ST Report: 28-Feb-97 #1309From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 03/10/97-09:40:13 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 28-Feb-97 #1309 Date: Mon Mar 10 09:40:13 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) February 28, 1997 No.1309 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password STReport published with MS Office 97 & Adobe Acrobat Pro v3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 02/28/97 STR 1309 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Croatian Hackers? - McAfee Updates - Senate Nixes Net Fees - Corel NewsWire - CIS wins Suit - Borland Lays Off 300 - SyQuest SyJet Ships - SmartSuite 97 Ships - Modem Wars Heat Up - People Talking - Classics & Gaming 3Com, U.S. Robotics To Merge HP to Acquire Symantec Unit Feds Crack $2.8M Internet Scam 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 provision and distribution of STReport for their members. Please obtain the latest issue from either our Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, 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 Publisher, Staff & Editors STReport's Tenth Anniversary 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 02/22/97: 3 of 6 numbers, 1 two number match >From the Editor's Desk... Not much going on this week. It seems like the whole world is waiting to see Spring have a happening. STReport is now being done with Acrobat 3 instead of 2.1. We are producing the magazine in Microsoft's Office 97 Pro. The computing community is gearing up for Spring Comdex, so its reasonable to expect a lull before the new products and updates begin to hit. I had a unique experience this past week. I decided to see how well a consumer would fare in trying to obtain a new motherboard via the major mass marketers. You know, like Comp USA and Computer City for example. Much to my chagrin, both of these "joints" are a disgrace. They're supposed to be the biggest and the best. They're a joke! I asked the "so- called" guru at Comp USA and was promptly told "we only offer one type of motherboard." I replied ok, tell me about it what are its specifications? It's a Pentium motherboard and costs two hundred dollars and that's all the information I have. Computer City (owned and operated by Radio Shack) was worse! I was told they do not carry or offer motherboards. These big chains sure do advertise a lot but really are nothing more than glorified technology supermarkets that have nothing to offer in the way of real service. I thought you'd like to hear of my experiences with the "big boys". Why don't you tell us about your experiences in regard to shopping for computers, parts, components and software. Good or whatever, we'd like to hear from you. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.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 it is 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 AutoMailer 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 Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Allen Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Ron Satchwill Robert Satchwill Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Junk E-Mail Soon to Get Boost Expect more junk e-mail in your future. Officials with Cyber Promotions Inc. -- the Philadelphia firm that has done battle with all the major online services -- say the controversial mass e-mailer next month will launch the nation's first bulk e-mail friendly Internet provider. "It will allow computer users to send millions of commercial ads - also known as 'spam' -- for a single monthly fee," reports Associated Press writer Jennifer Brown. Of course, most other Internet providers now prohibit customers from sending unsolicited bulk e-mail and will cancel a person's account if they are caught. Says Cyber Promotion founder Sanford Wallace, "What people are doing is jumping around from one (Internet provider) to another, and they don't have a secure home. We're going to give them a home." Wallace's new bulk e-mail friendly network, to be launched March 17, will have local dial-up numbers in the Philadelphia area and 800 numbers for use around the country and, says Brown, "customers will pay about $50 a month to send unlimited amounts of mass unsolicited commercial e-mails." AP notes critics contend junk e-mail costs recipients money to transmit, store and read, unlike regular junk mail or phone sales that only use up a recipient's time, quoting Ram Avrahami of Private Citizen, an anti-junk mail group based in Naperville, Ill., as saying, "This is just an online version of how your private life is being sold. And if it gets out of control, the Internet will soon become worse than what our post office boxes have become." However, Cyber Promotions contends the service may encourage more responsible spamming. Wallace says, "Our goal is to legitimize the bulk e-mail industry and not abuse it," adding all Cyber Promotions network customers must honor requests to remove a consumer's name from receiving such ads. Cyber Promotions is an extension of the Internet advertising service Wallace started in 1994. The company now sends up to 4 million e-mail ads a day. Nevada May Ban Unsolicited E-Mail A bill now pending in the state legislature may make Nevada the first state to bar unsolicited electronic mail advertising. Presented yesterday to the state senate's judiciary committee, the bill would make it a misdemeanor to send unsolicited ads directly to e-mail accounts, says The Associated Press in a report from Carson City. Majority leader Bill Raggio told the wire service, "Most e-mail users pay for their service, so unsolicited e-mail is like receiving direct mail with postage due," adding the bill was modeled on a previous measure that prohibits unsolicited advertising over fax machines. AP says that while Nevada is the closest to passing the bill, California, Virginia and Connecticut are all considering similar e-mail advertising bans. Testified in favor of the bill, Internet lawyer David Kramer of Palo Alto, California, said the measure should apply only to individual e-mail accounts and not to e-mail bulletin boards with multiple users. AP adds, "The judiciary committee is considering proposed revisions of the bill and has not set a timetable for a vote." FTC Wins Order in Alleged Scam The Federal Trade Commission has won a court order ending what it contends is an Internet scam that lured customers with the promise of erotic photographs and cost them thousands of dollars in overseas phone charges. As reported here earlier this month, authorities in Canada first warned the public about the operation, after complaints of excessive phone charges that appeared after some computerists accessed such a World Wide Web site. Now Associated Press writer Eun-Kyung Kim reports Net visitors to at least three Web sites were told they could access erotic photographs by downloading a free software program. "Unknown to the customers," adds AP, "the program cut them off from local Internet providers and reconnected them to a number assigned to Moldova, an eastern European country that borders Romania. The calls then were routed to a Canadian site that charged the much higher Moldova phone rates while the photos were transferred to the user's computer. Phone charges, up to $3 a minute, continued to mount until the computer was turned off." Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told the wire service, "It's a high-tech scam. The defendants in this case are using software to hijack the computer's modem," adding computer users didn't find out about the scam until their phone bills came, "and then it was too late." AT&T customers who were victimized are expected to pay their bills, which reached several hundred dollars in some cases, company security manager Richard Petillo told AP, saying, "The subscribers actually made the calls and it would be unfair to other subscribers to offer those people the option of not paying the charges." And Eileen Harrington of the FTC's consumer protection bureau said a treaty governing international phone systems requires AT&T to pay the Moldova phone company for all calls made to the country. The treaty does not distinguish calls made under fraudulent circumstances. AP says a temporary restraining order shutting down the operation was issued under seal last week by a federal judge in New York. It was made public yesterday. An FTC lawsuit on the matter accuses three people and two companies -- Promo Line Inc. and Audiotex Connection -- of false and deceptive advertising, failing to disclose information about the computer program and misrepresenting long-distance phone billing. The Reuter News Service identifies the individuals as Anna Grella, William Gannon and David Zeng, adding that the companies list addresses on Long Island near New York City. Defense attorney Joel Dichter told AP his clients voluntarily pulled their Internet services at the end of January, several weeks before the FTC action, adding accurate disclaimers were provided on each Web page. FTC officials say the companies received part of the proceeds from the phone company in Moldova and that the case came to the FTC's attention when AT&T workers noticed an increase in calls to Moldova. Writer David Lawsky of Reuters reports the FTC can bring only civil charges, but that the agency's Bernstein said the matter may be referred for criminal prosecution. Bernstein also told Reuters that for all the problems it created, the scam was shut down in record time, lasting only from mid-December to early February. She credited AT&T with helping track down operators of the sites which included "www.beavisbutthead.com," "www.sexygirls.com" and "www.1adult.com." Feds Crack $2.8M Internet Scam Some $2.8 million that was wired to West Indian bank accounts as part of allegedly fraudulent marketing scheme on the Internet has been recovered by the U.S. Justice Department. In Washington today, federal officials sai return of the money is part of a settlement in a case against the Fortuna Alliance, a Washington state-based company that, according to United Press International, "promised consumers in more than 60 countries profits of more than $5,000 a month if they paid an 'enrollment fee' of $500." The Justice Department says that when the company received the money from Internet users it immediately wired it to offshore trust accounts in the Swiss American Bank Ltd. in St. John's, Antigua. Last May, the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against Fortuna in Seattle, and obtained a court order forbidding the company from promoting the scheme over the Internet. Acting on behalf of the FTC, says UPI, the Justice Department then obtained an order from the High Court of Antigua freezing the funds. Also named in the action were Augie and Monique Delgado, Libby Welch and Donald Grant, who the Justice Department said ran the operation from Bellevue, Wash. Justice Department officials say the recovered money is being put into a fund to reimburse victims as they are identified, adding the Fortuna case is the 12th Internet fraud investigation they have pursued. Senate Opposes Net Fees Proposals that would require the Federal Communications Commission to levy charges on firms that provide access to the Internet are being opposed by the head of the Senate Commerce Committee. "The cure for telephone network congestion isn't putting more toll booths on the Information Superhighway," Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said in a statement. The Reuter News Service notes the FCC itself, as part of its proposal to reform the complex set of charges that long-distance carriers pay to hook up to local phone networks, has tentatively concluded against imposing such fees on Internet service providers. On the other side of the question, local carriers cite congestion on their networks from Internet traffic as a reason for the FCC to impose the fees. However, says McCain, "The solution is to provide incentives to telephone comanies to install new data-friendly digital switches that will not only alleviate congestion but also provide PC users with much higher-speed access to the Internet." Nebraska E-Mail Campaign Fails Intent on swaying Nebraska state legislators against trying to regulate the Internet, an electronic mail campaign may have backfired. Reporting from Lincoln, United Press International says computer users fired off a barrage of e-mail to other lawmakers seeking support for an anti-regulation bill proposed by state Sen. Jerome Warner. However, says the wire service, "a number of senators whose e-mail accounts were buried under hundreds of messages say the mail campaign shows exactly why regulation is needed." Sen. Owen Elmer told reporters the storm of anti-regulatory e-mail "just completely jammed up the works." UPI says some senators received 64 letters in one day from the same person, and that the peak volume hit 300 messages per day. Speaking with The Omaha World-Herald, Sen. Gerald Matzke termed the campaign "harassment," saying the practice -- sometimes called "spamming" -- denied other constituents the benefits of contacting lawmakers electronically. A hearing on Warner's bill is set for this week. Croatians Accused of Hacking Investigators say three Croatian teen-agers may have broken Pentagon protection codes and copied highly classified files from U.S. military bases. Checking in from Zagreb, writer Laura Lui of the Reuter News Service says the local press is reporting the three high school students, surfing the Internet on their home computer, broke into several U.S. military installations' databases, including those of the Anderson nuclear installation and an unnamed satellite research center. However, Pentagon spokeswoman Lt-Col. Donna Boltz, told Lui, "There is no way that anybody can tap into classified files via the Internet," adding such files are almost always on closed systems without outside access. Still, she acknowledged, invaders traveling the Net may be able to access personal e-mail or other sensitive files. Lui says that following a report in the Zagreb daily Vecernji List, local reporters flocked to the high school in the Adriatic port of Zadar where the three teen-age hackers, aged 15 and 16, specialize in mathematics and information technology. Adds Reuters, "One of the teenagers, identified only as V.M., told the state news agency HINA he accessed the Pentagon database while surfing the Net on Jan. 2. Despite a warning that he was not allowed to proceed, he continued to browse the site until data fro the Anderson base were displayed on the screen, HINA said." V.M. told the agency, "The data are compressed and need to be extracted, so I don't really know everything they contained, but it sure was very interesting," adding he was unaware of any possible consequences. Meanwhile, assistant Interior Minister Zeljko Sacic told state radio that invaders broke into the U.S. Defence Department computer system of the airbase on Guam island and several other bases. Vecernji List says the U.S. Defense Department had contacted Croatian police through Interpol to demand an investigation while local police searched the youngsters' flats and confiscated their computer equipment. Adds Reuters, "Computer-hacking is not illegal in Croatia, but the three may be banned for life from accessing the Internet under the current Croatian penal code." U.S. Says Vandals Got No Secrets A report this week that high school computer users in Croatia had broken Pentagon protection codes and copied highly classified files from U.S. military bases has been flatly denied by the U.S. Defense Department. As reported, Zagreb press is reporting the three students, surfing the Internet on their home computer, broke into several U.S. military installations' databases, including those of the Anderson nuclear installation and an unnamed satellite research center. The papers say the trio broke codes and copied highly classified files. "They did not," Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon told reporters in Washington. "The Croatian newspaper was in error on that issue. They did apparently get into some computers at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. But to the best of my knowledge, they did not get into any classified files. It was entirely unclassified territory." Reporting for the Reuter News Service, writer Charles Aldinger quotes Bacon as saying the matter is being investigated by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, but "I'm not aware that action has been taken against these fellows, whom I believe are teen-agers, at ths time." U.S. defense officials say there is no way classified files could be broken into via the Internet. They said such files were almost always on closed systems without outside access, but that personal e-mail or other sensitive files might be invaded by hackers on the Internet. Malaysia's Web Hack-Attacked Hacked twice this week by online vandals, Malaysia's site on the World Wide Web has been taken down temporarily by the country's national telecommunications company. Reporting from Kuala Lumpur, the Reuter News Service quotes officials with Telekom Malaysia Bhd as saying its TMnet home page was struck on Tuesday by someone who did not sabotage any data on the site, but left a message on the page saying: "This site has been hacked!!!" Then on Thursday, the message, "This site has been hacked again!!!," was seen on the TMnet page. Reuters says the perpetrator in the first incident has been identified following an investigation, though Telekom has note named the person. However, the second vandal "has used much more sophisticated methods to bypass the log-in procedure and exploit what is obviously a security vulnerability," a company statement said. Web Virus Seeker Launched An artificially intelligent software snoop called "Bloodhound" that searches the Internet's World Wide Web for new and unknown viruses has been introduced by Symantec Corp. In Cupertino, California, the Dow Jones news service quotes the company as saying Bloodhound is based on two of its advanced anti-virus technologies, the Symantec Seeker system and the new Symantec AntiVirus Research Center Heuristic Scanner. Southwestern Bell to Wire Schools Southwestern Bell says it is launching a massive campaign called "Operation SchoolNet" to wire nearly 6,200 classrooms in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas for Internet access. The Baby Bell says it will rely on the participation by as many as 5,000 members of the Southwestern Bell Pioneers, one of the nation's largest volunteer organizations, and other Southwestern Bell employee groups. Lucent Technologies Inc. is donating equipment that will be necessary for schools to connect to the Internet. The cabling kits include wiring, computer connectors and a central connecting block. "Southwestern Bell has a long tradition of leadership and investing in the communities we serve, especially in the area of education," says Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of SBC Communications Inc., Southwestern Bell's parent company. "We believe our children should have access to this great educational resource to learn more about the world around them, expanding their knowledge and encouraging their thirst for learning." Only 14 percent of the nation's 55 milion school children currently have Internet access in their classrooms, according to the latest government statistics. HP to Acquire Symantec Unit Hewlett-Packard Co. and Symantec Corp. have signed a non- binding letter of intent for HP to purchase the assets of Symantec's networking business unit and incorporate it into its OpenView system and network management business. The deal's terms weren't disclosed. The companies say the move will strengthen HP's position as a provider of information-technology (IT) management software and services and allow Symantec to focus on its core competencies in productivity and security software. Symantec's networking business unit is responsible for Norton Administrator Suite, which includes Norton Administrator for Networks, the Expose server-management solution and Norton Desktop Administrator. These products are designed to allow IT administrators to increase productivity and reduce the total cost of ownership of networked PCs and servers. "Symantec has achieved great success with its networked PC-management solutions," says Olivier Helleboid, general manager of HP's network and system management division. "The incorporation of Symantec products into OpenView will help customers implement a well-managed environment, the secret to reducing the total cost of ownership of networked computer systems. HP OpenView is critical to HP's strategy to help customers successfully manage their enterprise networked systems." "In HP, we found a strong partner that could provide customers with the best combination of management tools, services and support," says Mark Bailey, senior vice president of business development and emerging businesses for Symantec. "This move allows us to focus our strengths in software applications that improve the reliability and productivity of computers. The Norton Administrator product line complements HP's OpenView system and network-management strategy, and the combination will bring even more value to our mutual customers." 3Com, U.S. Robotics Announce Merger Computer networking specialist 3Com Corp. and modem maker U.S. Robotics Corp. have announced a definitive agreement to enter into the largest merger in the history of the data networking industry. The combined company, which will bear the 3Com name, will be a communications industry powerhouse with more than $5 billion in annual revenues and over 12,000 employees in approximately 130 countries. The companies note that the combined firm will have leading positions in each of its core markets and an installed base of more customer connections to corporate intranets and the Internet than any other company. Under the agreement's terms, each share of U.S. Robotics stock will be exchanged for 1.75 shares of 3Com stock. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Based on the closing price of 3Com stock Tuesday, the deal is valued at $6.6 billion. Subject to several conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of both companies' shareholders, the transaction is expected to close this summer. There will be a one-time charge against earnings during the quarter in which the deal closes. Eric Benhamou, 3Com's chairman and CEO will retain his posts after the merger. U.S. Robotics' chairman and CEO, will join 3Com's board as vice chairman. "The combination of 3Com and U.S. Robotics dramatically alters the networking landscape with the industry's broadest set of innovative, feature-rich network access solutions," says Benhamou. "Together, with an installed base of over 100 million network connections, we can offer network users the fastest access to their local and wide area networks. The leadership and momentum we have will continue to define the next dimension of networking. This combination will be good for customers, good for shareholders, and good for our employees." "3Com and U.S. Robotics share a common vision," adds Cowell. "By providing faster, more intelligent and easier-to-use products for connecting the broadest array of users to local and wide area networks, we can accelerate the deployment of networking worldwide. The combination of 3Com and U.S. Robotics' technology, products, brands and global distribution will allow us to bring the power of networking to the widest possible range of customers, including large enterprises, small businesses, telephone carriers, network and Internet service providers and consumers." Borland to Lay Off 300 Workers Some 300 jobs -- or nearly 30 percent of its work force -- will be cut by software publisher Borland International Inc. as part of a global restructuring program aimed at restoring the company to profitability. Reporting from Sotts Valley, California, the Reuter News Service quotes officials with the firm as saying the restructuring plan involved significant reductions in operational expenses, as well as the implementation of new programs aimed at raising the company's revenues. Borland Chairman Delbert Yocam said the restructuring is "the beginning of a plan to grow Borland into a thriving company known for the value it provides to organizations building client/server and Internet/intranet applications. We plan to leverage Borland's rich heritage of high-quality and high-performance software development tools to expand our business into new markets." Reuters says that after the restructuring, Borland will employ about 700 full-time employees worldwide. In addition, Borland says it aims to achieve cost reductions through new marketing and support programs that will replace programs that no longerfit its core business or strategic focus. Apple Dismisses Layoff Talk A report that Apple Computer Inc. will lay off 40 percent of its workforce when it announces a restructuring in late March is being dismissed by the computer makers as speculation. Published on MSNBC's World Wide Web site, the report yesterday cited "a well-placed Apple executive" as telling the television net Apple will cut 4,400 of its 11,000 full-time employees and take a charge for severance benefits of $300 to $350 million. However, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton told the Reuter News Service, "Those numbers are based on speculation, because we have not determined what the final numbers will be." As reported, Apple early this month announced a plan to consolidate its marketing and development units into fewer groups to cut costs and concentrate on key computer market. However, specifics of the plan -- including layoffs and possible charges -- won't be announced until next month, Apple has said. CompuServe KOs Infringement Suit CompuServe has won in a patent infringement case brought against it by Elk Industries Inc. in U.S. District Court in Florida. Frm its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters, CompuServe released a statement noting Elk sued it in early 1996, alleging infringement of a patent entitled "Audio Storage and Distribution System." Elk alleged CompuServe was liable for infringement when CompuServe subscribers retrieved audio files from its service or from the Internet. CompuServe denied liability and filed a counterclaim seeking attorneys fees. Now Elk Industries has agreed to withdraw its suit and CompuServe has agreed to withdraw its counterclaim and request for attorneys fees. To avoid potential disputes between Elk and CompuServe, CompuServe obtained a license under Elk's other patents for a nominal fee of $7,500. The parties will finalize the dismissal and license in the near future. The Dow Jones news service notes Elk had filed suit against Netscape Communications Corp., alleging that company's Internet browser software also infringed the patent. Elk is closely held by inventor Robin Elkins. Robotics Delays Modem Shipment U.S. Robotics Corp. hopes to ship its new high-speed modems by the end of the week. This is about a week later than some retailers had expected, notes the Reuter News Service, which quotes a company spokeswoman in Skokie, Illinois, as saying, "We're shooting for either later today or tomorrow, but I can't guarantee that at this point." The wire service notes retailers had been expecting the new modems, which can download information from the Internet at a rate of 56 kilobits a second, in stores last weekend. "Though the company did inform retailers of the delay, one retailer was unable to pull an advertising circular featuring the new modems," Reuters says. The spokeswoman added, "We're working with them to make sure everybody's happy." The U.S. Robotics spokeswoman downplayed the delay, saying, "We feel a few days one way or another is not going to make a difference," the spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, Motorola Inc. has said it has formed an alliance with Rockwell International Corp. to develop a 56-kilobit modem it expects to introduce early next month. U.S. Robotics Begins x2 Shipments U.S. Robotics Inc. reports that it has begun shipping its x2 56K bps modems. The Skokie, Illinois, company notes that x2 is a breakthrough in modem technology that provides Internet and online connections, over standard telephone lines, at speeds nearly twice as fast as 28.8 Kbps modems. "x2 is here now and consumers will be thrilled when they begin to use this high-speed technology to connect to their online service provider and the World Wide Web," says Casey Cowell, chairman and CEO of U.S. Robotics. "We're delivering the technology that will enable online users to download all the Web's complicated graphics faster than ever before." Lotus Ships SmartSuite 97 Lotus Development Corp. has begun shipping SmartSuite 97 Edition for Windws 95 and Windows NT 4.0, the latest version of its personal productivity software suite. SmartSuite 97 features new collaborative tools and enhanced Internet integration, including customized delivery of Net-based information such as news, weather and stock quotes from the Web, or company news from the corporate intranet. The package also provides 1-2-3 97 Edition, an updated version of the venerable spreadsheet program. Other features include new editions of the Word Pro word processor, Freelance Graphics presentation application, Approach database, Organizer personal information manager, ScreenCam multimedia tool and the SmartCenter command center. "In what is becoming a two-player, $5 billion office suite market, we're number two, so we try harder when it comes to delivering better value for business users," says Lotus President Jeff Papows. SmartSuite 97 is priced at $399. Current users will be able to upgrade for $149. ClarisWorks for Kids Readied Claris Corp. will target younger computer users with ClarisWorks for Kids, a productivity software package designed specifically for kids in grades K-5. The all-in-one product incorporates writing, painting, graphing, list-making and educational software. Users can also create graphs, slide shows and pictures or form a thematically-organized collection of clip art images, sounds, movies and templates that mirror what they're learning in school. The software is compatible with ClarisWorks 4.0. ClarisWorks for Kids is scheduled to become available this summer for Mac OS and later this year for Windows 95. It will sell for about $49. A free, time-limited beta test Mac OS version will be available for downloading from the new ClarisWorks for Kids Web site (www.claris.com/kids) this spring. "There is a great need for an integrated software solution for younger kids," says Richard Zwetchkenbaum, director of consumer computing and educational markets for market researcher IDC/LINK. "ClarisWorks for Kids provides the tools younger kids can relate to and enjoyusing, helping them learn and excel." New Aptiva Offers Remote Control IBM Corp. is offering a remote control designed for Web surfing on its upgraded Aptiva S line. The company notes that the device allows users to browse the Internet as well as launch programs at the touch of a button. The remote control also lets users navigate around the desktop, eliminating the need to sit directly in front of the computer and click on icons, pull down menus and open folders with a mouse. "IBM will continue to meet the growing demands of Aptiva customers for quick and easy access to the Web. Simple buttons on the remote control make it easier to perform a variety of functions, including specialized Aptiva telephony functions and Internet access," says Elaine Lack, director of marketing, operations and services for IBM's consumer desktop systems group. "With the remote control, consumers have a new and unique way to interact with their IBM Aptivas and the Internet." SyQuest Ships Hard Disk Drives SyQuest Technology Inc.'s new SyJet removable cartridge hard drive, with a storage capacity of 1.5 gigabytes, are now being shipped. Reporting from Fremont, California, the Reuter News Service quotes the company as saying it already has a company record $26 million backlog of orders for the new product. Also, Syquest now is shipping its EZFlyer 230 drives and cartridges, as well as the SyJet drives, to Chinese computer distributor Legend Group. CyberMalls Discontinued The firm incorporated last year to prepare, develop and sell virtual shopping malls on the Internet has been discontinued. The CyberMalls subsidiary of CyberAmerica Corp. has folded because it "had large unanticipated start up costs and its revenues did not meet projections," says the Reuter News Service in a report from Salt Lake City. Reuters notes CyberMalls President Nathan Tippetts resigned on Feb 7, but the company said he would remain with CyberAmerica as an independent consultant while CyberAmerica focuses its operations primarily on its real estate and financial consulting divisions. The wire service says Cyberalls also was developing the product-specific Internet search engine called WebSafari. Feds Worry About Year 2000 A congressional investigator has warned that some U.S. government computer systems failures are likely when the year 2000 begins. Speaking yesterday before a House of Representatives Government Reform Committee hearing, Joel Willemssen, the General Accounting Office's director of information resources management, said, "I think there is a high probability that there will be some failures," adding, "Every government program that provides benefits in any way is subject to these problems, from Social Security and veterans' benefits to student loans and subsidized housing. This is not simply a government issue, it is something that will touch us all." Robert Green of the Reuter News Service notes the problem would occur when the date changes from Dec. 31, 1999 to Jan. 1, 2000. As reported, many computers that only use the last two digits of a year will read the date as 1900. Willemssen told Congress the problem could be corrected but would need major action by all departments and agencies because the government uses a wide variety of computer systems, many with computer languages that are old or obsolete. "It will take long, hard effort, but it can and must be done," he said. And the GAO's Keith Rhodes says some problems already are happening. He said a three-year defense contract awarded last month for completion in January, 2000 caused a computer to issue a 97-year delinquency notice to the contractor. Digital Camera Boom Steadfast Dataquest Inc. is forecasting that the worldwide digital still camera market will reach 5.9 million units by the year 2000. But the San Jose, California, market research firm warns that while the market will show positive growth, it's not likely to become the consumer bonanza that many manufacturers anticipate before the end of the century. "Digital cameras will be used primarily as a computer peripheral for at least the next three years," says Jonathan Cassel, a Dataquest analyst. According to Cassell, a major reason why these cameras won't replace traditional film cameras by the year 2000 is price. He says consumer purchases will increase when the camera's price drops into a more affordable price range. The average selling price (ASP) for manufacturers of digital still cameras was $315 in 1995. Dataquest forecasts the manufacturers' ASP of digital still cameras will drop to $177 by the year 2000. "Because of their digital nature and large semiconductor content,digital still cameras will settle into a price dynamic similar to that found in the PC market, with features steadily improving at fixed price points," says Cassell. IBM Sells Used PCs on the Web IBM Credit Corp. has started selling used PCs over the Internet with the debut of the IBM Refurbished Computer Warehouse (http://mer.shop.ibm.com/shopping/ibmcredit.) The company says the site offers visitors the opportunity to purchase refurbished IBM PCs electronically with a credit card. It notes that card transactions are secured by encryption/decryption software. Customers will also be able to place orders via e-mail or an 800 number. According to IBM Credit, U.S. customers can order a wide variety of PCs from low-end '486 machines up through PCs with Pentium processors. The availability of systems and models changes routinely. Once a PC is ordered, it will be shipped to a U.S. site within 48 hours. Each system comes with a seven-day money back guarantee and a 90-day quality guarantee. Study Finds Workforce Shortage The Information Technology Association of America says its new "Help Wanted" survey finds a labor shortage of over 190,000 technically-skilled jobs in mid- and large-sized U.S. companies -- firms both inside and outside the information technology industry. The actual number of openings is thought to be even larger because the organization's random survey of 2,000 respondents doesn't include small companies, not-for-profit organizations or government agencies - all highly dependent on such workers. "The `Help Wanted' study is a wake up call to the nation," says ITAA President Harris Miller. "We can no longer take our leadership in high tech markets for granted. For many years, our industry has been concerned about the declining erollments in computer science departments and the difficulty employers have in finding appropriately skilled IT workers. Now, for the first time, we have the systematically generated data to substantiate these concerns and to demonstrate that `business as usual' solutions are not getting the job done." Among the study's other major findings: z One in ten information technology job openings goes unfilled. z Eighty-two percent of respondents expect to increase the number of IT workers. z Seventy-one percent of respondents see a greater demand for IT workers than for other types of skilled employees. z Sixty-eight percent of respondents see the labor shortage as a barrier to growth. z Increased recruiting and training remain partial solutions. z Universities are not doing an adequate job of graduating appropriately skilled students in sufficient numbers. z Labor shortages will slow economic growth as companies curtail plans to meet implementation realities. A report summary is available on the ITAA Web site at www.itaa.org/helpwanted.htm. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N For Immediate Release Corel Develops Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 Construction Edition OTTAWA, Canada -- February, 1997 -- Corel Corporation has released a new and innovative version of its Corel WordPerfect Suite -- the Construction Edition for Windows 95. This edition provides companies in the construction business with a complete and fully integrated package of office programs. This specially designed suite includes such applications as Corel WordPerfect 7, Corel Visual CADD 2.04, Corel Quattro Pro 7, Corel Presentations 7, Corel Time Line and InfoCentral 7. The Construction Edition delivers all the software that a builder, architect, engineer or other professional in the construction business requires. "Corel recognizes that professionals on the cutting edge of the construction industry require a CAD program as well as a Word processor, spreadsheet and scheduling program," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel Corporation. "Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 - Construction Edition offers some of the world's most innovative CAD and business software in a new integrated environment at an affordable price." Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 - Construction Edition includes the following applications: z Intuitive, task oriented Wizards which link all of the programs and features. z Corelr WordPerfectr 7: Innovative key features such as Guidelines, Make It FitT and z Spell-As-You-GoT as well as Internet capabilities, continue to make this the word processor of choice. z Corelr Visual CADDT 2.04: A professional design and drafting program that allows both new and experienced users to complete any project quickly and efficiently. Includes powerful drawing and editing tools, multiple line and dimension types, Symbol Manager and on-screen Wizards. z Corelr Quattror Pro 7: This award-winning spreadsheet contains new chart styles, a new mapping feature, QuickTemplates, Internet connectivity, and right mouse-button support for fast access to formatting options. z Corelr PresentationsT 7: This presentations graphics program includes the ability to move from a slide to an Internet site or to other slides with a single click, as well as the ability to convert slide shows to HTML format, and the option to combine multiple backgrounds, graphics, text, video and sound within one presentation. z Corelr Time Liner: Makes staying on top of work effortless, allows users to manage multiple projects simultaneously by creating a network of related projects. z InfoCentralTM 7: A powerful database information manager. z EnvoyT 7: The perfect workgroup electronic publishing tool for CD-ROM and the Internet. z Netscape NavigatorT 2.01 Internet Browser: Obtain access to the Internet through a z best-of-breed Internet browser. z CorelFLOWT 3: Powerful business graphics. z Starfish Software's SidekickT 95: The most popular personal information manager and scheduler z DAD: Desktop Application Director z 150 top quality fonts z 10,000+ clip art images z 400+ house plans in VCD format, 350+ house plans from HDA in bitmap format z 7,000 CAD symbols z Construction forms z Building specifications with macros that automate standard editing procedures Unique Integration The task oriented Wizards integrate the many programs and features in the package. Included are wizards which sort the house plans by user specified criteria and make it easy for users to extract information from a Visual CAD drawing into Corel WordPerfect or Corel Quattro Pro. Using Corel QuickTasks makes it possible to automatically complete entire projects in several applications. Putting the Internet to Work Make the most of full Internet connectivity by converting core application files to and from HTML in a single step. Other features include: z Link information directly to Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 documents through URL cell support. z Import and export to and from HTML in Corel WordPerfect 7 and Corel Quattro Pro 7. z EnvoyT 7 electronic publishing solution for sharing Internet documents with all fonts, graphics and formatting intact. z QuickConnectT instantly connects users to Bookmarks in Netscape NavigatorT 2.01 or favorite places in America Onliner, CompuServer or Microsoftr Network. z Envoy 7 document viewing directly from Internet browser. z Create web-ready Corel WordPerfect documents that can be directly exported to HTML. z Link InfoCentral records to Internet sites using URL fields. System Requirements and Pricing The minimum system requirements for Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 - Construction Edition are a PC 486/25 processor, Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0, at least 8 MB of RAM (16 recommended), 200 MB of hard disk space (for a typical installation) a VGA monitor, and a double-speed CD-ROM drive. The Corel WordPerfect Suite - Construction Edition will ship for a suggested retail price of $449 U.S., with upgrades available for $229 U.S. (Dealers may sell for less.) Corel Corporation Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized internationally as an award-winning developer and marketer of productivity applications, graphics and multimedia software. Corel's product line includes CorelDRAWT, Corelr WordPerfectr Suite, Corelr Office Professional, CorelVIDEOT, CorelCADT and over 30 multimedia software titles. Corel's products run on most operating systems, including: Windows, Macintoshr, UNIX, MS-DOS and OS/2 and are consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and on NASDAQ-National Market System (symbol:COSFF). For more information visit Corel's home page on the Internet at http://www.corel.com. Corel and WordPerfect are registered trademarks and CorelDRAW, CorelVIDEO and CorelCAD are trademarks of Corel Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited. All products mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Borland Cuts Staff, Changes Focus CompuServe Pares Down To Get Ready For Spinoff High-Speed Wireless Communications Back To The Future With Paper Post-It Notes Password-Sharing Thwarts Web Revenues Gov't Committee Chair Calls For Duty-Free Internet Trade Zone Discovery Invests In New Photo Technology Nerve-Wracking Demo News From U.S. State Department Russians Buy IBM Supercomputer Through Middleman AOL Sued Over Accounting Practices Modem Wars Escalate Rupert's Reach For The Sky Jobs On Top Of Things At Apple Academics Challenge Indecency Law Auctioning Off Extra Ad Space On Web IBM & NTT Collaborate On Network Project C-Cube's Decoder Chip Could Mean Cheaper DVD Players Virtual Intranet 3Com Acquires U.S. Robotics AOL And Tel-Save Strike Big Marketing Deal AT&T Unveils Wireless Link To Long-Distance Network Scholars Propose Strengthening Peer Review Electronically Silicon Graphics Sold Supercomputers To Chinese AT&T Ends Free WorldNet Service SEC Settles Internet Fraud Case Net Hate Taxing The Net Drucker Says "Universities Won't Survive BORLAND CUTS STAFF, CHANGES FOCUS Reducing its staff by 30% (to 700 people), Borland International, the company now best known for its Delphi, dBase and Turbo products, is refocusing its efforts on helping organizations build client-server applications and Intranet applications. Some industry analysts believe the company is reorganizing itself for sale to the highest bidder. (New York Times 21 Feb 97) COMPUSERVE PARES DOWN TO GET READY FOR SPINOFF Several days after the resignation of its chief executive, CompuServe has cut 14% of its workforce through resignations and other voluntary means. The online service provider is hoping that the cuts will allow it to become profitable enough to allow parent company H&R Block to spin off its remaining 80% stake in CompuServe to shareholders. (USA Today 21 Feb 97) HIGH-SPEED WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS Israel-based New Media Communications has licensed its high-speed wireless modems to CellularVision Technology & Telecommunications, which plans a commercial rollout of its wireless communications service in Manhattan in about six months. The modems, which are linked to little 6-inch-by-6-inch antennas, can download at speeds up to 54 megabits per second, although users won't be able to take advantage of those speeds right away. Most of today's PCs can handle only about 10 megabits per second, but as technology improves, the higher capacity will come in handy, say CellularVision execs. The modems use local multipoint distribution service technology to provide connectivity. (Business Week 24 Feb 97) BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH PAPER POST-IT NOTES 3M's ubiquitous little paper Post-it Notes changed the way offices communicate 20 years ago, and recently the company issued an electronic version that allows you to attach notes to electronic files. But 3M's Post- it Software Notes 1.5 for Windows now lets you print out your electronic Post-its, insert a date and time stamp, and even personalize them with clip art. "We don't have paperless offices," says a 3M software specialist. "Customers want tools to bridge the two environments." (Information Week 10 Feb 97) PASSWORD-SHARING THWARTS WEB REVENUES Web entrepreneurs who charge subscription fees for accessing their Web sites are finding their customers are passing along their passwords to friends, relatives, etc., thus diminishing Web operators' potential for making their venture pay off. "Everybody on the Internet who sell subscriptions has this problem to one degree or another," says a producer for SportsZone. A technical fix is possible, but Web site operators are reluctant to make things more difficult for legitimate subscribers to log on. Meanwhile, Internet Billing offers software that allows Web sites to limit how many times the same password may be used each day -- a solution that would probably keep some of the piracy down, but runs the risk of alienating paying customers who just want to log on a lot. (Wall Street Journal 21 Feb 97) GOV'T COMMITTEE CHAIR CALLS FOR DUTY-FREE INTERNET TRADE ZONE In a statement entitled "A Global Free Trade Zone on the Internet," Representative Christopher Cox (R- Calif.) advocates a duty-free Internet trade zone, noting that "the idea, if implemented, would benefit the Internet, the United States, and the cause of free trade everywhere... by creating a comparative advantage for people and firms that produce competitive, high-quality services and goods that will be in demand without protective tariffs." Cox chairs a House Policy Committee now examining Internet taxation issues. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 19 Feb 97) DISCOVERY INVESTS IN NEW PHOTO TECHNOLOGY Discovery Communications has bought a multi-million dollar stake in Omniview Inc., which has developed a technology that enables Web site designers to create 360-degree photo images of environments that can be explored online in real time. Discovery used the technology when it explored the remains of the Titanic last August, and plans to incorporate it when it previews its Planet Explorer CD-ROM on Istanbul. "It will help us bring down the cost of field production," says the VP for Discovery Online. "And we can create these wonderfully engaging and immersive environments." (Broadcasting & Cable 17 Feb 97) NERVE-WRACKING DEMO NEWS FROM U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was positioned at her terminal in the American Library in Moscow, ready to chat via the Internet with high school students in 48 countries, when the screen appeared to freeze up. While waiting for technicians to resolve the problem, she chatted live with on-site reporters about the degree of her personal technological readiness. "I do know how to type. I am not good at the mouse. People of a certain age do not have very good eye-hand coordination." When a new terminal was brought in, the chat session resumed, and the Secretary answered a few questions about such things as the weather in Moscow and what she had for dinner. (Washington Post 20 Feb 97) RUSSIANS BUY IBM SUPERCOMPUTER THROUGH MIDDLEMAN To conduct computer simulations of nuclear tests, Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy Affairs has paid a European middleman $7 million for an IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer capable of performing 10 billion calculations per second. Last year, the U.S. government rejected requests by IBM and Hewlett-Packard to sell supercomputers to the Russians, and a senior American official says: "We have made a policy decision not to assist the Russians in their stockpile stewardship program. Even though relations with the Russians are good, we are potentially a target for their nuclear forces if relations change." (New York Times 25 Feb 97) AOL SUED OVER ACCOUNTING PRACTICES Unhappy shareholders have filed a lawsuit against America Online, alleging that directors and outside accountants violated federal securities laws when the company took a $385 million charge for marketing expenses last October. The suit claims the write-off "instantly eliminated in its entirety the largest single asset on its balance sheet (capitalized subscriber acquisition costs), reduced its shareholders' equity by 80% and wiped out by five times over the total pre-tax net income it had ever reported... It is now clear that AOL had never earned any profits and, in fact, had been incurring huge operating losses in prior years rather than the profits it had claimed." The plaintiffs, who are seeking class-action status for their lawsuit, have also named Ernst & Young, AOL's accountants, and 18 AOL insiders in their suit, claiming that top execs "took advantage of the artificial inflation in AOL's stock... to pocket $95 million in illegal insider trading profits." An AOL spokeswoman says, "We're confident that we acted in full compliance with all applicable securities laws." (Wall Street Journal 25 Feb 97) MODEM WARS ESCALATE The race between Motorola and U.S. Robotics to get the first 56-Kbps modems to market is heating up, in the wake of U.S. Robotics' acknowledgment that it couldn't meet its shipping deadline last week. Because the products from the two companies will not be compatible until a world standard is set sometime in 1998, pressures are mounting on both sides to sell as many devices as possible in the hope of establishing a de facto standard via the market. (Tampa Tribune 24 Feb 97) U.S. Robotics announced it has now shipped the first of its 56-Kbps modems, after postponing shipment earlier so it could fix some bugs in the software. Motorola plans to introduce its products in a couple of months. (Wall Street Journal 25 Feb 97) RUPERT'S REACH FOR THE SKY Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. will spend $1 billion for 50% ownership of Denver-based Echostar Communications and will sell more than 500 channels of digital TV service in all 50 states beginning in 1998 under the brand name Sky, offering serious competition both to cable TV operators and to such direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operators as DirecTV. In contrast with other DBS systems, Sky will have enough satellite capacity to offer local television programs, and the company will use "spot beams" that target local signals down toward small geographic areas. (Washington Post 25 Feb 97) JOBS ON TOP OF THINGS AT APPLE Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple Computer in December after an 11-year hiatus, is rapidly becoming the focal point for the computer company's revival strategies, say analysts. "It may not be official, but Jobs is the guy," says a market researcher at Dataquest Inc. "He will -- either through influence or direct control -- have a say in what happens to this company." Meanwhile, a number of top Apple executives have left over the past couple of months, and several Next executives have assumed key posts - Avie Tevanian now runs Apple's software unit while Jon Rubinstein manages the hardware unit. "When you are running hardware and software -- that doesn't leave much left over," says an analyst with Wasserstein Perella Securities. (St. Petersburg Times 24 Feb 97) ACADEMICS CHALLENGE INDECENCY LAW A group of 25 individuals and organizations has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to overturn a federal law restricting "indecent" content in cyberspace. The Communications Decency Act (CDA) specifies punishment for anyone who knowingly provides "indecent" material to minors. One of the signers, the American Association of University Professors, wrote that it "is concerned that the CDA will chill online expression and discussion on a wide variety of academic subjects (e.g., medicine, biology, anatomy, social work, art, and journalism), impairing use of this promising new medium for legitimate pedagogical and research purposes." (Chronicle of Higher Education 28 Feb 97) AUCTIONING OFF EXTRA AD SPACE ON WEB FlyCast Communications Corp. is aiming to become the Web's advertising liquidator, selling unused ad space through an electronic auction system. The company estimates that most Web sites fill only about 50% of their allotted space, often using the remainder for house ads or giving it away free to steady customers. FlyCast doesn't see its business as dominated by blue light specials at rock-bottom prices, however. It's setting up its system so that agencies can snap up highly targeted ad space on short notice, for premium prices. (Wall Street Journal 24 Feb 97) IBM & NTT COLLABORATE ON NETWORK PROJECT IBM and Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) will work together to develop computer network products and services in Japan, using NTT's communication and IBM's "middleware" software (probably Lotus Notes). The ultimate goal of the collaboration will be to develop technological standards for corporations that want to use data networks to offer commercial services such as electronic shopping. (AP 24 Feb 97) C-CUBE'S DECODER CHIP COULD MEAN CHEAPER DVD PLAYERS A new digital video disk (DVD) chip from C-Cube Microsystems could drop the price of DVD players below $500 -- the price point at which the new devices are more likely to experience significant market success. C-Cube says its new chip can do the work of six chips installed in existing DVD players, and analysts say machines containing C-Cube's chips will appear later this summer in the U.S. Hollywood is expected to begin releasing their first DVD titles in the next several weeks, with computer software makers expected to follow suit eventually. (Wall Street Journal 24 Feb 97) VIRTUAL INTRANET A virtual intranet created by Netscape for a fictitious company allows visitors to see the kinds of things an Intranet can do and then choose to accept a free download of the Netscape AppFoundry applications used to create the intranet. (Financial Times 24 Feb 97) <http://home.netscape.com/comprod/at_work/vip/index.html> 3COM ACQUIRES U.S. ROBOTICS 3Com Corporation is buying modem-maker U.S. Robotics for $6.6 billion, creating a combined company with $5 billion in annual revenues and more than 12,000 employees. 3Com's move will make it one of the two top competitors in the networking business, the other being Cisco Systems. (Washington Post 26 Feb 97) AOL AND TEL-SAVE STRIKE BIG MARKETING DEAL Tel-Save, a reseller of long-distance phone service, will spend $100 million marketing its services through America Online. The deal will allow Tel-Save to save on marketing costs and administrative costs, and will make AOL less reliant on subscriber revenue as it switches its business model to offer flat-rate pricing -- a strategy that has enabled it to keep its huge numbers of subscribers, thereby attracting advertisers and online commercial enterprises. (New York Times 26 Feb 97) AT&T UNVEILS WIRELESS LINK TO LONG-DISTANCE NETWORK AT&T has developed what it calls the "communications medium for the 21st century" -- a wireless system that bypasses the local phone network to link residential and business phones directly to the company's long- distance network. The system, which operates via a small transceiver attached to the side of a house or building, provides at least two phone lines and data transmission at twice the speed available over Bell company lines. "When we call this a breakthrough, we're placing it in the same category as satellite and fiber-optic transmission and electronic switching," says AT&T President John Walter. The company claims its new system, nicknamed Project Angel during the development phase, will beat regular wired service in call quality and error-free data transmission. (Wall Street Journal 26 Feb 97) SCHOLARS PROPOSE STRENGTHENING PEER REVIEW ELECTRONICALLY An editor at The Journal of the American Medical Association and an adjunct professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco have recommended an electronic peer-review system that would allow researchers to have ready access to all comments related to a particular paper through a consolidated database. Editors could review readers' comments, request responses from authors, and update the database on a quarterly basis. Journals could make publishing a work conditional upon such participation, and people who submit comments would be required to disclose any conflicts of interest or affiliations that might affect their response. (Chronicle of Higher Education 28 Feb 97) SILICON GRAPHICS SOLD SUPERCOMPUTERS TO CHINESE On the heels of their admission that they sold supercomputers to a Russian nuclear weapons lab without the required export license, Silicon Graphics has now acknowledged that it sold two similar computers to China's Academy of Sciences, which also is involved in nuclear weapons and missiles research. The company says the China deals were conducted "in full compliance with U.S. export regulations," but records show it was sold in June 1996 without an export license. The Clinton administration began its policy of requiring licenses for the export of supercomputers to foreign entities involved in nuclear weapons research in January 1996. The computer sold to the Chinese is twice as powerful as the one recently sold to the Russians and will be used as a "backbone" for "hundreds of institutes" in the Chinese academy. (Wall Street Journal 27 Feb 97) AT&T ENDS FREE WORLDNET SERVICE AT&T is ending its introductory offer for long-distance customers of five free hours a month on its WorldNet Internet access service. After March 31, a new pricing plan kicks in, at a flat-rate of $19.95 a month, or $4.95 for the first five hours. (Investor's Business Daily 27 Feb 97) SEC SETTLES INTERNET FRAUD CASE The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled the case it brought against a Florida-based online investment newsletter. George Chelekis and two companies he controls -- KGC Inc. and Hot Stocks Review Inc. - have agreed to pay fines totaling $162,727. The SEC alleged that Chelekis knowingly made "false and misleading statements" about six companies: Luminart Inc., Nona Morelli's II Inc., Urban Resource Technologies Inc., Advanced Viral Research Corp., Canmine Resources Corp., and Quest International resources Corp. Some 150 companies had paid Chelekis to promote them on the Internet, and he was charged with failing to disclose those payments. (Wall Street Journal 26 Feb 97) NET HATE The Anti-Defamation League's annual report says that "electronic hate is the dark side of technology, and anti-Semites have particularly taken to the medium." In 1996 anti-Semitic incidents in traditional forms declined by 7% from 1,843 to 1,722 incidents, but "anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers" shifted to the Net. The report says that, because the Internet is unregulated, "bigots can spew their hatred without ever running the risk of being identified." (USA Today 26 Feb 97) TAXING THE NET Advising state and local governments not to consider the Internet as a potential source for new tax revenue, the technology director of the American Electronics Association says that the imposition of a multitude of state and local taxes would "degrade and demean the technology." At the federal level, the Clinton Administration, the U.S. Treasury, and House Republicans have all indicated rejection of the idea of taxing sales on the Internet, but at the state level, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio and Wisconsin are taxing some Internet services. New York Governor George Pataki made his the first state to exempt Internet service providers from state taxes. (AP 26 Feb 97) DRUCKER SAYS "UNIVERSITIES WON'T SURVIVE" Renowned management consultant and author Peter Drucker says: "Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won't survive. It's as large a change as when we first got the printed book. Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of health care? ... Such totally uncontrollable expenditures, without any visible improvement in either the content or the quality of education, means that the system is rapidly becoming untenable. Higher education is in deep crisis... Already we are beginning to deliver more lectures and classes off campus via satellite or two-way video at a fraction of the cost. The college won't survive as a residential institution. " (Forbes 10 Mar 97) 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. 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Eighth Page - $200 per month Quarter Page - $400.00 per month Half Page - $800.00 per month Full Page - $1200.00 per month Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 MCAFEE DISCOVERS SHAREFUN VIRUS FIRST MACRO VIRUS TO AUTOMATICALLY EMAIL ITSELF TO UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS SANTA CLARA, CALIF. (February 24, 1997) -- McAfee (Nasdaq: MCAF), the world's leading vendor of anti-virus software, today announced that its Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team (AVERT) has discovered the first macro computer virus to specifically target users of Microsoft's popular Microsoft Mail (MS-Mail) email software. The virus, which is called ShareFun, searches through a user's email directory and automatically generates and transmits email messages with virus-infected attachments. "ShareFun is the first macro virus to commandeer an electronic mail program and use that program to accelerate its own spread," said Jimmy Kuo, director of McAfee's Anti-Virus Response Team. "The virus is especially pernicious in that it tricks its recipients into believing they were sent the file by a trusted friend." How ShareFun Works ShareFun is a macro virus which infects Word for Windows versions 6 and 7. A user becomes infected with ShareFun when they open an infected Word document. Once an infected document is opened, the virus infects the user's Microsoft Word environment and then runs a self-contained random number generator which results in a 25% probability of the virus taking a second action. During this second action, the virus searches the user's hard disk for the presence of MS- Mail, an electronic mail program which is bundled with the popular Microsoft Office suite. If the virus does not find MS-mail present, then it takes no action. If the virus finds MS-Mail present, it accesses the MS-Mail email directory, chooses three random email addresses out of the directory, and generates an email message to each of the recipients. As part of the email generation process, the virus attaches a ShareFun-infected Word document to the email and creates an email subject line that reads "You have GOT to read this!" The attached document is the same ShareFun-infected Word document that was launched by the user. Once the ShareFun virus finishes composing the email, it automatically transmits the virus to the three recipients, often without the knowledge of the originating user. Upon arrival of the email, recipients will find a blank message. What they will see is an attachment, which will have arrived from a trusted friend or associate, with the subject line message, 'You have GOT to read this!'". When the recipient double-clicks on the attached document, the virus will activate and infect the recipient's Microsoft Word environment. In addition to leveraging MS-Mail as a replication and transmission vehicle, ShareFun also infects all subsequent Word documents that are opened by the user from within Word. These infected documents can in turn infect other Microsoft Word documents as they are shared over a corporate network, transmitted via email over the Internet or corporate intranet, or shared via floppy disk. McAfee Customer Discovers ShareFun Researchers at McAfee's Anti-Virus Research Center (AVERT) discovered the virus the evening of Tuesday, February 18, after a McAfee customer, a major international retailer, submitted a sample which the customer believed to be a virus. Upon receipt of the sample, AVERT researchers began working with Microsoft to investigate the sample, confirm its identity as a virus, and characterize its behavior. McAfee posted a special detector for the ShareFun virus on its web site on Wednesday, February 19. "Microsoft is committed to working with McAfee and other anti-virus software vendors to make sure our customers have the best information and the best tools to prevent the spread of macros viruses," said Tom Williams, Microsoft's Product Manager for Microsoft Office. "This new virus does not harm data and customers should use the same precautions they've used in the past to protect themselves: never open an attachment if you're uncertain of its origin, use the built-in tools in Microsoft Word to screen for potential viruses, and use an NCSA-certified anti-virus application at all times." McAfee Develops World's First ShareFun Virus Scanner As a public service, McAfee has developed a special update of its VirusScan software which provides an antidote for the virus. The free working evaluation version of the product can be downloaded from McAfee's web site at http://beta.mcafee.com/public/dosscan/betascan.zip. McAfee has also shared the virus sample with other anti-virus researchers, so that they too can develop solutions to protect their customers. McAfee Anti-Virus Researchers Provide Rapid Response to Virus Outbreaks According to market researcher IDC, McAfee's VirusScan is the world's most popular anti-virus software, selling more units that all other titles combined. As the world's leading vendor of anti-virus software, McAfee is considered the computer industry's Center for Disease Control. AVERT researchers, which are located in the U.S., Japan, France and the Netherlands, work 24 hours a day to analyze approximately 1,000 suspect files submitted each month by McAfee customers. In order to provide rapid response to emerging virus threats, AVERT now posts hourly beta updates for detectors of new viruses on the Internet at beta.mcafee.com. McAfee is the industry's only anti-virus vendor to provide this level of protection. McAfee provides the industry's most comprehensive line of anti-virus software solutions designed to protect against computer viruses on all major desktop and network computing platforms. VirusScan is just one component in McAfee's multi-tiered virus defense family, in with McAfee has developed specialized anti-virus solutions for each potential point of network virus penetration. McAfee's anti-virus solutions include: VirusScanProtects DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT, Unix, Linux, OS/2 and Macintosh desktops.NetShield Protects Windows NT and NetWare servers.WebShield Protects firewall and Internet gateway environments by scanning all HTTP, FTP, and SMTP traffic.GroupScan and GroupShield Provides native anti-virus protection for Lotus Notes environments.WebScan Protects Windows 95 and Windows NT desktops from downloading virus- infected files over the Internet. VirusScan 3.0 for Windows95 better than ever! VirusScan 3.0 now offers the highest level of virus detection rates in the industry as well as fast scanning performance with its new Hunter engine technology. The Hunter engine achieves its stellar performance through a 32- bit, multithreaded implementation designed to utilize the latest advances in memory and I/O management. All virus types including Word and Excel macros, boot-sector infections, file, multi-partite, stealth, polymorphic and encrypted viruses are detected. The Hunter engine even stops viruses written in Visual Basic 5.0 and Office97 file formats, offering users maximum defense against the newest threats to data. z Price: $65 USD electronic delivery z System Requirements: CPU capable of running Windows 95 z Disk space: 3 MB The McAfee Mall offers downloadable software products from many software vendors as well as McAfee's own award winning software. For multiple license pricing of McAfee products, please call 408-988-3832. McAfee Associates 2710 Walsh Avenue Santa Clara, CA USA 95051-0963 Phone: (408) 988-3832 Fax: (408) 970-9727 If you have any questions about the McAfee Mall please send electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Founded in 1989, McAfee is a leading worldwide vendor of Network Security and Management products for enterprise networks. The Company is also a leader in Internet and Web-based electronic software distribution. McAfee is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and can be reached by phone at (408) 988-3832 or by fax at (408) 970-9727. McAfee's Web address is http://www.mcafee.com. McAfee is a registered trademark of McAfee Associates, Inc. Other product names and various content (including but not limited to audio, video, and graphics) are trademarks of their respective owners. (c) McAfee. All rights reserved, 1997. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view Travel Talk Spanish Windows CD-ROM $54.00 Street price ages 12 and up The Learning Company 6493 Kaiser Drive Fremont, CA 94555 1-800-227-5609 http://www.learningco.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486DX HD Space: ? MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 16-bit sound card Optional: microphone review by Jason Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) Travel Talk Spanish is a new release from The Learning Company. This program is for people who go on trips of work or play to Spanish-speaking countries and unfamiliar with the Spanish language. The program uses the QuickTime movie format and a 3D interface. The audio and the video in this program are remarkable and it presents information in many different and exciting ways. There is also an option that allows you to respond to characters using a microphone. Travel Talk Spanish uses a 3D interactive interface. First, you arrive on a plane into a Spanish-speaking resort. Bill Harvey greets you as you begin your language journey. He will be your guide through most of the program. You can enter three different rooms from the main lobby of the resort. This program then puts you in real situations that you could experience while on a trip in a Spanish-speaking country. It uses games and activities from the three different rooms that can be accessed from the lobby: the game room, travel lab, and language studio. Each room has its own characteristics and activities that help you to learn and comprehend the language. The language studio is the first room that you should enter when using this program. It has vocabulary words and phrases in interactive sections that deal with subjects anywhere from arrival to any unexpected events that may occur. This is the most important section in the program. It teaches you the fundamentals of Spanish and phrases that may come in handy for you. The virtual travel lab is the place where you can put your newly learned vocabulary to work. It has simulations that you respond to using a microphone. This is a very useful section. The interface lets you feel like you are right there with the person on the screen. There are really no limits as to what you can say. As long as you speak clearly and you are using the words that are in the Spanish dictionary, the computer can give you multiple answers. You can also ask the person on the screen to repeat what they have just said and they can also ask you to repeat yourself if they do not understand you. You can also watch slideshows on different aspects Spanish culture. The game room features a juke box that displays the words to some favorite Spanish lyric songs. It also has a video matching game. You must match the question that to the correct response. There is a conquest game available, too. You can be play against the computer and it is a fun way to brush up on your Spanish vocabulary skills. If you would prefer just to build your vocabulary, you can visit the lobby and use the dictionary and grammar books. The dictionary contains the basic words that you will need to know. The program presents these words in Spanish-to-English or English-to-Spanish format. You can browse for the word that you are looking for also. This can be helpful if you wish to take your laptop with you and find words quickly and easily. The grammar book shows some basic verb conjugation, and uses example sentences for you to study. The software contains upbeat music that really adds to the fun. Travel Talk Spanish has great sound along with the QuickTime movies. The movies are not the same all the time because different situations can occur based on what you say in the interactive section. I really enjoyed the use of a microphone in the travel lab room. It is an excellent addition to the program. All these factors add to the overall fun level of Travel Talk Spanish. This program teaches you Spanish by giving you phrases. If you are buying this program for your child, you should reconsider. Travel Talk Spanish is not designed for younger children nor is it a full language course. The program is most useful to business people or travelers who are planning trips to Spanish-speaking countries. People can quickly brush up on Spanish vocabulary and learn some useful phrases. If you want your child to learn the language efficiently and correctly, then they should learn the meaning of each word in a phrase. Knowing phrases in Spanish is little help in the long run, because when someone speaks a phrase that you do not understand then you can no longer speak with them. However, if you can identify each word by its definition, then you can talk to that person without interruption. If you are looking for a good program for teaching your child Spanish the more correct way, you should consider picking up Practice Makes Perfect Spanish. It is another fine product from The Learning Company. Travel Talk Spanish is a great program for people that are planning a trip to a Spanish speaking country. With this program you will learn vocabulary and phrases that will be useful to you during your travels. This is a great program to use. It never gets repetitive or boring because of the many different scenarios that you can experience. If you or someone you know is planning a trip to a Spanish speaking country, pick up a copy of Travel Talk Spanish today. It's simpatico por negocios gente usar para hablar en espanol. Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker Windows 95 CD-ROM around $40 ages 8 and up Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 95 or NT 3.51 CPU: 486/50mhz HD Space: 12 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 16-bit sound card Optional: microphone review by Frank Sereno (email@example.com) Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker from Microsoft is one of the coolest creativity programs available for children. It combines many beloved cartoon characters from "Nick" with eye-popping graphics and powerful animation tools. With this potent program, your children will have no limits as they create their own amazing cartoons. Stick Stickly is the amiable and helpful host for the program. Your children know and love him from his day job as the host for Nickelodeon's afternoon programming. He'll explain the steps needed to produce original animated shorts. Stick is available to assist your budding director whenever he needs help using the numerous tools and gadgets included with the program. The program includes some of your child's favorite characters including Ren and Stimpy, Rocko, Heffer and Real Monsters. Each has a wide array of facial expressions and action modes. The characters are in 3D so you can view them from any angle. Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker also includes many recorded dialogs using the voices from the animated series. If these aren't enough to satisfy your child's script, he can create original recordings provided he has a microphone and sound card. To further spur your child's creativity, the program includes some pre- recorded movies. These short movies can provide many ideas that your child can include in his own projects. He can also use the Choosometer to gain inspiration. It works like a slot machine for ideas. Pull a handle to change scenes, characters or music. If an interesting scene comes up on the screen, you can click on an icon to immediately begin work with that setting. Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker can be a bit daunting at first. The program has many tools and the learning curve can be steep. Just remember that any time your child needs assistance, Stick is only a mouse click away. In a matter of only a few hours, your child can be creating original animations starring some world-famous characters. Even adults will be fascinated by this powerful and engaging program. It's backed by Microsoft's 30-day moneyback guarantee and it has a very reasonable price. If you are looking for a fun and powerful program to encourage your child to be more creative, Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker is your ticket to stardom. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. 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Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" This week has flown by quickly; I feel like I've missed a few days somewhere along the way! I could excuse such a feeling if it occurred the past few weeks. After all, I was "consumed" with the challenge of working on some web pages and getting the bugs worked out. Now, it's some occasional "maintenance" and the addition of newly-found sites. I guess time just flies by these days! Speaking of adding new sites, I want to thank all of the people that have sent me sites to add up to now - the response has been terrific. Most of the response has been garnered from my posts on the Usenet, but a few also came about from the readership here. Keep them coming; I hope to have a comprehensive list of web sites available. Don't worry about sending me ones that I might have already (in case you haven't been to my pages), or the ones that you feel I should already likely have. It's usually the "obvious" ones that are missed along the way. I'd like to especially add those sites that belong to dealers and developers. I feel it's important to provide such information to keep the Atari userbase as informed as possible, at the source. Also, user groups and BBSs, even if they don't have a web site. An e-mail address or a BBS phone number will suffice. We need to keep supporting those who help to keep supporting us. I saw a posting on Delphi this week regarding CAB. Apparently, and this hasn't been verified yet, CAB will become a commercial product. Here's the post, courtesy of Greg Evans: "Someone in the Afterburner 040 email list mentioned that Applications Systems Heidelberg has bought CAB and will be releasing it as a commercial product. That's all he wrote, but I'll try to track down some more information." Interesting news, if true. With the coming of Termite from Oregon Research, and possible others, CAB has a good head start and a good following. It should do well if the reported enhancements and fixes make it to the next release. We'll keep you posted as we learn more. No articles for you this week, just my ramblings. We're waiting for Michael Burkley's next "Unabashed Atariophile" column as well as some other projects in the making. So, stay tuned! Until next time... Gaming Section "Iron Soldier II" To Ship! "Spider"! Reviews, and more... >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Well, the word on the streets is that the Jaguar's 'Iron Soldier II' will be going on sale March 7. The game was scheduled for February, but I guess a week or two delay at this point can't be much of a problem. 'World Tour Racing' is slated for March; we'll see if it arrives on time. As mentioned in a past issue, we've finally received the recent releases from Telegames. Both of these games are now in reviewers' hands and we hope to have these reviews soon. I'm waiting to hear about IS2, also. There's not much happening on the gaming front, typical for this time of year. We'll keep our eyes and ears alert, however. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! BMG Interactive and Boss Game Studios Unveil Spider SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 25) BUSINESS WIRE -Feb. 25, 1997--BMG Interactive, one of the world's most sought-after publishers of entertainment software, and Boss Game Studios, the game development arm of Academy Award-winning Boss Film Studios, today unveiled Spider, a visually-compelling, 3-D action title for the Sony PlayStation. Available now from BMG Interactive, Spider demonstrates Boss Game Studios' mastery of creative game development that leverages the same advanced tools and technology used to create spectacular special effects in major motion pictures such as Species, True Lies, Multiplicity, and Cliffhanger, to name a few. Understanding that it takes much more than striking imagery to create a great game, Boss has combined visual depth and complexity with incredibly fun game play action that is both engaging and easy to grasp. Summing up Boss Game Studios approach to game development, Colin Gordon, the company's vice president of product development states, "cool graphics, features and a great story are important extras, but the bottom line is game play -- and our mission is to create titles that are challenging, highly re-playable, and really, really fun." In Spider, players are enslaved inside the body of a cybernetic tarantula and travel through six 3-D, real-world environments. Relentlessly searching for the kidnappers of their original human body, they will indulge in over 30 levels of rich and challenging action -- climbing walls and underneath objects to battle deadly cybernetic beasts, including phase bats, mecha wasps, giant rats, and other artificial life experiments. Loaded with an arsenal of cybernetic weaponry, Spider provides the player with nearly 15 power-ups such as lethal flame throwers, devastating boomerangs and homing missiles, which can be used during travel through sewer pipes, down wells, across city streets, in the museum, and in factories and labs. The Spider can also use its head, abdomen and legs as defense mechanisms against a multitude of deadly enemies. Technical and Creative Edge With Spider, Boss Game Studios' development acumen shines through with the use of advanced 3-D computer animation, proprietary motion capture technology and in the creation of extraordinary characters. Every detail contributes to the visually commanding, life-like look and feel of the game, from the fully-textured images and sharper-edge characters, to the richly-animated backgrounds and seamless integration of motion in a virtual environment. The game's use of a "floating camera" further engages players as it continuously tracks motion to ensure that the player stays at the center of the action. An Accomplished Team of Experts Although Boss Game Studios is a young start-up operation, the creative and development team behind Spider boasts over 100 game credits to date, including Disney's Lion King, Fever Pitch and Dune II. The game's compelling soundtrack was also developed by an industry veteran, Barry Leitch, Boss Game Studios' music director, who has composed music for over 80 titles across all platforms. The entire group, from the designers, animators to technical specialists, comprise a development dream team. Spider, a first release for both Boss and BMG Interactive, will illustrate their talents. Operating under the studio model, BMG Interactive continues to attract and foster the abilities of some of the industry's most innovative game developers worldwide, providing the ideal environment where they can produce great games. In addition to Boss Game Studios, BMG Interactive's current roster of independent game developers includes BLAM!, Delphine Softwae International, DMA Design Ltd., EAI, Interactive Studios, NMS Software, New Level Software, Pixel Multimedia, Z-AXIS, and Zombie. Boss Game Studios is the sister company of Academy Award-winning Boss Film Studios, recognized for its remarkable contributions to special effects in motion pictures. Leveraging its technical and creative acumen, the company will produce break-through video games for leading, next generation platforms. Boss Game Studios is based in Redmond, Washington. Video games come of age - UPI Computer Comment LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The year is 2073 and the World Federation has gone to war against the might of the Drakken, a conglomeration of the world's biggest businesses. You have to wonder, at this point, if Sony Entertainment might just be one of those mega-conglomerates. Sony Computer Entertainment America is the place where the Drakken come from. They're the bad guys in the company's new CD for the PlayStation game system, Carnage Heart. This new battle simulation/strategy game is part of a new breed of video game, designed for present-day technology game systems, that require a lot of skill and savvy to win. This is not a kid game. The packaging says the skill level is intermediate to difficult and Sony says it is targeting this particular CD at males ages 17-28. Older games shared a very similar interface for almost all titles, but the improved technology in machines like the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 allows software engineers and programmers a lot more room to experiment. Carnage Heart requires users to pick options from a menu and battle robotic combatants who possess simulated skills rivaling those of a human. Sony expects this title to sell for between $40 and $60, which is a bit more than previous generation video games. The PlayStation is also the platform of choice for Spider, another of the new-generation action adventure games. As a player, you find yourself imprisoned in the body of a cybernetic tarantula, required to navigate six worlds in search of your old body. Along the way, you do battle with phase bats, mecha wasps and giant rats. Working in your favor are your access to such non-spiderly devices as flame throwers and homing missiles. A lot of effort in this particular title went into designing the artificial environments and a "floating camera" to provide perspective to users as they play along. Three dimensional environments are also featured in the new version of 3-D Kart Racing from Nintendo, which plays on the immensely popular Nintendo 64 game system. Unlike a lot of other games being introduced this spring by the big game makers, this one isn't a lot different from earlier games. And there's a good reason for this. 3-D Kart Racing already exists for the Super Nintendo game system, and a lot of people like it. They're also likely to appreciate the game on the new platform. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors (jeez, I've just got to find an new opening line... any suggestions?). Another week has come and gone, and it's time to check out what's happening on CompuServe. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about this program for copying your ST's TOS to a file that others can use to 'upgrade' their machine. In my view, it's piracy unless you are the owner of the machine that the "image" was taken from. TOS is a copyrighted product. The fact that the old copyright holder no longer exists is irrelevant, as is the fact that the new copyright holder doesn't seem interested in making the product available. When you bought an ST, Mega, Falcon, or TT, you also purchased the rights to use the TOS included in the product. It's not the chips that contain the code that is important, it is the code itself... and that's still owned by the copyright holder. The 'product' is the code itself. The chips are simply a convenient medium. You OWN the chips because you bought them with the computer, you can only LICENSE the code. I don't have a problem with someone who has an old ST that's been in the closet for a year who 'clones' TOS from it to run on his or her GEMulator. If you still own the Atari, in my view, you still have the right to use the TOS. MY problem is with the folks who use circular reasoning to support their collecting and trading TOS versions with others. One intellectual giant put out a public call for someone to send him a copy of their TOS for him to use with his GEMulator because he no longer had an ST that he could take the TOS image from and, even if he did, his ST had an older version of TOS and he was looking for 2.06. When someone pointed out that the rights to TOS were still owned by someone, he got quite indignant and said that he surely wasn't going to pay for TOS since it was such trash. The thought that sprang to my mind was, "if it's such Trash. do without it". Now I have, in the past, supplied other writers here at STReport with one TOS version or another for testing programs and comparing versions. To be honest, this too is piracy, but the the image was used for testing software for review and not for profit or as a means of getting around something. The people I have supplied these images to do not have PCs, and therefore will not be using the TOS for an emulator. And since it is both easier and more compatible to run the version of TOS on the ROM chips of your own machine, I know the TOS images won't be used for long or for a purpose other than just testing. But as I said, this is still piracy. That makes me _almost_ the same as our rocket scientist friend with the attitude. The difference is that _I_ understand the concept of someone besides myself owning the rights to something. In a perfect world JTS would release TOS to the public so that we could all enjoy and benefit from it. But this is not a perfect world and the fact that you CAN do something does not mean that you have the right to do it. Okay, I'll step down off of my soap box now. <grin> Let's take a look at "The CIS Files"... >From the Atari Computing Forums In response to a question about booting MagiC from GEMulator Rob Rasmussen posts: "I asked similar questions as your friend did recently about Gemulator, and got a reply from Derek M who wrote the program. He told me- "Boot up MagiC from floppy, create a C: drive icon on the GEM desktop, open in, and then copy MagiC's GEMSYS folder to that C: drive. Then reboot and it'll boot up from the virtual C: drive." I had problems trying to create a C drive with MagiC, and thats why I'm anxious to talk to any others who use Gemulator/MagiC... Does anyone know if I can have Speedo installed on my PC so I can print documents from AtariWorks under Gemulator? I don't know whether to try installing Speedo from the installation disk or copy the files from my Atari to the PC, and I'm kinda afraid of it crashing my PC. Also if anyone else is using Gemulator I would love to discuss how to do certain things - like how to have access to the hard drive instead of only floppy disks." Steve Wilson posts: " that it could well come in handy transporting stuff between my old ST and the PC. I tried searching the library here for a driver/installation program, but to no avail. Can anyone help??" Albert Dayes tells Steve: "ICD has a driver for the ZIP drive. I am not sure of what the cost for it is unfortunately. ICD or another forum member will probably post more info." Steve tells Albert: "Thanks for the info... How are things in the Atari camp, by the way? I originally bought my ST (in 88) for midi, and was using it for all sorts up until a year ago when I finally succumbed to PC fever :) I read that ST / Falcon technology had been sold to a German co called CLab, but then I lost touch. Are CLab actively investing? Is the Atari story on-going, or are we talking epilogue here?" Ben at TOC OZ tells Steve: "C-Lab Falcons are alive, and well. Check out the Frankfurt music show. New peripherals are coming out, and prices are gradually comming down." Albert adds: "C-lab Falcons are still being made and there are some other clones as well. I believe one of the previous issues of ST Report had more extensive specifics on one of the new Falcon clones." Dennis Larson tells Steve: "I also bought my Atari (in about '87?) for use with midi and have been happy for the most part. I presently use Notator LOGIC for most of my work. Due to compatibility problems with work and telecommunications I'm considering switching platforms <ugh!>. How has the pc platform worked out for you with MIDI applications? I'm particularly interested in notation software (FINALE, etc.) but have heard about midi timing problems, card compatibility, etc. What can you tell me about it?" Back to the original topic, James Spielman asks Steve: "Is your Zip parallel or SCSI? ICD does indeed make both an adapter and utility s/w (it supports the ZIP) that allows a SCSI connection through the DMA port on the ST. As for a parallel ZIP, I'm not sure if the ST's parallel port coudl be used this way. It _should_, but I don't know if any s/w is available that would support the parallel connection for disks." Gary Parkington asked last week about his keyboard, which tends to "sizzle" when he turns the computer on. Our pal Simon Churchill gave him some pointers about troubleshooting the problem. Gary now tells Simon: "I am quite capable of taking the thing apart and have done a few times. My problem is I am not an engineer but like messing - sometimes this can be a mistake! What is the 'power rail'? The noise could be coming from the board beneath the keyboard but if you imagine me sitting typing away at the moment I can hear the noise to my left and in the region of the letter 'D' This may not be where it is but I have already replaced one keyboard when the letters M,N,<,>,? & the SPACE bar stopped working. This may also be unrelated to the noise... I've taken the computer to pieces but not applied power as yet. There are a few capacitors in the general area of the noise, one is marked C216 or it could be the larger one to the right. As I explained I am not an engineer so need advice on purchasing a replacement. What do the markings mean on the capacitor and would a replacement look exactly the same or not if it had the same values? The power supply doesn't get any warmer than I would expect but this is my ST and I've only had it a few months." Sysop Bob Retelle jumps in and tells Gary: "Simon will probably get back to you about the capacitors, but just in case you want to take a look this weekend, there are two values you need to get from the old capacitor (if that indeed turns out to be the problem). One is the "capacitance" of the part, and the other is the voltage. Neither is absolutely critical that you match them exactly, a general rule is that you can replace a capacitor (in this type of application, where the capacitor is being used to filter the power supply) with one of slightly higher value with no problem. The only thing you would have to be careful of is to find one of similar physical size so the new part will fit between the motherboard and the keyboard. The capacitance will be (hopefully!) clearly marked as something like 100uf (where uf means microfarads, the unit of capacitance measurement). The voltage should be also clearly marked as something like 25vdc. Again, you could use (in this example) a 150uf, 50vdc replacement, as long as it fits in the same space. Radio Shack should probably have suitable capacitors, and since they're all "blister packaged", you can check out their physical size easily. This kind of capacitor uses a liquid as part of its "dilectric", or insulator, and with age and heat this liquid can begin to leak and may cause the kind of "sizzle" sound you've been hearing. Usually (although not always) there'll be some sign of leakage (or actual bubbling if the power is on) around the base of the capacitor. You can safely operate your ST with the covers off, to try to localize the sound, as long as you stay away from the area of the built-iin power supply. Some parts ot the power supply (notably the heat sinks) may be electrically "live" with high voltages that may be harmful. Oh.. the "power rails" that Simon mentioned are the +5 volt and ground power buses... Simon's from England, and probably thinks we talk kind of funny here in the US..." Kevin Sheridan takes the opportunity to ask Bob a question: "As long as you're on the subject of keyboards... My control key stopped working about 8 months ago. I've had the keyboard completely apart but couldn't see any obvious problems with it. Any ideas what I sould be looking for?" Bob tells Kevin: "The ST keyboards are usually pretty reliable, but a key that gets a lot of use, like the Control key, can some times be a problem... Did you try to clean the place under the actual key where the key makes contact? Unfortunately there's really not much that can be done for a single intermittant or non-working key, other than making sure there's no foreign substances under the key..." Well folks, that's about it for this episode. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Spring is Coming.. STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through the Internet and OVER 250,000 BBS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE 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. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 28, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1309
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