ST Report: 10-Oct-97 #1340From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 10-Oct-97 #1340 Date: Wed Oct 15 21:46:00 1997 21 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) October 10, 1997 No.1340 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 1-978-670-5896 10/10/97 STR 1340 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - HP Sues Xerox - AOL Sues Spammer - Sun Sues MS (Java) - HP:NonPC Printer - IE4 dl'ed 1.4m times - iF-16 Good Stuff! - MOPy FISH pet - Colony Wars - Zero Five Review - People Talking - Classics & Gaming K6 and more than 64Mb BAD NEWS Feds Sue Over 'Internic' Name IBM Cutting PC Numbers, Prices 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: 10/04/97: three of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... We are beginning to receive the annual fall spate of updates and new programming. All that can be said at this time is the goodies are fabulous. The new versions of the old reliable friends we work with week in and week out are becoming veritable powerhouses of convenient features that make the job so much easier. In the next few weeks we shall begin to cover programs like Caere Omipage Pro 8.0, Omniform, Acrobat 3.01, Framemaker, Cleansweep, Tune-Up and a respectable number of others. We, at STReport aree looking for a "few good staffers". Folks we can rely on to help carry on the solid, user oriented, traditions STR has established over the years. 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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 Randy Noak 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 Correspondent Staff 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 Sues Over Junk E-Mail A Las Vegas firm called Over the Air Equipment has been sued by America Online for allegedly bombarding that system's users with thousands of unsolicited messages hidden behind phony return addresses. "This lawsuit is the first step in a more aggressive campaign against junk e-mail," Randall Boe, AOL associate general counsel, told Associated Press writer Chris Allbritton. "These guys are ... disguising their return address and making it look like it came from AOL." AOL says Over the Air Equipment's e-mails offer pornography over the World Wide Web and alleges the mailer also used the AOL trademark without permission. Boe told the wire service AOL made repeated demands for Over the Air Equipment to cease their mailings, but the company ignored them, and "the real point is that our members have told us in no uncertain terms that they want this to stop." Xerox Sued by Hewlett-Packard Hewlett-Packard Co. has filed a trademark infringement suit against Xerox Corp., contending it is putting misleading endorsements on some printer cartridges. Reporting from HP's Palo Alto, California, headquarters, the Reuter News Service quotes the computer maker as saying it asked the court to stop Xerox from confusing HP customers with implied endorsements of Xerox-brand remanufactured toner cartridges. HP says the misleading endorsements are found on packaging for products Xerox announced on Sept. 22 and that houses cartridges for use with HP LaserJet II, IIP, III, 4, 5, III Si and 4Si printers. Reuters says the Xerox packaging at issue bears 23 HP trademarks and only eight Xerox trademarks, and HP said that might mislead customers into thinking that HP has endorsed the product or has an affiliation with Xerox. It also bears a resemblance to HP's own product packaging, HP said. The wire service notes that two weeks ago, Xerox entered the computer printer business, where HP has a dominant market share. McAfee, Symantec Claim Victory After a federal judge reviewed their claims yesterday, both Symantec Corp. and McAfee Associates Inc. are saying they have won key points in the antivirus software rivals' closely watched copyright dispute. Reporting from San Jose, California, the Reuter News Service notes U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte did not make any rulings, but both companies claimed partial victory in the hearing: Symantec says the court agreed to let it amend its original complaint to include an additional McAfee product in its copyright infringement lawsuit. (Cupertino, California-based Symantec sued its archrival several months ago alleging that McAfee stole chunks of its computer programming code and based a competing software product on it.) McAfee says Symantec changed its fundamental legal argument. This essentially limits Symantec's request for the court to block shipments of McAfee products to only one antivirus program that is not available for sale any more, McAfee said. Reuters says the judge is reviewing the arguments of both sides and will decide whether to grant or deny Symantec's request for an induction shortly. Amazon.Com Countersues Book Firm The Internet's Amazon.Com Inc. online bookstore is alleging bookstore giant Barnes & Noble Inc. is competing unfairly by improperly failing to charge sales taxes on books sold over the Internet. Writing for the Dow Jones news service, reporter Michael Rapoport calls this "the latest shot in an increasingly heated battle over online bookselling," noting Amazon made the allegation in a countersuit against Barnes & Noble that will "both escalate the competition in the closely watched Internet book-sales arena and spotlight the issue of taxes and the increasing amount of Internet commerce." Rapoport says that like mail-order catalog companies, online retailers so far generally haven't had to charge state sales taxes on their transactions, except for orders to customers in the state where the retailer is actually located. Seattle-based Amazon, for instance, adds sales tax only for Washington customers. However, Amazon contends Barnes & Noble should have to charge sales tax because, unlike Amazon, it has a physical presence in most states in the form of its 1,000-plus bookstores. "Those bookstores do charge sales taxes," says the wire service quotes the suit, "and constitute the 'nexus' of activity in each state that requires collecting sales tax on Internet sales under the law." The countersuit says Barnes & Noble "should be adding sales tax to orders delivered in all states in which Barnes & Noble has physical bookstores and other facilities," and by failing to do so, it is "able to charge significantly less than required by law" and is thus obtaining an "unlawful advantage" over Amazon. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been joined in combat for several months, since Barnes & Noble joined the Internet market that Amazon pioneered in 1995. Last May -- in the same week that Barnes & Noble unveiled its own Internet site and that Amazon went public -- Barnes & Noble sued Amazon for false advertising over Amazon's claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" and to stock many more titles than Barnes & Noble. Amazon's counterclaim, filed in federal court in New York, is in response to that suit. Feds Sue Over 'Internic' Name An Australian seller of World Wide Web addresses has been sued by U.S. federal regulators for using what they consider a deceptive address for its own Web site, possibly misleading Internet surfers looking for a better-known service. Internic Software Inc., a broker that resells Web addresses, was accused of cloning the address of the Virginia-based concern that controls commonly used addresses on the Internet -- Internet Network Information Center, or InterNIC. Internic Software is a reseller of those names. Business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press says Web site operators seeking Internet addresses complain they inadvertently clicked on Internic.com, Internic Software's home page, instead of Internic.net, which is InterNIC's site. "As a result, they paid higher fees," Kalish says. "Internic Software charges Web-site operators $250 for each name it buys from InterNIC, compared with $100 to register names bought directly through InterNIC." AP quotes Federal Trade Commission officials as saying they want Internic Software to stop using the address and also to refund up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to 2,000 Web site operators, most of them in the U.S., who may have overpaid for the service. Kalish says FTC officials took no formal action, "but handed the case over to Australian consumer protection authorities better able to pursue Internic Software," adding, "The overseas officials are expected to press the company for refunds, said David Medine, the FTC's associate director for credit practices." FTC officials told the wire service Internic Software may have broken a federal law barring such deception, but that there was a similar law on Australia's books. Ironically, the case comes in the wake of the Internet Society's call for true competition in domain name registration to stimulate the growth of global electronic commerce. Six States Investigate Microsoft Attorneys general from four more states reportedly have joined those in Massachusetts and Texas in an antitrust probe into practices at Microsoft Corp. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jeffrey Krasner quotes people close to the inquiry as saying investigators from California, New York, Minnesota and Connecticut have joined the investigation which began last winter. "The state attorneys general hope to file any action against the company before the expected release of a new version of Windows, due in next year's second quarter," Krasner says. Confirming his state is the latest to join the probe, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the paper, "What we're looking at is the alleged monopoly ... concerning Microsoft software." He said his investigators are looking into whether Microsoft is trying to prevent personal computer makers from shipping new machines loaded with Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system and an Internet browser from any competitor. Meanwhile, back in Redmond, Washington, a Microsoft spokesman told the Journal the company has "standard" non-disclosure agreements with its partners, adding, "We don't discuss confidential investigations by state or federal agencies. We are cooperating with requests for information from government agencies." As reported earlier, the investigation was started by Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and Texas Attorney General Dan Morales. Sun Sues Microsoft Over Java Sun Microsystems Inc. is suing Microsoft Corp., charging that the software giant has breached its contract with Sun to deliver a compatible implementation of Java technology on its products. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, charges Microsoft with trademark infringement, false advertising, breach of contract, unfair competition, interference with prospective economic advantage and inducing breach of contract. Sun's court papers claim, "Rather than comply with its contractual obligations, defendant Microsoft has instead embarked on a deliberate course of conduct in an attempt to fragment the standardized application programming environment established by the Java technology, to break the cross-platform compatibility of the Java programming environment and to implement the Java technology in a manner calculated to cause software developers to create programs that will operate only on platforms that use defendant Microsoft's Win32-based operating systems and no other systems platform or browser." "Sun's first responsibility as stewards of the Java technology is to preserve the significant investments that Sun and hundreds of companies have made," says Alan Baratz, president of Sun's JavaSoft division. "We are required to take this action on behalf of our licensees, the Java industry and Sun's shareholders." Sun is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions that would prevent Microsoft from using the 'Java Compatible' logo. Microsoft Shares 1.2M Browsers In the first two days of availability, some 1.2 million copies of Microsoft's latest Internet browser were distributed last week, the Redmond, Washington, software giant says. Reporting from Seattle, the Reuter News Service quotes Microsoft as saying Friday that more than a million people had downloaded the program for free since it was posted on the Internet late on Tuesday. Another 200,000 CD-ROM copies were shipped to users who had ordered it for a $5 processing fee. "Microsoft said the figures represent a record for Microsoft even without downloads from more than 20 third-party Internet sites, for which figures were not available," Reuters reports. As reported earlier, IE 4.0, Microsoft's first major browser update in more than a year, represents Microsoft's latest effort to close the gap with the market-leading Navigator browser from rival Netscape Communications Corp. Wozniak Joins Internet Startup Firm Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined the board of directors of Breakthrough Software Inc., a little-known San Francisco Internet startup company. Widely known in the computer industry as simply "Woz," Wozniak has mostly been involved in teaching and educational projects since the folding of CL9, the home video products company he started in 1985, after leaving Apple. He also has served on boards such as the video game software developer Electronic Arts Inc., the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose and the San Jose Cleveland Ballet. The Reuter News Service notes that late last year he was named an adviser to then-Apple CEO Gil Amelio, but that Wozniak is no longer consulting or advising Apple since Amelio was asked to resign by Apple's board. In a statement, Wozniak said he decided to get involved in Breakthrough because it is an exciting company in an important market, adding, "The other reason is because of the two founders. Their energy, drive and determination reminded me of Steve Jobs and myself in the early days of Apple. These qualities, coupled with an excellent technology that I believe will win in the marketplace, drew me in." Breakthrough, based in Mountain View, California, also has announced its first product, called Internet Business Breakthrough, software that lets small- to medium-sized businesses create Web sites to sell products over the Internet for $249. "The company said that Internet Business Breakthrough will enable business owners and Web site developers to build a working, commerce-enabled online store within hours," Reuters reports. DEC May Sell Alpha Technology Word is a major patent fight may be settled in a pact in which Digital Equipment Corp. sells its Alpha technology to Intel Corp. for some $1.5 billion. Quoting people familiar with the negotiations, The Wall Street Journal says this morning a settlement involving Alpha would bring an end to the patent lawsuit in which Digital claimed Intel stole technology. The deal being discussed reportedly would have: z Intel obligated to produce the Alpha chip for several years, but not required to put its marketing muscle behind computers that run on the chip. z Digital not required to get rid of all its semiconductor operations. Instead, Intel would buy "capacity" in Digital's chip facility in Hudson, Mass. Also, says the paper, Digital would continue to use the plant to produce StrongARM, a low-voltage processor used to power such devices as "smart" cellular phones, and chips used in networking devices. DEC to License, Not Sell, Alpha? An unidentified industry source is saying Digital Equipment Corp. is negotiating to not sell outright, but to cross-license its key Alpha microprocessor technology to Intel Corp. As reported earlier, The Wall Street Journal has quoted people familiar with the negotiations as saying Digital was set to sell Intel the Alpha technology for some $1.5 billion in order to settle a major patent fight. However, now a source tells Michael Ellis of the Reuter News Service in Boston, "If anything is to happen, it will be a cross-license. There never will be a sale outright of Alpha to Intel." Reuters quotes the source as saying Intel would take over the manufacture of the Alpha chip at Digital's chip facility in Hudson, Mass., noting Digital has been searching for years for a partner at its Hudson chip fabrication plant, which has been running with excess capacity. Says the source, "Digital is freed of the financial burden of supporting the fab (Hudson chip fabrication plant)...and will have somebody else make the chips." The source says the Alpha chip would continue to be manufactured for years, and Digital would continue to sell computer systems based on Alpha, adding, "Alpha's here and will continue, no matter what." Microsoft and AI Metrix Team to Bring Mission-Critical Operations Support Systems to Market Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and AI Metrix Inc., a software provider for the telecommunications market, have teamed up to bring to market mission-critical operations support system (OSS) applications for the Microsoft(R) Windows NT(R) Server network operating system. Microsoft is providing technical support to AI Metrix for deployment of the AI Metrix(TM) NeuralStar(TM) OSS framework and applications for integrated network management. The result of this collaborative effort is increased functionality for network operators at a lower cost, through integration of disjointed network management functions. NeuralStar provides greater flexibility and control, enabling network operators to more effectively manage complex heterogeneous networks and services via the easy-to-use yet powerful Windows NT Server environment. "In today's telecommunications market, highly functional and flexible operations support systems are increasingly regarded as key enablers of competitive differentiation," said Bill Anderson, director of telecom industry marketing at Microsoft. "Microsoft is excited to be working with AI Metrix as they bring to market products that address a fundamental need of network operators -- the efficient management of an increasingly complex range of networks and services." Microsoft's collaboration with AI Metrix is an important component of its strategy to work with partners to deliver platforms and products -- based on Microsoft Windows NT Server and independent software vendor applications -- for delivering and managing telecommunications services. "The availability of Windows NT Server 4.0 and the unprecedented demand for integrated operations support systems have been the driving forces behind our innovations," said David Tanel, vice president of strategic planning for AI Metrix. "Microsoft provides the solid technological foundation that has enabled us to take OSS and network management to new levels of functionality, sophistication and ease of use." The AI Metrix flagship product, NeuralStar, is a native Windows NT Server 4.0-based product that provides a flexible architecture which manages physical and logical network elements such as central office switches, cross connects, SONET add-drop multiplexers, broadband equipment, frame relay and IP equipment. NeuralStar also provides business support applications that manage processes such as service management, network configuration and data reconciliation, facilitating increased revenue recognition for service providers. NeuralStar incorporates integrated applications such as trouble management, real-time fault correlation, suppression and escalation, and data collection. The NeuralStar framework is designed to give users a means to easily and dynamically integrate deductive logic about network operations into the application. Advanced heuristic parsing algorithms have been employed to intuitively recognize discrete message types from network elements. This message-based approach reduces dependence on manual data entry, reducing software maintenance requirements. By using the Microsoft Windows NT Server platform, NeuralStar enables seamless integration of service and network management applications through Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) technologies. The architecture allows applications such as engineering, configuration management and service activation to share common data sources, which results in increased flexibility and efficiency of the management system. Japanese Net Surfing on the Rise Look for the number of Net surfers in Japan to rise to 33 million by 2001 from 4.6 million last year. That is the prediction by global market researcher Dataquest, which estimates Japan's Internet users will reach 8 million before the end of this year. Reporting from Tokyo, the Reuter News Service quotes Dataquest analyst Shinichiro Wakahara as saying, "The Internet market will expand from business users into a greater number of individual users. The increase of individual Internet users will raise the importance of Internet content services." Reuters says that with the rapid growth of Japan's Internet market, shipments of personal computer servers also are expected rise. Dataquest predicts: z Annual shipments of PC servers in Japan will increase to 395,452 units in 2001 from 113,621 units in 1996. z Annual growth rates in the 1996-2001 period will average 28.3 percent. z The value of the shipments in 2001 will total 406.0 billion yen, up from 132.9 billion yen in 1996. IBM Cutting PC Numbers, Prices IBM is cutting the number of personal computer models it sells and reducing prices. The system now will start at $1,000 instead of about $2,000. This follows the lead of IBM rivals. "At the same time," notes business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press, "IBM is streamlining distribution to cut costs. It will limit sales of Aptiva machines to the nation's six largest computer retailers, which traditionally sell 80 percent of its consumer machines, and sell Aptivas in only 22 countries instead of 102." Kalish notes rival makers like Compaq Computer Corp. and Packard-Bell-NEC already sell fully equipped machines for less than $1,000. He adds IBM is working with the retailers to reduce their stocks of computers, trying to avoid the practice of compensating stores for models that don't sell quickly. Meanwhile, it also is moving away from the industry practice of cutting computer prices several times over the life of a model. "Instead," says Kalish, "IBM officials said they will offer more features, such as extra software, for the same price." With the price cuts: z IBM's cheapest PCs, the Aptiva E series, start at $1,000 for a machine running on a 166-megahertz microprocessor, without a monitor. z Its Aptiva new L and S models, which are priced up to $3,300, come equipped with a mouse that includes a central button that consumers can use instead of "scroll bars" to more easily surf the Internet and navigate through documents. The stores selling IBM Aptivas are CompUSA, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Circuit City, OfficeMax and Computer City. HP Unveils Non-PC Internet Printer Hewlett-Packard Co. has unveiled the DeskJet 670TV, its first printer designed exclusively for use with non-PC Internet devices. Expected to sell for about $229, the DeskJet 670TV is designed to work with Microsoft Corp.'s WebTV system and set-top cable boxes. Since the vast majority of images found on the Internet are displayed at 72 dots per inch, HP has incorporated its SmartFocus technology into the printer to automatically optimize low-resolution images downloaded from the Internet. "The DeskJet 670TV printer is ideal for ... non-PC customers who use the television to browse the Web and want to print Web-site information, photo images, maps, coupons and Internet e-mail quickly and easily," notes a statement issued by the Palo Alto, California, company. "The printer will feature a sleek black design, making it a welcome component of the living-room entertainment center." The DeskJet 670TV is scheduled to become available in the U.S. market beginning Oct. 31. Microsoft's Dominance Not Assured Microsoft Corp.'s dominance of the Internet is not a foregone conclusion, according to a new study from Jupiter Communications Inc. The report notes that by building on its high-volume operating systems and applications, Microsoft is poised but not certain to become the dominant technology provider in the consumer Internet. "While open standards will continue to form the core of Internet technology, Microsoft's unmatched client distribution, server momentum and branding place it in a unique position to create or destroy markets for technology providers and consumer-focused Web sites," says Ross Scott Rubin, group director of consumer Internet technologies for the New York-based market research firm. "Microsoft is leveraging a decade of high-tech competition and distribution experience to make up for a late start in the market." Net and Web Becoming Truly Global The Internet and the World Wide Web are quickly becoming a global phenomenon, finds new research from International Data Corp. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based market research firm forecasts that there will be 50 million Web users by the end of 1997 and nearly 175 million by 2001, adding that the Internet is surpassing the PC as the engine of growth for the information technology marketplace. "Conventional wisdom and a variety of other factors would lead many to believe that the adoption of Internet and Web- based technologies would proceed from developed, more risk- oriented countries to less developed, less technology aggressive regions," says Michael Sullivan-Trainor, director of IDC's Internet program. "However, this has not proven to be the case in all instances. The Internet and Web have allowed less developed countries to step onto the technology curve at an advanced stage and 'leapfrog' the infrastructure issues that developed countries have struggled with for years. Our data has found this to be particularly prevalent in the Asia/Pacific region." For example, according to IDC's research, both Korea and India have high Internet penetration and interest levels. The nations place in the top three positions in strategy, home page deployment, Java deployment and evaluation and extensions of the network to customers and suppliers. IDC finds that European pockets of opportunity include the Netherlands for home pages, self-hosting and Java technologies. France shows strong interest in intranet tools. Germany and Italy register low in most indicators with the exception of ISP hosting. IDC's World Wide Web site can be found at http://www.idc.com. Lotus Offers Speech Recognition Lotus Development Corp. says it has begun offering the first word processor with built-in speech recognition. The latest update to Lotus' SmartSuite 97 business software suite features a voice-enabled version of Word Pro 97. The enhanced word processor allows users to dictate text to their computers at rates of up to 140 words per minute -- up to 3 times faster than the average person can type -- as well as give verbal commands. "Until today, practical use of computer speech recognition has remained a futuristic dream," says Jeff Papows, Lotus' president. "However, as a result of IBM's advances in voice technology and its accuracy, coupled with the processing power of today's computers, speech recognition is now a viable tool for the home and office." The speech-enabled version of Word Pro 97 is the result of a joint development effort between Lotus and IBM. The product is based on ViaVoice, IBM's recently released continuous speech dictation tool. "This is the first practical step toward the future of human interaction with computers and our unique collaboration with IBM has made it possible" says Lynne Capozzi, vice president of IBM's Internet applications division. "Lotus' voice-enabled word processing is accurate, easy to use and accessible to anyone who has ever wished for hands-free computing." Current registered users of the North American, English language version of SmartSuite 97 can upgrade to the enhanced SmartSuite 97 and receive a noise-canceling headset microphone and Lotus Mail software for $19.95. New Windows Features 'Natural' Within five years, Windows will be adding more "natural" interface features -- including speech and handwriting recognition -- says Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates. Speaking yesterday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, at an information-technology symposium hosted by Gartner Group. Gates said Microsoft already spends millions of dollars in the effort to make computers better able to handle a more human-style of input and output, an effort he said was critical to the future of the company. Reporting for the Reuter News Service, writer Richard Melville quotes Gates as saying about 15 to 20 percent of Microsoft's roughly $2 billion research-and-development budget is aimed at projects he referred to as "pure research," with a sizable portion directed to "natural technology," areas such as linguistics, and speech- and handwriting-recognition. Added Gates, "Within five years, we'll see those natural technologies making their way into Windows." In years past, he said, "We bet the company on MS-DOS, we bet the company on the graphical user interface" employed in Windows. This time, "we're betting the company on these natural interface technologies." Melville says Gates played down the idea that U.S. Justice Department antitrust scrutiny had affected Microsoft's business operations, but did acknowledge the attention had made the company more choosy about acquiring other companies. "It makes it tougher when we think about doing an acquisition," he said. "If an acquisition is going to take two years to get approved, it's almost not worth doing." He also acknowledged Microsoft's improved relationship with longtime and formerly bitter rival IBM. calling the company a collaborative partner in some areas. Said Gates, "There is more and more collaboration as we see growing the market for Internet commerce as being a great opportunity for both companies. Both companies are taking a long-term view in how we work together, cooperating in some areas and in other areas just competing." IriScan and LG Electronics to Develop New Products For Expanding Iris Recognition Markets IriScan, Inc. -- the exclusive owner and developer of iris recognition technology for automated biometric identification systems -- and LG Electronics, Inc. -- a subsidiary of the LG Group of Korea -- announced a major product co-development and distribution agreement for integrating the iris recognition biometric process into a range of new and automated identification products. IriScan's technology for personal identification or verification relies on highly sophisticated processing of images of the iris of the eye -- the colored ring that surrounds the pupil. LG Electronics will develop economical and practical video-based devices for acquiring the unique iris image. These devices will be integrated with IriScan software and processors for a wide range of authentication applications. The implications of this agreement in the emerging biometrics industry are significant. According to John E. Siedlarz, President & CEO of IriScan, Inc., "this product co-development partnership will accelerate IriScan's entry into global markets that would otherwise be unreachable without the ergonomically appropriate and economically priced imaging devices that LG Electronics can provide. These new `iris imagers' will bring IriScan's scientifically superior biometric technology to a larger and more diverse group of users, again demonstrating the utility, flexibility, and robustness of our innovative iris recognition process." Innovation in iris imaging platforms, including those developed by one of IriScan's licensees (Sensar, Inc.) for the ATM environment, will propel iris recognition into the world of electronic commerce. Siedlarz said, "plug and play products for PC integration are an early priority for IriScan, bringing the iris recognition biometric into computer and Internet security. Such PC-based devices will provide increased privacy protection for financial and personal databases and electronic transactions. Ultimately, iris recognition will secure electronic transactions with a virtually foolproof biometric "key," replacing archaic passwords, PINs, and less secure encryption technology." Other markets that will benefit from the IriScan-LG relationship include travel and immigration, social services, and point-of-sale/consumer credit. "LG and IriScan are a good fit," remarked Dr. Chang soo Kim, President of the LG Corporate Institute of Technology. "LG has long been in the forefront of technical innovation, striving to develop new and exciting products that make life better, easier, and more secure. IriScan's iris recognition process is the most statistically defensible identification technique ever developed. With that technology and LG's electronics, it is a win-win partnership. We are excited about the potential." In addition to developing new imaging devices, LG Electronics has licensed from IriScan certain distribution rights for IriScan's products as well as other integrated end-products for the Republic of Korea. IriScan and LG will collaborate in other product markets. While financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, LG's commitment was said to be "substantial." IriScan, Inc. is the exclusive developer of iris recognition technology for automated biometric systems. IriScan's technology for personal identification or verification relies on highly sophisticated processing of images of the iris of the eye -- the colored ring that surrounds the pupil. The iris is the most personally distinct feature of the human body that is available for non-intrusive, non-contact, and precise mathematical analysis. IriScan, Inc. of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, holds the exclusive worldwide patents on iris recognition, including the original concept developed by Drs. Leonard Flom and Aran Safir, and the software and process technology invented by Dr. John Daugman, Cambridge University, England. Dr. Daugman, an acknowledged expert in the fields of artificial intelligence, neural networks, and information theory, supports the continual development of iris recognition technology. LG Electronics, Inc. -- a global manufacturer of electric and electronic products -- is a subsidiary of LG Group, a $73 billion (annual revenues) conglomerate based in Seoul, Korea. Operating 25 R&D facilities worldwide, LG Electronics produces television, audio, and video systems; computers; information systems; multimedia products; and thin-film-transistor liquid crystal displays. Acquisition of Zenith in 1995 facilitated advances in digital HDTV, video on demand, CD-interactive products, and other multimedia applications. Aptex's Convectis Intelligent Server Licensed By Scoop, Inc. To Enhance News Personalization Content Mining(TM) Technology To Define Relevant Information For The Scoop!(TM) Information Service. Aptex Software Inc., a leading developer of Internet personalization technologies, today announced that Scoop, Inc., an information company committed to delivering highly relevant information to business professionals, has licensed Aptex's award winning Convectis(TM) to categorize the content of its news and information streams to provide a high level of personalization for users of its Scoop! Information Service. "Convectis delivers unique technology that will enable Scoop to dynamically process content from a vast number of information sources on a daily basis," said Mark Davidson, President of Scoop. "As a result, we will be able to present highly personalized information to our users." Scoop is currently developing an Internet-based business information service which will provide users access to an extensive array of well-recognized news and information sources across a broad range of industries. Currently, Scoop has over 1,600 sources, both domestic and international, including newspapers, wire feeds, trade journals, abstracts, periodicals, and other research sources. The Scoop! service will enable customers to structure profiles to track industry developments or obtain information pertaining to companies, products or other topics of interest. Convectis will intelligently categorize Scoop's daily news and information streams in real time by reading each news item, article or research paper, learning the content and context of each document, and categorizing it into the appropriate, pre-defined topic category. Convectis will enable Scoop! to package each day's news and information into a customized source of data to be purchased on a pay-per-view basis by the user, with no required minimums, subscription fees or membership dues. Convectis' Content Mining(TM) technology is unique in its ability to automatically learn the meaning of words and their relationships based on context, and is specifically designed for high-volume, mission-critical applications --- including real-time personalization of large product and content databases and dynamic streams of news, chat, email and other information. Convectis scales with increasing information flow, automatically and transparently handling document volume increases. This reduces the need for additional resources and frees existing personnel for higher-value support tasks. Convectis integrates easily with Web servers, email systems and newsfeeds. After reading documents, it returns an adjustable length summary, a list of key words and a list of categories that are relevant to the document. Any combination of original and Convectis-generated information can be published online, dispatched to interested users, or stored in data warehouses. Convectis is in long-term production use in a number of mission-critical, online applications, including daily analysis of all available news wire feeds and ongoing categorization of the entire World Wide Web. Sub $1,000 PC Sales Soar Sub-$1,000 PCs captured nearly 40 percent of U.S. retail desktop unit sales in August, according to Computer Intelligence's latest StoreBoard survey. The La Jolla, California-based market research firm notes that until this year, sub-$1,000 PCs had generally been refurbished units or third-tier brands, but aggressively priced new models introduced early in 1997 by Compaq, Packard Bell and others brought mainstream new PCs down to the sub-$1,000 price point. "From their very introduction, observes CI, "these PCs captured more than 20 percent of retail desktop unit sales. More recently introduced models from Compaq and Packard Bell have further accelerated the growth of the under-$1,000 segment, leading the low cost systems to a 39 percent share of all desktops sold in U.S. retail channels in August." CI's research also finds that the best selling models in August were systems that were relatively new to the market. Of the five best-selling desktop PCs in August, three were sub-$1,000 models from Compaq and Packard Bell that were introduced into retail channels in July or August. In addition, all of the top ten models in August had been introduced since April, with seven of the ten introduced in July or August. "The latest results show the importance of having fresh products in retail channels," says CI analyst Matt Sargent. "To keep pace, companies must refresh their retail product nearly continuously -- which puts pressure on product development, as well as on inventory and channel management activities." But another CI study finds that the new price point isn't broadening the PC market. First and second quarter results from CI's Trendata study show that the distribution of household income of sub-$1,000 PC buyers is no different from the overall buyer profile. Nor are the sub-$1,000 PCs attracting first-time buyers -- in fact, there are proportionally fewer first-time buyers of sub-$1,000 PCs than of PCs overall. "The Trendata results make it clear that, so far at least, the sub-$1,000 PC is not the consumer market panacea that some had hoped," says Sargent. "While these PCs are certainly accelerating growth in the consumer PC market, they are not attracting large numbers of either first-time buyers or lower income households. This revelation has important marketing implications for manufacturers of the sub-$1,000 PCs. It also tells us that an $850 or $950 price alone is unlikely to radically increase the penetration of PCs into U.S. households." CI's Web site is located at http://www.ci.zd.com. Study: Low Monitor, Low Stress Computer users with a lower monitor position experience less mental strain, according to a recent study conducted at a Japanese university. In a paper presented last month at the Seventh International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI 97) in San Francisco, researchers Dennis Ankrum and Kaoru Suzuki found that the lower monitor position resulted in a lower Heart Rate Variability (HRV) reading than a monitor placed at eye-level. Ankrum is director of human factors research for Nova Solutions Inc. of Effingham, Illinois, and Suzuki is a professor at Hosei University's College of Engineering in Tokyo. Ankrum and Suzuki say that the Heart Rate Variability Index is an effective method of evaluating mental strain. The HRV Index reflects the activity of the nervous system. The lower the HRV index, the better the user is able to cope with mental strain. According to the researchers, an individual's heart rate is influenced by the autonomic nervous system, which is composed of both sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. The systems function together to maintain a stable internal environment. In general, the sympathetic nervous system acts to speed things up, while the parasympathetic nervous system slows them down. Daily activities, such as driving and computer operation require the sympathetic nervous systems' activity to be high. Excessive mental strain suppresses it, which in many cases, reduces a person's performance. Increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system is one of the body's methods of coping with stress. The researchers measured the HRV Index of students while they performed difficult and easy tasks at both a low- monitor and a high-monitor position. The study found that the low monitor position resulted in a lower HRV-index than the eye-level monitor. This means that students were able to perform both the easy and difficult tasks with less mental strain with a lower monitor. The study indicates that a lower monitor placement can reduce the eye and neck strain caused by eye-level monitors. Ankrum and Suzuki point out that a downward gaze angle reduces reports of headaches, eye strain and fatigue, and the risk of dry eye syndrome is also reduced. "The ideal position for a monitor is the same angle at which you read a book or magazine, much lower than eye level and tipped back,"says Ankrum. "In fact, recent studies show that computer users prefer a downward gaze angle. According to Ankrum, that is consistent with the way human eyes work. "When viewing with a downward gaze, the eyes focus more easily and there is less stress on the muscles that control eye movements." FTC Warns of Net Coupon Fraud Warnings have been sent by the Federal Trade Commission to 31 advertisers who may be selling get-rich-quick coupon schemes illegally over the Internet. FTC officials told the Reuter News Service the commission sent the advertisers electronic mail messages, warning them that their ads may violate federal law by making exaggerated or unsupported claims. The advertisements were found last week during a sweep of Internet sites by the FTC and the Coupon Information Center, an industry group. Targeted sites advertise business opportunities in coupon booklet sales and in work-at-home coupon clipping services. "While many sites claim participants can earn hundreds of dollars or more per week by selling coupons," Reuters reports, "the FTC said there was little money to be made. Many coupons were worthless once they were sold or transferred." In a statement, the FTC said, "There is only one legitimate way to use a coupon -- clip it out and use it to save money on the purchase of the designated product," adding its coupon advertising sweep was part of a larger campaign to fight fraud on the Internet. The commission has brought more than two dozen cases challenging advertising on the Internet. Director Jodie Bernstein of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection told the wire service, "While fraud artists might try to take advantage of the Internet to perpetuate a fraud very quickly, the Internet also makes them susceptible to very quick and sure detection." Bernstein declined to say whether the commission or other law enforcement agencies will investigate the 31 coupon advertising sites identified in the sweep. EU Urges Light Regulations World governments, including the United States, are being urged by the European Commission to take a "hands off" approach to regulating encryption technology needed to ensure that Internet transactions are confidential. Reporting from Brussels, Suzanne Perry of the Reuter News Service quotes EU Telecommunications Commissioner Martin Bangemann today as saying, "If regulation at all is needed, it should be very light." Bangemann told reporters strict controls would end up penalizing law-abiding users rather than the criminals they targeted, adding the U.S., which restricts exports of certain strong encryption products, is becoming isolated on the issue. "We must engage in a debate with the Americans at an international level," he told a news conference. Reuters reports the Commission's report addressed the use of encryption and "digital signatures" -- electronic seals that are attached to transmissions to allow recipients to verify their origin and ensure that they have not been tampered with. The report urges the EU to take a common approach to the questions, saying otherwise cross-border Internet trade could be hampered. It said it would propose legislation on "digital signatures" in the first half of 1998. Notes Perry, "Encryption has become a contentious issue because some governments and law enforcement authorities want to regulate it as a way to keep it out of the hands of terrorists and other criminals. France has virtually outlawed use of encryption software. But the Commission said controls could impede the growth of a technology that is essential to promoting business over the Internet and would likely not work anyway." Bangemann told the press, "It's not possible to prevent criminals from using modern technologies in order to protect themselves and their messages from the police. There's not much point in preventing legal users from having access to this." He renewed his push for a global charter on the Internet that would address questions such as encryption, noting that the United States had already expressed interest in the idea. K6 and more than 64Mb A great FAQ on the K6 cache bug is: http://www.chorus.com/~poulot/k6bug.html AMD apparently has documented the bug in the K6 errata - apparently it has something to do with a code memory access followed by a data memory access 32MB away. That's why the problem only occurs of you have more than 32MB of memory. The comment in http://techweb.cmp.com/eet/news/97/971news/amd.html about the problem only occuring in Linux actually came form an editor of Microprocessor Report, not AMD. AMD's response the problem when Linux users reported it was as follows (according to the above mentioned FAQ): AMD recently received reports from a limited number of users having intermittent problems while running core re-compiles of the Linux shareware operating system. Our systems engineering group has duplicated the observation and determined that it is related to a previously know erratum. Full technical details of this erratum are documented in section 2.6.2 of the AMD-K6 MMX Enhanced Processor Revision Guide on our website, www.amd.com. Users that feel they are being affected by this problem, should contact AMD's support line at (408) 749-3060 and ask for Dan Hingle or Glen Garcia. While the bug is quite serious if you have more than 32MB, I don't think that AMD has been handling the issue inappropriately. Then again, I don't know how difficult it is to get a replacement from them (I don't own a K6 CPU). Computer Pays Hits Record Highs On this Labor Day, there is rejoicing in the computer sector. Record high salaries and pay raises are being scored by computer industry executives, managers, analysts and programmers, according to a new survey by Computerworld newspaper. In a statement from the publication's Framingham, Massachusetts, headquarters, Computerworld says the reason is "a severe skills shortage in the technology arena." Says the statement, "There are not enough 'information systems' professionals to go around, so companies are increasing salaries, bonuses, and perks for the IS professionals they have to keep them on staff." David Weldon, a senior careers editor, said the shortage stems from increased technical support demands, Internet related development and a declining supply of IS graduates that will plague the U.S. for the next six to 10 years. "Meanwhile," says the newspaper, "people with the right computer skills to meet the exploding demand are reaping the benefits. Nearly half of the job categories falling under the heading of 'information systems professionals.'" In the top IS manager category, chief information officers earned an average salary of $123,000, up an average of 28 percent over one year ago. But, Weldon says, computer professionals at all levels are benefiting from the skills shortage. The average salary for a systems analyst jumped 15 percent to $51,000, and the take-home pay for programmers increased to $43,000. "Premiums likewise are being paid for those specializing in the 'newer' technologies of Web designers, project leaders and Internet managers as well," says Computerworld. 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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Intel And Digital Hang Up Their Gloves U.S. Tells World: Get On The Net Or Get Lost Motorola Develops Copper Chip Technology, Too UUNet CEO Says Flat Pricing Is On Its Way Out Plugging Into The Net Security Of "Cash Cards" Questioned AOL TV Deep Blue Technology Targets Financial Services Usenet2 Bans Spam Net Productivity? INTEL AND DIGITAL HANG UP THEIR GLOVES Executives from Intel Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation are close to an agreement that would end the legal battles begun when Digital filed a patent infringement suit last May, charging that Intel had misappropriated some of Digital's designs for its Alpha Chip. Under the agreement, Intel is expected to pay about $650 million for Digital's Fab-6 semiconductor manufacturing plant in Massachusetts and $100-200 million for rights to the Alpha chip technology, as well as giving Digital steep discounts on its future purchases of Intel processors. The deal will free Intel of a protracted lawsuit and will help Digital remain competitive in the personal computer marketplace. (San Jose Mercury News 7 Oct 97) U.S. TELLS WORLD: GET ON THE NET OR GET LOST Ira Magaziner, the Clinton Administration's senior advisor for Internet policy development, told representatives of 21 nations at a high-tech forum in Amsterdam that the Internet is an engine growth for the world economy and that the private sector should lead the Net's development: "We want to come together with other countries as equal partners, with the private sector leading and government playing a supporting role. Our approach is not to have a trade negotiation. By 2005, at least 1 billion people will be on the Internet. If 40 million Frenchmen aren't there, that's their problem." (New York Times 7 Oct 97) MOTOROLA DEVELOPS COPPER CHIP TECHNOLOGY TOO A week after IBM announced a technical breakthrough that would enable it to use copper rather than aluminum circuits on its microprocessors, Motorola says it's figured out how to do the same thing. Motorola, which has worked on the problem for the last two-and-a-half years, says the new technique could cut the cost of chips by about 30%. It plans to have large quantities of the new chips on the market by next summer. (St. Petersburg Times 6 Oct 97) UUNET CEO SAYS FLAT PRICING IS ON ITS WAY OUT UUNet CEO John Sidgmore says the only reason most Internet service providers are afraid to move from flat rate pricing to usage-based fees is competition from America Online: "The minute he (AOL's Steve Case) changes, everybody else will. I'm not a consumer marketer. I can't imagine making money at that price. The whole problem with the U.S. communications system is that it's flat-rate priced. Not just the ISPs. Your local telephone bill is flat-rate priced. That whole model needs to change. People need to pay for what they're using." (Investor's Business Daily 7 Oct 97) [Editor Note] "People NEED...??" Right. Who is this guy trying to FOOL?? The answer is UUNet * NEEDS *! Greed comes in many forms and colors. You want to abolish FLAT RATES?? Fine, REMOVE ALL advertising on the NET. The users do not NEED to pay to view that clutter! PLUGGING INTO THE NET United Utilities PLC and Northern Telecom have developed technology that would enable homeowners to make phone calls and access the Internet via the electrical outlets in their homes. The companies have tested the service over power lines in 20 U.K. homes over the past year and say their system is now "ready for the mass market." "It's very good news for utilities indeed," says the chief of technology at Energis PLC, which worked with United Utilities on the "power line telephony" project. "At long last, the local monopoly of the incumbent telecom operators is about to be demolished." (Wall Street Journal 7 Oct 97) SECURITY OF "CASH CARDS" QUESTIONED The safety of electronic cash cards is a question raging among computer security experts around the world, especially after word went out recently on the Internet that the Mondex computer chip had been cracked. However, Mondex International denies that the security of their chip has been compromised and insists that the Smart cards are a safe and convenient alternative to cash. Unlike bank, credit and debit cards, Mondex cards are almost like cash because customers load value on to them and this electronic sum can be spent at stores, pay phones and restaurants. Bank verification over phone lines is not needed. Customers can even exchange E-cash between themselves from one card to another. This cuts down on infrastructure costs for authorization but means security must be confined to the microchip embedded in the card. (Toronto Star 6 Oct 97) AOL TV America Online is planning to redesign its services to look more like television, in hopes that the move will attract two to three million additional AOL subscribers, as well as additional advertisers. A company spokeswoman says, "AOL is not a technology company as much as a media company. We've used channels for some time because it makes it easier to find things." (AP 6 Oct 97) DEEP BLUE TECHNOLOGY TARGETS FINANCIAL SERVICES IBM's Deep Blue computer, which was last seen triumphing over chess champion Garry Kasparov, is shifting its expertise into the financial services arena, where its technology will be used for applications related to analyzing and trading securities. "The secret to 'Deep Blue' was that it was able to make millions of calculations very, very rapidly. That's really what you have to do with complex financial instruments," says the head of securities and capital markets at IBM. Banks spend about $60 billion a year on technology in global markets. "It's not often that you stumble onto a $60 billion market... We formed a group three months ago to figure out what we could do to work with customers around the world to put ourselves back into this business." (Bloomberg News 3 Oct 97) USENET2 BANS SPAM Usenet2, an ad hoc group of veteran network administrators, is promoting an additional Usenet hierarchy -- et.* -- that would function as an oasis from the glut of "spam" mail that is overwhelming many Usenet groups. Some Usenet participants say 80% of the mail they receive is unwanted junk. The group has recruited several ISPs, including Panix Public Access Network in New York, and universities, including Stanford and Penn State, as well as related Usenet divisions of corporations such as IBM and Sun Microsystems, to join in its efforts to create a spam-free zone. "We're trying to bring back the concept of trust in neighbors, where you can trade traffic without having to worry about some neighbor ruining your network by sending out huge amounts of crap," says a member of the Usenet2 Steering Committee. Usenet2 participants pledge to abide by its rules, which require the mandatory inclusion of real e-mail addresses in postings and the banning of binary files, which make up images and applications. Some administrators balk at the notion of Usnet2 "czars," who would monitor postings to ensure they conformed with the no-spam rule, but many applaud the return to common decency on the Net: "We just want to see if simple social rules would have an effect without having to reinvent the wheel," says one. (Electronic Engineering Times 6 Oct 97) NET PRODUCTIVITY? With a slew of new products for monitoring employees' Internet use hitting the market, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management reveals that 48% of the employers surveyed actually thought the World Wide Web raised the productivity of their workers, with only 6% report a productivity drop. (Wall Street Journal 7 Oct 97) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. 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Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) 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 or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. z Most of all.. PLEASE! 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 New Times Roman 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. 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 Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming iF-16 STR Focus iF-16 The Definitive Simulation of the F - 16 Fighting Falcon iF-16 is the latest flight simulation from Interactive Magic'. Developed by award winningDigital Integration, creators of Tornado', Apache', and Hind', iF-16 is designed for experienced flight sim enthusiasts and beginners alike. This realistic simulation of the deadly F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft contains an easy to use quick start mode as well as detailed missions and campaigns. Jump into combat and experience incredible graphics and high energy explosions without ever opening the manual! In the more challenging combat mode, iF-16 will make you long for your G-suit with its dramatic simulation of real flight and weapon systems. The multi-player feature of iF-16 lets you test your dog-fighting skills with up to sixteen players via network. Two player is also offered via modem or serial play. Special Features: Free-for-all arcade mode for quick combat action. Dozens of single missions as well as detailed campaigns in Israel, Cyprus, and Korea. Realistic special effects including LANTIRN (Low Altitude Navigation Targeting InfraRed for Night) and latest air-to-air and air-to-ground radar systems. APG-68 Radar updated to include: z Raid Cluster Resolution Ground Vehicle Track (GVT) z Fixed Target Track (FTT) z LANTIRN Targeting Mode (LGT) As well as normal modes of operation,TWS, STT and ACM Multi-player capability for up to sixteen players in two teams via network or modem-to-modem play. A HUGE range of weapons available including: z AGM-65E Laser Guided Maverick Missile z AGM-65G Infra-Red Guided Maverick z Missile z Mk82, Mk83, Mk84 GP and Retarded z Bombs z CBU-87M Cluster Bombs z CBU-89B Mine Dispensers z SUU-30/A External 30mm Cannon Pod z AGM-88A HARM Anti-Radiation Missile z CBU-15 Durandal Anti-Runway Bomb FEATURES z Realistic flight simulation of the U.S. Air Force F-16C Combat Aircraft -Including the full battery of weapons z State-of-the-art CGI 11 graphics, full relief landscape with Gouraud Shading and 800 x 600 resolution using 256 colors z Multi-player capability for up to sixteen players in two teams via network or modem-to-modem play z Free-for-all arcade mode allows players to jump right into combat SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Computer: Pentium-100 minimum (Pentium-166 recommended) Op. System: DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows 95 Memory: 16MBRAM Graphics: SVGA Sound: Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, AdLib', Roland', Gravis compatibles Interface:Joystick supports: ThrustMaster*,CH' Media: PC CD-ROM Documents:Flight Operations Manual,Quick Reference Card Developed by: Digital Integration Published by: Interactive Magic Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Let me start off this week by referring to an announcement that you'll be reading in a moment, the 1997 Atari Times Awards. Simply put - a great idea. There are a LOT of people out there deserving of such recognition. Many of which, never even get a thanks for their efforts. But we use their products or regale in their information often. Being an Atari journalist, my first reaction is to remind people of those who put out Atari-based publications, regardless of the format (paper magazines like Atari Computing), disk-magazines like Atari Times and ST+, and yes, even people at STReport like Michael Burkley, Joe Mirando, and Albert Dayes. All of these people put in long hours for little or no reward. If you take part in this "survey", remember the above. But, don't stop there! How about the folks who have given us STiK/CAB and its many support-modules? How about the many terrific and informative web pages (Mille Babic and Hallvard Tangeraas come immediately to mind)? And the same helpful people that you see online every day? Colin Polonowski has come up with a terrific means to recognize people, please take the opportunity to take advantage of it - it may be the one time you are able to say "thank you" and let everyone else see it in public. Colin, well done! I'm still looking into the topic of Atari piracy on the web. I cannot believe how obvious it is! I'm still trying to find the time to really research this thing, but typically, time is the one thing I still don't have much these days. But, I am making some progress. I will keep you posted. Until next time... 1997 Atari Times Awards In order to pay tribute to those people who have supported the Atari scene over the last year, the Atari Times is launching the 1997 Atari Times Awards... Between 20th October and 1st December 1997 you'll be able to vote for your favourite Atari things. This can be done via email or a form which will be on the Atari Times homepage from 20th October. Categories are currently being discussed between a number of large Atari supporters and they will be posted in as many places as possible on (or around) the 20th October. More details will be posted here as they are confirmed, so make sure you keep up to date... Results will be published in the December issue of the Atari Times (UK). Colin Polonowski http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/polonowski NEWSie is up to v0.82. 0.82 - October 5, 1997 z Support pop-up menu for e-mail transfers between mailboxes z Implement Attachments for e-mail and news (Reqd Improvement) z Support MIME encoding for e-mail and Newsgroup articles (Reqd) z Support Edit Nicknames in a window (w/WDialog) (Reqd Improvement) z Handle disabling/enabling menu items (Reqd Improvement) z Support non-default port-id for FTP servers (Reqd Improvement) z Add 'Queue' button to Send/Reply/Forward email (Reqd Improvement) z Add 'Send Queued Mail' item to Mail Menu (Reqd Improvement) z Bug Fix - expand threads ignores multiple attempts z Improvement in collapse threads - ignores if already collapsed z Add warning 'Mailbox XXXXXXX nearly full' and 'Mailbox XXXXXXX is full' z Bug Fix - POSTS.PBX not closed after sending queued articles z Bug Fix - Offline articles overlayed if Postbox recently opened/closed z Add Toolbar and Popup menu for Browser window z Add Transfer Rates logging for received data, see Log Options dialog z Preliminary support for Cut/Copy/Paste for some windows z Bug Fix - Multitasking support for 'NEWSie 0.82' via menu_register z Bug Fix - Support for VA_START(NULL) used by AppLine program z Bug Fix - Contributors dialog refresh changed z Windows now refreshed when font/size changed in Preferences z Bug Fix - Mail Transfer w/single email in box didn't delete z Window cleared when News Article deleted via Delete Toolbutton z Subscribed Newsgroup window refreshed if Server re-connected z "Retrieving News" status not displayed if no News connection z Bug Fix - vertical slider position set when changing FTP directories z Certain menu items disabled if STiK application not in system z Status messages that cannot be ESCaped from do not have ESC text z Subscribe to newsgroup allowed w/o needing to select a group z Unsubscribe must have selected a newsgroup, or ignored z Toolbars changed from 'Touchexit' to full exit z Enabled Browser for formatting http:// urls z Buffered windows (Article,Mail,Help,FTP viewer) (Requested Imprv) according John Rojewski NEWSie v0.82 is available at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/newsie.html Mille Babic email@example.com http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille channel Atari: http://hem1.passagen.se/atari/ HomePage Penguin Pro 2.0 The HomePage Penguin Pro 2.0 was officially presented at The TOS497 show in Germany at Neuss, just days ago. The web-editing application is now a commercial version and there's a demo of it available for download. The full package is bundled with Alta Lista 2.0 that recognizes more than 40 different file types and the package has landed at only 35 DM. There are some restrictions in the demo version: a five sec delay before a page is saved, no user-defined modes, no support for Plug-ins and a few more. The demo is available at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/penguin/ and from Matthias homepage: http://www.hh.schule.de/hhs/mjaap/indexe.htm The commercial version is available by: Falke Verlag Moorblvcken 17 D-24149 Kiel Germany French distributor: ST-Magazine France A distributor for the United Kingdom will follow pretty soon - look out for the next issues of your favourite Atari mag or visit the HomePage Penguin support site (English/German). The French version is not available yet but may be sold in time at the upcoming Atari fair in France. If you order the program from the Falke Verlag you will only receive the German manual. Here's an excerpt about Plug-ins from Matthias homepage: Plug-ins add features to the HomePage Penguin that may or may not be useful for you. This concept saves memory which is very important for "little" Ataris. You can not use plug-ins with the 1.7 version because only the 2.0 pro version has an interface for plug-ins. Plug-ins: z BubbleGEM-Plug-in z A .HLP file in the plug-in folder is enabling the HomePage Penguin z BubbleGEM help. This feature is disabled in the demo version even if you have the right HLP file. z Alta Lista 2.0 You create a project with exotic file types? No problem, because A.L. can recognize over 40 file types and can help the Penguin to support them all. With A.L. the Penguin can recognize the size of BMP pictures or the title of a SID file! z User-defined mode z You can add nine user-defined modes to the five integrated ones which can use all of the Penguin's dialogs. It's quite easy to create a standard layout for all pages. A sample user defined mode ('Graphic Mania') is supplied with the program, additional ones will be available here. Program your own plug-ins The plug-in interface is new and before I release a documentation for it I am thinking about a concept which will work with the present and future versions. An exception are the user defined modes which allows you to create your own individual HomePage Penguin. You can now also E-Mail me with this address (Mille Babic): firstname.lastname@example.org *** Here's a message from one of the channel Atari members (David Rutherford): New Trans 97 Page at http://osiris.sund.ac.uk/~ca6dru/ Contains some english translations of programs Use cab 2 or above to access pages, they do contain frames. Send your own message If You have something to inform the channel Atari members, just mail me. You reach the now over 300 members. Mille Babic email@example.com http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille channel Atari: http://hem1.passagen.se/atari/ Delphi Oracle October, 1997 www.delphi.com Welcome to the Oracle from Delphi Internet. Our Forum Hosts are always busy preparing new articles and discussion topics. This periodic sampler will keep you up with what's new! N E W F A L L C H A T S E A S O N Delphi's chat line-up is brimming with new topics and events. Don't miss astronomer David Levy of Levy-Shoemaker Comet fame, coming to Galaxies Astronomy Club on Oct. 7. And disabled children advocate Maryann Hunsberger visits ADD Support on Oct. 15. Other timely chats: Campaign Fund-Raising Scandals (Politics: The Bully Pulpit), The Impact of NAFTA and Fast-Track (Business Strategies), and Turning Loneliness into a Good Thing (Singles). Our new java-based chat applet (faster to download) is an easy way to jump in. Check out the daily regular and special events calendars at http://forums.delphi.com/calendar/calendar.cfm or dive into a live chat happening right now at http://forums.delphi.com/chat/MainChat.asp N E W M E S S A G E B O A R D R E L E A S E Our faster, more flexible forum message boards are up and running too. Conversation threads are now organized by topic, so you can get in, get it and get out in a flash! I T ' S S H O W T I M E ! AUTUMN HORROR (Showbiz Forum) If you liked "Scream", you'll love Dimension Pictures' latest thriller, "Mimic", about genetic engineering gone awry. Or will you? Discuss it at; http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=showbiz&mid=6445 LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (Family Media Forum) If you think this latest small-to-big-screen venture is for kids only, read the review by Madeline Molis, our Forum Host and resident PhD family sociologist, at; http://www.delphi.com/fammedia/beaver.html Y O U R C O M P U T E R & Y O U COOKIES, ANYONE? (PC Compatibles Forum) Confused by all those tiny files piling up on your hard drive with every new website you visit? Find out which ones to delete, and how, at; http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=pccompat&mid=183286 THE SOUND OF WEB PAGES (Publishing on the Web Forum) All you need to know to put digital music or sound into your web pages, with Walt Howe's Audio Guide for Web Developers. Find it at; http://www.delphi.com/pubweb/audios.html C O N T R O V E R S Y, P L E A S E ! PAULA JONES V. BILL CLINTON (Politics: The Bully Pulpit Forum) Is it a matter of "justice delayed is justice denied", or is she "out for blood"? Take the Bully Pulpit and speak your mind at; http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=bully&mid=54192 U.S. V. THE WORLD (Views on News Forum) We're the lone holdout in the landmine ban treaty. How do you balance deterrence of tyrants and the maiming of innocents? Argue your side at; http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=views&mid=228678 H O M E & B E Y O N D MMMM, MMMM GOOD! (Cook's Corner Forum) How about some slow-roasted tomato soup and chocolate-dipped strawberries? Member Jeannie Allen serves up her favorite recipes at; http://www.delphi.com/cook/memb.html CALISTOGA DREAMIN' (Travel Talk Forum) Member Terry Zinn takes us to a mud bath and glider flying in his latest travelogue, on Napa Valley's Calistoga. Ride along with him at; http://www.delphi.com/travelt/wine.html This is just a taste of what's waiting for you at Delphi. Please join us! http://www.delphi.com See you on Delphi! Jon Levine Editor Gaming Section "Colony Wars"! Marv Albert Stays! "CART"! GE Suit! "Zero 5" Review! And more! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! CART World Series Races Onto PlayStation FONTANA, CALIF. (Oct. 3) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 3, 1997 - Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. today announced that CART World Series(TM), available exclusively for the PlayStation(TM) game console, will be available at retail nationwide today. Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) is the ultimate in motorsports racing, and PlayStation has captured the intensity of this popular racing circuit with this all-new fully polygonal videogame. CART World Series includes the top CART racing teams and drivers competing on 10 of the most popular CART World Series tracks, all created from the actual track blueprints. What makes CART World Series stand out from any other racing videogame on the market is its incredible detail and realistic graphical presentation, smooth gameplay and authentic sound. In fact, Bryan Herta's car was sound recorded at speeds in excess of 200 MPH, enhancing the game's realism. Gamers have a choice of racing with the top CART teams like Team Rahal, Patrick Racing and Newman-Haas, which have all been included in CART World Series. CART drivers like Paul Tracy, Gil de Ferran, Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr. are all in the game and competing in the "actual" CART World Series. At the conclusion of the season, the leader in the point standings will be crowned CART World Series Champion. "This is the most detailed auto racing game on the market," said Peter Dille, senior director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "The CART drivers and teams have been reproduced in the game to be extremely realistic. Put this videogame up against any other racing game and you'll immediately see that CART World Series is the finest racing title of the year." CART World Series features 16 real CART teams and their drivers and four different camera perspective viewpoints -- road cam, in car cam, first person removed and a helicopter view. The fully polygonal drivers, teams and cars deliver incredibly unique detail and smooth animation that gamers have never seen before. CART World Series -- Key Features Real team drivers like Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and Bobby Rahal: Drivers can be selected or created. 10 authentic tracks available: actual circuit tracks derived from actual blueprints from tracks such as; Michigan Speedway, Vancouver and Laguna Seca Pit stops: Refueling and tire changes can be controlled. 16 real CART teams and 25 drivers available Car performance and lap times mirror those of real drivers, with players trying to beat real driver's times. Drivers' abilities are reflected in computer artificial intelligence (AI). Experience, skill levels and aggressiveness are all modeled after the real drivers who perform well at their favorite tracks. Six perspective viewpoints: Cockpit view, nose cam, and road cam (you're right on the pavement which gives you maximum sensation of speed) plus three external views: close, medium and far Incredible physics: Realistic four wheel vehicle physics simulate drafting, tire friction, downforce, push, oversteer and skidding. Realistic car collisions and damage: Car parts such as wings and tires break off and tumble down the track. Vehicle performance is dynamically affected over time with tire wear and fuel load lightening. Full car modification: Modify fuel level, wing adjustments and gear ratios. Sophisticated AI uses real racing strategies in passing opponents, like setting slower opponents in the corners to maximize exit speeds, or fully utilize drafting. Statistical tracking lists the place of each racer for each completed race of that season, average and best lap times, previous or current records and lap times. Variable weather conditions: rainy days or fair weather Four gameplay modes: new season, continue season, single race or practice Up to four players can play; link cable is supported. Four difficulty levels Arcade and simulation modes available Marv Albert's Voice To Stay On Acclaim Game GLENCOVE, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 1997 OCT 3 (Newsbytes) -- By Sami Menefee. Acclaim Entertainment said it would keep Marv Albert's voice-over commentary on its about-to-be shipped Nintendo video console-based game, NFL Quarterback Club 98. The firm said it would hold to its October shipping schedule in spite of the controversy surrounding Albert's recent guilty plea to misdemeanor assault and battery charges. Kathryn Morris, Acclaim public relations spokesperson, told Newsbytes: "A lot of decisions rest on the outcome of Albert's current trial. Nothing will change for now." Morris said, "We started the game's production before Albert's trial and we haven't decided whether the firm would drop his voice when they produce and release the game version for the PC, but it will not be dropped from the Nintendo version." She did not know when the PC version of the NFL Quarterback Club game would be released, but assured Newsbytes that one would be out, "probably before Christmas." "This game is special because we are licensed to use the NFL (National Football League) names and team colors in our games. If you play our game, you are playing with the Green Bay Packers, not just Green Bay." Acclaim Entertainment said NFL Quarterback Club 98 is a graphics intensive, high-resolution (640 x 480) animated game that runs 30 frames per second. Users will have 1,000 offensive plays and 500 defensive plays to choose from. Psygnosis Launches Colony Wars with Multi-Million Dollar Promotion! FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Oct. 7) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 7, 1997 - Since its debut at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) this June, Colony Wars has been hailed as "Star Wars on steroids!" and "a space shooter that warps past Star Fox 64" by video game reviewers. Psygnosis development teams dedicated three years to create the game and now Psygnosis U.S. publishing prepares a $2.5 million dollar launch worthy of promoting this spectacular title. Colony Wars is a PlayStation game console exclusive featuring intense action adventure with deep-space dogfights across five spectacular solar systems. Phil Harrison, Vice President, Third Party Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment American, declared, "Colony Wars delivers on all counts: Awesome graphics, stunning effects and immersive mission structure combine to create a space epic. The PlayStation has been crying out for an intense space action game. I can't wait for my final copy.!" Psygnosis will launch the title world-wide on November 4. Colony Wars will be available at U.S. retail outlets at an expected street price of $49.95. Psygnosis is supporting its expected holiday hit with a five month campaign including national TV broadcast and cable advertising, a print campaign in core gaming books, product demos and a sweepstakes running from September through January. The $2.5 million dollar campaign is part of a larger Psygnosis investment of over $6 million dollars in fall product launches and company branding. "Psygnosis has a strong fourth quarter line-up," noted John Golden, director of marketing at Psygnosis. "With the PlayStation's substantial installed base growing even larger, it makes sense to place such hits as Colony Wars, Formula 1 Championship Edition and G Police on TV to demonstrate their strong gameplay and support our branding message," 'Join the Resistance!' is the Colony Wars campaign theme keying off the game's storyline in which star colonies band together to overthrow the oppressive Earth empire. The highly creative force of Seattle-based advertising agency, WongDoody, created both TV and print ads. The print campaign includes three ads featuring German Bauhaus-style graphics with slogans such as 'Cry Freedom' and 'You're Next'. Dismissing the usual video game ad chock full of in-game footage and backward baseball caps, the television spots feature a little girl, orphaned by the losses of the revolution with a message that will power anyone to avenge the League of Free Worlds. Additional support comes in the form of a direct mail campaign aimed at the press and PlayStation owners. The cards place an alien spin on the classic American revolutionary imagery and slogans. A dedicated website at www.colonywars.com will bring fresh news and looks at the game; a sweepstakes entered via the web will send one winner and a friend to Space Camp valued at $5,000. The game will also be promoted with an EGM poster and post card, and will be included on a number of important demo discs such as the Official PlayStation magazine demo disk, the PlayStation's "JAMPACK" demo disk, and a demo disc in-packed with PlayStation game console hardware at retail. Retailers will have a variety of materials to select from including oversized boxes, posters, static cling stickers and counter cards, store front mailings, videos and sell sheets. Colony Wars puts the player at the center of an epic space battle between the colonized forces of the League of Free Worlds and the colonists of Earth (for once, native Earthlings are the enemy in this game). There are over 70 levels which can be played, though the branching mission tree will ensure that, at most, 30 or so are seen in even the most successful campaign, giving the player plenty of replay value and true variety. The missions themselves build into increasingly elaborate deep-space dogfights designed to test players piloting skills, trigger-fingers and strategic smarts. Space itself is a fantastically realized free-flight environment of five solar systems featuring warp-tunnels, guard stations, asteroids, communication stations and star nebulas in which the player navigates with 360 degrees of complete freedom. A.I. Fish Story MOPy Fish, a new virtual pet that can live in any PC as long as it is cared for and nurtured was floated by Hewlett-Packard last week. With the intelligence to develop its own personality in relation to how it is treated, ability to do tricks and blow kisses, MOPy Fish swims in its own virtual aquarium, to which the user can add rocks and plants, air bubbles and a thermometer by collecting points through regular multiple original printing (MOPying). When sufficient points are earned, the 'owner' can visit the virtual pet shop on an HP web site to obtain delicious fish food to keep the pet satisfied. The MOPy Fish enjoys this food so much that it rewards its owner with a fishy kiss, complete with lipstick marks that are left on the screen. With time, it will adopt a behavior pattern dependent on how it is treated. With regular feeding, kindness and exercise, it will thrive and become a close friend. If neglected, it is likely to get moody and may even develop Serious Fish Attitude. Like most real life pets, if it is not fed, it dies, simply floating on the top of its PC aquarium. According to H-P, the stress relieving benefits of fish and aquariums are well documented and the PC screen provides the ideal habitat for a virtual pet fish. The owner will experience all the calming influences of a real pet fish. Paul Burwood, Hewlett-Packard's Workgroup Printers Marketing Manager says, "The MOPy Fish software breaks new ground in the work place as it builds an intrinsic link between interactive fun on the desk top and the way we use office machines every day." Its creator, Global Beach's CEO, Clive Jackson says: "As the world's first virtual pet with a personality, this fish lives, feeds, sulks and shows affection - right on the desk top PC. "It will gain its personality traits from the way it is treated and, over time, each MOPy Fish will become an individual. It is therefore likely that owners will develop a unique bond in the same way as with real pets," said Jackson. Global Beach developed the software's artificial intelligence to enable MOPy Fish to be so life-like. Combining time stop filming techniques with digital imaging, more than a million pictures of a real Parrot fish were taken and manipulated to produce a life-like virtual pet that responds to interaction by its owner. Using Global Beach's REALsync compression technology, the MOPy Fish software is available on 1.4mb floppy disk or downloaded from the H-P web site at http://www.hp.com/go/fish. Nintendo Unplugs GE; Court Throws Out Lawsuit NEWARK, N.J. (Oct. 8) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 8, 1997 - Judge Alfred M. Wolin of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted a motion for summary judgment Tuesday, October 7, in favor of Nintendo of America Inc. and its Japanese parent company, Nintendo Co., Ltd., throwing out a massive patent lawsuit that had been filed by General Electric Company against Nintendo in 1995. General Electric had claimed that certain of Nintendo's products infringed patents which General Electric had acquired with RCA. >From the outset of the litigation, Nintendo asserted that GE's dated patents had no application to Nintendo's state-of-the-art video game products and that GE's claims were baseless. Nintendo advised the Court that it would seek summary judgment promptly after GE filed its suit. GE, however, insisted on and was allowed to take extensive pretrial discovery in an attempt to support its claims. After GE was allowed extensive discovery, Nintendo's motions were fully briefed to the Court, including the presentation of video demonstrations of the technology involved and extensive expert analysis. On Tuesday, the court upheld Nintendo's position in dismissing the case. Judge Wolin's 150-page decision begins as follows: "Before the Court today are two behemoths of the television electronics industry -- General Electric Company...and Nintendo... Their respective products, and ones like them, are embedded in the core of the visual society that we have become. Indeed, one would be hard pressed to find someone who does not have a GE product in his home or a person who has never watched a program on a GE television. Likewise, Nintendo products are a lightning rod of interest that electrify the realm of personal entertainment and it is rare to find an individual, at least one of a less-distinguished age than the Court, who has never been challenged by one of the ever-growing number of video games. Ironically, there are probably thousands of homes in which Nintendo video game systems are harmoniously connected to GE televisions. Such harmony is rendered atonal, however, the moment litigation begins. "GE initiated this action alleging that certain of Nintendo's video game products infringed three separate patents owned by GE. The patents (and respective claims) under consideration are: United States Patent No. 4,097,899 (Claims 12-14), United States Patent No. 4,169,659 (Claims 1,3,4,5 and 13) and United States Patent No. 4,279,125 (Claim 1). Each of the patents generally relates to electronic circuitry used in connection with television systems. "Through its present applications for summary judgment, Nintendo seeks a declaration of non-infringement in regard to each of GE's patents. With respect to patent No. 4,097,899, Nintendo alternatively asserts that the patent is invalid by anticipation. As set out below, the Court has separately analyzed and discussed each of the patents under a single statement of the applicable law. The order of consideration of the patents is random. For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant Nintendo's motions for summary judgment on each of the three patents." Nintendo of America's Chairman Howard Lincoln stated: "Nintendo's policy is not to give in to patent claims we believe have no merit no matter how large and prominent our adversary may be and even though the financial stakes are enormous. We are gratified that once again Nintendo's position has been vindicated." Jaguar Game Title STR Review - "Zero 5" Available Now by Robert Jung (via the UseNet) Published by: Telegames Price: $59.95 Cartridge - One player Okay, it's been a while since I wrote one of these... Zero 5 OVERVIEW: It is the year 2044. Earth has finally made contact with the first non-Terran life form -- and it isn't friendly. As the alien armada approaches, Earth Defense deploys armored HIT-PAK space cruisers to stop their attack. Using the HIT-PAK's main guns and its autonomous BAMBAM fighter, you must engage the enemy over an extended campaign and try to save the Earth. If that's the crisis you're in, then this must be ZERO 5. In this cartridge from Telegames, you must battle the unnamed alien forces over 15 grueling missions. The game offers three modes of play -- you'll operate the HIT-PAK's massive quad-cannon guns, dogfight in open space with the BAMBAM fighter, and race through canyons and tunnels in high-speed assaults. The game ends when you are destroyed; fortunately, three difficulty levels and the option to skip earlier missions help make things more bearable. GAMEPLAY: Hybrid games -- games that consist of several distinct sub-games -- have never really caught on. This is usually because the individual games aren't sophisticated enough to hold a player's interest on their own, and the sum fails to be greater than the parts. ZERO 5, unfortunately, does not break from that trend; though it tries, each of its individual play modes is defective by various degrees. The space dogfight sequences are the worst offenders, since this mode isn't "flying" at all. You control your BAMBAM from a fixed third camera, and steering the ship makes it turn in different directions. Your goal here is to point your ship at the attackers, then destroy them and their shots. Evasion and fancy flying are not possible, and the enemy are always in the same position relative to you. Worse, the fixed third-person view makes it easy to get disoriented, and the lack of helpful guides makes aiming difficult. The other game modes aren't as frustrating, but they are still flawed. The gunnery mode, where you operate the HIT-PAK's cannons to destroy enemy objects, suffers from imprecise aiming and a poor sense of your cruiser's space; it is easy to get hit from an object that you thought would have missed you. And the tunnel-flying game is essentially a simplified version of S.T.U.N. RUNNER, complicated by almost-impossible speeds and a claustrophobic view. To compound things further, even the easiest difficulty level is rather hard, and the endless button-pounding that the game requires quickly induces thumb cramps. To its credit, ZERO 5 is not a terrible game per se. Despite their flaws, the cannon-firing and tunnel-flying modes do provide some satisfaction, and the long missions requires hard work before they are beaten. Even the high difficulty isn't too stifling; since the appearance of enemies and obstacles is fixed, it's possible to memorize their appearances and devise tactics appropriately. But the rewards are always tinged with some degree of displeasure, and ultimately you're left with a feeling of how the game could have been better. GRAPHICS/SOUND: It is a shame that ZERO 5's gameplay is so discouraging, because it is coupled with some very sweet graphics and sounds. Game graphics consist primarily of Goraund-shaded and texture-mapped polygons; the animation is smooth and fast, even if the colors tend toward bright primaries. Other small touches -- like the brief cinematic clips before and after each mission, and the Minter-esque Pixelshatter explosions -- round out a succulent feast of rapid-fire visual delights. The game is no slouch in the audio department, either. Voices and sound effects are clear and distinctive, with enough richness to immerse you into the action. Background music consists of several hard-hitting techno tunes, perfectly suited to the game's nonstop action. They compliment the game without distracting from it, though the presence of a bass/treble control seems almost gratuitous. SUMMARY: Stripped bare, ZERO 5 is an attempt at hybrid gaming that yields mixed results. While the graphics and sound are top-notch, they cannot completely overcome the flawed gameplay and high difficulty level. Still, determined players with a high threshold for pain might be willing to labor through ZERO 5 and reap the rewards. GAMEPLAY: 5.5 GRAPHICS: 09 SOUND: 09 OVERALL: 07 Rating values 10 - 8 Great! This game can't get much better. 7 - 5 Good. Average game, could be improved. 4 - 2 Poor. For devotees only. 1 Ick. Shoot it. "HIT-PAK"? "BAMBAM"? Sheesh. --R.J. B-) ------------- "I write because I am personally amused by what I do, and if other people are amused by it, then it's fine. If they're not, then that's also fine." --Frank Zappa Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. It's hard to believe, but there are only 12 weeks left to this year. It seems like only yesterday that I was typing a 'welcome to the New Year' column. But then again, it seems like yesterday that I saw my first ST computer. I was instantly hooked. The place I went to for programs and supplies for my Commodore 64 had started carrying this new computer. They had always carried Atari computers, but they were more like my C64 than this sleek new addition. I had had so much trouble getting a floppy disk drive for my C64 because of what I had learned was a foul-up at the company that I swore that I'd never buy another 'Tramiel product'. The owner of the computer store wisely decided not to tell me that the Tramiels had bought Atari and let me get used to the new machine. I can remember the way my mind buckled when I realized that the machine had a half meg of memory. "What the heck could anyone ever use that much memory for?" I remember asking. Ah, those were the days, weren't they? That was right around the time that Bill Gates of Microsoft said "640K of memory should be enough for anybody". This is not one of my usual slams at Microsoft or a joke at his/their expense. He really did say that. Of course he, like the rest of us, is allowed to be wrong once in a while. I just wish I knew the secret of profiting from it as he has. I'm not blaming him for making billions in the industry... my hat is off to him for that. I just wish that I could do it too. <grin> While some industry analysts fear that Microsoft will slow down in terms of product development once '98 is out the door, I'm betting my money on a few new products that promise to take you where 'you want to gotoday' faster and more colorfully, and will require more memory, more storage space, faster CPUs, and better peripherals. Meanwhile, in the Atari world, we'll still be doing things the old-fashioned way. The longer I hold on to my machines, the more amazed others are that I can do the things that I do. Of course, there will be fewer and fewer of us to band together, but somewhere down deep inside, there'll always be a die-hard atarian in all of us. I've heard the Atari platform referred to as 'a learning experience'. I guess that I haven't finished learning yet. That's what I get for being the child of a teacher, I guess. What it all comes down to is not 'where you want to go today', but how you want to get there. While there is something to be said for cruising down the road in a luxury car, most of the time I'd rather be tooling along on a Harley. Let's see... last week we hung around with folks on the UseNet, so this time we'll peek in on Delphi and see what's up. >From Delphi's Atari Advantage Michael Burkley asks: "Do you know the status of the KAOS TOS or the SuperTOS image files? From the name of the SuperTOS file (TOS206+.IMG) I am assuming that it is an illegal hack. I remember (how accurately I don't know) that the KAOS TOS was a TOS 1.04 clone. I never found it and have never known if it was freely available or not. I just downloaded them from a pirate site connected to PaCifiST (The Little Green Desktop page, or something like that). Nothing much has changed there. They are still putting out pirated programs, with statements like "If you can't find a game you want here, let us know and well try to get it for you." Anyway, do you know if I should ditch the KAOS TOS. No docs in the file either." Greg Evans tells Michael: "MagiC is also based on a hacked version of the same TOS that became KAOS TOS, interestingly enough. They just added multitasking to it at first, but of course, have made many changes since then." My friend Alejandro tells Greg (and the rest of us): "You probably are right... But I think they based MagiC in the original TOS code. Only in this manner they could put that amount of compatibility. The question is if one can call it and other TOS compatible OS's hacking, because Atari described every TOS call and a person with imagination and good programming knowledge could make a code that do the same think. If those TOS'es are hacked, why Atari (specially the german division)don't do nothing in its moment? I can't say if KAOS TOS is a hacked TOS version To see if a code is hacked, you must see line by line..." Greg tells Alejandro: "I was using the term hacked loosely, not to imply stolen but based on or derived from. Howevere, what I heard was that MagiC was originally based on a disassembled version of TOS which ws floating around (the internet?). Apparetntly, the Atari code was very easy to follow... I don't know about KAOS, except Atari never tried to stop it so that's probably something in its favor to consider." >From what I remember, Atari had considered the possibility of 'going after' the creators of KAOS but decided to instead concentrate on upgrading their own version, since it was in ROM and KAOS TOS was typically disk based. Alejandro adds: "I have been trying the KaosTos img and the "Tos 2.06 plus" for the past few days. It appears that KaosTOS is a tos 1.04 with some fixes (desktop icons, pull down menus), but appart from that I couldn't find any other differences. (It appears as a reassembled Tos 1.04, as you note for MagiC). As for Tos 2.06 plus, do you know the purpose of the four new buttons that appear in the windows?. Appart from that, I don't see any difference from 2.06 standard." On the subject of web pages on Delphi, Greg Evans asks: "Can my webpage here on Delphi include links to download files from my workspace?" For those of you who don't have a Delphi account, the 'workspace' is a personal storage are that you can use to hold files of any kind for uploading, downloading, emailing, or holding the files for your web page. The web page portion is in a subdirectory so that things don't get confused. "Ken of Phoenix" tells Greg: "You can see my page to see how files can be set up for direct download. people.delphi.com/phxken/COCOFILE.HTML Just view the source code for that page. All the files are in my web page; not my work space. Use the copy HOME:filename.ext command to put your files in an accessible area...you do not want others to have access to your "private" workspace. There is a small problem with filenames. All filenames will appear to you as all UPPERCASE.EXT but you may use almost any filename as long as it only has one dot. You may use the underscore to replace all other dots in long filenames. EXAMPLE: replace mylongfilename.tar.gz with MYLONGFILENAME_TAR.GZ. You may use case sensitive html code if you are precise and use the exact same name in your files. EXAMPLE: MyJavaCode.class which will appear as MYJAVACODE.CLASS but will actually still be MyJavaCode.class if you are careful. The system can see upper and lower case letters but it does not show you the lower case letters in filenames. Is this confusing or what. Look at my trial.html and my other htmls from my main home page to see the result. There are several of us here using case sensitive java classes in our page just for fun. Please take this to e-mail if you want to discuss it more and I will be able to send examples." Gordie Meyer, one of the most knowledgable people around where Delphi is concerned, adds: "Make sure you put any files you want to include in your WEB-WS and not your regular WS. That's a security measure that prevents anyone from hacking their way into your personal workspace. (They're on completely different servers, I think.)" Greg tells Ken: "I'll take a look at your page. I don't have anything I'm ready to make available for download, but Rob Mahlert and I are working on a web page creator program and it would be nice if it was available easily -- once we finish it." Ken adds: "When I refer to workspace I am speaking only of the WS directory and NOT the Web directory. All files for public download should be in the Web directory. It's true that both directories are work spaces but I separate the two by references according to what I think is the intent of Delphi. I'm sure that you know the differences but anyone who has never tried to use his/her web directory might not. That's why I tried to explain how to copy files from one space to the other. I hope this clears up any confusion that my advice message may have caused." Dana Jacobson tells Ken: "Thanks for the clarification. Your original message gave me the impression that there was another way that I didn't know about, but I see we're talking about the same Web workspace. BTW, are you saying that you can copy files from one workspace to another? How (again, please?)." Ken tells Dana: "Gladly. Here, once again, is the way to copy files from your normal workspace (WS) to your web workspace (WEB): From you WS enter the command: web This puts you in your web work area. Do a DIR to prove it. Now to copy a file enter the command: COPY HOME:FILENAME.EXT (where you enter your own filename.ext) The system will ask you for the new file name if you want to make a change. Please notice the colon in the command line. The biggest problem if you are not using all upper case file names in the 8.3 form is to keep track of the actual filename because the system reports to you that the file name is all upper case even if it is not. As long as YOU know what the actual file name is, you can refer to it in your html code for your web page. Java applets demand upper and lower case filenames so if you know that the file MYBIGAPPLET.CLASS is actually MyBigApplet.class and you keep typing it that way, all is well. I know of no way to check your work expect to try it because DIR shows all uppercase letters." Dana tells Ken: "Thanks very much, Ken! I never knew that before, and wondered. I'm assuming that the reverse is not true, however (WS -> WEB-WS) since not all people have access to the Delphi Internet area. I suppose I could test out that theory, eh?! <grin>" Actually, if you've got access to the Delphi Internet area (by paying a whole three extra dollars a month... a very good deal, by the way), it DOES work. I wish I had known that when I was putting my web page together. I would have saved me quite a few keystrokes. Carl Barron tells ken: "Java applets don't require case sensitive filesystems, they really like 5k long file names! My mac runs applets from delphi as I access these message bases via netscape." Ken tells Carl: "...Your statement above is confusing "to me". Netscape running a Java applet is not the same thing as running an applet from an html tag in a web page. If anyone can put any java applets on their web page without paying any attention to the upper and lower case letter, I want to hear from them. I spent weeks trying to put an applet on my delphi web page without success before I found out that on a VMS system such as is here at delphi, "what you see is NOT what you get" when it comes to filenames. As far as long file names are concerned, we have discovered that VMS accepts very long names as long as there is only a single dot; however multiple under- scores are allowed." Carl tells Ken: "HTML is acting like a remote commandline interpreter. It tells the browser to request the program and after it is transferred it executes on the client. HTML is case sensitive on any system that is case sensitive. Java will run on case sensitive or insensitive systems, and itself is not case sensitive or insesitive, but that is a function of the systems involved. To say that java is case sensitive to filenames is false, the underlying operating/filesystems might be. Java and HTML don't require much of each other but they do work together, confusing the issue. By the way Java looks for files to execute, it loves real long file names." Steven Mars asks: Does anyone have a TTM195 for sale? The one I got during the Great ATARI closeout lasted for about 30 hours of use." Jim Collins tells Steven: "chro_MAGIC has some brand new Protar 19 inch monochrome TT030 monitors in stock for $299.00 (+ shipping). You can read about them on our web page ( http://www.chromagic.com ). We also have a used Atari TTM195 monitor in stock for $189.00 + shipping. This used monitor works and has no apparent defects (screen burn in, screen flicker, case damage, etc). As you know, these things are BIG and HEAVY so I would need to where/how you wanted it shipped before I could give a price for shipping. 1-888-660-4041 Toll free orderline. 1-417-623-7393 Information/Support line. 1-417-624-0700 24 Hour Fax Line." 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... 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