ST Report: 11-Apr-97 #1315From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 11-Apr-97 #1315 Date: Tue Apr 22 16:42:21 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) April 11, 1997 No.1315 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 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 Have you tried Microsoft's Internet Explorer yet? Microsoft's Internet Explorer is STReport's Web Browser. 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 04/11/97 STR 1315 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - HR 400 Inventor Terror! - Oakland Hills Here! - Who's ClubWin? - Compaq Buys Microcom - Newton sees Sunlight - Visa's "InfoMoney" - MS buys WebTV - New Color PC V-Cam - Calamus Re-Birth - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Motorola Ships 300 MHz CPU Apple Ships Mac OS 7.6.1 AOL Offers MORE Refunds 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 Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, 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 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 04/05/97: 3 of 6 numbers, 1 three number match >From the Editor's Desk... Its been a hectic week, the new stuff coming down the pike is amazing. There's an article in this week's issue that spotlights an old familiar name that was the mainstay, if not one of the very best programs, on a now dead platform. The resurrection or, should I more appropriately say, the migration and complete re-write from the paper on up to the final code has produced what promises to be a real show stopper. This program had all the bells and whistles in the world of DTP before it was chic to do so. Its name you say? Well, that's easy! One word sums it up for many of our readers CALAMUS. Yes folks its back and I might add back with a vengeance. This puppy is soon to be blazing new trails for even the old favorites to learn from. Read about its plans both for now and the future right here in STReport. For this old friend, I see nothing but the brightest futures. ClubWin, a volunteer arm of Microsoft Corp., has been revamped and is now wearing a brand new suit. One that will offer the very finest on support for both Win95 etc., and NT users around the world. Known for its excellent support of Win95 users in the past, ClubWin is now ready to tackle its calling with great enthusiasm. ClubWin folks are found most anywhere online and in particular at www.clubwin.com and news.clubwin.com. No finer support can be found anywhere. Need help? Try them you will not be disappointed. 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/FTP Site, 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. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - 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 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 AOL Offers More Refunds Still working to appease customers unable to get onto clogged networks, America Online Inc. is offering more refunds as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit. Business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press says AOL has agreed to expand its refund offer to cover customers who had trouble logging on in February and March. "The agreement, tentatively approved by a court in Chicago, gives subscribers up to $10 back to compensate for problems dialing into the online service these past two months," AP adds. "That is on top of the up to $40 they can get back under an earlier nationwide settlement of access troubles in December and January. Like that deal -- reached with 36 states in January -- the expanded agreement applies to all of AOL's roughly 7.5 million U.S. members." AOL chief counsel George Vradenburg told the wire service the company reached the settlement to put the issue behind it, describing the deal as providing "further relief and value to our members." While the new agreement doubles the refund period from the previous deal, it reduces the compensation. The expanded deal gives customers who couldn't log on for more than 8 hours in either February and March a refund of about $10, or about half of one month's fee. "Subscribers who got online anywhere from 8 to 15 hours during either month will get back about $5," writes Kalish. "Subscribers who were online for more than 15 hours but who experienced access problems can get a free month of AOL service. The earlier deal gave people with trouble logging on in December and January refunds of up to two months' online fees." AP notes dozens of class-action lawsuits against AOL still remain unresolved, but yesterday's deal "is expected to be accepted by those plaintiffs as well." Consumers have until June 30 to apply for the refunds in writing to the plaintiffs' attorneys, but need to wait for the judge to give final approval before submitting requests. In the meantime, lawyers say members can write for information about the refunds. Social Security Site Questioned A published newspaper report says the Social Security Administration's site on the Internet's World Wide Web is inviting snooping into the financial status of millions of Americans. The Social Security Administration site (http://www.ssa.gov) last month added a feature intended to make easier for taxpayers to look up their records, but USA Today reports this morning the site also allows easy snooping. Chairman Evan Hendricks the U.S. Privacy Council in Washington told the paper, "As soon as crooks start exploiting this service to get other people's information, Social Security is going to have a real problem on its hands." However, John Sabo, head of electronic services in the Social Security Administration, told the paper the dangers are minimal, adding, "We have confidence that in the huge majority of cases, the people requesting these things are the right people." The agency added the new system can save millions of dollars that it costs to mail financial reports to taxpayers who request the information about themselves. However, manager Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego, Calif., said it is easy to abuse the system by obtaining the Social Security numbers of others and using them to gain on-line access to the records. USA Today said various types of abuse are possible, including: z Potential employers could get the salary history of job applicants. z Co-workers could determine how much fellow employees make. z Landlords could use the information to determine whether someone can afford an apartment. Social Security Site Pulls Plug The plug has been pulled on a Social Security Administration Internet site that provided individual earnings and retirement benefit records. Associated Press writer Alice Ann Love reports the SSA has decided to begin asking Americans whether such information should be available online and, if so, how much. As reported earlier, the site (http://www.ssa.gov) last month added a feature intended to make it easier for taxpayers to look up their records, but news developed this week that it also enabled easy snooping, prompting calls by members of Congress that the site be shut down. John J. Callahan, acting commissioner of Social Security who said he personally will be involved in the effort, told AP, "For the next 60 days we will be conducting public forums in Washington and across the country on the issue." The suspended online service had allowed people to retrieve their personal Social Security records because it raised privacy concerns. Callahan called the Internet "a new world," adding, "We want to make sure we can provide the highest level of security for our beneficiaries and our workers." He said the agency will consider whether new safeguards are needed for the Internet service, including possibly giving people personal access codes or allowing them to request that their individual records not be placed in the database. Love says the Social Security Administration's entire Internet site will be inaccessible for two or three days while the database is being disabled, but general information and documents about the nation's retirement program will be back online soon. "Then taxpayers will be able to request information about their personal records through electronic mail to the agency," she writes, "but reports will be sent through regular mail rather than via the Internet." Callahan said requests from lawmakers, questions raised by computer experts, and telephone calls from the public persuaded him to pull the fully automated version of the service. Cracks Seen in Net Security Code Some are saying the new security protocol for safeguarding credit-card transactions on the Internet may have to be changed because the underlying cryptography is both too easy to decode and too difficult to upgrade. MasterCard International vice president in charge of electronic commerce and new ventures, is quoted by the Reuter News Service as saying it could take vandals as little as a year to break the industry's standard encryption code, which is supposed to render credit-card numbers unreadable to outsiders on the Internet's World Wide Web. "For that reason," adds Reuters, "the consortium of technology companies and creditors that has spent two years developing the Secure Electronic Transaction protocol may switch to a faster encryption system called Elliptic Curve, which is produced by Certicom Corp." Reuters says the first complete version of SET, known as SET 1.0, will be available to software makers June 1 with core cryptography provided by RSA Data Security, a unit of Security Dynamics Technologies Inc. Micro Warehouse Confirms Probe Computer catalog sales company Micro Warehouse Inc. says an informal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding company-reported accounting errors recently became a formal investigation. Micro Warehouse officials haven't commented, but the Dow Jones news service reports the announcement was included in a Form 10-K the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last September, Micro Warehouse reported discovering errors in its accounting principles, primarily impacting accrued inventory liabilities and trade payables since 1992. In February, the company filed restated financial statements with the SEC for the 1992 through 1995 fiscal years, reflecting an aggregate after-tax charge of $24.9 million, the news service notes. Apple and IBM Feud Over Fees The alliance between Apple Computer Inc. and IBM Corp., formed in 1991 to challenge Intel and Microsoft, may be unraveling. The New York Times reports that Apple and IBM executives will hold a video conference today to iron out differences following Apple's decision to boost licensing fees for its Macintosh operating software from $50 to $500. Apple's decision is apparently aimed at slowing the erosion of Macintosh sales to current and potential clone makers, including IBM. In 1991, Apple joined with IBM and Motorola Inc. in an alliance to produce computers based on Power PC chips made by Motorola and IBM. Power PC chips lie at the heart of current Macintosh and Macintosh clone systems. The Times says the current market for Power PC chip market now exceeds over $800 million per year. NEC Developing New Web Language A description language called SGML -- or Standard Generic Mark-up Language -- that enables users to automatically scroll World Wide Web pages has been developed by Japan's NEC Corp. Reporting from Tokyo, the Dow Jones news service quotes NEC officials as saying that instead of clicking on an icon to move from page to page, the program allows users to proceed uninterrupted on a given Web site. "Information is presented automatically without the need to search for and download information, scroll through pages or operate a mouse," the wire service adds. NEC expects SGML to attract advertisers since ads inserted to the program cannot be skipped, adding it will provide the service for free until the end of September. NEC said the price of the program starting in October hasn't been determined and no revenue targets have been set. Claris Ships Enhanced EMailer Claris Corp. has begun shipping Claris Emailer 2.0, an enhanced version of its e-mail manager for Mac OS-based computers. The Santa Clara, California-based software publisher notes that Claris Emailer 2.0 provides enhanced information management. It also offers powerful filters -- called Mail Actions -- for automatic message handling, including filing, forwarding and replying. Other features of the $49 program include integrated spell-checking; online help; an Easy Setup Wizard; a multiple signatures feature; an e-mail address book; drag-and-drop functionality and a single database in which to store all e-mail. The product is compatible with leading Internet service providers and online services, says Claris. A Windows version of Claris Emailer for Windows is set to ship later this year. Apple Ships Mac OS 7.6.1 Update Apple Computer Inc. began shipping Mac OS 7.6.1 Update, enhancements to the system software designed to improve the overall reliability of the Mac OS. Reporting from Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters, the Dow Jones news service quotes the company as saying the updated system brings the benefits of Mac OS 7.6 to the most recently introduced Mac OS compatible systems. The wire service notes Mac OS 7.6.1 Update was created to improve stability through reliability improvements and to bring Mac OS 7.6 support to recently introduced computers not currently supported by Mac OS 7.6. Compaq Unveils New Notebook A new line of business notebook computers priced as low as $1,999 is being unveiled by Compaq Computer Corp. Reporting from Compaq's Houston headquarters, the Reuter News Service says the Armada 1500 series is meant to be a value-prices line, equipped 120 MHz or 133 MHz Pentium processors, hard drive, diskette drive, CD-ROM drive and 33.6 kilobytes-per-second modem. Compaq says it also has began U.S. promotional price reductions between eight up to 35 percent on select models of its Armada 4100 and Armada 1100 family. Look for the company to introduce an Armada 1500 notebook early in the third quarter which includes Intel Corp.'s MMX processor. The computer maker also has announced it will extend its promotional pricing offer of $199 on its Mobile CD Unit for customers who purchase an Armada 4100 notebook through June 30. Compaq to Buy Microcom Compaq Computer Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Microcom Inc., a maker of remote access server technologies and solutions, for approximately $280 million. A subsidiary of the Houston-based PC maker will launch a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Microcom for $16.25 per share in cash. Microcom's board of directors and management team have approved the acquisition and will recommend shareholder acceptance, says Compaq. "Development of the strategically important and rapidly growing remote access market is a top priority in Compaq's move to expand its communication products business," says Alan Lutz, general manager of Compaq's communication products group. "Combining Microcom's superb modem and access technologies with Compaq's renowned experience in NT platforms allows us to drive remote access price/performance advancements, just as we have done in the NT server market." A remote access server provides the link between a local area network (LAN) and the many remote PC users who need to connect to the LAN by modem. The server usually has numerous telephone line ports plus a connection to the LAN. It requires special hardware and software to make the remote connections both fast and secure. Panasonic Debuts PC Video Camera Panasonic has introduced EggCam, a PC-based camera designed for video e-mail and videoconferencing applications. Panasonic notes that the egg-shaped camera is capable of producing high-resolution video images in 24-bit color. "EggCam is a complete video e-mail solution that's going to change the way PC users communicate," says John Gawa, manager of Panasonic's multimedia systems division in Secaucus, New Jersey. "With EggCam, people can send personal video messages to anyone with access to e-mail. And, because the recipient doesn't need any special hardware or software for playback, we expect it will be a big hit with both business and home users." Designed to sit on top of a PC monitor with a tilt-and-swivel base, the 3.2- by 1.6- by 1.8-inch unit produces images with a 542- by 496-dot video resolution and 330 TV lines of horizontal resolution. EggCam also has a built-in omnidirectional microphone that simultaneously captures audio. An adjustable-focus lens captures subjects from 3.9- inches to infinity. For correct exposure under varying lighting conditions, the camera features an automatic gain control. The $129 EggCam base version includes CU-SeeMe, VideoLink Mail and VideoLink 324 conferencing software, plus a cable that links the camera to any PC or Macintosh equipped with a standard video-capture board. A $199 high-end model is bundled with the base unit's software, plus a PC-compatible miroVidCon PCI video-capture board. Gates Woos Win95 Programmers Outlining his company's product strategy for the next several years, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is trying to woo programmers to write more software for the Windows software standard. Speaking in San Francisco this week at the Software Development conference, Gates said writing software for Win95 will remain lucrative because Windows will be on all types of computers, from handheld PCs to dumb terminals to powerful servers for giant corporate computer networks. Covering the remarks to several thousand programmers, the Reuter News Service quotes Gates as saying Microsoft plans to offer the most powerful and easy-to-use development tools, the type of computer programs that let programmers write other software. Reuters comments, "Part of Microsoft's success has come from the company's efforts to convince commercial programmers to make products that work with Windows. The Windows-based PC has a far bigger library of software available than rival computers from Apple Computer Inc. or Sun Microsystems Inc." Said Gates, "We're focused on developer success. That's how the industry's done well and that's how Microsoft's done well." He added Microsoft: z In the next few months will release versions of Windows to run non-traditional types of computers, including video game machines, bare-bone terminals for data entry and DVD players. z Will embrace Java programming language while trying to help the industry approve it. Microsoft Buys Web TV for $425M For $425 million, Microsoft Corp. is acquiring WebTV Networks, a company that sells systems that allow people to surf the Internet over their TVs. Reporting from the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas where the announcement was made last night by Microsoft Vice President Craig Mundie, Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa quotes WebTV founder Steve Perlman as saying the two companies clicked and thought: "Let's get married." Added Mundie, "Through their efforts .... we hope to dramatically accelerate the merger of the Internet and television." Aversa notes Microsoft's announcement comes as the computer industry and existing TV set makers race to define what the next generation of digital TV sets will look like. "The prize: $150 billion in spending needed to replace the existing 220 million analog TV sets in the United States," AP reports. "The computer industry's vision is essentially a large-screen computer in living rooms that people use not only to get a crystal clear TV picture, but to surf the Internet and send e-mail. TV set makers have a different vision: a wide-screen TV with superior picture and sound quality, but little, if any computer capability." AP notes that for the computer industry's vision to work, TV broadcasters would have to transmit programs in a different format than they now use to display pictures on TV sets and "despite pressure from the computer industry, TV broadcasters haven't showed any signs of doing so." In making the WebTV announcement, Mundie was conciliatory, adding, "It isn't really a war to decide whether everyone should watch television on their PCs exclusively or whether they should see television on TV to the exclusion of personal computers. It's really about a parallel set of evolutions to produce better PCs and better TVs." As reported, the FCC last week cleared the way for broadcasters to begin offering cinema-quality digital television to the American public. Says Aversa, "Importantly, the action means that after 2006 the existing analog system of broadcasting dies. That means people will either have to go out and buy new pricy digital TV sets or converters for existing analog sets to work." Apple May Sell Newton to Sun Word is Apple Computer Inc. is talking about possibly selling the Newton operating system used in its hand-held MessagePad computer and its eMate portable computer for children to Sun Microsystems. USA Today this morning reported Sun could be a tough sell and no deal was imminent, adding talks appeared centered on Newton and Sun's programming language Java. The paper says the unit yet has to make money. Hitachi, Toshiba Form Partnership Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., two of Japan's leading electronics manufacturers, say they have agreed to cooperate in the field of next-generation high-speed networking products for the Internet and intranets. Hitachi and Toshiba say they will work together to deliver leading-edge products for the world computer network market. The two companies will also cooperate to establish themselves as market leaders in the fast-expanding networking business. As a first step, Hitachi and Toshiba will provide each other with products and technologies, drawing on their respective strengths -- Toshiba's routers and Hitachi's switches -- that each will integrate into the systems they supply to the world market. In the future, the companies intend to expand cooperation in the area of high-speed networking products. "By working with Toshiba, Hitachi expects to provide a highly competitive set of networking products to this fast- expanding market," says Masao Kato, general manager of Hitachi's office systems division. "The phenomenal increase in communications over the Internet and the growing use of intranets as a corporate tool have created demand for a new communications infrastructure -- one supporting high-speed transmission and real-time processing of vast volumes of information." Kaoru Kubo, general manager of Toshiba's computer & network product division, adds, "This partnership is important for Toshiba's network business, and we are sure that our partnership will make key contributions to the technology for next-generation high-speed networks. We believe our router technology, combined with Hitachi's advanced switch technology, will bring a highly competitive solution to the market." Motorola Ships 300 MHz Processor Motorola Inc. is shipping what it says is the industry's first 300 MHz volume desktop and portable microprocessor. A statement from the company's Austin, Texas, facilities credits its own "aggressive manufacturing process technology" in producing "this high-speed milestone with its PowerPC 603e microprocessor family." Meanwhile, Apple Computer Inc. says it is shipping its newest family of mainstream computers, the Power Macintosh 6500 series, based on these new Motorola PowerPC 603e microprocessors running at speeds from 225- to 300 MHz. PowerPC 603e microprocessors at 300-, 275- and 250 MHz are manufactured using an advanced process technology at Motorola's MOS 13 semiconductor wafer fabrication facility, which takes advantage of its sophisticated wafer fabrication technology, developed by the Advanced Products Research and Development Laboratory. "The high performance and low power consumption of the entire 603e family enables manufacturers to build systems ranging from subnotebooks and laptops to high-performance notebooks and desktop systems," Motorola's statement says. Apple Unveils Fastest Computers Apple Computer Inc. has unveiled the fastest personal computer available, the latest Power Macintosh, priced at $2,000 to $3,000 without monitors. Five different models come with software packages for home users, small businesses and schools. As reported, the systems are built around Motorola Inc.'s latest PowerPC chip, meaning the new Macs run at speeds of up to 300 megahertz, compared with the fastest IBM-compatible PCs that run 200 MHz Intel Pentium processors. "This gives Apple some pizazz in a very tangible way," analyst Eric Lewis of International Data Corp. told business writer Catalina Ortiz. "It's the best consumer Macintosh Apple ever had." Apple showed off the new Power Macintosh 6500 series computers at a multimedia technology fair at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The new machines 225- and 250-MHz models are available now; ones with 275- and 300-MHz chips will be available in limited quantities later this spring. Apple also announced faster versions of Power Macintosh computers that run Microsoft's Windows 95 operating software as well as its own Macintosh OS. The new 7300 series machines -- with Windows-compatible processors from Intel and Cyrix as well as Mac-compatible ones from Motorola -- are priced at $2,400 and $3,200. Ortiz says the Power Macs 6500 series replaces Apple's slow-selling consumer-oriented Performa line. Weak demand for Performas and the subsequent need to slash prices were blamed for much of Apple's $120 million loss in the October-December quarter. Survey: Web Surfers Active Readers People aren't just "surfing" the Web, they're sinking their teeth into real news and information, according to a recent survey by The NPD Group Inc. Sixty percent of Web surfers frequently read newspapers and/or magazines online, finds the market researcher's survey, with newspapers the most popular type of publication on the Internet. Nearly 40 percent of those polled said they frequently read a newspaper online. Yet despite impressive numbers of readers in cyberspace, the survey also finds that online readers still rely heavily on print. Ninety-nine percent of those who said they frequently read online publications often read print magazines or newspapers as well. It isn't surprising that so many Web-capable consumers are looking to the Net for their news and information," says Pamela Smith, president of NPD's online research unit. "Our survey showed that while online publications are considered harder to read, respondents felt that they surpass print in their ability to provide current information that is easy to find." Pulitzer Eyes Online Journalism A committee has been appointed by the Pulitzer Prize Board to study the possibility of starting a category for online journalism. The Associated Press notes two submissions in the public service category this year were disqualified because they did not conform to the requirements for print journalism. One was by The New York Times for a CD-ROM and portfolio of its presentation on the Internet of "Uncertain Paths to Peace," about Bosnia. The other was from the Sun Herald of Charlotte Harbor, Florida, for its online presentation of "Our Town: Charlotte." MTV Teams With Intel Corp. Beginning this weekend, Music Television (MTV) plans to begin offering a new interactive broadcast feature for music fans called Intercast Jam. According to the Reuter News Service, the feature, launching this Friday, will allow viewers of the MTV cable channel and its M2 sister network to watch broadcast music videos on their PCs. "At the same time," says Reuters, "the Intel technology enables viewers to read news, biographical information and tour and album data, among other things, about the artist featured in the video being broadcast." The wire service says MTV will offer the Intel feature two hours a day during its music video programs, while M2 will begin round-the-clock Intercast programming, adding, "The MTV-Intel link is part of an earlier deal between the two companies, which includes on-air and online advertising." Reaction Mixed to New Net Names The Internet Society and a host of other groups have adopted a plan to create more online addresses on the Internet, but while some major Internet companies immediately endorsed the plan, online services providers were cool in their reception. Writer Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News Service says the plan provides seven new top-level domains, the last three letters at the end of every electronic mail or Web site address, adding, "New domain names such as 'firm,' 'arts,' and 'web' will be added to existing top-level domains such as 'com,' 'net,' and 'org' starting in the third quarter of 1997." The plan, first unveiled in February, has been praised by computer maker Digital Equipment Corp., telecommunications company MCI Communications Corp. and UUNET Technologies Inc., a unit of Worldcom Inc. However, both America Online and AT&T, the largest "pure Internet" service providers, were unenthusiastic. AOL law director William Burrington told the wire service, "We are still studying the proposal," adding he thought "it still needs some more work." The company hopes to craft a better plan "that is more saleable." At AT&T, spokesman Mike Miller said only, "We are still looking at these domain names. We are studying them." Pressman notes the plan also has been endorsed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the central coordinator of Internet addresses and other standards operating under a charter from the society and the Federal Network Council. As reported earlier, the new plan also establishes an arbitration and mediation procedure for resolving disputes over names, such as when a trademarked name is used in an Internet address. Said Internet Society President Donald Heath, "Responsible self-governance is the key factor in assuring that the Internet will reach its fullest potential." Pressman notes other groups have tried to establish alternate domain names, but they have not succeeded in persuading the vast majority of Internet service providers to add their new names to the computers that route information across the network. Supporters contend the Internet Society plan better meets the needs of major providers. Currently, only one company -- Network Solutions Inc. -- registers addresses under most existing top-level domains under a contract with the National Science Foundation. The new plan calls for up to 28 new registration agents will be chosen in a process overseen by the Big Six accounting firm Arthur Andersen. This is drawing fire from Network Solutions Vice President Don Telage who says having so many registrars would create chaos on the Net. Telage says his Herndon, Virginia, company has registered 1.2 million addresses and been sued only 26 times. Incidentally, look for Network Solutions will come out with its own plan soon for reforming the domain name registration system. FBI Sees More Net Pedophiles The FBI's chief says he believes pedophiles are increasingly using the Internet to contact children and transmit child pornography. Testifying at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington yesterday, FBI Director Louis Freeh called the Internet a wonderful learning tool, but added, "The dark side of that technology is that criminals and pedophiles can reach into your home. You never know who you are speaking to. Increasingly, pedophiles and sexual predators are using the Internet and online services to target and recruit victims and to facilitate the distribution of child pornography." He noted the FBI started an investigation in 1994, called "Innocent Images," to focus on sexual exploitation of children through the Internet, which has led to 83 felony convictions. Said Freeh, "Our highest priority is on those individuals who indicate a willingness to travel for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a juvenile and those who are distributors of child pornography." Reuters quotes Freeh as saying the bureau consolidated all its investigative operations involving child victimization in an office of crimes against children to coordinate its efforts. Congress May Outlaw Net Gambling Once again, a bill is being considered in Congress that would make it illegal for Americans to place bets at casinos and sports books set up on the Internet's World Wide Web. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Rebecca Quick notes the measure that seeks to ban all gambling over the Internet would extend a wire act from the 1930s that prohibits sports gambling over telegraph wires or phone lines. "Along with pushing the ban into a new medium, though," Quick adds, "the legislation also expands the pool of people held responsible for breaking the law. Existing law makes it illegal only to operate a gambling venture; this legislation targets the gamblers themselves with maximum fine of $5,000 and up to one year in jail." Sponsoring the bill is Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who says making it illegal for people to place bets is a natural extension of the law and is only fair. "We thought it would be inconsistent if we only prosecute the providers and not the gamblers," Kyl spokesman Vincent Sollitto told the paper. Quick comments that even if this legislation becomes law, "enforcing it could be all but impossible." Notes the Journal, "Most Internet gambling sites are run by offshore companies; foreign governments that have legalized gambling aren't likely to take kindly to intervention attempts from the U.S. Simply tracking down illegal operations based in the U.S. could be tricky because programmers can disguise a site's true origins. And going so far as to track down gamblers in their homes could prove to be prohibitively expensive and impractical -- not to mention an invasion of privacy." Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department hasn't taken a stand on the Kyl bill, but a department spokesman acknowledges "transnational enforcement issues" would make a ban on Internet gambling difficult to impose, adding, "We're waiting to see what happens with the legislation." Quick says the bill's fate is far from certain, that similar legislation introduced in the Senate last year was never acted upon. 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. 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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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents AOL To Extend Refunds, Credits Digital TV To Rule The Waves By 2006 PCs' Big Three Enter Digital-TV Fray Disney Wishes On A Starwave FCC Given Proposal To End "Access" Charges Researchers Pursue Software's "Holy Grail" Premiere Purchase Will Lower Messaging Costs Philips Launches CD-RW Drives IBM Gears Up For TV Market View Through Windows Will Be WebTV Congressman Calls For Review Of Online Banking Year 2000 Problem Hits Credit Card Issuers Wide-Ranging Cordless Phone Microsoft Comes Around On Network Computer Compaq Markets Process For Speeding Up Video Data Transfer Business On The Web: Lemonade Stand Or Shell Game? China Enforcing Intellectual Property Laws Social Security Site Shut Down Because Of Privacy Concerns Compaq Moves To Direct Sales The Mouse That Changed The World Visa's Counting On "InfoMoney" Mac Ramps Up To 300-MHz AU Law Students Rule On Indecency Law Canada Invites High-Tech Immigration AOL Ramps Up Its Search For New Customers Newton Sees Sunlight Bell Giveaway Jolts ISP Industry In Canada Chinese Computer Makers Challenge Big Blue And Compaq AOL TO EXTEND REFUNDS, CREDITS America Online has agreed to provide refunds or credits to customers who were unable to use the online service during the months of February or March, an expansion of a previous class-action settlement with 45 state attorneys general that covered access problems in December and January. AOL chief counsel George Vandenburg says he hopes this latest offer will put an end to lawsuits related to access problems. AOL is spending $350 million to increase its network capacity by 75% by the end of June. (Los Angeles Times 4 Apr 97) DIGITAL TV TO RULE THE WAVES BY 2006 The Federal Communications Commission voted to let every TV station in the country use a second channel for broadcasting digital versions of the programming now being distributed in analog format to conventional TV sets. By 2006, all broadcasts will be transmitted in digital form only, and all of the 240 million TV sets now in use in the U.S. will be obsolete at that time. Digital television sets -- which are expected to go on sale late next year --will offer extremely sharp, high-definition pictures on a new wide-screen monitor along with six-channel digital audio systems. For some period of time, the new digital programming will be available only via broadcast TV, and not by cable or satellite television. (New York Times 4 Apr 97) PCs' BIG THREE ENTER DIGITAL-TV FRAY Computer powerhouses Microsoft, Intel and Compaq Computer are still trying to persuade television broadcasters to adopt their technical standards for digital TV, which would emphasize Internet-based information services and interactivity, as well as high-definition picture quality. PC makers are hoping that their intervention will enable the large-screen personal computer to migrate from the den to the living room, eventually replacing the television set as the primary family entertainment device. "Any notion that consumer electronics are not going to get smart is fallacious," says Microsoft's senior VP of consumer products. "We are trying to stretch out a hand to the consumer-electronics and broadcast industries and say, "We can help you with this transition.'" Computer makers favor a "progressive- scan" monitor technology, while consumer electronics companies have traditionally used an "interlaced" approach. PC makers anticipate the cost of building digital-TV technology into a personal computer to be around $100 to $150. "More people are gong to watch digital TV on the PC because it's going to be built into the architecture," says Compaq's senior VP for technology and corporate development. (Wall Street Journal 4 Apr 97) DISNEY WISHES ON A STARWAVE The Walt Disney Company, which has purchased a controlling interest in Starwave, an Internet publishing company, says the two companies will collaborate on the development of a new World Wide Web site called ABCNews.com that will use the resources of the news division of Disney's ABC television network. The site will be in competition with the Microsoft/NBC and the CNN news sites. Forrester Research analyst Bill Bass says: "TV journalists are not used to thinking 24 hours and the Web operation is a gnat compared to the TV operations. It's hard to justify changing the operation of your TV news gathering operation to fit the whims of a very small online population." (Financial Times 4 Apr 97) FCC GIVEN PROPOSAL TO END "ACCESS" CHARGES Three phone companies -- long-distance carrier AT&T together with regional telephone companies Bell Atlantic and Nynex -- have sent the Federal Communications Commission a joint proposal to eliminate the per-minute access charges that long-distance companies pay local providers to connect long-distance calls in local service areas. Instead of per-minute charges, there would be a flat monthly fee ($1 per residential line, $2 per business line), plus a 75-cent monthly charge that would be applied to the cost of wiring schools and libraries to the Internet. The three companies making the proposal say their plan would result in lower long- distance bills, but the proposal is being criticized by long-distance provider MCI, by other regional telephone companies, and by consumer groups that say the plan would hurt customers who do not place a large number of long-distance calls each month. (New York Times 5 Apr 97) RESEARCHERS PURSUE SOFTWARE'S "HOLY GRAIL" Computer scientists at companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Lucent Technologies are beginning to pursue the industry's next great software challenge: universal virtual machines (UVMs). Working with researchers at Taligent, IBM is developing a single virtual machine capable of running applications written in C++, Smalltalk or Java, according to IBM's VP of application development marketing: "I can't say exactly when we'll get there, but it is something we expect to be able to do. You have to look at it from our perspective: With all the languages we support, we need this to happen." Once developed, a universal virtual machine would, in theory, allow developers to write an application in any language and run it on any system. Officials at Sun, which developed the Java Virtual Machine, said the concept of a virtual machine for multiple languages is intriguing. "The question we are trying to figure out is where would we use it and how would we use it," says a SunSoft marketing director. "What happens to C or C++ in Java virtual machines? We're still trying to figure that out." (InfoWorld Electric 4 Apr 97) PREMIERE PURCHASE WILL LOWER MESSAGING COSTS Premiere Technologies Inc., which offers business travelers a one-stop in- box service for all electronic messages, is purchasing privately held Voice-Tel Enterprises for $185 million. The acquisition will enable Premiere to offer its service, which consolidates e-mail, voice mail, pager messages and faxes for retrieval by traveling business people, at a low flat monthly rate, rather than its current charge of 25 cents per minute for connectivity. The merger will give Premiere local phone access to 90% of the U.S., and 100% of Australia, Canada and New Zealand. "It looks as if Premiere is about to change the way small businesses communicate," says an analyst with Equitable Securities Corp. (Investor's Business Daily 4 April 97) PHILIPS LAUNCHES CD-RW DRIVES Philips Electronics will launch three CD-Rewriteable drives next month, including an internal IDE model with an expected retail price of $600, as well as two external SCSI-to-parallel-port versions--one for Windows PCs and one for Macintosh-- priced below $800. The CD-RW drives will be equipped with the universal disk format (UDF) technology that enables drag-and-drop file manipulation. Multi-Read will also be included to ensure backward compatibility with all new CD and DVD products incorporating the new standard. Philips also plans to incorporate a software capability that will allow disks to be converted as they are withdrawn from the drive to work with older drives that are not equipped with UDF technology, says a company spokesman. (Computer Retail Week 5 Apr 97) IBM GEARS UP FOR TV MARKET IBM plans to supply digital production and transmission equipment, such as video servers, for cable, broadcast and satellite TV systems, pitting the computer giant against entrenched electronics firms such as Sony Corp. IBM will work with about a dozen companies that have experience in the television equipment business. (Wall Street Journal 7 Apr 97) In addition, Big Blue will begin providing schematic boards and reference designs for TV set-top boxes. "We're not getting into the set-top business. We're in the silicon business, and we're just trying to provide (the technology)," says IBM's set-top box platform marketing manager. The reference design includes an IBM PowerPC embedded controller, a serial port for infrared remote, and a smart card interface with 4MB DRAM of video and an MPEG-2 transport chip. (Broadcasting & Cable 31 Mar 97) VIEW THROUGH WINDOWS WILL BE WEBTV Microsoft is acquiring WebTV Networks Inc., the Palo Alto, California, company that delivers Internet content directly to television sets. The $425-million purchase is intended to speed up the convergence of PC and TV and to make Microsoft's Windows operating system software a standard for the next generation of consumer devices. A Microsoft executive said about the deal: "We bought these guys because we have a vision of a better TV and a better PC." (Washington Post 7 Apr 97) CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR REVIEW OF ONLINE BANKING House Banking Committee Chairman James Leach (R-Iowa) has asked the General Accounting Office to review whether the Federal Reserve has sufficiently protected its Fedwire funds transfer and security transfer system from electronic trespassing. Fedwire processes around 380,000 securities and funds transfers totaling $1.6 trillion each day. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 7 Apr 97) YEAR 2000 PROBLEM HITS CREDIT CARD ISSUERS Here's a new wrinkle on the Year 2000 problem -- credit card companies have discovered that the cards with a 2000 expiration date are being rejected by thousands of point-of-sale terminals located across the country. First USA has already recalled all cards with the troublesome date and MasterCard International is asking member banks not to issue cards with an expiration date later than 1999. Hypercom Inc. and Verifone Inc., the largest manufacturers of debit terminals, have launched a program to help retailers upgrade their terminals, but a Verifone consultant says many companies may find it easier to just buy new machines. (St. Petersburg Times 7 Apr 97) WIDE-RANGING CORDLESS PHONE A new digital cordless phone made by Lucent Technology can make and receive phone calls at a range of up to 4,000 feet -- nearly a mile -- from its base. (Investor's Business Daily 8 Apr 97) MICROSOFT COMES AROUND ON NETWORK COMPUTER In response to competitors' efforts to reduce computing costs through streamlined machines, Microsoft is developing its own network computer, dubbed the Windows Terminal. The design is similar to that being promoted by Oracle Corp. -- a desktop machine with no disk drive that relies on a central server for applications programs and file storage. Microsoft's earlier challenge to the network computer was a slimmed down machine called the NetPC, but that approach has been questioned by analysts, who call it "too little, too late." Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates touted the advantages of the Windows Terminal last week in a speech to software developers, noting that such a machine would avoid the constant upgrade aggravation: "So that's a machine you never have to replace until there's some radical change in the way that people interact with the computers." (Wall Street Journal 7 Apr 97) COMPAQ MARKETS PROCESS FOR SPEEDING UP VIDEO DATA TRANSFER Compaq Computer is marketing an accessory card for computer servers developed by Integrated Computing Engines, a closely held company in which Compaq holds a minority stake. The card's compression technology enables a server to condense image data so that it can move considerably faster across phone lines. The computer receiving the data must use a related decompression program, which Compaq will supply for free. (Wall Street Journal 8 Apr 97) BUSINESS ON THE WEB: LEMONADE STAND OR SHELL GAME? One participant in last week's Multimedia Roundtable, organized by UCLA professor Martin Greenberger, said: "It's very simple. You buy sugar and lemons; you sell lemonade. If you have some pennies left over, you have a business. If you don't, you have a shell game." It's just a shell game when an interactive media company runs through the money it obtained from venture capitalists, then tries to get more money through a public stock offering even though it has no realistic plan in place to produce long-term profit. (New York Times 7 Apr 97) CHINA ENFORCING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS After years of ignoring demands from other countries to enforce copyright laws, the Chinese government is making a sustained effort to arrest individuals guilty of pirating CDs. In the last several months, Chinese authorities have arrested more than 100 offenders and shut down 28 underground factories. (New York Times 7 Apr 97) SOCIAL SECURITY SITE SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF PRIVACY CONCERNS Because of privacy concerns, an Internet site used by the Social Security Administration to supply information about an individual's personal income and retirement benefits has been closed. The shut-down followed receipt by the Administration of a harshly critical letter written by a bipartisan group of legislators who said the site's security systems were inadequate. To obtain information, a computer user needed merely to supply a name, address, telephone number, place of birth, Social Security number, and mother's maiden name -- items that are available in many private databases. (Washington Post 10 Apr 97) COMPAQ MOVES TO DIRECT SALES Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer has declared war on direct PC marketers Dell Computer and Gateway 2000, outlining plans for Compaq's own direct sales model, which will be offered side-by-side with its existing sales channels. The company hopes to guarantee delivery of its server and PC products within five days of ordering. Compaq also has established partnerships with 17 other firms to jointly develop and market software products for the Internet, including metering software for Internet applications. (InfoWorld Electric 8 Apr 97) THE MOUSE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Douglas Engelbart, the man who invented the computer mouse, accepted this year's $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. As he received the award, Engelbart was described by economist Lester Thurow as "the father of the way we do the Internet, videoconferencing, e-mail and most of our modern interactions with computers. With his help, the computer has become a friendly servant rather than a stern taskmaster." Nicknamed the mouse because connecting wire resembled a tail, the device was patented as an X-Y position indicator for a display system. Engelbart, now 72, says, "In 20 or 30 years, you'll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world." (AP 9 Apr 97) VISA'S COUNTING ON "INFOMONEY" Visa USA CEO Carl Pascarella says that "InfoMoney" -- a combination of paper bills and personal data -- will be the key to next-generation electronic commerce: "We are moving from a value exchange to an information exchange. Information is becoming the new currency." Visa recently outlined its global chip card strategy based on the Java programming language, with cards that enable consumers to store personal data, applets and financial information. "We need to be able to provide this information exchange over open networks the same way we do over proprietary networks today... The Internet sprung from technology, but will succeed due to human behavior." (Computer Reseller News 9 Apr 97) MAC RAMPS UP TO 300-MHZ Apple has taken the wraps off its new Power Mac 6500 -- an "entry-level" model boasting the first-ever 300- MHz PowerPC 603e microprocessor. Other models use chips running at 225, 250 and 275 MHz. "We've been looking forward to these models," says Mac retailer. The 300-MHz machine will run about $2,999 and will come complete with 64 Mbytes of RAM, a 4-Gbyte hard disk and a Zip drive. (MacWeek 4 Apr 97) AU LAW STUDENTS RULE ON INDECENCY LAW Students at the American University's Washington College of Law have already issued their opinion on the recently enacted law restricting "indecent" material online. In a classroom exercise, the students ruled that the law is unconstitutional, with a majority striking down the law "because it is not the least restrictive means to achieve the compelling state interest in protecting children from indecency, because it is unconstitutionally overbroad and because it is unconstitutionally vague." A mock dissent accuses the majority of being "carried away by the enthusiastic burbling of the Internet's defenders. In fact, of course, the Internet is a shallow and unreliable electronic repository of dirty pictures, inaccurate rumors, bad spelling and worse grammar, inhabited largely by people with no demonstrable social skills." (Chronicle of Higher Education 11 Apr 97) CANADA INVITES HIGH-TECH IMMIGRATION In order to compete more effectively with its American counterpart, the Canadian high-tech industry is urging a parliamentary committee to expand a new immigration program that would allow people with specialized skills to enter Canada quickly on temporary work permits. (Ottawa Citizen 9 Apr 97) AOL RAMPS UP ITS SEARCH FOR NEW CUSTOMERS After slowing down its customer recruitment efforts this winter after its new unlimited-access rate caused heavy congestion and angered many of its 8 million existing customers, America Online is now again stepping up its marketing efforts. AOL chief executive Steve Case says: "We will begin marketing on a limited basis, slowly ramping up over time so we can measure the impact of each incremental increase in marketing." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 10 Apr 97) NEWTON SEES SUNLIGHT Apple and Sun are in negotiations about a possible sale to Sun of the Apple division responsible for the Newton personal digital assistant. The Newton operating system is used in Apple's hand-held $1,000 MessagePad computer and its $700 eMate portable marketed to schools. Although both of those systems are selling well, the Newton R&D costs are high, and Apple has lost $936 million the past five quarters. (USA Today 10 Apr 97) BELL GIVEAWAY JOLTS ISP INDUSTRY IN CANADA Independent Internet service providers say Bell Canada's giveaway of five free hours of Internet access per month to loyal long-distance customers is unfair competition and could end up overwhelming Sympatico, Bell's Internet affiliate, similar to the problems experienced by America Online last year. ISPs maintain that long-distance promotions require federal regulatory approval, but Bell insists its Internet division is not subject to such regulations. (Montreal Gazette 10 Apr 97) CHINESE COMPUTER MAKERS CHALLENGE BIG BLUE AND COMPAQ The giant Asian market that has U.S. PC makers salivating could end up buying locally, now that Chinese PC makers are making a comeback. After years of being outclassed by the likes of Compaq, IBM and AST, Chinese companies such as Legend Group, Beijing Founder Electronics and China Great Wall Computer Group are whipping out models that often are cheaper and just as powerful as foreign ones. Legend Group, which ships motherboards to 26 countries, has opened a design center in California's Silicon Valley, and pays Microsoft $12 million a year to load the Chinese version of Windows 95 onto most of its PCs. As a result, "they've translated what's going on in technology abroad and brought it to China, where they understand the market," says a Beijing-based analyst. (Business Week 14 Apr 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. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. To subscribe to the Update: send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: subscribe update John McCarthy (assuming that your name is John McCarthy; if it's not, substitute your own name). INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans. The conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other managers of information resources. For full conference information check out <http://cause-www.colorado.edu > or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. 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Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Gov't. to Kill Inventiveness STR Focus Your Politicos "at Work" HR400 --- A Call to Citizens Is the US Government trying to stop American Inventive Genius? TO: Concerned Citizens of the United States FROM: Concerned faculty and students from the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyDATE:March 7, 1997 Dear Concerned Citizens, We are writing to inform you of our concern about the omnibus patent "reform" bill HR400. This bill is backed by multi-national corporations and has provisions that will/may? negatively affect small businesses. As is well documented, the growth of small business has allowed the US economy to flourish in the past several years. Small business growth exists, in part, due to current patent laws that reward innovation and protect the innovator from powerful conglomerates with advantages due to size and wealth. The HR400 patent "reform" bill contains some provisions that will be detrimental to many small businesses and independent inventors. The bill proposes to force inventors and small innovation companies to disclose the details of their heretofore secret US patent applications by automatic publication 18 months after filing, whether or not a patent is even ultimately granted. This attempt at "harmonizing" the US system with those of Japan and Europe, who do not have our large and prodigious independent inventor and small start-up communities, does not appear to benefit the US people or economy. The purpose of the US patent system is to encourage the inventor to share his or her knowledge for the benefit of the entire country, while rewarding inventors for their innovation by granting exclusive rights for a limited time. HR400 would force patentees to automatically give a FREE license under their patent, once issued, to companies that had earlier chosen not to patent but to take a chance on secret use of the invention in their business (so-called "prior user" rights). It is our concern that the small inventor and start-up company will not be heard over the large multi-national corporations who back this bill. We want to ensure that this bill will not be simply rushed through congress without careful consideration of all the issues and repercussions. Thank you for your time. We are confident that you will take this matter seriously and we appreciate your efforts. Sincerely, Concerned Students & Faculty. 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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 Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News A New Software Give-Away As promised, The Kids' Computing Corner and the Silicon Times Report are sponsoring another software give-away promotion. Thanks to the fine people at MECC, I have a copy of Storybook Weaver Deluxe to give a lucky reader. This excellent program encourages children to develop their writing skills and to express their creativity with words and pictures. It's recommended for children ages 6 and up, and the software comes on a hybrid format CD- ROM for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The rules are very simple. Send an entry by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org using the title Storybook. Please include your correct e-mail address. Entries must be received by 12:01am, Thursday May 8, 1997. The winner will be announced in the May 9th edition of the magazine. Winners of any contests held within the last 60 days are ineligible. Taxes, if any, are the responsibility of the winner. So flood my mailbox, gang! CorelDRAW 7--The Official Guide by Foster Coburn and Peter McCormick Published by CorelPRESS a Division of Osborne/McGraw-Hill Suggested Retail -- $34.99 http://www.osborne.com Authors' Web Page -- http://www.unleash.com Review by Donna Lines This is the only Corel 7 reference book officially endorsed by Corel Corporation. The book highlights tips on harnessing the features of CorelDRAW 7 quickly and easily. The authors are CorelDRAW experts, having written numerous CorelDRAW reference books and having presented many CorelDRAW seminars. The book is well laid out for easy reference with 37 separate chapters on topics ranging from installing DRAW 7 to extracting and merging text to designing a Web page. The explanations are brief and do assume that the reader is somewhat familiar with previous versions of CorelDRAW. The tutorials are short, easy to follow, and best of all, you end up with the same results as the authors. Also included is a 32-page color insert with award-wining designs and examples from CorelDRAW's World Design Contests. These illustrations and the tutorials presented in the book prove with a little imagination and some skill, anything is possible with CorelDRAW 7. Whether you are a veteran DRAW user or a beginner, you will find this book a valuable guide to the numerous new, powerful tools that version 7 has to offer. If you want to get the most out of CorelDRAW 7, with as small of a learning curve as possible, you will want to get your hands on CorelDRAW 7- -The Official Guide. College Advisor '97 Windows and Mac hybrid CD-ROM Street Price: around $20 Potential college students Princeton Review 50 Mail Road, Suite 210 Burlington, MA 01803 1-617-272-7027 http://www.review.com Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.1 CPU: 486DX CPU: 68030/25 HD Space: 2 MB HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 8 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse, modem optional review by Jason Sereno (email@example.com) As many young people have discovered when they have searched for a college that fit their criteria perfectly, there is no such thing. Just when they thought they had have found the perfect school with a nationally known research facility, great on campus living, and was in close proximity to their friends and family, they find that the tuition is too high or there is not enough financial aid. Princeton Review's College Advisor `97 has been created to make the college selection process easier. The program works with you and your counselor to find a university or college that is best for you depending on your preset requirements and scores on your ACT and SAT. You pinpoint a college depending on things such as location, tuition and financial aid, gender ratio, or you can look at the 1200 schools in depth with the help of over 75,000 student surveys. The program consists of mathematical data of 1200 schools of all divisions through out the United States. There is a chart of the years prior to high school graduation that explain the steps you should take to attend a college. The program also takes a closer look at your financial condition and explains scholarships and loans that can help you to go to the college of your choice. There is even a feature that lets you contact a college's web site to discover more information about that school. If you are looking for an easy to use college selection program with abundant information, College Advisor '97 is for you. College Advisor '97 is meant to coincide with your school counselor, not to replace him. It tries to pinpoint a few colleges that would be good for you. Later, you and your counselor can make the decisions. The program's college information is accurate as of the date of publication. You begin by answering a questionnaire about the type of school you wish to attend. The questions range from the importance of location to the financial aid that is available. The program uses the answers from these many questions to determine which colleges fit your criteria and provide you with a list of suitable schools. After you have the list, you can choose to examine the colleges more carefully. You will find graduation percentages, dropout rates and more. There is also information about extracurricular activities and sports. Each college has students' opinions and statements about their discoveries while on campus. They will recount what they have noticed about the school and the differences between what was advertised and what the school is really like. This is very informative and gives you a feeling about what life is like at a particular university compared to another. The program contains mathematical data also. It shows you the averages of ACT scores, SAT scores, and the competition rating of each school. Each one is compared with your scores and ratings. The program explains to you that these are just averages, not the requirement levels. If you are not a school's level, you may still have a good chance of admission. The data just gives you a clear idea of the abilities of the average student in that college. To make the trip easier, College Advisor '97 contains a detailed map of the steps you should take to make it to a good college. It has tutorials that deal with your essay, ACT and SAT testing, and even advises you on the classes that you should consider taking. This helpful tool lets you plan up to two years ahead of your graduation date. If you are having troubles financially, the program lists your expected family contribution after you have filled out the questionnaire. You will then be able to compare your budget with the price of attending your choice college. You can also fill out a form about your personal interests and skills to find what scholarships or possible sources of funds are available to you. If you need more information, the program has an option to visit the college's web site. College Advisor '97 does not include a browser, but it does have hyperlinks to the home pages of most universities and colleges in the nation. You can use these links with your favorite Internet browser. This program has no music, but it does have QuickTime movies. These are used when your guide is speaking about an option that you have chosen, or to tell you more information about an area. The sound is somewhat off synch when the QuickTime is playing, but overall it is not very obvious. The movies are used sparingly and the reason for using the program is to pick a school of higher learning, not to look at the video. I believe that College Advisor '97 is a great program for high school students or anyone, for that matter, that plans on attending a college. It gives great first hand advice and a real insight into 1200 different universities and colleges. There is a much information that you would probably be unable to get anywhere else, especially the school averages that help you to see the level of scholastic ability at a particular college. This is a terrific tool for anyone, parent or student, involved in choosing a suitable college. Pick up Princeton Review's College Advisor '97 today. Sony signs licensing agreement to bundle MGI PhotoSuite with new PCs TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 7, 1997--MGI Software Corp. (Canadian Dealing Network: MGIS), a leader in photo and video software, today announced a worldwide licensing agreement which entitles Sony Electronics to include a copy of the best-selling MGI PhotoSuite with Sony personal computer lines. Originally designed to create a new entertainment, information and communications experience for consumers, the Sony PC now offers users a new way to experience photography. "We created the Sony PC to deliver a computing system that is as limitless and multisensory as the user's imagination," said Tim Errington, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Sony Information Technologies of America, a divisional company of Sony Electronics. "MGI PhotoSuite allows our customers to work with photos in creative and exciting ways on their computer." With MGI PhotoSuite, Sony's PCV-100 and PCV-120 personal computers allow users to edit, organize and be creative with their photos. They can add special effects, make greeting cards, calendars and posters, arrange photos in albums, send and share photos over the Internet. Users can work with pictures from a library of photos included with MGI PhotoSuite, regular film cameras, digital cameras, scanners, photo CDs, videos, or the Internet. "Sony's commitment to MGI PhotoSuite reflects the growing consumer interest in PC photography," said Anthony DeCristofaro, president and CEO, MGI Software. "With MGI PhotoSuite, Sony customers can expect a complete set of photographic tools that allow them to turn their Sony PC into a personal darkroom. Users can improve the quality of their picture taking and create hundreds of new images from a single photo." About Sony Information Technologies of America Based in San Jose, Calif., Sony Information Technologies of America is a divisional company of Sony Electronics that markets Sony-branded computer products, including Sony PCs, Trinitron( displays, digital still cameras and other multimedia products through distributors, resellers and consumer retailers. For additional information about the PC by Sony call 800/4-SONY- PC (476-6972) or visit Sony's World Wide Web site at http://www.sony.com/pc . About MGI Software Founded in 1995, MGI's mission is to "change the way you picture the world" by revolutionizing the way people use photos, videos and other multimedia on their computer and the Internet. The company's award- wining product lines include MGI PhotoSuite, MGI VideoWave, MGI 3DVision, and MGI Calamus Publisher. MGI Software http://www.mgisoft.com is publicly traded on the OTC market in Toronto and based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. 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. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word format. Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming Access Software has waited a long time to produce Oakland Hills Country Club, one of the world's mainline golf courses. Since its very beginnings in the early 1920s, Oakland Hills has made its mark in the annals of golf history. The 1924, 1937, 1951, 1961, 1985, and 1996 US Opens, along with the 1972 and 1979 PGA Championships and the 1981 and 1991 US Senior Opens were all held at this proud venue. It was at the memorable 1951 US Open-when the South Course was revamped and made almost unbearable by Robert Trent Jones-that it received its nickname, "The Monster." Only two players that year had rounds under par. Ben Hogan's 287 total won the Open and caused him to exclaim his joy at having "brought this course, this MONSTER, to its knees." Now, in this newest addition to the Links Championship Course lineup, you too can play The Monster and experience for yourself why the 18th at Oakland Hills is considered by many to be "the toughest finishing hole in golf." Oakland Hills Championship Course Product Information Compatibility: This LINKS LS Championship Course is compatible with Reversions of LINKS (both MAC end PC) and with Microsoft Go/f 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0. Requirements for use: Hardwere must run at least one of the software titles listed above. Format: Multi format CD-ROM for Macintosh and MS-DOS (fully compatible with WINDOWS). Suggested Retail Price: $29.95 UPC Code #: 0-81192-31294-2 ACCESS SOFTWARE INCORPORATED 4750 Wiley Post Way, BlUg 1, Suite 200, SLC UT 84116 18001 8004880, FAX 180il359-29<S8 Worldwide Web Site: WWW.ACCESSSOFTWARE.COM Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Okay, the snow from last week's April Fool's Day blizzard is gone - all two feet of it! It's time to get back to work and forge ahead on our web page tutorial. If you remember, a few weeks ago we put together a web page devoted to our feathered-friend, Beau-Coo. What we ended up with was very basic, but it was a "working" sample. What we're going to this week is take that basic page and punch it up a bit - adding some color, graphics, a comments option via an e-mail link, and a few (imaginary) links to other web sites dealing with african grey parrots. Ready? Here's the HTML code that we ended up with last time. You may want to keep it handy as we'll be inserting "code" into it as we go along to add the various embellishments mentioned above. <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> <P> This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met" Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him. </P> </BODY> </HTML> Okay, let's add some color to this bland white background, and "colorize" the body text. Since we know we're going to add some links, let's also make sure the color of the links' text is different from our body text, to make it easy for our visitors to distinguish. Let's start with the background first. We could simply make the background a specific color, but let's make ours something unique! For the sake of argument, let's say that I have a picture, in .GIF format, of an African Grey's talon "print". Since the file size is really small and the colors aren't that dark as to make text difficult to read when transposed over the graphic, let's make our background appear to have "parrot tracks" all through it! Try to use a small graphic (a thumbnail) so the picture will appear as background "wallpaper". You can use a larger sized picture (I haven't experimented), but that single image will appear rather than a lot of smaller ones. The best place in our HTML code to place the coloring schemes is after the TITLE and HEAD lines. We'll also add the color for the body text, links, and "visited" links. Let's make the body text color blue; the links color dark red; and the visited links magenta. By the way, a "visited" link means that once you have selected that particular link to visit, the text will change color - in this case, from dark red, to magenta. It's a mechanism to tell a user which links have been visited and which ones have not. It comes in handy when your memory is as bad as mine sometimes! Okay, ready? Let's do it! <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF> Add the rest of the code we did earlier and we have the same page, but with a background graphic and blue text for the body. Now let's add a link or two, and an e-mail option. First of all, you'll need to decide where you wish to place any links that you want to add, within your page. In our example, we want our visitors to read our story first, and visit elsewhere afterward! So, let's place our links near the end of our page. We'll place the links after our "adoption" tale. Let's break up the page with a horizontal line first. After the paragraph break but preceding the closing BODY command, add a <HR SIZE=1> command. This will create a narrow (designated width according to the "size=1") horizontal line below the body text. Now let's add those links. We'll want to set them apart from normal text, so let's add a small graphic and then a header to describe what's to follow. After the horizontal line command, let's add the following code: <H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3> <BR> The "H3" will determine the size; the "img src=r_ball.gif" is telling us to use the r_ball.gif (red ball) file that's included with your HTML code; and the width/height figures determines the size of the red ball. The text "Parrot Links" will appear after the red ball. The <BR> sends a line break so our links won't be crammed-in right after the header. Let's add the links: <li><a href="http://www.parrots.com/greys.htm">African Greys!</a> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.net/parrots.htm">Parrot Lovers!</a> <br> The above code, without going into detail, are HTML references to the web site addresses (URLs), with a text description of where we're "pointing" our visitors. Be sure to include the opening and closing brackets! By the way, these web site links are fictitious! Let's be a little selfish here and make sure people know who put this web page together; and then add the capability to send us feedback. The code should be self-explanatory. <ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR> E-Mail: <A HREF="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a> </ADRESS><P> Copyright © 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR> <I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR> <HR SIZE=1> Let's put it all together now! <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> <P> This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met" Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him. </P> <HR SIZE=1> <H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3> <BR> <li><a href="http://www.parrots.com/greys.htm">African Greys!</a> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.net/parrots.htm">Parrot Lovers!</a> <br> <ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR> E-Mail: <A HREF="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a> </ADRESS><P> Copyright © 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR> <I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR> <HR SIZE=1> </BODY> </HTML> And we're done with this installment! Next time, we'll add a few pictures to spice up the page. Remember, when you're creating a web page, not only do you have to upload the HTML code (beau_coo.htm) file, but the actual graphics files that are to be referenced by your code. In this example, include the r_ball.gif and footprnt.gif files. Until next time... Hi all! You will find a new version of CAB v2.0 Demo at one of my pages: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/cab.html dated 1997 Apr 7, with German and English RSC-files. It's executable on all Atari & compatible computers (PC's with MagicPC and Apple Mac's with MagicMac) with a minimum of 2 MB RAM. Multilingual versions like Swedish, Italian, Spanish and Croatian also available. Best Regards Mille Babic eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille (English, German, Swedish, Croatian) Atari Falcon CPU40MHz:DSP50MHZ (12MB RAM 540MB+1.0GB HD) N.AES Operating System with MiNT Kernel and N.Thing Desktop Gaming Section "Cup Crazy"! Psygnosis "It's Been Quiet!" >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Very little gaming news this week during my travels. It must be all of the different weather conditions throughout the country! And we even had some weird sunspots activity. Is there a full moon too?? Still nothing new on Iron Soldier 2 for those of us still waiting for the next batch of Jaguar News. I can only imagine what Telegames is going through trying to get this game out, as well as the rest. More power to them for their patience, and their support. Let's get on to the news, as little as it appears this week. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sponsors, Star Power Make NHL Cup Crazy Washington, DC, APR. 08 (ISWire Sports Beat) - The National Hockey League (NHL) Cup Crazy marketing campaign begins a full force assault this week when the league launches as many as twelve 30-second television commercials featuring stars from all walks of life: foul-mouthed comedian Don Rickles, Matthew Perry from NBC television's Friends, talk-show host Tom Snyder, and rock and roll legends Kiss. Print advertisements will appear in USA Today, The Hockey News, and The Sporting News. The NHL's official Web site on The Internet's World Wide Web (NHL.com) will offer Cup Crazy activities sponsored by league marketing partners Lee Apparel Co.'s Lee Sport-brand, New Era, Logo Athletic, Sony Corp.'s Playstation interactive video technology, and Franklin Sports. JC Penney Co. again in 1997 offers the Bring The Cup Home sweepstakes where a fan from the NHL Stanley Cup winning market will host the Stanley Cup at his or her home for a week in Summer 1997. Chrysler Corp.'s The New Dodge division, an active and highly visible NHL sponsor, holds the Cup Crazy Caravan, a mobile fan festival going from one playoff market to another to whip fans into a playoff frenzy with games, prizes, and a ticket sweepstakes. I.T. SERVICES: Psygnosis to Implement High Speed Data Communications APR 10, 1997, M2 Communications - I.T. Services, a leading network solutions provider, has won a GBP 250,000 contract to deliver a new high speed data communications infrastructure to Psygnosis Ltd, the specialist video games software house. With almost 700 staff and turnover exceeding GBP 300 million, Psygnosis is one of the world's largest games development houses, specialising in software for the Sony Playstation and other platforms. The company has its Head Office in Liverpool, with other locations in Chester, Stroud, Leeds and two in London. Games software is developed by fifteen-strong teams of programmers, artists, designers and producers based at each location. In additional to conventional PCs, each development team has Silicon Graphics workstations, with very high file storage capacity, to create the advanced graphics required for new games. The main requirements from the new network are support for more efficient backup of large graphics files, better transfer of information between different development teams, and configuration of virtual LANs to allow individuals to form new teams and interoperate more easily without moving from their own desk or location. "We need the new network to support inter site communications for better on-line exchange of software development files and business information," says Adrian Myatt, Network Manager for Development at Psygnosis. "I.T. Services impressed us with their skills set and proposed a cost effective solution designed to protect our investment." I.T. Services' solution, which replaces existing Ethernet 10Base2 shared media LANs, is designed to prevent bottlenecks in the network, ensuring power users and conventional users can work alongside each other. Each location is adopting a network which incorporates a number of Bay Networks Baystack twelve port Ethernet hubs cascaded into 10Mbps switched Ethernet ports on Bay Networks Centillion 100 backbone switches. Bandwidth intensive Silicon Graphics clients are allocated dedicated 10Mbps switched ports providing low latency access to 100Mbps connected servers across existing Category 5 UTP cabling. Wide area connectivity is provided by Bay Networks ASN and AN routers over a mix of MegaStream and ISDN. Anixter, a leading Bay Networks distributor, provided support for I.T. Services during the bid by helping the company prove the technology case for its proposed solution to Psygnosis. The Bay Network Centillion 100 supports the implementation of virtual LANs, enabling reconfiguration using visual network management software tools. It also supports simultaneous LAN-to-LAN, LAN-to-ATM, and ATM-to-ATM switching, protecting investment in LAN infrastructure but with a flexible migration path to ATM, should Psygnosis decide to adopt it. "This is a technically advanced solution which meets Psygnosis' current requirements, but with a clear migration path to even faster LAN and WAN technologies," says David Raine, Head of I.T. Services' Network Solutions business unit. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Let me say right off the top that, last week, we _almost_ got this formatting thing squared away. The format problems you saw last issue were caused by the fact that I was using a two- space tab, and the finished product ended up with a five space tab. Because of this, the longer lines overflowed and messed up the format. Let's see if I get it right this time around! <grin> I'd also like to say thank you to the handful of people who wrote to tell me that the formatting was still incorrect but that it was getting better and that they liked the indented format on the whole. I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about the World Wide Web and its implications for us. Most of the things that I see coming are good; widespread access to information, more information to choose from, the ability to do everything from planning a vacation to paying for it, and last, but certainly not least, getting some of us away from that demon television for several hours a week. There are a few pitfalls of course. Easier access to other peoples' information means that someone may have easier access to yours as well. And it may not always be information that you wish them to have. Everything from digital banking to online Social Security Numbers and payments may be available before too long (Social Security information was available for a while, but it has been stopped just this past week). In this case, the right to privacy is not something that can be taken away. It is something that can only be given away. For this simple reason, I hope to see a personal encryption system in place within the next decade. Something on the order of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) as opposed to the "V" chip or "Clipper" encryption would be nice because not only is it more secure, no one will hold the key or passcode but you. Clipper technology has, by its very design, a "master key" held by the government in one form or another. What this means is that, should the government deign is necessary, they can simply unlock your encrypted checkbook, diary, or correspondence. Using a system such as PGP, they would have to 'break' the code using some high power computers. They have the capability now (the National Security Agency does it routinely), so I can only assume that they will be able to keep up with the increasing technology. It has been said that "The NSA can read ANY encrypted message they want to. They just can't read EVERY encrypted message they want to. And that's what makes them mad". Now, lest you think I'm either paranoid or completely off-base, let me tell you that I have a feel for trends of the future. I remember the first time I met John Jainschigg, the then-editor of Atari Explorer Magazine. We talked at length about what we saw in the future of computing. We both saw the internet or something very like it emerging as a means of communication and data transfer. We both also thought we'd see communications programs that were almost completely graphically oriented and would build a library of images as they went along so that the next time your program required the image it would be available on your hard drive. That is exactly what HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language, the language of the WWW is). Was HTML around back then? I really don't know. But I do know that neither of us had heard of it. John saw flat fees for online usage, while I saw providers charging for CPU time (the actual time the provider's computer spends doing tasks for you) instead of connect time. John seems to have won the first round here, but let's see what happens in a year or two when most providers find they can no longer make a profit on a flat rate schedule because of the various charges added on by the phone companies and government agencies (and believe me folks, some of these fees WILL go through). Well, I'll bet you didn't know that there was more than one crystal ball around here, did you? I'll put mine away for now and take it out again when it's time to pick a lottery number (funny, but it never seems to work then <grin>). Okay, let's get to all the news, hints, tips, and info available on CompuServe. >From the Atari Forums on CompuServe Charles Eckert posts: "I have a falcon030, would like to connect a 28k modem (or faster) to it (presently using a 14K). I have downloaded FastSerial.... buit can't get Flash III to work with it. If i get a faster modem how do i connect,set up FastSer and get Flash III to work?" John Trautschold of Missionware Software tells Charles: "Just as a point of reference, I think what you're asking about is Flash II, version 3.0x, a telecom program for Atari computers. In any case, the reason you can't get Flash II to work with FastSerial is that Flash II doesn't need or use FastSerial (or any other Atari serial port program). Flash II handles all serial ports itself giving you the benefit of all data rates that your Atari computer is capable of. If you want to use a 28.8 or faster modem with your Falcon030, go right ahead and purchase one. I regularly use a SupraFAXModem 288 on the high speed port of my TT030, which is basically the same as the high speed port on your Falcon. Set Flash II to a baud rate of 38400 or higher and you're all set." Dennis Larson takes the opportunity to ask John: "I am also using FLASH II. I keep reading about using HSMODEM7 as a patch for the serial port. Do I need this if I am using Flash II? I have a ZOOM 28.8 modem and haven't had troubles that I have noticed. I have not made any hardware modification to the serial port so am limited to 19.2 baud." Our own Dana Jacobson jumps in and tells Dennis: "John has mentioned numerous times that you do _not_ need HSMODEM or any serial patch while running Flash II. One less aggravation to worry about! <grin>" Rick Detlefsen asks for help: "I just downloaded BATFAX, and it doesn't recognize my AT&T fax modem. The modem is class 2 compatible as the fax software needs. I need to know what the typical fax softwares does to determine if a modem is class 1 or class 2 compatible. How does one tell the modem to originate a fax call vs. a modem call? Maybe the software is too old?" Albert Dayes tells Rick: "I have never used BATFAX so I do not know how it works. Does your modem support both class 1 and class 2? If so you might try using class 1 mode if it is available. Is your AT&T modem a v.34 compatible modem? The only other alternative that I know of is the commercial product called Straight Fax v2.x. I believe you can contact Toad computers (I believe they still provide tech support) and see if your modem is supported." Philippe Bogdan, who recently decided to switch platforms (from Atari to Mac) for his music composing, tells us: "<<As for throwing the ST away?>> I will keep it, still have stacks of songs I needs to transfer and hundreds of sounds and who knows, the next vintage fad may be for the Atari :-) Believe me or not I like my Atari, actually it's a STACY 4/50 but I took the screen off because it was dead - working on music wears out the screen too easily. Actually my SM124 is dying too. Difficult to work on in broad day light. But since I'm trying to live out of my arrangements, having a integrate system is a must. And honnestly, after working for a week with Performer 5,5, I don't regret Cubase anymore. Performer is more 'musical', both in the way it work and how it 'sounds'. The quantize section really 'groove'. Even applying a 1/8 quatize with a 25% swing sounds great, not taling about the specific groove. And it's very stable on the Mac. BTW, I trade my PowerBook DUO 230 for a Mac PowerPC for less that I would have paid for an accelerator for the Atari. And Performer flies on a PowerPC :-) And I found a shareware developer who is working on a RS422 connection for my EmaxII sampler to transfer samples from his editor - a very god one BTW - from the Mac to the EmaxII. So I think I'm through with Atari. Hope that Apple will not follow Atari's path though." Simon Churchill tells Philippe: "Sound's like Performer has performed perfectly. (PHee, What a lot of P's!!) As for Apple, who know's. Here today gone tomorrow and the PC might just end up doing the same." Dennis Bishop tells us a bit about his "custom" hard drive: "Right now it is sitting next to this Atari Falcon030 with a syquest 44 meg drive installed in it, a hole cut in the top for a home made holder for a ST157n sitting on to on top and chained into the other 44 meg drive, that's the setup I'm using on this Falcon. Over by the old ST is the bottem part of a sh204 that has a another ST 157n bolted on it and over it in another home made frame is a 360meg 5.25in FULL Hight drive that's about 6 years old and is waiting for a replacememt ICD Host to get back to working order! My BBS is running on a TT/030 and a sysop of a beemer board that shut down GAVE me a 540 meg scsi drive that is now inside the TT and runs the BBS on it. So you could say that I am one that puts things together to work that would give a tech nightmares!" Simon Churchill, who is quite the hacker himself, taunts Dennis a bit: "A man of my own heart, if it might just work....... .... That's better, now it's working....... ..... Bugger it's stoped again ......... ...... Ha, that fixed it!! Sound anything like a conversation you have had. 8-) (With yourself!!) With that nest of wires you must be frightened to move anything. By the way, how big is your BBS?? Where are you located?? Can we call in??" Dennis tells Simon: "My BBS right now has about 20 some messages bases, lots go unused, only realy a hand full of users, internets has taken a lot of users away from BBSing. But I keep my board up, it started with an Atari 800XL and 2 1050's and a XM301 modem! Now it's on a TT/030 (4meg st/4 meg tt) a 540meg hard drive that's gots lot of room and yes anyone can call in. Black Hole BBS 300 - 14.4kb 808 - 695 - 8310 If I could ever get any help on setting up stemper, I could inport Fido or some of the other networks again like I used to with ISIS before it died." Stephen Wilson asks for help with a dormant monitor: "Has anyone out there ever wielded a soldering iron over a dead monochrome monitor. I can vaguely remember doing so a coupla years ago when it went wrong, and getting away with it. But now it's dropped dead again and this time I'm stumped. All I get is a thin white line running horizontally across the screen. I'd guess this is probably a dead give away as to the faulty component, but I lack the experience to tell me which. Can anyone help?" Andreas Rosenberg tells Steve: "I hope I can help you. I don't know if I can find the correct technical terms to make it understandable. I quoted phrases I translated word by word. I think there is something wrong with the vertical deflection. Either the generator for the signal called "saw tooth" (figure below) or some subsequent processing (amplification) doesn't work. The easiest way to create such a signal is by using a capacitor and a resistor. Mostly capacitors die after a certain age, because their "electrolyte" decays. |\ |\ | | \| \| As you might know that sort of signal is being put onto the vertical deflection coils and causes the electronic beam moving from top to bottom. The retrace signal comes from the computer. It would be worth looking at it too. Perhaps it's connected to ground for some reason and causes a permanent retrace. Let a TV technician take a look at it." Steve tells Andreas: "Thanks for the info Andy. I traced the fault to at least one leaky capacitor, so I'm replacing that and a few other components in the vicinity. BTW I've another monitor (a medium rez colour jobbie) with a hyperactive horizontal hold. It's virtually impossible to adjust the preset in fine enough movements to get the picture to stay still. Any ideas ??" Andreas asks Steve: "Does the color signal work correctly on a different monitor? If not, the sync timing of the computer is no longer constant. Otherwise it's the sync timing of the monitor. Perhaps termic problems, an old capacitor or a weak sync signal ..." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES " I never yet heard a man or woman much abused that I was not inclined to think better of them, and to transfer the suspicion or dislike to the one who found pleasure in pointing out the defects of another..." 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" April 11, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1315
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