ST Report: 5-Apr-96 #1214From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/06/96-10:52:18 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 5-Apr-96 #1214 Date: Mon May 6 10:52:18 1996 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) April 05, 1996 No. 1214 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 STR Electronic Publishing Inc. A subsidiary of STR Worldwide CompNews Inc. R.F. Mariano, Editor Featured in ITCNet's ITC_STREPORT Echo Voice: 1-904-268-2237 10am-5pm EST STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing Support BBS THE BOUNTY INTERNATIONAL BBS Featuring: * 5.0GB * of File Libraries Mustang Software's WILDCAT! Client/Server BBS Version 5 95/NT Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet MULTI-NODE Operation 24hrs-7 days Analog & ISDN BRI Access 904-268-4116 2400-128000 bps V. 120-32-34 v.42 bis ISDN V.34 USRobotics I-MODEM NT-1 FAX: 904-292-9222 24hrs The Bounty STReport Support Central 1-904-268-4116 FNET. 620 : Leif's World 1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS 1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS 1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 04/05/96 STR 1214 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - USR I-Modem - ISDN Series V - Access Software News - Phila. Trial Coverage - Gov't TAPS Net - Kid's Corner - MSN & ISDN - Silicon Famine? - BattleMorph - People Talking - Tempest 2m IRS Computer Project a Fiasco? Prodigy Buyout Effort MCI Refunds $44 Million STReport International OnLine Magazine Featuring Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports STReport's BBS - The Bounty International BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the ITC, Fido, Internet, PROWL, USENET, USPOLNet, NEST, F-Net, Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-268-4116. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps and users alike worldwide, are welcome to join STReport's International Conferences. ITC Node is 85:881/250, The Fido Node is 1:112/35, Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. WEB SITE: http//www.streport.com CIS ~ PRODIGY ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX ~ USENET USPOLNET CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ PROWL ~ FNET ~ AOL IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any PAID advertising, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 3/23/96: 1 of 6 numbers with 1 match in 19 plays >From the Editor's Desk... Happy Easter and Best Wishes to all Celebrating the annual High Holy Days of Springtime. The Resurrection of Christ. And Passover. In stark truth, we are also celebrating the unjust accusation, trial and ultimate crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Obviously, mankind as a whole hasn't learned very much about being Just or Righteous. Someday.. maybe but we have a very long way to go. God help us all. Every now and then. something comes along that deserves everyone's attention. In the computing community its usually new software, new hardware, a merger etc.. Lately though, it seems there are more and more "Control Freaks" jumping up trying to force their intentions (right or wrong) upon the computing community en masse. Folks, its up to each and every one of you, who feels you are intelligent and mature enough, to make your own decisions relative to what you read, view and/or believe in to contact your political representatives. Regardless of how you may or may not hold them in contempt. please call or write `em and tell `em how you feel about all this censorship and control that's being tried. There seems to be this tight knit "core group" in government, local and national, who seem to insist the population is not capable of fending for itself. We must, each and every one of us, show them and the entire "herd" of "Control Freaks", from The Hill to the City Council, that we are indeed not only capable but will vote them out if they do not accurately represent us. We see Janet Reno's "posse" in all corners of the media trying to make a "big name" for themselves as hot and heavy investigators and enforcers of what's right and proper. Hmmm IF the Unabomber's brother hadn't blown the whistle on him. these high dollar "feebs" would still be tilting at windmills. Not to mention their continued chasing headlines, pursuing cultists, surrounding farms and "building fantastic sounding cases against these simple country people. Too bad they didn't think of these things when they were recently "partying and barbecuing". Montana's Freemen.. Sounds like Oregon's Anderson's and/or the Waco- Koresh deal all over again. Remember?? When they could not get the public to go for the "insurrection and heavily over-armed" shtick. they came in a few days later with the "child molestation" nonsense. One can only wonder what sort of contrived, constructed or whatever "deal" they'll come up with before they charge into the Freemen and slay the majority. I pray they don't do this sort of thing again.. I hate to regard our government as murderous and lawless. One can only wonder about the act of invading a country, kidnapping their President and then putting that kidnapped leader on trial. Especially when we, as a nation, paid this guy for almost a decade to do what we tried him for! But only after he stopped being a "CI" (Co-operating Individual) for two or more government agencies! What ever became of The U.N., The Monroe Doctrine, The Organization of American States or basically, the rights of and the respecting of fellow mankind? What would this nation have done if another nation had swept into Washington DC and kidnapped Bush or North and then put either of them on trial?? This nation's international lawlessness over the last decade has been setting a very dangerous and highly volatile precedent. God help us if any other nations of the world do unto us as we have done unto others. Did you know that the United States of America has, at this time and in history, the largest percentage of its population under lock and key than any other nation in the world? More than even Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan combined during the 1930's and 1940's?? One last point, many are considering Robert Dole to be "the salvation" of this nation. While Clinton & Co. are no "GEMS". at least we have a pretty good idea of who most of the "players are" and where they're located in the government. Must we hazard another three or more years getting to this point all over again? Personally I say no. Let's not change things at this time. After all, we all know Gore's stand on censorship and especially his wife's. Clinton and Hillary are almost an open book. Its easy to understand them and deal with them as we have all laid down the ground rules. The Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown, was under all kinds of headhunter investigation until the plane crash. Now, his eulogies make him appear almost Saint-like. Yep.. we know what and who is in Washington DC now. must we gamble again? Do we or the nation have the time? Additionally, how many have actually heard. "Yessir I'm voting for Dole!!" I have heard it so many times I now have a natural reflex reaction. I immediately ask; Are you really voting for Dole (74 years old!) or in fact, voting for his yet to be named, Vice President??? Do you really believe Dole can physically last through his first term?? Take a good look at Clinton the next time you're watching the news.. In the short time he's been in office. he's gone completely grey! In all my years of political observing, one point has become abundantly clear. The President's Office is truly a very stressful position for any man to be in. Therefore, one must take this into strong consideration when election time rolls around. The truth is.. in the next election, Bob Dole's Vice President stands a bigger chance of finishing Dole's term than Dole. Better think real hard about who you are actually voting for when you choose Dole. Would you vote for Dole if his running mate were perhaps the likes of a Buccanan, Agnew, Quayle or Ford type?? Yep. better think real hard. I myself would indeed vote for Dole if. his not yet known running mate was younger (much younger) and as strong if not stronger than Dole when it came to Human Rights (primarily at home in the States), Reduction of BIG Government, Balancing the Budget, reinforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Laws, being more forthright and truthful with the country's citizens and finally, stopping the hard core drug flow into this county. There is no excuse for the continued flow of coca paste, cocaine and heroin into this country. It can be stopped if the government really wanted to do so. That is, unless of course, IF the billion dollar per year enforcement, incarceration and legal industry devoted to the drug trade is willing to be shut down or, have its resources put to better use. These are my opinions. I could be wrong. I'd also like to hear from you ..let me know what you think.. Of Special Note: http//www.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although its in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01,1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR list. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Atari Section R.F. Mariano J. Deegan D. P. Jacobson Portable Computers & Entertainment Kid's Computing Corner Marty Mankins Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin John Szczepanik Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Vincent P. O'Hara Contributing Correspondents Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Clemens Chin David H. 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Send your subscription to: BBS Press Services, Inc. 8125 S.W. 21st Street Topeka, KS 66615 Or, to order by phone, Please Call: 1-913-478-3157 (Voice) 1-913-478-9239 (Data) 1-913-478-1189 (FAX) Checks, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover & Visa ok, Please include Full Name, Address, home Number, Card type, number & expiration date when ordering. If by mail, please sign your personal order. STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Germans Want to Clarify Net Laws In Bonn, Germany, officials are considering a new law they say will make it clear that companies providing access to the Internet are not expected to police cyberspace on the lookout for pornography or neo-Nazi propaganda. Edzard Schmidt- Jortzig, Germany's justice minister, told Andrew Gray of the Reuter News Service firms that offer Net links would be punished only if they discovered illegal material was available via their service and did nothing about it. He added, "Someone who opens a door cannot know what the people who walk through it are going to be carrying. And if there were body searches for everyone going through your door, people would simply choose to go through another." Reuters says Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government probably will present the draft multimedia law before parliament's summer recess in a bid to banish indecent and illegal material from cyberspace without regulating a booming new industry to death, adding, "The provider could only be punished if he had the ability to take action but did not do so." The wire service says the comments will come as "a big relief" to executives at companies providing a gateway to the Internet, who feared they could be held personally responsible for the content of millions of pages created on the network all across the world. Net regulation has been a recent issue in Germany, where earlier this year child pornography investigators ordered CompuServe to block access to some 200 Internet newsgroups they considered obscene. Since then, CompuServe has restored access to most of the groups. Reuters says German authorities also are investigating several other online services as part of a probe into pornographic and neo-Nazi material found on the Net, "but so far prosecutors have not been able to bring any charges, partly because legal experts are unsure where new companies stand under laws drafted long before they existed." The international nature of the Net poses problems for regulators. For instance, neo-Nazi propaganda, which is protected under free speech laws in the U.S., often is illegal in Germany. "Although the bill may be presented before mid-year," adds the news service, "it could be a long time before it becomes law. Germany's powerful regional states have indicated they may challenge on constitutional grounds Bonn's right to legislate on the issue." CEO Seeking to Buy Prodigy? The New York Times reports this morning that Prodigy CEO Edward Bennett is seeking financing to help him buy the online service outright. Prodigy is jointly owned by IBM and Sears, Roebuck and Co., though as reported in February, Sears has said it is seeking a buyer for its half of the service. The Reuter News Service notes neither company has commented on the Times article. Prodigy Buyout Effort Planned Investment banker Wasserstein Perella Securities Inc. reportedly has been retained by Prodigy's management team in its effort to buy out the ailing online service and possibly take it public. Quoting executives familiar with the talks, reporter Jared Sandberg of The Wall Street Journal writes this morning the Prodigy management hopes to buy the service from its parents -- IBM and Sears, Roebuck & Co. -- for about $250 million, "a number far smaller than the $500 million Sears was reportedly seeking for only its 50 percent stake this February." Adds Sandberg, "It's unclear whether Sears and IBM, which also is looking at dumping its stake, would accept such an offer after investing more than $1 billion in Prodigy. Moreover, some observers wonder how successful Wasserstein will be at finding investors to buy into a service that's losing ground to competitors." The paper quotes industry executives as saying Sears hasn't had any serious suitors for its stake, which it wanted to unload by the end of the first quarter. One unidentified Prodigy executive told the Journal, "The window opened once the owners realized that no one's going to come along and buy a 50 percent share. All of a sudden, the kids want to take over their parents' business." Sony Promises 'Different' PC Sony Corp. says that its first home PC, which it will launch by next March, will differ significantly from today's boxy desktop machines. Reporting from Tokyo, The Wall Street Journal says this morning, "Sony isn't saying exactly what its machine will look like, but Kunitake Ando, head of Sony's information-technology unit, said it will be more at home in users' living rooms than their offices." Ando told the paper the machine will emphasize connectivity to the Internet and will be more entertainment oriented. He said it will be his employer's first major attempt to create a new kind of computer by fusing its expertise in consumer electronics with the fast-paced world of PCs. The Journal says Sony's plans aren't limited to PC hardware, that the company also "has high hopes for its recently released 'Apertos' operating system, a so-called microkernel program that would run appliances such as enhanced televisions." Micropolis Sells Drive Business Micropolis Corp. has closed a $55 million deal to sell its disk drive business to Singapore Technologies and will change its name to StreamLogic Corp. Reporting from Los Angeles, United Press International says the new company will specialize in software and subsystems designed for the movement, storage and management of video and data. (It has applied for a new stock ticker symbol, STLC, and expects to start trading under that symbol shortly.) StreamLogic will remain headquartered in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth. It has received $29.7 million from Singapore Technologies and is entitled to two additional payments. UPI says the disk drive assets will be renamed Micropolis Pte Ltd. The new Micropolis said it is expanding its manufacturing capability by moving into a new 400,000 square foot factory in Singapore and debuting three new drives, including an Aries 2 for desktop workstations. It will keep its research and development center in Chatsworth and continue operating plants in Singapore and Thailand. Seagate Acquires Software Publisher Seagate Technology Inc. has paid $13 million to acquire OnDemand Software, publisher of the WinINSTALL network software distribution utility. Seagate notes that OnDemand will add network management technology to Seagate's enterprise management software group. WinINSTALL automates the installation, upgrading and uninstallation of network applications throughout an organization. "The integration of WinINSTALL continues to fulfill our commitment to deliver the best point and suite network management solutions to the market," says Tom Yerkes, president of Seagate's enterprise management software group. "WinINSTALL's ability to provide integration and support for all major network management systems further illustrates our overall strategy to support our industry colleagues and their platforms." "We share a common vision and are proud to join the Seagate Software team," adds Neal Ater, president of OnDemand Software. "This will enable us to achieve levels of integration previously unobtainable." OnDemand has a sales, marketing and support organization located in Naples, Florida and a development team located in Takoma Park, Maryland. In the new organization, Ater will serve as chief operating officer of the Naples operation; the Takoma Park site will report to Yerkes. Epson Ships Zip Drive Epson America reports that it has begun shipping its Epson Zip Drive to distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. Based on storage technology developed by Iomega Corp., the $199 Epson Zip Drive works like a floppy drive but has the speed of a hard disk. The unit is designed for backups and storing large files, such as graphics and video. The Epson Zip Drive uses Iomega-compatible 100MB and 25MB capacity Zip disks. The Epson Zip Drive is available in both SCSI and parallel versions, and is compatible with Macintosh and DOS/Windows computers. The drive weighs one pound and can sit vertically or horizontally. It has a seek time of 29 milliseconds with a sustained transfer rate of up to 1.25MB per second. The PC model has a throughput of up to 20MB per minute with a parallel interface that connects directly between a PC and printer. The Mac/PC SCSI model has a throughput of up to 50MB per minute. Microsoft to Make Over Computing Word is Microsoft Corp. is set to unveil plans for a new device that combines the ability to gain access to the Internet with the functions of a PC and other household appliances. The New York Times reports this morning the product -- to be called the Simply Interactive Personal Computer, or SIPC -- will include the functions of a stereo, videocassette recorder and television and also will feature data transmission speeds much faster than most current PCs. This appears to run counter to the current trend toward simple, inexpensive machines that will offer only Internet access, such as the $500 Network Computer being developed by Oracle Corp. In The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Don Clark says Microsoft chief Bill Gates will lay out his plans for "a broad makeover of the personal computer" in a speech Monday at the company's annual hardware engineering conference in San Francisco. "The initiative will take at least two years and require support from numerous hardware companies," Clark says. Sony Corp. is expected to play a major role, along with other partners, such as electronics giant Toshiba Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Intel Corp. Says Clark, "Microsoft is facing strong pressure to act. Recent studies suggest that affluent U.S. households, the most ready market for new home technology, are approaching saturation of conventional PCs. Meanwhile, competitors such as Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Ellison are promoting the idea of new, $500 network computers that would weaken the need for Microsoft's flagship operating software." Insiders tell the Journal Microsoft will unveil a set of hardware specifications and other technology that, says Clark, "is designed to help migrate Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system and other PC programs to the living room, rather than replace them with an entirely new computing platform." The Journal says SIPC also could lead to new types of networks for handling home automation functions, "such as playing a video image of a person at the front door on a big-screen television set." The paper adds the SIPC specifications will include a proposed standard cable connection that could send data among components at 400 million bits per second, more than 30 times faster than typical PC connections today. "Another key concept, dubbed On Now, would bring computers to life in three to five seconds, rather than the boot time that can delay PC usage by several minutes," says the paper. Clark reports a computer designed to the SIPC specs might fit on a shelf with other electronic components, playing audio through an external stereo system or displaying video from he coming generation of video disk players. It also might serve as a telephone answering machine or a videophone system. Apple to Focus on Reliability? Word is the strategy of the new chieftain at Apple Computer Inc. is to make computers so reliable and sturdy that customers will pay a premium price for them. Quoting Apple employees and an internal company memorandum, The New York Times reports this morning that new Apple Chairman Gilber Amelio has told a group of technical staff members the company could not compete on the same level as makers of computers based on Intel Corp. chips and Microsoft Corp. operating systems because of higher research-and-development costs associated with its own hardware and software specifications. Instead, says The Times, Amelio will turn the company toward the creation of premium-priced computers that will be the "Maglite of Computers", (referring to a brand-name, premium-priced flashlight known for its durability). According to the Reuter News Service, the move "would mark a shift from previous strategies of price cuts and direct competition with the rest of the PC industry." Communications Pioneer Honored The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the winners of its fifth annual Pioneer Awards. According to the EFF, the Pioneer Awards recognize individuals who have made significant and influential contributions to the development of computer-based communications or to the empowerment of individuals in using computers. Robert Metcalfe, executive correspondent for InfoWorld and vice president of technology for International Data Group, is being honored with a Pioneer Award for his invention of Ethernet, the widely-used local-area network protocol. Peter Neumann, principal scientist at SRI International, is being honored with a Pioneer Award for his extensive involvement with computer communication systems and the social and technological issues caused by computers. He is also being honored for his work in security issues. The EFF is honoring Shabbir Safdar, co-founder of the Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW), for his policy work regarding Internet censorship and federal interference in telecommunications. VTW, a watchdog group dedicated to monitoring encroachments on civil liberties in telecommunications policy, has fought the FBI's blanket wiretap proposal, federal and New York state attempts to muzzle free speech on the Internet and the Clinton administration's "Son of Clipper Chip" program. Matthew Blaze, a computer scientist for AT&T Research, is being honored for his discoveries and influence in cryptography. He is one of seven experts who wrote the recently released paper "Minimal Key Lengths for Symmetric Ciphers to Provide Adequate Commercial Security," which examined the security problems with U.S. policy limits on key encryption exports. His work, says the EFF, has been instrumental in establishing Internet security standards and in improving both the understanding and effectiveness of cryptographic systems. "With the growing presence of the Internet and the public debate surrounding civil liberties, the contributions of this year's award winners deserve special recognition. In keeping with EFF's mission, they have each contributed to the advancement of electronic communications in a way that also benefits society," says Esther Dyson, the EFF's chairman. The four award recipients will be honored today at the Sixth Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non- profit organization founded in 1990 to ensure the protection of civil liberties, such as privacy and freedom of expression, as new communications technologies emerge. Government Taps Computer Network The first use of a court-ordered wiretap on a computer network has led to charges against an Argentine man accused of breaking into a Harvard University computer. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, 21- year-old Julio Cesar Ardita of Buenos Aires used an Internet-linked computer belonging to Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences as a staging point to crack into numerous computer sites, including several belonging to the Department of Defense and NASA. The wiretap, placed during the last two months of 1995, resulted in the filing of a criminal complaint against. An arrest warrant has been issued for Ardita. According to the complaint, Ardita invaded the Harvard computer through the Internet, and once in the system allegedly stole a series of accounts and passwords. Using these accounts as his base, Ardita reportedly gained unauthorized access to computers at various U.S. military sites across the country, including the Navy Research Laboratory, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ames Research Center, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center. He also tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to enter the Army Research Laboratory computer system, according to the complaint. Government officials say Ardita was identified by using a specially configured monitoring computer that conducted the complex searches needed to isolate his activities. On December 28, 1995, Ardita's computer files and equipment were seized at his home in Buenos Aires by authorities acting on information supplied by Telecom Argentina which U.S. authorities had contacted for assistance in tracking the intruder. Attorney General Janet Reno and United States Attorney Donald K. Stern of the District of Massachusetts note that a wiretap order, typically employed to monitor telephone conversations of organized crime and drug suspects, was used to trace and identify the illegal intruder while preserving the confidentiality of legitimate communications. Reno notes that Ardita obtained access to computer systems containing important and sensitive information in government research files on satellites, radiation and energy related engineering. Ardita wasn't accused of obtaining classified information related to national security. According to Reno, Ardita was believed to have illegally entered computer systems at additional U.S. universities, including Cal Tech, the University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University, and sites in other countries such as Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile and Brazil. "This is an example of how the Fourth Amendment and a court order can be used to protect rights while adapting to modern technology," says Reno. "This is doing it the right way." Study Says Ads Target Cyberkids A new report concludes advertisers and marketers are exploiting kids by promoting products online in ways that manipulate children and violate their privacy. The Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether laws have been violated. Issued by the Center for Media Education, the study urged the FTC to develop safeguards for kids, saying marketers peddling children's products are using a variety of techniques on computer online services and the Internet to collect detailed data and compile individual profiles on kids. CME President Kathryn Montgomery told Roger Fillion of the Reuter News Service, "Never before has there been a medium with this kind of power to invade the privacy of children and families." The study finds nearly a million children use the Internet's World Wide Web and that 3.8 million have access to the Web. CME says kids are being offered free gifts such as T- shirts and chances to win prizes in exchange for filling out surveys that detail their e-mail address, home address, sex and other personal information. "Tracking technology," says Reuters, "makes it possible to monitor every interaction between a child and an advertisement, allowing firms to create personalized ads for a child." Penthouse Ranked Top Web Site Adult magazine Penthouse is claiming the title as the most popular publication-based site on the Internet, saying its World Wide Web pages had 54 million hits from Dec. 21 to Jan. 20. Backing up with its claim with data from an independent Nielsen/Internet Profiles survey, officials with the publication told United Press International an average visit to the Penthouse Internet site lasted 12 minutes and 57 seconds, during which 25.35 hits were recorded. Also: z The most popular time for a visit was shortly after midnight and the least popular about 6 a.m. z American visitors constitute 68.8 percent of visitors to the site, followed by Australians with 6.7 percent, Canadians with 3.7 percent and Japanese, Germans and South Koreans with just over 2 percent each. z Universities accounted for 86,500 visits during the month, led by the University of Minnesota with 8,751 visits followed by the University of Wisconsin and the University of Washington, with 7,337 and 7,166 respectively. z Visits originating from computers linked to the Internet through corporate access systems were led by IBM (4,556), Apple Computer (4,462) and AT&T (3,805). Three Charged With Net Joy Ride Three Alameda County, California, students are charged with stealing their high school's Net access code and going on a cyberspheric joy ride, downloading stolen credit card numbers for an online shopping spree. "These are bright kids," investigating officer Sgt. Casey Nice told United Press International in Castro Valley, California. "They just kind of did something foolish and got in over their heads." The wire service says the youths were charged with computer crimes, a felony charge carrying a minimum prison sentence of 16 months. They were released to their parents, and a date has not yet been set for their arraignment. UPI says the alleged crime spree started when a 15-year-old Castro Valley High School student got the school's America Online user name and password. He joined with two friends, a 15-year-old San Lorenzo High School student and a 14- year-old student from Alameda's St. Barnabas School. "The trio logged on to the Internet using the school code and one of their home computers, downloaded stolen credit card numbers and started shopping," UPI says. "Police were tipped off to the fraud in mid-February when packages started showing up at a vacant home up for sale near one of the boys' houses." Adds UPI, "The owner of the home called authorities to report mysterious shipments of CD-ROM games, compact disks, a 'Beavis and Butt-head' CD-ROM, computer equipment and other merchandise showing up at his home addressed to people he didn't know." Officials figure the youths stole at least $5,000 worth of merchandise, but it may be more because items they ordered still are arriving, Nice said. Net Enables Father-Son Reunion A three-minute search on a new World Wide Web site on the Internet called "The Switchboard" has enabled a 48-year- old toolmaker Roseville, Michigan, to find the man he believes is his long-lost father. Michael Spangler told Associated Press writer Kelly Kurt that his mother always refused to talk about the sailor she met in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1947 and married a couple of weeks later. The two lost contact after Dallas Spangler shipped out a few days later and the marriage was annulled. Reared by his grandparents who told him what they knew about his father, Michael Spangler went twice to Oklahoma City where he believed Dallas Spangler lived. He had no luck, however, until a friend told him two weeks ago about The Switchboard, a Net site that contains some 93 million phone numbers for residences and 11 million for businesses. A quick search turned up two Dallas Spanglers, one in Tulsa. Michael Spangler telephoned. The 68- year-old man on the other end of the line didn't quite know what to think. "I had no idea I had a son," he told AP. "It was kind of shocking." The Switchboard site can be reached at Web address http://www.switchboard.com/.! Gates Gets Ansel Adams Rights Bill Gates has scored electronic rights to the works of late nature photographer Ansel Adams, some 2,500 images of the American wilderness. The Associated Press -- which notes about 9 million books, posters and calendars based on the stark and moving photos have been sold - says the Corbis Corp., the Bellevue, Wash., company owned by Microsoft Corp. chief Gates, is in the process of putting together an enormous digital library. As reported earlier, Corbis last fall purchased the Bettman Archive and its collection of millions of historical photos. The wire service says specific terms of the Adams deal were not disclosed, but The New York Times reports today Corbis will have exclusive rights to distribute Adams' photos electronically for 20 years. The paper also says Corbis' initial payment to the family of Adams, who died in 1984 at age 82, will be small, but Gates hopes to eventually sell digital images on computer discs or over computer networks. Corbis President Doug Rowan told the paper his company already has made "many millions of dollars" selling copies of its digital images to media companies. ISDN Series STR Focus "Fully Understanding ISDN" A Guide to Setting Up MSN to Work with ISDN Contents Introduction ISDN Modems that Work with MSN Installing your ISDN Modem to work with MSN Signing up for MSN using ISDN How MSN Supports ISDN Frequently Asked Questions Introduction MSN is now offering ISDN support, which provides access to MSN and the Internet at twice the speed of a 28.8 modem. ISDN modems also provide more reliable connections than do standard modems. To use an ISDN connection, you must have an ISDN modem (see list below), and be in a location where MSN provides a phone number that supports ISDN access. There is no extra charge for ISDN connections from MSN, although your local phone company will charge for ISDN service. ISDN Modems that work with MSN Currently MSN will support any ISDN modem because they behave exactly like modems. We have tested the following: z Motorola BitSURFR z Motorola BitSURFR PRO z 3com Impact z USR Courier I-Modem V.34 z Digi Datafire (Win95) z Digi PCIMAC (Win95) z Diehl Diva (Win95) Installing your ISDN Modem to work with MSN There are instructions for setting up the above ISDN modems in the Easy ISDN Access Forum. To get to the forum, on the Edit menu, point to Go To, and then click Other Location. Type the GO Word EasyISDN. To get the instructions from the forum, double-click the vendor's folder (i.e. Motorola ISDN Products), and then double-click the Software BBS. (i.e. Motorola Software). In that BBS you will find messages that contain the setup instructions. New! Windows 95 ISDN Accelerator Pack. A new set of drivers has been released by the Windows 95 team which allows a whole new class of ISDN adapters to be used with Windows 95. Check out the Win95 folder in the forum for more details on these drivers or follow this web link. The adapters listed above with (Win95) require the Windows 95 ISDN Accelerator Pack to work with MSN. Signing Up for MSN using ISDN If you are already a member You do not need to sign up again. Continue to use your existing MSN account. To get ISDN service you need to call an "Internet and The Microsoft Network" phone number. To set the phone number, on the Tools menu, click Connection Settings, and then click Access Numbers. Select the Internet and The Microsoft Network service type, and select the closest phone number. If you are not an MSN member and you have an analog modem in addition to your ISDN modem. Setup up your analog modem as your default device. Double click the MSN icon and follow the normal setup procedures. During setup make sure to select MSN and full Internet Access, then select "ISDN access to the Internet and MSN". If you do not have the option "ISDN access to the Internet and MSN" choose "Internet and the Microsoft Network". A full list of ISDN phone number will be posted i If you only have an ISDN modem You must use an analog modem to set up MSN. Once MSN setup is complete, you can use your ISDN modem to connect to MSN. Microsoft is aware that this is a problem and will be fixing this. How MSN Supports ISDN An ISDN line has three channels, 2 B (bearer) channels and one D (data). The D channel is used for connection negotiation and out-of-band signaling, while the B channels transport the data. The D channel is rated at 16Kbps and each B channel can transport at either 56Kbps or 64Kbps depending on your phone company. These B channels can either be used separately or combined together to make a single 128Kbps connection. Currently MSN supports ISDN with only 1 B channel. This means that the connection speeds will be either 56Kbps or 64Kbps. Dual channel ISDN access (using 2 B channels) is not currently supported, but will be Q2 '96. Frequently Asked Questions: What is ISDN? ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is an international standard which brings high speed data transmission to the desktop. How can I find the ISDN phone number nearest me? Check the ISDN phone Number Icon which is the current list of ISDN phone numbers. How do I change the phone number I use to connect to MSN to one that supports ISDN? On the Tools menu, click Connection Settings, click Access Numbers, and then select the Internet and the Microsoft Network service type. What is the phone number I should call for various Telephone Companies? US WEST: 1-800-898-9675 GTE: 1-800-GTE-4WCN Ameritech: 1-800-419-5400. (Home Professional & ISDN service) PAC BELL : 1-800-4PB-ISDN. NYNEX: 1-800-588-9648 Bell Atlantic: 1-800-204-7332 Bell South: 1-800-204-7332 South Western Bell: 1-800-SWB-ISDN How much does ISDN phone service typically cost? Currently the rates vary widely depending on your telephone company. The rates for basic ISDN service range from $20 - $45 a month for basic service, with additional per minute charges of $.00 to $.10. How can I get compression to work? We currently do not support compression. How fast is an ISDN modem? An ISDN modem speeds range from 56Kbps to 144Kbps. Currently MSN supports only 56kbps and 64Kbps connection. We do not support faster connections to MSN because we only support a single channel. Can I use 2 or more channels? Currently MSN does not support dual channels. We plan on supporting 2 channel access in Q2 1996. Can I connect to MSN with dual B channels using MP? Not at this time. MSN will be supporting this feature in 1996. When will the USR 128k Sportster be supported? The USR 128k Sportster is not currently supported because USR has not provided any drivers to the Win95 team for inclusion in the ISDN Accelerator Pack for Win95. The USR driver should be released within a few weeks as far as we can tell. How much throughput should I expect? In our tests we have found anywhere between approximately 40,000 bps and 65,000 bps. Can I use ISDN to get on the Internet or just MSN? You can use an ISDN modem with the Internet and ISDN. Where can I get ISDN driver software? Support? The ISDN Software Files BBS holds all the drivers for all the different ISDN boards we have received. You could also look in the specific vendor's folder if you do not find what you need. Internet Phone Numbers Updated: 3/29/96 We are working hard to make high speed Internet access widely available, first in North America, then worldwide. For technical reasons, we need to build an entirely new network in order to give you the performance and functionality we believe you'll want. As soon as we get the network built in your area, you will be able to access both the Internet and MSN, at speeds up to 28.8kb/s, for the same price that you pay for MSN alone. We are also in the process of enabling ISDN access for those customers who have ISDN lines and ISDN terminal adapters. To see if ISDN support is available in your area, please refer to the ISDN Support column below. Also, please note that ISDN support is only available to those customers who are beta testing our next upgrade to MSN. If the comment under ISDN Support indicates "verifying", we are in the final stages of confirming local ISDN access for those phone numbers. These "verifying" numbers may only be accessible from in the local area and we are working with our beta partners to confirm successful connections. If you have any questions regarding ISDN issues, please see the ISDN Forum. Please be patient as we configure and test this new network--we expect to add new cities regularly for the next several months. We have two sets of phone numbers: released numbers that are available to you when you change phone numbers online, and a second set of numbers that we are currently testing. If there is no released phone number in your area, you may be able to use a phone number from the beta phone number list below. How to Update Your Phonebook This is a list of currently released Internet access numbers. To get the latest phone numbers, while online go to the Tools menu, click Connection Settings, click Access Numbers, and then click Change. (Note that the "phonebook" and this list are not necessarily posted simultaneously to MSN - there may be differences between the two during the period of time when updates are happening.) ISDN Support City Phone Number 56k 64k United States Alaska Anchorage Coming Soon! Alabama Auburn/Opelika +1 (334) 5028036 Yes No Birmingham +1 (205) 3220856 Yes Yes Decatur +1 (205) 3535029 No No Gadsden +1 (205) 5430504 No Yes Huntsville +1 (205) 5330409 Yes Yes Mobile +1 (334) 4316706 Yes Yes Montgomery +1 (334) 2230902 Yes Yes Arizona Phoenix +1 (602) 6403907 Yes Yes Tucson +1 (520) 6200872 Yes Yes Arkansas Fayettville +1 (501) 4425203 Verifying Ft. Smith +1 (501) 7825043 Yes No Little Rock +1 (501) 3751590 No No Pine Bluff +1 (501) 5342288 No Yes California Anaheim +1 (714) 8710966 Yes Yes Carlsbad +1 (619) 9298643 Yes Yes Chico Coming Soon! Concord +1 (510) 6096318 Yes Yes Englewood +1 (310) 3389007 Yes Yes Fremont +1 (510) 7420207 Yes Yes Fresno +1 (209) 4951007 Yes Yes Huntington Beach +1 (714) 3770278 Yes Yes Livermore +1 (510) 4490339 Yes Yes Long Beach +1 (310) 6249090 Yes Yes Los Angeles +1 (213) 6208910 Yes Yes Modesto +1 (209) 5740196 Yes Yes Oakland +1 (510) 7048599 Yes Yes Ontario +1 (909) 4601214 Yes Yes Palm Springs +1 (619) 3202378 Yes No Palo Alto +1 (415) 3220489 Yes Yes Pasadena +1 (818) 5850100 Yes Yes NEW! Rancho Cucamonga +1 (909) 4819468 Yes Yes Redding +1 (916) 2258634 Yes Yes NEW! Rialto +1 (909) 8752490 Yes Yes Sacramento +1 (916) 4473613 Yes Yes Salinas +1 (408) 7510530 Yes No San Bernadino Coming Soon! San Diego +1 (619) 3380612 Yes Yes San Francisco +1 (415) 3579923 Yes Yes San Jose +1 (408) 2680582 Yes Yes San Luis Obispo Coming Soon! San Mateo +1 (415) 3128208 Yes Yes San Rafael +1 (415) 4720761 Yes Yes San Ramon +1 (510) 8671220 Yes Yes Santa Ana +1 (714) 7269031 Yes Yes Santa Barbara +1 (805) 8922163 Yes No Santa Clara +1 (408) 4921481 Yes Yes Santa Monica +1 (310) 4511209 Yes Yes Santa Rosa +1 (707) 5221314 Yes Yes Sherman Oaks +1 (818) 3402888 Yes Yes Stockton +1 (209) 4630351 Yes Yes Vacaville +1 (707) 4485608 Yes Yes Visalia +1 (209) 6350181 Yes Yes Colorado Colorado Springs +1 (719) 3861680 Yes Yes Denver +1 (303) 5756188 Yes Yes Ft. Collins +1 (970) 2822080 Yes Yes Connecticut Hartford +1 (203) 7240636 No No Stamford +1 (203) 3577638 No No Delaware Wilmington +1 (302) 5760357 Yes Yes District of Columbia Washington +1 (202) 2221021 Yes Yes Florida Bradenton Coming Soon! Daytona Beach +1 (904) 2550389 Yes Yes Feathersound +1 (813) 5730863 No No Ft. Lauderdale +1 (305) 4867918 Yes Yes Gainesville +1 (904) 3711332 Yes Yes Jacksonville +1 (904) 3532059 Yes Yes Lakeland Coming Soon! Melbourne +1 (407) 7231064 Yes Yes Miami +1 (305) 3586951 Yes Yes Orlando +1 (407) 6482090 Yes Yes Panama City Coming Soon! Sarasota Coming Soon! Tampa +1 (813) 2477863 Yes Yes West Palm Beach +1 (407) 6819506 Yes Yes Georgia Albany +1 (912) 4300136 Yes Yes Athens +1 (706) 2080448 Yes Yes Atlanta +1 (404) 8178166 Yes Yes Augusta +1 (706) 8210025 Yes Yes Columbus +1 (706) 6419942 Yes Yes Macon Coming Soon! Savannah +1 (912) 6519899 Yes Yes Smyrna +1 (770) 4324637 Yes Yes Hawaii Honolulu Coming Soon! Idaho Boise +1 (208) 3816880 Yes Yes Illinois Bloomington +1 (309) 4346030 Yes Yes Champaign +1 (217) 3983250 Yes Yes Chicago +1 (312) 9862476 Yes Yes DeKalb +1 (815) 7483932 Yes Yes Elk Grove +1 (708) 2287840 Yes Yes Franklin +1 (312) 9841580 Yes Yes Hinsdale +1 (708) 2415600 Yes Yes Irving +1 (312) 5092301 Yes Yes Naperville +1 (708) 5058070 Yes Yes Northbrook +1 (708) 4803110 Yes Yes Springfield +1 (217) 5273440 Yes Yes Stewart +1 (312) 8730070 Yes Yes Indiana Bloomington +1 (812) 3234330 Yes Yes Evansville +1 (812) 4333080 Yes No Indianapolis +1 (317) 9771010 Yes Yes Lafayette +1 (317) 7723000 Yes Yes South Bend +1 (219) 2392090 Yes Yes Terre Haute +1 (812) 2385600 No No Valparaiso +1 (219) 5314152 Yes Yes Iowa Cedar Rapids +1 (319) 3681500 No No Davenport +1 (319) 3332000 No No Des Moines +1 (515) 3237000 Yes Yes Iowa City +1 (319) 3413020 Yes Yes Kansas Topeka +1 (913) 3689804 Yes Yes Wichita +1 (316) 3830018 Yes Yes Kentucky Lexington +1 (606) 2525628 Yes Yes Louisville +1 (502) 5834400 Yes Yes Louisiana Baton Rouge +1 (504) 3836126 Yes Yes Monroe +1 (318) 3222121 Yes Yes New Orleans +1 (504) 5253564 Yes Yes Shreveport +1 (318) 6760748 Yes Yes Maine Portland +1 (207) 8421300 Yes Yes Maryland Baltimore +1 (410) 7270315 Yes Yes Frederick +1 (301) 6638403 Yes No Annapolis +1 (410) 2633325 Yes Yes Massachusetts Boston +1 (617) 9274200 Yes Yes Braintree +1 (617) 3803400 Yes Yes Burlington +1 (617) 2210500 Yes Yes Cambridge +1 (617) 6790500 Yes Yes Danvers +1 (508) 7395000 Yes Yes Framingham +1 (508) 6284600 Yes Yes Springfield +1 (413) 8464500 Yes Yes Waltham +1 (617) 6727400 Yes Yes Michigan Ann Arbor +1 (313) 2132220 Yes Yes Belleville +1 (313) 9571268 Yes Yes Detroit +1 (313) 2254994 Yes Yes Farmington +1 (810) 4420016 Yes Yes Grand Rapids +1 (616) 4593620 Yes Yes Lansing Coming Soon! Southfield +1 (810) 2623138 No Yes Warren +1 (810) 5759931 Yes Yes Minnesota Minneapolis +1 (612) 3217960 Yes Yes Mississippi Biloxi/Gulfport +1 (601) 8633593 Yes Yes Jackson +1 (601) 3554521 Yes Yes Missouri Columbia +1 (314) 8868621 No No Harvester +1 (314) 9403200 Yes Yes Kansas City +1 (816) 2830607 Yes Yes Springfield +1 (417) 8756902 Yes Yes St. Louis +1 (314) 2137700 Yes Yes Montana Butte Coming Soon! Nebraska Omaha +1 (402) 2337768 Yes Yes Nevada Las Vegas +1 (702) 3828340 Yes Yes New Hampshire Nashua +1 (603) 5946600 Yes Yes New Jersey Cherry Hill +1 (609) 3211995 Yes Yes Hackensack +1 (201) 2870315 Verifying Holmdel +1 (908) 3321001 Yes NEW! Long Branch +1 (908) 9331114 Yes Yes Mercerville +1 (609) 5867747 Yes Yes Morristown +1 (201) 9842407 Yes Yes New Brunswick +1 (908) 4632172 Yes Yes Newark +1 (201) 6221592 Yes Yes Paterson +1 (201) 2791225 Yes Yes Pleasantville +1 (609) 5697800 No No Rahway +1 (908) 3820026 Yes Yes Trenton +1 (609) 7775551 Yes Yes New Mexico Albuquerque Coming Soon! New York Albany +1 (518) 4266070 Yes Yes Binghamton +1 (607) 7621280 No No Brentwood +1 (516) 2312680 Yes Yes Buffalo +1 (716) 8433000 Yes Yes Garden City +1 (516) 2281980 Yes Yes New York +1 (212) 2384220 Yes Yes Port Chester +1 (914) 9332820 Yes Yes Poughkeepsie +1 (914) 4514240 Yes Yes Rochester +1 (716) 3277189 No No Rome/Utica +1 (315) 3386900 Yes NEW! Syracuse +1 (315) 4421220 No No White Plains +1 (914) 6813900 Yes Yes North Carolina Ashville Coming Soon! Charlotte +1 (704) 3422422 Yes Yes Durham +1 (919) 3619127 Yes Yes Fayetteville +1 (910) 3233915 No No Goldsboro +1 (919) 7368100 No No Greensboro +1 (910) 5742663 Yes Yes Raleigh +1 (919) 8726557 Yes Yes Rocky Mount +1 (919) 9720919 No No North Dakota Fargo Coming Soon! Ohio Akron +1 (216) 2539990 Yes Yes Cincinnati +1 (513) 6212600 Yes Yes Cleveland +1 (216) 5792593 Yes Yes Columbus +1 (614) 2220025 Yes Yes Dayton +1 (513) 6408391 Yes Yes Toledo +1 (419) 2462010 Yes Yes Oklahoma Oklahoma City +1 (405) 2700346 Yes Yes Tulsa +1 (918) 5820535 Yes Yes Oregon Beaverton +1 (503) 6772210 Yes Yes Eugene +1 (541) 3020140 Yes Yes Portland +1 (503) 2945600 Yes No Salem +1 (503) 3162070 Yes Yes Pennsylvania Allentown +1 (610) 7972140 Yes Yes Altoona +1 (814) 9411280 Yes Yes Conshohoken +1 (610) 9419491 Yes Yes Erie Coming Soon! Greensburg +1 (412) 8539601 Yes Yes Harrisburg +1 (717) 7200671 Yes Yes Hershey +1 (717) 5334574 Yes No Paoli +1 (610) 7259325 Yes Yes Philadelphia +1 (215) 4480370 Yes Yes Pittsburgh +1 (412) 3942280 Yes Yes Wilkes-Barre +1 (717) 8252150 Yes Yes Rhode Island Providence +1 (401) 2767700 Yes Yes South Carolina Charleston Coming Soon! Columbia +1 (803) 7998828 Yes Yes Greenville Coming Soon! Florence +1 (803) 6730446 Yes Yes South Dakota Sioux Falls +1 (605) 3673553 Yes Yes Tennessee Chattanooga +1 (423) 7563630 Yes Yes Jackson +1 (901) 4224222 Yes Yes Knoxville +1 (615) 5245333 Yes Yes Memphis +1 (901) 7613312 Yes Yes Nashville +1 (615) 7488011 Yes Yes Texas Abilene +1 (915) 6271900 Verifying Amarillo +1 (806) 3547500 Yes No Austin +1 (512) 4331957 Yes Yes Baytown +1 (713) 4272418 No No Beaumont +1 (409) 8338627 No No College Station +1 (409) 8466549 Yes Yes Corpus Christi +1 (512) 8884226 No No NEW! Dallas +1 (214) 7411839 Yes Yes El Paso +1 (915) 5445156 No No Ft. Worth +1 (817) 8509253 Yes Yes Harlingen +1 (210) 4287010 No No Houston +1 (713) 5670439 Yes Yes Irving +1 (214) 4386536 No No Longview +1 (903) 2342700 No No Lubbock +1 (806) 4721003 Yes No Midland +1 (915) 4982003 Yes Yes Odessa +1 (915) 4982004 Yes Yes Richardson +1 (214) 2353493 Yes Yes San Antonio +1 (210) 3529934 No No Temple +1 (817) 7781025 No No Waco +1 (817) 7557212 No No Westheimer +1 (713) 6259900 Yes Yes Utah Ogden +1 (801) 3991119 Yes Yes Provo +1 (801) 3432720 Yes No Salt Lake City +1 (801) 3214980 Yes No Vermont Burlington Coming Soon! Virginia Fredricksburg +1 (540) 3723058 Yes Yes Lynchburg +1 (804) 9479090 Yes Yes Manassas +1 (703) 3315982 Yes No Norfolk +1 (804) 5335140 Yes Yes Princess Anne +1 (804) 5639922 Yes Yes Richmond +1 (804) 6749183 Yes Yes Roanoke +1 (540) 8570700 Yes Yes Washington Everett +1 (206) 2611320 Yes Yes Kennewick +1 (509) 7340697 Yes Yes Olympia +1 (360) 3571091 Yes Yes Redmond +1 (206) 7390181 Yes Yes Seattle +1 (206) 4412632 Yes Yes Tacoma +1 (206) 5978996 Yes Yes West Virginia Charleston +1 (304) 3440141 Yes Yes Clarksburg +1 (304) 6244023 No No Huntington +1 (304) 5220301 Yes Yes Morgantown Coming Soon! Wheeling +1 (304) 2340229 No No Wisconsin Green Bay +1 (414) 5929060 Yes Yes Madison +1 (608) 2526580 Yes Yes Milwaukee +1 (414) 2271301 Yes Yes Wyoming Laramie Coming Soon! Canada Alberta Calgary +1 (403) 7815200 Yes Yes Edmonton +1 (403) 4235600 Yes Yes Quebec Montreal +1 (514) 8667181 Yes Yes Ontario Ottawa +1 (613) 5949044 Yes Yes Toronto +1 (416) 3639625 Yes Yes British Columbia Vancouver +1 (604) 6021506 Yes Yes Manitoba Winnipeg +1 (204) 9561440 Yes Yes Australia NSW Sydney +61 (2) 2965000 Yes Yes Victoria Melbourne +61 (3) 92900000 Yes Yes Queensland Brisbane +61 (7) 33614000 Yes Yes NEW! Canberra Canberra +61 (6) 2170700 Yes Yes NEW! Beta Phone Number List This is the list of cities undergoing testing. You are welcome to use these numbers during the testing period, but you should realize that they may not be available for extended periods, as we reconfigure the network and run our own tests. If you encounter any problems with these numbers please report them via the normal support channels located in Member Assistance.Member Support. Enjoy! Phone Number ISDN Support United States California Bakersfield +1 (805) 8610826 Yes Florida Fort Pierce +1 (407) 4620510 Yes NEW! New York Ithaca +1 (607) 2664300 Yes NEW! Virginia Harrisonburg +1 (540) 5742554 Yes NEW! Washington Pullman +1 (509) 3325402 Yes NEW! Australia Western Australia Perth +61 (9) 2625000 Yes NEW! Courier I-modem for PC and Macintosh Access Both High-Speed ISDN Networks and Analog Modems or Fax Devices Courier I-modem brings ISDN connectivity and analog compatibility together in a single device. It is the ideal desktop solution for high-speed corporate LAN connections, graphic intensive Internet access, data intensive file transfers, and access to online services. The Courier I-modem features an integral analog device port that provides the flexibility to send or receive a fax, talk on the phone, or log an answering machine message at the same time as a data transfer. Desktop and ISA card versions available. z High-Speed File/Imaging Transfer z Telecommuting z Internet Access z Universal Connect z Software Downloads via Flash ROM z Integrated V.34 Fax/Modem z Robotics V.Everything Technology z Integrated Analog Device Port z Integrated NT-1 z Asynchronous/Synchronous PPP z Windows95 Enhancements z Multi-Vendor Interoperability z User Configurable Dial Security z Microsoft Plug 'n Play Support z Five-year limited warranty; factory repair or replacement. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage MICROSOFT PITCHES NEW PC CONCEPT In a counter to Oracle's promotion of a new $500 Internet device, Microsoft has plans to develop a Simply Interactive PC, or SIPC, designed to move from the home office to the living room to perform functions such as controlling the stereo, video disk player, household security system, etc. while enabling family members to surf the Net or play interactive games. "I think what Gates is doing is preemptively striking past where Ellison is at," says one analyst. "By comparison, the network computer is so limited." Microsoft has been working on the SIPC idea since last summer and specifications include a proposed standard cable connection that could send data among the various components at speeds 30 times faster than today's typical PC connections, and a boot-up sequence that would take only three to five seconds. (Wall Street Journal 29 Mar 96 B7) CHARGES AGAINST ARGENTINEAN FOLLOW FIRST COMPUTER WIRETAP An Argentine resident of the U.S. has been charged by federal investigators with using a Harvard University computer as a staging point to illegally enter numerous other Internet sites, including ones at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University, along with other sites in Mexico, Taiwan, Chile, Brazil, and South Korea. An investigator said that with a court-authorized wiretap "we intercepted only those communications which fit the pattern [of illegal entries]... We limited our initial examination ... around the telltale sign to protect the privacy of innocent communications." (Los Angeles Times 30 Mar 96 A10) ATLANTIC MONTHLY SETTLES ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING SUIT Atlantic Monthly has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a Rutgers University professor, who charged that the magazine violated his commercial rights when it placed excerpts of his book in the Lexis-Nexis database, which sells its contents to customers. The magazine admitted to no wrongdoing, but says in the future, it will negotiate with freelancers specific rights to post and distribute works via CD-ROM, online networks, databases, and in other electronic formats. "In terms of the correct view of copyright law, there are no implications at all," concludes Time Inc.'s general counsel. (Wall Street Journal 29 Mar 96 B5) IRS COMPUTER PROJECT CALLED A FOUR-BILLION-DOLLAR FIASCO Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin has admitted to a congressional committee that his department doesn't have an overall master plan or blueprint for the multibillion modernization effort intended to replace the Sixties-era mainframes now in operation at the Internal Revenue Service and to link IRS offices across the nation. Congressman Jim Lightfoot characterized the project as "a $4-billion- fiasco that is floundering because of inadequate planning." Secretary Rubin says the only plan that exists (and which he has not read) is a highly technical 6,000-page document that "is not what we need." (Los Angeles Times 29 Mar 96 D1) WIRELESS AUCTION NO-GO Go Communications of Alexandria, Virginia, is dropping out of the Federal Communications Commission's auction of wireless communications licenses, saying it couldn't match the "exorbitant" bids of companies such as Netwave Personal Communications, which has bid $3.7 billion for licenses that would allow them to serve markets containing 81 million people. Go's president says that "the FCC is, in essence, providing subsidized government financing to large Korean conglomerates that have provided the majority of Netwave's funds." (New York Times 30 Mar 96 p23) CLINTON ADMINISTRATION BACKS UNIVERSAL ACCESS The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has asked the FCC to pass rules that would make subsidized telephone service more readily available to disadvantaged and rural citizens. NTIA noted that a telephone not only connects "an individual to neighbors and loved ones but with the addition of a computer and a modem, it furnishes a pathway to the Information Age, offering enhanced employment and educational opportunities." Although the administration was careful not to specifically include Internet access in its proposal, the director of telecommunications and technology studies at the Cato Institute worries that might come next: "When they first talked about universal service as a system of subsidies for rural service, I could live with that. But what concerns me now is that they seem to want to extend the universal service doctrine to Internet access, cable TV access... It's always been the case that rich people buy things before poor people do. Natural penetration rates are different for different products. You can't second-guess the market." (Los Angeles Times 30 Mar 96 D1) GATES ISN'T CRYING OVER PC SALES SLOWDOWN Microsoft's Bill Gates has a sarcastic response to worries over slowing PC sales: "Name an industry that's going to grow faster than the PC industry. Now, don't start crying. It's very sad; this is sad news. This is going to be tough for you: We might only grow at 18 percent! Now that's on top of 60 million units a year. This has got to be rough, very rough." (Upside Apr 96 p38) BRITISH TELECOM IN MERGER TALKS WITH CABLE & WIRELESS British Telecommunications PLC and Cable & Wireless PLC are holding exploratory discussions about the possibility of merging to create a $50 billion telecom conglomerate. British Telecom has a partnership with MCI, which is the second-largest long-distance in the U.S. (New York Times 29 Mar 96 C5) SILICON FAMINE Analysts at Dataquest and Rose Associates are predicting a shortage of silicon wafers used to manufacture microprocessing chips that will hamper chipmakers' ability to meet demands for the next few years. According to Dataquest estimates, the silicon drought could last into the next century, at least for the 200-millimeter size wafer. The problem arises from the non- stop demand since 1990 -- historically up until then, demand had slackened every three years or so, giving silicon suppliers a chance to catch up. But with chip output rising to record levels over the past few years, "the whole food chain is stretched right to a thin hair," says the president of Rose Associates. (Business Week 25 Mar 96 p82) CYBERTOT MARKETING IS CRITICIZED The Center for Media Education, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research and lobbying group, says that many of the micromarketing strategies aimed at children engaged in online interactive activities are "manipulative, deceptive, and exploitive." The group's president says: "I believe the online medium will be the dominant medium in children's lives in the 21st century, and I don't think people realize this. Parents see it as an alternative, and computers still have this 'halo effect' as something new and wonderful, something they'd rather have kids do than sit in front of the TV. But it's in no way safe from the kinds of advertising and marketing practices that can harm kids. Most parents can't see the possibilities; they don't even know how to log on." (New York Times 29 Mar 96 A12) SOLVING TRAFFIC JAMS ON THE INTERNET A recently announced National Science Foundation grant program is aimed at funding scientific and engineering projects that require innovative ways of regulating traffic flow on the Internet. "We need to take a deeper look at this, not just try to expand capacity and stay ahead of demand," says Mark Luker, manager of NSF's network connections program. "Some traffic needs better or different service than other traffic." The hope is that new ways of prioritizing data streams according to their needs will result from the funding effort. "There's a vision here of a more effective Internet - one that has different qualities of service for different needs and can guarantee the kind of service you need to what you want to do," says Luker. (Science News 23 Mar 96 p181) MCI REFUNDS $44 MILLION FOR OVERBILLING MCI will refund about $44 million to collect-call customers who might have been overbilled because of a programming bug that caused some customers to be overbilled an average of 18 cents for automated collect calls. (New York Times 30 Mar 96 p9) EDUPAGE IN CHINESE We are pleased to announce a Chinese edition of Edupage, which will be produced and distributed by Alex Chiu and Huey-Ping Chang in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. Welcome to our Chinese-speaking readers of Edupage! <Chinese big5 characters follow> ~wT PUP ~qo\ Edupage SSS TCoI oy'eB ~AouY#R% Big-5 XTCoooAPpTG+zP>o> O TSP oAODog'Hup email@example.comC <End of Chinese> To receive the Chinese edition (Big5 code) of Edupage, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Besides English, Edupage is now available in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish editions.] BELLS, BELLS, BELLS: AND THEN THERE WERE SIX The number of Bell companies will shrink from seven to six when Texas-based SBC Communications receives the expected regulatory permission to buy California-based Pacific Telesis for $17 billion, forming this country's second- largest phone company (after AT&T), with more than $21 billion in annual revenues and a service market area of more than 30 million phone lines in seven states: California, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. The new company will increase (by 1000), rather than reduce, the total number of positions now held by the 100,000 employees of the two companies -- and industry analysts say the acquisition is focused not on cost reduction but rather on market expansion. More than 50% of all international calls to Mexico are in states served by the newly combined company, which is headquartered in San Antonio and already owns a 10% equity stake in the Mexican national phone company, Telefonos de Mexico. (New York Times 2 Apr 96 A1) MICROSOFT EXCHANGE CHALLENGES LOTUS NOTES Microsoft rolled out its Exchange Server software this past weekend in a challenge to Lotus Notes' dominant position in the corporate groupware market. Exchange allows users to set up internal BBSs, set up meetings with a group-scheduling feature and send e-mail with links to the Web. Notes' advantages include a feature that automatically synchronizes all changes made to a document in a collaborative editing session. Notes runs on a variety of servers and operating systems while Exchange runs only on Windows NT. "I'm tired of shadowboxing," says Lotus's executive VP. "We are going to have a slugfest, and they are going to get their nose bloodied." (Wall Street Journal 1 Apr 96 B5) JUNK E-MAIL LAWSUIT In what lawyers say is the first of its kind, a small electronic advertising company has sued America Online in federal court for interfering with its attempts to send "junk e-mail" advertisements over the AOL system. Cyber Promotions, which went into business last year as Promo Enterprises, says AOL attempted to put it out of business by sending "e-mail bombs" to Cyber's e-mail accounts, crashing the servers of two out of three of its Internet- service providers. Cyber had signed contracts to send the junk e-mail on behalf of its customers. "In general, mass e-mailing is a violation of America Online's terms of service, and we frequently hear from our members who consider it an annoyance and a disruption of the network," says an AOL spokesman. (St. Petersburg Times 1 Apr 96 p8) FEDERAL FUNDING IS ESSENTIAL TO TECHNOLOGY, SAYS COMMERCE Commerce Under Secretary for Technology Mary L. Good says cuts proposed by congressional Republicans could jeopardize U.S. leadership in developing emerging and enabling technologies. "These cuts would deliver a devastating blow to our nation's current R&D infrastructure, eliminating more than 35,000 scientists and engineers from the U.S. R&D enterprise." Areas affected include environmental, food safety, civilian aviation safety and educational technologies. Good warned that although attention has focused on Europe and Japan as the most likely competitors in the technology field, countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, China, South Korea and Indonesia all are working aggressively to acquire technology and develop indigenous technology resources. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 29 Mar 96 A25) SMALL PHONE COMPANIES WANT INTERNET REGULATION Small telephone companies, faced with new technology that enables phone calls, particularly long-distance ones, to be placed over the Internet, are clamoring for more government regulation of Internet activities. While Internet access is defined as an "enhanced service," free from federal access charges, telephone companies must pay FCC fees when they provide long- distance service. "The Internet completely shatters the model that has been established to keep those subsidies alive," says a Heritage Foundation policy analyst. "The really scary thing is extending FCC price regulations into the computer sector. Just because we have an existing system in place and one group is getting stuck, doesn't mean we have to go stick it to another group." The America's Carriers Telecommunication Association has petitioned the FCC to stop the use of the Internet for long-distance service, and the FCC has extended the comment deadline to May 8. (Investor's Business Daily 2 Apr 96 A4) CABLE VS. TELCO INTERNET PLANS Cable operators aren't worried about the recent announcements by both MCI and AT&T that they will offer low-cost Internet access to their customers. "They can do all the deals they want to, but the physical links into the home still remain the same," says a Comcast VP. While phone companies must accelerate their plans to upgrade their systems, cable companies are confident their existing 10 Mbps modems will outstrip phone companies' offerings. "We have a different service paradigm." (Broadcasting & Cable 25 Mar 96 p72) Meanwhile, researchers at Canada's Northern Telecom are working on a new digital format that is cheaper than telephony's ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) but about as fast, at receive rates of 2 Mbps and send rates of 500 Kbps. While the receive rate is much lower than cable's touted technology, the "upstream" speed may actually be higher in real-world terms than what cable companies ultimately are able to offer. "The telcos are in a stronger position than many would believe," says a Northern Telecom VP. (Business Week 1 Apr 96 p87) And MCI plans to be the first carrier to upgrade its Internet backbone from 45 Mbps to 155 Mbps. "The explosive growth of the Internet has led to rush-hour traffic conditions for many users," says MCI VP Vint Cerf. "We're going to do what we can to eliminate any contribution to that congestion." (Information Week 25 Mar 96 p32) CONSUMERS PRESS FOR 911 CELL-PHONE SERVICE Consumer groups such as the Ad Hoc Alliance for Public Access to 911 want the federal government to require the cellular telephone industry to guarantee that all cell phone owners have 911 access. Currently, only people who subscribe to a cellular service have guaranteed access. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association maintains that requiring cellular companies to complete 911 calls for callers who have not subscribed to a service would aggravate cellular fraud. (St. Petersburg Times 1 Apr 96 p9) RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY Duke University has turned to recycling its old computers, refurbishing them and donating them to a local high school. The result is a 60-computer network connected to the high school's existing server. Meanwhile, Boise State University has shipped more than 1,000 used computers to Idaho schools during the past year. The dean of Boise's College of Education and Instructional Technology calls the program a "win-win deal" for the community. (Chronicle of Higher Education 5 Apr 96 A19) CORBIS WINS RIGHTS TO ANSEL ADAMS PHOTOS Corbis Corp., owned by Bill Gates, has acquired exclusive rights to electronically distribute photographer Ansel Adams's works via CD-ROM or online. The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust has requested a strong commitment from Corbis to ensure the quality of the digital images, and retains veto power over the use of each photograph. The trust will receive about $20,000 up front, plus a relatively large share of future royalty fees. (Wall Street Journal 2 Apr 96 B5) MICROSOFT WANTS TO SURROUND YOU AND START YOU UP Further blurring the lines between TV and PC capabilities, Microsoft is planning to integrate Dolby Laboratories' six- speaker Surround Sound technology into personal computer software. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2 Apr 96 F3) ... Microsoft also says it will use the OnNow standard to allow PCs to turn on instantly and be immediately (like toasters and other consumer appliances); Microsoft executive Jim Allchin says: "Users are demanding that PCs become more convenient to access and use. They want their PC to be instantly available to answer the phone, display new e-mail, browse the Internet or run an application." (Financial Times 2 Apr 96 p19) AMELIO'S FLASHFLIGHT STRATEGY FOCUSED ON QUALITY Positioning Apple as a maker of higher-quality computers for which customers will be willing to pay more than for competing products, CEO Gil Amelio has illustrated his point by comparing a cheap flashlight with the one he owns himself: a higher quality Maglite flashlight that is more expensive to own. Amelio told the staffers that Apple can not compete directly on cost with PCs based on Intel microprocessors and Microsoft operating systems, because Apple's smaller size relative to those companies means that it has higher per-unit costs attributable to research and development. Amelio's two immediate predecessors went different ways, with John Sculley focusing on making Apple computers different from PCs and Michael Spindler focusing on making them price-competitive. Both left their jobs under pressure. (New York Times 2 Apr 96 C20) WorldNet to offer CompuServe access WorldNet, AT&T's Internet access service, plans to offer its customers access at discounted prices to CompuServe. A similar arrangement is already in place between WorldNet and AOL, and additional alliances of this nature are in the discussion stage. (New York Times 4 Apr 96 C4) PRODIGY MANAGERS ATTEMPT BUYOUT Prodigy Services' management team has hired investment banker Wasserstein Perella Securities Inc. to attempt a management buyout of the commercial online service. The team is hoping to make the purchase for about $250 million, less than a quarter of what Prodigy parents Sears, Roebuck & Co. and IBM have plowed into it. The potential buyout offer takes advantage of Sears' desire to get out of the business in a hurry. "The window opened once the owners realized that no one's going to come along and buy a 50% share," says one executive familiar with the situation. "All of a sudden, the kids want to take over their parents' business." (Wall Street Journal 4 Apr 96 B6) MCI PREMATURELY PULLS THE PLUG ON BIG BLUE When IBM broke the news to MCI that it had decided to switch to AT&T for its $3 billion voice and data transmission services contract, MCI apparently decided to cut off service before IBM's old contract had expired. MCI's unexpectedly abrupt departure left AT&T scrambling to fill the gap, marshaling the services of 1,000 employees over the weekend to ensure continuity. IBM for many years has been MCI's biggest customer, with their relationship dating back to the 1980s. (Wall Street Journal 4 Apr 96 B1) BROAD SOFTWARE PATENT SPARKS MORE LAWSUITS A small New Jersey company is claiming it holds a patent on technology for distributing software, images, type fonts and information via electronic networks, and has filed a lawsuit against 22 companies for patent infringement. E-data Corp., which bought the patent in 1994 from computer scientist Charles Freeny, has sued a total of 43 companies to date, and has convinced IBM to purchase a license to use the technology. VocalTec Ltd. also settled after being sued. A company spokesman says they're in discussions with at least half a dozen other companies regarding settlements. (Investor's Business Daily 4 Apr 96 A8) SUN'S NEW E-MAIL PACKAGE Sun Microsystems isn't resting on its Java -- its latest Internet e-mail system integrates the new IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol) recently devised by the Internet Engineering Task Force. The new standard provides superior support for remote mail users. A beta version of the Solstice Internet Mail Server is available on Sun's Web site < http://www.sun.com/ > (Information Week 25 Mar 96 p16). ACADEMIC SYSTEMS GETS AN A California State University at Northridge reports a higher percentage (70%) of students are passing math classes that incorporate Academic Systems' algebra instruction programs. This rate compares with a less than 50% pass rate without the programs, and several other colleges have made similar findings. The Academic Systems product relies on CD-ROM software that's linked to the instructor's PC, so the teacher can monitor each student's progress and step in for individual assistance when needed. "Before this I've always felt I never met a technology that didn't ultimately just cost me more money," says CSU Northridge's VP for academic affairs. (Wall Street Journal 3 Apr 96 B6) ... See the July/August issue of Educom Review for an interview with Academic Systems chairman Bernard Gifford. IBM'S INTELLIGENT MINER DIGS OUT THE GOOD STUFF IBM plans to offer companies "data mining" software and services, allowing them to make better use of disparate pieces of information stored in their computer systems. The Intelligent Miner software will be available on IBM's RS/6000 servers by the fall, and on other platforms by year end. The company also plans to develop Intelligent Decision Server software for local area network-based information analysis. (Investor's Business Daily 3 Apr 96 A9) CYRIX JOINS PC WARS Microprocessor maker Cyrix Corp. is building a line of PCs based on its 6x86 chip, priced in the $2,400 to $5,200 range. The computers are targeted at power business users, small businesses and home offices, and will come equipped with Windows 95 or NT. The company is using a direct sales strategy, similar to Gateway 2000 and Dell. (Investor's Business Daily 3 Apr 96 A8) AT&T COLLEGE NETWORK AT&T has launched a new Web site aimed at helping college students find a job. The AT&T College Network <http://www.att.com/college/ > provides links to other Internet job listing sites, along with tips on job-hunting and career strategies. A recent AT&T poll shows 80% of college students plan to use the Internet as a job search tool. (Investor's Business Daily 4 Apr 96 A4) POLICING THE WEB PICS (Platform for Internet Content Selection), a new technology for filtering out objectionable material on the Word Wide Web to prevent its access by children, will be launched this month by the World Wide Web Consortium, a nonprofit association of academics, public interest groups and computer companies. Similar to V-chip technology, PICS will allow parents to provide different levels of access for children of different ages. (Ottawa Citizen 2 Apr 96 A9) TV CHANNELS FOR EUOPEAN PC USERS The National Broadcasting Company hopes to develop -- probably in partnership with Microsoft -- a number of European TV channels that would offer a mix of educational and promotional material of interest to computer users. (Financial Times 3 Apr 96 p16) PERSONAL NEWS NETWORK The Canadian Broadcasting Company, in partnership with Bell Canada, Telesat Canada, Newbridge Networks, Oracle Corp. and Televitesse System, is trying to develop a news service that would scan television and other sources according to user specifications, then save articles for viewing later on a personal computer. The target market for the Personal News Network will be companies and government agencies that want news in selected fields. (Montreal Le Devoir 2 Apr 96 B2) IBM EXECS IN ARGENTINA CHARGED WITH FRAUD Five current and former executives of IBM's subsidiary in Argentina have been charged with offering bribes to win a $249 million contract with that country's national bank. IBM itself has not been charged, and an IBM spokesman says the indicted executives failed to follow "established IBM business procedures." (Financial Times 4 Apr 96 p14) Edupage is written by John Gehl (email@example.com) & Suzanne Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... To cancel, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe edupage... Subscription problems: email@example.com. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. To subscribe to the Update: send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: subscribe update John McCarthy (assuming that your name is John McCarthy; if it's not, substitute your own name). INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans. The conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other managers of information resources. For full conference information check out <http://cause-www.colorado.edu > or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. For archive copies of Edupage or Update, ftp or gopher to educom.edu or see URL: < http://www.educom.edu/>. For the French edition of Edupage, send mail to email@example.com with the subject "subscribe"; or see < http://www.ijs.com >. For the Hebrew edition, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6 <name> or see < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >. For the Hungarian edition, send mail to: send mail to email@example.com. An Italian edition is available on Agora' Telematica; connection and/or free subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: <agora) or via telnet <agora.stm.it; mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org for info. For the Portuguese edition, contact email@example.com with the message SUB EDUPAGE-P Seu Primeiro Nome Seu Sobrenome. For the Spanish edition, send mail edunews@nc- rj.rnp.br with the message SUB EDUPAGE-E Su Primer Nombre, Su Apellido. Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News Reader's Digest Home Repair CD-ROM Reader's Digest and Microsoft have jointly produced the Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide on CD-ROM. Based on the best-selling Reader's Digest New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, this program for Windows 95 includes over one thousand photographs, sixty-five videos, fifty-five animations and thirteen hundred illustrations. It features twelve guided project tours, step-by-step "action how-tos" and printable instructions (very handy for when you can't take the computer to the job site). Other features of the program are a built-in estimator, a search engine for finding information quickly, and it even gives advice on when to call for professional help and how to prepare your home for sale. Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide is scheduled to be available for retail sale on April 11 wherever Microsoft products are sold. The CD-ROM can also be purchased directly for $39.96 by calling 1-800-213-8900. Reader's Digest is sponsoring a special promotion on America Online. Through Father's Day, June 16, visitors to the do-it-yourself site can register to win copies of the CD-ROM in weekly drawings. At the conclusion of the contest, the first-prize winner will receive $1000 worth of American Online time. Use the keyword Readers Digest to navigate to the contest site. National Geographic to Go Online The National Geographic Society and Magnet Interactive Communications (MIC) have developed an interactive web site to be available on the World Wide Web and on CompuServe. The site will open on June 20 and will content-intensive and interactive. Web surfers will be able will not only be able to view National Geographic's many resources, but they will also be able to role-play in virtual adventures. Users will be able to seek sunken treasure in simulated dives, take mountain treks in the Peruvian Andes, learn about photography or play educational games. They will also be able to communicate with the expert staff of National Geographic's publications. Edmark Announces Special Offer for Imagination Express Edmark has released two new additions to the Imagination Express software series. Destination: Time Trip, USA and Destination: Pyramids were created specifically for school use. Children in kindergarten through eighth grade can use these programs to create interactive electronic books or beautifully illustrated printed works based on the theme or destination of each program. All Imagination Express software is available on dual-format CD-ROM's for Windows and Macintosh computers. Destination: Time Trip, USA follows the chronological advances in a fictional New England village. Children can travel through time to see the village in its infancy in the 1600's on to the present day. They will see accurate representations of fashion, architecture, inventions and entertainment during each period. An electronic Scrapbook gives perspective on certain dates in history through letters, news clippings and other information. Travel back to ancient Egypt in Destination: Pyramids. Children explore the varied scenes and lifestyles of Egyptians during the days of the pharaohs. Story settings include a temple, a palace and a village. An electronic Fact Book contains dozens of pages of information about Egyptian culture. The greatest benefit of Imagination Express is the creativity it inspires in children. Writing and communication skills will be enhanced. Children can also learn about history, culture and environmental concerns in the themed Destinations. Each Destination comes with the complete Imagination Express authoring software. You can purchase any individual Destination and be ready to begin producing electronic books without having to purchase a master program or additional software. Destination: Time Trip, USA and Destination: Pyramids will be available as school versions for the special price of $29.95 through June 30, 1996. All other Destinations are on sale also. (Destination: Castle is my son's favorite!) School versions include a Teacher's Guide in a three-ring binder that includes lesson ideas, activity sheets, toll-free technical support and a lifetime disc warranty. These can be purchased directly through Edmark Customer Service by calling 800-691-2985 or you can contact your local educational dealer. Activision Uses New Video Technology to Enhance Games Spycraft: The Great Game and Zork Nemesis offer full-screen, full-motion cinematic video through the use of TrueMotionr, a software-only video compression technology created by Duck Corporation. This video algorithm can be used without dedicated decompression hardware across all platforms including PC, Macintosh, UNIX, 3DO, Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and new systems. This technology promises to give gamers the most realistic video seen to date. New York-based Duck Corporation was founded in 1992 to develop TV-quality video playback and interactivity on computer and videogame platforms. Its other core technology is Comprendingr, a technique which combines compression, rendering and blue-screen techniques to create realistic, 3D applications. # # # Battlefield Warriors MSRP $14.95 for Ages 8 to Adult Memorex Software Series N-TK 18000 Studebaker Rd Suite 200 Cerritos, CA 90703 310-403-0043 Program Requirements OS: DOS 5.0 CPU: 386/33 HD Space: 8 MB Memory: 2 MB Graphics: VGA, 320 x 200 with 256 colors CD-ROM: single-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Other: mouse, joystick reviewed by David H. Mann Battlefield Warriors is a collection of three games, Jetfighter 2 Advanced Tactical Fighter, Project X, and Operation Combat 2. The three games install on your hard drive. With a few modifications to your memory (for each one) and CPU speed, you're ready to go (almost). Jetfighter 2 was the most worrisome of the bunch. It would not run on a 486 DX2 66 in turbo mode. It had some problems with some of the TSRs used in normal DOS operations (smartdrive and the CD-ROM drivers in particular). Even after all that, the game locked up a few times. The vga colors were basic (16 colors), but graphics were tight. As flight simulators go it was OK, but I found the controls confusing. Project X is a space side shooter reminiscent of the old Atari 2600. There are various enemies with a boss at the end of each level. The attack angles are varied and quick, but the game is only 16 colors. It also needs expanded memory, so you'll have to play with DOS again. The game will hold the attention of a first time gamer, but not an experienced one. Operation Combat 2 is a boardgame-like strategy game that pits one army against another. Players can play via modem, head to head, or against the computer. There a time limit, but you can make as many moves as possible in the amount of time given. The game is played on a map and moves are made with a mouse on the action area of the map. You can see the results of your moves in actual animation. The graphics are blocky and again there are only 16 colors, but its fun to see if you can make more moves than the computer in the amount of time given. Together, Battlefield Warriors is a good starter set for someone who is new to gaming and has an older system. But for someone who wants high powered graphics and blistering sound effects, you won't find it here. However if you are nostalgic and like the older graphics and shy away from realism, this might be the perfect collection for you. # # # Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective Edition Dual-format CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh approximate retail $40 for ages 5 to 8 Broderbund Software 500 Redwood Blvd. Novato, CA 94948-6121 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.0.1 CPU: 386DX/33 CPU: 68030/25 HD Space: 1 MB HD Space: N/A Memory: 4 MB Memory: 5 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse Other: printer, microphone reviewed by Frank Sereno Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective Edition is a delightful game of exploration and deduction for children ages five and up. This simplified version of the Carmen Sandiego game engine enables younger children to discover the countries and cultures of the world as they apprehend the criminals of V.I.L.E. You have joined the ACME Detective Agency. This organization fights crime around the globe. An evil crime cabal named V.I.L.E. is constantly stealing the treasures of the world. Your duty is to track the criminal, then capture him and return the treasure. You will have several assistants who will aid you in your quest. Acme photographers will attempt to capture an image of the dastardly fiend you are chasing. Zack and Ivy, a brother and sister detective team, will help you to decipher the clues. Occasionally, your boss, The Chief, will lend assistance over the video phone. Stretch the crime dog will help you make the collar! You will accomplish your mission through the use of a unique computing device, the GizmoTapper. The Tapper's most important feature is Dee Jaye, the built-in voice of the unit. She will provide narration for your adventure and she will give hints and help when you click her call button. The Tapper includes a large view screen, the Location Window, to display maps or the view your current location. The cursor becomes a magnifying glass when passed over the screen to help you look for clues. The Tapper displays a row of magnifying glasses beneath the Location Window. These indicate the number of clues to found at this location. Unfortunately, your Tapper is battery powered. Pay attention to the battery meter. If you take too many wrong turns, you will run out of energy and the criminal will go unpunished. The Map Button will place a map on the Location Window. You just need to compare the symbols for the clues you have found to the symbols next to each country and pick the one that matches. Click on the country and away you go! The Tapper has three more features. The video phone is your link to The Chief. He offers advice and praise, but if you leave the Tapper alone for a few minutes, he will remind you to get back to your assignment with sometimes unfriendly remarks. The Photo-Fax machine receives the photographs from your field team. Unfortunately, they only get part of the image at each country, so you must put the pieces together on the wanted poster. Once you complete the puzzle, the criminal will be identified and a warrant will be issued for his arrest. The interface is a very easy point-and-click design. Online help is built in with Dee Jaye. The user manual is quite thorough and also has activity pages to continue the learning fun. Broderbund includes a small troubleshooting pamphlet with the documentation to help solve any technical glitches. If that is unsuccessful, help is available for free via phone, U.S. Mail or the Internet. The graphics are excellent. The animations are smooth and character's movements are very natural. The full screen animation of the criminal's capture is equal in quality to most Saturday morning cartoons. The still photography is quite beautiful. Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective Edition features wonderful voice characterizations, amusing sound effects and a wonderful collection of cultural music. The game is fun and easy to play. The amusing animations will make your entire family laugh. With over fifty crimes to solve, your child will spend many hours playing Junior. The game provides lessons in geography and culture as your child learns the location of countries on the world map and gathers clues about their products and climate. The game also builds memorization skills as he must remember the clues to pick the correct destination. In higher levels, players have to remember as many as four clues. Broderbund always provides excellent value in their products. In addition to a reasonable price, the company backs its products with a fantastic ninety- day satisfaction guarantee and free technical support. Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective Edition is a fine value. This program will educate and amuse your children for many hours. Don't be surprised if you don't find it to fun too. I know that I do! Ratings Graphics . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Sound . . . . . . . . . . . 10.0 Interface . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Play Value . . . . . . . . 9.0 Educational Value . . . 8.5 Bang for the Buck . . . 9.5 Average . . . . . . . . . . 9.33 Portable Computers Section Marty Mankins, Editor ACCESS Software NewsWire STR Focus It's Official -- LINKS LS Coming Soon! Access Software Inc. President, Bruce Carver has announced that the company's eagerly-awaited next generation golf product, LINKS LS, will begin shipping May 28th. Access has taken the software industry's most popular series of golf simulators, and totally re-designed the golf engine, adding enhancements that bring everything to the game but fresh air and sore muscles. LINKS LS, the most visually stunning and physically accurate computer gaming experience ever developed, has raised the standard by which all entertainment products will be judged. LINKS LS now boasts graphics resolutions up to 1280 X 1024 in 16 million colors and 1600 X 1200 in 65 thousand colors! "Users will be absolutely captivated by the realism on their computer monitor -- that's our pledge!" said Carver. "As a sign of our conviction that the newest version of our series will be a gaming paradigm for years to come, the acronym 'LS' was added to the name. The letters 'LS' stand for LEGENDS IN SPORTS." Added Carver. "LINKS has always set the industry standard, and we're proud of the great advances in 'LS', which will carry on the tradition. The advanced technology of the LINKS LS series will stun players both visually as well as in the nuances of play." KAPALUA RESORT LINKS LS features the Kapalua Resort in Maui as its 'home' resort. LS users may play either the Plantation or the Village course. Included are special multi-media presentations of many highlights of the area. Of special note is that LS owners may explore the clubhouse with full 360 degree movement via Access' "Virtual World Engine" (first used in the smash hit "Under A Killing Moon"). ARNOLD PALMER Included with LINKS LS is the first in the 'LINKS Tour Player' series featuring golf legend Arnold Palmer at the La Trobe Country Club. The user may play as 'Arnie' or with 'Arnie'. The golfing escape at La Trobe is heightened with a multi-media tour-de-force, including an in-depth look at Arnie's personal library and workshop! ADDITIONALLY: z User selectable "camera angles" to view each shot. Up to four cameras may be selected. z With the modem or network play feature, users can play with a partner anywhere in the world! z Several modes of play, including Stroke Play, Match Play, Best Ball and Skins. z "Live Action" stereo sound that automatically tracks the action. z Dozens of additional equally exciting features. COMPATIBILITY Of course the new LINKS LS will be compatible with all existing LINKS 386 Pro courses. In addition to the Links Championship Course series two extra course series will be available with the LINKS LS: The TOUR PLAYER SERIES and the RESORT SERIES. The Pandora Directive The government has hidden the 20th century's greatest secret... Until Now. It's April, 2043 and you--as Tex Murphy, the last of the old-style gumshoes-- find yourself racing against time in the most dangerous game of your life. What is the truth behind the rumored UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico? Why did the military suddenly shut down and seal off the Roswell complex? And why the frequent references to the lost Mayan civilization? It starts out like a thousand other cases. $500 a day (plus expenses) to track down a missing person. As you pick up Thomas Malloy's trail, you realize you're not the only one looking for him. By the time you discover that he's ex-military and knows what really happened on July 6, 1947, it's too late. The government's biggest secret of the twentieth century has gotten loose and you're trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the most powerful and ruthless agency in the world. Welcome to Access Software's latest Tex Murphy Interactive Move The Pandora Directive An outstanding Hollywood cast, starring Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure, War Games), Tanya Roberts (View to a Kill, Beastmaster), and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Just Cause). The Pandora Directive features z Access Software's unique "Virtual World" engine. Step into a completely interactive three-dimensional world, and explore with full freedom of movement. z The most replayability of any interactive movie to date. Follow any of three paths through the story leading to seven different endings. On each path you'll see unique scenes, new puzzles and plot twists. z Cinematography and direction by Hollywood editor/director Adrian Carr (Quigly Down Under, Man from Snowy River, Sex, Lies and Videotape). Two levels of play. The first level offers a complete on-line hint system to help you through the tougher puzzles. The second level--for expert gamers-- has no hints available, but rewards players with higher bonus points, extra puzzles and multiple solutions. Coming soon to a software store near you! Second Quarter 1996. STR Special Coverage A TRAGIC STORY ABOUT A WIRETAP by Shabbir J. Safdar, VTW Board (New York, NY) This week most of VTW's staff attended the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference in Cambridge Massachusetts. I go to the conference every year to recharge my batteries, put names to faces, and enjoy the synergy that can only come with face-to-face dialogue. This year the debate over encryption seemed focused on three panels, the only novel one being a panel which was a "moot court". Presided over by five real Federal judges, attorneys for plaintiffs and the government argued over the Constitutionality of a mock law that would require escrowing of encryption keys. Aside from this, the conference added no new material to the encryption debate. One valuable experience happened on the way home, however. I picked up the New York Times and came across a story in the New York Times Magazine about a corrupt New Orleans police chief, and how he reacted to a woman who filed a police brutality complaint against him. The story goes this way: the FBI was wiretapping a number of New Orleans police officers who were allegedly guarding a 286 pound shipment of cocaine. During that time the FBI overheard a conversation between the police chief and several other police officials that the FBI alleges was a murder plot. The intended victim had previously filed a police brutality complaint against the chief. Although the FBI had the conversation in hand, they were unable to decode the police chief's "street slang and police jargon" in time to prevent the murder. The woman who filed the complaint, a 32 year old mother of three, was shot while standing in front of her house. It's easy to be angry about this incident. One could (and should) be angry with the murderers and their conspirators. However out of this comes two important observations on the encryption policy debate. One, while wiretaps have probably been effective in other cases, they were not effective in this one. While we can grant law enforcement the benefit of the doubt in other cases, the existence of this one shows that a wiretap is not the "silver bullet" of law enforcement that we have been led to believe. Another observation that can be made is that this parallels the key escrow debate very closely. No reasonable person is objecting to the FBI's right to conduct a wiretap. However what is being debated is the extent to which individuals and law enforcement can go to accomplish their duties. The Clinton Administration is striving for a world where everyone is forced to speak in a form of encryption that is easily decoded by law enforcement. The public and industry is striving for a world where they continue to have private conversations. The situational parallel to this would be if the Administration had pushed a law that requires everyone to speak on the telephone in plain English, without slang and without any double meanings. This is the equivalent of key escrow. However, would this have really saved the person so tragically killed above? Unlikely. Individuals involved in criminal conspiracies will continue to use whatever means at their disposal to obscure their activities from the police. The corrupt police chief who allegedly ordered the murder would have still used slang and code, regardless of any laws banning such use. He was allegedly conspiring to committ a murder, why should he care? Such laws will, however, affect law abiding citizen's attempts to gain privacy. Law-abiding citizens that may be speaking to their doctors, attorneys, loved-ones, or business partners will continue to be targets of industrial espionage, private investigators, and, in a few cases, trusted individuals abusing that trust. This example from the New York Times Magazine (3/31/96, p.32) shows that while we can certainly give a little to law enforcement on their arguments about the effectiveness of wiretaps, they need to give a little in the other direction on the practicality of forcing people to speak in a law- enforcement-understandable code. Obviously, criminals don't care about such rules. Since that is the case, is it really worth handicapping all technology, and exposing individuals to privacy intrusions when such measures won't even be effective at attaining their stated goals? You can receive BillWatch via email, gopher or WWW: To subscribe via email, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe vtw- announce" in the body of the message. To unsubscribe from BillWatch send mail to email@example.com with "unsubscribe vtw-announce" in the body of the message. Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to receive back issues of BillWatch. BillWatch can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.vtw.org/billwatch/ and in Gopherspace at: gopher - p1/vtw/billwatch/ gopher.panix.com Copyright 1994-1996 Voters Telecommunications Watch. Permission is granted to copy and distribute this document for non-commercial purposes only, provided that the above banner and this copyright notice appear in all copies. For other uses, see our Copyright Policy at http://www.vtw.org/copyright.html End VTW BillWatch Issue #41, Date: Wed Apr 3 12:41:46 EST 1996 Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition Trial Update No. 7 Evening Update - April 1, 1996 10:00 pm ET http://www.cdt.org/ciec/ email@example.com CIEC UPDATES intended for members of the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition. CIEC Updates are written and edited by the Center for Democracy and Technology (http://www.cdt.org). This document may be reposted as long as it remains in total. ** 30,000 Netizens Vs. U.S. Department of Justice. ** * The Fight To Save Free Speech Online * Contents: 1. Evening Update - Recap of Last Day o f CIEC/ACLU Testimony 2. How is the CIEC case fairing so far? 3. Preview of DOJ defense - Don't worry, CDA's not too broad.. 4. Summary of today's testimony 5. Subscription Information 6. More Information on CIEC and the Center for Democracy and Technology (1) EVENING UPDATE - RECAP OF FINAL DAY OF CIEC/ACLU TESTIMONY Testimony in the battle to overturn the Communications Decency Act resumed Monday (4/1) before a three judge panel in the Philadelphia federal court. Witnesses for the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition and the ACLU gave the court an overview of the availability of parental controls on Commercial Online Services and the further illustrated the concerns of commercial and non commercial content providers that the CDA threatens the free flow of information and the free exchange of ideas online. Witnesses testifying today included: z Bill Burrington, Director of Public Policy for America Online (CIEC) z Andrew Anker, CEO of HotWired Ventures Ltd. (CIEC) z Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director, National ACLU (ACLU) z Howard Rheingold, Author (ACLU) z Stephen Donaldson, President of Stop Prisoner Rape (ACLU) A summary of the testimony is included below. Monday was the third and final day of testimony from Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (CIEC) and ACLU witnesses. Testimony resumes on April 12 and 15 when the Justice Department will call witnesses to defend the constitutionality of the CDA. CIEC and ACLU lawyers will have an opportunity to rebut the DOJ testimony during a final session scheduled for April 26. HOW IS THE CIEC CASE FAIRING? The first three days of testimony have established a solid record for the basis of the legal challenge. The CIEC legal challenge to the CDA is based on two arguments: z The Internet is a unique communications technology, different from traditional broadcast mass-media, and z The content regulations imposed by the CDA are not the "least restrictive means" of protecting children online, and is therefor unconstitutional. The court has heard testimony from Internet businesses, access providers, and Libraries, and commercial and non commercial content providers describing the nature of the Internet and how it functions (including a live demonstration of the Net and parental control technologies), as well as numerous examples of constitutionally protected materials which would be prohibited under the CDA. The Judges, while giving little indication of their positions, are asking numerous questions and appear to have taken a keen interest in the Internet. DOJ: DON'T WORRY, THE BILL AINT THAT BAD... After 3 days of hearings and cross examination by Justice Department attorneys, a picture of the government's strategy for defending the CDA is beginning to emerge. Although we will learn much more when testimony resumes on April 12, the government appears to be arguing that CDA will restrict only the most extreme sexually explicit material, and that the defenses to prosecution are broad and do not place undue burdens on content providers. In other words, the terms "indecent" and "patently offensive" should be construed narrowly, and the defenses construed broadly. Under this argument, the government appears to be overlooking several fundamental aspects of past indecency cases and the actual language of the CDA. In past indecency cases, including the Pacifica case which the authors of the CDA cite as precedent for the legislation, the term "indecent" has been read very broadly to prohibit material even if it has redeeming social, literary, educational, or scientific value. In addition, during the debate on the CDA, Congress explicitly rejected the "harmful to minors" standard, which includes a test for redeeming value. The government also appears to be arguing for a broad interpretation of the CDA's defenses. The defenses available under the CDA provide immunity for content provides who take "good faith, reasonable steps", including adult access codes or credit card verification, to restrict minors access to "indecent" material. Throughout the course of the testimony, the DOJ has asked questions of witnesses implying that implementing PICS standards or other HTML tags would be relatively easy for content providers, suggesting that they believe content labeling would be a "good faith" defense under the CDA. Here again however, it is important to note that the House/Senate Conference committee rejected parts of the White amendment which would have created a more explicit defense for content labeling. FOR MORE INFORMATION CDT will continue to provide updates on the case when testimony resumes on April 12. In addition, transcripts of the first 3 days of testimony will be available on CDT's web page later this week. Please continue to visit http://www.cdt.org/ciec for more information. (2) SUMMARY OF TODAY'S TESTIMONY Bill Burrington, Director of Public Policy for America Online, told the Court that while AOL can and does exert some control over content on its on network, it is impossible for service providers to control content on the global Internet. Testifying both on behalf of AOL as well as the entire commercial online services industry (including Compuserve, Prodigy, Microsoft Network, etc.), Burrington stated that while some online material may be inappropriate for children, "... effective protection of children from exposure to inappropriate material can only occur at the level of individual users". Burrington outlined the various parental control measures available on commercial online services. On America Online, parents have the ability to restrict their children's access to Usenet newsgroups, binary downloads, chat rooms, and other features of the service. He also argued that the "indecency" restrictions imposed by the CDA will effectively ban constitutionally protected speech for adults and reduce online-speech to information and discourse only appropriate for children. Burrington argued that fear of criminal liability under the CDA could motivate AOL to remove health related information, online forums, and other content from the service. HotWired CEO Andrew Anker testified that some of the material available on HotWired, including a recent stories on the poet Allen Ginsburg and the atl.sex.bondage newsgroup could be considered "indecent", but that it would be impossible and extremely expensive for the company to verify the age of every visitor to the site. In response to a question from the Justice Department, Anker stated, "I don't understand what indecent and patently offensive mean, or what community's standards apply". As a result, Anker stated, HotWired fears criminal liability under the Communications Decency Act. Stephen Donaldson of Stop Prisoner Rape, a group dedicated to educating the public about prison rape and helping victims recover, testified that because some of the content on his World Wide Web site uses sometimes explicit images and "street language" to describe prison conditions, he fears criminal liability under the CDA. Similarly, Barry Steinhardt of the ACLU testified that some of the material on the ACLU's web site, including the '7- dirty words' in the text of the Pacifica Decision, and because the ACLU hosts chat sessions on America Online, the ACLU could face huge fines and prison terms unless it censors itself and its members. When asked if he felt that the text of the bible or Shakespeare's Hamlet could be considered "indecent" under the CDA, Steinhardt argued that community standards vary throughout the United States and that in some places, "That kind of material ... has been the subject of censorship" in parts of the US, and "there are many people who regard that material as Indecent." Howard Rheingold, author and expert on the subject of Cyberspace Communities, described some of the many benefits the online world can bring to education and a sense of community. Rheingold argued that, although it is technically possible to restrict minor's access to MUDs and MUSEs, it is difficult to determine what material should be would be illegal under the CDA. 2. Subscription Information As CIEC members, you have been invited to join this list in order to receive news updates and other information relevant to the CIEC challenge to the Communications Decency Act. If you ever want to remove yourself from this list, send email to: ciec- firstname.lastname@example.org with 'unsubscribe ciec-members' in the SUBJECT LINE (w/o the 'quotes'). Leave the body of your message blank. 3. For More Information For more information on the CIEC challenge, including the text of the complaint and other relevant materials: * World Wide Web -- http://www.cdt.org/ciec/ * General Information about CIEC -- email@example.com * Copy of the Complaint -- firstname.lastname@example.org * Specific Questions Regarding the Coalition, incuding Press Inquiries -- email@example.com * General information about the Center for Democracy and Technology -- firstname.lastname@example.org end ciec-update.7 4/1/96 Atari Interactive - software/Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" The calendar says that it's Spring, so where is it?! It's still pretty cold for this time of the year. Spring fever has definitely reached epidemic proportions around these parts lately! It's been pretty quiet around these parts lately, but we hope that will change shortly. Our U.K. friends have some projects in the works that we'll be passing along to you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, let's see what's on tap for this week in the grand world of ..all things Atari. Until next time... WWW 130 RELEASED (mkII) From: Nicholas Flintham Well since my first post doesn't seem to have been sent properly (demon loosing news articles again?) here is another announcement of the availability of WWW130. It has the following included with it: z STiK, originally by Steve Adam (Australia) and now by Dan Ackerman (USA). This does the low-level networking stuff to the Internet. z CAB, by Alexander Clauss (Germany). The HTML/WWW browser. z CAB.OVL, originally by Tim Newsome (USA) and now by Dan Ackerman (USA). This is the missing link between STiK and CAB. z Antmail, by Dan Ackerman (USA). A POP3 based E-mail program. z Telnet, by Jim Baumgardner and Dan Ackerman (both USA). This is a remote login terminal program. z Setup, by Guy Harrison (UK). Sets up STiK for you with no hassles guaranteed. Stik is at version 1.08 Cab at 1.1a Cab.ovl 1.12 Antmail 0.7.4 Telnet 1.01 Setup 000 You can find them at the following places: My web page (http://www.unn.ac.uk/~cju920/) Hensa (replaces old www116) ftp.uni-kl.de (pub/atari/incoming) I also tried to upload to ftp.cnam.fr and atari.archive.umich.edu but ran into problems. I may try again later. < Nicholas Flintham > > Nick@Flinny.demon.co.uk < < N.P.Flintham@unn.ac.uk > > http://www.unn.ac.uk/~cju920/ < > Falcon 030/4/1160/FPU/LINUX < Jaguar Section Battlemorph Review! Atari Games Sold! Defender 2000 & NBA Jam TE Tips! Yak Does VLM! And more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! A lot of interesting stuff for you this week. Reviews are starting to be finalized and we've included one for Battlemorph this week. The sale of Time Warner Interactive (formerly Atari Games) has been finalized and Williams now owns it. Ever want to be able to edit your own effects for the Jaguar VLM? Now you can with some useful tips from the VLM master himself, Jeff Minter. How about some Defender 2000 tips? Or tips for NBA Jam TE? We've got them for you in this issue! And more on the way! I'll let you continue reading while I throw in a Jag CD and resume the "battle"! Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! WMS Industries completes acquisition of Atari ... CHICAGO (April 1) BUSINESS WIRE -April 1, 1996--WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE:WMS) announced today that on March 29, 1996 it completed the acquisition of Atari Games Corporation, an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), for a minimum purchase price of approximately $9.8 million and a maximum of $23.8 million based upon gross profit of the Atari business over the next four years. The purchase consideration consists of $2 million in cash and the balance in non-recourse notes. The acquisition substantially increases WMS' pipeline of coin- operated arcade games and home video games and further strengthens the Company's industry-leading design and engineering capabilities with the addition of Atari game designers who will be based in Milpitas, California. The additional arcade and home video game offerings provide WMS with opportunities for design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing efficiencies and economies of scale which should enhance the operating performance of the combined company. Atari has been responsible for creating arcade and home video games such as Pong, Asteroids, Primal Rage, Area 51, Centipede and Missile Command. WMS expects to release home versions of Atari's extensive library titles in "greatest hits" formats in addition to developing, marketing and distributing new Atari games. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, Atari Games is a developer, manufacturer, marketer, licenser and publisher of coin operated video arcade games under the Atari(R) name and interactive electronic and game entertainment products for use with home video games currently marketed under the Time Warner Interactive name. Atari Games/Time Warner Interactive is a licensee and publisher for Nintendo, SEGA, Sony, Jaguar and 3DO and personal computer CD-ROM platforms. No rights to the names Time Warner or Time Warner Interactive are included in the transaction. Atari Games is not related to Atari Corporation, the manufacturer of the Jaguar home game systems. WMS Industries Inc. is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of coin-operated amusement games, home video games, video lottery terminals and gaming devices, and the ownership and operation of hotels and casinos. CONTACT: WMS Industries Inc. Harold H. Bach, Jr. 312/961-1111 or Jaffoni & Collins Incorporated Joseph N. Jaffoni 212/505-3015 New Version Marks SimCity Milestone Maxis Inc. is celebrating the sale of the 3 millionth copy of SimCity/SimCity 2000 with the release of SimCity 2000 Special Edition. The "celebration edition," packaged in a silver foil box, contains 100 new building graphics, ranging from a circa- 1930 ballpark to a space-age skyscraper. A video interview with SimCity designer Will Wright, provided on the CD-ROM, offers an insight to the history and future of the "Sim" game family. Also included is the City 2000 Urban Renewal Kit, which permits players to design their own buildings, and 10 predesigned scenarios. "SimCity mania has become an international phenomenon," says Sam Poole, president of Maxis. "Just recently, the National Youth Council of Singapore included a copy of SimCity 2000 in a time capsule representing national youth culture. We hope the special edition will add new fans to the millions who have enjoyed SimCity and SimCity 2000 worldwide." SimCity 2000 Special Edition is available in a DOS/Windows 3.1/Windows 95 hybrid version and a Macintosh/Power Macintosh version. Each version is priced at $49.95. Apple Releases Game Kit Apple Computer Inc. has released Apple Game Sprockets, a new software development kit (SDK) that aims to help game developers create advanced multimedia and Internet-enabled games for Mac OS-based computers. According to Apple, Game Sprockets lets developers design games that can feature real- time 3-D graphics, 3-D sound, Internet support, speech recognition and input device/monitor control. The kit also includes the final release of QuickDraw 3-D RAVE (Rendering Acceleration Virtual Engine), a multiplatform technology that enables game developers to incorporate plug- and-play 3-D acceleration hardware into their programs. "The business of making great games is a classic example of evolution -- you get cooler quick, or you get left behind," says Ben Calica, senior product manager of game technologies at Apple. "Our job is to provide developers with unique, game-centric technology that shows off the power of the Macintosh by helping them create the hottest titles on the market." Game Sprockets is available royalty-free to all developers, says Apple. NTN, CompuServe in Game Deal NTN Communications Inc. has signed a deal with CompuServe Inc. to provide at least 24 interactive games to CompuServe during a two year period. NTN's Countdown, an online trivia show, and QB1, an NFL-licensed play-a- long football game, will headline NTN's product menu for CompuServe. The games are set to debut in May. The deals terms weren't disclosed. "This agreement with NTN is an important step in the evolution of CompuServe's game strategy," says Srini Vasan, CompuServe's director of games, chat and conference. "We are very excited about our new relationship with NTN because 'Two Way' (interactive) games are very attractive to the global online audience." "We are confident that as fast as the consumer can access NTN products at home, the growth in demand will be exponential," adds Dan Downs, president and chief operating officer of NTN, which is based in Carlsbad, California. Jaguar Game Title STR Review - "BattleMorph" "BattleMorph" By Thomas Sherwin Published by: Atari Price: $59.99 If you're a "long-time" Jaguar owner, you probably had no choice in getting Cybermorph with your system. I don't know about many others, but I found it a cute pack-in yet hardly something that I would buy if it was sold separately. Great... fly around and pick up pods. OK graphics, kinda lame sound FX... it could have been so much better. BattleMorph is the attempt to make Cybermorph what it should have been from the start. Some of the premise hasn't changed: fly around to different systems and complete your objective on each planet. You still have your cyber-buddy Skylar to say a few words. And each world is still "fly anywhere" scenario (i.e. you're not "on rails"). And here's where the similarities end... BattleMorph gives you more things to do on each planet. Sometimes you have to set off a detonator and get off the planet before it's too late, sometimes you have to collect data pods (OK, SOME things are the same), and sometimes you have to destroy objectives (usually an enemy base of sorts). To hinder you in your quests, there are obstacles like force fields, portals which can only be opened by hidden keys, and enemies galore. Not only can you fly around in the "open skies", BattleMorph adds the ability to go underwater. There are still enemies down below, too, so it isn't always a sanctuary. Some water actually "heals" you, some water hurts. There's also underground tunnels to fly through, and they can be stocked with more enemies. Maybe you need a key to get in. Maybe you just need to shoot through the door. It's up to you to figure it out. Graphics: Not exactly system-selling, but a vast improvement over Cybermorph. The landscape is still gouraud shaded, but doesn't "pop" into view as drastically as CM. There's a smattering of texture mapping with the enemies and the buildings (tastefully done, too). The frame rate has improved slightly and made those "major" encounters a little easier to deal with. There's still some slowdown, but the game is quite playable 95% of the time. Given the graphics are more complicated and there's usually more stuff going on all at once, it's obvious the graphics engine from CM was either seriously rewritten or replaced. The most noteworthy graphics effect is when the ship goes underwater. The screen "waves" like a cheesy "dream scene" from the Brady Bunch. But it's actually pretty cool (in this context) and doesn't seem to affect the frame rate in the least. And the transition from land/sea/tunnel is instantaneous. The explosions are vaguely Iron Soldier-ish and replace the same cheesy bitmap fireclouds in CM. And since BM comes on CD, they have to add the obligatory full motion video. The scenes are limited to the beginning of the game (where a Sean Connery sound-alike tells you the story) and to the send-to-planet/come-back-from- planet sequences. If these annoy you, you can turn off the FMV from the options screen or just press "Fire" to interrupt it. Regardless, the FMV is all computer generated and goes quite smoothly. It shows off what the Jag can do when someone takes the time to do a good job. Sound FX/Music: Yes, Skylar is still there... and her voice doesn't seem to have changed much. But she's not around as often and doesn't get on your nerves. But if you wait to long to move (or do anything), she calls out "Helloooo?" and "Ready when you are." Glad to see she hasn't lost that rapier wit (remember "Where did you learn to fly?" . Like CM, most of the sound FX are pretty innocuous. Not good, not bad, just there. But there's now some background music which changes according to your locale (the music is different for land, sea, and tunnels/underground rooms). I actually like the music and think it should have been in CM, too. Your mileage may vary according to your tastes. Should you not like it, you can turn it off. Control: Very similar to Cybermorph. Thankfully, you can select your "special weapon" using the keypad instead of having to cycle through using the Option button. But all of the other controls are the same. One step backwards is when you use reverse. In Cybermorph, just tapping on reverse would either slow you down just a little bit or make you go backwards for a short distance. In BattleMorph, it seems that a tap can sometimes get out of hand and bring your ship to a halt or send it careening backwards into a canyon wall (or worse). I wish it weren't so sensitive and I still can't get it right. I don't know how well it does with the Pro Controller. Manual: It spends way too much space showing you the enemies and not enough time outlining what you can actually do. This doesn't really hurt your ability to do well since there's a mission briefing before each planet and always a "hint capsule" once you get there. Still, it would be nice to have more explanation about your objectives. You probably won't even need to read it. Entertainment: To me, this is the area that is the greatest improvement over Cybermorph. On the bad side, after playing six or seven planets, it starts to run out of variety of what your main objective it. But on the good side, how you get to your objective is always a challenge. Maybe you just need to find the right tunnel. Maybe you need to get a key to turn off the power station to turn off the force field to get the key to the tunnel... ad infinitum. Each world is a different "puzzle" to solve and as you progress in the game, it takes longer and longer to complete each world, even if you know where you need to go. There's still the bonus world for each system where you can stock up on free weapon reloads. You just have to find the magic tower on the right planet and blow it up. Free ships are given out as "prizes" in the worlds, not according to your point total. And there is a greater variety of weapons available for your War Griffon. Before each planet, you get to select four weapons out of whatever ones you've collected, one for each "weapons bay". Unfortunately, you can't load more than one bay with the same weapon. Between the puzzle aspect of finding everything for your objective and the strategy of picking the right weapons for the right situations, BattleMorph has finally succeeded in being a competent "fly anywhere" game. Odds and Ends: One thing that I noticed was the relatively quick load times from the CD. There's virtually no long waits whilst the game loads, even if you interrupt the FMV sequences. Maybe it's just how they arranged the data on the CD, but whatever it is, more developers should do this (I wish Primal Rage could be like this). And since it's a CD game that goes on for a LONG time, the Memory Track is a must-have. It saves your score, number of ships, and weapons inventory. Graphics: 8.0 Sound FX/Music: 6.0/8.0 Control: 7.5 Manual: 5.0 Entertainment: 8.5 Reviewer's Overall: 8.5 Summary: If you never liked these kinds of games, BattleMorph may not change your mind. There's nothing SO outstanding about it to make you go "Holy Moly!". If you like Cybermorph's game "genre" but didn't like CM, give BattleMorph a try. You'll probably think like I do: THIS is what Cybermorph should have been from the start. But if you even remotely liked Cybermorph, BattleMorph is a must buy. The improved graphics and enhanced gameplay will keep you coming back for more for a long time to come. Jaguar Cheats, & Hints STR InfoFile - Solving Those Riddles! NBA Jam! TE Tips!! Codes to be entered at the "TONIGHT'S MATCH-UP SCREEN": z Big Head - Up,C,A z MiniHeads - Up,Up,Up,B,C,A,A,A,A,A z Slippery Court - B,A,Down,A,B,Right,Right,Right,Right,Right Secret characters to be entered at the "ENTER INITIALS SCREEN": z Larry Bird - enter 'BRD' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in this order: 'ACA" z Suns Gorilla - enter 'GOR' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in this order: 'BB*', * = use any key without OPTION to enter the 'R'. z Mike D of the Beastie Boys - enter 'MKD' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: 'C*C', * = any key without OPTION to enter 'K'. z AdRock of the Beastie Boys - enter 'ADR' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: 'BC*', * = use any key without OPTION to enter 'R'. z MCA of the Beastie Boys - enter 'MCA' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: '*BB', * = use any key without OPTION to enter 'M'. z Adisak, Jag programmer - enter 'ALP' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: 'CBA'. z Phil Gelber, Lead Tester - enter 'FIL' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: 'BAB'. z Leonard Tramiel, Mr. Atari - enter 'LAT' with these buttons while holding down OPTION, in the order: '*CB', * = use any key without OPTION to enter 'L'. Hints for Defender 2000 Classic Mode z This is pretty much identical to the original arcade version of Defender. Fast reflexes and superb coordination are two things that will take you far in Classic Mode. z On higher levels, learn to perfect the art of protecting one or two Humanoids and carrying them on your ship at all times. If all the remaining Humanoids are on your ship, then you don't have to worry about your planet exploding since the Landers will have nothing to pick up! Plus Mode z Be sure that when playing Plus Mode, you always hold down the fire button while firing. This will give you the fastest possible firing rate. z As in Classic Mode, on higher levels you'll want to keep one or two Humanoids dangling from your ship as insurance that your planet doesn't blow up. z If you haven't already noticed, the spinning cube (warp gate) spins faster as the number of Humanoids you are carrying increases. If you have four or more Humanoids on your ship and you fly through the warp gate, you will warp the number of levels that is equal to the number of Humanoids that you had on your ship. z Also, if you fly through the warp gate (with fewer than four men on your ship) while a Humanoid is being captured, you will hyperspace to the section of the level where that Humanoid is being captured so that you can rescue him. z To see a cool effect, try to fly through the warp gate when a Humanoid is being captured on the same screen so that when you hyperspace , you will hyperspace directly on to the warp gate again! z Don't forget about your Lightning Laser. It doubles as a tractor beam to pull in Humanoids if they are falling and is extremely useful on higher levels. 2000 Mode z As in Plus mode, always hold down your fire button to achieve your maximum firing speed. z Being able to quickly rescue a Humanoid on a level is essential to success. Practice this until it becomes second nature. Acquiring that extra fire power early in the level is a necessity on higher levels. z Remember: The more Humanoids on your ship, the more fire power that you have. z Humanoid's shots don't hurt other Humanoids. Be sure and use this to your advantage. z Perfect the art of flying backwards while firing. This is a vital trademark of any true Defender player. z Be sure and acquaint yourself thoroughly with your radar as you will most likely need to use that more than the game screen in order to survive. z Be sure and collect those power-ups! If you get four of the dark purple ones, you will warp to a bonus level where you will have the opportunity to warp an additional five levels. z Try to catch a final Humanoid as you are zooming off of a level. This will get you an undocumented bonus which, when done successfully, can boost your score to around one million by Level 10! z The enemies that shoot straight horizontal lines are a pain in the butt if you don't let them bunch together in a group before smart bombing them. z Let your AI Droid take care of the Mirror Balls for you. z On levels with Pointy Fingers, be sure and keep moving. If you stop and wait around, you'll be finger meat. z When you progress to around Level 80, beware of the Lander Generator ships. They will not fire at you, but instead will generate Landers. It may seem like the level never ends, but that is only because that ship is generating more Landers. Kill them quickly and early. z Above all, keep at it. Practice is your biggest ally here. Once you're used to the game you should be able to stockpile loads of extra ships in the early levels to get you through the tough parts later on. Plasma Pong z To "pull out" Plasma Pong, you need to enter a name of a legendary Atarian at the high score screen. Hint: Think PONG! Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! YaK's Quick Intro to VLM Hacking From: yaK <email@example.com> Hacking the VLM - A Brief Introduction z The Good News There is a backdoor left in the VLM which allows the user to get at the edit mode that was used to create the banks of VLM effects. You can get in there and roll-your-own FX, and it's not hard to come up with stuff that is a *lot* better than many of the default FX. z The Bad News There is no provision for saving your hacks. They are entirely transient, and you can wave them bye-bye as soon as you switch to another FX bank -and unfortunately, whenever you open the lid of the Toilet to change the CD, it switches banks into a special Jaguar-logo bank, and it's bye bye hacks. Bummer, I wish it didn't do that, 'coz otherwise I'd just leave my VLM on all the time and evolve 9 banksworth of top hacks... Also, the edit interface is buggy and pretty user-hostile; it's got no error- checking and it's possible to crash the VLM, or slow it down to a crawl, if you tweak certain parameters out of range. Hell, it was never intended for end-users, only for use by a certain deranged bovine. z Why Bother Then? Because it's fun. Because if you're interested, you can find out a lot about how the VLM works. Because a lot of the default FX are fairly non-optimal, largely 'coz at the time I was designing the banks I had pneumonia and was feeling like Bovine Backscatter, and I always find that I make better FX when I feel good. And although you can't save the hacks, you can do what I do, and keep a tape in the VCR and lay down some vid whenever you come up with a particularly nice one. z How do I get there? Easy. Select the effect you want to base your hack on. Then, in VLM-mode, hold down *,1,3,0 on the Jaggi control pad. This should bring up a menu called Spectrum and Triggers. That's not it though - that was just a red herring to confuse people looking for the hack ;-) While on the Spectrum and Triggers screen, press up,down,up,down... 8 times (so the cursor wraps from Trigger 1 to Trigger 5 and back again 8x) and then the display will change to Edit Mode. At that point you're in. z What do I do when I get there then? Okay, first it helps to have some idea of what is going on inside any particular VLM setting. Each individual setting consists of up to six effects, each of which can take a shitload of parameters, which define how that effect changes over time. Parameters can be attached to waveform generators, to user control from the joypad, or to the spectrum triggers to create an audio-responsive effect. The most common types of effect you will see in the VLM are: Digital Video Feedback area: DVF is what gives you all those cool swirly screen-filling patterns and persistence fields. It is, however, quite an expensive effect in terms of proc power (one is throwing rather a lot of pixels around doing scaled rotates of the entire screen)... if you can live with a smaller DVF area on some of the effects the speed and responsiveness of many of the effects can be greatly enhanced. I have a whole new class of 60Hz feedback FX that I could kick myself for not putting in the default banks... Draw Spectrum As Intensities: This basically plots the output of the FFT through the symmetry generator. On its own, or combined with DVF, this is a good setting to use for effects that you want to be precisely audio-reactive. Put it over some nice DVF or a persistence field, lovely. Draw a Ring of Pixels: Does just that, through the sym generator, with various parameters applied so you can change phases, number of points,pixel size, etc... a very versatile thing, simple though it is. Draw Plasma: Draws a tile of plasma on the screen. Useful for putting in the middle of a nice DVF field as a source effect. Can be programmed to flash on trigger band events too. Try hooking oscillators up to the XY position when it's in a 60Hz DVF field - yummy. Empty slots cannot be edited. Time was when pushing B on an empty slot would bring up two pages' worth of FX that you could build in there, but sadly that came out. I wish I had never taken it out now. Damn, and I wish I had not removed Save Bank either... There are a few others, starfields and the like. Play with them. Some of them are quite cool. Fiddling Around With Stuff When you press B to edit an effect, you are presented with three choices - Edit source function, which allows you to see and tweak the parameters that make up the basis of the effect; Edit symmetry generator, which allows you to twiddle with the sym generator, for effects that go through that pipe (not all FX do - DVF and the plasma don't use the sym gen at all, so changing stuff on theyr sym generator pages does nothing useful); and Edit Source Waves. Each effect has 8 programmable waveform generators which can be attached to any of the parameters defining the effect or the symmetry. Edit Source Waves is where you go to adjust the speed, waveform etc of the waveform generators. Edit Source Function If you enter this menu, you will be presented with a list of the variables which control how that effect is displayed. In a DVF effect's Source Function menu, for example, you will see parameters controlling the Window Size, Scale, Rotate Angle, etc. You are free to cursor around this menu, twiddle the values, and see what happens to the display. (It helps to have a CD playing while you fiddle, so that all the effects are active and you can see what you are doing). Menu items with (X,Y) after them represent pairs of variables. When you select a variable to edit, you will be presented with a slider, a 2-way slider, a position marker, or crosshairs, depending on the effect. Just use the joypad to change the values. Anything you change will stay changed for the life of your hack (that is until you change banks or open the Toilet). While editing a variable, you may see the message 'Press * to Attach Waveforms'. If you press *, it takes you to the Attach Waveforms screen, which has a totally crappy and confusing UI, but which is nonetheless the key to the cooler aspects of VLM usage. It works in conjunction with the Waveform Edit page, and in a sane and rational world, would have been integrated in with that page. The wonderfully-informative Attach Waveforms screen presents two rows of the numbers 1-8. The top row represents waveform generators linked to this variable. If one or more of these numbers are highlighted, it means there are generators already linked to this variable. You can attach or detach a generator to the variable by pressing the corresponding number key 1-8. You can attach as many generators as you like - the resultant waveform is the sum of all the input waveforms. You also can adjust the amplitude of the waveform here. Dismally, there is no display actually showing you the amplitude - you just have to watch the display to see the result and kinda fish about. Also, for some inane reason, if the waveform is attached to an X-component you adjust the amplitude with left/right, and if it is a Y component you use up and down. I think I was planning to put in an actual display of the waveforms here, but I got ill and never finished it off. As it is, it's sucky and counterintuitive. Oh well... The bottom row of 8 numbers allows you to modulate the attached waveform(s) with the output of an envelope generated by any of the five spectrum trigger generators. You press #, then the number of the trigger 1-5 (6, 7 and 8 are for the three joypad buttons) to toggle the trigger attach. And for some reason, like it was never properly debugged, when you toggle a trigger off, often the digit in the bottom row will not de- highlight. Oops. After you have attached waveforms, you will probably want to mosey on over to the: Edit Source Waves menu. Here, you can select a waveform generator by cursoring up and down. While the cursor is on a generator, that wave is displayed in the blue box. You can increase or decrease the frequency with A and C, and slipthe phase by Left/Right. You can change the wave type by pressing a number on the numeric pad. User X and User Y translate to the 'position controlled by the joypad in VLM Interactive mode. Edit Symmetry Generator is a very interesting place to be for all those particle effects and anything else that goes through the sym generator. In this menu you can twiddle, attach waveforms to and generally piss about with everything to do with symmetry. The sym generator uses two basic kinds of symmetry, planar 8-way reflection, which is quick, and rotational, which is very nice but considerably slower. The two types can be combined. Many of the items on the Symmetry page only apply to Rotational symmetry, and will have no effect if Rotational is switched off. You set the sym types under the Symmetry Type menu, not surprisingly. Pressing 9 on this page toggles rotational sym off and on, and due to quite possibly the same bug as on the Waveform Attach screen, often the '9' in the middle will be incorrectly highlighted. It's usually pretty obvious when rotational is on though. Keys 1-8 toggle on and off the planes of the 8-way symmetry. Set up your types, and then go and have a fiddle with the parameters as in the Edit Source Function mode. Since you can't add or delete effects, the nature of your hacks will be in part defined by what effect types are in the bank you choose to edit, so if you want to do a lot of DVF stuff, try bank 3 or 4, and if you like particles, bank 1 or 2, and so on. You can switch between, and hack, all effects within a bank, but *if you change banks they are lost*. Be careful! And, basically, there we have it (as I said to Flossie as I led her into the concealing darkness of the sheep-shed). Enough stuff to get you started playing about with VLM editing. Apologies for the crappy UI, but I never had time to really bring it up to scratch before I got that bloody pneumonia. As it is it was about a year between finishing the VLM code and the release of the CD-ROM, and I wish I had been able to spend a few more months at it. Both the FX and the edit mode could have been a lot nicer! Oh well, next time... I've already got some awesome stuff running on [closes his muzzle and remembers the three letters N, D and A] ;-) and oh yeah, I better mention: CAVEATS: Here Be Bugs'n'Beasties! The error checking on the UI is at best sucky and at worst nonexistant. It is quite possible to either choke up the VLM with some incredibly intensive sym mode that will have it doing one frame per Sunday, and you and even kill it with an honest to Ghu, thank-you-and-goodnight, little-silicon-legs-in-the- air crash. There are a few danger areas which I shall warn you of now: z Positioning a DVF window too far off the edge of the screen can kill the system z Attaching waveforms to DVF window size and position can be fatal. Look out! z Attaching waveforms to the Rotational Symmetry Order can cause it to wrap to negative, whuch translates to something greater than 32767, which,as a sym order, will cause the system to choke most heinously. Won't killit, but the frame rate will be measured in minutes per frame hehe... Don't worry, killing the system will not do any permanent damage. The default banks are tucked away snug in ROM and will be restored when you restart the system, no matter how badly you take it down. Well, I shall go and post this now... have fun and Happy Hacking! \ (:-) - the Beastly Boanthrope / ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe compiled by Joe Mirando 73637,2262 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, I'm back and ready to talk (when aren't I, huh?). I missed last week's column because I was sick with a nasty little stomach virus. It seems that each year this little beastie adds yet another "trick" to its repertoire. So take my advice folks: Avoid nieces and nephews who "got over the flu a few days ago". So, what's been going on the past few weeks?? As I'm sure you're aware, Atari is blowing out some old, used, stock at some truly incredible prices. It's just easier for them to sell the units at rock-bottom prices than it is to move it all to their new warehouse. Yes, last week's offer is for real, but quantities are limited. And supplies won't last long because "they're prices are so low they're almost giving it all away". I'm sorry folks, I just couldn't resist. Let's take a look at the CIS scuttlebutt before I say something else corny. >From the Atari Computing Forums When, in the midst of a hardware conversation, Bill Anderson asks about my choice for ST-related repair, I tell him: "...I've trusted MegaByte with several machines several times and have never been disappointed. They do very good work at a very fair price. The info I have for them is as follows: MegaByte Computers of North Texas 941 Melbourne Hurst, TX 76053 (817) 589-2950 I haven't had to contact Robert and crew for quite a while (I've stayed out of my computers' guts for almost a year now <grin>), so you might want to give them a call and double-check the address. A phone call will also give you an idea of what kind of folks they are. They are quite professional and good-natured at the same time. I find that to be a rare combination in the computer world. A cute story: Two years ago, my boss sent me to call on a customer in "nearby" Sherman, TX. Since I had to call Robert anyway, I asked him about the town. It turns out that "nearby" in Texan terms means anything under 150 miles. Sherman was somewhere around 80 miles north, he said, and since Hurst is 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, I should detour in that direction and see him. When I asked if he knew anything about the town, he said "no, but hang on a second...." Then he called to an employee "Hey, E.R., what do you know about Sherman?" I heard E.R. pause for a moment and then he said "Well, he was always very nice to Mr. Peabody!" I guess you had to be there, but we all got a good chuckle over that. I never did get to make that detour and I wish that I had." Bill, who is also from Texas, tells me: "Yes, you do get used to that sort of thing. I miss it when I'm away for any length of time. Thanks for the info. I'll give them a call. So, what part of the world do you live in?" I reply: "I live up here in New England (Connecticut). I can't say enough about MegaByte. They're great folks." I hate to sound like a commercial for MegaByte, but they are my first choice for repairs. DAK jumps in and adds his thoughts: "I thought I'd jump in here, being one of the Genie refugees to dive in here after the huge rate increase over there. At work I use PC's still using Win 3.1 on 486/33's with a slow network (even DOS lives there!). At home I have a Power Mac 7500. After getting used to the Mac I like it alot and have quite a bit of native software, most recently Deck 2.5.1, a hard disk recording program that's great and amazing to me, even if the Falcon purportedly does the same. Other essential-type stuff I have that are native to the Power Mac is Word Perfect 3.5, Now Up-to-date Contact 3.5.1 (PIM), Quicken 6 Deluxe (beats pants off of Phasar 'cept Phasar prints checks much faster...), Norton Utilities Mac which several components are PPC native, ClarisWorks 4.04, PPC versions of both Netscape and Mosaic I still use the MSTE for sequencing but eventually will move to the Mac. There are little in the way of native sequencing programs. Dr. T's Omega 2 is great but I long for the integration of notation, piano roll, event lists, all on one screen working together. I think Logic for Mac might be native but I'm still waiting. Also, there isn't a good fax program for the Mac. People tout the program that is bundled with Global Village modems as superior to the commercial products! Thus, Straight Fax still gets a work- out now and then. I think the Mac is a cooler and more elegant machine than Win 3.1. Win '95 I don't know. If the virtual shoe fits, wear it!" I reply to DAK: "On all of the native PPC stuff, I wasn't implying that there isn't any good software available, just that I had no idea what was or wasn't available. I'm glad that people are finding what they need! I like the idea of the PPC, and of competition in general... it's what keeps progress going." Frank Heller jumps in and adds his thoughts on another online service and Atari computing: "Those miserable, worthless sacks had the nerve to RAISE their prices? Ha ha ha ha. Boy am I ever glad I left that cyber-wasteland 2 years ago. I should point out that the Atari section was run by some very nice, people...and I was sorry to leave them behind...but the GEnie O/S and baud rate was overidingly puh-thetic as well as the Midi forum (they had sysops who couldn't and hadn't uploaded files in close to a year). Steinberg closed up shop because of that very problem. Oh well....that's progress. I still have a 1040Ste and a C-LAB 030mk-II along with a a MAc Powerbook 520C and a PPC7500/100 like yourself. Aint it cool when native stuff runs like greased lightning? There is still some wonderful sequencing software available for the Atari platform. SMPTE Track, Logic and Cubase Audio all come to mind. For audio, SoundPool and Zero-X still make some great recording and editing programs.... ...and this coming from someone who has to test the stuff...I can tell you for sure: the Atari platform STILL has the best timing. Aint nothing made for the Mac *yet* (either in 68k or PPC emulation) that comes close. Native PPC?...watch for Cubase Audio 3.0XT. This is strictly a native PPC program that will turn the industry on its head. Mark my words: This program is going to be the one that gets copied by the rest of the pack." Dom Alvear asks Bill Anderson about his source for TT upgrades: "Could you give me a contact number for Jeff Wilner/Anson Memory Systems? I really want to get my TT to 26MB's!" Bill tells Dom: "Jeff can be reached at: (817) 467-7478 or: firstname.lastname@example.org" While on the subject of the Atari TT and RAM, my buddy Gregg Anderson asks Bill about RAM quantities and other things: "Let me know what the cost was for going from 2 to 8 Meg on that board. Heck, I doubt you could even FIND a new ST ram board these days..." So far as I hear, most emulations on the PPC tend to run quite a bit slower than on their native platforms... The fact that they run at all is increadable but they don't do well enough to make the emulations a primary factor in buying the unit... IMHO Like I said, the only reason I keep looking longingly at Pentiums are the great games they have.... Otherwise It would be a MAC based PPC since it's the closest thing out there to our Atari interface's look & feel...." I reply to Gregg: "From what I've heard, the key [to being happy with a Power PC] is to find things you need that will run in PPC "native" (or what ever they call it) mode. Emulation will probably always be slower than the real platform that the software was intended for (given equal processors). I just wonder how much is available that has been optimized for the PPC." Frank Heller jumps in and tells me: "There is a utility called Speed Doubler designed specifically for PPC 68000 emulation. While it's true that the PPC runs 68k stuff pretty wanky, the SPeed Doubler utility does increase the efficiency by a significant amount. Ever see the difference between stuff running with and without WARP9 or NVDI? Same thing. Believe me, I know. I now have a 1040e, C-LAB 030 Mk-II, Mac 520C PowerBook and a PPC 7500/100 to make these observations from." I tell Frank: "Cool! It sounds like I should get Speed Doubler first and then tell my wife "But Honey, I've already got this great utility, I've got to get a Power PC!".... Yeah, she'll buy that. I know I'm going to have to make a switch eventually, it's just a question of PPC vs. MicroSoft/Intel (and finding the bucks to do it)..." Frank replies: "I guess it all depends upon what you want to do with the computer. If you only have space for one multi-purposed computer...there is no denying that it is getting tougher and tougher to keep an Atari on the desk, in light of all the stuff available for the PC and Mac. For instance: I will NEVER dial CompuServe again with my 1040STe. I must've wasted hundreds of dollars with various lame front ends available for it. However, for midi sequencing...nothing tops an Atari. For rock steady timing, the machine can't be beat. And I have used all kinds of sequencing programs on all major platforms. I'll tell you one thing: it'll be a cold day in hell when they pry Cubase and my Falcon from my dead, lifeless hands." Bill Anderson adds: "My neighborhood Apple dealer was happy to supply me with an impressive list of PPC "native" software. Surely you could find the same." In a slight fit of attitude, I tell Bill: "I probably could... except for the fact that "my" local Apple dealer is more interested in the pomp & circumstance of what I like to call Pond Companies... large but shallow. They prefer to bask in the glow of yuppiedom and collect large sums of money for annual service contracts and then refer problems and repairs to outside agents. They have forgotten that in 1980 (or was it 81?) I was their third visitor/customer. Of course, at that time, they promoted the Atari 400 over the Apple ][ and spent most of their time actually using the machines instead of paying someone else to do it for them. I was much more impressed with the guy in short sleeves who mused about STAR RAIDERS being the "coolest" thing around than by the shiny 3-piece suit who now extols the virtues of mediocrity in today's fast-paced corporate structures. Representative of today's Apple dealers?? No, I know that this is not the case but, in my area, it's them or nothing so... it's nothing. In any case, I believe that the computer/OS used is less important now than it was back then and that it will become even less so in the future. I'm sure that the PPC does have a large and gratifying list of available software but what frightens some folks (both users and developers) off is the shrinking marketshare held by all platforms but one. Just look at the Atari platform's last five or six years. Sure, the available software was comparable to that of the other platforms, but you had to hunt and dig for some of it. Then of course, you had to explain to others that it was "just like [fill in the blank] on the other platform". While all of this is okay with me, I know that it won't be with lots of folks and that will affect development of new machines and software. A good friend of mine just jumped ship to a PPC and he loves it. He's a picky bugger, so I know that it's a good machine but he's already complaining about not being able to find things like he's seen "for Windows"." My good friend Myles Cohen tells me: "My advice is to save your pennies now so that you can purchase the next new wave of machines that are going to be coming along any minute now..." I reply to Myles: "As always, your advice is right on the mark. I believe that in a short amount of time Motorola and Intel will have some major competition in the processor market. Whoever it is will be a newcomer, hungry and willing to take a risk (or risc??) and break out of the mold. The established processor manufacturers probably won't even see it coming. And if they do, they'll probably say "nah, it'll never sell". I have no idea if these new advances will be Gallium Arsenide instead of Silicon, or optical processors, or perhaps even "biological" processors that can be grown in petri dishes, but change will come as certainly as semi- conductors arose to supplant the vaccuum tubes of the '50's. Perhaps new machines like Oracle's NC and whatever Sony comes out with will be the beginning, but I tend to think that they'll be only an abberation in the general trend of today's market... Faster, stronger, cheaper, easier. My one great fear is that computer manufacturers will go the "designer" route with "decour options" like esthetically pleasing cases, brightly colored cases, and things like that. "Buy a NUPRIN! Little... Yellow... Different... Better." <GACK> As for saving up my pennies, now is not a good time. Every penny I come across is already spoken for. Luckily, my MSTE has agreed to last several more years! <grin>" Peter Joseph tells me: "..."biological" processors that can be grown in petri dishes??? Perish the thought! Just think of all the possible viruses! <big grin>" I tell Peter: "DARN! I wish that _I'D_ thought of that! <very big grin>" Myles Cohen picks up the thread and tells us: "Here is what I see for the not so distant future: A microscopically small wire that acts as an antenna...introduced thru the ear canal that will tap one of the "unused" portions of the brain which can then be employed as a personal computer...using broadcast power and external commands. That will be fairly primative...later we will use individual body cells powered by their own mitochondria as computers...thought controlled...of course... Til then, like you, I'll be using my ATARI..." Mark Kelling quips: "My CPU has the flu, I can't come to work today. <frown> " I just can't wait. <big smile>" Peter Joseph adds: " And think of all the new company offshoots: Silicon Graphics Pharmaceuticals Penicilicon and TetracyliNET CTRL-ALT-DISINFECT!" Hey, we sure know how to make our own fun, don't we folks? Meanwhile Sysop Bob Retelle asks: "... what would be wrong with an "esthetically pleasing case"...? My current PC is in a typical light tan midi-tower case, identical to millions and millions of similar cases... it's OK, and functions just fine, but what would be wrong with a case that looks better..? I've recently seen "generic" cases in black... and they look pretty sharp..! (Unfortunately they're also a bit more expensive, doubtlessly because of a smaller economy of scale) I'm thinking of going with one of these black cases for the next PC I build for myself. Others might prefer a different "brightly colored case"... adding a more personal touch to the "personal computer"..." I tell Bob: "Nothing at all. I've seen the generic black cases as well and you're right... they do look sharp. My problem is that I can see it becoming a "form over content" thing.... "Sure, it's only a '386, but it looks great with my coffee table". I remember seeing Mario Giorgio (sp?) at a show in Asheville showing off Nathan Potechin's Candy-Apple red TT. That was one cool box but I wouldn't have been impressed if it had been a 520. I've even considered stripping my MegaSTE down and spraying the case a matte black and adding a decal of my family crest but have never gotten around to it. And I can tell you honestly that I drooled over DMJ's "for sale" TT in a "stoned" case but, again, it wasn't my major consideration. The only thing that could be worse than "form-over-content" machines would be machines whose operating systems automatically install software for an online service other than CompuServe and get that service up to a million users in three months.... oh, sorry, was that out loud??" Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what people are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Happy Holidays to All STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON OVER 100,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STR OnLine! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 05, 1996 Since 1987 Copyrightc1996 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1214
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