year or early next. (New York
Times 23 Apr 98)


A group of computer vandals called "Masters of
Downloading/2016216" have broken into the Defense Department's
network of computers. A Defense Department spokesperson says that
no classified information was stolen, but security expert John
Vranesevich says: "Most hacks fall into one category: when a group
of kids do the cyberspace equivalent of graffiti. This group is in
a whole different category." Vranesich, who has been contacted by
the vandals, say that the members of the group range in age from
19 to 28 and that eight are in the U.S., five in Britain, and two
in Russia. (AP 22 Apr 98)


Vanderbilt professor Donna L. Hoffman has received numerous angry
e-mail messages since co-authoring a paper published in Science
showing that lower-income black Americans are less likely to have
Internet access than are whites of similar economic status. The
paper can be found at . Hoffman told
Katie Hafner of the New York Times: "It was stunning. It points
out that there clearly is a problem here, and much of the problem
has to do with people's attitudes." (New York Times 23 Apr 98)


After receiving more than 1,4000 customer complaints against a
group oflong-distance companies called the Fletcher Cos. for
"slamming" (illegallyswitching people to their long-distance
service without their permission), the Federal Communications
Commission has fined those companies more than $5 million. FCC
Chairman William Kennard says, "We will step up our enforcement of
slamming to protect consumers better. Consumer can help, too, by
carefully reviewing their phone bills each month and calling us if
they have been slammed." (AP 22 Apr 98)

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Kids Computing Corner

Frank Sereno, Editor


               Sea Island & St. Simons Island, Georgia

By Les Oswald

  [Image] The location and weather were perfect. Sunlight fell
          past oaks into the courtyard at the Cloister. That's the
centerpiece hotel at Sea Island Resort. We had just set up "the
jib", a boom device that can carry a video camera 20 feet into the
air. We were making "flying shots" over the gardens and rising up
over the fountain. It was almost like having a mini-helicopter.
The video was looking spectacular.

While we were in the middle of shooting, a waitress from the
restaurant inside approached us. "Could I take a look through your
monitor?" she asked. "Certainly. Look right here." "My," she said.
"You make it look so beautiful. I walk through here every day and
I don't even notice it anymore." We explained that we can select
flattering angles and lighting, but the beauty is always there.
Sometimes we just have to look up from our work long enough to
realize it.

She has the privilege of working in a beautiful retreat. The
Cloister and Sea Island have been hosting dignitaries,
celebrities, and royalty for over 70 years. Just walking among the
surrounding oak trees is a calming and enlightening experience. A
tradition at the Cloister is to have distinguished guests plant an
oak when they visit. So there are living legacies commemorating
the visits of Presidents Coolidge, Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, and
Bush, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Britain's Lady Margaret
Thatcher. The attraction for them, of course, is relief from
pressures and stress.

  [Image] That's what founder Howard Coffin intended when he
          opened the Cloister in 1928. He noticed there were no
retreat/resorts between Pinehurst in North Carolina and Daytona in
Florida. As a prominent auto designer and executive, he saw both
the need and the opportunity. So he began buying land along
Georgia's islands. The problem was investing in the improvements
such as electricity, plumbing, causeway improvements, and railroad
access, without knowing if the potential clientele would come. He
brought in his cousin and confidant, Bill Jones, to manage the
effort. Jones was a high-energy hands-on manager. He not only
built the resort, but also the means of getting the people to
come. The resort was a success.

The company set up by Coffin and Jones, the Sea Island Company,
still owns and operates the resort today. They put meticulous
attention to every detail. Of course, they've expanded the hotel
and restaurants, and added several amenities including a swimming
pool and world-class health spa.

One of our excursions took us to the spa. As we got set up, we
found Penta Love there. She's Davis Love's mother. She greeted us
warmly. We shot video in the exercise area while she worked out on
a stationary bicycle. In fact, look close at the multimedia piece
called Sea Island Scenes on the Links LS course. She's there,
pedaling away in one of the shots. (She's also featured in Davis
Love III: Personal History on the same disk.)

  [Image] Another excursion took us to the Sea Island Shooting
          Club. Justin Jones, the manager, and one of his star
shooters put on an impressive shooting show for our cameras. After
we struck our gear, they invited each of us to receive some
instruction and take a few shots. Jones impressed me all over
again with his teaching skill. He took our strengths and
weaknesses and made them all strengths. For example, I'm
experienced shooting hunting rifles, but had never shot trap
before. He was able to explain the similarities and differences so
that even I could hit the flying targets.

That's an example of one of Sea Island's best features: the
people. That little bit of extra effort makes all the difference
in the world. The staff at the Cloister always had the door open
for us, especially while we were hauling equipment. There was
always a "Hello, Sir!" waiting for us there, too. In fact, I've
never been called "Sir" so much in my life. I've been out of the
Southeast for too long. The rest of America seems to be abandoning
the courtesies. They're alive and well in the resort community of
Sea Island.

Because I grew up on California's Monterey Peninsula, I look for
excuses to get down to the beach. It's part of my intrinsic
nature. So, we took a walk along the beach down by the lighthouse
and pier. There was fishing going on, as you'd expect. Light fog
was rolling in. There was just enough fog to add some mystery and
allure to the place, not enough to turn the day gray. The
lighthouse rose above the mist, making some great photos.

  [Image] One morning, we were hoping to catch the long shadows of
          morning light, so we got up before dawn. As we looked
out our hotel window, we saw a spectacular sunrise over the ocean.
Two palm trees stood in silhouette against it. This was a
mind-bending vista for me. Because of my California point of view,
for me, the sun sets in the ocean. But what a beautiful sight.

History buffs will love golfing at Sea Island. The courses were
built at the remains of the old Retreat Plantation. There are
ruins of a slave hospital facing the clubhouse. The clubhouse
itself was originally built from a corn barn and expanded over the
years. The building features tabby construction, where seashells
are added to the concrete. Charming as well as sturdy.

There are several nine-hole courses there. We "mixed and matched"
to get our eighteen. That makes for a lot of variety. They're
challenging but not unfair. Several people call Sea Island their
favorite. As we walked the courses we were struck with the
tranquility of the location. This is a well-cared-for place. There
are few houses built along the course. The pressure is off. It's
just you and your skills.

Sea Island is also the home of the Sea Island and Golf Digest Golf
Learning Center. This is an up-to-date training facility, taking
advantage of the latest video and computer technology. Improving
your game is their business. The ability to get away from it all
is certainly embodied here at Sea Island. Take a break and
recharge your batteries. You won't find a better place to do it.


Jasons Jive


Jason Sereno, STR Staff


From: Phillip Crews []
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 1998 6:02 PM
Subject: ThumbsPlus/Macintosh Pre-Release Sale

Dear ThumbsPlus/Mac Beta Tester:

As ThumbsPlus for Macintosh nears completion, we've decided to offer a
"Mac Pre-Release Special." You will receive the current registered beta
(beta 10), any subsequent betas, and the final Mac release -- all for
45$US. (And, as with all of our products, you'll also receive
maintenance updates.) We are not yet producing diskettes or CDROMs for
the Mac release, so this is a download-only offer. You can find further
information and order forms at:

< >.

If you are a current multi-user license holder who wishes to test the
Macintosh beta concurrently with your existing PC systems, please
contact Laura Shook (

Kind regards,

Phillip Crews, President
Cerious Software, Inc.


STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard"

                            Editor's MailBag

                   Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

From: Scott Dowdle
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 1998 8:25 AM
To: Ralph Mariano
Subject: Comments on your last Editorial

Dear Ralph,

I read your latest editorial with much interest, and I have many
comments. Please feel free to address my comments in the magazine if you
wish. My effort here is to start an open debate (yeah, even though this
is an email) rather than a private one.


Im glad you brought forth your opinions and comments as Im certain
they reflect that of many of our readers. By your doing so, you have
become a "sort of spokesperson" for the "little guys" out there. The
people that are directly effected by whatever the outcome is and have
little or no say-so in their ultimate fate. Government meddling has yet
to produce anything more that some "attaboys" or "take-a-hikes"
politically speaking. Anything else that resulted from Government
interference resulted in disaster time and time again.

First of all, you make the claim that Netscape wouldn't be anywhere
today if it weren't for Microsoft creating Windows. Well, the converse
is also true and you'll have to concede it... the guys who founded
Netscape were instrumental in the foundation of the graphical World Wide
Web client. They created NCSA's Mosaic and NCSA's WWW server. They were
greatly responsible for popularizing the Internet... and the Internet is

Microsoft can thank for well over half of it's sales (perhaps more) over
the past few years. If the Netscape people hadn't come along, Microsoft
wouldn't be in the browser business to begin with. The converse of that
last statement is probably not true... Windows wasn't the initial
development platform for Mosaic nor Netscape so they would have come
along fine without Microsoft... and probably be doing much better today
IF (oh no, another one of those ifs) Apple had ended up dominating in a
world without Windows (see below).

 Hmmm. One mans opinion is anothers folly or at least a good source
of humor. Netscape was responsible for Netscape, a WEB Browser.
Microsofts Windows 95 enhanced access to the internet at least a
hundred fold when compared to earlier versions of Windows. Of course, at
the time of Windows v1.0, there was talk of internet access and limited
access to students through school gateways. But the Internet didnt come
into its own until shortly after Win95 came to be (Aug 25, 1995). At
this point, mainly because of the built-in dialer and ease of
configuration, the marketplace soared. I distinctly remember, from
personal experience, the web browsers available at the time. (I was
using IE long before I ever heard of Mosaic & Netscape.) If one were a
member of CIS, at the time one had the "wonderful opportunity" to use
the CIS "approved" browser; Mosaic. Or, one was able to choose from
either Netscape or IE. I was using IE because I had tried Mosaic and
found it to be horrible and had installed Netscape and found that if.
One un-installed it, it killed Win95 because it took four critical DLLs
at the same time it removed itself. Many, myself included, considered
this to be an act of retribution on the part of certain of Netscapes
vociferous programmers for having "removed" Netscape from Windows 95. If
you left Netscape in, even if you didnt use it, everything was fine.
This problem of NS killing Win95 upon its removal was "fixed" in a later
build. If Netscape made Mosaic and it was and is a dog, was this perhaps
intentional so as to give their real product NetScape an unfair
advantage? Who knows. I do know this IE and all its successors have
continually outperformed NS, in all its incarnations. Further, its only
in the last year that IE4 has surpassed NS4 in user acceptance and
usage. I assure both you and the rest of the world nobodys arm was
twisted the marketplace voted with its usual and very reliable
sophistication the users wallets. Nobody is going pay for something
when a freebie does the job better. Thus NS is now half-heartedly
offering NS free. By the way there is no amount of word juggling or
fact bending thatll change the FACT that if MS hadnt pursued and
perfected the GUI it worked on, Windows, we would not be where we are
today. Ill talk "about" Apple later too.

You then go on to say that no one can deny that Microsoft is responsible
for the revolution in microcomputing. You mention Windows 1.0 and
Digital's "rubber band" but totally leave out the Macintosh. How odd.
I'm not particularly an Apple fan but I do concede that the Mac is the
personal computer that revolutionized everything. People are quick to
comment that Apple borrowed everything from Xerox's PARC project but
when that claim is examined (read INSANELY GREAT by Steven Levy) it is
found to be rather shallow.

The ONLY thing the Apple Macintosh revolutionized was forcing true
marketing in the computer marketplace. The Yuppies that Apple gouged
with its overpriced "prestigious" computing hardware were destined to
revolt. I began on a 6502 8 bit cpu and then began using the 68000
family of 16 bit cpu chips. Of course, Apple "endeared" themselves to
everyone in the GUI world with their goofy look and feel suit happy
attitude and practices. Now, as far as revolutionizing anything else
lets just say they were part of the GUI changeover as was Ataris ST
and subsequent lines and Commodores Amiga line. Apple neither held nor
holds any plaudit of being a revolutionary in the GUI arena. Todays
marketplace is a great indicator of that "Yuppie Revolt" they too,
voted with their wallets and went to Windows.. As has every major
software publisher with a lick of good business sense.

When the Mac first came out, Microsoft was quick to shun it. Perhaps
that is not a fair statement because it was so long ago that I can't
exactly remember quotes from anyone at Microsoft nor who it was that
coined the word WIMP. Remember that word? Anyway, a clear pattern has
been established by Microsoft... attempt to totally discredit anything
you didn't come up with until you have it yourself. If that sounds like
an unfair judgement of Microsoft, I can give you about half a dozen
examples from the past year alone. Check out the following URL for a
somewhat BIASED but rather true and relevant point of view about market
forces that are shaping Windows NT:

Yes-sir Microsoft was so quick to shun the Mac that they came out with
MS Word for it. Your analogy and ultimate indictment of MS in the above
paragraph reminds me of Ken Starrs type of "Justice" accuse, examine,
accuse and waffle. I checked out your admittedly biased URL and was glad
I did. Its the type of commentary I hope Im never credited with
uttering. Truth and accuracy are certainly among the slim pickings at
this site.

Anyway, I propose, since you were talking in IFs... that IF Microsoft
hadn't come along with Windows, that the personal computer industry
would have kept on growing... most certainly in a Macintosh direction.
While it is theoretically possible that Apple would find themselves in
the position that Microsoft is in today (DOJ Investigations for Monopoly
Abuse), I don't see Apple as the greedy sort that Microsoft has proven
itself to be over and over again. I've told you this before but it
hasn't seemed to sink in, or at the very least, you haven't acknowledged
it... Microsoft isn't in trouble for being a monopoly, it's in trouble
for abusing it's power as a monopoly... and this certainly didn't start
nor end with MSIE vs. Netscape... that's only another symptom of the

Speaking of problems. Just because you tell me, or anyone else for that
matter, something about a situation, company, idea or ideal doesnt mean
it must embraced as the fact of all factoids. Apples practices werent
GREEDY?? Certainly you jest! Look at everything Apple did from the days
of CRUSHING the Franklin till it teetered on the brink of extinction.
>From its foray into having its own online service, to proprietary
EVERYTHING. Then seemingly all of a sudden, when Apple learned of its
dysentery-like loss of marketshare Almost overnight, one could now use
third party hardware and software. Programmers and software publishers
did not have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars simply to gain
access to developer kits to write software for the mighty Apple God. You
had better go back; re-read and re-research your information. Notice, I
did not use the word facts. Had Apple ever achieved the levels Microsoft
has Steve Jobs and his successors would have made the Andrew Carnegies
and J. Pierpont Morgans bout with the Sherman Anti-Trust Laws look like
sand-box childs play.

Arguing WHAT IFs is really a waste of time and I apologize for biting on
the bait. Now, on to other more meaningful pieces of this debate. :)

Ahhhh yes but it was a rather robust bite that begged for reply.

>>The DOJ is still very busy handing out hankies to the crybabies is the
computing community that can't seem to "best" Microsoft. <<

At last... a quote! <g>

In existing application markets, no one can best Microsoft... it's
virtually impossible. Microsoft has more money and programmers to deploy
than any other single company in the business. Microsoft has the money
and marketing skills to overpower virtually any adversary it so desires.

So??? What is your point?? Microsoft wasnt GIVEN any of these
resources. They earned them ALL. Are you proposing they give it away?
Wheres Joe McCarthy when you want him! <ggg>

The most important thing to look at is the fact that Microsoft has
control over the Operating System and that gives it the biggest and most
technically valid advantage. Microsoft also controls the most popular
development tools for software on their OS which gives them another
advantage. While the previously mentioned advantages might not exactly
make it impossible to best Microsoft, the fact that Microsoft chooses to
use arm-twisting tactics on those that greatly rely on them for their
livelihoods (OEMs and ISPs for example)... who can safely choose a
competitive product and not be in fear of irking Microsoft and
endangering future relations with them? You mentioned a few companies
that you thought weren't cry babies and Corel was one of them. Corel
recently posted a rather large loss and they have been cutting back. The
only thing giving Corel a chance is that they do offer a few products
that Microsoft doesn't have a competitor product for. There will always
be a market for Microsoft's competitor's products... because there is
always a minority of people who prefer alternatives to Microsoft... that
don't like having only one choice. There are a handful of markets that
Microsoft (so far) seems to want to stay out of, like graphic arts where
companies such as Adobe are doing very well... but once Microsoft has
its eye on your market, you are in big trouble... and financially, it is
thought impossible to get funding for a start-up company if your initial
product were to be in direct competition with a Microsoft product...
banks just think it's too risky. No, I don't have any proof for that
last comment but it is reasonable and I've heard such mentioned by a
couple of folks in the finance market and it appears to be a valid

Microsoft should have control over its OS. After all, its theirs! The
advantage they enjoy is hard earned. I was very much a part of the
creation of Win95 and now Win98. As for the DEV tools  care to cite
some solid examples? Youre in for a surprise. MSDN and Tech-NET are in
widespread availability and in many cases, FREE of charge. Hundreds of
CDs containing invaluable data and the extensive programming one would
need to develop for Win95/98. I honestly have never come across
"arm-twisting" tactics on the part of Microsoft in any area. Now, if one
wishes to term verification of who one claims to be when attempting to
obtain certain software packages and internal modification routines,
then that is easily mislabeled, misguided and unfortunate. You see, MS
is merely protecting itself and its legitimate customers from abuses of
the likes weve seen perped in the last 24-36 months. Especially from
two, three, four or more remoted parties engaged in counterfeiting of
CDs. A legit customer pays the real price (a substantial investment) and
Joe Sleaze across town buys the Hot Stuff and goes into competition with
the legit guy for pennies. Yep, MS is really into arm-twisting. It
(their verification/licensing practices) irked me too when I experienced
it but after giving it due consideration I was in full agreement with

You mention Adobe Have you ever heard of MS Publisher 98 and Adobe
PageMaker, FrameMaker etc.? Or, better yet, Microsofts Image Composer
and Picture It and Adobes Photoshop? Then in the same vein you mention
Corel of course, the Corel Draw Ensemble is in direct competition with
BOTH Adobes Photoshop and MS Image Composer and Picture It. As is
Corel s Word Perfect Professional and MS Office Professional. Please do
more effective research.. As for your "Banks and Risky" comment.
Plainly put; its absurd.

You certainly aren't the only person I know who has been standing up for
Microsoft in the sea of anti-Microsoft happenings lately... and it is a
good thing to have different opinions... but I thought it worthwhile to
comment on why I think many people (not necessarily you) defend
Microsoft. The key word is FEAR. People who have grown very comfortable
using Microsoft products have a deep rooted fear of losing them. Many
people (if not most) feel there is no alternative to Microsoft Windows
products... they think that allowing the government to pick on Microsoft
will somehow cause a vast digital chaos to come about. This fear is so
great that some people will bury their heads in the sand no matter what
dirty trick Microsoft pulls.

Fear?? I think not. Its a matter of losing product thats productive,
its a matter of good product becoming munged by Government dolts who
have no clue as to what they are doing other than following political
mandates. After all, it is an election year. Joel Klein may be a good
Lawyer, but a software programmer or hardware designer he aint. Its
fairly obvious by your use of a descriptive adjective just where your
bias lies. Its sad, for a truly meaningful debate to take place all the
facets must be examined and analyzed in their basic form. Microsoft has
no monopoly on the dirty trick business. A complete Law Library can
written around the Dirty Tricks of Business. Bringing that up has
effectively neutralized any further intelligent debate relative to this
topic. Using the word fear and then accusatory remarks like dirty tricks
can easily lead one to assume its MSs opponents who are indeed
possessed by fear..

It is so odd that the Los Angeles Times broke what I consider to be a
really big story Friday before last but I've seen only one industry
writer (John Dvorak) mention it. Mr. Dvorak was even brave enough to go
beyond just mentioning it but he actually commented on it and gave his
opinion... and for that I give him great credit. What story am I talking
about? Well, check it out for yourself at the following URL:

Ive known John for what seems like ages and ages I go all the way back
to the beginnings of Dvorak Software. Even back then John was so
thoroughly against MS it was impossible to separate the chafe from the
wheat. Giving him credit for being a MS/Gates Hater is your right and
perogative. That doesnt make Dvorak right in any way shape or form.

I mentioned it in my last column but how many people actually went to
check it out? Mr. Dvorak's response can be found at the following URL:

After having read his "response", which to me was more like his usual
"peppered" opinion, leaves with but one conclusion; John Dvoraks
attitude toward MS hasnt changed one iota. This "response" is
thoroughly saturated with supposition and innuendo. There no basis in
fact for what hes yapping about. The LA Times piece, on the other hand,
offered only non-committal information about Microsofts PR agencies.
Ive known of and dealt with a number of MSs PR agencies as I have with
scores of others representing dozens of other companies worldwide in the
computing arena. So what! Does that make me part of a wholly
"masterminded", "codenamed" whoopla devised in Dovarks imagination?
Probably, in John Dvoraks way of thinking. Its sad to see impressions,
opinion and embellishments looked upon as reliable fact. Both Dvorak and
anyone else who would place credence in the what-ifs and maybes of
Dvorak ought to have a very long discussion about these matters with
Mary Poppins and Peter Pan. <g>

As you know, I'm a member of the Linux community. Linux has come a long
way since its birth in 1991 and it is simply amazing... so amazing in
fact that it has spawned a new computing revolution... one that had been
around but not very popular because it was lead by (who many people
believe to be) a fanatic - Richard M. Stallman of the Free Software
Foundation. The revolution I'm referring to is the Open Source movement.
Actually, to be more correct, Open Source isn't a term agreed upon by
all within the revolution but it'll do for now.

Nothing wrong with the movement. As long as you keep your day job. <g>

A fellow by the name of Eric Raymond wrote a paper called "The Cathedral
and the Bazaar," which can be found at the following URL:

Some within this so called Revolution seem unhappy that Mr. Raymond's
paper has been getting so much attention in the press and the fact that
it is what Netscape says lead it to decide to give the source code to
Mozilla away in Open Source format. Mr. Raymond really doesn't come up
with any new ideas in his paper, but what is important about it is that
he put together many thoughts and ideas that had been around for quite a
while... and organized them into a series of "laws" with supporting
evidence that leads to a rather grand conclusion... that commercial
software can't really compete with Open Source in the environment that
the Internet has created.

Dont forget that Day Job <vbg>

Ah, the Internet... the turning point in digital communications that
hasn't stopped growing bigger, nor settled down into a defined state.
Microsoft wrote it off for a long time, Linux was birthed on it. Many
people seem to have forgotten that the Internet was birthed from the
loins of Unix and the vast majority of the server side of the Internet
is still run on Unix platforms. Even more people seem to fail to realize
that much of the Internet is run with Open Source software.

Apache has the largest marketshare in the WWW server market... as does
Sendmail (mail delivery agent), PERL (CGI scripting), BIND (DNS server),
INN (news server)... and the list goes on. O'Reilly and Associates
recently had a conference bringing most of the big Open Source
developers together to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in the
Open Source revolution... and to talk strategy too. After the one day
conference was over there was a press conference and about 25 or so
computer industry reporters asked questions of the attendees. It was
obvious to the attendees that most of the press had no clue what the
Open Source movement was, how it worked, nor what it was about. There
were a few informed reporters, but generally speaking, the computer
industry media is so stuck on commercial software that they have no
concept that there is even a revolution going on. To them, Windows 98 is
revolutionary. If the media isn't informed, is it any wonder the end
user isn't either?

Why does this sound almost like the commentary that recently came outta

Networking and computing go hand in hand. Microsoft defused much of the
whole Network Computing (NC) idea while it worked on incorporating it
into the monopoly (see the recent article in your last issue regarding
Windows terminals). Microsoft is an artist of adopting and renaming
other people's technology... and usually Microsoft is able to pull off
that they invented the technology when it couldn't be farther from the

Networking and Computing go WHAT?? WHERE??? Thats cute, you remark
about the old days and about using a computer vs. operating one. In
those days, networking was about as well known as every syllable of the
Dead Sea Scrolls. While we are on the topic of Networking, shall we
discuss the extreme monopolistic tactics of Novell or, are we to ignore
all the lessons Microsoft and many of its customers learned from Novell?
Pricing, Tech Certification, Certification Costs, Developer Costs,
Levels of Cost associated with "prepackaged only" deals are nothing new
or solely from Microsoft. Now. About adopting and renaming, are you
under the impression MS pioneered this activity?? If so, let me refresh
your memory or perhaps inform you, its been going on for decades. I had
my first personal experience with adopt (buy) and rename (patent) as I
watched Atari do it with the Portfolio, Jaguar and a number of other
high powered, innovate goodies almost twenty years ago. Atari wasnt
alone back in those years Apple was notorious for buying up both talent
and product. It is nothing new and I might add, it IS an acceptable
business practice.

As you know, micro-computers have increased in power and reduced in
price so much that they are the leading business hardware platform
today. Unix is/was the dominant OS in power computing for many, many
years... and Windows NT is moving in a Unix direction... and also in the
direction of the X Window System... which has had X Window Terminals for
so long I can't remember when they started. X can be run on virtually
anything these days.

So?? Again whats the point here besides a vague history lesson.

Microsoft wants to move from the desktop into the server... aka the
network computer realm... and Unix is dying because it hasn't been able
to move from the server to the client desktop. Linux is the flavor of
Unix that is pulling that off. Linux started on the desktops of hackers
and after it became mature enough, it moved onto the server. Now as it
matures in the user-friendly-way, it's moving into the mainstream
desktop market and assuming it continues to grow as it has in the past,
with more and more applications becoming available for it, Microsoft is
going to have to deal with Linux as more of a competitor rather than
just an obscure alternative... thus sayeth the laws of Open Source.

Did you really mean "sayeth or perhaps hopeth??" MS has fully entered
the server arena. The rest of your commentary now takes on the "fear"
thing you mentioned earlier. You seem to forget there is and has been
room for everybody that provides the real thing.

In all honesty, I really don't care what the government does with
Microsoft. Even if Netscape goes out of business, Mozilla will live
forever because it became Open Source. Mozilla will better MSIE because
Mozilla went Open Source. The computer revolution continues as more and
more things go open source. Oh, to address the story about the company
that grumbled because they felt the Mozilla (aka Netscape 5) source code
wasn't as finished as they thought it should be... that is how it is
supposed to be. Mozilla isn't finished yet... the Internet community is
going to pick up the ball and continue to run with it. The Netscape
execs have been speaking publicly about how they are excited about the
Linux community... about how they are talking to big app makers about
porting stuff to Linux... and how Linux is being taken seriously.

Sure Netscapes execs are excited its fresh meat and its free!
Netscapes execs still must answer to their Stockholders. Therein lies
the rub. About Mozilla, itll be ok as long as its supported.

I could give you URLs until your hand gets numb clicking the mouse
button... but what's the point if you aren't ready to accept it and
believe? I don't think most Microsoft users are ready to confront that
fear I mentioned earlier. In the last STR issue, there were some cool
comments that contrasted early computer users with those of today... how
there are people who KNOW HOW TO USE a computer and there are more and
more people who just USE them. I don't think people are more computer
literate than they were 5 years ago. Sure, more people use computers
than ever before but that doesn't mean they are computer literate.
Virtually all Linux users are people who KNOW HOW TO USE a computer and
there is much debate about whether Linux should be adapted for those who
just USE computers... but I think it is going to happen... it is almost
there now with projects such as KDE... and even more projects that are
on the horizon such as GNOME.

I knew how to use my computer back then and I know how to use it now! So
what!!! If I tried to apply the manner in which I used my computer with
twenty year old technology now, Id crash and burn in a flaming
heartbeat. There is no point to such arguments other than reveling in
the glories of yesteryear! I had an excellent grip on the use of a
command line back then and now too. That does not mean I liked it then
or now. Computing has been made easier! Thus, making computers available
to more of mankind. I like this much more than the elitist attitude of;
"You gotta know how to USE your computer to be one of us" "Or, to be a
true computer user.". Baloney! Theres Computer Users who are sitting
in gigantic grain reaping combines computing the crop yield, soil
condition and grain quality. Because they arent using a command line
interface makes then inferior to the self-flogging command line fanatic?
I think not. Thats one clique that had an attitude problem back then
(I know; I was one of them) that today I want no part of. Id rather
see more of mankind OPERATE a computer for their own good, than see a
core group of elitists USE computers for their own edification. Ive
never seen so many attempt to bathe in the echo of yesterdays applause.
Hasnt anyone told them there is nothing as dead as the echo of
yesterdays applause?

If Microsoft doesn't learn how to play fair.. if it continues its
arm-twisting tactics... if it continues to be ethically challenged... if
it continues to think that it can buy users (see a recent promo to ISPs
that gives them Windows NT Server and assorted software for free for
converting 500 [up to two times] users to MSIE)... if it continues to
think it can make everything it does "ok" by launching extremely
questionable PR campaigns... and if it thinks it can rely on end users'
FEAR forever... Microsoft has a bigger enemy than the United States
Government. Microsoft is its own worst enemy.

Nice close.. have you ever given Hollywood Script Writing a thought??

Please note, I could have chosen quite a few more topics to debate but I
think the more important issues have been addressed and will let it rest
at that.

Let it be known that I continue to appreciate the hard work that goes
into STR every week and the opportunity to be listed among the
Contributing Correspondent Staff... and am very optimistic about STR and
it's eye on the future. Keep up the good work!

TYL, Scott Dowdle



I appreciate the compliments and especially your visionary outlook. I
hope the Staff , Myself and STReport can live up to your expectations.



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Classics & Gaming Section

Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

I read Joe Mirando's "People Are Talking" column before
putting my editorial and this section week. Usually, I do
so in case we both have identical items - I want to avoid
duplication. It's amazing that we both tend to have similar
topics for our editorial comments. I'd say psychic, but I
know neither of us is; and, Joe would probably think I was
calling him psycho! <grin>

As you've probably read here over the past seven months or
so, my wife and I bought our first house last autumn. With
spring arriving, I've been taking advantage of the nice
weather to do yard work (we've got a huge yard). The lawn
is a mess - my neighbors told me it was neglected for a few
years and were glad to see someone working on it again.
It's hard work, but enjoyable and rewarding. I hope to be
able to do some seeding this weekend and then gear up for
some gardening in the following weeks. I'm looking forward
to seeing how things turn out by summer. I even have my
vegetable garden planned! Living in the suburbs certainly
has changed my lifestyle.

As Joe puts it in his own comments below, what does all of
this have to do with computing? To be perfectly honest, and
obvious - nothing. However, as my lifestyle changes, so do
my priorities. As I'm sure most of you are well aware,
there's only so much time to do the things you really
need/want to do. There are so many things going on in our
lives that we don't always have the time to do them all.

So, as I've done off and on over the past nine months, it's
time to re-evaluate how I want to utilize my "leisure"
time. One of the biggest activities I enjoy that is a
time-killer is right here. Whether you realize it or not,
many hours go into what I contribute here. As sparse as it
seems (and that's often, for sure), it's almost a part-time
job with regard to the number of hours put in. And it's all
done on a voluntary basis. It just doesn't seem worth it
like it did a few years ago. Have I gone over to the "dark
side" and "rebuffed" Atari computing? Hell, no. I still use
my Atari machine(s) daily. I'm still running Toad Hall BBS;
I'm still managing the Atari forums on Delphi; and I'm
active in the other online communities. And there's still
my work here. The question that I have to ask myself is how
can I better utilize my time and still support the Atari
community? The answers are slowly coming to me.

So, with the nice weather getting better each week, I'll
need to quickly determine my goals and the best way to
achieve them. That may mean reducing, or eliminating my
role(s) at STReport. I hope to have the solutions soon.
Meanwhile, it's pouring like crazy outside so I'm not
concerned about yard work today!

Until next time...

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'Frogger' on Seinfeld?!
And more...

Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming

     Sony Computer Entertainment America Offers Coveted

1998 - Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today
the launch of its PlayStation merchandising program through
a new online store offering PlayStation apparel and
merchandise directly to the public. The store, which can be
accessed on the Web at, features
a full line of PlayStation branded and game-specific
merchandise, including a variety of shirts, hats, jackets,
CD carrying cases and other items. The public can go
online, browse through the virtual store and place credit
card orders directly online, or have the option of calling
orders in at 1-888-778-6337.

"Consumers see PlayStation as a hit brand that they
identify with and the demand for merchandise featuring the
PlayStation logo has been tremendous," said Andrew House,
vice president, marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment
America. "Our online store is a direct response to this
demand, providing a comprehensive and high-tech method for
PlayStation fans to shop for their favorite items."

Sony Computer Entertainment America has plans to expand its
PlayStation merchandise program through other vehicles,
including brochures and order forms in PlayStation hardware
and software packaging, as well as through the PlayStation
Underground CD magazine. The company also plans to provide
merchandise brochures to retailers, advertise the program
in select publications and roll out a seasonal four-color
mail order catalog. There are no plans to sell PlayStation
game consoles or software online.

           Classic Arcade Hit Leaps Into The 1990s

Retro is back... Frogger and other arcade greats are
hitting store shelves for a new generation of game players.
The popular game will also be featured in the first of the
last four Seinfeld episodes as George crusades to save the
local arcade in order to preserve the Frogger game that
bares his name as the highest scorer. Watch streaming video
which looks at how the arcade classic Frogger has been
updated for the '90s at

                     E3Expo Approaching!

Next month's E3Expo, the world's largest trade event
dedicated to showcasing interactive entertainment and
educational software and related products, is set for May
28 through 30, 1998, at Atlanta's Georgia World Congress
Center. Spanning the entire spectrum of what's new and
what's next in interactive entertainment content -- whether
delivered via the PC, the video game console or the
Internet -- E3Expo draws hundreds of exhibitors and tens of
thousands of industry professionals from around the world.

E3Expo is presented by the Interactive Digital Software
Association (IDSA), the only U.S. association exclusively
dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs
of companies that publish video and computer games for
video consoles (such as Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and Sony
PlayStation), personal computers, and the Internet. The
Association's members include the nation's leading
interactive entertainment software publishers, representing
more than 85 percent of the $5.6 billion U.S. market.

For more information about E3Expo '98 exhibitors,
conference program sessions or keynotes, please visit

          It's 'Games Site and Match' to CompuServe

APR 22, 1998, M2 Communications - Ever wanted to play Quake
in Quebec, Chess in Czechoslovakia, Rally in Rio, Poker in
Penang? Well now you can with CompuServe's new redesigned
online Games Community, which brings online gaming as well
as hints, tips, cheats and news from the fast-growing world
of computer games to the desktop.

The Games Community includes links to relevant Internet
games sites, chat areas and CompuServe Forums where
dedicated garners can swap information and ask each other
for advice. In addition, the Community contains a number of
multi-player games that can be downloaded and played
exclusively on CompuServe. For example, members can
GO:AIRWARRIOR to experience the thrill of a dogfight in the
sky, or GO:POKER to try their luck at cards with other
members. The extremely popular games of chess, bridge and
backgammon, as well as open adventure games, can all be
accessed via the Games Community.

Martin Turner, CompuServe UK's managing director comments,
"The Games Community provides probably the most
comprehensive resource for the gamer, whether a fanatic or
just an occasional player. The compelling combination of
multi-user and single user games, games news and
information, interactive games Forums and links to the best
games sites on the Internet provides a unique opportunity
for any online user to get genuine enjoyment from the

"We recognise that for our target market, the professional
consumer, it's Just as important to have access to the best
and most relevant leisure and entertainment content, as it
is to have high quality business and professional content.
The Games Community is the comprehensive online resource
for gaming fanatics of all ages and backgrounds."

Members will also be able to keep up with what is happening
in the computer games industry - with the UK PC and console
games market worth over GBP 1bn, being in touch with the
business stories behind the big games releases examined on
the Community could prove very valuable. Members can also
read reviews of the latest PC and console games (Including
the popular Playstation, Saturn and Nintendo formats) and
also find out what the best selling games are each week.

CompuServe members can GO:GAMES to access the Games
Community or by clicking on the icon in the Communities

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                    PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, it looks like spring
is finally upon us here in the northeast. The days are
getting longer and warmer, and the grass and flowers are
growing like crazy. I'm lucky in that my landlord does all
of the yard work. He enjoys being outdoors and working with
living, growing things. I suspect that it also gives him
time to himself, away from the stress of work and family.
Ah, communing with nature.

I'm cut from a different bolt of cloth evidently. Even as a
young boy, helping my father with yard work, there was
always something I would have rather been doing. Now don't
get me wrong, I love the outdoors. I've got a fairly good
green thumb (which I inherited from my father), and don't
mind work (which I also inherited from my father). It's
just that there were always radios and clocks that I wanted
to take apart and put back together, or things I wanted to
do to one toy or another to make it do something other than
what it was intended to do. I guess I just always needed to
be able to see how things work as they work. Grass and
flowers grow too slowly to really examine the change, and
the miracle of living, growing things is something that you
can't usually see no matter how hard or long you look.

So I guess that need to see how things happen and to be
able to control and change the course of things is what
lead me to computers. Sure, the processes that make them
work cannot actually be seen, but their workings are much
easier to visualize than the growth of something even as
simple and dreaded as a dandelion. I think that we
sometimes loose sight of this one simple fact: No matter
how advanced we have become, no matter how fast we can now
do whatever it is that we decide we want to do, we still
cannot match the wonder or the delicate intricacy of a
simple garden weed doing what garden weeds have done
since... well, since before there were gardens.

Now, I hear some of you wondering "Why in the heck is he
even bothering to mention this in a computer column?" I'm
not really sure myself, but it might have something to do
with the fact that we, as a whole, tend to take ourselves
and what we have achieved much too seriously. Sure, we've
built structures that defy nature and her elements, learned
to communicate around the globe at our merest whim, we have
gone to the moon, sent probes to other planets and even
outside of our solar system. But the ultimate event, the
ability to actually 'create' remains beyond us. Yes, we can
combine things that already exist, take advantage of
chemical processes and forces of nature, but that is
synthesis, not creation. Our computers are wonderful tools
for manipulating numbers and for allowing us to see things
that we might otherwise miss, but neither their scale nor
their complexity can compare to even the most simple and
lowly of nature's creations.

Imagine the shock that would have been felt around the
world if, during a talk given by Bill Gates, the potted
plant next to him suddenly yelled out "System Error, System
Error! Hit any Leaf to Continue". No, friends and
neighbors, this whole thing was not a lead-in for that last
paragraph, but it does kind of put things in perspective,
doesn't it? <g>

Well, let's take a look at what's going on with that
electronic grapevine, the UseNet.

>From the NewsGroup

Greg G tells us:

"I just picked up an Atari 1040ST with a mouse, power cords
and monitor at my local thrift store. It's running GEM on
the TOS operating system. Does anyone know where I can find
a FAQ or general information about this computer? I
formated a PC disk in it and the files seem DOS compatible
--does anyone know of web sites where I can download
software for this thing?"

Dan Phillips tells Greg:

"For a quick start, go to Hallvard's launch page, you find
just about anything there, links galore for the Atari line,
and tell Hallvard thanks: "

Nicholas Bales adds:

"For a FAQ check out the URL in my .sig (   ). It
contains all you need (and more) to get started..."

Ian Norton asks:

"Is there any way that I can connect a falcon to a TCP/IP
network either via serial link or lan ports, The PCS are
running Windows 95 and Windows NT4. If possible I dont want
to have to install linux but if that's the only way... If
possible i'd like the falcon to treat the shared network
drives as normal drives on the falcon. The PCs have 3COM
Ethernet 3 network cards if that is any help."

Ben Hills tells Ian:

"You could connect the the Atari and PC together via their
serial ports and use NFS (Network File System) on both
machines to allow drive sharing. I don't know of any NFS
drivers available at the moment for GEM, but NFS is
available for MiNT. To set this up you will need MiNT,
MiNTNET and NFS for both the PC and Atari. I do have
details on how to do this on my Home Page supplied by a guy
called Gerry O'Rourke, but my site is currently
unavailable. So, I could E-Mail/Post these details to you
if you like."

Michael Mathison asks for help with viewing pictures:

"A friend of mine sent me a picture of himself (JPEG). Now,
how do I view this picture with a 1 meg St1040f? Also, is
there a way that I can view GIF images?"

George Crissman tells Mike:

"ImageCopy converts picture formats and is relatively

Eric Hays adds his own thoughts:

"Probably Speed of Light GIF is the best GIF viewer for the
1040ST. You can get it at e.g. Don't know what to recommend
for JPG, lot's to choose from but as I own a Falcon now I
haven't tested the ST stuff. Look at the other stuff if the
UMich graphics folder (see the address in the above
paragraph), or try: "

Terry May adds:

"Speed of Light is also probably the best JPG viewer for
the ST, too. Actually, the best way to view GIFs or JPGs on
an ST/e is probably to convert them first to TGA and then
use the Apex TGA viewer. It's a bit of a hassle, and TGAs
are rather large, but the results are worth it, if it's
something where quality is important to you."

Ian Norton asks:

"As the TT 030 has a 32mhz chip, is it possible to get the
'030 in the falcon to run at 32MHz by overclocking it or

Kent Johansson tells Ian:

"In some Mac's it's possible to overclock the 030
(20->25Mhz and 25->30Mhz seems to be common for 030's, such
as the IIsi/ci/fx Mac's). The 68881/2 seems to be a very
overclockable chip, as long as they get cooled (the same
goes for the 030). So the CPU/FPU seems to be possible to
tune a bit, the problems are most likey among the support
chips, eg the Shifter and the Glue parts. I dunno how those
chips reacts to a higher clock frequency.

The 030 used in the TT is a 33Mhz part but the one in a
Falcon is a 16Mhz part, but these should be possible to
find rather cheap in various old Mac's and Sun 3/80
workstations. These are likely to carry a FPU as well. So
obtaining a faster chip shouln't be that hard, they are
still listed in Motorolas price lists and can be bought
from various sources."

Anthony Jacques tells Ian:

"The simple answer is yes - there are quite a few speeder
boards (eg. Speedres, BlowUP-FX, nemesis, and more) that
overclock various parts of the Falcon, including the CPU.
However, its not a simple job - it is more than just
swapping one clock over, as different parts of the Falcon
have different tollerences (eg, my 030+FPU run at 36Mhz,
but my bus only at 18Mhz)."

Mark Newton-John asks:

"Has anyone connected the EZ-Flyer to an Atari? I am
considering it for my Mega, and you can't beat the price,
$129 for 230 Mb. Hell, even with a SCSI adaptor, that's a
better deal than the Megafile 60s or older Megafile 44s out
there. I'm assuming that you use standard Atari hard disk
partitioning software?"

Robert Schaffner tells Mark:

"[It's the] Same as a ZIP, ZIP+ or any other SCSI
Harddrive. SCSI-Cable, Host-Adaptor (if you have an Atari
without SCSI) the right termination and a Harddisk-Driver.
( I don't talk about AHDI..)!!"

Louis Holleman posts this about his trials and tribulations
with STinG:

" problem gets solved, the other one turns up. (Yep,
I know you all think "what now, sucker?" So I got the
latest stuff from Peter's site, put it all in (except for
my DIAL.SCR, DIAL.INF). Everything else (Sting.prg, the
tools, the STX modules as well as and the RSC
file) has been replaced. Dialer now tells me I'm on version
1.15 for both Sting and the Dialer. Guess what: my transfer
rates go back to something like 200-250 cps (that's with
Newsie fetching articles) whereas these used to be at least
1000 cps or more... (this on a 14K4 modem). So I'm simply
going back to the old version, till this has been sorted

Roger Cain tells Louis:

"You are not alone as I have heard of others with EXACTLY
the same symptoms. It must be something fairly simple as I
(and many others) managed to do the s/w upgrade without
losing performance. Are you sure you replaced ALL the new
modules? I think STiNG has sometimes complained when part
of its software is 'out of sync.'."

Louis tells Roger:

"I received an email from Steve Hammond, suggesting to
leave an old TCP.STX in there, I did just that but the
problem remained. Now I've fetched two old versions of
Sting, 1.06 and 1.08 and replaced Sting.prg,,
and the Centr, Serial, TCP, UDP and Resolve.STX'es by the
ones from version 1.06. I'm back on Sting 1.06 and Dialer
1.10 again and the rates are again as they used to be... It
may be that the older version of TCP.STX wasn't old enough
when I put it back in :-), can't figure out exactly which
one it was but it was newer than the version supplied with
1.06. So I will move on with newer stuff and see what
happens. Maybe I should only leave this old TCP.STX in
there. In the meantime I set QED up to wrap lines in
inserted text, not on loading text, so right now the
headers should be left as they are, and I don't have to
keep an eye on my own writing to avoid long lines. Guess
that problem is settled too then. It's all becoming what it
should be: getting fun out of Internet <grin>"

Well folks, I know that the coverage is a bit thin this
week, but with the spring weather calling us all outside to
enjoy the warmth and sunlight, I expect it to remain this
way for at least a few more weeks. Till next time, remember
to listen to what they are saying when...

                     PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

                                                  Those who cannot forgive others....

                                                            break the bridge

                                              .....over which they themselves must pass.


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