ST Report: 5-Dec-97 #1348From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/11/97-09:44:24 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 5-Dec-97 #1348 Date: Thu Dec 11 09:44:24 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) December 05, 1997 No.1348 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 12/05/97 STR 1348 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Links Library #4 - 3COM PalmPilot #1 - CardScan Plus! - Recipe Box 5.5 - COOKIE CONTEST! - Cyberporn Wars - Surfing at the Mall - Conspiracy Theory - Iomega Clik Drive - People Talking - Classics & Gaming MICRON OPPOSES S. KOREA BAILOUT MIAMI CALLED PIRACY CENTER NET SMUT CURBS TO BE PROPOSED 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 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 11/29/97: three of six numbers with two matches >From the Editor's Desk... Control Freaks. Control Freaks. They're everywhere!! Now, we see Vice President Al Gore busy jumping on the "Control the Internet" bandwagon. Gore sez. "its not censorship, its only responsible parenting." Hey Al. who you trying to kid?? Parenting involves PARENTS doing the Parent thing. Not the Government, not the control freaks or, any other pseudo parents. The bottom line is the Government should BUT OUT of the control freak business attacking the Internet and allow Parents to do the job at HOME, in the home and privately. When is the government going to get out of the surrogate parent business? What the government should be solidly getting involved in is the Total and Complete Elimination of illicit drugs, drug smuggling and of course drug dealing. But that's not as important as controlling the Internet and the one hundred and one thousand different interpretations of what is or is not pornographic. Meanwhile dangerously harmful Drugs; Cocaine, Heroin, and all the other garbage Designer Drugs are killing our kids VERY DEAD, allowing women and girls to be unknowingly raped!! Lastly, and perhaps the most overall harmful; "financing the Mafia, the Gangs and thugs in every city and town across this nation." Yet Clinton, Gore, and Congress are busy fussing over the Internet. Janet Reno is busy sidestepping the campaign bux issues and they're all trying to get rid of the Head of the FBI. Why? I'll bet its because this guy is really a true, Law Enforcement Professional and not some Political Hack. They ("The Clintonites" He "smoked it. but didn't inhale" - That was the first and biggest lie. The Joke was on US!) claim Louis Frei is not "loyal" to Clinton. Can't say that about Reno. she's as "loyal" as they come!! Broken laws or not. I'll take Frei anytime instead Janet Waco-Ruby Ridge Reno. Its time for the real deal to become real. Its time Congress got off its dead butt and mandated that the Illicit Drug Trades in this country was brought to a screeching halt. Regardless of how many jobs involved in the court system, prison system and judiciary system would be eliminated. I'd rather see those jobs eliminated than watch the ongoing elimination of this nation's youth and future. Hey Al. whaddaya think of those apples?? Kinda like saying it like it really is?? Oh! And while Congress is at it. have them put the CIA outta the Drug Business that Georgie and friends got them into. Those folks in LA were not mistaken. RALPH... Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano 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 Give Your Kid a Web PARSIPPANY, N.J., (UPI) -- Before you buy another computer game or Nintendo cartridge for Christmas, consider connecting your child to the Internet, instead. According to the Information Technology Industry Council, Santa is going to leave approximately 2.6 million PCs under Christmas trees this December. Thanks to advances in technology, a new breed of Internet games is emerging that is fun, challenging and, best of all, free. The candystand.com site offers a mix of more than a dozen free games, contests, puzzles and interactive features for kids aged four and older. The site also includes tournaments based on its popular games in which participants can win prizes -- from Super Sunday tickets in the Morten Anderson Field Goal Challenge to a $3,000 multimedia PC in the "Bubble Yum Foul Shot Shoot-Out Holiday Hoops" tournament. James Oliver Cury, senior editor of WEB Magazine, said: "There's a quiet revolution in online gaming going on. Free online games are interactive, sophisticated and, best of all, are only a modem connection away." Among Cury's top 10 free kids' games sites is LifeSavers' Web site (candystand.com), which offers a variety of games, trivia contests and educational activities designed to appeal to kids of all ages. Among the games kids of all ages will discover are Life Savers Morten Anderson Field Goal Challenge, Snack Well's Candy Chocolate Factory Pinball, Candystand Miniature Golf, Breath Savers Billiards, Bubble Yum Holiday Hoops, Yipes Skate Race and Fruit Stripe Coloring Fun. Librarians Link Kid Web Sites The American Library Association aims to help guide children and adults through cyberspace with a new "cybercollection" of links to more than 700 "Great Sites" reviewed and recommended by children's librarians. The Great Sites were unveiled today at the Internet/Online Summit: Focus on Children, a first-ever summit of industry leaders, educators, librarians, law enforcement officials and family advocates to focus on enhanced education and safety of children in cyberspace. The Great Sites range from the Negro Baseball Leagues and the Electronic Zoo to a Club Girl Tech Game Cafe and the Titanic. Subjects include standards like the arts, history and science, along with dinosaurs, games and other kid favorites. Special features include a Spanish language collection and sites of special interest to parents, educators, homeschoolers and caregivers. "This is what librarians do best," says Barbara J. Ford, president of the Chicago-based American Library Association. "We help kids connect to quality resources -- only today it's not just books. The Internet is an exciting new tool that helps us offer both global reach and local touch." Ford notes that most metropolitan libraries and many smaller libraries provide computers and Internet connections for members of the public. She notes that "Great Sites" is a great place for novice Web surfers to start -- "a sort of one-stop, quality-controlled shopping mall." Great Sites can be found at http://www.ala.org/parentspage/greatsites/. Marx Library Coming to Web The Marx Memorial Library, the London-based facility with some 150,000 books and documents chronicling the history of working class movements, is coming to the Internet. Librarian Tish Newland has told the Reuter News Service the facility has received a $605,000 grant from Britain's national lottery which will enable librarians to improve the library and put the catalogue on the Internet, adding, "We are absolutely delighted with this grant. It recognizes that the library is a unique resource which deserves to be made available to the widest possible audience." Reuters notes the library was established in London in 1933, 50 years after Karl Marx's death, and contains documents written by and about Marx, the German economic and social theorist whose works including Das Kapital were the inspiration for modern communism. It also has collections on the Spanish Civil War, the U.S. labor movement, radicals and peace studies. Doughboy Gets Web Site The Pillsbury Doughboy now has his own Web site. Located at www.doughboy.com, the site features Doughboy-oriented graphics and sounds as well as games, merchandise and recipes. Visitors give Doughboy a "digital bellypoke" to enter the site. "The Doughboy has always had a unique ability to connect with people. Doughboy.com will give him an even better way to interact with kids and adults in fun and imaginative ways," says Camille Gibson, vice president of refrigerated baked goods at Minneapolis-based Pillsbury Corp. Created in 1965 by an advertising executive who imagined what would pop out of a tube of refrigerated biscuits, the Pillsbury Doughboy is one of America's most famous icons. In 1990, he was named favorite food product character among consumers in a cartoon popularity survey. Advertising Age declared him America's most loved character in 1987. Black History CD-ROM Ships Encyclopaedia Britannica has released "Encyclopaedia Britannica Profiles Black History," a CD-ROM commemorating African-American history. The Chicago-based company notes that the $29.95 product highlights pivotal people, places, events and movements that shaped African-American history from 1591 to the present. It also features an interactive time-line and contains 550 articles and 275 photographs, as well as audio and film clips. "Our goal is to provide a complete resource on African-American history that is relevant to any family, student and educator interested in timely issues and cultural growth," says Don Yannias, CEO of Encyclopaedia Britannica. The CD-ROM is available at software retailers. It also can be purchased through the Britannica bookstore at http://www.eb.com/bookstore. Net Summit Set for Next Week Clinton administration heavyweights -- including Vice President Al Gore, Attorney General Janet Reno and two Cabinet secretaries -- will participate in a three-day Washington summit next week about the Internet and protection of children. And, says Net-savvy reporter Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News Service, the gathering "could reveal a deep ideological rift over the proper approach" to shielding kids from online sex and violence as Washington meets with an array of interested groups and companies to explore technological and legal avenues. "Conservative advocates of family values are unconvinced the solutions being discussed go far enough," Pressman notes, "while civil liberty groups worry the measures go too far and infringe on free speech rights." This is the summit scheduled after last summer's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down portions of the Communications Decency Act that prohibited the display of indecent material on the Internet where kids could see it. President Clinton organized a meeting at the White House in July to find new solutions and warned the private sector to act fast or face new legislation. As a followup, the summit is intended to explore a variety of solutions. However, says Pressman, the event "could be overshadowed by a series of pre-summit press conferences scheduled by groups on the left, right and center of the issues." For instance, watch on Monday for the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, and several other conservative groups to blast the summit for caving in to the desires of Internet companies as panelists try to discuss a variety of technological solutions for screening and filtering Internet sites to prevent kids from getting into inappropriate areas. On the other end of the spectrum, civil liberties groups will probably voice concerns that many of the proposed solutions would block out web sites containing desirable and constitutionally protected content. "At a news briefing scheduled to begin a few hours after the conservatives but in the same room at the National Press Club," says Pressman, "they plan to announce formation of a coalition opposing some net rating and blocking schemes." Net Smut Curbs to Be Proposed Hoping to head off further attempts to regulate cyberspace following a three-day summit that starts in Washington today, Internet leaders are set to propose a series of measures to protect children from stalkers and pornography online. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Thomas E. Weber says he expects the summit "will showcase industry attempts at self-regulation ... but ... also will highlight the controversy over the seemingly free-for-all environment of the Internet." As reported earlier, before the gathering even gets started, you can expect conservative groups to blast the efforts as not going far enough, while civil libertarians will worry the measures go too far and infringe on free speech rights. Weber says three measures are expected to be unveiled: z Tools to help parents restrict their kids' travels on the Internet. z A national hotline for reporting cyber-crime. z A public-service campaign about Internet safety. As noted, the summit was called by President Clinton after the U.S. Supreme Court last June struck down key provisions of the Communications Decency Act that made it a crime to transmit "indecent" material to minors online. CompuServe, America Online, Microsoft Network and other service providers have argued that the CDA and similar legislative efforts to rein in cyberspace could hamper the growth of the online medium and are difficult to enforce given the Internet's global nature. One of the major innovations to be announced by the summit's organizers will be CyberTipLine, "a telephone hotline that will serve as a national clearinghouse for tips on online stalking, child pornography and other Internet-related crimes," says the Journal. "Participants also will unveil a campaign of public-service announcements related to Internet child safety." Meanwhile, some lawmakers are renewing efforts to restrict online content with a bill -- dubbed "Son of CDA" by some -- introduced last month in Congress that would require online pornography sites to create barriers to keep out minors. Also, watch for the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups to announce a new coalition, the Internet Free Expression Alliance, to monitor the spread of what it fears are efforts to "foster censorship in cyberspace," says Weber. Online Industry to Work With Police Officials in the online industry -- working toward making the Internet a safer place for kids -- reportedly have agreed to report activities involving child pornography to law enforcement agents. Look for Vice President Al Gore to announce the initiative today when he addresses the second day of a three-day Washington summit on ways to make the Internet a safer place for America's youngsters. Donna Rice Hughes of Enough is Enough, an advocacy group trying to get child pornography off the World Wide Web, tells Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa the policy calls for Internet providers to remove child pornography from their own bulletin boards and services, adding, "We have made some headway." Also, as reported earlier, a new toll-free hotline to report incidents of child sexual exploitation online is being unveiled and will be on Gore's agenda. The hotline, operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is now in service at 1-800-843-5678. Says Aversa, "While applauding the commitments to help keep Internet smut away from kids, Gore also will challenge the online industry to come up with ways to protect children's privacy online, shield them from exploitative online marketing and provide them with more 'safe' places to go online. ... And he is expected to announce that the Commerce Department will hold conferences on these issues, probably next year." President Kathryn Montgomery of the Center for Media Education praised efforts, saying, "We need to do more than protect children from bad content; we need to ensure that there is quality, good content." In developments from the opening day of the conference: The Center for Democracy and Technology, a group that works to protect computer users' civil liberties, says all major providers of Internet access to consumers offer screening technology free or at a nominal cost. However, a survey of 750 families by the monthly Family PC magazine found that only 26 percent use screening software, most of them because it is built in to their web browsers or offered by their online service providers. Just 4 percent of parents use screening software when they buy and install it on their computers, the survey said. America Online announced it is expanding a blocking option so that parents can restrict online material specifically designed for younger teens -- 13 to 15. Initially, AOL gave parents three choices to limit access: kids only, teen and 18-plus. The American Library Association announced it has expanded links and compilation of kid-friendly Internet sites. The collection is available at http://www.ala.org/parentspage/greatsites. Microsoft Corp. says it is launching an educational campaign aimed at helping parents find family-friendly sites, teach safe online behavior and how to use screening and blocking devices. By next fall, plan to conduct educational sessions in schools, libraries and other community centers. Over the coming year, the company's web site will run a series of educational features on all these topics. White House Targets Net Porn A new "zero tolerance" policy on Internet child pornography has been announced by Vice President Al Gore, who has told a Washington summit the White House will get tough on sexual predators who use the Net. Gore also laid out plans to help educate parents about the benefits and dangers of the new electronic medium and called for increased cooperation between leading Internet service providers and law-enforcement officers. "But," says reporter John Simons in The Wall Street Journal, "the administration was short on specifics, and it is unclear how these efforts will differ from those that already exist to root out illegal pornographic material on the Internet." As reported earlier, Gore's presentation was the centerpiece for the second day of the three-day Internet Online Summit for Kids. Simons says Gore appeared before a packed room of some 400 industry leaders, parents' advocates and policy makers, adding, "The White House has so far been able to marshal a consensus among the groups that relies largely on market solutions like software that filters out risque material and systems that allow web sites to rate themselves." Highlighting Gore's initiatives is a national public-awareness campaign called "Think Then Link," to educate parents about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. Simons reports the program will include a series of public-service announcements to begin airing next spring, a mailing that will target 71 million households and a televised Internet "teach-in," possibly featuring President Clinton and Mr. Gore. Also, a free Education Department manual called Parent's Guide to the Internet, written to help parents find educational sites online. The entire book will also be available on the department's web site. The vice president also took on critics -- specifically the American Civil Liberties Union - - with a comment that "some say that we should refrain from action, that all action to block children's access to objectionable content amounts to censorship. To them I say, blocking your child's access to objectionable Internet content is not censoring; that's called parenting." (To Gore... I say, its CENSORSHIP! True Parenting is responsible Parenting being done "by the Parents" not a pack of rabid control freaks, acting a pseudo parents, greedily placing all sorts of wacky blocks and controls on the Internet in the name of decency. When in fact, it's the laying of the groundwork to eventually place FULL Control (Total Censorship) upon the Internet. Sorry Al, you're all wet on this one.) .R.F. Mariano Web Publisher Accused of Defrauding An Internet publisher called Woodside Literary Agency is being accused by New York state attorney general Dennis Vacco of defrauding would-be authors. In Albany, New York, Vacco told United Press International he believes the agency has duped aspiring writers into paying $400 in marketing fees, but never published their books. "Writers who peruse the Internet looking for support groups and publishing opportunities brought Woodside to the attorney general's attention," UPI says. "One group of writers even held a contest to come up with the worst piece of writing they could and submitted it to Woodside. The passage sent was purposely riddled with grammatical errors, but the agency asked to see the entire manuscript -- as long as it was accompanied by a $150 reading fee." The wire service says New York's Internet and Computer Unit carried out a six-month investigation into the agency before the suit was filed. "One witness said Woodside harassed writers who tried to warn others about the scam and even threatened legal action," UPI reported. "Vacco said Woodside sent messages to disgruntled writers threatening them with libel suits and posted newsgroup messages calling them 'bitter failures.'" Net Scams Fastest Growing Fraud While consumer complaints about cars sales and home and auto repairs still top the list, charges involving the Internet are among the fastest growing type of consumer fraud. Officials with the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the Consumer Federation of America made that observation to reporter John D. McClain of The Associated Press, following a survey of 42 state and local consumer agencies. Says McClain, "Although Internet complaints did not show as one of the top five complaint areas, the survey revealed the number of agencies handling such charges tripled from 1995 to 1996. Problems involved both service providers and sales." Joseph K. Goldberg, NACAA president and director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, added, "We expect the problem to continue to grow as the Internet continues to grow." Miami Called Piracy Center Miami is being characterized as a U.S. hub for the counterfeit software business for Latin America. Corporate attorney Tony Viera with Microsoft Corp. told Patricia Zengerle of the Reuter News Service, "We believe that Miami is a major jump off point for (illegal) software to Latin America." Reuters reports Viera and members of the Metro-Dade Police Department's Economic Crimes Bureau yesterday unveiled more than $60,000 worth of counterfeit Microsoft software, part of a haul of fake computer products seized last week in a raid on a local company. "The fake software, copies of Microsoft's Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS computer operating systems, was labeled in Spanish and included Spanish documentation," adds the wire service. Sgt. Ralph Nelson, a supervisor in the Economic Crimes Bureau, said authorities believe "this could have been destined for South America." Reuters says police raided L&M Computer Products, a company in suburban Miami, on Nov. 24 after they were tipped off by Microsoft and a computer processor company, Intel Corp. They found about 880 copies of the fake Microsoft software and two counterfeit Intel microprocessors on the premises. Viera said software piracy in North America cost the industry more than $2.8 billion in 1996. "In the United States, about one out of three software products is pirated," he said. In Florida alone, he said retail sales losses due to software piracy exceeded $68 million last year. However, he added piracy in other states is not different from Florida piracy, except here the counterfeit products are often produced for export. Fugitive Sets Up Web Page Even an international fugitive has time to maintain a page on the Internet's World Wide Web. Roger Tamraz -- who attended two White House social events with President Clinton over the objections of national security advisers -- has achieved a certain celebrity status, even as he is on the run following Senate hearings on campaign finance abuses. Associated Press writer Donna Abu-Nasr notes Tamraz, who donated more than $300,000 to the Democratic Party during the 1996 election cycle, first entered the spotlight when questions arose about how he could have gotten into the White House while wanted on embezzlement charges in his native Lebanon. "Questions later arose," she adds, "as to why a CIA employee, along with then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Donald Fowler and an Energy Department official, sought to pressure the National Security Council -- which considered him an unsavory figure unfit to meet Clinton -- to get Tamraz a White House meeting so he could pitch one of his pipeline projects." And at last September's Senate hearing, "Tamraz was blunt and funny," AP comments, "admitting the only reason he donated money to the party was to 'promote myself' and his plan for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea region across Turkey." Visitors to Tamraz' Web site (http://www.tamraz.com) see a picture of the 57-year-old banker-fugitive, then can choose from editorials, commentary and articles about Tamraz, a transcript of the Senate hearings and a list of his television and other appearances. Also, an online survey asks where visitors have heard about Tamraz, what controversy he was involved in, whether the website has provided them with Tamraz' "global significance" and even what would they think if Tamraz ran for political office. Germany OKs CompuServe-AOL Deal German antitrust officials in Bonn have given their approval to a plan that would put CompuServe in the hands of America Online and its German partner, Bertelsmann AG. As reported, AOL announced plans in September to acquire CompuServe's worldwide consumer online operations in a complicated arrangement involving the U.S. telephone company WorldCom Inc. The Associated Press notes, "U.S. regulators let a deadline pass two weeks ago for raising objections to the deal. A Bertelsmann spokeswoman said Monday the company was checking whether it needed British approval, but that it otherwise believed no further approval was needed from European officials." WorldCom wants to buy CompuServe for $1.2 billion in stock, and then trade the consumer online services division and cash to AOL in exchange for the Dulles, Va., firm's Internet telecommunications unit in exchange. In Europe," says AP, "AOL will jointly run CompuServe's European operations with German media group Bertelsmann AG in a portion of the deal that required permission of German regulators. The approval was routine because of the secure position of the major competitor in Germany, Deutsche Telekom's T-Online, a German antitrust official said on condition of anonymity." Bertelsmann says there will be no substantial changes in service for CompuServe's 850,000 European subscribers, 280,000 of them in Germany and the service will continue to be sold under the same brand name. AP says AOL and Bertelsmann are to invest $25 million each in an expanded joint venture to operate CompuServe's European online services. TI Announces Chip Breakthrough Researchers at Texas Instruments Inc. have demonstrated the successful combination of copper wiring with an insulating material -- called xerogel -- in an integrated circuit, a breakthrough that will lead to future digital signal processors (DSP) and microprocessors that are at least 10 times faster and use much less power than today's most powerful chips. TI says the process leap-frogs previously announced developments about semiconductor technology using copper rather than aluminum for interconnecting transistors. "This breakthrough of combining copper with an ultra low-k dielectric material like xerogel will offer the highest performance alternative for future generations of semiconductor chips within the next decade," notes a TI press statement. The prototype chips built by researchers at TI's Kilby Center laboratories offer a solution to one of the semiconductor industry's most important looming problems. As semiconductor manufacturers create smaller, more powerful chips with millions of transistors, manufacturing processes become increasingly complex. For the next generation of chips, these devices will be so small and so close together that the interconnects or wire connections between transistors can slow the flow of electrical signals between the wires. This problem severely degrades the performance of the chip. The new TI technology offers a solution to the looming interconnect challenge and provides ten times the performance gain. The successful coupling of the two technologies (copper and xerogel) allows electrical signals to flow more freely throughout a chip, reducing troublesome electrical resistance and capacitance effects. "Xerogel may be the ultimate solution because it has the lowest dielectric constant known other than air," says Robert Havemann, Manager of advanced interconnect development at TI. Xerogel is a material made of microscopic glass bubbles containing air which is nature's ideal insulator. TI has shown it is now possible to integrate xerogel into copper interconnects--pushing the limits of Mother Nature," he notes. "Much attention has been paid recently to the use of copper wires in integrated circuits," adds Havemann. "While lowering the resistance with copper solves a near-term problem, we think reducing the capacitance effect is even more of a critical issue because unless the problem is solved, chip performance, power and operating voltage will ultimately be limited by the interconnect. That's counter to everything the market expects from future semiconductor products." The process advance announced by TI is important because it will translate directly into smaller, faster and more powerful chips that will operate at frequencies of billions of cycles per second. Furthermore, chips using the breakthrough interconnect technology will be vastly more reliable and energy efficient. Improved energy efficiency and computing power are enablers for new generations of portable electronics such as cellular phones, notebook computers, personal communicators and video watches. Future generation microprocessors and DSPs using TI's technology will be the size of a fingernail and incorporate circuitry as small as 0.10 micron with over 500 million transistors. Electrons on such a chip will travel along one mile of wiring separated by the xerogel insulator, which provides insurance that the chip will not fail. To understand the interconnect challenge involved with this technology, imagine electrons as a steady stream of cars, traveling 60,000 miles per hour, passing within an arm's length along millions of miles of city streets -- all accident free. TI's Web site is located at http://www.ti.com . Toshiba Sees Comeback Japan's Toshiba Corp. predicts an improvement in the currently sagging prices and swollen inventories that hit its PC business in the United States in the first half of its financial year. Managing director Kiyoaki Shimagami told a recent news conference in Tokyo, "Swollen inventories temporarily caused a loss in the U.S. PC business, but we expect the adverse impact of excessive stocks to be substantially lessened in the second half." The Reuter News Service notes Toshiba said earlier that sluggish notebook PC sales in the U.S. along with doldrums in the consumer electronics business at home cut its group net profit by half to 9.55 billion yen in the April-September period. The wire service quotes Shimagami as saying Toshiba will cut down PC inventories, slim down its U.S. sales units and introduce lower-end notebook PCs in the U.S. market in the second half. Adds Reuters, "Toshiba, which has sharply lost market share in its core notebook PC products in the United States, said its operating profits from the PC business would fall more than 30 billion yen in 1997/98 from a year before." As reported earlier, Toshiba has decided to discontinue selling the year-old Infinia consumer-desk top PCs in the U.S. in order to concentrate on the corporate market. Canadian Net Usage Doubles Word is the number of Canadian households surfing the Internet has almost doubled this year. Reporting from Toronto, the Reuter News Service quotes a survey by Statistics Canada, a government agency, that shows 1.5 million homes -- or 13 percent in Canada -- were using the Internet this year, up from 843,000 households (7 percent) in 1996, the first year such statistics were collected. The poll surveyed 35,000 households. Other findings, says Reuters, include: Net usage was highest in the west coast province of British Columbia, at 18 percent of homes. Home PCs also are becoming more common in Canada, with 4.2 million households or 36 percent having a computer, versus 3.6 million homes last year. Five years ago, only 20 percent of homes had a computer. The proportion of households with a compact disc player soared to 58 percent from eight percent in the past nine years. Households with cellular telephones rose to 19 percent this year from 14 percent in 1996. Those with black and white television sets fell to 12 percent in 1997 from 43 percent in 1982. Almost every household had a color television set, with more than half having at least two. PC Disposal Costs Companies New research from International Data Corp. reveals a disproportionate number of large corporations are not making cost-effective decisions about the disposal of outdated PCs. The Framingham, Massachusetts, market research firm notes that in 1997 alone U.S. corporations will retire more than 10 million PCs. In 1998, that figure will balloon to 11.1 million, with only 17 percent being sold or traded in for new equipment. The remaining 83 percent represents an unrecovered value in excess of $3 billion, reports IDC, which adds that as PC purchases grow and life cycles shorten disposal costs will become a more serious problem, "Customers' casual attitudes toward PC disposal is expensive and getting more costly all the time," says Lorraine Cosgrove, research manager of IDC's asset management program. "When companies were only retiring tens or even hundreds of PCs annually, disposal was a minor issue. As those numbers increase to thousands, costs begin to escalate." According to IDC, disposal costs range from $118.90 for selling PCs to a broker to $343.90 for donating PCs to charity. "As rapid life cycles, falling prices and significant price/performance improvements all increase downward pressure on residual values, organizations must know when to unload their PCs while they still have worth in the used market. Doing so will help ensure recovering at least a portion of the disposition costs," says Cosgrove. More Firms Adopt Telecommuting A majority of North American companies -- 51 percent -- say they now permit employees to telecommute through ongoing or pilot programs, nine percentage points above last year, according to a just-released annual survey of nearly 300 North American senior executives conducted for Olsten Corp. The study finds that telecommuting has also emerged as a new recruiting tool in a tight labor market, with fully one-third of the program sponsors using it to attract qualified employees. Seventy-four percent of the survey's respondents say they expect their use of telecommuting to increase, up 6 percentage points from 1996 figures. All remaining respondents indicate that their telecommuting activity will remain the same and, thus, not a single company anticipates a decrease next year. Respondents also cite improved productivity (45 percent), economic reasons (35 percent) traffic patterns (11 percent) and environmental issues (6 percent) as reasons for allowing employees to telecommute. Some respondents also claim that telecommuting helps employees with child care and other personal needs. "Telecommuting is emerging as the hot new employee benefit as many companies exhaust their more traditional recruiting incentives in a tight labor market," says Adrienne Plotch, vice President of professional services for the Melville, New York-based temporary staffing specialist. "The use of telecommuting as a new recruiting tool means that companies are casting their nets to reach a far wider audience, including home-bound disabled individuals, senior citizens and others who would otherwise be eliminated from the workforce because they can't travel to an office location. Companies are also learning the need for flexibility among employees concerned with child care or elder care, and they are realizing that working at home can often reduce job-related stress and boost employee retention. The survey reaffirms what we have come to expect: that telecommuting is also being driven by bottom-line business needs, such as economic reasons, productivity and employee well-being, as well as environmental concerns." Gil Gordon, a telecommuting consultant and editor of Telecommuting Review Newsletter, agrees. "The technology is ready, the employees are willing, and the employers are seeing the value of well-managed telecommuting," he says. "This survey confirms what we're seeing across the U.S. Telecommuting's time has come." The survey finds that telecommuting is most prevalent among high tech firms (82 percent) -- up from last year's figure of 50 percent -- followed by insurance companies (67 percent) and services and retail/wholesale firms (62 percent). Among utilities and transportation companies, 71 percent report telecommuting programs, rising dramatically from last year's 40 percent. The survey was conducted for Olsten by McKendrick & Associates, an independent research firm. Year 2K Not Only Mainframe Woe Only a small percentage of U.S. business sites with Year 2000 activity have mainframe systems, according to a new study from Computer Intelligence. Though the "Year 2K" problem has long been thought to affect mostly very large organizations with mainframe computers, the La Jolla, California, market research firm says it has discovered a greater amount of activity on Year 2K projects among non-mainframe sites with proprietary midrange computer systems, such as Digital VAX, HP 3000, or IBM AS/400 machines. Computer Intelligence even found a sizable amount of activity in shops that have either Intel/RISC servers or PCs, without mainframe or midrange systems present. "While we found a significant distribution of Year 2K activity in non-mainframe shops, the population of server and midrange computer systems is much larger than that of mainframes, which logically leads to a higher percentage of the overall base of sites with Year 2K activity," says Jerry Berry, a Computer Intelligence senior industry analyst. "However, when we analyzed surveyed sites according to hardware platform, we found that midrange computer installations actually are as active as mainframe locations in addressing the Year 2K problem. Server locations have strong project levels as well." The Year 2K issue is one of the biggest challenges ever faced by information technology professionals, with the potential to wreak havoc at computer installations of all sizes and across all types of computer equipment. Because of decades-old computer program structure, when the calendar rolls over to Jan. 1, 2000, many computer systems with limited two-character date fields will show the date as Jan. 1, 1900. Computer Intelligence's research finds that 70 percent of the U.S. locations polled have either completed, are currently engaged in or plan to initiate a Year 2K project in the next 12 months. Voluntary Internet measures endorsed to protect kids Major Internet companies Monday highlighted their voluntary efforts to protect children from online pornography, but conservative groups called for new mandatory regulations. At a conference, major online service providers including America Online, AT&T and Microsoft pledged to provide software tools to allow parents to block out objectionable material on the Internet. The emphasis on voluntary measures was intended to head off a drive for new legislation that might slow Internet growth or impose criminal liability on service providers. Axent to aquire Raptor Systems Axent Technologies Inc, a provider of enterprise security management solutions, said it agreed to acquire Raptor Systems Inc, a network security vendor, for $250 million. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Axent would exchange 0.80 share of its common stock for each outstanding share of Raptor's stock and would exchange stock options using the same ratio, the company said in a statement. Axent said it expects to issue approximately 12.8 million shares to Raptor stockholders and option holders, resulting in a transaction value of approximately $250 million. The merger agreement has been approved by the respective Boards of Directors and is expected to close within approximately 90 days, subject to regulatory reviews, approval of each company's stockholders and other customary closing conditions. The transaction would be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Siemens, Newbridge buy Israel's RADNet Germany's Siemens AG and Newbridge Networks Corp of Canada said that they have bought Israeli firm RADNet Ltd for US$130 million. Siemens said it bought 50.1% of RADNet, a research and development group, and Newbridge 49.9 percent as part of their efforts to cooperate on communications equipment for automated teller machines. RADNet has a staff of 65 employees. Universal opens cybershop Universal Studios has placed its souvenir store in cyberspace, allowing everyone from Alabama to Zaire to buy entertainment collectibles. The Hollywood Backlot Store, accessible at http:/store.universalstudios.com, uses the CyberCash secure server technology for credit card transactions. It is also a participant in the Novus Universal Studios Card program, whereby dollars spent at the store can count as points toward various rewards, including admission to Universal theme parks, merchandise and even a chance to get a walk-on part in a Universal production. EU seeks ways to connect schools to cyberspace European Union countries agreed that every schoolchild in Europe should have access to the Internet as a way to prepare for the 21st century - but predictably differed over who should foot the bill. France, Belgium and Italy argued at a meeting of EU telecommunications ministers that phone companies or other industry players should put up money to help ensure that all schools could hook up to the Internet at an affordable price. But others including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland pushed for a free-market approach, saying increased competition in EU telecoms markets would drive down prices and prompt companies to offer good deals to schools. Reno rejects outside counsel for Clinton, Gore Attorney General Janet Reno said Tuesday insufficient evidence exists for an independent counsel to investigate White House fund-raising phone calls by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Gore said he was pleased with Reno's decision while Clinton said, "The attorney general made her decision based on a careful review of the law and the facts ..." The move provoked a firestorm of criticism from Republicans in Congress, who expressed outrage at the decision and denounced it as an effort by Reno to protect Clinton and Gore. Republican Party Chairman Jim Nicholson even called for Reno to resign. Gore wins a round, but suffers serious blows Battered by months of questions and controversy, Vice President Al Gore has won a key round in the fight for his political future -- but the blows to his image have him staggering. Attorney General Janet Reno ended a controversial review Tuesday and declared she did not feel there was enough evidence to require a special prosecutor to investigate telephone fund-raising practices of President Clinton and Gore. Although Clinton can ill afford yet another independent counsel looking into his past actions, for Gore such an investigation could have amounted to a kiss of death for his own dreams of the presidency. Giuliani granted another hearing to fight N.Y. ads A U.S. appeals court granted Mayor Rudolph Giuliani another chance Tuesday to win a fight to pull New York magazine ads off city buses on the grounds the ads used his name without his permission. In the ad, the magazine boasted the publication is "possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn't taken credit for." An expedited appeal will be heard Thursday before 3 judges to determine whether a federal judge's ruling allowing New York Magazine to post the ads on buses will be reversed. The magazine filed a federal suit last week accusing the Metropolitan Transit Authority of violating its right to free speech. Fund planned to compensate Holocaust victims Experts from around the world gathered Tuesday to clarify the fate of tons of Nazi gold, some of it taken from Holocaust victims, and to set up a fund to compensate survivors for half a century of suffering. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said the three-day conference aimed "to get at the truth, to set the record straight as the best way of making sure this never happens again." Cook, acknowledging the suspicion from survivors and their families about what happened to Nazi gold after World War II, said the conference would establish a special fund to help the 300,000 remaining survivors of the Holocaust. Gore announces Internet measures to protect kids Vice President Al Gore announced initiatives Tuesday to educate parents and children to the dangers of pornography on the Internet. Gore said the government would issue a parents' guide to the Internet and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children would set up an emergency hotline where parents could report suspicious or illegal Internet activity. Gore also announced leading Internet providers had agreed to work closely with the government in a "zero tolerance" policy toward child pornography. Hewlett-Packard leads Internet commerce initiative Hewlett-Packard Co accelerated its move into the Internet commerce field, launching a global consortium backed by major financial institutions. Electronic Data Systems Corp of Dallas, HP and HP's VeriFone commerce unit, are forming the First Global Commerce initiative, executives of the companies said. The move, which has been in the works for more than a year, aims to boost Hewlett Packard's efforts to establish a leadership position in electronic banking and commerce. Analysts said the consortium would help HP leverage its ownership of VeriFone, which was its largest-ever acquisition at a valuation of $1.29 billion. Applied Materials to unveil system for advanced chips Applied Materials Inc. is expected to unveil a new system for manufacturing semiconductors Tuesday that will help the chip industry move more quickly to the production of advanced chips using copper. Applied is the largest maker of equipment used to manufacture semiconductors. Analysts said Applied will announce a core system for making semiconductors, called a CVD (chemical vapor deposition) system, designed specifically so chip makers can use copper instead of aluminum to make faster semiconductors. EU probes alleged U.S., Thai capacitor dumping The European Commission said it had begun an investigation into allegations that some large electrolytic aluminium capacitors from the United States and Thailand were being dumped on the European Union market. The EU's Official Journal said the Commission had decided to investigate a dumping complaint made in October by the Federation for Appropriate Remedial Anti-Dumping on behalf of Nederlandse Philipsbedrijven B.V., a subsidiary of Philips Electronics NV, and British-based BHC Aerovox Ltd. The two companies have a large share of EU production of the capacitors, which are used in products such as televisions and stereos, the Commission said. The dumping allegation was based on a comparison of the product's value in the United States and Thailand with export prices to the EU. 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 Recipe Box STR Focus This is Great Stuff! Christmas and Chanukah are right around the corner! The computing goodies available for gifts are mind boggling. There are few that seem to stand out above many others though. a few of which are spotlighted in this week's issue. There is one other super superb program I'd like to point out to everyone. Especially to those of you who can never find that very special recipe you put away for special occasions etc.. The name of the program is Recipe Box v 5.5 and its written by Fred Lindow of Sunrise Software. Recipe Box imports all sorts of formats including the popular Meal Master format. The best news of all is Recipe Box is Shareware and believe me, this program magnifies the value of shareware by a hundred fold. Recipe Box is a Culinary Toolkit developed to bring the power of the PC into the kitchen. Whether you are a five star chef, kitchen gourmet or a food service professional, Recipe Box has the power and versatility to manage your culinary demands. Use Recipe Box as an index to other recipes and cookbooks. It can help you control a stockpile of existing cookbooks. Exchange or distribute recipes with associates and friend. Recipe Box easily transfers recipes to and from diskettes. Now import Meal-Master recipes with v5.5! Recipe Box includes: Nutritional Database Multiple shopping lists Search all cookbooks at once Cut and Paste Ingredient & Prep Tabbed user interface. Improved Stuff from version 3: Increased Tag List size Long names for Cookbooks Add, Remove and Print Categories Add, Remove and Print Measurements Changeable colors Standard features: View and/or Edit a Recipe on one screen, Over 110 recipes are included Create your own Cookbook Organize Recipes by Categories, Adjust serving size for large dinner parties Easily export/import recipes to and from diskette View helpful reference information in TidBits Learn short cuts and techniques with Quick Guide Search for Recipes by : Recipe Name Description Category(s), Preparation Text Ingredients Text. To find more information go to: http://www.recipe-box.com For all you "CHEFS" and "Cheffettes" (new word) <g> Sunrise Software is going to conduct a Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest!!! All you have to do is send in your favorite Holiday Cookie Recipe to: email@example.com As an example: My favorite and very best Holiday cookie recipe. Ralph's Chocolate Chip Diet Spoilers They're Delicious! 2 cups Grade A, unsalted butter 1 tsp. salt 2 cups sugar 3 tsp. baking powder 2 cups brown sugar 3 tsp. baking soda 4 large grade A eggs 24 oz. chocolate chips or M&M candies 3 tsp. Flavor extract (Vanilla, Rum, Butterscotch, etc.) 1 chocolate bar (8 oz.), sweet or bittersweet, grated 4 cups sifted flour 3 cups chopped nuts (optional) 5 cups smooth blended oatmeal* assorted Holiday Colors in sprinkle toppings (optional)** Melt butter slowly under very low heat and fold in both sugars, stir to a creamy smooth texture. Thoroughly but gently stir eggs and flavor extract together using a wisk. In a large bowl, mix prepared ingredients together with flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Fold in chocolate chips and grated chocolate bar. Add chopped nuts (if desired). Roll mixed cookie dough into 3/4 inch balls and place about two inches apart on buttered cookie sheets. A few tips; for a light colored cookie; chill the chocolate chips and add them and the grated chocolate to the batter last. For a chewy cookie; add one more bar of butter. Bar=4oz. For larger, fancy cookies use an ice cream scoop or a cup shaped tablespoon portion measuring spoon. For effect, granulated sugar may be sprinkled on top of the cookies before baking instead of the colored sprinkles. If chocolate sprinkles are used, add immediately after removing cookies from oven. Also, instead of chocolate chips etc.. and grated chocolate, candied fruits may be used. However, they must be diced and used sparingly. Omitting all added goodies (chips, candied fruits, chocoates, sprinkles etc.) and using only the genuine flavor extract (no imitations) of your choice and topping with granulated sugar will yeild fantastic holiday sugar cookies. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes approximately 100 cookies (recipe may be doubled or halved as desired). * Measure oatmeal (not instant) and blend in a blender until a fine, silky powder. ** Sprinkle colored candy toppings on cookies about 15 seconds before done. Amicus Attorney Product Suite Now Available on CD-ROM. Toronto, November 26, 1997: Gavel & Gown Software Inc., developers of the award-winning case management software, AMICUSr ATTORNEY, have released a CD-ROM version of their Windows product line. Version 2.6 of Amicus Attorney PRO, Lawyer Office, Assistant Office and Amicus Team, are now available on CD-ROM, providing users with a simplified installation and licensing routine. The CD also offers a multimedia tour and a complete set of on-line documentation. Amicus Attorney will continue to be available on diskette. 'We are pleased to offer Amicus Attorney PRO on CD. Firms can setup multiple Offices with just one CD. This facilitates the installation and licensing process for end-users and for our network of certified consultants, comments Ron Collins, President of Gavel & Gown Software. We know that new users as well as existing users who upgrade to Version 2.6 will find the new packaging and distribution method a plusE. Fulfillment on CD-ROM coincides with the release of version 2.6 of Amicus Attorney PRO. Version 2.6 includes a sophisticated link with TIMESLIPS Deluxe, providing a direct post of time sheets and the ability to share client and file information with Amicus Attorney PRO. Version 2.6 also introduced a link with WORLDOXr, a document management program by World Software Corporation. It also includes an enhanced interface with HotDocsr version 4.1.07 document automation software by Capsoft Development Corporation Inc., which supports the use of HotDocs answer files. Amicus Attorney is jurisdiction-independent legal software designed for private practice and corporate legal departments. It is distributed throughout North America, England, Australia and other parts ofthe world. Founded in 1993, Gavel & Gown Software Inc. is located in Toronto and may be reached at 1-800-472-2289. Gavel & Gown's web site is www.amicus.ca Editor Note: I know we ran this Press Release last week. BUT. there's always that "but" <g> I am determined to reach as many Attorneys, friends of Attorneys and Attorney Clients as possible. Amicus is, without a doubt the finest management software for a lawyer's office that's out there today. I dare say, probably for years to come. If you know an Attorney, are an Attorney or a paralegal in an attorney's office. you owe it to yourself to check this software thoroughly. Waste no more time for once you've tried Amicus (the Trial Version) and discovered how much money (time is money) you've actually wasted fooling around with the other "stuff" available (some now slipping into oblivion) you'll call Gavel & Gown immediately for the full ensemble. Amicus is four star good. Watch for a full review to be covered in the next few weeks. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Policy Fight Over Use Of University Computing Resources Netscape Disputes Browser Market Data Ericsson Plans Speedy Internet Technology Conspiracy Theory Dynamic Encyclopedia Microsoft Piracy Suit Phone Companies Gobble Up ISPs IBM Chips Away At Global Market Here's A Good Insight -- Print It Out On Paper! The Cyberporn Wars Consolidation In Computer Security Industry Librarians Establish Electronic Journal Licensing Principles Micron Opposes S. Korea Bailout Plan Motorola's Two-Way Pager Clik Drive From Iomega Mail From Microsoft Network Rejected By America Online Rising Tech Salaries Cause Resentment Among Non-Tech Workers MSN To Drop European Internet Access Intel Will Develop NC NCs: Not Ready-For-Primetime? HP & EDS Join In Internet Banking And Commerce Plan U.S. Calls For International Fight Against Cyberporn Computer Security Issues Surfing At The Mall Program Detects Software Plagiarism Rossetto Steps Down To Help Wired Grow Up POLICY FIGHT OVER USE OF UNIVERSITY COMPUTING RESOURCES Declaring that "it was the judgment of the people in computing services that it was an inappropriate use of computer services and a violation of the agreement that the students sign at the beginning of each year," the University of Pittsburgh has closed down a student-run Web site created to share tips about avoiding security problems with software. A university administrator asserts that the site violated a campus policy that computers may not be used for commercial purposes, but the student charges that the university is censoring him and says: "We didn't make a dime. We didn't ask for a dime. We didn't sell any advertising on it." Following his attempt to orchestrate an e-mail and telephone protest action from his supporters, the student was charged by the university with harassment, failure to comply with the request of a school official, and interference with the use of the university's judicial process. (AP 28 Nov 97) NETSCAPE DISPUTES BROWSER MARKET DATA Netscape says data compiled by online search engine sites, including Yahoo, Excite and Infoseek, indicate its Web browser has maintained a 67% share of the market, contradicting data released earlier from Dataquest indicating Netscape's portion had fallen to 57.6%. (Investor's Business Daily 28 Nov 97) Editor Note: There is no doubt Netscape is losing ground. Check STReport's Site Analysis page on our WebSite. It accurate and we'll swear to that. It tells it like it is... ERICSSON PLANS SPEEDY INTERNET TECHNOLOGY Swedish telecom giant Ericsson says it has developed a new technology that allows users to make phone calls and access the Internet simultaneously over the same line, at speeds nearly four times what is currently possible. The technology eliminates the need for phone customers to subscribe to an Internet service provider -- rather, the phone companies would sell modems for between $100 and $200, and users could "switch" their Internet connection on and off. (Wall Street Journal 26 Nov 97) CONSPIRACY THEORY An alliance of five powerful computer companies, by promoting Java as the common platform for further technology development, is taking Microsoft to task for its perceived opposition to open standards development. IBM, Netscape Communications, Novell Corp., Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems all are moving to develop new products and technologies independent of the ubiquitous Windows operating system. "IBM, Oracle and Sun, which are very large companies, more and more coordinate their, let's say, anti-Microsoft activities," says Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. "And it ends up creating a fairly powerful message that we have to be very aware of -- the fact that that's an intense competition at a level beyond what we've seen in the past." Responds a Sun VP: "We're trying to do what we can to make sure the country favors an Internet that's open and free for everyone and isn't controlled by any organization." (Broadcasting & Cable 24 Nov 97) DYNAMIC ENCYCLOPEDIA Philosophy professors at Stanford University are developing The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy < http://plato.stanford.edu >, which is designed so that the authors of articles contained in the compendium can update their subject matter as needed. The system then automatically alerts the editors, via e-mail, that new material has arrived, to be reviewed and made available to readers. Twelve editors and 120 scholars thus far have contributed to the encyclopedia, and the project's leader expects to have most entries completed within five years. (Chronicle of Higher Education 28 Nov 97) MICROSOFT PIRACY SUIT Microsoft is suing Argentina's wealthiest province for breaching an out-of-court settlement over the use of pirated software in its computers. Microsoft sued after the government of Buenos Aires province fell behind on payments to reimburse the company for using unlicensed software in 3,500 computers. Software piracy is thought to be widespread in Argentina and other Latin American countries. Microsoft estimates that 71% of installed software programs are unlicensed compared with 80% in 1994. (Montreal Gazette 26 Nov 97) PHONE COMPANIES GOBBLE UP ISPs In the past year, telephone companies have purchased all or portions of about a half-dozen large Internet service providers, in a strategy to get into the Internet business, including WorldCom Inc.'s acquisition of UUNet and GTE's purchase of BBN. Deals in the works include ICG Communications, a small Colorado-based carrier, buying Netcom On-Line Communications Services, and IXC Communications in Austin taking a 20% stake in PSINet. The few remaining national, publicly held ISPs are Concentric Network Corp, MindSpring Enterprises Inc. and EarthLink Network Inc. "To stay independent, you need to be huge," says a Forrester Research analyst. (Investor's Business Daily 26 Nov 97) Editor Note: One can only wonder if Senator Orrin Hatch will jump on this one as vigorously as he did Microsoft. Talk about opportunistic grandstanding... <sigh> IBM CHIPS AWAY AT GLOBAL MARKET With its announcement last week of plans to build a $700-million microchip development center (scheduled for operation in 1999) in East Fishkill, New York, IBM is hoping that the company will gain an edge in the $140 billion global chip market. Recently, the company revealed a technology breakthrough that would allow copper to replace aluminum in chip wiring designs -- a development that analysts believe is the most significant advance in chip design in many years. (USA Today 26 Nov 97) HERE'S A GOOD INSIGHT -- PRINT IT OUT ON PAPER! Recalling a 1967 Forbes magazine article that predicted the paperless society ("Gone forever will be the boring task of writing and mailing checks to pay monthly bills"), economist Robert J. Samuelson notes that in 1966 Americans wrote about 20 billion checks, whereas 30 years later they wrote roughly 64 billion. "Paper's obituaries proved wrong for two reasons. The first is technology and economics. Over the years, paper has become cheaper, easier to use and more versatile. Therefore, people use more of it. The check survived because it adapted. Even in the 1960s, many checks were sorted by hand. What prevented terminal choking was the machine-readable check, with magnetic coding. Processing machines sort 50,000 to 80,000 checks an hour." And the second reason? Paper imposes "a crude order on the information glut. Paper helps distinguish between information that's important, relevant and durable and information that isn't." (Washington Post 26 Nov 97) THE CYBERPORN WARS A group of technology and media companies, including AOL and Disney, have decided to lead a public education campaign and to offer new filtering software, in new efforts aimed at preventing children from accessing "adult" materials on the World Wide Web. America Online Chief Executive Steve Case says: "Regulation is not necessary. We want to show that the interactive world is being proactive in building a medium we can all be proud of," and former Federal Trade Commission member Christine Varney, who is leading a Washington meeting of 400 business and government officials concerned about the issue of pornography in cyberspace, says: "There's consensus that there should be zero tolerance for child pornography. There's a large variety of filtering tools out there. We want parents to know about them and to use them if they're concerned." However, strategies relying on filtering software are opposed both by conservative groups (who believe that pornography should be stopped at the source by new laws criminalizing the transmission of adult material to minors), as well as by free speech advocates (who, like the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, say that filtering mechanisms "prevent children from obtaining a great deal of useful and appropriate information that is currently available on the Internet"). (Washington Post 1 Dec 97) CONSOLIDATION IN COMPUTER SECURITY INDUSTRY In California, three computer security companies have merged: McAfee Associates, a leading maker of anti-virus software, completed its purchase of Network General and then proceeded to purchase Pretty Good Privacy, which sells encryption software. On the east coast, Axent Technologies in Maryland is buying Massachusetts-based Raptor Systems, combining two companies that market software for controlling access to files and data. Industry analysts think the consolidations are being made in anticipation of moves by giant companies such as Microsoft and Cisco to absorb most security technology. (Los Angeles Times 2 Dec 97) LIBRARIANS ESTABLISH ELECTRONIC JOURNAL LICENSING PRINCIPLES A coalition of 15 Dutch scientific research libraries, concerned over the anticompetitive implications of the proposed merger of two major scientific journal publishers, Reed Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer, has adopted a set of principles aimed at bolstering their position in negotiations with publishers over electronic journals. The principles stipulate that libraries that subscribe to a print version of a journal should not have to pay more than an additional 7.5% for electronic access to that same journal, and that libraries should not pay more than 80% of the print rate to subscribe exclusively to the electronic version. A group of German librarians who helped draw up the principles are expected to sign on as part of the coalition, and it's hoped that many European libraries will follow suit. "We've been talking about a 'journal crisis' for years," says one of the Dutch librarians. "It looks like it's finally arrived. We're fed up." (Science 28 Nov 97) MICRON OPPOSES S. KOREA BAILOUT PLAN Micron Technology, one of the last U.S. manufacturers of memory chips, says the International Monetary Fund's plan to bail out the South Korean economy could have a negative effect on U.S. chipmakers by rewarding South Korean chipmakers for what Micron has termed "unfair competition." Micron's CEO argues that sending U.S. money to South Korea as part of the international effort is wrong: "The thought that our tax dollars will go to subsidize competitors and take away our jobs is troublesome. This keeps me up at night. We are asking to have responsible thought go into where this money goes." Prices on DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips have slumped in the past couple of years, in part as a result of overproduction by South Korean companies. (Wall Street Journal 2 Dec 97) MOTOROLA'S TWO-WAY PAGER Motorola has begun retail sales of a pager that looks like a tiny, three-and-a-half-inch-wide laptop and operates on Skytel's two-way paging system to send as well as receive e-mail or acknowledge receipt of a page for guaranteed messaging. The pager costs $330-360 and Skywriter services cost $24.95 a month for 6,000 characters and $48 a month for 20,000 characters. (New York Times Cybertimes 2 Dec 97) CLIK DRIVE FROM IOMEGA Iomega, maker of the popular removable storage Zip drive, has unveiled a petite portable disk drive called Clik that's small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Its diskette -- about half the size of a credit card -- stores 40 megabytes of data. The device is designed to work with a variety of hand-held gadgets, from palm-top computers to digital cameras. (Investor's Business Daily 2 Dec 97) MAIL FROM MICROSOFT NETWORK REJECTED BY AMERICA ONLINE Mail sent to AOL users by MSN members using the latest version of the service (version 2.5) is being rejected by AOL for undetermined technical reasons. Each company is convinced that the problem is at the other end, and both claim to be anxious to resolve the problem. (1 Dec 97 News.Com) RISING TECH SALARIES CAUSE RESENTMENT AMONG NON-TECH WORKERS One side effect of the increasing shortage of qualified high-tech workers is a sharp rise in salaries for technical jobs, which is causing morale problems among non-technical staffers working side-by-side who are beginning to see the pay scales diverge. "Salaries are escalating really quickly," says one technical director. "Sometimes, it's difficult for human-resources people to comprehend how fast that is happening." The increase in salaries is also making it harder to pitch technology projects to top management, says another information technology director: "Management always reads about technology costs going down. But now costs are going up, and it's hard for them to digest this." (Wall Street Journal 1 Dec 97) MSN TO DROP EUROPEAN INTERNET ACCESS Microsoft Network plans to stop offering Internet access in Europe next year, devoting its resources to developing more content instead. The company currently offers branded Internet access services in France, Germany and the U.K. via lines leased from local telecom carriers. MSN customers in those countries will be turned over directly to the telecommunications firms, which will provide continued Internet access with a link to MSN services. "All we care about is that if someone clicks on the MSN icon on their desktop, they'll get a seamless connection to our site," says MSN's general manager. There are no plans to change MSN functions in the U.S., he adds. (InfoWorld Electric 26 Nov 97) INTEL WILL DEVELOP NC Intel plans to develop its own version of a low-cost (below $500) network computer, which will be able to use several different operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows CE, IBM's Workspace on Demand, Citrix's Winframe, Novell's NetWare, two programs from Oracle's Network Computer Inc. affiliate, and Unix-based software from Santa Cruz Operation Inc. The machines will be powered by Intel's original Pentium microprocessor, and will retrieve data and applications programs from servers running on Pentium II or Pentium Pro chips. "It's an Intel solution from one end of the network to the other," says an Intel VP. (Wall Street Journal 3 Dec 97) NCs: NOT READY-FOR-PRIMETIME? A new study by the Gartner Group says that despite all the hype surrounding network computers, businesses are not yet ready to adopt them, primarily because most corporate networks will need significant upgrading and increased maintenance to accommodate NCs. "Everyone was talking about computing and nobody was looking at the network," says one of the study's authors. "Who cares if the desktop is cheap if the network is expensive?" ccording to "Network Computing: The Rest of the Story," few companies have any idea how much money it will take to increase the bandwidth and add more network support staff to successfully maintain an NC network. "Vendors say there will be plenty of bandwidth. I just don't see that in the next five years." (TechWeb 3 Dec 97) HP & EDS JOIN IN INTERNET BANKING AND COMMERCE PLAN Hewlett-Packard and Electronic Data Systems are joining with financial institutions Citibank, Mondex, Paymentech, Royal Bank of Canada, Sistema 4B, Sumitomo Credit, Visa International and Wells Fargo plan to develop and promote Internet banking and commerce. An HP executive called the alliance "a rare opportunity for cross-industry cooperation to change the way people will interact with their financial institutions and purchase goods and services." (Financial Times 3 Dec 97) U.S. CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST CYBERPORN Attorney General Janet Reno has called a two-day conference to get cooperation with foreign law enforcers to fight cyberporn, saying: "The rapid and global growth of the Internet raises a host of complex issues involving criminal law enforcement that expand beyond national boundaries." The meeting will include participation by justice and interior ministers from Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, France and Russia. (AP 3 Dec 97) COMPUTER SECURITY ISSUES WinMagic Chief Executive Chau Thi Nguyen-Huu warns that the secrets of banks, government agencies and other institutions and individuals who have used certain popular encryption software may not be so safe after all, and says he has observed security flaws related specifically to the two most popular data encryption software: Symantec's For Your Eyes Only, and Data Security's SecurPC. Symantec officials acknowledged the bug, and a fix to the problem can be ordered from the company's Web site for delivery within five to seven days. Data Security spoke with Nguyen-Huu, but said further tests will have to be conducted to determine whether a bug exists. (Toronto Globe & Mail 4 Dec 97) SURFING AT THE MALL The Simon DeBartol Group, a developer of mega-malls, is planning to provide Internet access to the 28 million people who shop on its properties. The malls will offer their customers a CD-ROM, released monthly with pictures of all the merchandise so that they don't have to spendtime downloading pictures online; a local dial-up number; and Microsoft Internet Explorer to browse the Net. A company executive says: "If we take a look and see what the trends are in the industry, they're for more convenience and more service. Perhaps we could make a combination of what was the Web and what was the malls and create a product that would be the best of both worlds." (News.Com 3 Dec 97) PROGRAM DETECTS SOFTWARE PLAGIARISM An associate professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley has developed a software program that can identify plagiarism in computer programming coursework. The "Measure of Software Similarity" program compares lines of code in students' assignments and flags those that contain similar code. The software's creator hopes his product will become a deterrence factor for students who are tempted to cheat: "There are places that find 10% of their students cheating. That's a lot more common than you'd like it to be." (Chronicle of Higher Education 5 Dec 97) ROSSETTO STEPS DOWN TO HELP WIRED GROW UP The founder and chairman of Wired Ventures is stepping down as publisher of Wired magazine, a move he describes as "part of the process of this magazine growing up." The magazine, founded five years ago, became profitable this year, but Wired Ventures, the parent company, has failed in two attempts so far to launch a public stock offering. (New York Times 4 Dec 97) 3Com Reduces the Price of Award Winning PalmPilot Connected Organizers 3Com offers market-leading PalmPilot Professional Edition for $369, PaImPilot Personal Edition for $249 SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 10, 1997 -- 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) today reduced the suggested retail price of its best-selling PalmPilot connected organizer products. The PalmPilot Professional Edition will have an estimated street price of $369, reduced from $399, and the PalmPilot Personal Edition will have an estimated street price of $249, reduced from $299. Since their introduction in March of this year, the PalmPilot products have received numerous awards and industry acclaim for their form-factor, extensive functionality, price, and viability for enterprise data management solutions. "The PalmPilot connected organizer has been one of our most successful products this year and has been a category leader since its introduction in 1996," said Larry Mondry, executive vice president of merchandising at CompUSA. "This price reduction is a great way for us to pass along even more value to PalmPilot product customers." The two models maintain 3Corn's design objective of providing maximum functionality at compelling consumer price points. The PalmPilot Professional Edition connected organizer includes e-mail connectivity software, expense tracking software, a backlit screen, enhanced PalmPilot personal information management software and 1 MB of memory. The PalmPilot Personal Edition connected organizer features the same expense management software, backlit screen, and enhanced PIM software, and includes 512K of memory. With over 3,000 developers currently creating software applications to run on the PalmPilot connected organizer, hundreds of software applications, developer tools and services are already available. This broad developer support of the PalmPilot platform further fuels its emergence as the leading platform in the handheld computing industry. "We designed the PalmPilot connected organizer to help both general consumers and mobile business professionals stay organized and productive in daily life. In addition to being the best-selling connected organizer for individual users, it has become a compelling enterprise tool providing an expansive platform for mission-critical corporate data solutions," explained Ed Colligan, vice president of marketing for the Palm Computing, Inc. subsidiary of 3Com Corporation. "Our retailers and reseller partners have had great success with PalmPilot products this year, and this price reduction should make the product even more attractive to the consumer and enterprise customer." The award-winning PalmPilot connected organizers, designed as companion products to personal computers, enable mobile users to manage their schedules, contacts, and other critical personal and business information on their desktops and remotely. The PalmPilot device automatically synchronizes its information with a personal computer locally or over a local- or wide-area network using Network HotSync" software, at the touch of a button. Its most distinguishing features include shirt-pocket size, instant response, an elegant graphical user interface, and an innovative desktop cradle that facilitates two-way PC synchronization. PalmPilot products are distributed through leading consumer electronics and computer stores nationwide, including Circuit City, CompUSA, Computer City, Egghead, Office Depot, Off ice Max, Staples, and other retailers. The products are also available through national corporate resellers, including Vanstar and Entex. In addition, IBM recently launched the IBM WorkPad, a new PC companion, using the PalmPilot technology and Franklin Quest offers the Franklin Electronic DayPlanner, which incorporates the PalmPilot platform with Ascend '97 software, and is available at Franklin Quest retail outlets and directly from Franklin Quest. 3Com Corporation enables individuals and organizations worldwide to communicate and share information and resources at anytime from anywhere. As one of the world's preeminent suppliers of data, voice and video communications technology, 3Com has delivered networking solutions to more than 100 million customers worldwide. With global reach and local touch, the company gives enterprises, network service providers and carriers, small businesses and consumers comprehensive, innovative information access products and system solutions for building intelligent, reliable and high performance local and wide area networks. 3Com has worldwide revenues of more than $6.0 billion and employs approximately 13,200 people in 45 countries. For further information, visit 3Com's World Wide Web site at http://www.3Com.com or the PaImPilot product site at http://www.palmpilot.com . 3Com and the 3Com logo are registered trademarks, and PalmPilot, HotSync and the PalmPilot logo are trademarks of 3Com Corporation or its subsidiaries. All other brands and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. 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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STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 20% Holiday Discount for Month of December. CARDSCAN. We are planning a full review of this product to help many decide. they simply must have this ensemble in their office. Be it a large corporation with the big guy's secretary using it to compile all those pesky business cards or, the SOHO where every number is important and must be well organized. CardScan Plus 300 belongs in every office. Thi product delivers! It does exactly what they say it will do and much, much more. Look for more information next week. Corex Technologies Corporation addresses the universal problem of getting contact information into your PC without data entry. Its CardScan Plus 300 is a complete business card scanning solution; it's a business card scanner, electronic Rolodex@, search engine and productivity tool all in one! CardScan is a daily task facilitator. Users can search, send e-mail, browse the Web, generate letters, print labels and call business associates with a simple click. CardScan transfers data into the industry's leading contact managers and PlMs, including ACVS, Microsoft Outlook, ECCO, Maximizer, Goldmine and more. CardScan also provides a number of import and export templates for the seamless transmission of contact information. With CardScan, a contact is never lost. CardScan's conduit for the PaImPilotTM instantly updates contact information, synchronizes databases and allows users to transfer contact information from CardScan to PalmPilot with one click of the PalmPilot HotSync button. Our conduit solves the biggest problem for PalmPilot users--data entry. z Product Features: CardScan Plus 300 is designed for PCs running Windows 95, Windows NT and Windows 3.x. Key product features include: z Advanced accuracy: CardScan Plus 300 now provides improved accuracy and enhanced card reading capabilities. Business with several fonts, color schemes and uncommon typesetting are now more carefully recognized and put into the appropriate database fields with little or no error. z 32-bit application: CardScan 3.0 exploits the rich functionality of Windows 95 with long file name and registry support, tabbed dialog boxes, OLE 2.0 and more. z Shared database capabilities for users across a network: Users now have the option to share several or all CardScan databases across a network. A passwordprotect option allows individual users and network administrators to selectively pick and choose which databases may be shared with outside parties. z Pass-thru parallelport connection: CardScan Plus 300's new hardware provides a pass-thru parallel port connection. With our unique design, users can connect to a printer or other device without disconnecting the scanner. z vCard support: Support for Versit's personal data exchange format gives users an open, standard-based format for exchanging personal electronic data. Use CardScan as a front end to scan business cards, then send the information in the form of a vCard over the Internet directly to a contact manager, PIM, fax software, word processor or any number of applications. CardScan's support of the vCard standard leverages customers' existing technology investments and makes the exchange of personal data effortless. z WWW browser access: CardScan automatically scans URL addresses into the appropriate database field. From CardScan, users can access a contact's Web site directly by simply clicking on the URL address-finding a contact's presence on the Web is quick and easy. z E-mail capabilities: No more fumbling with complicated e-mail addresses. With a simple click, CardScan launches your e-mail package already addressed to your contact. z Improved autodialing faxing: Use CardScan as the phone book to dial a phone number using Telephony API (TAPI) autodialing, or send a fax using WinFaXTM or Fax Works PrOTM software. The user-friendly interface allows for direct correspondence right from the application. z Drag and drop capabilities: Tired of manually entering a contact's information from an e-mail message or word processing file to CardScan? Use CardScan's drag and drop feature to transfer free forrn text from other applications to CardScan. Simply highlight the text you wish to move, drag it to the desired application, and CardScan does the rest. Users can also drag contact information from CardScan and drop it into other applications via OLE and vCard format. z Improved exporting: Our new wizard carefully guides you through complex procedures, ensuring positive transmission of information to your contact manager, PIM or PDA. z Improved printing: Want to view the page layout before printing? No problem. CardScan now allows users to view and modify the Page Setup while in the print preview mode. CardScan takes the guess work out of labels, letter format and envelopes. z Synchronization function: CardScan 3.0 allows users to keep databases up to date when in use on multiple computers. With this feature, a user can keep a copy on a laptop and a desktop machine, make changes to one or the other, or both, and then synchronize the databases. z Backupfeature: Accidentally delete a card? CardScan's got you covered. With our new backup capabilities, users can easily restore the original file from the backup copy. The backup feature is also useful for copying large address files onto multiple diskettes for distribution. z Open multiple databases: With CardScan, users can now open multiple databases at the same time. There's no need to close out of one file to access another. Users can work within a company file over the network and a personal file on the desktop simultaneously. z Compatibility with existing versions of CardScan: Users get seamless conversion from CardScan's 2.x files to CardScan 3.0 files. System Requirements: OS: Windows 3.x, Windows NT, Windows 95 Memory: 12MB Disk Space: 12MB Compatible Scanners: FLATBED: HP, Microtek, UMAX, Envisions, KYE International, Canon, Relisys, Avec, Epson HANDHELD: Logitech, Mustek SHEETFED: Delrina, Logitech, Visioneer, IBM, Microtek, Nisca, Paris, Tamarak, Plustek, Canon, Fijitsu, Xerox and many other popular scanners CardScan is compatible with virtually all TWAIN-compliant scanners. Pricing and Availability: CardScan Plus 300 (includes dedicated business card scanner and 3.0 software) -$299.99 CardScan 3.0 (software only) -$99.00 All products are available through many PC retailers, including CompUSA, Fry's ELECTRONICS, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, MicroCenter and Computer City; and direct from the company's outbound and inbound sales force (1-800-942-6739). Company Background: Corex Technologies Corporation develops, markets and supports the CardScan family of business card scanning products. The company's award-winning products are designed to increase the personal productivity of individuals who rely on their PCs to manage their day-to-day business activities. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Corex Technologies markets its products through a direct sales force, authorized resellers and retail and catalog outlets. For more information, contact Corex Technologies Corporation at 800-492-4200, or visit our home page at http://www.cardscan.com . Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff firstname.lastname@example.org Constructor PC CD-ROM Street Price: $29.99 For teens and older (comic mischief and mild animated violence) Acclaim Entertainment One Acclaim Plaza Glen Cove, NY 11542 www.acclaimnation.com WIN 95 Program Requirements Windows 95, Pentium 75 MHz, 4MB (minimum install), 16 MB RAM, 2 MB SVGA PCI video card, 2X CD-ROM drive, Direct Sound 2.0 compatible sound card MS DOS Requirements 486DX2/66 MHz, 16 MB RAM required for DOS, 4X CD ROM, 4 MB hard disc space, 1 MB Vesa video graphics card, MS-DOS 6.0 or greater, Soundblaster or 100% compatible sound card Acclaim's new release, Constructor, is a new clever land developing simulation. It combines graphics, humor, and strategy to produce a very addictive and challenging game. Large amounts of characters, actions, and reactions will keep you laughing, but also very busy while playing this sim. Constructor is definitely the simulation with street smarts and you'll need some too if you plan to be successful at this game. Constructor contains brilliant graphics through the entire game. Loads of cinematic sequences display the ever-changing times in your quest to build your city. The characters are also very entertaining and have an abundance of actions. Every time you choose a character or building, a 3D movie pops up in the corner of the screen showing you the many details surrounding it. Acclaim's new release also provides the gamer with different ways to play. You can choose to just free build by yourself or against competition. You may also play to obtain a certain amount of money by a predetermined time. One the most hardest ways to play is to have each type of house and each type of tenant living in your city with an over 90% happiness rate. Each type of game let's you have up to three competitors as well. There is also a multiplayer option that let's you compete against your friends. You not only play a constructor in this game. You basically run the entire city acting as mayor, police chief, mobster, and land developer. When a problem arises, it is up to you to fix it. You can send your work crew to build buildings, your repair man to repair, thugs to bully around the competition, or even protesters to picket adversaries' factories or businesses. There are many different actions and characters the player can control. As the game progresses, your buildings do as well. At first you are only allowed to build shack houses made out of wood. After building all of your wooden shacks, a cement factory is built and better quality houses are put up. As the game moves on condos and estates may be produced. You can also create commercial buildings such as gadget factories, police departments to control crime, or pubs to keep your citizens relaxed. You notice more variation among tenants too. The first group of tenants are just to produce more manual workers. After that the nerds and other groups start popping up until you eventually have the preppy people and other high class. These people are easily motivated and cause less problems than the other lower class tenants do. The better housing you build the better tenants and higher rent you will have. Other characters, such as evil clowns, mobsters, zombies, and psycho chain saw wielding wackos will appear later in the game too. You can use them at your disposal or find them being used against you throughout the game. You must find ways to counteract these characters and their actions or they will eventually ruin your plans on building a metropolis. Constructor is without a doubt the simulation with street smarts. To win you must be good at two different types of interaction. Of course, you must use strategy to build buildings. However, you must also master personal interaction with the characters to be successful at this simulation. Complaints from tenants and treachery from competitors keeps you going along with the humor supplied by the cast. If you are looking for a serious challenge, look for Constructor, in stores now! Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. 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 Links 5-Course Library Vol. 4 In Time for Christmas! Access Software now offers 28 championship courses! Five of the finest courses in the world are coming to the desktop for the price of one, in the new Links 5-Course Library Vol. 4. The featured courses are: z Torrey Pines, La Jolla, California z Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan z Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico z Castle Pines Golf Club, Castle Rock, Colorado z Pelican Hill Golf Club, Newport Coast, California "We have sold thousands of each of these courses at $29.95 apiece," said Steve Witzel, Access Software Executive VP "As our course offering grows faster than available shelf space in stores, we've decided to bundle some of our most popular previously-released courses without fly-bys or VR tours on a single CD at a great low price." In the tradition of Access Software, all 5 courses are compatible with every past and present version of Links on both Mac and PC platforms. "The Access development team has completely rebuilt Torrey Pines, Castle Pines, and Dorado Beach with new hi-color/hi-resolution trees, panoramas, buildings, objects and more," explained Bruce Carver, Access Software CEO. Links LS `97 and `98 update patches are also included with Links 5-Course Library Vol. 4. Access Software Inc. is currently in its sixteenth year producing the highest quality entertainment software possible. The Linux Advocate by Scott Dowdle firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle LOGIN: Ah, so many topics to cover this time... where to begin? First of all, I'd like to offer an apology for the last column as it was a repeat of the first column from a couple of weeks ago. I finished the first version of this installment before the deadline and then (by accident) I file attached the previous/first column in an email to Ralph, and the first column got published all over again. Boy, was I ashamed! Now with that over with, I'd like to put in my quick two cents on the whole U.S. Department of Justice's latest involvement with Microsoft. The respected editor of this publication has most assuredly given you his nickel worth and being the devil's advocate kind of person I am, I just wanted to bring up a few points that a lot of the Media (not just Ralph) seem to have completely overlooked. What has the DOJ actually said to Microsoft and what are their actual threats? The real issues have been side-stepped and there wasn't much to get fired up over in the first place. You see, the DOJ hasn't said that Microsoft has to do anything with their browser integration... all they have done is tell Microsoft that they better include instructions on how to remove MS Internet Explorer 4.x if the consumer desires to do so... and if Microsoft doesn't comply, then theoretically, they could be fined up to $1 million a day. Hmmm, hello McFly! What is wrong with telling Microsoft that they better do something that ethically they should already be doing in the first place? Is it asking too much to provide the consumer with information on how to remove or disable something if they want to? ...so that the consumer may be free to choose an alternative? This whole issue isn't about taking away Microsoft's marketing plans on how to force people to use their browser... it's about trying to create the conditions whereby an attempt at a "level playing field" might be retained. Thank goodness Microsoft HAS included the ability for the consumer to disable MSIE... since it is going to be shipping with the standard Windows 95/NT environments by default really soon now. Including the ability to turn if off is the real reason that Microsoft has gotten by with a warning. The fact that the DOJ has said, "Gee, that's great but you better inform the public on how they may go about taking advantage of this feature," is really the issue... not some outlandish, over-handedness on the part of the DOJ. Is that unfair to Microsoft? No. Is that going to cost Microsoft some ungodly sum of money to comply with? No. Will Microsoft comply? Why wouldn't/shouldn't they? If it weren't for the DOJ, Microsoft would surely take advantage of its position as leader (aka monopoly) in the micro computer Operating System arena to force more and more of their application products on the consumer in such ways as to completely eliminate competition. The whole claim by Microsoft of a browser interface being a logical extension of the Operating System proper is totally silly. For some reason, although many people don't see it... it's akin to Microsoft saying that text processing is a necessary, basic application that should be included with the Operating System and then deciding to integrate Microsoft Office into the Operating System as if it has any business being there. How would people feel if Microsoft decided to integrate Office into the OS proper? Oh, I'm sure much of the press would love it and would claim that it would be great for the consumer to get yet even more functionality for free... as part of the OS. But what would that do to Office suite vendors? How fair would that be to the consumer... to basically eliminate the ability for an application vendor to compete against a company that wants to take advantage of their monopolistic position? You be the judge. Frankly, I wouldn't put it past Microsoft. I'll take the risk of becoming publicly known as a Microsoft basher if getting that label is what it takes to stand up for common sense in the computing industry. However, let it be known that I don't intentionally "bash" anything. I'm just trying my best to bring up points and issues that seem to be overlooked in the mainstream press... thank you very much. Speaking of Microsoft, by accident I recently ran across a very informative article. http://hcs.harvard.edu/~hcr/97sept.html about the whole Microsoft business culture. After having read many articles on Microsoft that seemed to be subjective (either pro or con) I found this article to be completely refreshing and the fact that it's written from an insider's point of view makes it much more credible in my book. I mention this article because I feel it is noteworthy and before anyone goes knocking it as some "bash" article, be sure and read the whole thing and consider what it is saying before you decide. As you can probably guess from the URL, it comes from Harvard University... the September 1997 issue of Harvard Computer Review in fact. For those that want to see a response on the article from yet another Microsoft insider, just change "sept" to "oct" in he previously listed URL and you'll find such along with a response to the response. :) Gee, did I spend a lot of words talking about Microsoft or what? Yeah, I thought this was a column about Linux too... so I'll get back on track. Linux News Not much really in the news this week but that depends on how you look at it. It used to be news noteworthy whenever a new software package was available for Linux but now that's pretty much a daily occurrence but I did run across a few items that I considered newsworthy. :) News Item #1: Corel Computers (some sort of division of Corel) announced that they are releasing what they call "Corel Video Network Computer" or the Corel VNC for short. Oddly enough it's based on a Digital StrongARM SA-110 microprocessor, comes with 32MB of RAM, and two ethernet cards just to name a few features. Why this is Linux news is because Corel has chosen the Linux OS as the Operating System for their new computer. They are bundling a suite of Java based applications with the machine, and since Linux can run Java binaries just fine (although I've only personally tried then in Netscape), it seems like a nature choice... since it was ported to the StrongARM some time ago. For complete info on the Corel VNC visit http://www.corelcomputer.com and read all about it. News Item #2: A new interview with Linus Torvalds (you know, the father of Linux) was published in The International Electronic Magazine For Informix Software Users (http://www.inxutil.com/). The article is simply entitled "A Quick Update with Linus Torvalds," so don't expect a comprehensive interview. For a couple of more comprehensive interviews/articles, see my Linux History section. News Item #3: RealNetworks Inc. (formerly known as Progressive Networks Inc.) recently released RealPlayer v5.0 for Linux. If you don't know what RealAudio and RealVideo are, visit their homepage http://www.realnetworks.com to learn more. In a nutshell, RealPlayer is their free client that handles streaming audio and video over the Internet even in low bandwidth conditions. It's a very impressive "multi-media" client that is a welcome application in the Linux world. They also make the server side applications available for Linux but that's not real news. :) News Item #4: Microsoft recently released Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0beta for Unix. The current version is designed for Sun Microsystems' Solaris OS but since Microsoft is planning a port to Linux I thought this was a newsworthy item. Microsoft has been advertising multiplatform support for MSIE for some time now (yes, including Unix) but this is the first release so far. Personally, I'm not in favor of using Microsoft apps in a free software environment but that's just my personal opinion. Linux Myth Dispelling As mentioned last column, I'm going to be borrowing heavily from the "Linux Myth Dispeller" Homepage (http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html) for this section of the column. This installment's topic myth is: "Linux is a nightmare to install and Setting up Linux requires hours of time, and can only be done by experts." [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on] I installed Linux in less than an hour, and was up and running. The installation can be handled manually, in which case it may take a while (this would be copying each file set, and unpacking them by hand). However, nearly every distribution has an installation program that mealy prompts you for what to install, and some basic settings, then does all the work for you. After getting a Linux CD, you'll probably be up and running within an hour. In the olden days, this has been true, and Linux can be made hard to install. This myth is perpetuated by the fact that Linux is so customizable. Changing, recompiling, and other modifications that can only be done under UNIX systems and not under Windows makes Linux an operating system that can be configured to do and be just about anything. When you install most Linux distributions, the OS is every bit as setup as Windows 95 or Mac System. The catch is, Windows 95 and Mac System have a limited set of changes you can make. Experts of course can reconfigure more, such as rewriting some of the utilities, but every-day users are perfectly capable of configuring standard usage settings. [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off] Linux Distribution Spotlight There are several distributions of Linux to choose from and this time I'll be covering the Red Hat Software distribution of Linux (http://www.redhat.com). I'm often asked exactly what a "distribution" is and what the differences are between the various distributions. A brief description follows but for a comprehensive explanation and overview of distributions, you may visit the Linux Distribution HOWTO document available at http://sunsite.unc.edu/linux/HOWTO/Distribution-HOWTO.html . Linux proper is only the Operating System kernel which is little good without support utilities and eventually, end user applications. Various groups over the past few years have gathered up the better software packages for Linux and put together integrated system installation and management packages that are designed with end users in mind rather than hackers or programmers. The distribution makers are the folks who have done the most to mainstream Linux and take it from a curiosity to an end user computer platform. Red Hat Software Inc. of Durham, NC makes a very popular commercial distribution of Linux for the Intel, the Sun Sparc3, and the DEC Alpha platforms that retails for around $50. While Linux remains freely distributable under the GNU Public License, what Red Hat has done to "commercialize" their distribution (like several other vendors) is to add value and convenience to it via some custom software authoring and the licensing of a couple of commercial third-party applications. Unofficial CDs of Red Hat are totally legal and readily available from retailers such as Cheap*Bytes copy but they don't include the licensed third-party apps as that would violate copyright law. In this spotlight I will skip the optional stuff that is only included in the Official Red Hat distribution. The Red Hat Linux User's Guide is also available online at the following URL: http://www.redhat.com/support/docs/rhl/manual/manual The User's Guide is rather complete and includes screenshots all through the install process. Red Hat is considered the most friendly and easiest to install distribution by much of the Linux community and rightfully so. Red Hat Linux is currently at version 4.2 and the install process has been finely tuned over time. Installation is done via CD-ROM, NFS (Network File System), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), or local hard drive. The commercial package includes a 250 page printed manual which is also available publicly in digital form on Red Hat's homepage in the Support section. Where this distribution really stands out is in the area of software package management, custom system administration tools, a commitment to keep abreast of system security issues, and a constant evolution via software package updates and distribution development. What makes this distribution stand out in the way of software package management is a program that Red Hat created called RPM - Redhat Package Manager. RPM is used both as a means of initial operating system installation and continuing software package management. All included software is contained in disk files ending with the .rpm extension. The basic function of the RPM program and it's associated GUI shell named GLINT are to install, upgrade, and remove software components easily and painlessly. RPM includes advanced features such as package configuration, file verification, package interdependencies, and cataloging. With RPM it is easy to install or remove even the more complicated software applications because of the care Red Hat has taken in automating installation and removal scripts. What this leads to is the ability to more effectively manage the software on your system, the ability to keep up with software upgrades, library upgrades, as well as a method to upgrade from one distribution version to the next seamlessly. An analogy in the Microsoft world is the Windows Software Registry system, but under Red Hat, RPM seems to function at a higher level. The only downside to the RPM system is... that given the diversity of the Linux software resources, not all software is provided by all producers in an .rpm format and Red Hat certainly can't gather up every software application ever made and produce an .rpm of it... although, believe me, they have come close. To help resolve this issue, Red Hat has released the source code and technical specs to RPM to the public under the GPL in an attempt get as many people to adopt their software packaging technology as possible. This isn't limited to the Linux Operating System either as it is generally applicable to virtually all flavors of Unix. In fact, one of Red Hat's pipe-dreams with RPM is to provide the entire Unix community with a standardization for software packaging... and have in fact written a book for RPM developers and software vendors on the subject... and have even created a Internet presence to distribute the RPM technology appropriately named RPM.ORG http://www.rpm.org . From all indications, a good segment of the Linux community has gladly received RPM and put it into use as Red Hat provides a "contrib" directory on their FTP site (that is an official part of mirrored sites as well) where the user community can distribute software in .rpm format that isn't an official part of the Red Hat distribution. The size of this contrib directory is on the order of gigabytes of software so it is certainly a substantial movement/effort in the Linux software development and user community. The second area where Red Hat really stands out is in the GUI based system administration tools department. One of the main complaints about Unix as a whole is that there isn't a standardized way between Unix platforms to do the day to day chores of system administration. Red Hat has attempted to address this issue for Linux via their "control-panel" facility and all of its associated sub-programs. The control-panel is what one would expect it to be (ala Microsoft's and Apple's Control Panel designs) but on a system administration and hardware configuration level rather than on an aesthetic, personalized customization level. Red Hat's control-panel isn't there to set your X Window Systems' background tiles, nor is it there to set the GUI sound events... it's there to manage users, file systems, network configurations, system runlevels, printer configuration and other less obvious but necessary system administration tasks. It is beyond the scope of this article to get into the intricacies of these various tools but it is worth noting that each software component varies to the degree that it accomplishes its goal. Some newer users will find the control-panel a valued set of tools whereas the more advanced Linux user/administrator may consider them to be useless fluff. Ah, the Linux community... a very diverse group... you can't please everyone all of the time, but you can please some people much of the time. :) One legitimate criticism of the control-panel is that is requires the X Window System to be used in the first place which raises the ante for basic software installation. Some people loath X while others rarely see a text based console. It would be nice if Red Hat had a complimentary set of text based system admin tools for those who wanted to do system administration work outside of the X Window System environment but that isn't currently available and I am uncertain if they are focusing on that issue or not. So far as the control-panel is concerned, it is obvious that Red Hat is serious about continuing development on it as they have gone through a series of control-panel upgrades with the various distribution version releases. Let's hope this trend continues. Red Hat Software maintains a spectacular Internet WWW presence and is constantly updating their pages. When I say spectacular I don't mean that their pages are full of multimedia fluff and cutting edge graphical arts... I mean that they provide comprehensive content especially in the areas of documentation and technical support. Linus Torvalds himself says that he prefers the Red Hat distribution for his particular needs (visit the URL for the recent interview with Linus listed in the Linux News section for specifics) and also gives Red Hat a pat on the back for their constant dedication to keeping abreast of evolving network security issues and their resolving them with software upgrade packages. This isn't to say that Red Hat ships a distribution that is plagued with security holes, but that given the vast amount of network aware software provided in the Unix environment as a whole, software that has been adopted in the Linux community, network security issues should always remain in the foreground and given attention... and Red Hat is doing that. Red Hat is also very active in continued development and their motto, "Keeping up with the speed of Linux"... while it's a takeoff on UPS's "Keeping up with the speed of Business" slogan... it is still pretty darn close to being a reality, especially when compared to a few other Linux distributions. Even though it is obvious, I'll just wrap up the Red Hat Linux Distribution spotlight by saying that I give it two thumbs up, and a 9.9 on a scale of 1 to 10. :) That isn't to say that Red Hat is the only quality distribution available... because there are others... but rest assured that if you want Linux, you can't go wrong by picking the Red Hat distribution. Next month I'll give a review of the Debian Distribution. Linux Application Spotlight While I had intended on covering Red Hat's ApplixWare suite of office application software, it became obvious to me that the length of this installment of Linux Advocate couldn't bare it. So, I'll defer my review to another, currently undisclosed, time. Given that I decided to cover the Debian Distribution next installment, I anticipate running into a space limitation next time too... so I'll just provide yet another Internet URL for a fairly decent, yet limited, review of ApplixWare that I ran into the other day. In fact, that's how I accidentally ran into the Microsoft article I mentioned earlier... as both articles are included in the same publication, the Harvard Computer Review. Visit http://hcs.harvard.edu/~hcr/97sept.html and check it out for yourself. Linux History Again, given space limitations, I'll defer this part of the column to a later time and provide more noteworthy Internet URLs. Over the past year Linux has been given more and more attention in the mainstream computer industry press. I challenge anyone even remotely interested in Linux to read the following two articles from other online publications. The first one is from a weekly computer industry publication for the California Silicon Valley communities called METRO. It is a very well written and fairly accurate introduction to Linux including history as well as interview clips from Linus and others in the Linux community. This article may be found at: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/05.08.97/cover/linus-9719.html The second article I'd like to bring your attention to was published in the August issue of WIRED magazine. While Wired magazine has often been criticized for being too trendy and/or artistic, the Linux article they did is very well written. The online edition of WIRED's in-depth Linux article can be found at: http://www.wired.com/wired/5.08/linux.html . LOGOUT: I've about exhausted my resources for this edition. :) I hope everyone found it enjoyable, worthy reading material. Again, please feel free to contact me via email or visit my homepage. The information you need is at the very beginning of this here Linux Advocate column. Thanks for reading! Scott Dowdle - November, 1997 Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Well, the turkey leftovers are almost gone (darn!). I hope that you've all "recovered" and your clothes fit once again! Great holiday, especially if you enjoy eating. I'm already looking forward to our Christmas, Hanukkah feast in a few weeks! I haven't really considered editorializing for awhile, but working on this week's issue brought a few articles to light on a subject that really irks me to no end. So, to once again get it out of my system, and perhaps yours as well, let me jump right in... Most of the recent Internet "controversy" deals with what to do with "pornography" available online. Part of this "debate" really irritates me. And that is some of the proposals to completely "clean up" the Internet in order that children don't have contact with this sort of thing. The other part is cleaning up child pornography - the stuff that is child exploitation. The second is illegal. Should it be banned? Of course; I see nothing wrong with this type of effort. Whether it's on the Internet, on video, in magazines - whatever - it's illegal and should be dealt with accordingly. But adult pornography, however you want to define it, should be left alone. It's adult "entertainment. The world doesn't need governmental intervention to regulate something we, as adults, should be able to regulate ourselves. Why do people always seem to feel that we need the government to protect us from ourselves? You don't want to see "dirty" pictures on the Internet, don't visit adult sites (or return to them if you've accidentally come upon one). You don't want your children to have access, prevent that from occurring, yourself. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You, as a parent, need to determine which method is best for your needs. Do you restrict access to the Internet unless you're around to watch what your child is doing? Perhaps. Do you install a program to filter out those sites dealing with a sexual nature? Possibly. Do you deny your child access to the Internet? Maybe, but that may be overkill. So is the solution to ban/censor "pornography" on the Internet? Of course not. It's your "job" as a parent to teach your children the values that you'd like to instill in them. And realize it or not, all of the teaching in the world isn't going to prevent a child's curiosity 100 per cent. Like when I was a kid, if I wanted to see "nudie" pictures, I always knew where I could find a Playboy or some other "dirty" magazine. Even National Geographic was a source! The point is, as a parent you can only hope that what you've taught your child will sink in. And if not, that they will at least deal with the situation in a responsible manner. Censorship is not the answer. As you'll see elsewhere in this issue, parenting is the issue according to VP Gore; I'll just use his "cause" in a alternative context. We don't need the government to do what we as individuals should be doing on our own. Off of my soapbox... Until next time... * CABFtp * The shareware FTP-client CABFtp by Manfred Ssykor is updated to v0.24 (Nov 20). * CAB_OVL * The CAB Overlay Module by Dan Ackerman is now patched (updated) to v1.2704, this is the 68000-version and according to the included text file, Dan is going to compile a optimized 68030-version too. * MyMail * The email client MyMail by Erik Hdll (a real GEM-beauty) is one of the most updated Atari application nowadays, it's just been transformed into a very serious Internet application. The supported protocols and functions are stunning. The Nov/Dec versions 0.45,0.44,0.39 and 0.38 includes a mail editing window, support for BubbleGEM, file attachments, mail send logfile etc etc. * GEMScript * GEMScript is a new protocol to be used in our platforms, supported applications can be in a multitasking environment exchange requests etc and share their resources and capabilities. As OLGA gave us Object Linking and embedding to send documents between the supported applications, GEMScript can cope with functions instead. A Macrolike system that make an application to send functions like save, open, execute, cut, paste, print etc to an another application. More complicated request is to be sent via a GEMScript Interpreter. SCRIPTER by Holger Weets is a freeware interpreter for this and ASH will release a commercial one named ASH-MagiC Scripter. The alternative desktop jinnee have a built-in support for GEMScript and supported applications is going to increase dramatically soon. Already now there's supporting ones like CAB 2.6, Texel 2.0, ArtWorx 1.6 and GEMjing. * CAB * CAB v2.6 will be a release soon by ASH. There are several new plug-ins in the package, but if all here mentioned, I'm not really sure. Advertising filter do censored banners and animations etc via a config dialog, you can replace banners with your own pictures too, and tell CAB that you don't want to download specified files larger than... The hotlist is completely rewritten, a browser lookalike window with new buttons, open, topic, new, doc-->hot, import, exit and delete. CAB do support GEMScript and document history now. The browser uses the NVDI color tables now, so if jinnee is the desktop there's no more color changes etc by topping windows between CAB and jinnee. New submenu implemented in the File menu, Internet clients where you can execute the installed internet client back in the options menu. A future version will support Netscape Cookies with a direct config entry in a dialog, accessible from the menu. * My site * My two Atari websites is accessible via the URLs: http://surf.to/atari and http://come.to/atari (channel Atari) I write articles (swedish) in the Atarimagasinet Magazine by The Swedish Atari Club and now I have implemented some of these at my webpage. You will find some of them at http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/svenska/artiklar/index.html As You already noticed I got the "Site of the Month" award by The Atari Computing Magazine, a heavy 95%. Only one site have ever received 95% before. That was a really a christmas gift for me and I have just passed 3 years online now for my homepage. I'm going to concentrate now for application translations into swedish again and I'm consider to make a online manual to PPP-Connect and modify the CAB manual into the new v2.6. The Scandinavian Atari Internet users have already a plethora of translations made by me, CAB, NEWSie, TelVT102, HP Penguin Pro, aFTP and some more. I have translated M_Player, MP_STE and AniPlayer too. Hmm.. think You already know that. * Gary A. Priest * A new application called Gary Priest? No, but he just releases Internet applications over and over again. The latest update is a december version of POPwatch (v2.40). With POPwatch you can administrate your POP3 mailbox located at one of you service providers servers. You can view part of the mails there, delete some unwanted and download selected ones to your Atari email client. A possible translation project for me? I will notify Gary. * Download Bay * Most Internet-related applications can be found at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/web_applications.html Best Regards Mille Babic firstname.lastname@example.org http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille channel Atari: http://hem1.passagen.se/aes Gaming Section "BugRiders"! DT Productions! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! With Comdex still in memory, and the holiday season upon us, I was really surprised that gaming news this week was almost at a standstill. Perhaps all of the gaming companies are putting all of the energies into actually getting the games out to the public rather than talking about them - for a change! So let's get to this week's issue and perhaps by next week we'll have an over-abundance of news for you. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Racing Game Fans to Bug Out NEW YORK (Dec. 1) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 1, 1997 - Combat Racing Game Available For Sony PlayStation and Windows 95 What has six heart-pounding race tracks, 26 wings and 96 legs? The answer is BugRiders: The Race of Kings, GT Interactive Software Corp. (NASDAQ: GTIS) and n-Space's innovative new combat racing game that is currently available for the Sony PlayStation and Windows 95. BugRiders: The Race of Kings transports players into a mystical land where racing atop giant flying bugs, each with their own signature attributes and weapons, is more than a way of life, it is a means of survival. "Taking gamers through a captivating 3D world filled with hairpin turns and heart-pounding action, BugRiders: The Race of Kings will be an innovative addition to the racing category," says Holly Newman, vice president of Marketing for GT Interactive. "Featuring a diverse assortment of race tracks, characters, weapons and modes of play, BugRiders: The Race of Kings will be a 'must have' for racing and action game fans alike." n-Space's BugRiders: The Race of Kings is set in Entymion, a magical land championed by vicious armed warriors, each riding giant insectoid mounts complete with individual motivations, aspirations and weapons. Emperor Leptus the First has died, and the people of Entymion require a successor. Across the Empire in each of the Five Manors of the Royal Court, the Great Race is run, as custom and law requires. In the end, a single rider will emerge victorious, replacing Leptus as Emperor until their own health fails. Only through careful navigation of the courses, mastery of the mount and effective use of their weapons, will players be able to defeat the Royal Court in a series of intense airborne events and earn the right to replace Leptus as Emperor of Entymion. "This is a breakthrough title," says Dan O'Leary, vice president of n-Space and team leader for the BugRiders: The Race of Kings project. "We feel that we have taken race excitement to the next level, and besides, the bugs are real cool." BugRiders: The Race of Kings offers an array of exciting features, including: z True 3D racing, enabling passing above, below, left and right of opponents; z Racing on the backs of giant flying bugs, each with unique mount, traits and characteristics; z 22 characters, many with their own signature weapons and racing styles; z Distinct bug/character relationships which influence game play; z Unique and spectacular weapons, including defensive and rear attacks; z Six unique racing environments, each with branching courses and evolving tracks; z High-resolution graphics at 30 frames-per-second; z Multiple modes of play, including practice, tournament and deathmatch Don Traeger Productions Signs Development Deal SAN JOSE, CALIF. (Dec. 2) BUSINESS WIRE - Dec. 2, 1997 - Don Traeger Productions (DT Productions), a newly-formed game development studio, today announced it has signed a development deal with Sony Interactive Studios of America. Led by 15 year industry veteran, Don Traeger, the company has begun work on a soon to be announced game project. Over the next year, DT Productions plans to focus on select action and sports titles for the PlayStation and high-end PCs, and is currently working with other industry heavyweights, including Electronic Arts. "DT Productions brings the caliber of experience, talent and passion that we look for in a development partner," stated Kelly Flock, president of Sony Interactive Studios of America. "Don and his team have a remarkable track record in reaching the target market with games that speak directly to the PlayStation and PC audiences. Their contributions will be valuable to Sony." Traeger's industry credentials include over ten years at Electronic Arts (EA), where he was instrumental in the company's successful entry into the console video game market and was also a co-founder of EA SPORTS. He was responsible for hit games such as Skate or Die, Lakers vs. Celtics, (the first EA SPORTS branded title), Jordan vs. Bird: One on One, and PGA TOUR Golf, among others. Most recently, Traeger was the vice president of worldwide product development for BMG Interactive and secured key alliances with sought after developers such as Delphine Software International. Working with Delphine, Traeger spearheaded the production of acclaimed racing title Moto Racer (published by EA), a game that garnered praise for its stunning accelerated 3D graphics on the PC and its rich, enthralling game play on the PlayStation. He has continued work with EA as creative liaison on an undisclosed title in the company's high-profile 1998 line-up. Larry Probst, chairman and chief executive officer of Electronic Arts remarked, "Don has a demonstrated ability to bring great interactive entertainment products to market. His creative vision and commercial instincts have helped to deliver innovative games that anticipate the demands of video game consumers." Joining DT Productions is another senior game veteran, Dennis Harper, whose career spans an impressive 17 years with Atari Games. An expert programmer and game designer, Harper has been responsible for creating numerous blockbuster coin-operated games such as Primal Rage, a title he conceptualized, designed and produced. Some of his additional credits include classic arcade titles Toobin, Road Riot, Moto Frenzy, and Return of the Jedi. DT Productions is also aligned with investment partner Techfund Capital Management, a Silicon Valley-based investment and management consulting firm which is involved with some of the entertainment software industry's most promising new companies. "Don and Dennis have been among the most successful game development talents in the industry," noted Jim Whims, managing director with Techfund Capital Management. "With our financial backing and management expertise, DT Productions can focus on what it does best -- making great games. Several major publishers and strategic partners have already identified the potential benefits of working with a team of this stature." One such company is 3Dfx, whose president, Greg Ballard commented, "The continued success of 3Dfx is dependent upon our ability to partner with the very best content creators. We look forward to exploring opportunities with DT Productions, a development studio that shares our vision of pushing the limits in next generation gaming." DT Productions is an independent game development studio focused on creating select action and sports game titles for high-end computers and leading consoles. The company is currently working with Sony Interactive Studios and Electronic Arts, and is in negotiations with additional strategic partners. DT Productions is based in San Jose, CA. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. I had hoped to be able to give you a mini-review of CAB 2.5 this week but alas the package hasn't shown up on my doorstep yet. Rest assured that when it does I'll have at least a few words to say about it. Since I've stayed in contact with chroMAGIC Software Innovations, the company I ordered CAB 2.5 from, I found out that I could expect to receive my copy yesterday. Unfortunately, I have to rely not only on the company I ordered from, but also on the U.S. Postal Service. This, being the busiest season of the year for letter carriers, is probably not the best time to stand by the mailbox waiting for software. To make a long story... less long, I haven't gotten the package yet. At this point, I'm not even sure of whether I'm getting CAB 2.5 or 2.6, although I'm expecting 2.5. Oh well, all things in due time, I guess. But at least I'm not the only one who hasn't gotten their copy. You'll see a post or two about CAB a little later on.... oh heck, let's take a look at them right now... >From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup: Thomas Raukamp posts: "ASH is completing it's internet-package with the new CAB 2.6, which now includes "Fiffi", a FTP-program. Also new is the "ASH-Emailer", which is of course a software for e-mails and for newsgroups. All of the programs are available in Germany next week." Steve Hammond muses: "> Wonderful. AND we can't even get v2.5 here in the States... Yes you can - give Systems For Tomorow a call" Ron Hall jumps in and replies: "Really? Great! I'll have to give Chro-Magic a call, because I pre-ordered CAB v2.5 from them. Hot dang!" Hall Schrieb says: "Sounds good except for the fact that I hear it's using it's own standard and isn't compatible with any of the STing/STik based stuff. Is this correct? And what avbout English language versions? Will there be any translations of the abovementioned software or is it primarily made for the German " Thomas Raukamp tells Hall: "That's correct and it's the reason why ASH added an E-Mail/News-Reader and a FTP-client to their CAB-package. The main problem with CAB 2.5 was, that you had easy access with it to the internet via PPP (which can't be said of another solution for the Atari - note the word 'easy'), but you could only use WWW. Now you can use all the important internet-services (ok, I hope they get out an IRC-software pretty soon). I hope to get my copy next week so I can give details on how the new software works. As far as I know I'm afraid even v. 2.5 of CAB still isn't available in the States in English - correct me if I'm wrong ... I don't think ASH wants to keep the software for the German speaking public only, but they're a German company and they're not as big as M$ - which means translating the software is a matter of time and money for a small company as ASH. Hasn't ASH any good partners in the States or in the UK which care for translations of the products? You have to ask ASH about that, I'm afraid." I reply to Thomas: "I have heard that System Solutions, the english language distributor for CAB 2.5, needed to do a second printing to get copies for the U.S. A little bird told me that they should be hitting shores on this side quite shortly. I don't know if it is a good sign or not that the first run was gone so quickly. I guess only time will tell." Just so you don't think that we're limited to ONLY one web browser, Petter Toneff posts: "There's a new internet package under developement for our platform. Go to: http://dc2.uni-bielefeld.de/atari/edracon.htm English and german versions of the browser and mail client available. It comes with it's own socket drivers, not Stik/Sting compatible unfortunately...." Terry Ross checks this out and posts: "Some 1st impressions: 1. It didn't recognise my Nova card. Graphics were a mess. However, it works fine without it, and does a fairly decent job of dithering the pictures. 2. I haven't actually made it online yet. It is apparently connecting with my ISP, but then nothing but DNS failures. I haven't really spent that long trying to configure it properly yet, however. 3. I've some mixed feelings about it. It's not as polished as CAB, or WenSuite - but it looks like it is going to be a worthwhile package - Java support? Hmmmm. While it's nice to see some more development for our platform, especially a comprehensive one like this, I wonder if the market is large enough to support all three suites. I'd hate to see all three groups go down because our funds have to be split in three directions. Perhaps (hopefully) I'm wrong, and all three packages will be a commercial success." In a web-related subject, Arthur Marshall asks for help with scanned pictures: "More advice needed re scanned pictures. I've scanned in a couple of photos on a PC, and the JPG file is over 100k. If you wind this up to a GIF you end up with some enormous file of about 970k and nothing I've got will load it, let alone work on it. I assume this is because it's in about n million colours. So how can I reduce this to a sensible size so I can at least load the damn thing into positive image, and what do I do it with?" Daniel Rojo tells Arthur: "I assume you have a 1 Meg system, because a 1 Meg file is (but barely) workable in 2 or more Megs. Anyways, you can load the file in your atari, but you should sacrifice the number of colors and/or the resolution of the scanning. On most scanner drivers you can adjust the color deep and resolution of the image, so start reducing the color deep to 256 (8 bit and pretty good quality) or 16 (4bit but low quality) and you will save a lot of space... use an uncompressed format (e.g uncompressed TIFF) to approximately know the size of the final image and fit it to your free memory after load PI. Don't forget to activate the virtual (disk swapping) memory option in PI pointed to an empty folder. If it is still too big, just reduce the resolution of the scanning until it fits. If you want to work with your current files, look for a friend with a plenity-of-memory computer (any computer type) and reform the images using a image retouching software, changing the same parameters. If you will do a lot of image retouching I recommend you to upgrade your system memory." Ken Macdonald tells Arthur: "Saving as a gif automatically reduces the number of colours to 8bit (256) as well as compressing the file. Except of course it uncompresses when you load it. If it is 970K when compressed, then it will probably be about 1.5MB when uncompressed, a little too large for your system I guess. If you can save it as a ximg(colour img) file with 16 colours so you can open it on the Atari. check out Graphics File formats at for related info http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/~mxr/gfx/2d-hi.html" Jerry Faigin asks: "Does anybody have any ideas about putting an Atari STE1040 on a NT 4.0 Microsoft network? Sounds weird, but I would like to try!" Nicholas Bales replies with the first thing that popped into my mind: "What about a PPP connection with StinG?" Guy Harrison tells Jerry: "The TCP/IP option is the only common thing between them. I've tried as much as I can considering I know little about NT. I hoped by setting up a com port for "dial in" that I'd be half of the way there - it seemed reasonable to assume there might be a driver, registry setting, or something that could be used to overide the "dial in" as such and just listen for TCP/IP packets instead. If there is one then I can't find it! .... but do let me know if you come across one." William Wong tells Guy: "Try to install the NT RAS service. You can change the properties of certain ports ( RAS port ) to accept incoming calls. You will need administration privillage to do this." Guy tells William: "I've done that. My (external) modem is dial out only on com2 using TCP/IP. Com1 is connected to the ST via a null modem cable. Ras can't see com1 atm but when it can the only two things I can do is "install modem" or install an "x25 pad" (whatever the heck that is). How do I do it for a null modem though?" Our new ST <-> NT networking Guru, William, tells Guy: "X25 is a packet swtching protocol. You will not need it. You need to install a null modem in the "install modem" menu. I think it is called "Dial-up networking serial cable" or something like that. You need to disable the modem detecting when installing so you can choose the serial cable connection option. This is separate from RAS, RAS uses a modem driver (unimodem.drv or similar) so installing a "serial cable driver" is required. BTW, you still need to be authenticated when you do the connection. The lowest security which NT uses is PAP, make sure you tick allow clear text password ( or something like that ) otherwise it will use CHAP." Gilles Charron asks for help with MagiC, the multi-tasking TOS replacement: "I'm using Magic 5.03 And I've got a small problem: I can't use the Magic Shell After a Rez Change, It acts like the return key was stuck or something, all other applications don't complain but this one goes crazy. Any Suggestions? Any other shells I could use that are compatible with Magic?" Terry May tells Gilles: "I've never had any success changing res with MagiC (5.11) on my Falcon. I usually don't get even as far as you do. It's probably one of my ACCs or something causing a problem. So when I want to change res, I just make sure all my files are closed, go to the change res menu, change the res and save it, then do a Alt-LS-Del or Alt-LS-RS-Del, depending on what I need. That's not real elegant, but it works everytime." We've covered this in the past few weeks, but it's worth mentioning again. Miika Tervo asks: "Is ASH's PPP-connect supposed to work on other platfors than MagiC? I.e. TOS/GEM, MiNT...does it need multitasking?" Pascal Ricard tells Miika: "Well, I didn't succeeded in having it to work properly with MultiTos. Afaik, it do needs preamptive multitaskink to work, so no single Tos." Jo Evan Skarstein tells Pascal: "Somebody posted here a couple of weeks ago that he had managed to get PPP-Connect to work with MiNT+Geneva." Our friend Greg Evans asks: "Does anyone know what was upgraded in CAB 2.5, other than PP Connect? For example, does it allow frames to be resized, pages to be scrolled or links selected while a page is still downloading?" Terry May tells Greg: "You can do all of that with the 2.0 demo, except resizing frames (though you can resize the whole window). Regarding scrolling pages or selecting links while a page is downloading, you just have to keep the mouse held down until it 'sees' it." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES "China told Washington Thursday not to let government officials meet democracy activist Wei Jingsheng during his exile in the United States. "We are opposed to U.S. government officials meeting Wei Jingsheng and we are opposed to making use of Wei Jingsheng in anti-Chinese activities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang said. Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Thursday that President Bill Clinton would this month meet Wei, who flew to the United States upon his release on medical parole this past November." What BRASS!! Now, they're trying to tell us how to run this country!! We, as a nation, should STOP buying their inferior products! Remember PEARL HARBOR, December 07, 1941 STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" December 05, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1348
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