ST Report: 1-May-98 #1417

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/13/98-01:03:13 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 1-May-98 #1417
Date: Wed May 13 13:03:13 1998

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CPU Industry Report          Marketing Muscle           Computer Insurance
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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. We'll let you know. Just a friendly

    I've begun an opinion essay that is schduled to run for a few weeks
    with, I'm certain, some very interesting reader input. I can't help
    but wonder what Bob Dole and Bob Bork are really up to besides
    taking Netscape's money. You and I both know they're both virtual
    idiots when it comes to high tech software, the Internet and
    especially the world of Web Browsers. Yet, the Dork Twins are going
    tell Microsoft "all about it". Two things .... First, I think the
    joke's on Netscape and Barksdale and second these guys are
    eventually going to help Microsoft's cause whether they like it or
    not because their presence clearly indicates; "this issue has
    become a political football".

    The crux of the matter is; how deadly is the Government's
    interference in the Free Enterprise System going to be toward the
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    goofy "control freaks" (both State and Fed) chasing Microsoft have
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    big, bad wolf.

    We, the people, should demand that ConAgra, BFI, Bechtel and a few
    other beast corporations be busted wide open so price fixing on
    food, water, garbage removal, waste management and housing can
    either be brought to an end or, at least a reasonable cost. Anybody
    do their "homework" yet on these monolithic giants? If not...
    please do. You'll be unpleasantly surprised to find there is a
    Damien Thorn.



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                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                      Yahoo! Launches Computer Web Site

Yahoo! introduced Yahoo Computers, a new Web site providing computer news,
forums and shopping. The company said the new site -- -- is designed to combine much of the
computer-related content that already appears on different Yahoo sites, with
additional new services into a single area that covers one of the most
popular topics in the Yahoo directory.

The site will include news that is updated several times a day, industry
rumors and content from Ziff-Davis Publishing's ZDNet Web site, as well as
options to download new software, see listings of upcoming Net events, and
even get answers to computing questions from a help desk. Separately, Yahoo
also reached an agreement Tuesday for Onsale to become its main auction
content provider. Onsale sells a variety of merchandise, from computer
electronics to specialty foods and time shares, through auctions conducted
over the Internet.

                 Lycos CEO Reveals Plans For Online Service

Shares of Lycos, an Internet search engine company, jumped after its chief
executive disclosed plans for a directory service and an online service that
will both compete with Yahoo! Lycos CEO Robert Davis said at a Hambrecht &
Quist Technology conference in San Francisco that Lycos planned a World Wide
Web-based online service, similar to Yahoo's venture with MCI
Communications, though broader and deeper in scope. He said the service
would be launched in conjunction with a yet-to-be named Internet service

He said Lycos would make an official announcement in the next few weeks. "We
are going to be challenging them," a Lycos spokeswoman said, referring to
Yahoo!. She also declined to comment on the exact timing or possible
partnerships. Davis did not provide further details on the plans for a
directory service, which will also compete with Yahoo. Yahoo's directory
service, which uses Digital Equipment's Alta Vista search engine as its
underlying technology, is a directory of Web sites, stock quotes, classified
ads and weather, with localized versions for different cities and countries.
Yahoo has become one of the most frequently visited Web sites on the

                   Netscape's Newest Gambit is Free Email

Netscape Communications Corp is adding free e-mail to its Netcenter home
site, as part of a move to attract more users -- and advertisers -- to the
Web portal. Netcenter has played an increasingly important role at Netscape
(NSCP), bringing in a quarter of the company's revenues last year. Industry
watchers say Netscape is strengthening its site to directly compete with
directory services such as Yahoo! and Excite.

"(Is Netscape) still competing against Novell and Microsoft (in the
enterprise software market), or are they now competing with Lycos and
Yahoo!?" asked analyst Jim Balderston of Zona Research Inc. "If it's the
latter, that's a pretty substantial sea-change from a year ago." Netcenter,
Excite and Yahoo! call themselves "Web portals" - i.e., a site through which
users access the rest of the Internet. Yahoo!, the highest-traffic site on
the Web with more than 30 million visitors a month, has lured visitors back
again and again by aggressively adding free services such as e-mail, maps,
insurance information, chat rooms and home pages, and its competitors have
quickly followed suit.

Netcenter has traditionally drawn most of its traffic -- 800,000 visitors
per day, according to the company -- from the fact that it is the default
home page on every Netscape browser. But that advantage is shrinking as
Netscape loses browser market share to Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer,
and as such brand-name portals as Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite and Infoseek draw
users with a larger array of services.

"It's a step in the right direction," said analyst Patrick Keane, of Jupiter
Communications, referring to Netscape's e-mail move. "They need e-mail, they
need chat, all the stuff the other guys have. It's a real tit-for-tat kind
of thing they're doing -- one service adds something and then all the others
have to have it." Keane said that while Netcenter is still a contender in
the Web portal game because of its unique position as Netscape's home page,
the browser company was in a better position to lead the portal market two
years ago: "There's a little bit of 'late to the ballgame' here."

Netscape originally helped launch such companies as Yahoo! by driving
traffic directly to their sites from the Netscape home page. Netcenter will
soon be peddling Internet access as well. The company already has deals in
the works to resell the services of EarthLink and two other regional ISPs,
according to Netscape representatives. "We want to become the biggest portal
on the Net by expanding the amount of services we have available," said Jay
Moore, manager of Netcenter's Software Depot. With the ISP deals, Netscape
will be following in the footsteps of Yahoo! and MCI Telecommunications
Corp., who recently launched a co-branded Internet access service., a community site, is also offering Net access through

             New Quantum Drives to Reduce Chances of 'Head Slap'

Quantum Corp. on Monday will introduce its toughest disk drives yet. A new
series of Quantum Fireball hard drives will offer a new Shock Protection
System that increases the drives' durability by working to reduce "head
slap," officials said. Head slap occurs when a drive is jarred during
shipping or bumped when installed. As a result of the shock, the drive's
magnetic heads, which hover above the platters where data is stored, can
strike the platter and chip off minute pieces of its surface. That can foul
the drive heads and cause a disk failure, Quantum officials said.

The new Fireball drives will come in sizes ranging from 2.5GB to 10.2GB at
prices starting at $169 for the 2.5GB Fireball EL. Quantum Fireball SE
drives in 5.1GB, 7.6GB and 10.2GB capacities will be available for $199,
$269 and $359, respectively, company officials said. The drives, which
rotate at 5,400 rpm, offer a 512KB buffer and use an Ultra ATA interface for
faster access to data. PC OEMs, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Gateway
2000 Inc., will offer the new Fireball EL drives when they become available
in May, Quantum officials said. Quantum can be reached at

                       Gateway Drops '2000' From Name

Gateway 2000 says it is officially dropping the "2000" from its name,
introducing a redesigned logo and launching a new advertising campaign. The
new logo does not stray far from Gateway's trademark Holstein cows, which
have come to represent the South Dakota- based company's Heartland roots.
The direct marketer of computers and related products said the new design
combines a hand-drawn version of the cow-spotted box in which its equipment
is shipped, with the Gateway name in green, a color chosen to portray
"growth, momentum and vitality."

The advertising campaign was created by McCann-Erickson Worldwide's New York
office, Gateway said, and features company employees assisting people
searching for a customized computer. The tagline is "Let's talk about your
Gateway." "Gateway is evolving just as our clients' needs are evolving,"
said Ted Waitt, chairman and chief executive of Gateway. "More than ever
before, consumers and business users are looking for solutions that are
tailored to their specific requirements."

The first television ads will begin running during prime time on Thursday.
Print ads will follow in business and computer publications during the
coming months. Regarding the name change, a spokeswoman said the company had
to keep up with the times. "As the millennium approaches, it's natural for
us to drop the '2000' so we don't sound dated. And most people know us by
Gateway anyway," spokeswoman Angela Peacock said. Earlier Thursday, Gateway
said its first-quarter earnings rose to $75.87 million from $67.52 million
in the same period last year. Revenues climbed to $1.7 billion from $1.4
billion. The computer maker said its shipments in the first three months of
1998 rose 38 percent compared with the year-earlier period, though its
average unit price fell 12 percent.

                          Apple, HP In Printer Pact

Apple Computer and Hewlett-Packard today said Hewlett-Packard has committed
to making its future ink-jet printers compatible with the Macintosh computer
operating system. In return, Apple has agreed to resell Hewlett-Packard (HP)
ink-jet printers to Apple customers in the educational market. "HP's
commitment to provide built-in Mac OS support with HP's industry-leading
printers is a big win for Macintosh customers," Steve Jobs, Apple interim
CEO, said in a statement.

Under the agreement, Apple will begin reselling two HP printers to its
education customers, the DeskJet 890CM printer with a Macintosh network
bundle and the HP DeskWriter 694C printer. Apple and HP also plan to work
together to extend Apple's ColorSync software to HP ink-jet printers. "This
agreement will enable HP to provide state-of-the-art printing technologies
to a broad range of Macintosh users," said Antonio Perez, general manager of
HP's Consumer Products Group.

                  FTC Conditionally Approves DEC-Intel Deal

The government approved Intel's purchase of Digital Equipment's
microprocessor assets, but only after ordering Digital to share its
sophisticated technology with two other chip makers. The Federal Trade
Commission decision clears the way for Digital and Intel to settle a patent
dispute, but with new conditions aimed at preserving competition. Digital
manufactures the 64-bit Alpha microprocessor. But although Digital's chip
moves with lightning speed, the market has been dominated by Intel's less
expensive microprocessors.

Intel will acquire Digital's Alpha fabrication plant and had proposed making
Alpha microprocessors for Digital alone, but at a fraction of Digital's
cost, the FTC said. However, the FTC ruled 5-0, that DEC must also license
its technology to two other companies, Advanced Micro Devices and Samsung
Electronics. Under the FTC plan, AMD and Samsung can innovate and develop
their own upgrades of the Alpha so long as they are compatible with existing
versions. In addition, Digital must begin the process of certifying IBM or
another commission-approved agency as an alternate producer of Alpha chips.
IBM spokesman Tom Beerman said it was "the first we've heard of the ruling,
so we're not prepared to evaluate whether we want to produce the chip."

The FTC ruling essentially ends the patent dispute. Digital had sued Intel
in May 1997, accusing it of copying patented technologies. Intel countersued
and said Digital was using its patented technology. The FTC and both
companies expressed satisfaction with the resolution. "The commission's
order is designed to ensure that Alpha remains a viable competitive
alternative to Intel's chips, by sending a strong message to the market that
other major chip makers are now committed to Alpha's future," FTC Chairman
Robert Pitofsky said in a statement. "By protecting competition the
commission has preserved consumer choice and encouraged continued innovation
in the market for microprocessors," the FTC chief said.

Intel expressed relief that the deal was approved. "We are just gratified
that they approved the deal," said Chuck Mulloy at Intel in Santa Clara,
Calif. "We are going to move forward as quickly as possible to close the
transaction." Digital's CEO, Robert Palmer, said he was "very pleased that
the FTC not only has cleared the Intel transaction but also has endorsed
Digital's plans to assure Alpha technology is available in volume quantities
from a number of sources." The FTC decision comes at a time when the agency
is engaged in a searching, long-term investigation of Intel's business
practices to determine if they are anticompetitive and illegal.

The FTC is also reviewing Compaq Computer's $9.6 billion purchase of
Digital. Analysts said the FTC would have been hard-pressed to kill the
settlement entirely, but with an investigation, it could hardly permit Intel
to corner the market on another microprocessor. Intel dominates the market
for microprocessors with its Pentium and x86 series. "In an environment when
they are investigating Intel, merely to maintain the credibility of that
investigation they had to get something out of its acquisition of the Alpha
technology," Daniel Wall, an attorney with McCuthen, Doyle in San Francisco,
said. Wall said he believed the remedy would have little impact because
Alpha had been uncompetitive.

But George Cary of Cleary, Gottlieb in Washington, who was a key official at
the FTC until a few months ago, was more optimistic. "This solution
eliminates any lingering concern that the Alpha will remain competitive," he
said. "Digital controls the chip, and Samsung and AMD both have terrific
incentives." An industry analyst came closer to Cary's view. "It's a
positive for AMD," said Mark Edelstone, a Morgan Stanley analyst in San
Francisco. He said that in its next generation processor, the K7, AMD had
announced plans to use the Alpha's bus technology. A bus enables faster
communications between the processor and other components in a PC.

"Had Intel sole rights to the technology, that might have erected potential
roadblocks (for AMD)," he said. A spokesman for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD
said AMD already has negotiated the rights to the Alpha bus for its K7 chip
but that the possibility of getting rights to the Alpha processor technology
is very exciting for the company. "They have great technology and we have
great technology and this will give us an opportunity to work with both and
blend them and create something that is just outstanding," AMD spokesman
Scott Allen said. He said he could not be specific about what AMD's plans
would be with Alpha because the FTC decision caught everyone at his company
by surprise. "We are not talking about any specifics until the deal becomes
official," he said.

                  Newton Programmers Seek Buyout From Apple

A pair of disenfranchised Apple Newton programmers say that they, in
partnership with two companies, have secured nearly half of the investment
funds needed to either purchase or license the PDA's underlying techology
from Apple. E. Karsten Smelser and Adam Tow, co-founders of the Newton
Developers Assocation, said Thursday that they are launching an investment
drive with Newton third-party developers Planet Computing, a maker of
wireless technologies, and Enfour.

The group hopes to raise the remaining funds needed to secure the Newton
hardware and develop it for what they say are lucrative vertical business
markets such as transportation and health care. "With the incredibly large
potential market for the Newton, we want to hold a very public call for
investors and support -- we are going to hit the street hard," said Smelser.
Smelser said he had been in discussions with Enfour's Richard Northcott, and
Sina Tamaddon, Apple's senior vice president of special projects, about
acquiring the technology.

"There was a lot of talk about what it would cost to get all of the hardware
specs on the existing devices, as well as the ones about to come out: the
tablet ... version of the MessagePad with the larger screen, and the
business version of the eMate that was under development," said Smelser. At
Wednesday's annual Apple shareholder's meeting, interim CEO Steve Jobs
addressed the Newton for the first time since the company canceled the
product line in February, calling it "good technology."

Jobs said that Apple would consider licensing the Newton technology, but
that no offers had yet captured the company's attention. However, Jobs said,
if Apple were to receive adequate offers, the company would "listen
prudently." Smelser said that previous offers to buy the Newton outright had
ranged between $10 million and $50 million, though he would not go into
specifics. Smelser, speaking for the several hundred developers in the
Newton Developers Association, said that Apple, in passing over the offers,
was effectively eliminating a powerful technology with enormous potential
for vertical business markets.

"It's suited to health care, retail sales, wholesalers," Smelser said.
"Anything where you need to either gather data remotely, or access data
remotely; where you can't flip a laptop open for an hour and a half until
the battery dies." Smelser said that prior to Apple's cancellation of the
Newton, he was close to closing a multimillion-dollar deal that employed the
device as a wireless communications platform within the trucking industry.
Now, he said, the platform has vanished from the market, and few other
products even come close to being as powerful or as well suited for such
business tasks.

Unless he can work out a deal with Apple, Smelser faces the task of porting
his trucking application to the Casio Cassiopeia, a Windows CE-based device.
That task is difficult, he said, owing to the structural differences between
NewtonScript, the Newton programming language, and C++, as well as the
form-factor differences between the two PDAs. Newton said the Newton
Developers Association formed in the wake of the PDA's cancellation, for the
sole purpose of convincing Apple to sell the technology. He said many Newton
developers have either shut down or are facing bankruptcy.

The Newton Developers Association is not affiliated with the
consumer-oriented group, the National Newton Association, which is
collecting funds to mount a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly mishandling
the product's cancellation. Neither Planet Computing, nor Enfour, could be
reached for comment.

                        Apple Poised To Make Comeback

Apple Computer is confident of securing greater world market share and
believes it is poised to make a comeback in the home user consumer market.
"We believe that in the last calendar quarter of this year, Apple will begin
to grow in our market (share) year over year," said Mitchell Mandich, senior
vice present of worldwide sales. "We think we have the product strategy,
sales strategy to really help accelerate that growth. So in a couple more
quarters we will begin to grow revenues," Mandich said in an interview.

Famous for its ease of use, the Apple brand has steadily lost its market
share in homes to Microsoft Windows-based systems because consumers feel far
more programs can be used on it.

Apple's world market share has slid to just 4.6 percent from 9.6 percent in
1993, according to International Data Corp. In Europe, its share is between
three and 3.5 percent compared with market leader Compaq Computer with 15.1
percent in 1997, and IBM. Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer following with
9.5, 6.7 and 5.8 percent respectively, according to market researcher
CONTEXT of London.

But in fields such as publishing and education where Apple loyalty is
fierce, the company's market dominance is anywhere between 50 percent and 90
percent worldwide, Mandich said. And the company is poised to re-enter the
home, he said. "We are going to get reinvigorated in the consumer market.
Over the last several years we've really been pulling out of the consumer
market and we haven't had a product that really fits the price point of
today's consumers," Mandich said.

"You're going to see Apple later in this year with some products more
oriented towards the consumer, the home user," he said. The company, which
lost some US$1.8 billion in the last two fiscal years, returned to the black
in the two most recent quarters. Between October and December 1997 it had a
profit of $47 million and between January and March 1998 profits stood at
$55 million.

"In the last quarter, we grew our units by eight percent on a worldwide
basis," Mandich said. "We expect unit growth to continue and we expect
revenue growth in the last calendar quarter of this year," he said. Apple's
stock has also been buoyed in recent months since the company said in
December that it was keeping its co-founder and interim CEO Steve Jobs on
the payroll for a while longer.

Mandich said Jobs's tenure at Apple could stretch further. "My view is that
he will continue in the interim CEO job for the foreseeable future. We
suspect that we'll be together as a team for a while and Steve will be there
as well," he said. Jobs, who has made clear that his position was only
temporary, took up the post in September 1997 after former CEO Gilbert
Amelio was ousted by the board in July 1997.

A hunt has since ensued to find a permanent CEO, but Mandich said the search
was now on the back burner. "We're not really doing much of a search for a
CEO. You can say it's on the back burner. It's going very slowly."

                U.S. Senate Forms Committee On Year 2000 Bug

The Senate said it will form a special committee to handle issues arising
from the so-called Millennium bug. The panel, called the Senate Special
Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, will be headed by Utah
Republican Bob Bennett with Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd as vice
chairman. The Millennium bug occurs because many computer programs record
dates with only the last two digits of the year and may confuse 2000 with
1900 or generate other unexpected errors.

Concern has grown that many critical computers used by government agencies
and in the private sector might not have cured the bug before December 31,
1999. Reform efforts have fallen behind schedule, for example, on computers
that run the air traffic control system and at the Departments of
Agriculture and Education. In February, the Clinton administration
established a council to oversee efforts to correct the problem in
government agencies. President Clinton appointed John Koskinen, former
deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, to chair the new

               Microsoft's Herbold: 'May The Best Product Win'

It's time for the government to let honest competition rule the marketplace.
Not surprisingly, that was the message of Microsoft's chief operations
officer Monday. Bob Herbold began his address to the Hambrecht & Quist
Technology Conference in San Francisco on something of a strange note. He
said he wouldn't be detailing Microsoft's failures for the investment crowd.
"They usually get reported in the press."

But Herbold did mention "a legal issue," which apparently means the
company's wrangling with the Justice Department isn't a failure in the
Microsoft group-mind, if you consider the laws of transitive logic. The tiff
in question, of course, is the current legal battle the company has been
waging with the U.S. Department of Justice. The government charged Microsoft
in October with violating a consent decree designed to prevent the company
from using its market dominance to unfairly gain even greater competitive
advantages. Now, new, broader antitrust charges are being considered.

At issue in the current case is whether Microsoft's bundling of its Internet
Explorer browser into the Windows 95 operating system is a violation of the
1995 consent decree. But what's not clear is the implications the case
carries for the upcoming release of Windows 98. "We don't attempt to
speculate," Herbold said regarding potential delays to the Win 98 shipping
date that might occur following a new court order. "We read the same press
as you do. We have had no such requests to delay shipiment." Windows 98 is
currently scheduled to ship to manufacturers in mid-May, meaning a late June
delivery to consumers. For now, Herbold is sticking to those dates.

That said, Herbold then put the full Microsoftian spin on the issue: It's a
case, he said, of the government meddling with corporate innovation rather
than one of antitrust violation. "The principle we are fighting for is that
each and every company needs to have the ability to innovate ... to listen
to their customers ... and to build (features) into their products. And may
the best product win." Herbold painted Microsoft's version of a bleak future
for his audience. They were asked to imagine a world in which no bundling
was allowed. What if, Herbold wondered, Microsoft did not integrate its
browser and other products into its operating system?

"How would you like to load all the different capabilities? ... What the
world wants is simplicity. For you to take new features and embed them so
finely into your products ... That's what Microsoft believes should
continue." Herbold added that heavily regulated industries tend to be short
on innovation and pretty expensive for consumers. The rest of his talk was
spent trumpeting the success of other Microsoft products. But Herbold may
have erred while discussing the release of Office 98 for the Mac.

"That business is robust," he said, before throwing in the qualifier, "as
robust as Apple's business is." The audience murmured a half-laugh, but the
feathers of the Apple loyalists were ruffled. Herbold said that over 100
software developers were signed up for "Team VCI" (that's value chain
initiative). Team members who've joined the Microsoft program pledge to make
all of their software Windows NT compatible, and strive to make data
tracking and sharing more efficient, especially for manufacturers.

Herbold also described the new features of Windows 98 and said that the
upgraded operating system will include DVD compatibility, more browsing
capabilities, and the ability to hook up a television to presto-change-o the
PC into a WebTV. As for the future? Herbold mentioned research in 3D
graphics and natural language and speech recognition. He continued the theme
of Justice Department defensiveness, "Nearly every software vendor will want
to integrate (those tools)."

But you know what Microsoft really wants - entry to every living room in
America. Herbold gave the audience a glimpse of Microsoft's trek to this
destination point: he mentioned the company's $1 billion investment in cable
company Comcast Corp.; its deal to get Windows CE into a number of set-top
boxes to be deployed by Tele-Communication Inc. and other convergence plans.
And Herbold described the company's vision of the future: "the Internet
should emerge as the next mass media. It will be a blurring of the Internet
and TV. You'd better be ready for change."

                      AOL Cleared In Drudge Libel Case

America Online said that a U.S. judge dismissed the defamation suit brought
against the company as a result of a story it carried on its online service.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by
White House aide Sidney Blumenthal in late August last year, sought to hold
AOL as responsible for libel as the publisher of the story written by
Internet columnist Matt Drudge that included allegations - later retracted
-- of spousal abuse.

Internet providers had watched the case closely as an indicator of how much
responsibility they would have to take for content carried on their
services. AOL said U.S. Judge Paul Friedman cited the Communications Decency
Act of 1996 as protecting Internet carriers from such suits. The case
against Drudge was not dismissed. Through a spokesman, AOL said, "The
judge's dismissal of the case against AOL is consistent with Congress'
intent and with previous court decisions."

                  Boy Wins Legal Skirmish Over His Nickname

A legal scrimmage pitting a 12-year-old Pennsylvania boy against a toy
company that has populated playrooms and workstations with Gumbies and
Pokeys came to a happy ending last week. The story began last fall when
Christopher Van Allen, who has gone by the nickname "Pokey" his whole life,
was given the hip birthday present of a domain name -- A few
months later a letter arrived from the Prema Toy Co., owners of the Gumby
and Pokey trademarks, requesting that Van Allen turn over the domain. He and
his parents were taken aback and enlisted the help of Philadelphia law firm
Woodcock and Washburn to stake Van Allen's claim to

"The first reaction from our lawyer was that it was an easy case," said
David Van Allen, the boy's father. "It hasn't been anywhere near as easy as
we thought it would be." Prema counsel exchanged letters with the Van
Allens' attorneys, arguing that the domain dilutes the company's
trademark. The company counsel also filed a complaint with Network
Solutions, requesting that the domain be suspended. But the site contains no
reference to Gumby's sidekick, nor images of the limber horse. Instead, the
Pokey Web, as the site is called, displays Van Allen's take on video games
such as Quake and animation like South Park, as well as remedies for

After four months of legal wrangling with the toy company, the Van Allens'
lawyer received a letter from Art Clokey, creator of Gumby and Pokey. Clokey
had instructed his attorneys to withdraw the letter to Network Solutions and
end the fight for According to David Van Allen, Clokey had only
recently found out about the dispute. The Van Allens were relieved at the
missive. "We are very, very happy," David Van Allen remarked. "This was the
furthest thing from our minds when we gave the domain name to Pokey."

               Virtual Reality Helps Doctors Plan For Surgery

Virtual reality can help doctors perform surgery and also offer a more
painless way to screen for diseases such as colon cancer, a Harvard
radiologist said today. Dr. Bradford Wood said the technology allows doctors
to practice a procedure on a three-dimensional image before performing it on
a human body. "It helps to pinpoint which is the best way to go in," Wood
said in a telephone interview.

A further benefit of virtual reality will be as a painless way to screen for
colon cancer, he said. "It's another way to non-invasively find things." The
current test for this type of cancer is highly invasive. The doctor must
insert a sigmoidoscope -- a long, hollow tube with a camera on the end --
into the rectum to get a look inside the colon. Wood predicted the alternate
method will encourage more people to get tested.

"For colon screening it will take off," Wood said. "It will be a big plus
when you get more people to do it." The American Cancer Society predicts
that 96,500 people will get colon cancer in 1998, and 47,700 will die of it.
Screening is considered a vital way to fight it. Wood presented the results
of a study on the use of virtual reality to plan surgery at the 98th Annual
Meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in San Francisco.

To use virtual reality, doctors take images from normal magnetic resonance
or CT scans and put them into a computer program. This creates a virtual
three-dimensional image of the organ or area. "You are looking inside the
structures without actually going inside," said Dr. Mukesh Harisinghani,
chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, where the study took
place. He added the technique not only gives doctors more specific
information but lets them look at the images while performing surgery.

"It gives you information from a different perspective," Harisinghani said
in a telephone interview. For certain procedures like the removal of kidney
stones virtual reality makes things easier by helping the doctor find the
best place to access the stones, Wood said. "It gives you a little more
information of where things are than the normal CT scan slices," Wood said.
Wood predicted the technique will soon be more available because these uses
of virtual reality do not require complicated computers or software. "The
technology isn't new, but the application is," he said.

                San Francisco Gorilla Finds Internet a Jungle

Koko the 300-pound gorilla logged on to the Internet Monday -- and clearly
was not impressed. During what was billed as the world's first
"interspecies" on-line chat, Koko was far more interested in her toy
alligator and dreams of dinner than in answering a barrage of questions
fromthousands of eager humans. "I like drinks," Koko said, in one of her
more lucid comments during the 45-minute dialogue. "Apple drink."

Koko's foray into the high-tech world of Internet chatrooms was sponsored by
America Online and Envirolink, which together with the Gorilla Foundation
near San Francisco set up the event to publicize the plight of the world's
great apes. Lowland gorillas like Koko are threatened by logging and
poaching in their native habitats in central Africa, while their cousins,
the mountain gorillas, number now fewer than 500 in the wild.

Koko, who is 26, was seen as the obvious on-line ambassador for her species.
Raised and trained near San Francisco, she has studied modified American
Sign Language for 25 years and is now said to understand some 2,000 words of
spoken English. Unfortunately, few of these were put into play during
Monday's discussion. "Lips," Koko said, using her codeword for woman. "Koko
loves lips."

Dr. Francine Patterson, Koko's tutor and translator, said Koko's relative IQ
was about 86 and that she reacts to many situations much like a human child.
She dismissed one question about a fellow gorilla with the pithy "toilet" --
which Patterson said is her word for "bad." Koko's laconic approach to the
Internet was frustrating for the human chatters, who peppered her with
questions ranging from her opinions on Darwinian Theory to her views on the
new movie version of King Kong.

She did manage one shocker -- demanding "food and smokes" for her birthday
-- but Patterson said Koko was tobacco-free and was really asking for her
former pet, a kitten named Smokey. Kevin Connelly, a spokesman for the
Gorilla Foundation, said the cyberchat had gone as well as could be expected
and that Koko had actually been cut off at times because the human entering
her responses could not type fast enough. "She was responding to stuff
longer than was typed in. The interface was a problem," Connelly said,
adding that the event had been filmed and a more complete transcript of
Koko's remarks would be made available.

He said that initial estimates indicated as many as 20,000 people logged on
to talk to Koko, and that the session had been a success. "Koko seemed
responsive and chatty," Connelly said. "We're happy and we had a lot of
media coverage. We hope it gets the message out there about what is
happening to the gorillas." Koko herself seemed unimpressed. After a
stop-and-go conversation during which Patterson reported that Koko paused to
clean up her room, play with her toys and gaze out the window, the gorilla
finally pulled the plug on her Internet audience with a short, sharp
command. "Lights off. Good," Koko said.

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EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                                      Edupage


  $1k Prize For Edupage &       Compaq Idles Plant To Move    Antitrust Allegations
  Educom Review Student Essay   Inventory                     Against Intel

  Siemens Sells PC Plant To     States To Seek Delay Of       Computer Insurance
  Acer                          Windows 98

  Crime In The Information Age  FTC Approves Intel Purchase   Netscape Challenge To Yahoo!
                                Of Alpha Operation            And Excite

  Marketing Muscle?             Scientists Demo Internet      Internet Commerce Slowed
                                Express Lane                  Down By Software Sales

  PG&E Energy Services Taps     CyberStar Hitches Wagon To A  Pay-Per-View Internet News
  IBM For New Computer System   Satellite                     Becoming More Common

  Bork Endorses Antitrust       Gore Wants More Wires In The  Does Technology Really Make
  Action Against Microsoft      Schools                       A Difference In The Schools?

  Pornography And The First     FAQ On $1k Edupage/Educom     13 States To File Antitrust
  Amendment                     Review Student Essay Contest  Suit Against Microsoft

  Knight Ridder Heads For       Final Domain Plan Due In Two  Chinese-Language Software
  Silicon Valley                Weeks                         Uses Voice-Recognition

  U.S. Agencies Lagging In      NetChannel Likely To Turn     Sharper Image For Tiny
  Online Access                 Off Its Internet-Via-TV       Screens



Edupage and Educom Review are sponsoring a student contest for previously unpublished
essays discussing any educational, organizational, social, or cultural aspect of technology
now or in the future. The prize for best essay is $1,000. Deadline is July 31, 1998 and
entries must be limited to 1500 words or less. Each entry must be sent inside an e-mail
message in ascii text (in English) addressed to Entries will be
evaluated for originality, insight, and clarity of presentation. Decisions will be made by
John Gehl and Suzanne Douglas, the editors of Edupage and Educom Review. All decisions will
be final. Entrants must be enrolled as full-time or part-time graduate or undergraduate
students in any discipline at some institution of post-secondary education.

                            COMPAQ IDLES PLANT TO MOVE INVENTORY

Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer is taking aggressive steps to clear out unsold inventory -- he
shut down the company's North American plant for the first two weeks of this month to allow
dealers to time to move the merchandise they'd accumulated. Pfeiffer's goal is to trim
dealers' inventories to just two to three weeks' worth of goods by the end of the second
quarter. In addition, Pfeiffer has imposed a hiring freeze to cut its workforce by 1,000
employees, and plans a stock buy-back of up to 100 million shares. (Wall Street Journal 24
Apr 98)

                             ANTITRUST ALLEGATIONS AGAINST INTEL

A U.S. district judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Intel Corp., saying the
company likely violated U.S. antitrust laws when it withheld products and technical
information from workstation maker Intergraph Corp. The move could give the Federal Trade
Commission an opportunity to expand its investigation into Intel's business practices.
"It's a very damaging ruling," says one industry analyst. "The aftershocks could be
extraordinarily strong." In his ruling, the judge said that Intel chips have become an
"essential facility," a legal standard that would require Intel to provide chips to
companies that request them for product development. "We think the judge is wrong," says an
Intel spokesman. (Business Week 27 Apr 98)

                               SIEMENS SELLS PC PLANT TO ACER

German electronics firm Siemens AG is closing its information technology unit and selling
its European PC manufacturing facilities to Taiwanese PC maker Acer Inc. The information
technology unit, Siemens-Nixdorf Informationssyteme AG, will be folded into the company's
communications networks, which will then be split into three new units focusing on
"information and communication" services, networks and products. Along with making PCs to
be sold under its own name, Acer plans to make desktop and portable PCs under the Siemens
name. (Wall Street Journal 24 Apr 98)

                             STATES TO SEEK DELAY OF WINDOWS 98

CNN and PC Week say that a coalition of state attorneys general will seek to delay the
release of Windows 98 until they hold hearings to determine the legality of Microsoft's
business practices. Microsoft is planning to release Windows 98 to PC makers on 15 May.
(San Jose Mercury News 24 Apr 98)

                                     COMPUTER INSURANCE

Lloyds of London is forming an alliance with two other insurance firms to provide companies
insurance against computer viruses and computer sabotage, offering policies up to $50
million on computer systems and data. One executive associated with the venture says: "The
threat profile is changing. In the past, 80% of threats were from inside the company. More
and more, the threat is across the Internet." (ZDNN 24 Apr 98)

                                CRIME IN THE INFORMATION AGE

FBI agent Dan Vogel in Oklahoma says that the No. 1 problem facing the FBI in that state is
unscrupulous telemarketers who try to cheat the elderly and the vulnerable. "It's a
$40-billion industry. Usually, they are from out of state and the schemes will try to get
people to buy overpriced products or send money in to win a prize." Do computers play a
role? Vogel says, "All the crimes you see in society, including wire fraud and mail fraud,
have shifted over to computers. Computers have made for an easier way to contact people.''
(AP 25 Apr 98)


The Federal Trade Commission has approved the sale of Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha chip
manufacturing operation to rival chipmaker Intel Corp. - on the condition that other
companies can also make and license the chip. Digital (which is being acquired by Compaq)
will continue to design its flagship Alpha chip and will license the technology to Advanced
Micro Devices, Samsung Electronics, and perhaps IBM as well. (USA Today 24 Apr 98)

                           NETSCAPE CHALLENGE TO YAHOO! AND EXCITE

Netscape is planning to build its Netcenter Web site into an Internet gateway on a par with
Yahoo! and Excite, and will begin by offering free e-mail. Netscape expects to be able to
use its position as the dominant browser maker, with 70 million users, to attract traffic
to Netcenter. (ZDNN 23 Apr 98)

                                      MARKETING MUSCLE?

Though acknowledging that its representatives met with Netscape executives in 1995 to
discuss unspecified mutual "business opportunities," Microsoft denies a recent report in
the Wall Street Journal suggesting that it wanted to carve up the Internet browser market:
"Microsoft did not at any time suggest dividing up the browser market or any other market."
Netscape executive Marc Andreessen has a different memory of the meeting: "It was like a
visit by Don Corleone. I expected to find a bloody computer monitor in my bed the next
day." (AP 24 Apr 98)


Scientists at two national laboratories demonstrated a new "differentiated service"
technology that gives certain types of electronic data higher priority for transmission
over the Internet. In the demo, two streaming-video signals were sent -- one with a
high-priority mark and one without -- over an especially busy Internet route. The video
marked high-priority arrived at a speed of eight frames per second, versus one frame per
second for the unmarked video. Within a year, it may be possible for research labs and
universities that need more dependable Internet connections to pay a higher cost for
prioritized delivery. (Chronicle of Higher Education 1 May 98)


While software ranks as the No.1 product sold over the Internet, companies are finding it's
very difficult to deliver it online due to technical shortcomings of the Web. That
situation is slowing the growth of Internet commerce, say industry observers. Of all the
companies that sell software online, only about 15% have products that can be downloaded
from the Web, according to recent surveys by both Forrester Research and, an
industry-based newsletter. Still, online software sales are a growing market, with revenues
up from $20 million in 1996 to $69 million in '97. Research firm Jupiter Communications
predicts that sales will hit $2.3 billion by '02, once digital subscriber lines and cable
modems are more readily available. "At some point, you'd have to be an idiot to go down the
street to buy software," says an Aberdeen Group analyst. (Investor's Business Daily 28 Apr


Energy services marketer PG&E has hired IBM to develop a computer system for providing
billing and other services to business customers nationwide. Currently, PG&E's system
handles about 20,000 to 30,000 customers, mostly in California, but the new Energy Services
system will be designed to handle more than a million commercial customers across the
country. "It will allow us to serve an exponentially larger customer base than our current
system," says PG&E Energy Services' president. (Wall Street Journal 27 Apr 98)


CyberStar, a unit of the Loral Group, is planning to launch the first national
satellite-delivered Internet consumer service next year, charging customers $20 a month for
a basic package of content derived from 50 different providers. The service will also
feature premium content "channels," including games and fashion, that will be charged
incrementally based on use. Pay-per-view events will also be part of the new system.
Consumers will need to invest in small Ku-band receive dishes, priced at $200 to $250 ($350
to $400 for business customers). (Broadcasting & Cable 20 Apr 98)


Consumers are becoming more accustomed to paying for publications they access via the
Internet. Some examples: Microsoft's Slate has 20,000 paid subscribers ($19.95 a year), the
Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition has 200,000 paid subscribers ($49.00 a year), and
Business Week has recently begun charging an annual fee of $42.95 to access part of its Web
site. (USA Today 28 Apr 98)


Former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, who has been hired by Netscape to lobby the
Justice Department in favor of antitrust action against Microsoft says, "Only a knee-jerk
conservative would say there's never a case for antitrust. A monopolization case ought to
be a rare thing, and this is one of those rare cases." Bork points out that Microsoft's
documents "display a clear intent to monopolize, to prevent any competition from springing
up. And they have used a variety of restrictive practices to prevent that kind of
competition." Meanwhile, a legal consultant to Microsoft says that recent claims against
the company "don't stand up to scrutiny." (Los Angeles Times 27 Apr 98)

                            GORE WANTS MORE WIRES IN THE SCHOOLS

Vice President Al Gore is advocating a strategy to set up the Internet in every school in
the nation's 50 largest school districts as well as 185 schools run by the Bureau of Indian
Affairs. Gore wants Internet access to be provided through a special "education rate" and
is calling for a Department of Commerce, but it is not clear whether the subsidy would come
from Internet service providers. (AP 28 Apr 98)


Linda Roberts, the director of Office of Educational Technology in the Department of
Education, says there needs to be a serious effort to do research that will help determine
whether computers and the Internet improve student achievement. "It's critical. It's
important to collect baseline data and to deliberately track performance... School
districts will be called to task for 'What are you doing with your money and what
difference does it make?'" (New York Times 27 Apr 98)

                             PORNOGRAPHY AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT

A radio newsman doing research on a story about child pornography is under felony
indictment by a federal court in Maryland on pornography-related charges after he pretended
to be a pornographer in online chat groups, and exchanged photos of young girls in lewd
poses. The newsman, Larry Matthews, says: "It's a frightening thing. Can the government
take any topic and say, the only thing you're allowed to report is what we tell you? What
does it do to the First Amendment? Who will then keep watch on them?" The prosecutor's
position is: "The defendant is seeking what amounts to an absolute immunity to violate
valid criminal statutes when he decides to do so in the name of gathering news."
(Washington Post 27 Apr 98)


Thirteen states are preparing to file a joint antitrust action against Microsoft to prevent
the company from shipping its new Windows 98 operating system software. The attorneys
general said they would rather have coordinated a federal-state action against Microsoft,
but that they were concerned over the slower time frame within which federal government
operates. Microsoft plans to begin shipping Windows 98 to computer makers next month and to
release it to the general public in June, and the states felt taking any action after the
PC makers began installing it on their machines would be significantly more complicated.
Microsoft's VP for law and corporate affairs says: "This case involves a fundamental
principle for us, the freedom of high-technology companies to continue to innovate on
behalf of our customers. Part of innovation has to be integration. We are going to continue
to integrate products." (New York Times 30 Apr 98)


Knight Ridder Inc., the second largest U.S. newspaper publisher behind Gannett Co., is
abandoning its Miami headquarters for California's Silicon Valley. The move, which will put
Knight Ridder closer to its San Jose Mercury newspaper, highlights its commitment to
becoming a high-tech information provider. "There is no doubt that new technology and the
emerging power of the Internet will greatly affect how people will get their news and
information," says CEO Anthony Ridder. "As a news and information company, we want to stay
very close to developments related to this new medium." (St. Petersburg Times 29 Apr 98)

                             FINAL DOMAIN PLAN DUE IN TWO WEEKS

Ira Magaziner, White House point man on the Internet, says he expects the final plan for
revamping the Internet domain name registration process to be announced in two weeks. "Once
it's issued, we'll move on with it," he says. "We've met with dozens of groups and had good
discussions with the European Union. We're bridging the gaps, and there'll be some
modifications based on the comments we've received." The initial plan, presented in a
"green paper," called for a private, nonprofit organization to appoint up to five
independent organizations to be registries, each of which would administer one new
top-level domain. (TechWeb 29 Apr 98)


A former Apple computer software designer has developed a software program that recognizes
150 spoken Mandarin words a minute and could provide a breakthrough for Chinese computing.
Hanyu Ziyin (Chinese-language companion), made by AsiaWorks, can process up to 50,000 words
spoken continuously (no pausing between words), and can also recognize characters written
with an electronic pen and pad, even in cursive script. The program boasts 90% accuracy
with Beijing accents, but only 70% with others, one aspect that AsiaWorks is working to
improve. (Wall Street Journal 30 Apr 98)

                           U.S. AGENCIES LAGGING IN ONLINE ACCESS

A report issued last week by OMB Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog group, says few
agencies are fully complying with the 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act
regulations, which require them to post many public documents on their Web sites. The
agencies had until November 1997 to comply, but a survey conducted between last November
and January of this year found that no agency had met the full EFOIA guidelines, and more
than 20% did not meet any of the regulation's requirements. "I think this demonstrates that
most agencies don't put a high priority on providing public access to their information,"
says an OMB Watch policy analyst. (Net Insider 28 Apr 98)


NetChannel Inc., which provides an Internet-via-TV service similar to Microsoft's WebTV,
plans to shut down its service this weekend, as it continues to talk with America Online
about an acquisition. NetChannel has signed up about 10,000 subscribers after less than a
year in operation. AOL lent the beleaguered company $5 million in November, and is said to
be more interested in NetChannel's technology, employees and expertise, than in the
NetChannel service. "They're looking at developing something that is uniquely suited to the
TV experience, not a replacement to the AOL service," says an executive familiar with AOL's
plans. NetChannel's demise is a blow to Oracle, because its affiliate, Network Computer
Inc., produces software for the NetChannel service. (Wall Street Journal 29 Apr 98)

                               SHARPER IMAGE FOR TINY SCREENS

The hottest new thing in display technology is organic light-emitting diodes -- close
cousins of the LEDs that light up watch displays. The organic version uses flexible films
in place of hard semiconductor crystals, providing a brighter, clearer image. Dow Chemical,
Siemens, Lucent Technologies, Sony and TDK all are working on OLED prototypes for use in
cellular phones and other handheld electronic devices. (Business Week 4 May 98)


Forrester Research predicts that by 2002, 10% of U.S. households will contain networked
electronic devices, such as refrigerators that alert homeowners it's time to buy milk, or
intelligent sprinkler systems that kick on when the weather report calls for clear skies.
(Information Week 20 Apr 98)

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    Kids Computing Corner
    Frank Sereno, Editor

                          Nintendo's Next Machine

    With the N64's poor performance in Japan, Nintendo is trying to
    begin the design of its next system. Unfortunately, uncompromising
    management and other industry factors have stymied it at every

    April 27, 1998

    Nintendo is in the unenviable position of having to come up with a
    new console while its current offering flounders in Japan and
    Europe. Although experts acknowledge that the video games business
    is surprisingly incestuous by even Jerry Springer's standards,
    recent developments taking place within two of Seattle's biggest
    corporations have made that fact clear for the whole world to see.
    Next Generation Online exclusively reports on how Nintendo and
    Microsoft wound up eyeing the same company's chipset for the year
    2000's biggest game console.

    Few in the video game industry are aware of a rift that formed
    between Nintendo and partner Silicon Graphics, Inc. just as their
    jointly-developed 64-bit game console rolled off production lines.
    Already beginning to feel financial strains due to changing market
    conditions for their high-end graphics workstations, Silicon
    Graphics found itself arguing over component profits with
    notoriously tight-fisted Nintendo as the system's American launch
    MSRP was lowered at the last minute before release. Although the
    companies maintained their working relationship, the decidedly
    traditional and hard- lined management at Nintendo had taken
    offense, and no longer considered SGI a lock for development of
    Nintendo's post-N64 game console.

    Then several important events took place during 1997 inside of
    Nintendo, SGI and one of their former competitors. Weak Japanese
    sales of the N64 and its software lowered the company's confidence
    in the N64 platform, and American sales were projected to fall off
    as key internal software titles were continuing to miss release
    targets by entire seasons. Demonstrably strong sales of PlayStation
    games in the inexpensive CD format had weakened the appeal of
    Nintendo's third-party development contracts, and Nintendo started
    to believe that it was in the company's immediate interest to
    prepare a new console for release as soon as Fall of 1999. At the
    same time, a number of Silicon Graphics key Nintendo 64 engineers
    left the company to form the new firm ArtX, with the express
    intention to win a development contract for Nintendo's next
    hardware by offering Nintendo the same talent pool sans SGI's
    manufacturing and management teams.

    As it turns out, most of the industry's top 3D chip experts have
    been lured away from smaller firms by accelerator developers
    NVidia, 3Dfx and NEC, so Nintendo's pool of potential partners was
    already shrinking when it began to shop around for a new console
    design team. Enter CagEnt, a division of consumer electronics
    manufacturer Samsung, and here's where the confusion begins: CagEnt
    was formerly owned by 3DO, where it operated under the name 3DO
    Systems and developed the M2 technology that was sold to Panasonic
    for $100 Million some time ago. When 3DO decided to exit the
    hardware business, it sold off the 3DO Systems division to Samsung,
    which named it CagEnt and gave it roughly two years to turn a
    profit. CagEnt owned three key technologies: a DVD playback system,
    a realtime MPEG encoding system called MPEG Xpress, and a completed
    game console with a brand new set of console-ready chip designs
    called the MX. Adrian Sfarti, who had formerly developed the
    graphics architecture design for SGI's Indy workstation, was the
    head of the MX project.

    The MX chipset was a dramatically enhanced version of the M2
    chipset sold to Panasonic and Matsushita, now capable of a 100
    million pixel per second fillrate and utilizing two PowerPC 602
    chips at its core. (CagEnt's executives also boasted of a four
    million triangle per second peak draw rate, though the quality of
    those tiny triangles would of course have been limited). Nintendo
    executives Howard Lincoln and Genyo Takeda were among a group of
    visiting dignitaries to tour CagEnt's facilities, culminating in
    late 1997 or early 1998 with a formal offer from Nintendo to
    acquire CagEnt outright. At this point, Nintendo had terminated its
    development contract with SGI (see SGI/MIPS Loses Nintendo

    As purchase negotiations continued, Nintendo worked with CagEnt
    engineers on preliminary plans to redesign the MX architecture
    around a MIPS CPU, as NintendoFs manufacturing partner NEC has a
    MIPS development license but none to produce the PowerPC 602.
    Nintendo and CagEnt flip-flopped on whether the finished machine
    would include a built-in CD-ROM or DVD-ROM as its primary storage
    medium, with Nintendo apparently continuing to insist that ROM
    cartridges would remain at the core of its new game system. Yet as
    DVD and MPEG technologies would have been part of the CagEnt
    acquisition, Nintendo would probably have found some reasonable use
    for those patents eventually. The MX-based machine was to be ready
    for sale in Japan in fall 1999 -- in other words, development of
    games for the new console would begin within literally months,
    starting with the shipment of dev kits to key teams at Rare and
    Nintendo's Japanese headquarters.

    Although the asking price for CagEnt was extremely low by industry
    standards, talks unexpectedly broke off in early 1998 when Samsung
    and Nintendo apparently disagreed on final terms of CagEnt's
    ownership, leaving Samsung's management desperate for a suitor to
    buy the company. CagEnt aggressively shopped itself around to other
    major industry players. SGI's MIPS division, reeling from the loss
    of its N64 engineers to ArtX, allegedly considered acquiring CagEnt
    as a means to offer Nintendo the technology it had already decided
    it liked. Sega, 3Dfx and other companies toured CagEnt's facilities
    and finally CagEnt found a suitor.

    In early April, Microsoft's WebTV division ultimately acquired all
    of the assets of CagEnt and hired on most of its key personnel.
    WebTV and Microsoft apparently intend to use the MX technology at
    the core of their next WebTV device, which as might be guessed from
    the graphics technology, will no longer be limited to simple web
    browsing and E-mailing functionality. The next generation WebTV box
    will be Microsoft's low-cost entry into the world of game consoles,
    melding the functionality of a low-end computer with a television
    set-top box and game-playing abilities. Having worked with Sega
    behind the scenes since 1993 or 1994, Microsoft has been quietly
    gathering the knowledge it needs to market and develop games for
    such a device, and now it has the hardware that even Nintendo would
    once have wanted for itself.

    As for Nintendo, all signs point to a very unpleasant near future
    for the Japanese giant. Lacking internal hardware engineers with
    the necessary expertise to develop the next high-end chipset,
    Nintendo is now all but forced to either partner with ArtX, or one
    of the 3D accelerator makers who have been sucking the industry dry
    of all its most talented people, or perhaps join with one of its
    other major rivals. The latest word has it that ArtX and Nintendo
    are in talks to work together, perhaps under circumstances similar
    to those under which Nintendo would have acquired CagEnt. Unlike
    CagEnt, however, ArtX does not have a finished console or even
    half-completed chip designs to sell Nintendo, and it would be
    unlikely that Nintendo would be able to scrape together a
    reasonable system by Christmas 2000 with ArtX's present
    limitations. Additionally, SGI's recent series of strategic
    lawsuits against Nvidia and ArtX seem to be intended to serve as
    garlic and crosses to stave off any Nintendo alliance with its
    tastiest potential allies: Nintendo might well fear developing a
    new console only to find out that its core technologies or
    employees are depending upon infringed patents, regardless of the
    merits of those patents or the lawsuits.

    Meanwhile, the company continues to harbor tremendous concerns for
    the future of the Nintendo64 platform, which appears to be sinking
    deeper and deeper in Japan by the day. No's negotiations with
    CagEnt shed light upon the tremendous dependence the Japanese
    company now has upon Rare, which has been responsible for a number
    of the Nintendo 64's best-looking games and at least two of the
    machine's most popular -- Diddy Kong Racing and Goldeneye 007. As
    Nintendo's Japanese development teams have never been known for
    their ability to stick to release schedules, the company's
    third-party rosters have remained bare and its management has
    remained dogmatically fixated upon silicon chips as its sole means
    of profit, Nintendo's problems have set the stage for a truly
    interesting set of negotiations come this E3.

    To sum up, readers need to understand that decisions and
    relationships made early in the design process of a new console can
    dictate a company's standing in the industry for the following five
    years. Ripple effects from these decisions can be felt in a
    company's bottom line can be felt for even longer. Nintendo has
    found itself in the unenviable position of being without an
    established partner and with the clock ticking down. If Nintendo
    should choose to go with ArtX (assuming it's able to fight off
    SGI's lawsuit), it will need to complete a chip design is an
    extremely short period of time. If it doesn't go with ArtX,
    Nintendo will have to find a technology that is already suited to
    the console market or one that can readily be changed to suit a
    similar purpose. Either way, at this point the chances of Nintendo
    hitting its desired 2000 release with a new system are extremely

    Courtesy Next Generation Online

                        GOVERNMENT (STATE & FEDERAL)
                      RUNNING UNCHECKED and DERANGED?

    An Opinion

    By R.F. Mariano

    Here we are, about to embark upon a journey into a new Century and
    we find the U.S. Government behaving at its very worst. With
    Certain of the State's running a hot Carbon Copy. We must stop all
    this nonsense and start asking some very pointed questions of
    ourselves. After all, the Government is US. We must ask;

         Where will it all lead?
         Where will it leave the country's economy, taxpayers and
         business community?
         Is all this turmoil truly in the taxpayer's best interest
         and ultimately their benefit?
         Who... or what group is really benefiting?
         Why are the Antitrust drives against Microsoft and
         Anti-Clinton Crusades allowed to continue?
         Who and perhaps, what are the real instigators and
         motivators in these matters?
         How can we best put an end to these Witch Hunts?

    As an observer, a computerist, and a taxpayer.... I feel I am more
    than qualified to make my opinions known. In the course of the next
    few weeks, we'll explore the above questions a number of times.
    (I'm certain)

    To begin, I must say its most odd that Clinton's activities in his
    private and most personal life and times must be used by a
    so-called professional investigator and accomplished attorney Ken
    Starr, in his rabid pursuit of Clinton over a land deal gone sour.
    A land deal that the Mellons lost their proverbial backsides over.
    Could it be the Mellon Group and Banking Concerns are not only
    indirectly funding but energetically pushing this inquisition
    forward not matter who or what is victimized in the process? Why is
    it the Republican majority finds it so easy to ignore the extreme
    injustices and violations of human dignity and respect that are
    being perpetrated on an almost daily basis by Starr and his
    entourage? Was it really necessary to have that poor old man,
    McDougal DIE in jail? I'm willing to bet Starr'll have a heckuva
    time explaining that to St. Pete. Are we as the nation's average
    citizens going to go for the two-faced back stabbing Newt Gingrich
    has managed to popularize in Washington D. C. political circles
    recently? Gingrich needs to be sent back to Georgia where he too
    can mock (talk so piously about correcting but doing nothing) the
    extremes in poverty His home State is so famous for.

    No matter what the rabble rousers say, one of the major Clinton
    accomplishments has been the BALANCING of the FEDERAL BUDGET... a
    BOOMING and VERY STRONG ECONOMY... An economy whose precipitation
    of wealth is reaching the "little guy" not being HOARDED at or near
    the top of the monetary food chain by the wealthy political cliques
    found hovering around the Nation's power brokers. This is the usual
    result and standard operating procedure under Republican
    Administrations. This is one of the very basic reasons why
    Clinton's Democratic Administration is taking such devastating hits
    from the Republican Sides of the House and Senate. I offer a truly
    professional example set by a "Stand Up" Republican.

    I respectfully submit:

    "Rep. Dan  Burton said Thursday his House committee  would try again
    to  grant  immunity to  four  potential witnesses  in  its probe  of
    alleged  Democratic campaign fund-raising  abuses. The immunity  was
    blocked  last week by Democrats  on the House Government  Reform and
    Oversight Committee, triggering  a blast of anger from House Speaker
    Newt  Gingrich, who  accused congressional  Democrats and the  White
    House  of orchestrating  a cover-up.  Committee Democrats said  they
    could no  longer trust Burton to  run a fair investigation  after he
    called President  Clinton a "scumbag" and said he  was "after" him."

    This guy needs to be run out of Washington D.C. on a rail... tarred
    and feathered! He makes makes a mockery of "Truth, Justice and the
    American Way! In fact he almost does it as well as Ken Starr. One
    can only wonder just how Burton ever won such a responsible
    position in our Nation's Capital. I can only wonder about his
    campaign promises, platforms and of course his backers. The
    campaign contributions received by his personal campaign in running
    for office ought to be thoroughly investigated, three to five
    layers deep. He certainly does not belong office. I would not trust
    Burton running a one man fruit stand in the Sahara Desert.

    Have these foolish, hell bent for leather politicos lost their
    minds? I believe so. The US economy hasn't been as strong as it is
    in at least a decade and a half. The Federal Budget is balanced.
    The first time since the Eisenhower Administration. Yet, these
    fools insist upon trying to drag down and or otherwise discredit an
    Administration that's been more successful than any other in four
    decades! Why? Because the Republicans wish to stuff another Richard
    Milhouse Nixon down our throats? You BET!

    Care to wager as to where the nations wealth and power was in those
    years? Big Business in the Military arenas was calling the shots
    and taking care of the Power Brokers on the Hill. A coupla hundred
    dollars for a toilet seat, a hammer and I can go on and on and on
    with this one. That's the Republican way.... Line their coffers at
    the expense of the little guys... the average wage earners, the
    Social Security Recipients and the laborers of this nation. Heck
    they have no real money so how are they going to be heard if they
    have a squawk? Easy folks, in the Election Booth!! These little
    folks must first learn to resist the rhetoric and empty promises
    poured all over them during the election campaigns. All they need
    do is remember which politicians, if any, kept their word.

    If Ken Starr and Newt Gingrich are allowed to have their way, the
    economy as we know it today is DOOMED. The M1 (street side cash
    flow) will dry up just as it always has every time a Republican
    Administration took office. The M1 is very tidily redirected to the
    money mongers and then.... A slight "trickle down economy" is
    allowed simply to placate the masses. Overspending by the Fed, more
    top-heavy government and appointed rather than elected agencies and
    committees will be created with far too much power at their
    disposal. Sad to say, but today's News Coverage of the IRS
    investigative and enforcement abuses bears these facts out to be

    The benefits of the Starr Crusade seem to be flowing toward the
    Mellon Banking Group... nothing monetarily speaking, simple revenge
    folks, just simple revenge.... They want Clinton's Head on a
    Platter and will stop at nothing to arrive at that. We, as a Nation
    of civilized peoples, must put an end to this deplorable if not
    nefarious Whitewater thing once and for all. How many more lives
    must be ruined financially, morally, and socially by this selfish,
    disgusting inquisition?

    Write to your Congress Critter or Senator. Even if you don't trust
    `em.... They'll have to act if they receive enough mail from their
    constituents. After all, they never wish to jeopardize that
    lucrative Pension that awaits them or all the cushy Lobbyist
    Appointments after they leave office or lose an election. Ask Bob
    Dole... Dole loans Gingrich $300,000 to pay his Ethics Committee
    Fines. Birds of a Feather....Dole, now there's a character. Great
    War Hero, terrific "behind the scenes Politician, lousy candidate..
    He ought to go home and live out the rest of his life comfortably.
    That is if His better half will allow it.

    Where do most fledgling, unknown, Attorneys go upon graduating and
    passing the Bar? Some wind up in the Public Defender's office,
    others show up in the State Attorney's (DA's) Office, many seek
    employment in corporate law, and a few, in possession of
    exceptional grades and awards become employed by large successful
    Law Firms. Those in the employ of State or Federal Prosecutors....
    Must make a name for themselves or else be forever assigned to the
    everyday mundane do nothing, go nowhere cases that come up in
    droves. So, we find the "eager beavers" literally jumping on the
    "Get Microsoft Bandwagon" because with it goes National Notoriety.
    Little do these neophytes realize... if Microsoft wins outright,
    the reasons (all of them) will be placed squarely upon their
    inexperienced shoulders. Sure most if not all will get over it but
    the stigma of the loss will remain for decades if not for life.
    That's just a personal observation. Now comes the serious and most
    deadly observation. This effects us all.

    If these Grandstanding Stateside Head Hunting Injunctions take
    place and Win98 is delayed.... The only thing that'll suffer in the
    long run will be the strength of this Nation's Economy. I have
    ask.... What ever happened to the Great WAR on DRUGS?? States
    Attorneys General and the Federal Attorney General pledging to wipe
    out Illegal Drugs in this country. Is this another joke perpetrated
    upon this Nation's taxpayers and VOTERS?? I think so. After all the
    Drug War Industry and all the peripheral businesses involved in the
    Drug War amounts to Billions being made every year.

    An end to Drugs?? Not on your life nor in your lifetime! If the
    flow of Illicit Drugs ceased tomorrow, this country would be
    plummeted into the worst Depression it would ever experience. Think
    of all the huge Penal Institution Management Corporations, all the
    extra law enforcement agencies, all the support businesses (food,
    clothing, medicine, etc) for the huge Jailhouse Enterprises that
    would be put out of business overnight. The Stock Market would Turn
    inside out! So.... What do we see?? A major diversion for the
    public eye (an antitrust boondoggle) and a scapegoat (Microsoft) so
    that the Joel Klein's of this world can justify their jobs and
    ultra high wages of better than a thousand dollars per week. To top
    it all off, an inferior product (Netscape) is being hailed as a
    victim... all to the joy of Jim Barksdale and friends.

    This past week, we found a couple of political has-beens jumping up
    and landing on the National News Spotlight... none other than Bob
    Dole and Bob Bork. What an ODD-Couple. Bork was a sensation in his
    "revealing" Senate Confirmation Hearings. Dole... well, what can
    you say he's simply sour grapes.. doing just about anything to
    remain in the public eye. From ridiculous commercials to Dole-like
    Trust-busting. (Duh!) He really has a handle on this matter...
    during his failed Presidential campaign he had no clue as to what
    the Internet was let alone a Web Browser!

    Next week, we'lll pick right up where we left off.


        Jason's Jive


        Jason Sereno, STR Staff


        Features 4X Write, 12X Read Performance

        Includes a Valuable Software Bundle

        04/21/98 -- (COMDEX/Spring, CHICAGO) -- TEAC, a world leader
        in the manufacture of CD-ROM, CD-Recordable and removable
        storage technology, today announced the shipping of its 4X12
        External CD-Recordable drive kit. As the first manufacturer
        to reach the 4X12 CD-R standard, TEAC has again positioned
        itself at the forefront of the CD-R industry with an
        exceptional solution for creating CDs.

        The TEAC 4X12 External kit comes bundled with powerful, yet
        easy-to-use software that addresses the requirements of the
        multimedia professional and first-time user alike. The
        software includes: Adaptec Easy CD Creator, a premastering
        application that creates data and audio CDs for Windows
        95/NT; and Adaptec Direct CD, which creates CDs by allowing
        users to drag and drop files from any source such as a hard
        drive, floppy or the Internet. The drive also includes the
        high-performance Adaptec PCI SCSI host adapter card for
        connecting to a PC, allowing the user to move the drive from
        one computer to another. The TEAC 4X12 External kit, model
        number CD-R55SE, has an MSRP of $549.

        "TEAC is committed to manufacturing the highest quality CD-R
        drives in the industry today," stated Les Luzar, division
        manager for TEAC's Data Storage Products Division. "With the
        new 4X12 External kit, we are providing the end user not
        only the highest performing CD-R drive in the market, but
        one that comes bundled with an extremely comprehensive
        software package, affording the end user an exceptional and
        complete solution in one kit."

        The TEAC 4X12 CD-Recordable drive is also available in an
        internal model, the CD-R55S. This internal kit provides
        consumers with an easy and affordable way to create data and
        audio CDs in half the time of other recorders. The kit comes
        pre-bundled with software, including CeQuadrat Just Audio, a
        software program that creates custom audio CDs for Windows
        95/NT; CeQuadrat Packet CD, which creates CDs and allows the
        user to drag and drop files from any source (hard drive,
        floppy, Internet) for Windows 95; and CeQuadrat CD Backup, a
        program that copies data, audio, video, photo or mixed mode
        from CD to CD. Other contents of the kit include interface
        and audio cables and mounting screws. The internal CD-R55S
        kit has an MSRP of $449. Both internal and external 4X12
        drives support CD-ROM standards such as 8cm or 12cm disks;
        Audio CD; CD-ROM mode 1 and mode 2; XA ready; CD-I;
        multi-session Photo CD; Video CD and Enhanced CD. The drive
        can write 650MB of information in approximately 15 minutes
        and reads all CD-ROM formats at 12X speed. Hence, it
        delivers twice the read and write speeds of today's popular
        2X6 CD-Recordable drives.

        The TEAC 4X12 External CD-Recorder is available to resellers
        and VARs through the company's network of authorized
        distributors. Since 1953, TEAC Corporation has long been an
        innovator and worldwide leader in the development and
        manufacturing of audio, video and data recording
        technologies. Its products are utilized in the computer data
        storage, consumer and professional audio and industrial
        video and instrumentation markets.

        TEAC's Data Storage Products Division, a pioneer in both
        magnetic and optical recording technologies, is the world's
        leading supplier of floppy disk drives. The division also is
        a leading worldwide manufacturer of innovative CD-ROM and
        CD-Recordable drives, as well as optical storage solutions
        for both desktop and notebook computers. TEAC's data storage
        products are sold throughout the world. In fact, more TEAC
        data storage products can be found in the world's personal
        computers than any other brand. The company sells its
        products to leading PC system manufacturers, commercial and
        industrial distributors, and computer retail and mail order

        TEAC America, Inc. is active in the development, sales and
        marketing of these removable storage products throughout the
        United States, Canada and Latin America. At COMDEX/Spring,
        April 20-23, 1998, TEAC America will be exhibiting its full
        line of data storage products at Booth #2832 in McCormick
        Place, Chicago. For additional information, contact TEAC
        America, Data Storage Division Headquarters, 7733 Telegraph
        Road, Montebello, CA 90640. Telephone: (213) 726-0303. Fax:
        (213) 727-7672. Web:


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        Ralph F. Mariano, Editor
        STReport International Online Magazine


        Classics & Gaming Section
        Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

        Okay, so I dropped a bombshell last week... The feelings had
        to come out sooner or later. Ralph offered a nice gesture by
        stating that there were possibilities of issues every other
        week during the summer, taking some of the pressure off the
        weekly deadlines. Seriously, I don't know whether or not
        that will make much of a difference. Perhaps. I haven't made
        any firm decision at the moment but I'll keep y'all

        I appreciate the few e-mails that I've received this past
        week from friends, staff, and strangers. I haven't begun my
        replies yet, but will get to them this weekend (it's
        supposed to rain here, so I doubt I'll be out in the yard
        working!). I also appreciate Joe's comments in his column
        this week. So much so that my initial urge to tell his wife
        about his comments regarding marriage was forgotten. <grin>

        Anyway, the "show" must go on, so let's see what's in store
        for us this week!

        Until next time...

        New PHPLAYER 4.3 release!

        From: William Wong <>

        Hi Atarians!

        PH Player 4.3 is ready for downloading at

        and it is still FREEWARE !! Not shareware, cripple-ware nor

        What's new -

        * Drag&Drop Protocol for Mulitasking OS,

        just drag sample files from desktop window onto the Player's

        * Signed/Unsigned playback.

        * Fixed some major bugs - MagiC & AV-protocol not file

        Compatibility -

        * DMA hardware (STE/TT/Falcon)

        * TOS, MultiTOS AES 4.1, MagiC

        Supported sample formats -

        * Microsoft Wave (WAV):

        MS PCM 8/16 bit, mono/stereo

        MS ADPCM 4 bit, mono/stereo

        A-Law/5-Law 8 bit, mono/stereo

        * IMA Wave (WAV):

        IMA ADPCM 4 bit, mono/stereo

        * Sun/NeXT Audio (AU):

        PCM 8/16 bit, mono/stereo

        5-Law 8 bit, mono/stereo

        * SUN ( Mac? other? ) Sound (SND):

        PCM 8/16 bit, mono/stereo

        5-Law 8 bit, mono/stereo

        * Audio Visual Research (AVR):

        signed/unsigned 8/16 bit, mono/stereo

        * SGI/Apple IFF (AIF):

        PCM 8/16 bit, mono/stereo

        * Soundblaster sound (VOC):

        8 bits, mono/stereo.

        * Amiga IFF (IFF):

        8 bits, mono/stereo.

        * RAW format:

        default to unsigned 8 bit, mono.

        Support standard playback speeds.

        Other Features -

        * Automatic detection of various famous format and playback

        * Just drop a sample file on it's icon to play sample

        * No difficult options to configure

        * Non-modal GUI ideal for multitasking systems.

        * Supports Drag&Drop Protocol in multitasking system.

        * Multitask aware.

        * VA-protocol support - good as a viewer for other programs
        (eg CAB).

        * Fast sample loading & preprocessing

        * Change to a desktop accessory just by renaming from .PRG
        to .ACC

        * Play sample on .ACC startup

        * TT compatible.



        Studio Son version 1.99

        From: "Cidric RICARD" <>

        A new pre-release of Studio Son is available!

        It's again a version 1.99 beta, but it's one of the more
        stable versions!

        What's new ?

        All the Direct2Disk functions have been rewritten and the
        precision has been improved!

        Real test of the input clock : the synchronization with a
        numerical input (DAT, CD, ..) is perfect now (no more

        Full compatibility with the two type of Codec found in
        Falcon (Cubase can't say the same thing. I need to patch it
        if I want to use it without an external clock !!)

        Where can you find it.

        Remember : Studio Son V2 is FREEWARE !!

        Cidric RICARD.

        Etudiant en licence d'informatique

        Diveloppement de logiciels sur ATARI

        (Studio Son et Dirty Sound Studio)

        11 rue des Eglantines, 3370 MERIGNAC, FRANCE

        Til :

                               Gaming Section

        "Adidas Power Soccer '98"!
        "Three Lions"!
        "NFL Xtreme"!
        "Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal"
        And more!

        Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming

            Take-Two Interactive Software Announces "Three Lions"

        NEW YORK (April 27) BUSINESS WIRE - April 27, 1998 -
        Take-Two Interactive

        Software Inc.(NASDAQ:TTWO, TTWOW) today, in conjunction with
        The Football

        Association, proudly announced the initial commercial
        shipment within England of the first Official England Team
        soccer game for the Sony PlayStation -- Three Lions. The
        game is scheduled for release on the PC in May.

        Three Lions: The Official England Team Game is being
        launched to an English consumer marketplace, which
        feverishly awaits the appearance of the England team in
        World Cup '98 in France this summer. In addition to the
        exclusive endorsement of The Football Association, whose
        Three Lions crest governs all amateur and professional
        soccer leagues within the United Kingdom, Take-Two has
        committed in excess of $1.5 million in television, print,
        in-store, radio and event marketing to the launch of the
        product in England. Take-Two plans to release similar
        versions of the product carrying territory specific licenses
        in May in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. In addition a
        United States release is planned for the summer.

        Just as England makes its final preparations for its 1998
        World Cup run, soccer fans across England will be given the
        opportunity to lead their customized national squad onto the
        field at home. England will be delivered a game that
        Official UK PlayStation Magazine calls, "Very, very good
        indeed. Challenging, innovative, and frustrating in equal
        measure, it's a pioneering release ... What's more, it plays
        a damn good game of football."

        The game, which was developed by Z-Axis Inc., features over
        50 real international soccer teams from the past and
        present, ranging from England's World Cup winning side of
        1966, and Brazil's glorious 1970 vintage, to the modern day
        Chinese and South Korean teams. The game also supports
        tournament and friendly matches, and one and two player
        contests. Innovative features which are incorporated into
        the game, include: instant aim and shoot targeted shooting,
        one touch passing, on the fly tactical changes, and
        realistic individual player models of over 1,750 players
        from the world's best fifty international teams each rated
        by World Soccer Magazine in 16 different skill attributes.

        The release of Three Lions: The Official England Team Game,
        marks the fourth new product release in Europe of a property
        acquired by Take-Two from its acquisition of all of the
        assets of BMG Interactive this March. Previous new releases
        include, You Don't Know Jack -- Deutsche for the PC, Grand
        Theft Auto -- Collector's Edition for the Sony PlayStation
        and PC, and Gex 3D: Enter The Gecko for the Sony

        Sam Houser, Vice-President of Worldwide Development, said
        "Three Lions offers an extremely exciting first step into
        the lucrative soccer video game market for Take-Two. It is a
        great honor for our product to hold the exclusive
        endorsement of The Football Association. I am hopeful that
        this endorsement, coupled with the products outstanding
        quality of play, Take-Two's extensive marketing efforts, and
        the incredible interest in World Cup '98, will translate
        into strong consumer interest for Three Lions."

        Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., which commenced
        operations in early 1994, develops, markets, distributes and
        publishes high quality interactive entertainment software
        games for the PC, Macintosh, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64,
        and Nintendo GameBoy.

        Recent product releases include: Jeopardy! 64 and Wheel of
        Fortune 64 for the Nintendo 64, JetFighter Platinum and
        Black Dahlia for the PC, Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko and Three
        Lions: The Offical England Team Game for the Sony
        PlayStation and Grand Theft Auto for the Sony PlayStation
        and PC. Take-Two is headquartered in New York City.
        Corporate Subsidiaries include: Alliance Inventory
        Management, a wholesale distributor of video games and
        software products with offices in Midlothian, Va. and
        College Point, N.Y.; Take-Two Interactive Software Europe,
        Ltd., the Company's European sales, marketing, publishing
        and distribution arm, with offices in Windsor, U.K., Munich,
        Germany, and Paris, France; GearHead Entertainment Inc.,
        developers of the award winning Black Dahlia, based in
        Latrobe, Pa.; Mission Studios Corp., developers of the
        JetFighter series of advanced flight simulation games, with
        offices in Inverness, Il.; Alternative Reality Technologies
        Inc., developers of Dark Colony, with offices in Ontario,
        Canada; and SpiderSoft Ltd. a development studio in Lincoln,

           NFL Xtreme is Playstation's First Arcade-style Football

        FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (April 27) BUSINESS WIRE - April 27,
        1998 - Sony Interactive Studios America, creators of the
        number one selling PlayStation(R) football videogame, NFL
        GameDay(TM) '98, announced today detailed specs for NFL
        Xtreme(TM), PlayStation's first NFL and Players
        Inc-licensed, five-on-five, arcade-style football videogame.
        Complete with high-impact, hard-hitting NFL action, NFL
        Xtreme will be available this Summer exclusively for the
        PlayStation game console.

        "NFL Xtreme will transcend the traditional football
        videogamer," said Jeffrey Fox, vice president, marketing,
        Sony Interactive Studios America. "With its arcade-style
        gameplay, NFL Xtreme will appeal to hardcore and casual
        sports fans, as well as to the millions of fighting and
        action-adventure videogamers." With hundreds of marquee NFL
        Players, NFL Xtreme is fast-playing and high-scoring, with
        no out of bounds and no penalties, allowing videogamers to
        do things NFL players would get ejected from a game for

        "Forget sportsman-like conduct, NFL Xtreme is all about
        taunting, trash-talking, helmet flying hits and countless
        player celebrations; 50 plus touchdown dances, linebackers
        flexing their muscles after delivering a harsh blow and
        defensive linemen 'raising the roof,'" added Fox.
        Complimenting Sony Interactive Studio's strong heritage in
        delivering exceptional gameplay excitement will be NFL
        Xtreme's stunning graphical presentation. Incorporating a
        400 polygonal player model (four times the amount of
        polygons used to create the award-winning NFL GameDay '98
        player models), NFL Xtreme players are re-created in
        exceptional detail, including large biceps, thunderous thigh
        pads and individual player scaling, including personal
        height and weight.

        NFL Xtreme also incorporates actual NFL player movements,
        which were "motion captured" to enhance the gameplay
        realism. Players "motion captured" for NFL Xtreme include a
        virtual who's-who of All-Pros, like Pittsburgh Steelers' RB
        Jerome Bettis; Oakland Raiders' WR Tim Brown; Tampa Bay
        Buccaneers' FB Mike Alstott and LB Hardy Nickerson; New York
        Giants' CB Jason Sehorn; Seattle Seahawks' LB Chad Brown;
        and top NFL QB-to-be Ryan Leaf.

        NFL Xtreme Key Features:

        Five-on-five, open eligibility, arcade-style, hard-hitting
        football videogame action
        All 30 NFL teams
        All 30 NFL stadiums with banners
        Individual scaling, weight and height on each player
        More than 50 endzone dances
        Players celebrate after touchdowns, sacks, big hits or
        getting a first down
        Ball carrier does high-step, spin move, hurdle, stiff arms,
        shoulder charge, dive over the pile
        Large python biceps and thunderous thigh pads on each player
        Trash talking on big plays; players taunting opponents
        400 polygons per player (3D graphics)
        Real zone and man coverage with the latest NFL defensive
        High resolution game presentation, including player shadows
        Play in rain, snow, wind, blizzards and the dark
        Water/snow/grass splashes with every stride of the players
        Play as any position on offense or defense
        Injuries (players limp when injured)
        Automatic instant replay after big plays

          MGM Interactive Signs With AndNow for "Tiny Tank: Up Your

        LOS ANGELES (April 27) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - April 27, 1998 -
        MGM Interactive Monday announced that it has inked a deal
        with Edward Annunziata's AndNow, a San Francisco-based
        entertainment studio, to create its first original
        character-based platform game, "Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal,"
        for the Sony PlayStation. The action-shooter will feature an
        irreverent (and unlikely) military Tank hero, a bad-ass
        fighting machine with a killer instinct. "Tiny Tank: Up Your
        Arsenal" is being developed under the direction of Stewart
        Kosoy, executive producer, MGM Interactive, for release in
        the fourth quarter of 1998.

        AndNow creates intellectual properties with unique
        characters and interesting storylines for exploitation
        across a variety of media, using the interactive medium as
        the primary launch vehicle. "Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal" is
        the brainchild of creative visionary, Edward E. Annunziata,
        a Sega of America veteran whose successes include "Ecco the
        Dolphin" and the "X-Men," among others. AndNow will develop
        "Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal" with the help of Appaloosa
        Interactive, a premiere developer of computer and video
        games that Annunziata has worked with on such titles as
        "Ecco the Dolphin."

        MGM Interactive manages creative development and production
        for the interactive products it publishes and assists in
        cross merchandising viable properties to other studio
        divisions. The Division publishes interactive products, for
        both PC and console platforms, based on both studio
        properties, such as the James Bond franchise and other
        classic film and TV licenses, as well as select original

        "We believe 'Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal' has all the makings
        of a hit entertainment property across a variety of media,"
        said David Bishop, president, MGM Home Entertainment. "The
        character and gameplay that we've seen so far in the
        PlayStation game are incredible. We are confident 'Tiny
        Tank: Up Your Arsenal' will be one of the most sought after
        PlayStation games this year." In "Tiny Tank: Up Your
        Arsenal" players will engage in explosive battles, capture
        mind- and strength-enhancing power-ups and piece together a
        multitude of hidden puzzles to advance through increasingly
        difficult levels. All of the fast-paced action will take
        place in highly detailed 3-D animated worlds.

        "We have a strong vision for 'Tiny Tank: Up Your Arsenal'
        and feel that MGM Interactive's publishing strengths in the
        interactive market, as well as the opportunities presented
        by other studio divisions, will help to make 'Tiny Tank: Up
        Your Arsenal' an internationally successful entertainment
        property," said Annunziata.

              Microsoft Boosts Accessibility to Internet Gaming

        Netscape Support and Player Rating System Featured in Newest
        Version Of the Leading Internet Gaming Site

        REDMOND, Wash., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp.
        today released its latest update for the Microsoft(R)
        Internet Gaming Zone ( ), featuring
        support for Netscape 4.0 and the latest versions of
        Microsoft Internet Explorer. The new version makes the Zone
        accessible to the majority of Internet users. With this new
        version, the Zone also introduced the new Zone Rating
        System, which allows game players to determine how they fare
        against other players. Chess and Age of Empires(R) will be
        the first games with the Zone Rating System, and new games
        are scheduled to be added to the system in the coming weeks.

        "We believe online gaming is all about social interaction
        with a large and active community," said Ed Fries, general
        manager of the games group at Microsoft. "So we're very
        pleased that this new version of the Zone provides access
        for virtually everyone online." Already home to nearly 1.5
        million online gamers, the Zone has more than 7,500
        simultaneous users at peak times -- and is gaining new
        registered members at the rate of one every 20 seconds. The
        Zone is a collective place for gamers to play today's best
        games against others for free. Players have a wide variety
        of games to choose from -- including parlor games like
        Hearts and Chess, and action and strategy games like Jedi
        Knight: Dark Forces II, Age of Empires and the Fighter
        Ace(TM) online multiplayer game, the site's first premium
        game designed specifically for massive multiplayer gaming
        via the Internet. Furthermore, visitors can navigate through
        the site before downloading the Zone software required for
        game play.

        In addition to Netscape 4.0 support and the Zone Rating
        System, the newest version of the Zone also features a new,
        streamlined interface, which reduces download times and
        makes getting into a game even easier. The Zone further
        assists its members with improved help and chat features.

        The Zone offers a popular variety of classic card and board
        games such s Spades, Bridge and Backgammon. In fact, Spades
        has grown to become the most popular game on the Zone with
        peak usage of more than 2,000 players. In the past year, the
        Zone's lineup of CD-ROM games with free matchmaking has
        expanded rapidly with the addition of such popular Microsoft
        games as Age of Empires and Flight Simulator 98, and other
        top titles such as Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II from
        LucasArts Entertainment Co., Quake II from id Software and
        Scrabble from Hasbro Interactive, a unit of Hasbro Inc.
        These additions have brought the total number of games
        available for play on the Zone to 32. The Zone also recently
        announced support for upcoming Tom Clancy titles Rainbow Six
        and Dominant Species from Red Storm Entertainment.

        The Internet Gaming Zone has served Internet gamers since
        October 1995. In May 1996, Microsoft acquired Electric
        Gravity Inc., the original designer of the Internet Gaming
        Zone. The Internet Gaming Zone offers free membership with
        three components: free classic card and board games, free
        matchmaking for retail games, and access to premium games
        designed exclusively for the Zone (connect-time charges may
        apply). Most recently, Microsoft launched Fighter Ace, a
        World War II aerial combat premium game designed
        specifically for the Internet in which more than 100 players
        can dogfight in a single flight arena.

        Accolade Aspires Action Amusements as Activision Buys Rights

        Apr 27, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 80) -- Accolade
        Friday sold the rights to one of its two big sports
        franchises to Activision, calling it a shift in corporate
        strategy to focus on the action genre in the U.S. and
        overseas. Under terms of the deal, Activision acquires
        worldwide licensing and endorsement rights to develop and
        publish titles based on the Jack Nicklaus brand. Activision
        is negotiating with developer Hypnos Entertainment, which
        created Jack Nicklaus Online Golf Tour for Accolade.

        Activision is expected to bring a Jack Nicklaus-branded PC
        game to market in January. It will be the company's only
        sports title. Activision is "still evaluating" options to
        bring the game to PlayStation, N64 and Katana. Action games
        sell well internationally and they are easier to localize
        than golf titles, Accolade Executive VP of Sales and
        Marketing Stan Roach tells MMWire. "Increasing international
        volume is critical to profitability," he adds.

        Activision, however, sees it differently. "Golf is just as
        popular in the States as it is in the major gaming markets
        abroad," Activision Director of Marketing Hank Hartong says.
        And the addition of the Jack Nicklaus properties, acquired
        from Accolade, will help Activision push the titles into
        multiple worldwide markets, he says. While financial terms
        were not disclosed, Activision gains the source code and
        hardware bundling rights for Jack Nicklaus 5, Roach says.
        Meanwhile, Accolade keeps all OEM bundling rights to Jack
        Nicklaus 4 and software bundling rights to Jack 4. Accolade
        also retains rights to distribute and market Jack 4 and 5.
        Accolade "continues to invest" in its other major sports
        franchise, Hardball, which recently gained the official
        Major League Baseball license, Roach adds.

             Psygnosis to Publish adidas Power Soccer '98 On PSX

        FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (April 30) BUSINESS WIRE - April 30,
        1998 - Psygnosis (, a worldwide leader in
        the development and publishing of entertainment software,
        and adidas ( announced today that Psygnosis
        will publish a further title in the highly successful Power
        Soccer series.

        Entitled adidas(R) Power Soccer(R) '98 this complete new
        game will be released on PlayStation(R) game console in June
        1998, coinciding with the World Cup (June 10 through July
        12) in France. The Power Soccer series has sold over half a
        million units worldwide since its launch by Psygnosis in
        April 1996. adidas and Psygnosis plan to support the title
        with comprehensive joint advertising and PR campaigns
        together with cross-promotional consumer and retail activity
        which is aimed to strengthen the two brands' positions in
        both sports and computer game categories during the crucial
        run-up to the World Cup. The campaigns will be conducted in
        Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

        adidas Power Soccer '98 recreates the excitement of the
        soccer match in a manner previously unseen in any video
        game. This is achieved through the use of advanced motion
        capture animations, a massive 10,000 player database, 34
        stadiums, varied character performance and real-time weather
        and action effects. adidas Power Soccer '98 includes a
        variety of game-play modes, from friendly to tournament and
        every aspect of the game can be tailored to the player's
        liking. Gamers can also link combinations of over 60
        different special moves, made up of over 350 new
        motion-captured animations, to perform super shots and
        vicious physical attacks. The game has been developed by
        Shen Technology in conjunction with the Psygnosis' French
        development studio in Paris.

        "We are pleased to be a part of adidas Power Soccer '98,"
        commented Warren Mersereau, international marketing manager,
        soccer, adidas International B.V., Amsterdam. "adidas, the
        authentic soccer brand was the natural partner of Psygnosis
        in developing the game. It is a great addition to a very
        exciting year for adidas and soccer." Added Nick Garnell,
        Psygnosis managing director of publishing, "This partnership
        with adidas together with Psygnosis own marketing and
        distribution strength will ensure that adidas Power Soccer
        '98 is a truly global product offering at the time of the
        crucial World Cup sales period. We are delighted to be able
        to offer an all-new soccer product that will shake up the

        ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

        Compiled by Joe Mirando

        Hidi ho friends and neighbors. If you read Dana's column
        last week, you found out that we think quite a bit alike.
        I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not... or even which
        of us should be either happy or worried (depending on your
        perspective), but I DO know that we both enjoy what we do.
        It's something quite special to be able to give information
        to all the people who read STReport every week. It's a
        feeling of having been there to possibly help someone who
        was feeling a little lost with all the new technology,
        jargon, attitudes, and options available about computers.

        While that feeling is quite a nice one, getting to that
        point every week can be a bit daunting. There is a lot of
        work that goes into each feature in this magazine and, while
        each of us truly enjoys being a part of it, it does take a
        considerable amount of time to gather all the information,
        posts, email, and such that you read here every week.

        And when another contributor either duplicates or parallels
        your contribution and you have to go back and change your
        piece just a bit, even if they complement each other, you
        have to wonder if the work will ever end for the upcoming

        Well, because I've got a lot of respect for Dana, I'm going
        to talk about something that I doubt he'll also be talking
        about... My anniversary.

        Yep, that's right. This past Thursday was my fourth wedding
        anniversary. I still don't remember most of that day, but
        what I do remember was pretty wonderful. And, of course, the
        trip to Jamaica for our honeymoon was a great way to unwind
        after the party. Both Lisa (my wife) and I are getting
        better though. This year, we haven't cried every time we've
        seen a commercial for the Jamaican Tourist Board. This year
        we only cry every OTHER time we see it. <grin>

        I can tell you one thing: I put off getting married for
        years. Not because I was afraid of commitment, but because I
        was afraid of all the work involved. Planning the wedding,
        paying for the wedding, the honeymoon, paying for the
        honeymoon, getting a place to live, paying for the place to
        live... get the idea?

        As I said, I put off getting married for years. After having
        been married for the past four years, I can tell you
        bachelors assuredly and without any reservations...

        IF YOU CAN DO WITHOUT IT, DO WITHOUT IT! <smile> As Norm
        Crosby once

        said: "A word to the wise is deficient".

        Well, let's go take a look at all the great news, hints,
        tips, and information available online.

        From Delphi's Atari Advantage Forum

        Michael Burkley tells Larry White about software CD's for
        the ST:

        "I like the Crawley Crypt #1 (and #2) because they do a
        reasonable job of writing descriptions for the files. At
        least you can read the descriptions and get an idea of what
        the file is about. But I do like the Suzy B's CD #1 and #2
        more. Why? Well, I spent _years_ putting them together and I
        can't think anything else about them! Actually, I think the
        descriptions of the files on the Suzy B's CD are the best
        around. The files are more varied as well.

        In the GENERAL database is the catalog listing of much of
        what is on the first CD set. It is two CD's of about 14,000
        programs and files, uncompressed. We have just re-released
        this CD in a ZIP compressed format that fits on one disk.
        The new Suzy B's Atari Software Treasury #2 is also all ZIP
        compressed, except that I've included uncompressed versions
        of the animation files, some picture files, and some online
        magazine files. The CD is full, I think I could probably fit
        2 or 3 meg on if I tried, but I had to keep of throwing
        stuff aside to get it to all fit. That will show up on the
        next CD.

        There is some duplication on our first CD and the Crawley
        Crypt #1 CD, but not much from our #2 CD. Al (at Computer
        Dungeon) and Kent (at System's for Tomorrow) can sell you
        either CD, or I can as well."

        **I can vouch for everything that Michael said about the
        Suzy-B CDs. I haven't seen the new collection yet, but if
        it's even half as good as the first 2 CD set, it's something
        you shouldn't even think of missing. I had always thought
        that I had gotten just about everything I'd ever need from
        the four online services that I've belonged to (Delphi,
        CompuServe, Genie, and NVN), but when I looked through the
        Suzy-B CDs, I realized just what an amateur I am at
        collecting files. Michael has done a superb job not only
        with collecting the files, but in writing the descriptions.
        Thanks Michael!

        Meanwhile Greg Evans, who is in the process of writing a
        program to help you with configuration files for STinG,
        Peter Rottengatter's "ST Internet Next Generation" of dialer
        and TCP/IP modules (and others). Greg posts this about his

        "I thought I had the RSC file ready to go but when I tried
        accessing some of my edit fields they wouldn't accept any
        typing. I don't know what's different between these and
        others I've programmed, but I am a bit rusty. I'll take a
        crack at it again this weekend."

        'Turbo' Nick tells Greg:

        "Hey, you're way ahead of me in that department - I've never
        programmed for the ST at all. Good luck - I'm looking
        forward to trying it when it's done."

        Greg tells Nick:

        "I've got the interface completed. I'm thinking about
        uploading it for people to test out before the underlying
        program is completed. All the dialog boxes and alerts are
        non-modal and should work in single-TOS and any multitasking
        environment. It also should handle any resolution and color
        combo except low res. I'd like someone or two to take a look
        at the dialogs and make sure they are functional and clear.
        Any volunteers? The underlying programming should be fairly
        easy to complete after that."

        **I've seen Greg's shell and I like it a lot. Of course all
        the coding isn't done yet, but the look and feel of a good
        utility is there already. Kind of like that television
        manufacturer used to say... "The quality goes in before the
        name goes on". Keep looking in this column for more
        information on "GEMSTinG" as it becomes available.

        Al Horton of The Computer Dungeon asks:

        "Is anyone here into midi and midi programs at all? One of
        my customers has written a midi program and is thinking of
        making it Shareware. He has no modem (and says he's not
        interested in one) and has asked me to upload his program to
        a few places and get some feedback on what people think. I'd
        like to upload the program here (as soon as I receive it via
        postal mail) and would like to ask if some of you would be
        kind enough to upload it to any BBS's or FTP sites that you
        can think of.

        Also, if anyone here is into midi at all, please take a look
        at it and let me know any comments so that I can refer them
        back to the author." I don't know if I've mentioned it or
        not, but there's been a discussion going on in the forum
        lately about copyright laws and how they should affect
        software. Some people feel that the laws should be different
        for software. I'm not taking a side, just relaying the
        opinions of others.

        LMCCLURE answers someone's question about why the laws
        should be different for software:

        "Why should the (copyright) law be different for software
        than books or films? Simple; the usefulness of a film or
        book rarely diminishes over time. OTOH, name one piece of
        software for a personal computer that exists today that will
        have any commercial value 20 years from today, much less 75
        years from now.

        Copyrights (and patents) were originated as a way of
        providing an assurance that the originator would have a
        chance to be compensated for their efforts, thereby
        providing further incentive for inventive and/or artistic
        endeavor. If copyrights were based on the concept of
        property, they would have no expiration date.

        Keep in mind the only diffference I proposed for software
        was that the full term would not be automatic, but would
        instead require periodic renewals. Only the disinterested
        would see their copyrights expire early."

        Tony Greenwood, a wonderful programmer himself, tells
        LMCCLURE that there is at least one category of software
        that will always have commercial value:

        "GAMES....end of story...

        You can read a book more than once.. you can play a game
        more than once.. Tell me at what point you think people
        won't like Tetris anymore.. or any of the other addictive
        games.. Why the heck should any of us keep programming when
        people ... are advocating that we should have less rights
        than book or film authors.. We deserve the same rights don't

        LMCCLURE replies:

        "Why should you keep programming? Simple: for the same
        reasons you do now. If that reason is money, that would be
        the reason. What is the problem with asking anyone who gives
        a care about their product to fill out and send in a renewal
        form every 10 years? How many 10 year old programs, games or
        not (not the concept, but the actual program code itself)
        are still commerically viable? How many that are 20 years
        old (not many, I'll wager, since that would put us back to

        To answer your last question, it should be obvious that I
        indeed do not believe software authors should enjoy the
        exact same rights as authors of literature, film, and music.
        After all, when was the last time the OS for a book became
        obsolete, or a film that was still physically intact could
        not be viewed, or transcribed to a new media without
        requiring a another more powerful film to closely emulate
        the characteristics of the first one? <grin>"

        Michele Tavir adds his thoughts:

        "Property is property is property..." Yes, for the past two
        hundred years or so. Before this (and up to now in many
        cultures which do not follow the patterns set in Protestant
        lands since the Industrial Revolution - see the recent
        conflict over pirated CD's between China and the US), there
        was no such ting as "intellectual property". In other words,
        in most of the history of mankind, plagiarism has been not
        only accepted, but condoned, as the way for learning to be
        channeled from a generation to the other. A good apprentice
        was one would could copy his master best. After this, and
        only after this, did genius play a role. Now, of course,
        times have changed. Generations pass by much faster than
        ever. As the artist I once was I have personally created
        works of art (paintings and music) and at this point I
        wouldn't mind anyone copying them as much as they would like
        to. Of course I might not very well accept that they made
        big monies without passing a share over to me. But as the
        business person I now am, in fields not related with my
        artistic creations, I am very jealous and secretive towards
        competitors, and I probably wouldn't tolerate one instant
        that one of my designs got copied without royalties. What I
        am trying to say is that "Property is propert is
        property..." is very, very relative, and very related to the
        dominant (American-European) commercial culture of our days.
        Who knows, thanks to the Internet, we might be within the
        next 50 years in a society where people give things to each
        other FOR FREE - it has existed and it still exists many
        places around the globe.

        There is a game played by children, and only children, but
        mainly girls, all over the world, for times immemorial.
        Don't ask me what it's called in English, but it consists in
        jumping between a pattern of squares drawn on the ground.
        Can you imagine how belittled Bill Gates would be if the
        creator of this game could have cashed royalties (shareware
        fee?) from all the children in the world?"

        Greg Evans tells Michel:

        "The game is called "hopscotch" here in the US at least."

        Our own Dana Jacobson adds:

        "The game is called hopscotch. As a young lad, I was a
        champion player. Yes, it was mainly a girls' game, but we
        boys made our version tougher. <grin>"

        Tony Greenwood tells Dana:

        "Yes it is Hopscotch here in England, not a girls game
        though, the only real girls game we have here is rounders,
        Always been for girls, boys where not even allowed to play
        it when I was at school....I think in the USA its called
        baseball ?...

        I really could not resist that <ha ha ha> and its true, by
        the way." Okay, okay, I know that the last post was of
        dubious news value, but let's face it folks, it WAS funny!
        Good one Tony... just don't make a habit of it, okay?

        Michael Burkley of Suzy-B Software tells us:

        "I just received the Calamus SL 98 upgrade in the mail two
        (or three) days ago. It's excellent! Faster, with a newly
        upgraded interface (you don't notice the difference until
        you find that the program does things for you in one
        mouseclick that used to take three clicks to do). I like

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

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

         Two men are driving down the highway, drinking their beer,
        when flashing lights from a policecar appear in the driver's
                              rear-view mirror.
           "Don't worry!" says the driver to his friend, "Just do
                           exactly what I tell you
                  and everything will work out perfectly."

        "First, we'll peel the labels off our beer bottles and we'll
                       each stick one on our forehead.
         Now shove all of the bottles under the front seat! And, let
                           me do all the talking!"

         They pull over to the side of the road and the cop walks up
                                 to the car.
         He shines his flash light into the car and looks at the two

                   "Have you been drinking?" he asks them.
          "Oh, No Sir," replies the driver. "I noticed you weaving
                     back and forth across the highway.
           Are you sure you haven't been drinking?" the cop asks.

         "Oh, no sir," the drunk answers. "We haven't had a thing to
                               drink tonight."

                 "Well, I've got to ask you," says the cop,
             "What on earth are those things on your forehead?"

                   "That's easy, Officer," says the drunk.
         "You see, we're both alcoholics, and we're using patches to
                         help us give up drinking !"

                            John Hole/WUGNET [Enfield,Middlesex,UK]

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