ST Report: 18-Jul-97 #1329From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/18/97-11:27:26 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 18-Jul-97 #1329 Date: Fri Jul 18 23:27:26 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) July 18, 1997 No.1329 Silicon Times Report International 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 Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.0? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 07/18/97 STR 1329 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Cheapo CPU Fan - Avoid New V-chip - McAfee's WebScanX - Man SHOOTS CPU - Voice MS Word - Geek Search - The Jersey Devil - Travel Talk French - Sony in the UK - Top Games Awards - Classics & Gaming Jobs NIXES Apple CEO Post! Netscape CRIES About MS Plan! Year 2000 Suits over $1 TRILLION? STReport International Magazine Featured 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: 07/12/97: two of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... Its editorial time! I got one for you. Can you imagine a full size tower filled with most every thing one could imagine? I can. Try this for starters. 200Mhz MMX CPU, 64Mb EDO Fast Ram, 12gb EIDE HD (3 4gb drives), 4X6x CD-ROM, 6000SureStore .dat tape drive, AWE32 Sound Card w/12mb ram, Matrox Millenium 8mb video, Monster 3D w/4mb video, 3com 10/100mbit Combo Card, USR I-Modem, Adaptec 2940 Ultra wide SCSI 1gb scsi HD, hp scsi scanjet 3c, Lexmark Optra C color laser, HP 1600cm Color inkjet, MS natural keyboard, MS wheel mouse, MAG mx17f .26 monitor. there's more but by now, I'm sure you get the picture. All I have to ask is WHY.. WHY did I have to have this system come tumbling down like a rockslide spitting "Windows Protection Errors" all over the place? Is the reason upsetting? No, its downright disgusting. A six dollar. that's right a $6.00 FAN on the CPU brought this system to its knees! Come on INTEL!! You can design the latest WhizBang and sell it for hundreds of dollars the least you can do is design a reliable fan for your CPUs and do away with the aftermarket trash that's dropping the high power chips like flies! Or, is that the way you (INTEL) like it?? I don't want to think that's the case at all. After all I have more faith in fine upstanding companies like INTEL. But for goodness' sake a $6.00 fan clobbered a system most anyone would be proud to use let alone own. Our userbase deserves a better CPU fan than the JUNK that's available worldwide. The fan was alleged to have bearings.. but this sucker, in the machine less than three months was frozen solid and RED hot when it was replaced. Due to the downtime. We have a very "skinny" issue this week. We'll get caught up next week. Congratulations INTEL. at least the 200Mhz MMX CPU withstood the torture wreaked upon it by the junk fan. its still working fine with another CPU cooling fan that alleges it too has bearings. We shall see. If anyone knows of or has a GOOD source of QUALITY CPU fans.. PLEASE let us know about it and how we and others may obtain them. 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 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 Jobs Declines Apple CEO Post Steve Jobs reportedly isn't interested in becoming Apple Computer Inc.'s new CEO, replacing Gilbert Amelio who abruptly resigned Wednesday. Jobs, the computer maker's co-founder, returned to the company last December as an advisor. "At this point in time, Steve has indicated he does not want to be considered for the CEO job," stated Edgar S. Woolard Jr., Apple's board director and chairman of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., told CNBC in a broadcast interview. "We have asked Steve Jobs to come back to help us identify the best CEO ... and improve the strategy and execution." Woolard also denied reports that Apple is looking for a CEO who will arrange a sale of the company. "We don't think a sale of the company is the appropriate thing," he stated. Apple Cuts Prices on Macs Prices on eight of its popular Macintosh computer models are being reduced by Apple Computer Inc. effective immediately. Reporting from Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters, United Press International says the move will lower the retail price of computers in the Power Macintosh 6500 and Macintosh Performa 6400 series by up to $300. Company officials told the wire service this is part of a strategy to provide the industry's most powerful and easy-to-use computers at competitive prices. The Power Macintosh 6500 line, introduced in April, offers systems ranging in speeds from 225 to 300 megahertz. All systems feature accelerated multimedia features, built-in Internet access capabilities and advanced video capture, edit and publishing options. The Macintosh Performa series combine power PC processor technology and affordability. The Performa desktop computers are designed for families at home, individuals in small businesses, and college-bound students. Apple Delays PowerBook Release Apple Computer Inc. reports that it has delayed the U.S. release of its new PowerBook 2400c model until August so the notebook system can ship with Mac OS 8 preinstalled. The PowerBook 2400c was originally scheduled to be released in the U.S. at the end of July with Mac OS 7.6 preinstalled. The high-end PCI-based notebook, shipping since May in Japan, was designed by Apple with collaboration from IBM Japan. Apple says the system is exceeding all initial expectations in Japan. The PowerBook 2400c targets mobile professionals who require a lightweight, yet powerful portable computer. The notebook will be available in a single configuration: 180MHz 603e processor; 256K level 2 cache; 16MB RAM; 1.3GB IDE hard drive; 10.4-inch active-matrix color display; two PC Card slots; 16-bit stereo sound recording and playback; and built-in ports for 16-bit video out, ADB, SCSI, serial, and FDD connectors. The system measures 10.5 by 8.4-by 1.9 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds. Mac OS 8 is a major system software upgrade. It includes a simplified Internet set up feature, a new 3D look and feel and a variety of other new features. Net Tax Freeze Gains Strength A move to freeze new state and local taxes on Internet commerce is said to be gaining momentum in Congress. The Dow Jones News Service reports that members of the House telecommunications subcommittee voiced strong bipartisan support for the measure Friday. The panel is mulling legislation that would place a moratorium on taxes levied on the Internet by state and local governments. The Senate is considering a similar bill. "Supporters of the legislation, which include major Internet service providers, say they fear local governments will spin a complex web of taxes that would stymie growth of the global computer network," notes the Dow Jones report. "The freeze on new taxes would give policymakers time to develop a comprehensive plan to address taxation of electronic commerce." "Some of the taxing authorities see the Internet as the next pot of revenue to fill shrinking budget; others see the Internet as a threat to their local business," Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-Louisiana), the subcommittee's chairman, told Dow Jones. "Instead, states and localities should see the Internet as a tax-free zone." Internet Fee Services to Boom The consumer fee-based Internet services market is entering one of the most interesting phases of its development, says market research firm Frost & Sullivan. The Mountain View, California, firm reports that the market has attracted a large number of competitors "who are seeking to take advantage of the gigantic opportunities for growth that exist." Frost & Sullivan projects that revenues for fee-based Internet services will climb rapidly through 2003. After two years of growth rates exceeding 200 percent in 1995 and 1996, total revenues generated in 1996 reached $1.98 billion. "Strong consumer interest in this interactive media is the major driver for the market," says Jeff Berger, Frost & Sullivan's telecommunications industry analyst. "The fee- based Internet services market is at a stage of expansion when a large number of new entrants and the introduction of new products and services are expected." Netscape Warns of Microsoft Plan Several U.S. senators are being told by Netscape Communications Corp. that rival Microsoft Corp. plans to use new Internet software to lock out competitors and monopolize distribution of information over the World Wide Web. Reporter David Bank writes in The Wall Street Journal this morning Netscape is complaining Microsoft is tightly linking the forthcoming version of its Internet Explorer Web browser with the Windows operating system that is used on nearly all personal computers. Says Bank, "That link, in turn, gives Microsoft the ability to promote its own media investments, such as the Microsoft Network and the MSNBC joint venture with General Electric Co.'s NBC unit, and increases Microsoft's negotiating power over other media companies that want to use the Web to deliver their 'content,' Netscape executives charge." Noting both firms are vying for lucrative deals with big media companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. to supply programming for the TV-style "channels" on the Web, Netscape President/CEO James Barksdale told the paper, "If they have a lock on the operating system and they successfully link that to content, it's going to be hard for people who are in the content business." But Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray characterized Netscape's charges as "just plain silly," adding, "Netscape has a long history of trying to use the government against Microsoft rather than competing on the basis of their products." Murray said his employer is in full compliance with antitrust regulations. The Journal says Netscape has contacted Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California), Sen. Conrad Burns (R- Montona) and other senators with the complaint. Bank quotes Boxer spokesman David Sandretti as saying the senator wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission this month urging closer scrutiny of Microsoft's practices. Netscape chief Barksdale stresses his firm intends to fight Microsoft in the marketplace rather than through government channels or in the courts, but the Journal also quotes analysts as saying he is a savvy strategist who will use every opportunity to tie Microsoft's hands. Says analyst David Readerman of Montgomery Securities, "If he can have two forces working for him -- the courts and the marketplace -- that's better than one." Clinton Eyes New Net Porn Guards Technology-based solutions to shield children apparently will be the White House's new approach to fighting pornography in cyberspace. Word is President Clinton tomorrow will huddle with lawmakers, software manufacturers, parents and other groups to discuss new approaches. This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court last month struck down as unconstitutional a law banning indecent material on the Internet. As reported, that measure -- the controversial Communications Decency Act -- unsuccessfully tried to put on the millions of people who post information on the Internet the burden of keeping children away from indecent material. Writer Aaron Pressman with the Reuter News Service notes that in the aftermath of the court's ruling, Clinton -- who supported and signed the CDA -- said he saw promise in "filtering" software that parents could use to prevent their children from seeing pornographic material. "And," adds Pressman, "although Clinton July 1 issued a policy paper calling for minimal government regulation of the Internet, the president said new laws might be justified to protect children." Pressman quotes Internet specialists as saying Clinton's challenge will be to allow children access to interesting and educational sites while blocking inappropriate sites, all without violating the free speech rights of adults. Already, some in Congress are lining up with proposals: z Sen. Patty Murray (D- Wash.) says she will introduce legislation to create incentives for Internet sites to carry ratings. Filtering software relies on ratings, similar to those used for movies and, more recently, television, to determine which sites to block out. Murray said the Supreme Court ruling left "a large vacuum" that allowed children to access inappropriate material. "We face an unprecedented opportunity to provide parents the necessary tools to protect our children," Murray said. z Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is considering writing legislation but is skeptical that filtering and ratings will be sufficient. Asked if something like the ratings scheme for television could be applied to the Internet, one Coats staff person told Pressman, "The answer initially seems to be no," although adding "ratings are still a possibility." Look for computer industry officials also to be on hand for tomorrow's meeting. For instance, Microsoft Corp. will tout its preferred technology for rating sites on the World Wide Web, called "Platform for Internet Content Selection," or PICS, a system that adds to Web sites a tag containing ratings that can be read by Web browsing software. Pressman says ratings could be provided by numerous groups and parents could set their children's software to read or ignore any group's ratings. Of course, not everyone is on the PICS bandwagon. The American Library Association passed a resolution earlier this month opposing use of filtering software by libraries. Said the group, "Use in libraries of software filters which block constitutionally protected speech is inconsistent with the United States Constitution and federal law." Also, civil libertarians said a tagging system could be used by foreign governments to censor anything on the Internet. Staff counsel David Banisar for the Electronic Privacy Information Center told the wire service, "It creates an immense infrastructure for censorship." He added that while filtering generally is done by an individual's Web browser software, filtering could also be done at higher levels that prevent huge numbers of Internet users from accessing some sites. Net Seeks to Avoid New 'V-Chip' Hoping to avoid a v-chip for the Internet, Net computer firms are lining up to provide greater access to anti-smut software and to work to flag Internet sites that are clean enough for kids to visit. Look for this to be the repeated theme this week as the White House launches its new efforts to urge computer firms and parents' groups to take voluntary steps to make the Internet safe for youngsters. "We have tools out there which are 100 percent available," Jerry Berman of the Center for Democracy and Technology civil rights group told Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa, adding the software just needs to be more widely used and understood. About 30 to 40 people were expected to attend a private meeting today hosted by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, including representatives of Netscape Communications Corp., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo! Inc., the National Parent Teacher Association and the American Library Association, plus makers of screening technology and electronic civil liberties groups. Aversa quotes a White House statement as saying the president wants a solution "as powerful for the computer as the v-chip will be for the television that protects children in ways that are consistent with America's free-speech values." (Next year new TV sets are expected to have a computer chip that would allow parents to block unwanted programs.) Now that the Supreme Court has ruled as unconstitutional the controversial Communications Decency Act, the White House says that, instead of seeking new legislation to force the computer industry to shield children from Internet smut, it will push for a system of voluntary restraints. Aversa says no final industry-wide voluntary plan was expected to be announced this week, but some companies were expected to unveil plans. Also, look for the industry to hold a summit on the issue this fall. Clinton Urges Net Labeling Development of a labeling system to flag lewdness on the Internet is being urged by President Clinton to supplement what he praises as the computer industry's current technology to helps steer children away from online smut. Speaking at a technology summit meeting in Washington yesterday, Clinton said, "The Internet community must work to make these labels as common as food safety labels are today." Associated Press writer Sonya Ross says no final industrywide voluntary plan have been announced, but a top-level meeting involving industry leaders is expected this fall. Clinton said he is pleased by a decision by Netscape Communications, provider of a popular Internet browser, to begin using technology that allows parents to rate World Wide Web sites according to their content and block those they consider inappropriate. Microsoft's Explorer browser already uses the technology. Speaking before industry officials, parent groups and others, the president said, "We simply must not allow pornographers and pedophiles to exploit a wonderful medium to abuse our children." Following yesterday's meeting, Clinton and Vice President Al Gore indicated they are satisfied the industry is committed to making the Internet family-friendly without impinging on free-speech rights. Nonetheless, skeptical is Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who is an author of the Communications Decency Act, the measure that sought to outlaw smut on the Net. The CDA last month was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found the law an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech. "This is like trusting the fox to guard the chicken coop," Coats told AP, adding he will introduce another bill that takes the Supreme Court decision into account and provides "the certainty that parents need" to feel comfortable allowing their children to surf the Internet. Meanwhile, Ross says some civil libertarians also are dubious, saying the plans for a voluntary online rating system seem forced. Don Haines, legislative counsel on privacy and cyberspace for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the wire service, "Some of the companies are acting as if they have a gun to their heads. This is a major burden on free speech on the Net. We want to cooperate with any voluntary system, but the large question is whether this is voluntary." And parents groups, while pleased with the industry's decision to offer a voluntary system, aren't ruling out other steps if they are dissatisfied with what the industry offers. Lois Jean White, president of the National Parent Teachers Association, told Ross, "If for some reason we cannot find common ground, we will reluctantly turn to other areas for action, including Congress." McAfee Attacks Hostile Applets A virus protection product designed to protect computer users from the Internet's hostile "applets" -- small applications that can perform specific functions on a desktop computer -- is being unveiled by McAfee Software. Reporting from Santa Clara, California, the Reuter News Service notes applets also can be used by computer vandals to "wreak havoc on a computer unexpectedly by reformatting a hard disk or swiping confidential information, for example." McAfee's new WebScanX product can be used to block hostile applets in particular, or other objectionable or unnecessary content or sites. "The software works with applets which use both Microsoft Corp.'s ActiveX and Sun Microsystem Inc.'s Java technologies," says Reuters, adding the program will be available next month in retail stores for $39.95. The same capabilities will be available to corporate customers as part of McAfee's VirusScan Security Suite. Police Say Man Shot Computer It was a bad day to be a computer in Issaquah, Washington, where a man had to be coaxed out of his townhouse by police after he reportedly pulled a gun and shot his PC. Frustration? Guess so. "We don't know if it wouldn't boot up or what," Sgt. Keith Moon told The Associated Press. The victim, which resided in a home office on the second floor of the townhouse, took four bullet holes to the hard drive and one to the monitor. One bullet struck a filing cabinet, while another made it through a wall and into a neighboring unit. No humans were hurt. AP says police evacuated the complex, contacted the unidentified 43-year-old man by telephone and got him to come out. He was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation. Digital Camera Boom Continues Peripheral Insight Inc., a Nashua, New Hampshire market research firm, is forecasting a 50 percent annual growth rate in the digital camera market through the year 2001. The company also predicts an early shakeout of the industry's growing list of digital camera manufacturers, which now exceeds 20. A similar study released least week by Lyra Research Inc. of Newtonville, Massachusetts, predicted that the digital camera market will advance at a compound annual growth rate of slightly more than 58 percent over the next seven years. Lyra also forecast that worldwide shipments of digital cameras will reach nearly 10 million units in 2001. Removable Hard Drives Unveiled Procom Technology Inc. and Kingston Technology Co. have joined forces to develop a removable hard drive line with capacities ranging from 1.2GB to 6.4GB. The new Data Dock series is designed for security-critical applications, since the drive can be removed when not in use, say the companies. The Data Dock drives are set to become available later this summer at prices yet to be announced. Procom, based in Irvine, California, designs, makes and markets data storage devices. Kingston, located in Fountain Valley, California, specializes in memory, storage and networking products. CompUSA to Build-to-Order Built-to-order computers will be offered by CompUSA Inc. starting in the fall, putting the Dallas business in direct competition with Dell Computer and Gateway 2000. CompUSA President Jim Halpin told United Press International, "Our goal is to sell computers any way that our customers want to buy them, and we believe CompUSA PC will help us reach that goal." He said catering to buyers who want to purchase custom-built personal computers offers the best opportunity for the company. CompUSA has not disclosed pricing schedules, UPI notes. UPI quotes the company as saying the customized machines will come with "added value" because CompUSA offers "convenient personal service and training through" at its 130 stores nationwide, along with shelves filled with peripherals to beef up the machine's potential. The company says the assembled machines will be shipped directly to buyers. Intel Beats Expectations Intel Corp. is reporting a 58 percent increase in second-quarter profits. The chip giant beat most analysts' expectations by earning $1.6 billion -- 92 cents a share -- in the three months ended in June, up from $1.0 billion -- 59 cents a share -- from the same period a year ago. Revenues climbed 29 percent to $6.0 billion from $4.6 billion in 1996's second quarter. "Strong microprocessor shipments in the first quarter led to some inventory correction in the second quarter as the industry prepared for a rapid transition to processors with MMX technology," Intel Chairman Andrew Grove said in a statement. "Demand for the Pentium processor with MMX technology and the Pentium II processor is strong, and we are ramping production at a record rate." But Grove warned that third quarter revenues would show little or no improvement from the second quarter. Industry observers expect Intel will cut prices sharply later this month in a move to clear out stockpiles of older processors. Survey Says We Still Want More Despite all-time low prices of desktop and notebook computers, users think they still are paying too much for too little, according to a new survey by Computerworld newspaper. Reporting from Framingham, Mass., United Press International says the survey of 1,651 senior-level information technology buyers found that corporate computer buyers are fed up with high prices from leading hardware vendors such as IBM, Compaq and Digital. Technology evaluations editor James Connolly of the Computerworld Buyers Guide told the wire service that users are receiving more satisfaction from smaller direct sale vendors like Dell, Micron and Gateway 2000. Connolly says that with most PCs and notebooks offering comparable reliability, the focus has shifted to cost, but that where price is not an issue, an overwhelming number of respondents still rate IBM and Compaq as their vendors of choice. Asked to score computer vendors in a variety of categories relating to equipment quality, vendor image and cost issues, respondents said that: z For PCs, Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Corp., and Gateway 2000 scored the highest in overall satisfaction among all categories. z For notebook computer vendors, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Micron received the highest overall satisfaction, while AST, NEC and Compaq users were least satisfied with their notebooks. Connolly told UPI that the survey showed direct-sale vendors such as Dell, Gateway and Micron also offered good customer support, making them more popular with users. Used PCs Appeal to Many Nearly 2.4 million used PCs were acquired by home and self-employed PC users in the U.S. last year, reports Computer Intelligence, a La Jolla, California, market research firm. This year's results show that while used PCs remain an important part of the U.S. PC landscape, the numbers are down slightly from last year. CI finds that 2.47 million used PCs were acquired by home and self-employed PC users in 1995, or 19 percent of the 13.2 million total PCs acquired by these users in 1995. The latest study shows that the number of used PCs acquired remained nearly unchanged at 2.39 million, although the portion of the market declined to 17 percent. CI notes that a primary attraction of the used PCs acquired in 1996 was low prices -- half were acquired for under $500, and 73 percent were acquired for under $1,000. In comparison, only ten percent of PCs acquired new in 1996 cost under $1,000. CI states that used PC buyers had median household annual income of $33,500, or nearly one-third lower than that of new PC buyers ($48,900). The used PC was the first PC in the household for 53 percent of those acquiring a used PC in 1996. In contrast, the new PC was the first PC for only 36 percent of buyers. "Until the latter part of 1996, a sub-$1,000 PC was inevitably a used PC," says Dave Tremblay, a CI senior industry analyst. "Inexpensive used PCs opened up PC ownership to the lower income households, and made it easier for families of more moderate means to afford PCs. Samples of CI's market data and research results, commentary from industry authorities and previews of upcoming technology events are available on the company's Web, http://www.ci.zd.com. Java Use Rising A new study finds that 50 percent of medium and large corporations are currently using Java applications. Zona Research Inc. notes that the technology is being widely adopted as an enterprise-wide solution for mission- critical application deployment. It adds that 32 percent of the respondents indicate that the decision to deploy Java is a strategic decision being made from the top of the IT management structure. The Redwood City, California, research firm also finds that information sharing, resource scheduling and project/workgroup management are the most common business processes for which Java is being used. "From this study, we can see that Java application deployment is positioned to grow dramatically over the next two years," says Clay Ryder, chief analyst at Zona Research. The full report, titled "Java in the Enterprise," is available free of charge from Zona Research's Web site at http://www.zonaresearch.com. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley email@example.com (next week) EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents BT-MCI Deal Still On Track Despite Bad News From MCI Senate Rejects Stricter Computer Export Controls FCC Stretches Payment Plan For Wireless Licenses... ...And Modifies E-Rate Rules City Leaders Oppose Temporary Ban On Internet Taxes Security Breach Shuts Down Online Sports Stores Year 2000 Litigation Could Top $1 Trillion Helsinki In 3-D ... Virtually All Of It In Search Of GeeksMicrosoft Explorer Discovers ... Windows!HP And AT&T Collaborate On Electronic ShoppingFCC Chair Tries To Prod Competition In Local Phone Markets Battle Over BIFF Vs. TIFF Cartridges Escalates Canadian Satellite Seeks License For Euronews Apple Delays PowerBook Shipments Siemens, NetSpeak Target Internet Telephony Market FTC Says Web Sites Aimed At Kids Must Get Parental Okays Snafu At Network Solutions Leaves Users Angry Good News From Apple. Good News >From Apple. AT&T President Forced To Resign Phone Industry Wants FCC's Help Against FBI's Wiretap Plans Web Costs High, Revenue Low Voice-Controlled MS Word U.S., Japanese Chip Makers Work Toward Global Standards Be Beta Debuts BT-MCI DEAL STILL ON TRACK DESPITE BAD NEWS FROM MCI British Telecommunications plans to proceed with its $20 billion merger with MCI, in spite of this week's news that MCI could lose $800 million as a result of its expansion efforts into the U.S. local phone service market. It is not yet clear whether BT might seek to renegotiate the terms of the deal, which includes a plan to form the world's first global telecom company, Concert, by the end of the year. (Financial Times 12 Jul 97) BellSouth, the regional Bell operating system providing local-service in Southeastern U.S., is warning regulators not to be "fooled" by MCI's "ploy" claiming its loss is due to the fact the regional Bells are cutting it out of the local service market. A BellSouth executive says: "Any start-up business tends to lose money at the beginning. Long-distance companies' losing money as they get into local telephony is not exceptional... The remarkable part of this saga is MCI's brazen attempt to turn this fact of business life into something more than it is in order to gain political advantage." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 12 Jul 97) SENATE REJECTS STRICTER COMPUTER EXPORT CONTROLS The U.S. Senate rejected an amendment brought by Sen. Thad Cochran (R- Miss.) that would have reimposed stricter licensing controls on sales of certain medium- to high-powered computers to China, Russia and other countries suspected of diverting them to military use. The House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure sponsored by Rep. Floyd Spence (R-S.C.). The Clinton Administration is opposed to the stricter controls, arguing that its policy of allowing companies to sell computers capable of processing 2,000 to 7,000 MTOPS (million theoretical operations per second) only for nonmilitary purposes was working well. Under this plan, it is up to the companies selling the computers to determine whether the country purchasing the computer plans to use it for military purposes. (TechWire 12 Jul 97) FCC STRETCHES PAYMENT PLAN FOR WIRELESS LICENSES... In an effort to ease a purported cash flow problem, the Federal Communications Commission says bidders on wireless personal communications services licenses who are having trouble raising money from investors may make their payments in annual rather than quarterly installments. That change puts the first payment off until early next year, which gives companies more time to raise the necessary funds. The bidders have suggested that the FCC postpone any payments for as long as eight years, or cut the payments in half. (Wall Street Journal 11 Jul 97) ... AND MODIFIES E-RATE RULES The Federal Communications Commission has amended its rules for E-rate discounts, saying that schools and libraries that signed contracts with their telecommunications service providers prior to Nov. 8, 1996 need not comply with the original order's competitive bidding requirements in order to be eligible for federal universal service discounts. The discounts will go into effect Jan. 1. In the same action, the FCC clarified that support mechanisms for serving rural, insular and high-cost areas will also be funded by the new Universal Service Fund. (Telecommunications Reports Daily 11 Jul 97) CITY LEADERS OPPOSE TEMPORARY BAN ON INTERNET TAXES National League of Cities president Mark Schwartz says that new legislation being considered in the U.S. Congress to make the Internet a tax-free zone for business is "offensive" to local governments. The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Oregon) and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), proposes a temporary ban on new state and local Internet taxes until all parties agree on a uniform way to proceed. Another opponent of the legislation is Bill Fulginti of the New Mexico Municipal League, who says it would destabilize local economies by encouraging businesses to use the Internet as a tax haven. But Internet service providers argue that they could be driven out of business if local governments start taxing electronic transactions routed through a local computer server en route to its final destination. (AP 13 Jul 97) SECURITY BREACH SHUTS DOWN ONLINE SPORTS STORES The online stores at the popular ESPN SportsZone and NBA.com Web sites were shut down after an anonymous person sent e-mail to hundreds of shoppers who'd made purchases at the stores, saying he'd acquired their credit card information from parent company Starwave's computer systems and including their credit card number to prove it. Starwave says it's beefed up its security now, and the ESPN SportZone store is already back up and running. NBA.com is expected to be back online next week. "We've changed the system and now it's a much more painful process for us to fill orders, but it was to make sure it was secure for our customers," says a Starwave spokeswoman. "You can be sure that we are doing everything possible to prevent it from happening again." (InfoWorld Electric 11 Jul 97) YEAR 2000 LITIGATION COULD TOP $1 TRILLION With the total cost of fixing the Year 2000 software problems still sinking in, here's something else to worry about: The New York law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae predicts companies that neglect to become Year 2000-compliant will be sued for poor management and malpractice, resulting in total litigation costs exceeding $1 trillion. (Information Week 30 Jun 97) HELSINKI IN 3-D ... VIRTUALLY ALL OF IT Helsinki, in a country that has the highest per-capita use of the Internet and mobile phones in the world, is developing an interactive guide to the city. Risto Linturi, the technology director for the project, says: "What we are making is a 3-D interface that will create 100,000 private television stations in the city, uniting people through a combination of the telephone, the computer, and Internet. You can check out what is happening on Main Street, or click a university and pick a lecture to attend in real time. Everyone who places a tiny camera, a cheap device that is already common, on their personal computer -- from your banker to your barber -- can be accessible by video and sound in real time." Linturi's colleague, Immo Teperi says: "What is new is the mass application. Instead of making just one square or one building accessible, we are making a whole city accessible in a multimedia network with its everyday life." (New York Times 11 Jul 97) IN SEARCH OF GEEKS Industry observers say the widening gap between the supply of computer science graduates and computer industry demand probably won't close for at least a decade, leaving computer companies looking overseas for qualified applicants to fill their jobs. The number of computer science graduates in the U.S. has dropped from 38,000 in 1984 to 26,000 this year. "This is a real limiting factor to growth," says a researcher at Stanford Computer Industry Project. And it's not only computer companies that are hurting -- automobile makers, banks, brokerage houses and phone companies all are vying for the few "computer nerds" available. "Everybody's going crazy now trying to find these folks," says a Netscape human resources director. High on the list for overseas recruitment efforts are South Africa, the Philippines, India, Russia, Israel, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. (Business Week 21 Jul 97) MICROSOFT EXPLORER DISCOVERS ... WINDOWS! The new test version of Microsoft's Explorer software for browsing the World Wide Web will be more closely coupled with the company's Windows95 operating system, with Explorer to be embedded directly into what Microsoft calls the "active desktop" of the computer screen. The information and entertainment that will be delivered through "channels" available on the desktop will come from 250 companies, including Warner Brothers, Disney Online, CBS, Sportsline, the Discovery Channel, ESPN Sports Zone, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. A Microsoft executive boasts that this new development "will bring millions of new people to the Internet," whereas an executive with rival Netscape argues: "This is a scheme that Microsoft has cooked up to tie users in to Internet Explorer. The key anticompetitive issue is that the user doesn't get to choose. They trick the user into using Internet Explorer when the user doesn't want to." (New York Times 15 July 97) HP AND AT&T COLLABORATE ON ELECTRONIC SHOPPING Hewlett-Packard and AT&T will collaborate on the development and marketing of technologies and services supporting electronic storefronts on the Internet. AT&T will provide networking and secure-purchasing capabilities and HP will provide computer equipment and software. (Financial Times 15 Jul 97) FCC CHAIR TRIES TO PROD COMPETITION IN LOCAL PHONE MARKETS Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt wants a task force to examine charges by long- distance phone service companies AT&T and MCI that the local phone service providers (the Bell operating companies and GTE) are preventing them from entering the local markets. AT&T chief executive Robert Allen has charged: "We've been blocked [by the local companies] at every step through the system, through favoring their own companies, through activities at various courts." BellSouth executive Bob Blau responds: "They are throwing up another smokescreen to keep us out of long- distance for a few more months." (USA Today 15 Jul 97) BATTLE OVER BIFF VS. TIFF CARTRIDGES ESCALATES In an ongoing dispute over printer cartridges, a federal judge has issued an injunction against Hewlett-Packard, labeling as "false advertising" HP's practice of advertising a new type of cartridge on boxes that contain an older model. Nu-Kote International, a company that provides equipment to refill H-P cartridges with ink so that they may be reused, says the new cartridges are deliberately designed so that they can't be refilled with Nu- Kote products. HP says its switch from TIFF (top ink-fill format) to BIFF (bottom ink-fill format) was made to increase the product's reliability, not to sabotage Nu-Kote's market. The companies each have sued the other, and both cases are pending. (Wall Street Journal 14 Jul 97) CANADIAN SATELLITE SEEKS LICENSE FOR EURONEWS Canadian Satellite Communications hopes to obtain a license to broadcast Euronews, the multilingual European news network, across Canada. Euronews continuously broadcasts world news events as seen from a European perspective and transmits simultaneously in five languages: French, English, German, Italian and Spanish. (Toronto Financial Post 15 July 97 p12) APPLE DELAYS POWERBOOK SHIPMENTS Apple Computer's new subportable computer, the PowerBook 2400c developed in conjunction with IBM, won't ship in the U.S. until August -- the delay will enable Apple to include the latest Mac OS upgrade, scheduled to become available July 26. Mac OS 8 will include a new user interface and increased stability. The machine is already available in Japan, where it has been selling well. (Wall Street Journal 15 Jul 97) SIEMENS, NETSPEAK TARGET INTERNET TELEPHONY MARKET Siemens Stromberg-Carlson and NetSpeak will collaborate on developing Internet telephony products, including Internet protocol telephony gateways, servers and Web phones, as well as installation and integration services that will enable customers to provide Internet telephony and related services. The new products are targeted at telecommunications carriers, cable companies and Internet service providers. (InfoWorld Electric 14 Jul 97) FTC SAYS WEB SITES AIMED AT KIDS MUST GET PARENTAL OKAYS The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the managers of Web sites that collect personal information about children must obtain parental consent before releasing it to third parties. Although the FTC does not regulate advertising for children over the Net, it does have general jurisdiction over any deceptive market practices. (USA Today 17 Jul 97) SNAFU AT NETWORK SOLUTIONS LEAVES USERS ANGRY Corrupted data used by Network Solutions, the company that processes Internet domain name registrations, has resulted in some Internet addresses being routed incorrectly or not at all, say some Internet service and backbone providers whose servers are maintained by Network Solutions. The problems started Wednesday night, when data entry errors resulted in the root server assigning incorrect IP addresses in response to URL requests. The problem is affecting .com and .net addresses. Network Solutions will have to reinstall the entire InterNIC database to correct the problem, according to one backbone provider. "It's a nightmare week for the Internet," says the head of a Santa Cruz Internet service provider. (Computer Reseller News 17 Jul 97) GOOD NEWS FROM APPLE. GOOD NEWS FROM APPLE. Apple Computer posted a smaller-than-expected loss of only $56 million this quarter, giving well-wishers some reason to hope that it can still make a comeback. As a result, Apple's stock rose 5% Thursday morning. Chief Operating Officer Fred Anderson, who is running the company since the recent resignation of Chief Executive Gil Amelio, says: "This management team is now moving . . . at 500 megahertz." (San Jose Mercury News 17 Jul 97) AT&T PRESIDENT FORCED TO RESIGN The AT&T board of directors has forced the resignation of AT&T President and Chief Operating Officer John R. Walter, who was second-in-command after Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Allen. Walter, who had been recruited nine months ago from R.R. Donnelley & Sons, a printing company, was told that the board had lost faith in his performance, and board member Walter Y. Elisha told a reporter: "He lacked the intellectual leadership to lead AT&T. He's a bright guy, but the complexity of the business is far greater than he might have realized." (New York Times 17 Jul 97) PHONE INDUSTRY WANTS FCC'S HELP AGAINST FBI'S WIRETAP PLANS Arguing that the FBI's requests for expanded wiretap capabilities go beyond that agency's authority, telephone industry officials are asking the Federal Communications Commission to help them resist the FBI's proposed digital phone design, which would allow law enforcement officials to continue the wiretapping of a conference call even after the person targeted by a court-authorized wiretap drops out of the call. The phone industry claims the request would cost billions of dollars to implement and would expose it to lawsuits by civil liberties groups fighting against privacy invasions. (New York Times 16 Jul 97) WEB COSTS HIGH, REVENUE LOW Companies are paying top dollar to workers to design and manage their Web sites, and the costs far exceed the revenues generated, according to a survey by Buck Consultants. A typical company spends $200,000 to $300,000 a year on salaries, bonuses and benefits for Web workers, but the survey of 104 companies found only 25 of them use their sites to generate revenue. Most companies use their sites to post financial and product information. One respondent says the "big myth of the Internet" is that it generates sales. In fact, he says, it's really a way to create dialogue between the customers, salespeople and employees. Despite the lack of payoff, few companies plan to reduce their Web efforts. "It's peanuts compared to running a major advertising campaign," says the director of information systems for Sonesta Hotels & Resorts. (USA Today 16 Jul 97) VOICE-CONTROLLED MS WORD Lernout & Hauspie, a speech technology software vendor, will introduce a voice-controlled software editor for Microsoft Word in the fall. Users will be able to select a sentence, underline a group of words, and change the color and size of a font, all by naturally spoken voice. "It'll make people give up the mouse," says Lernout & Hauspie's chief technology officer. The Lernout & Hauspie product uses discrete dictation pathology software from Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, which it acquired earlier this year. Kurzweil's artificial intelligence technology allows the software to prompt users for answers as if they were entering information onto a form. The initial product will be aimed specifically at pathologists, with other versions for the legal profession and police reporting to follow. (InfoWorld Electric 17 Jul 97) U.S., JAPANESE CHIP MAKERS WORK TOWARD GLOBAL STANDARDS Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, an industry group comprising both U.S. and Japanese chip manufacturers, says its members have agreed to jointly develop global standards for the next-generation 12- inch semiconductor wafers. Today's chips come from 8-inch wafers. Moving to the larger size will enable chipmakers to squeeze two and a half times more chips on each wafer. By agreeing to establish a common manufacturing standard, the companies could reduce the transition period by two to three years. (Wall Street Journal 17 Jul 97) BE BETA DEBUTS The first public beta version of BeOS, Be Inc.'s operating system geared toward digital content design and Internet capabilities, is available as part of a BeOS Preview Release Full Pack (including printed documentation and two free future upgrades) for $49 on its Web site. http://www.be.com/ (InfoWorld Electric 16 Jul 97) Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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). ... 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Travel Talk French by The Learning Company makes it possible to learn basic conversational French (just enough to get by) or to brush up on your high school French (mine is really rusty as I found out) in a painless and fun way. Travel Talk French is a lot of program. There is so much program here that it comes on two CD's. I had to clear a lot of space on my hard drive to install it because it asked for over 60 megabytes of storage! Then it really taxed my 486DX4-100 processor. The program booted slowly and the video clips were slow and choppy. Since Travel Talk French is loaded with video, this presented a real problem. Reading the documentation packed with the CD's helped me to work out most of my video problems by modifying my Quick Time .ini file which I really appreciated. However, unless you are really into waiting, you are going to get very frustrated waiting for things to happen in this program on an older computer. The minimum system requirements call for a 486DX-66 and a double-speed CD-ROM drive. I wouldn't recommend purchasing this program for anything less than a Pentium system with a good-sized hard drive and at least a 4X CD-ROM drive. Travel Talk French is too nice a program to run on anything less. The Learning Company uses some of the best technology available for Travel Talk French. You are guided through the program by a full action "video hostess." She is there anytime you go into something new to explain its use or to explain something about travel in a French-speaking land. The program also uses voice recognition technology to test your ability to speak the words and phrases you are learning. Although The Learning Company uses highly advanced voice recognition technology, it just isn't possible, yet, for a computer to recognize everything a person says 100% of the time. I ran into several instances where Travel Talk French just couldn't recognize what I was saying. No matter how often I tried with some words, the program just couldn't make out what I was saying. This wasn't much of a problem though. There were times I was sure the program couldn't have understood me and it did. Just be prepared for problems at times with the voice recognition. Travel Talk French uses a building concept to present its various features. Enter the lobby of the "Language International" building to sign in and choose a destination. Your options are to enter the Language Studio, Travel Lab or Game Room. You will use the Language Studio to learn French. Using a dashboard type layout, the program leads you through eight different themes. These themes are Arrival, Getting Around, Lodging, Meeting People, Touring, Eating Out, Shopping and Unexpected Events. The program will teach you words and phrases you will need in various situations related to these themes using orientation, situation and communication. In orientation you will see a picture and hear the related word spoken to you in French. You then repeat this word into the microphone. The program analyzes your pronunciation and shows the result on a gauge. If the gauge needle stays in the red then your pronunciation is really off. Keep working at it and you will eventually work the needle into the green. This is where the program had problems reading my pronunciation of a few words. Select situation and you will watch a video clip. The words and phrases you learned in orientation will be put into action in an interchange between characters in the video. You can slow the speed of the speech and can also see a translation of the speech. Choosing to see the speech in French helps you to understand what is being said the first couple of times through. In communication, you are asked to carry more of the load. Your listening and speaking skills are tested here. To test your listening skills, the program presents you with four pictures. A word is then spoken. It's up to you to click on the picture that matches the spoken word. To test your speaking skills the program presents you with three types of problems. You must name a picture in French, correctly reorganize a jumbled sentence or correctly answer in French a spoken French question. Back in the lobby we still have two other rooms to enter. In the Game Room, we are presented with several ways to hone our new French skills. "Conquest" is a board game that I never really completely understood. Anyway, you get to take a turn against the computer by either properly speaking a French word to describe a picture or clicking the correct picture after the program speaks a word. "Video Match" was a little bit easier for me to understand. You are presented with twelve covered squares. Behind each is a video clip. Click on a square and that video plays out in French. The object is to find another video clip that is related to the first. Match them and the squares turn into your color. Both games can be played against an opponent. There is also a jukebox in the Game Room. It contains six song selections. You can choose to turn the voice off to sing the song yourself, turn the text on and even have the text show an English translation. The jukebox isn't really an important feature, but it is entertaining and gives you a little taste of the culture. Back in the lobby again, we have only the Travel Lab to explore. Here you can enjoy a narrated slide show about the land, people, attractions and travel tips. The real highlights are the travel simulations. They tended to overwhelm my computer, so I didn't get to delve very deeply into them. What I did see was impressive though. An example is simulation number one which features three scenarios. "Tourist without Hotel Reservations" takes you through every person-to-person interface you are likely to encounter on your way into the country and to a hotel. Your answer to each question will determine the direction the conversation heads in. It was really fascinating to watch the people on the screen react to what I was saying in French. Wow!! Travel Talk French also contains a dictionary and a grammar book. I can understand their presence, but they probably won't be all that useful because of the limited mission of this program. Overall, this is a well thought-out and executed program. The graphics and sounds are sharp and clean. The interface is easy to understand and use every step of the way. Travel Talk French even has some play value to it, though it has a very serious objective. The educational value is beyond question. At a street price around $30, bang for the buck is extremely high because of all that The Learning Company packed into this program and the way that it is used and presented. The main question is whether or not I can recommend Travel Talk French to you. That depends greatly upon what you plan on doing with it. By its nature, this program has a very limited scope. It does not really teach you French. All Travel Talk French will do is teach you the bare minimum of words and phrases you need to get along on a trip to France or another French-speaking country. You do not learn grammar, parts of the language, vocabulary, spelling, etc. If you only plan to make one trip, this program will quickly lose its value for you. If you have friends or business associates who can use the program also or you enjoy the narrow focus of this program, then it has additional value. On the other hand, this program is highly valuable when used as designed. It does an excellent job of teaching you that bare minimum and does it with a lot of class. If you really want to learn conversational French that you can use for a lifetime, then I wouldn't recommend this program to you. The Learning Company has other language software for that purpose. If it is as good as this program, then you should definitely get your hands on it. If you just want to learn basic conversational French, enough to get you to, around and home from France, then this is the program for you. You might want to pass it on to someone else in the family who needs these skills after you're done, unless you are planning several trips. 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 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. 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The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. 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 email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" House-hunting update - we got one! The offer that we made on a house last week was accepted (with some minor haggling) and we're currently going through the channels to finalize the sale. We had the house inspected yesterday and found a couple of problems which we hope will be resolved accordingly. Other than that, we're looking forward to our new home; this will be our first. We're not looking forward to all of the dreaded closing meetings, but I guess it's all part of the home-buying experience. <grin> We hope to be in the new house before Labor Day. Wish us luck! I just received CAB 2.0 in the mail yesterday and I'm looking forward to testing it out shortly. Can't wait to put it through its paces and check out the improvements. So let's get on with this week's issue. As mentioned above, life is still on a hectic schedule and likely will continue through the summer for me. Next year at this time I hope to be relaxing out in the pool with a couple of cold drinks in hand! Until next time... >From Mille Babic: NEWSie is up to v0.79 and finally contains an Address Book. Only the memory sets a limit to its size, automatic or manual sort; and it's fully scrollable, with pop-up menu, help file, and Toolbar. For those of you using Magic, the pop-up menu support is not a part of the system. You need to run a program called MNU_MGR.PRG found in the EXTRAS folder at system start-up (START folder) to see the pop-up menus available in NEWSie via the right mouse button. These pop-up menus are available for most windows and offer yet another method to improve the user interface. You will find v0.79 at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/newsie.html and of course at The Author's Homepage: http://www.primenet.com/~rojewski/ For you who use N.AES, there's a new Win95-like Taskbar available from Jo Even Skarstein. I have a supporting webpage at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/skarstein/taskbar.html You can hide, quit, top or kill running apps or accs. Supports Drag & Drop onto the buttons thanks to The AV_Server (e.g Thing Desktop), which uses VA_START to notify the app in question and if You have a file selector that supports Christian Grunenberg's font-protocol then You can just drop a font file onto the taskbar and it will use that font. Howard Chu have released a very fast MiNT/MiNTnet CAB.OVL module: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/web_apps.html Best Regards Mille Babic email@example.com http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille Gaming Section "Quest 64"! Best of 1997 E3! "Jersey Devil"!! Sony in the UK! And more... >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! It's Thursday evening at about 8:00 p.m. and it's still about 93 degrees outside with horrendous humidity. And here I am sitting in front of two computer systems throwing off even more heat! It's a good thing that there's not much for me to say this week; I'll let the articles below speak for themselves. Try to stay cool! Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sony Invests Millions In UK Games Facility CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND, 1997 JUL 17 (Newsbytes) -- By Sylvia Dennis. Sony Computer Entertainment has announced it is spending UKP6 million on a games production facility in Cambridge, England. The studio will work on developing games for the Sony Playstation, as well as promoting the Playstation games system generally. Sony has been battling long and hard against arch-rival Nintendo, for domination of the UK games console market, Newsbytes notes. Sega has slipped somewhat, as some analysts contend that its Megadrive system is now looking dated, while the Playstation's use of CD-ROMs as its main software has increasingly appealed to games buyers. Nintendo, in contrast, has its games console based around cartridge technology, which means the production costs of each cartridge is higher than Sony's. For this reason, while the Playstation is less discounted than the Nintendo system, games for the Sony unit are cheaper from most outlets. Despite the aggressive competition, the Sony Playstation remains a luxury item. At UKP200 per console, plus UKP30 per game, it seems that many kids are happier buying a Gameboy for a quarter of the price and playing games costing UKP15 and up. It has always been Sony's aim to make the Playstation a commonplace consumer item in the UK, Newsbytes notes, so the aim of establishing the Cambridge operation is very much to "consumerize" the Playstation, with the addition of add-on units for the console, making the system an all-in-one entertainment system, rather than just a games console. Sony claims it has sold a million Playstations into the UK market, pushing Nintendo's N64 unit into second place. Mysterious Character Roams City Streets Battling Crime Development of Jersey Devil, Riveting Action Game for Sony PlayStation Nearly Completed MONTREAL, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Malofilm Interactive's creative division, Megatoon Studios, is approaching the much anticipated beta release of Jersey Devil(TM), an exciting new 3D action/adventure game that combines fast reactions, quick controls, and puzzles for a fantastic entertainment experience in a totally off-the-wall environment. Designed for the Sony PlayStation, Jersey Devil provides gamers with a completely interactive, 360 degree environment and offers multilevel exploration of an entire 3D city with the most fluid, astounding, hilarious cartoon animation possible. Unlike other 3D games, Jersey Devil lives in non-linear dynamic 3D environments, with colorful multiple levels and real 3D objects that he can move, pick up, and use to defeat his unpredictable enemies. "E3 attendees were astonished at Jersey Devil's unique ability to completely interact with his environment and pick up all sorts of objects and use them to solve puzzles. They were equally impressed with the way the character responds to Sony's upcoming dual-analog controller which allows more precision and fluidity in his movements," explained Francois-Dominic Laramee, Head of Research and Development. The intrepid Jersey Devil wanders the streets of Jersey City each night chasing the sinister Doctor Knarf and his minion, Dennis the Pumpkinhead, who are invading the city with their mutant army of pot plants and vegetables. To foil their evil schemes, he must uncover and destroy all of Doctor Knarf's secret labs defended by strange monsters and supernatural creatures viciously attacking him from all sides. To further his quest and/or restore his health after strenuous battle, Jersey Devil must discover bonuses, energy and power-ups hidden in boxes or scattered in hard to reach places. Jersey Devil includes a number of breakthrough features, most notably free-form 3D environments, the support for Sony's dual-analog controller and user control over camera angles. It also offers "intelligent" opponents, and features randomized movements, minimum repetition, and diversified attack styles that serve to keep players alert and to prevent them from memorizing any of the game's 11 different 3D levels. Jersey Devil is an athletic little creature who can run, lean, glide (with the help of wings), jump/somersault, bounce on monsters and balloons, pick up, throw and push objects, break boxes and punch or strike opponents with his tail. He can also ride animals as well. Jersey Devil will be available at major retailers nationwide for an approximate street price of $59.95. For more information, contact Isabelle Marazzani at Malofilm Interactive at 514-844-4555, or visit the company's web site at http://www.malo.com. 10 Game Publications Honor Interactive Games SAN FRANCISCO (July 11) BUSINESS WIRE -July 11, 1997--GamePen.Com (http://www.gamepen.com), the online community for gamers, has announced the winners of the first annual GamePen's Best of E3 Show Awards (http://www.e3.net/awards). These independent awards, sponsored by Concentric Network Corporation, are the first of their kind, nominated and voted on by ten top journalists in the gaming trade. The nominees and winners were selected from the 1500 titles shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, Georgia last month. Each category had four to six nominations, decided on in June by weighted vote of the editors. Final voting took place yesterday. Each editor received one vote per category. Ties were broken using the points scored in the nomination process. "The Concentric Network is very excited to be sponsoring these awards," Chris Sherman, Director of Games and Entertainment at Concentric commented earlier. "Usually gaming awards are given by a single publication or institution. It's terrific to see ten publications working together to honor the best in the trade. We're delighted to be able to support that kind of community spirit." Judging publications included, GamePen.Com, Arcadium.Com, Online Game Review, Computer & Net Player, Game Demo Depot, Game Revolution, Gameslice, PC Games Magazine, PCM&E, Game Briefs. The Winners and Nominees Aaron John Loeb, Editor-in-Chief of GamePen, and the awards organizer, commented: "Unlike many 'Best Of' programs, we opted to make the centerpiece award one for innovation. While we have 'Best Game' awards, the real stand-out prize is 'Most Promising New Game,' awarded only to titles that are not part of an existing franchise. This way we, the press, can give a thumbs up to the designers and publishers who are really pushing the creative envelope." The categories, winners, and nominees are: Most Promising New Game - Winner: Myth: The Fallen Lords (Bungie) Nominees: Unreal (GT Interactive/Epic) Dungeon Keeper (Bullfrog) Half Life (Sierra/Valve) Most Promising New Peripheral - Winner: SideWinder Force Feedback Pro (Microsoft) Nominees The Glove (Reality Quest) Cyberman 2 (Logitech) PC-Dash (Saitek) ACT Labs Racing System (ACT Labs) Best Game -- PC - Winner: Dungeon Keeper (Bullfrog) Nominees: Quake 2 (Activision/id) Myth: The Fallen Lords (Bungie) Blade Runner (Westwood) Best Game -- PlayStation - Winner: Abe's Oddworld Oddysee (GT Interactive/Oddworld Inhabitants) Nominees: Final Fantasy VII (Sony/Squaresoft) Crash Bandicoot 2 (Sony) Jurassic Park: Lost World (Dreamworks) Best Game -- Saturn - Winner: Enemy Zero (Sega/WARP) Nominees: Duke Nukem 3D (Sega/3D Realms) Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega) Sonic R (Sega) Best Game -- N64 - Winner: Star Fox 64 (Nintendo) Nominees: Zelda 64 (Nintendo) Goldeneye (Nintendo) Banjo Kazooie (Nintendo) Best Action Game - Winner: Half-Life (Sierra/Valve) Nominees: Quake 2 (Activision/id) Unreal (GT Interactive/Epic) Hexen 2 (Activision/Raven) Best Adventure Game - Winner: Riven (Red Orb) Nominees: Blade Runner (Westwood) Curse of Monkey Island (LucasArts) WarCraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans (Blizzard) Best Real-Time Strategy - Winner: Age of Empires (Microsoft/Ensemble) Nominees: Total Annihilation (GT Interactive/Cavedog) Dark Reign (Activision) Starcraft (Blizzard) Best Turn Based Strategy - Winner: X-Com: Apocalypse (Microprose) Nominees: Panzer General II (SSI) Guardians: Agents of Justice (Microprose) Jagged Alliance 2 (Sir-Tech) Warlords III (Red Orb) Best Combat Sim - Winner: Longbow 2 (Jane's) Nominees: F-15 (Jane's) if22 (Interactive Magic) Falcon 4.0 (Microprose) Saber Ace (Virgin Interactive) Heavy Gear (Activision) Best Non-Combat Sim - Winner: Flight Unlimited 2 (Eidos/Looking Glass) Nominees: Populous III (Bullfrog) Flight Simulator 98 (Microsoft) Sim City 3000 (Maxis) Best Fighting - Winner: Star Wars: Masters of Ters Ksi (LucasArts) Nominees: Bushido Blade (Sony/Squaresoft) Die By The Sword (Interplay) Last Bronx (Sega) Best Racing - Winner: Test Drive 4 (Accolade) Nominees: Andretti Racing '98 (EA Sports) F/Zero 64 (Nintendo) F1 Racing Simulation (UbiSoft) Formula 1 97 (Psygnosis) Best Sports - Winner: Baseball 3D (Microsoft) Nominees: World Wide Soccer 98 (Sega) Powerplay 98 (Virgin Interactive) Links LS 98 (Access) Best RPG - Winner: Might & Magic VI (New World Computing) Nominees: Lands of Lore 2 (Westwood) Final Fantasy VII (Sony/Squaresoft) Wizardry 8 (Sir-Tech) Best Online Only - Winner: Ultima Online (Origin) Nominees: Fighter Ace (Microsoft/VR-1) Asheron's Call (Microsoft/Turbine) FireTeam (Multitude) Best Puzzle/Trivia - Winner: You Don't Know Jack: TV (Berkeley) Nominees: Tetrisphere (Nintendo) Saturn Bomberman (Sega) Acrophobia (Berkeley) Best Booth - Winner: Sony Nominees: Activision Eidos Electronic Arts (EA Sports, Bullfrog, Origin, Jane's) Best Party - Winner: Eidos Nominees: SegaSoft's HEAT Activision's Apocalypse SouthPeak Interactive Special Commendations In the spirit of a creative festival, the jury also awarded special commendations. These were chosen by blind vote in a number of categories, each editor naming only one title. "In order to receive a commendation, a game had to be the first title that popped to mind for over 30% of the editors," Mr. Loeb explained. "With 1500 titles to choose from, and no nomination list, games that received commendations are the ones which made an enormous impression at the show." Commendations were awarded to the following titles: Best Take on Real-Time Strategy: Total Annihilation (GT Interactive/Cave Dog) Best Take on First-Person Action: Half-Life (Sierra/Valve) Most Egregiously Gory: Postal (Ripcord/Running With Scissors) Most Impressive Graphics: Two Commendations: Quake 2 (Activision/id) & Half-Life (Sierra/Valve) Most Impressive Sound: Blade Runner (Westwood Studios) Best Promo Piece: Blade Runner (Westwood Studios) Best Use of Models at Booth (and we don't mean the polygonal kind): Eidos Best Lead Character Commendations: Best Lead-Lara Croft-esque: Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 2 (Eidos) Best Lead-Real Actor Commendation to: Bruce Willis in Apocalypse (Activision) The Judges GamePen's Best of E3 Show Awards were voted on by editors from eight web-based magazines and two print magazines. The awards are not officially affiliated with the E3 Show, it's owner IDSA or its management MHA. The Judging editors are: Aaron John Loeb -- Editor-in-Chief, GamePen.Com (http://www.gamepen.com) Erika Hall -- Producer, Arcadium.Com (http://www.arcadium.com) Paul Bannister -- Editor-in-Chief, Online Game Review (http://www.ogr.com) Jeff James -- Senior Editor, Computer & Net Player (http://www.ogr.com) Kevin Lynch -- Editor-in-Chief, Game Demo Depot (http://www.gamedemo.com) Duke Ferris -- Editor-in-Chief, Game Revolution (http://www.game-revolution.com) Geoff Keighley -- Editor-in-Chief, Gameslice (http://www.gameslice.com) George Chronis -- News & Technology Editor, PC Games Magazine (http://www.pcgames.com) Rod White -- Assistant Editor, PCM&E (http://www.pcme.com) Chuck Miller -- Editor-in-Chief, Game Briefs (http://www.gamebriefs.com) THQ To Publish "Quest 64" for Nintendo 64 CALABASAS, CALIF. (July 14) BUSINESS WIRE -July 14, 1997--THQ Inc. (NASDAQ/NMS:THQI) Monday announced that it has signed an agreement with Japanese game publisher Imagineer Co. Ltd. to publish and distribute its first adventure role playing game (RPG) for the Nintendo 64 platform, "Quest 64." The game is scheduled to be released in the United States the first quarter of 1998. "Quest 64" transports players into a vast, fully explorable 3-D world of magic and mystery through the role of the hero, who, with special powers acquired through combat and character interaction, guards humankind by manipulating the four spirits in nature -- air, water, earth and fire. Other features include hundreds of characters, including two companions, countless spells and isolated combat. "THQ is thrilled to be teaming with Imagineer in creating our first RPG adventure for the sought-after Nintendo 64 platform," said Mike Haller, THQ senior vice president. "We are extremely impressed with the quality of this extensive 3-D environment from Imagineer which promises to be one of the most talked about games of the year." "'Quest 64' is THQ and Imagineer's third team effort and we are delighted to be working with a company who has successfully brought numerous interactive video games to the U.S. market," said Yan Qiu, manager, international division, Imagineer. "What makes 'Quest 64' unique is the free-flowing epic gameplay and in-depth storyline which is sure to capture the videogame audience in this popular RPG category." PlayNet Launches First National Networked Prize SAN FRANCISCO (July 17) BUSINESS WIRE - July 17, 1997 PlayNet Technologies, Inc. today announced the launch of its first nationally networked game tournament and its first tournament sponsor, Yamaha WaterCraft. Each of PlayNet's summer monthly tournaments will feature the perfect summer grand prize, a fabulous Yamaha WaveRunner GP1200. Prizes for monthly regional, city, and location winners will also be awarded. The Yamaha WaterCraft sponsored National Tournaments will run through September. The tournaments will feature fun and challenging games of skill played on PlayNet Web terminals located in bars and hospitality locations all over the country. The PlayNet Terminal is a Pentium(TM) PC that delivers exciting games and Internet content via network resources supplied by IBM. The PlayNet network will collect the scores from all locations and compile national, regional, and local standings. "We promised to bring back accessible fun into game play, and with the compelling edge of prize competition and the chance for someone to be top dog in the nation. This is the start of us fulfilling our promise," says Nolan Bushnell, developer of Pong, founder of Atari and architect of the PlayNet system. As the first sponsor of the PlayNet tournaments, Yamaha is extremely excited to be on the cutting edge of this new networked advertising medium. Andrew Buckley, Director of Marketing for Yamaha Watercraft commented, "I was sold on this idea from the start and fortunate enough to be the first sponsor. We at Yamaha are elated about the endless possibilities this new tournament game presents, especially PlayNet's ability to connect to our website. Traditional advertising media like TV and print are presented to me daily, but with PlayNet I knew right away that the sky's the limit!" The monthly grand prize, a Yamaha WaveRunner GP1200, which features a 135 horse power engine and an incredible top speed of 60 mph, is valued at over $8,000. Tom Dixon, President of J. Thomas Markham, PlayNet's advertising agency, has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies and sees PlayNet as "by far the most exciting project I have ever been involved with." Beyond its slate of sponsored tournaments, PlayNet intends to expand the features and content of its entertainment network. "We have tested our products extensively in the field and are confident that we are bringing robust systems with the tightest software to the market. Our diverse entertainment capabilities will generate demand and revenues that will have patrons and the industry taking notice of us very soon," said Mouli Cohen founder and President of PlayNet. PlayNet designs and develops global, networked entertainment systems. The company's website can be found at www.playnet.com. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org (vacation) PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES "When a bachelor marries, his wife has 3 qualities - she is an economist in the kitchen, an aristocrat in the living room & a devil in bed. After a few years, sure enough the 3 qualities remain, but not in the same order - she is an aristocrat in the kitchen, a devil in the living room & an economist in bed." "The doctor is the only man who can tell a woman to take off her clothes & send the bill to her husband." "The nervous bride to be sat on the dentist's chair to have her tooth extracted. Seeing so many intruments, she got frightened. "Doc, I would rather have a baby than have my tooth pulled out." The dentist retorted, "Well, make up ur mind so that I can accomodate accordingly." STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM OVER 200,000 Readers 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" July 18, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1329
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