ST Report: 10-Apr-98 #1414From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/25/98-11:14:31 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 10-Apr-98 #1414 Date: Sat Apr 25 11:14:31 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) [Image] Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 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 14gb * 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 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.01 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office Pro 97, FrontPage 98, Homesite 3.0 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 04/10/98 STR 1414 "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!" CPU Industry Report April Fools' Hoaxes Spam Bill in Meat Grinder AntiTrust for Credit Cards? Hacker's Spit Balls All in One Studio Review Mobile PII To Debut WombWare? Seiko's PC Watch ST Informer to Return? People Talking Classics & Gaming DOJ May Bring New MS Charges Hackers Wipe Out ISP! APPLE TOOK BITE OUT OF AMELIO STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Or, read STReport Online in HTML at our Website. 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: 03/28/98: five of six numbers with two 4# & three 3# matches [Image] From the Editor's Desk... It's that time of the year again.... Easter and Passover. Easter Vacation for the schoolkids and a preview of what the motorists will face this summer as far as the new bicyclists are concerned. Drive carefully folks they're everywhere! Last week we talked about Ken Starr possibly being Joe McCarthy reincarnated. The more I study Starr's activities, the more I'm convinced this guy's motives may not be all that's shining and true blue he'd like everyone to believe. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he's playing a very dangerous game that can take him out if he makes one slipup. Additionally, I'd love to see Starr's and Gingrich's telephone records publicly compared. The Republican war waged against just about everything the Democrats have tried to do is astonishing. As hard as they try, they have yet to put a dent in Clinton's approval rating or the "mere" fact that Clinton's plan has indeed balanced the Federal Budget. Newt Gingrich by the way, has while Congress is in recession, been carrying on in New Hampshire. (Talk about Primary Fever) He's very busy staging "book signings" for his new book. (Wasn't the LAST BOOK enough trouble for him? Or, is this book destined to pay back Dole the $300,000 loan?) What I cannot understand is why he seemingly is covertly campaigning for the Presidential Nomination of the Republican Party. Doesn't he realize he sealed his fate politically when he was nailed by the Ethics Committee over the last book? Guess not. This is one clown we need not concern ourselves with in the year 2000. The man to watch as far as the Republican Party is concerned is Colin Powell. Please let me wish all of you the very best of the holidays..... [Image] http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 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 Graphics Rich HTML. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Help Wanted 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 David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Scott Dowdle 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 Justice May Bring New Microsoft Charges Justice Department investigators believe they have enough evidence to bring a new antitrust case against Microsoft before the end of the month, The Wall Street Journal reported today. The new case, if it went forward, would allege "illegal maintenance and extension" of Microsoft's control of personal - computer operating software, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Journal said, citing unnamed people close to the probe. It also would repeat an existing charge that Microsoft violated a 1995 antitrust settlement by "bundling" Internet software with Windows, extending to Windows 98 a 1997 charge that Microsoft used Windows as a weapon against business rivals, the newspaper said. The investigators were taking final depositions from senior Microsoft officials and issued new civil subpoenas last week to major personal computer makers, including Compaq Computer, company spokesmen told the newspaper. They were racing to complete their work before Microsoft's planned May 15 release to computer makers of Windows 98, the next version of its PC operating software, the Journal said. If the case moved forward, prosecutors were expected to ask a federal court for immediate temporary restrictions on Microsoft's practices plus unspecified permanent sanctions, the newspaper said. The temporary restrictions are likely to include a requirement that Microsoft give PC makers a choice of whether to install Windows 98 with or without Microsoft's Internet software, as well as relief from alleged exclusionary contract terms imposed on PC makers and companies that provide Internet services, the Journal said. Antitrust chief Joel Klein was weighing legal tactics and had not decided whether to file a new case, the paper newspaper said. Klein is expected to give Microsoft's lawyers a final opportunity to head off new charges against the company in a face-to-face meeting late next week. Antitrust Chief To Meet With Microsoft Friday The Justice Department's top antitrust official and his staff will meet with Microsoft representatives Friday to discuss a possible new antitrust case against the software giant, a person familiar with the case said. Some in the Justice Department believe there is now enough evidence to bring a new case against Microsoft under the nation's antitrust laws, according to the source. In such instances, the assistant attorney general -- currently Joel Klein -- traditionally has met with representatives of the company or companies involved so they may offer their views. At the same meeting, the antitrust chief listens to the opinions of his staff, which may be divided. Justice Department officials who favor bringing the case would like to do so as soon as possible, before the release of Windows 98, an update to Windows 95 that integrates the operating system and Internet capabilities more tightly than ever. Microsoft is expected to release so-called "gold code" of the operating system to manufacturers by mid-May or early June to meet a targeted June 25 retail availability date. A Microsoft spokesman said the Redmond, Wash.-based company remains confident Windows 98 will launch as scheduled June 25. "We don't believe there's any scenario that would delay the release of Windows 98 with all of its Internet capabilities included," said the spokesman, Mark Murray. However, in an apparent signal that the company has softened its hard-line approach, Murray said Microsoft would be willing to negotiate with the Justice Department over any problems the agency has with Windows 98. "We would like to see these issues resolved and put them behind us," Murray said. The Justice Department's Klein said last month he wants to carefully define any major case before he brings it to prevent litigation from dragging on for years. A federal lawsuit against computer giant IBM lasted for years before it was finally dropped. So far the Justice Department has not given Microsoft any indication of its view on Windows 98, Murray said. In December, the antitrust regulators won a court order that forced Microsoft to offer computer makers a version of Windows 95 without any easy methods of access to its Internet Explorer browser. Murray said it was not clear whether the Justice Department would seek a similar option for Windows 98. Justice Department officials sent out civil subpoenas -- known as civil investigative demands - to some PC makers last week. "Justice hadn't spoken to the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in four or five months and they wanted to get fresh information," the person familiar with the case said. Computer Execs Propose Limits On Microsoft Computer-industry executives have approached the Justice Department with 10 proposals they believe would help rein in the monopoly power of Microsoft, the New York Times reported today. The proposals, contained in a document circulating among industry executives, include forcing Microsoft to divest its applications businesses from its operating-system business and establishing a monitoring system to track Microsoft's business practices, the Times said, citing unnamed industry executives and the document. The Justice Department was not considering breaking up Microsoft, one industry executive told the Times, but it was looking at a range of other possibilities. Microsoft officials dismissed the proposals, saying that they had responded to many of the points previously. This is a wish list from Microsoft competitors with no basis in the facts of this industry or the laws of this country, " Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray told the paper. The industry's proposals were put forward this month after informal conversations between Joel Klein, the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, and computer-industry trade associations that have expressed concerned about Microsoft's economic power, the Times said. The paper said other proposals offered in the industry document include: Forcing Microsoft to be more open in describing parts of the operating system to which programmers have access. Prohibiting Microsoft from tying new products to the Windows operating system. Divesting Microsoft's software compatibility laboratories, which offer a Windows 95-approved logo to certain products. "A dominant operating system should not be used to favor Internet content that is owned, offered by or preferentially licensed to the operating-system vendor," the document said. Separately, the Justice Department now believes that it has enough evidence to bring a new antitrust case, a source has told Reuters. The department's top antitrust attorney and his staff will meet with Microsoft officials on Friday, the source said Monday. States To Probe Microsoft, Credit Cards Several U.S. states are preparing to take their own antitrust action against Microsoft and have opened a new investigation of alleged antitrust abuses in the credit-card industry as well, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. About a dozen state attorneys general are actively involved in each effort, pooling their resources and often working in parallel with federal antitrust officials, the Journal said, citing state and industry officials. In the Microsoft investigation, however, officials told the paper they plan to take action with or without the Justice Department. A draft complaint is circulating among 11 states and could be filed by the end of the month before U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who handled the Justice Department's suit against the Redmond, Wash., software giant last year, the paper said. In the credit-card inquiry, the states have asked Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International to talk with investigators next week, industry lawyers and executives told the Journal. The move comes as the Justice Department prepares to wrap up an 18-month investigation of the two leading credit-card associations and decide how to act on its findings, the lawyers and executives said. The long-running credit-card probe by the Justice Department is headed for a showdown early next month, the paper said. The staff has recommended that antitrust charges be brought against Visa and MasterCard over their joint control by the same big banks and bylaws that prevent member banks from issuing competing cards. MS Deal With Schools Runs Into a Buzzsaw Microsoft Corp. is learning -- the hard way -- that dealing with colleges and universities can be as dicey a proposition as dealing with Janet Reno. The company, which last week signed a four-year $6 million contract to supply Indiana University with software, is poised to strike similar deals with dozens of universities across the country. Proponents have applauded the agreement, saying it would serve as a model for cash-conscious universities looking to give their students a technological edge. Aleisa Spain, Microsoft's director of higher education marketing, said her office has received calls from about a dozen colleges looking for similar deals. Thousands of students lined up for the products on Tuesday, according to the university's paper. The newspaper also posted a poll showing that supporters of the plan outnumber detractors by a two-to-one margin. But campus protests against educational institutions getting into bed with a big powerful vendor like Microsoft are escalating. Critics say that agreements like the one signed with Indiana University effectively lock campuses into using Microsoft software. The Cal State University System -- the largest conglomeration of four-year colleges in the country -- is also considering a public-private partnership that would flood campuses with software from the Redmond, Wash., company. The proposed California Education Technology Initiative, or CETI, would form a corporation -- that would include Microsoft Corp., GTE Corp., Hughes Electronics, and Fujitsu - to spend $300 million on technology at CSU schools during the next four years. College officials insist the deals do not preclude students and faculty from using non-Microsoft software. But they also note that students using applications sold by other vendors might find their programs are incompatible with the campus-wide computer system. Some people also fear Microsoft is dumping software onto campuses with the intention of raising prices later-an accusation also leveled against the company in the corporate market by critics such as the U.S. Department of Justice and Nathan Newman, program director of Microsoft watchdog group NetAction. "Will they hike the price later? The question is, what happens to Indiana, and campuses like it, five years down the line?" Newman said, pointing attention to Microsoft's recent change in licensing agreements. The company now charges customers by the total number of software users. Before the change, Microsoft charged customers only by the amount of people using the software at one time, usually a lower number because not everybody uses their software 24-hours per day. Has Microsoft met its match? But campus protests are becoming an obstacle to Microsoft's push into higher education. The company is in negotiations with colleges to develop an education-specific licensing agreement after campus administrators said the revised agreement was too expensive. "They railed on us, and we listened," said Rebecca Needham of Microsoft's higher education group. "It was a healthy debate." The new licensing plan-set to be unveiled within two weeks-will be similar to Indiana's, requiring an up-front fee and taking into account the large amount of mobile users on campus, Microsoft said. Protests also have stalled the CSU deal. Accusations of behind-the-door dealings have drawn the ire of state lawmakers, who have insisted on more public hearings on the issue. A revamped plan -- scheduled to be released Wednesday -- already has been delayed, and there are rumors that several companies are considering pulling out of the deal. Jim Smith, a spokesman for the California Faculty Association, said faculty and student opposition drew attention to the plan. "We raised questions there weren't answers for. That raised other questions that made people uncomfortable with the agreement," Smith said. John Santoro, director of education marketing at Apple Computer Inc. - which traditionally has claimed the education market as its own -- said Microsoft may have met its match in the college environment. "Students are fundamentally opposed to something that locks them in. They're not lulled into the promises of up-front money," Santoro said. "Anything that restricts choices is against the university spirit." Outlook 98 Filter Goes Too Far, Some Say Microsoft's efforts to protect you from spam may be going too far, blocking e-mail from friends, families and news groups, according to analysts and free-speech advocates. In an attempt to block unwanted e-mail, an automatic function on the company's new Outlook 98 messaging software filters messages based on a preset list of words and punctuation. The feature blocks messages that have an exclamation point and question mark in the subject line, as well as such words or phrases as "for free!" and "removal instructions" in the body. The filter is intended to block annoying mass e-mailings that often contain promises of free trips and get-rich-quick schemes, but it also may filter out other messages. For example, a message with "Hey! Guess What?" in the subject and "I'm getting tickets to tonight's Giants baseball game for free!" could be blocked if a person chooses Outlook's automatic filter. The company came up with the phrases by studying more than 2 million pieces of spam, Microsoft Outlook Product Manager George Meng said. "It's not an exact science yet," said Meng, adding that the company is working with third parties to develop more advanced filters. A free version of Outlook 98 is available on the company's Web site, with a final version set to ship in the first half of this year. People who don't want to use the automatic filter can build a customized blocking program, choosing specific words and domain names to block. But the automatic filter cannot be adjusted. The program also has a feature that turns spam a different color on a user's screen instead of just deleting it. But some analysts say users of the automatic filter aren't warned of the text-based feature. "A lot of people put question marks and exclamation points in their messages," Peter Ghosh, senior consultant with Philadelphia systems integrator JVC Technologies Inc. "The other problem is there's nothing that allows you to edit it." Stanton McCandlish, program director for free-speech group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Microsoft's list may be going too far. "It sounds like they've not really thought through what the key words are," said McCandlish, who himself filters out messages with multiple, consecutive exclamation points. But Microsoft isn't the only company grappling with new ways to intelligently filter unwanted e-mail. Spammers are increasingly finding ways to get around the popular domain name-based filters, forcing messaging software to develop more creative ways to deal with the problem, such as Microsoft's text-based approach. Ron Rassner, a consultant with Palo Alto, Calif.-based consulting firm Creative Networks, expects more companies to come out with text-based filtering systems in the coming months. But he said people should always customize their blocking features instead of just relying on automatic filters. "Of course the spammers will just respond by figuring a way around it," Rassner said. Top Democrats Ask Clinton To Junk Encryption Plan A dozen leading Democrats in the House of Representatives, including minority leader Richard Gephardt, asked President Bill Clinton to abandon strict U.S. exports limits on encryption. "The administration can hardly control the proliferation or direction of technology in the digital age," the 12 Democrats wrote in a letter dated April 2. In recent weeks, the administration has revived negotiations with the high tech industry over encryption policy. In their letter, the lawmakers said the talks would succeed "only if the administration commits itself in these discussions to a major overhaul of its current export policies and to policies that do not mandate or compel domestic controls on encryption." Encryption products, which scramble information and render it unreadable without a password or software "key," have become an increasingly vital means of securing electronic communications and commerce over the Internet. But the Clinton administration, fearing encryption will be used by criminals to thwart law enforcement surveillance, strictly limits the export of powerful products. The administration opposes legislation pending in the House that would dramatically ease the export limits and prohibit domestic restrictions. A leading sponsor of the bill, California Democrat Zoe Lofgren, was among the signers of the April 2 letter. Earlier this week, the Economic Strategy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, issued a report estimating losses to the U. S. economy due to the encryption export restrictions at between $37 billion and $96 billion over the next five years. California Spam Bill Going Through "Meat Grinder" A bill that would give California Internet service providers the power to sue unauthorized spammers began oozing its way through the legislative meat grinder this week, winning unanimous backing in a California Assembly committee. Assembly Bill 1629 would allow California companies affected by spam to sue spammers for $50 per message, up to a maximum of $15,000 per day in which the spamming takes place. The bill by Republican Gary Miller received an ironic boost two weeks ago when unprecedented spamming led to disruptions of email service to thousands of Pacific Bell Internet Services customers. At the time, an aide to Miller cited the law as a potential weapon Pac Bell could use to fight back against spammers, and the advocacy group Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail speculated the incident might "bring on board some of the constituencies that have been vehemently opposed to anti-spam legislation in the past, and could negate the rabid anti-free speech activist camp." Miller's bill, which would also make it a crime to use another person's Internet address without their permission, passed the Consumer Protection Committee by a 9-0 vote. It now moves onto the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Hackers Hit Their Mark With Electronic Spit Balls Teen-agers have always pulled pranks but in the '90s they are hurling electronic spitballs that have crippled an airport, shut off phone service to an entire town and punctured the Pentagon's computer system. Israeli National Police placed Ehud Tenebaum under house arrest last month after the U.S. Justice Department notified them the 18-year-old had broken into computers at the Pentagon and hundreds of commercial and educational institutions. The same month, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts announced the arrest of a 14-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to hacking into a phone system's switching facility, where he shut down vital systems at Worcester Regional Airport and cut off all phone service to a nearby town for six hours. "This wasn't just a case of Aunt Susie not being able to call her friend," explained one official. "This was a case of Aunt Susie not being able to call the fire department or an ambulance or the police." Despite warnings from parents and educators and arrests by law enforcement officials, hacking appears to be just too tempting for some teen-agers to ignore. "Kids have always wanted to have fun, from putting tacks on the teacher's chair to breaking windows and painting windows, letting the air out of tires. It may be malicious but in some sense it is fun," sociologist James Teele said. Hacking presents "a challenge. They're smart and they're proving it to themselves and to others. It must give them quite a high," the Boston University professor said. Kate Delhagen, a senior analyst at technology consultants Forrester Research, said these "lords of the files" frighten adults who are shocked at their fluency with computers. "These are teen-agers who have grown up with computers. Teen-age boys are comfortable with the technology. They get it. They want the power," she said, adding that hacking is also "one of the new things that kids do to get attention." At the same time, Delhagen said, most hackers break in "to just prove they can do it ... there's the thrill factor. Sort of like kids who shoplift versus the kid who actually goes in and does an armed robbery." Computer programming professor Azer Bestavros, at Boston University, said he has "noticed the level of sophistication among freshmen classes going up significantly from one year to the next." "You would expect them to know how to load a program or write a program for a spreadsheet application," Bestavros said. "But now they're getting into programming their modems and doing funky things with their answering machines. They're getting into operating systems and getting into networks." He said there are networks of hackers who exchange tips on how to break into computer systems. "It's sort of like a game and it's much more interesting than playing with your Nintendo. It's a real-life Nintendo. The Boston University professor also said one of the first challenges teen-agers will overcome are efforts parents make to censor their Internet access. "The first thing a teen-ager will do is figure a way around it," he said. But Jeff Schiller, who is in charge of the computer network system and security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, does not blame just the hackers. Indeed, he notes, they are providing a service by pointing out security flaws in computer systems. "The truth of the matter is these systems are wide open, and developers of these systems don't want to make them secure if its going to add 10 or 20 percent tothe product or delay the product getting out the door. And the end users don't ask for security," he said. "Mostly they don't ask for it because they think they already have it. They think since they don't know or can't remember their passwords, it must be secure. But that's a Wizard of Oz attitude. Any 14-year-old can break into your computer these days if it's attached to a phone," he warned. But Bestravos, who calls these young hackers the cyber generation, believes that as they grow up "and assume positions of power, and they have systems to protect, they will do it in a better way than we do now. The technology will get more secure as they mature." April Fools' Hoaxes April Fools' Day never fails to bring out hucksters and their hi-jinks. And this year, more shysters than ever are practicing their craft on the Internet. Anti-virus experts say April 1 is a favorite among pranksters, who pass along virus hoaxes to alarm their friends and colleagues, taking sick pleasure in watching the phenomenon spread. "We're trying to get the word out that most of these viruses are urban legends, like alligators in the sewer," said Anne Beitel, vice president of marketing for Burlington, Mass.-based Dr. Solomon's Software (SOLLY), a maker of anti-virus products. Alex Haddox, director of Symantec Corp.'s AntiVirus Research Center, said hoaxes spread because they're passed along by friends, and people don't want to admit they've been tricked. "Once someone's been duped by a virus hoax, they're very reluctant to let people know it's a hoax," Haddox said. "People are afraid of looking foolish." To quell fears about viruses, Symantec publishes a Web site devoted to viruses and hoaxes, featuring about 14,000 documented viruses and only 15 to 20 hoaxes. Haddox said most virus hoaxes surfacing today are some mutation of an existing one. Hackers Wipe Out an ISP During Hacking Contest A small ISP and its 5,000 customers were innocent casualties of a hacker wargame last Thursday and part of Friday. For almost 36 hours Rt66 Internet and its customers were off-line, courtesy of a hack attack that erased the ISP's operating system. It all began when Carolyn Meinel, creator of a hacker wargame, challenged the Net community to "Hack this Site" two weeks ago. Since then, it's been under almost constant attack, receiving an average of 1,000 hack attempts a day. The ISP, Rt66 Internet, fought off almost all the attacks, which were primarily IP-spoofing attacks that hide the identity of the attackers. But last week, one hacker was able to gain root access at the server level and erase a substantial amount of information, including the operating system itself. The barrage of attacks is in response to the mid-March launch of Meinel's "King of the Hill" Web site, which encourages participants to hack into a "designated" system, then defend it from future intruders. Attacks not unexpectedRt66 expected hackers to go after it -- and not just Meinel's Web site -- and has devoted two people full time to maintaining its service. It actually thought hosting the contest would help identify any weaknesses in its own system. "We went into this project with our eyes open," said Mark Schmitz, vice president of Engineering International and co-founder of Rt66, based in Albuquerque, N.M. "Since we didn't have anywhere near as many attacks before the game, I have to assume (the uptick's cause) is the hosting of Carolyn's site." Schmitz said that Rt66 backs up an entire year's worth of information, and as such, downtime was the only damage. "Nothing replaces good backup," he advised. "That's your number one safeguard against attacks." How the attacks workedMeinel said the attacks on her site were initially "denial of service" or "teardrop" attacks which, if successful, could have the effect of simply shutting down the system. Meinel characterized those attacks as "amateurish," "pitiful" and "laughable." But after a few days, the "big boys came in," Meinel said. "Instead of attacking the Web site, they went upstream and tried to take out the ISP." Meinel taunted the successful hacker, saying, "Someone is up for a felony now. If I were responsible for causing the loss, I would be wanting to get an identity transplant." Why the hack attacks? Such strong opinions, and Meinel's self-promotion, have probably increased the frenzy of the attackers. They also make her the target of considerable criticism -- much of which predates the King of the Hill contest. "People don't like her because she ... tries to appeal to the media as some all-knowing hacker," claimed one hacker using the handle "fh" in an e-mail sent to ZDTV's CyberCrime. A number of other hackers have sent highly anti-Meinel e-mails to CyberCrime. An anti-Meinel Web site. There's also at least one anti-Meinel Web site , which includes archives of many of her publications along with point-by-point criticisms. The site claims, among other criticisms, that Meinel "does not have the required skill set to adequately teach hacking." "I'm not just inventing this stuff -- this stuff is all common knowledge," Meinel said. "I am a research engineer. The majority of books are not filled with 100 percent original stuff." As for her contest, she said "to my knowledge, this is the first actual hacker wargame open to the public that includes instructions, and allows the contestants to practice defensive skills as well as break-in skills." A vote for Meinel Rt66's Schmitz doesn't consider Meinel's wargame, her e-zines, or book illegitimate. "I've never seen anyone take the time and organize this information and frame it like this book," he said. He added that he considers her credible. In the meantime, Rt66 continues to monitor activity 24 hours a day. Global Village To Sell Modem Business To Boca Research Global Village Communication, giving in to competition in the modem industry, said it agreed to sell its modem business to rival Boca Research for $10 million in cash and notes. Global Village, which specializes in making communications gear for Apple Computer's Macintosh computers, also said it will rename itself later this year and focus on a new business, making networking equipment for small and medium businesses. "Since Global Village doesn't have the financial resources to become a modem industry consolidator, we believe finding an appropriate partner was the best path to accomplish the strategic objectives for our modem business," said Chief Executive Officer Neil Selvin. Under terms of the acquisition, Boca Research, a modem maker based in Boca Raton, Fla., will receive Global Village's brand name, modem technology, distribution agreements and about 60 employees, the companies said. Global Village's modem business accounted for almost all of its $90.2 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1997. Boca Research also will receive a warrant to purchase up to 425,000 shares of Global Village's common stock. Global Village said it expects to fire about 25 employees in the restructuring and expects to take a $400,000 charge to cover the costs. The acquisition is expected to be completed by June, the companies said. Global Village, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will concentrate on its One World communication servers, a line of products that let small offices set up small computer networks for e-mail and Internet access. The company said it will use the money from the transaction to fund development of similar product lines. The new products and a sales strategy will be introduced later this year, Selvin said. Global Village had reported erratic financial results and two big annual losses in the past five years, mostly due to the sharp decline in Macintosh sales. Because of its small size, it also could not compete effectively in recent quarters with much bigger rivals, such as 3Com. In a conference call with investors, Selvin said the acquisition was the best deal to boost shareholder value. Boca Research said the acquisition will increase its manufacturing capacity, lower its costs, increase its market share and help the company enter the "solid" Macintosh market. Lycos Signs Deals Worth $30 Million Lycos said today it closed on six new electronic commerce, advertising and sponsorship agreements totaling more than $30 million in fees. The company, which operates a World Wide Web guide service and electronic community, said the deals, with CDnow, E-Loan, GetSmart, HomeShark, Preview Travel and Realtor.com, cover commerce in travel, music, real estate and personal finance. Lycos posted total revenues of about $12.6 million in the quarter ended January 31, 1998. Microsoft, Sony To Collaborate Microsoft and Sony announced plans today to collaborate and cross license technology to create a home networking environment that links personal computer and consumer electronics products. Sony will license Microsoft's Windows CE operating system for consumer electronics products and hand-held computers, the companies said in a joint statement. Microsoft, meanwhile, will license Sony's Home Networking Module for use with certain versions of Windows CE. Sony's Home Networking Module supports home networking standards currently being proposed. "The time has come for the personal computer industry and the audio-visual industry to shake hands," said Sony President Nobuyuki Idei. "Sony supports ... the seamless integration of PC and AV products. The cooperation between Microsoft and Sony will play a key role in making this happen." As part of the pact the two companies will endorse various digital television standards including the support of 1080 interlaced as the preferred format for high definition television and ATSC transmission formats. "We hope our combined efforts will give birth to even more exciting products and applications in both the computer and audio visual entertainment arenas," said Microsoft Chief Executive Bill Gates. Spyglass Joins Microsoft Windows CE Program Spyglass says it has become a systems integrator for Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. Spyglass, based in Naperville, Illinois, said it is already involved in a number of projects that use Windows CE. "We're finding the demand for Microsoft's Windows CE operating system to be growing tremendously and joining its systems integrator program will be a valuable asset for our customers using Windows CE-based devices," Wayne Yurtin, director of business development for Spyglass, said in a statement received here. Spyglass provides technology and services to make everyday devices work on the World Wide Web. Mobile Pentium II Due to Debut Notebook makers are gearing up for Thursday's formal launch of a mobile version of Intel Corp.'s Pentium II processor, code-named Tillamook. Among companies readying announcements are Gateway 2000 Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. and Acer America Corp. The new processor reportedly gives notebooks a 30 to 35 percent speed boost, compared to the Pentium with MMX systems. The speed increase comes at the expense of power consumption, however, with mobile Pentium II processors using about 8 watts of power, compared to 5.3 watts for a 266MHz Pentium-MMX processor. Toshiba's Tecra 780DVD, with a 266MHz processor, 13.3-inch XGA resolution display, 64MB of RAM, 8.1GB hard drive and DVD-ROM drive, will be priced at about $5,500. Toshiba will also offer a system without the DVD drive. Digital's HiNote VP 765, which will cost below $4,000, features a 266MHz processor, 13.3-inch XGA-resolution thin-film transistor display, 32MB of RAM, 4GB hard drive and a 24-speed CD-ROM drive, sources said. Gateway is offering systems with 266MHz and 233MHz versions of the processor. A Solo 9100XL with 266MHz processor, 64MB SDRAM, 14.1-inch TFT XGA display, 5GB hard disk and DVD drive will be priced at $4,699. On the low end, a Solo 5100SE with 233MHz processor, 32MB SDRAM, 14.1-inch TFT XGA display, 2GB hard disk and 8X/20X CD-ROM drive will be priced at $2,899. Dell is planning to launch a Pentium II system in both its Latitude CP and Inspiron lines. A Bidder to Buy Apple's Newton? A small Texas developer is making a bid to acquire the rights to the Newton from Apple Computer Inc. The company, Austin-based Planet Computing, says it made an offer for the Newton operating system and associated technologies three weeks ago. Company CEO Mark Collins declined to say how much Planet Computing offered to pay for the Newton, adding that Apple's response was to "ask for the moon." So far, he said, Apple has not replied with a written counteroffer. Apple declined to discuss the matter in detail and would not confirm offers for the Newton. However, a spokeswoman said the company -- which has not actively sought out a buyer - would consider doing so "if an attractive value is presented." At the end of February, Apple cut off further development of Newton-based products, putting a coda on a ballyhooed project that began in 1993. The 60 or so people working on the Newton have been since transferred to other parts of Apple. Analysts have variously estimated the number of people using the Newton between 100,000 and 200,000. The Newton, which enjoyed popularity among a fiercely loyal user base, ultimately lost its lead in the PDA (personal digital assistant) market to U.S. Robotics' PalmPilot, which was introduced in 1996. Collins said he decided to go public with his offer after the news leaked and began spreading over the Internet. "The next thing you know, there were rumors everywhere," Collins said, adding that Newton-based products could yet have a bright future in the educational market. "It's funny -- you have a technology that was finally going mainstream and gets good press, and then they kill it," said Collins. In particular, he cited the popularity of the Newton with educators. "Apple's decision to discontinue Newton products has left its Newton customers and developers high and dry. If Apple doesn't want to continue Newton, so be it. Just sell it to us and we'll keep it going." Privately held Planet Computing makes work-flow software for handheld devices. New Windows to Open in Homes and Cars Microsoft Corp. plans to use Windows CE as a vehicle to expand into your home and car. At its third annual Windows CE Developers Conference here, the company said it hopes to dispel the myth that its mini-OS is only for handheld computers. "We are not a handheld-PC-only platform, although that was our first device," Frank Fite, director of Microsoft's Windows CE products unit, told the conference's 2,000 attendees. Now Microsoft hopes to leverage its dominance in the desktop software market into a wider array of PC-synchronized portable devices and machines connected to servers. The company said CE 2.1 -- which is scheduled to ship this summer -- would contain support for real-time processing, better security and Japanese handwriting recognition. "This will allow us to go into multiple areas people don't think Windows CE can go today," said Harel Kodesh, general manager of the company's consumer appliance group. Microsoft's enhancement of CE pits it against companies such as Sun Microsystems Inc., which hopes to make Java the dominant platform for portable and non-PC devices. At stake is a high-growth market. According to Microsoft, the number of handheld PC sales is growing at a quarterly rate of 34 percent, and new types of devices are sprouting up every week. Also, the company expects such machines eventually to outnumber desktop PCs, as users buy them for their office, car and home. The company also spent much of its time touting CE as a platform to drive autoPCs, which are machines inside cars that deliver information such as weather, traffic, e-mail and navigation instructions to drivers. Microsoft is in talks with such high-end car makers as BMW and Infinity to install the devices. "We believe the autoPC will change the experience of driving in a car," Kodesh said. "It hasn't changed a lot over the past 20 years." To that end, Microsoft released a software developers kit for programmers who want to write applications for autoPCs. The company also plans to release a version of its Internet Explorer 4.0 browser for CE in the coming year. In addition to IE, future versions of CE will contain better graphics and games support, paging capability, and the ability to run on an expanded variety of processors. Companies such as Sybase Inc. and Oracle Corp. also are developing mini-databases for CE, which will allow mobile users to take certain chunks of information -- such as addresses or schedules -- on the road, and then replicate them with their computers upon return. Steve Jobs in Las Vegas to push QuickTime 3.0 Fighting off a new advance by Microsoft Corp., Apple Computer Inc.'s "interim" CEO, Steve Jobs, told broadcasters Monday that QuickTime is the best technology to bring video and other multimedia to the Internet. Jobs was here in Vegas to extol the virtues of Apple's recently released QuickTime 3.0 to broadcast executives at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. Apple's high-profile push into the broadcast market follows an announcement by Microsoft and eight other companies, who are developing their own digital video standard. On Friday, the Microsoft-led consortium unveiled the formation of the Multimedia Task Force and its digital video standard called the Advanced Authoring Format. The Microsoft software specification is aimed at delivering a unified way of producing video audio and other multimedia on the Net. That kind of technology rings a bell here as broadcasters, cable services and digital satellite companies all wrestle with the difficulty of converting video and audio into digital Internet and DVD content. Jobs said that while Microsoft is just announcing a specification for a technology, QuickTime has been tested in the market and been improved significantly with the latest version. And he took a swipe at Microsoft, which in the past has been perceived by broadcasters as trying to bully the television industry into accepting its technology. "We think we might have a solution, but we would like to work with you to make sure it's right," said Jobs. Jobs also showed a QuickTime testimonial video featuring two of Microsoft's archrivals: Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) CEO Scott McNealy, and Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) top executive, Larry Ellison. "We know a little about digital and we're trying to work with you," said Jobs. With the motto at this year's NAB show being "The Power of Digital," Jobs' message most likely will be listened to closely. Intel Sees Low Prices For Pentium II Notebook PCs Intel expects aggressive pricing by manufacturers of notebook personal computers using its new Pentium II mobile computing processor, officials of the chip maker's Japan unit said today. John Antone, general manager at Intel KK, said he expected notebook PCs with the Pentium II chip to be priced as low as $3, 000 in the United States and 350,000 yen in Japan. He added that by September of this year prices could slide further to as low as $2,000 and 250,000 yen. Intel on Thursday unveiled a version of its Pentium II processor for the mobile computer market. The new processor, available in speeds of 233 megahertz and 266 megahertz, is substantially smaller, lighter and consumes less power than versions now used in desktop models. Antone said Intel also expected to launch a 300 megahertz version of the mobile computing Pentium II later this year. Postmaster Licks First Electronic Stamp With mouse in hand, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon Tuesday created the first electronic stamp and proclaimed, "This is the future. Postage directly from a personal computer." The ceremony at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, was held to unveil the US Postal Service's move toward electronic postage, 78 years after postage meters were approved and 151 years after the United States issued its first postage stamp. The SmartStamp system developed by E-Stamp of Palo Alto, California, was approved for testing last year and may one day let businesses and individuals print their own postage using PCs and the Internet. The electronic stamps will include the postage amount, name and ZIP code of the local post office, date the postage was printed, and rate category, such as "first class." The system also produces an electronic bar coding of the same information as well as the ID number of the printing device, and a digital pattern that will make each envelope unique and hard to counterfeit. Installed on a Windows PC, E-Stamp's envelope-printing software allows a user to send postage stamps as though they were printing jobs. In this case, the network connection not only queues a printing request, it also debits an account set up with E-Stamp along the way. The E-Stamp Postal Security Device - a peripheral that uses a chip to hold information for a user's postage account - deducts the amount of postage and tracks a user's running tally of postage. The device is connected to the network, between PCs and the printer. The PSD is also what generates the electronic postage - 32-cent stamps and other amounts, depending upon the weight of a package or envelope. When the PSD runs out of postage, users can use secure credit-card forms and other electronic payment to purchase more from the E-Stamp Web site. The E-Stamp software notifies the PSD of the purchase. E-Stamp said the system is likely to support an e-cash scheme eventually, but only when such systems reach mainstream status. The USPS said security was the main concern in e-stamp development since the ability to print stamps is equivalent to printing money. DirecPC to Get Direct Competition DirecPC, until now the sole choice for satellite Internet access, is about to get some competition. A startup called Internet Satellite Systems Inc. on May 1 will unveil its service to the continental United States. ISS is a hot topic these days in the DirecPC Usenet group. Unlike DirecPC, which offers various speeds and access times for various prices, ISS is promising 400K-bps download speeds for all customers for $25 per month. For $40 per month customers can receive Web site storage space and multiple e-mail addresses, according to officials at the Dallas company. ISS customers can lease or rent a satellite dish, connector card and other necessary equipment for $25 to $30 a month or buy it for $699 to $1,299, officials said. The company plans to start with 5,000 customers on one 6M-bps channel, officials said. DirecPC officials said they're not too concerned about the threat of ISS, if only because the company is based in a Howard Johnson's Express motel. A more powerful contender may be an upcoming service from Loral Space and Communications Ltd. called Cyberstar, which the New York company will unveil at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas next week. Loral's plans for Cyberstar include multicasting, content streaming, electronic commerce, two-way communications and, of course, Internet access. Initial Cyberstar service, including multicasting and Internet access offerings of 200K bps to 400K bps, will be available in September, officials said. For frustrated users of DirecPC, which is run by Hughes Networks Systems, the competition comes not a moment too soon. As reported last week by PC Week Online, DirecPC is hastening to improve its customer service center, which draws numerous complaints from customers. National Semiconductor Intros "PC on a Chip" National Semiconductor today plans to announce a way to combine most of the chips used in personal computers into a single chip, which could bring PC prices under $500 and lead to a host of new computing devices. National, the country's fourth-largest chip maker, said its new chip will replace a dozen or more separate chips typically found in PCs and combine technologies that it has developed and purchased in recent years. "Everything we have been doing is putting all the pieces together," National's Chief Executive Brian Halla said in an interview. National, based in Santa Clara, Calif., completed a $500 million merger with Cyrix, a maker of Intel. compatible clone chips, in November, giving it an arsenal of products to create a PC with one chip, excluding system memory. Other key moves included its purchase of Mediamatics in March 1997 for its graphics and television encoding technology and Pico Power in August 1996 for system logic. National said its new chip will lead to even lower cost PCs and other low-cost "information appliances." Halla predicted PC prices could fall to $400 to $500 with National's new chips. "The pricing is up to the PC suppliers, but what we are trying to do is ... put more functionality on the chip by putting more and more intelligence on the chip," he said. Halla will discuss plans for the new chip at a semiconductor industry conference in Phoenix, Ariz., Monday. He said National will have the first working version of its chip by year-end and it could be in volume production by June 1999. Analysts said the new chips were significant and could lead to development of other computing gadgets. "I view it as a progress report. It's not just back of the envelope stuff anymore," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Dataquest Inc., a market research firm in San Jose, Calif. "It requires a lot of chip work but also a lot of software work." "This sub-$500 PC can take the forms of some very consumer friendly devices," said Richard Doherty, director of Envisioneering, a research firm in Seaford, N.Y. "It's the whole PC, not a PC in four packages. That was a very smart decision (for National) to have made a few years ago." National's Cyrix already makes processors that power PCs that sell for less than $1,000. When Compaq Computer launched its first sub-$1,000 PC in February 1997, a Cyrix processor was inside. Since then, sub-$1,000 PCs have become one of the fastest growing segments of the PC market, using lower-cost Intel clone chips from its rivals National and Advanced Micro Devices. Intel, under pressure because of its lack of a product for that market, is expected to introduce its entry, a family called Celeron, in the next week or so. "I think we are about a year and a half ahead of them," Halla said of Intel, whose chips dominate the PC industry. "I think we have a good plan to stay ahead of them." "You will be surrounded by PCs," Halla said of machines that could use National's new chips. "You will get into your car and say e-mail please, you will have a flat panel display on the wall above your bedroom. It could be impossible to predict what will happen by the year 2000." Is Yahoo!'s Bubble About to Burst? When it comes to Yahoo!'s true believers, Newton's law of gravity does not apply: What goes up will continue to climb. End of discussion. And for the better part of the last year, Yahoo!'s investors have had a field day, reaping the reward as the company's stock has soared. But with profits in only half the last eight quarters, naysayers contend that Yahoo! is drastically overpriced and heading for a big fall. Of course, that's exactly what some of the shorts were saying late last year -- only to be proved dead wrong. But just one day before the company releases first-quarter earnings, Yahoo!'s (YHOO) shares got trounced Tuesday -- along with other Internet stocks -- dropping more than 5 points to $93.25. "These stocks were almost going vertical. There wasn't much in the way of analytics going on, it was almost pure emotion," Piper Jaffray technical analyst Ed Nicoski said. When such powerful rallies enter correction phases, even briefly, he said, the move "is almost always just as dramatic on the way down." A rising - or bursting - bubble? But despite the pullback, many analysts don't view Tuesday's stock gyrations as a harbinger that Yahoo!'s bubble is about to burst. Yahoo! reached $103.87 on April 2, a full 50 percent higher than the stock's $69.25 closing price on Dec. 31. For Web-based services such as Yahoo!, the name of the game is visibility. Investors are valuing a company with just $67 million as if it had revenues of about $4 billion. A striking example of irrational exuberance? Perhaps, but measured by the number eyeballs it is attracting, Yahoo! is a resounding success and far removed from the static definition that applies to a Web search company. 25 million monthly visitors By transforming itself from a Web directory to a full-featured Internet service, Yahoo! now reels in more than 25 million people during a typical month - easily tops on the Web, according to a recent survey by Mediamark Research. Not only is that twice the traffic of the closest search-engine competition, it's more than the number of visits to Internet pages operated by Netscape Communications Corp. (NSCP) or America Online Inc. (AOL) For that matter, it also surpasses the circulation of National Geographic, Newsweek and Reader's Digest. Looked at another way: More people now visit Yahoo! than watch either MTV or Showtime in a given week. Wall Street, which has rewarded the company for its street smarts, expects the company to post profits of 5 cents a share, flat with the results from December. It began as a bookmark site Yahoo!'s site began life in 1993 as an extended list of Web bookmarks, and now includes an immense database of sites from across the Internet, gathered and categorized by a staff of around 30 professional surfers. The strategy of offering a hand-picked catalog of the best of the Web was initially enough to push Yahoo! past the ranks of search-engines Excite (XCIT), Lycos (LCOS) and Infoseek (SEEK), which use automated Web-crawling software. But Yahoo!'s directory service is now just a small part of the company's business, which includes such features as news, maps, personal Web pages, chat rooms, free e-mail, instant messaging, stock quotes and shopping. In fact, Yahoo! is now less a Web directory than an online service comparable to America Online or the Microsoft Network. Diversification The Yahoo! crowd is also extending its brand far and wide beyond. On Tuesday, the company launched an online insurance service offering content from ''InsWeb,'' a major Internet insurance marketplace. And last month, Yahoo! held an invitation-only showing in San Francisco's tony fashion district to announce plans for its own line of designer clothing. "It's like an airport," said Yahoo! COO Jeff Mallett. "It doesn't matter where you're going, you always start at the airport, and you always come back to the airport. (The new features are) more things to do in the airport while you're waiting for the plane." So how does Yahoo! plan to keep up the pace? More partnerships are in the works, and the service will continue to add new content. But Mallett says the company will stick with the strategy it's had from the beginning - putting a human face on the Web. "What we fundamentally do isn't going to fundamentally change," he said. "We're going to continue to be an aggregator. ... We want people to say, 'I may not know exactly where I'm going, but I know Yahoo! can get me there.'" Internet Search Engines Inefficient, Study Finds If you use a search engine like Lycos or HotBot to search the Internet, you may not get as much coverage as you think, computer science researchers said Thursday. Steve Lawrence and Lee Giles of the NEC Research Institute said their study found people who rely on the major search engines to find information on the Web only get a small proportion of the available documents. This means that people cannot use just one engine to get the full benefits of the World Wide Web, they said. But combining the six engines in the study covered about 3.5 times as much of the Web as one engine, they wrote. Playboy Awarded $3.74 Million in Internet Case Playboy said Thursday a federal judge in southern California has awarded the media company what it believes to be the largest Internet-related damages award to date. The award was made against a commercial Internet service that used almost 7,500 Playboy-owned pictures on its Web site without authorization. The $3.74 million award, plus attorneys' fees and court costs, was assessed against San Diego-based Five Senses Productions and its owner, Francesco Sanfilippo, Playboy said. It said the judgment is a landmark legal victory for the company, which spends millions of dollars annually on photography and design to produce its images. Intel, the New Utah Utes? I would rather submit to prolonged Chinese water torture than utter the words 'paradigm shift,' but there's something happening here, and -- my apologies to Buffalo Springfield -- what it is happens to be exactly clear. Times are changing and we may soon need to dust off the 'P word' to describe the rapid fading out of the PC -- or more precisely, the PC-centric era. If you want a more concrete mental picture, think back to how the University of Utah appeared at the end of Monday night's NCAA finals. You get the idea. Undeniably, the eleven-year period between 1985 and 1996 was a feast royale for scores of computer and chip companies. Serious fortunes were made everywhere from Palo Alto to Pensacola as customers willingly bought into the promise of 'faster, cheaper, smaller.' That was then, this is now. Just as the minicomputer and mainframe-driven market fell victim to the PC in the early 1980s, the business that grew up around the PC is giving way to a new "hot" industry which is comprised of companies developing products and services for the Internet and wireless communications. Industry watchers believe this is one of those rare points in time when converging trends are forcing a fundamental reshaping of the high-tech terrain. Consider current events: PC prices are falling and so is unit growth. Microprocessors have turned into commodities. The growth in the number of transistors per machine is 'maxing out.' Internet stocks are going ga-ga. In the hardware market, oversupply and weakening pricing are now the norm. That's not the case with Internet issues, where companies like Yahoo! are trading at nosebleed P/E ratios that continue to defy the laws of gravity. All this is causing hearts to flutter on Wall Street where stock pickers wonder whether a bellwether company like Intel will stay the course. Or, will it wind up wheezing and puffing as quicker competitors elbow it aside? This is a tough one to call. Intel is one of the best managed companies in the world, but it's difficult arguing with data suggesting that the salad days are nearing their end. Even without the negative impact of ebbing demand in Asia, you can kiss the days of 15 percent annual unit growth a fond farewell. The go-go days are history. If it's lucky, the PC industry will maintain the 10 percent rate of growth logged in the first quarter (and that was half the pace of a year ago!). Most analysts estimate that the slowdown will accelerate, a prediction which if true, spells bad news for Intel. The chipmaker's sales are expected to only grow fractionally this year and at best, somewhere in the high single digits in 1999. Newly-appointed Intel CEO Craig Barrett is going to have his hands full proving he's a worthy successor to Andy Grove. By the way, wasn't it interesting that in turning over the reins, Grove said he planned to think a lot about bandwidth, network applications, and "the delivery of network computing products and services" to small businesses. Grove, who chooses his words carefully, knows the next big wave of growth will take place around the convergence of the Internet and communications industries. That's why Intel is pushing especially hard in the server and workstation markets where prices and profit margins are so much higher than they are for PCs. The Internet connection is obvious: Sell powerful chips for big servers that connect people and companies to the Web and voila! -- it's back to the days of wine and roses. In that light, the upcoming introduction of 350Mhz and 400Mhz Pentium II chips this year-- and next year's rollout of the 64-bit Merced -- become that much more crucial. E-zines Migrate to Paid Subscriptions Microsoft soothsayer and Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold predicted in Slate that Web readers wouldn't pay online subscriptions until they became both addicted to the medium and bored by their free options. "Imagine trying to sell subscriptions to HBO back in the 1950s," he wrote. "People clustered around their primitive sets to watch the damnedest things (Milton Berle for instance)." Slate ( http://www.slate.com ) has, at various times, heeded and ignored this warning. This spring, Microsoft's e-publication tries subscriptions a second time with a price of $19.95 per year. It's not alone: nearly a dozen major Web publications, including Salon, MSNBC, Money.com, and BusinessWeekOnline, have announced plans to charge subscriptions. Although ad sales on the Web are up significantly - to $597 million last year according to Cowles/Simba Information - most dollars go to high-traffic sites like search engines, as online publications struggle to meet payroll. The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition is considered a model. WSJ.com boasts 100,000 readers paying $49 a month. But subscriptions are hardly a panacea. In fact, the Journal lost a third of its online readers when it began charging in 1996. So, e-zines hope to further boost their botttom lines with pay-per-view transactions and the sale of reader information. As Berle once said, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." A Digital Model for Virtual Worlds With digital heroine Lara Croft pushing sales of Tomb Raider videogames past $3 million, you would think there'd be room for another virtual babe to pull in a big audience. So hopes HoriPro, the Japanese talent agency for the ultra-lifelike virtual star Kyoko Date. Kyoko's bubble-gum personality and songs were designed to appeal to Japanese teens. While her CDs have sold, she hasn't translated into a cybersuccess. So HoriPro set her up with a day job: spokesmodel for Oz Interactive, a San Francisco firm that creates virtual worlds for PCs. Oz, a company with roots in dance music, plans to put a Euro-style spin on Kyoko, toughening her up for new audiences. So far, Kyoko earns her milk money as a model for Oz's 3-D streaming Web software Longer term, the company hopes to develop her into an entertainment icon, perhaps featuring her in concerts or ads. This may involve computer surgery to modify her looks. Says Oz spokesperson Daddi Gudbergsson: "Should the German Kyoko Date look the same as the Japanese? Is the American version going to be a little taller, a little thinner, maybe have bigger breasts? These are the exciting opportunities of working with a virtual star." 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Technorealists Sound Off The Whole (Corporate) World In Your Hand Web Site Design For The Blind Bidding Online For Airfares Used PC Market Up 14% Apple Took Bite Out Of Amelio Finding A Needle (Or 7079 Pages On Needles) Wombware? On The Web Educom Publishes Standards For Digital Cheap Chips From National Semiconductor Labels Skirmishing Against The Power Of Microsoft Encryption Alternative Separates The Wheat From The Chaff E-Commerce Potential Widely Underestimated Paul Allen Acquires Cable Company Computer Census On Hold Nunn And Tenet Warn Of Cyberspace Attacks Opposition To Proposed Ban On Internet Jobs Wants To Help Broadcasters Go From Gambling Analog To Digital Free Java For Educational Institutions Microsoft-Sony Form PC/TV Alliance Telecommuters Cite Higher Productivity At Library Groups Call For New Policies On Home E-Journals Virginia Judge Lets Software Filtering Case Seiko's PC Watch Go Forward Veterans Get Scare Through Mass E-Mail Lost Data At Stanford Business School Warning Palm Trick: Now You See A Palm PC-Now You See ... A Palm-Size PC SHOULD NET PHONE COMPANIES SUPPORT UNIVERSAL SERVICE? The Federal Communications Commission wants Internet phone companies to pay the same kind of fees that traditional long-distance companies do to support universally available phone service in the United States. A senior FCC official asks: "Does it make sense to treat phone calls placed over Internet type facilities differently? They probably should be treated just like any other phone call." (AP 3 Apr 98) NCs LOSE MARKET SHARE TO CHEAP PCs Network computers haven't made the big splash many in the industry expected, largely due to the appearance of a new breed of Windows-based PCs, which are thinner and cheaper than NCs. International Data Corp. predicts that by 2002, these slimmed-down PCs will dominate 75% of the market for less expensive business computing alternatives. That estimate is bad news for Sun Microsystems and Oracle, which embraced the network computer concept, but were unable to build the machines in time to stave off the shift to cheaper PCs. Sun's initial NCs were slow and unwieldy, taking too long to download applications programs from central servers, and problems with the Java operating system caused shipping delays. Sun CEO Scott McNealy still thinks the product has merit, however: "Go ahead and write that the network computer is dead. If I can scare everybody else away, we'll own the market." (Wall Street Journal 3 Apr 98) TECHNOREALISTS SOUND OFF A group of 12 technology-literate writers and commentators calling themselves "technorealists" have published a statement of principles emphasizing a common sense approach toward technology and advocating a balanced position between opposing camps of techno-utopians and neo-Luddites. The statement includes an assertion that the government has an important role to play in regulating computer networks: "Cyberspace is not formally a place or jurisdiction separate from earth. It is foolish to say that the public has no sovereignty over what an errant citizen or fraudulent corporation does online." Other technorealist doctrines include: "Wiring the schools will not save them," and "Information wants to be protected." < http://www.technorealism.org > (Chronicle of Higher Education 3 Apr 98) THE WHOLE (CORPORATE) WORLD IN YOUR HAND Microsoft and Sybase are expanding their alliance on a project that allows workers to access corporate databases via hand-held or palmtop computers to include "smaller and smaller devices" using Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. There is a $250 billion-a-year market for devices such as hand-held computers, wireless communications and TV set-top boxes. (San Jose Mercury News 3 Apr 98) WEB SITE DESIGN FOR THE BLIND There are a steadily growing number of the half-million blind people nationwide who regularly use computers for work, education and pleasure, and technological breakthroughs are occurring almost daily in text-to-voice scanners, Braille printers and specially designed software to help overcome the barriers of icons and other graphics of the visually oriented World Wide Web. Recently, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland in Baltimore opened a fully accessible site -- including graphics -- that contains information for both blind and sighted people -- http://www.bism.com/ . The site was specifically designed to include graphics: "We didn't want just a plain boring screen because sighted people use the site as well." Creating the graphics-friendly site required "a lot of major revisions" of conventional Internet design concepts. (Washington Post 4 Apr 98) BIDDING ONLINE FOR AIRFARES Priceline.Com is offering a new way for flexible vacationers to buy plane tickets -- they can set the price they'll pay, and Priceline.Com will try to find it for them among the numerous unpublished fares supplied by U.S. and international airlines. The search takes one hour for domestic flights and 24 hours for overseas. Priceline.Com, which launches Monday, requires that customers be willing to depart on any available flight between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and flights may include one stop or connection, making the service less attractive for business travelers. "We're not a discount ticket warehouse, and we're not for everybody," says the company's founder. http://www.priceline.com (USA Today 3 Apr 98) USED PC MARKET UP 14% The market for recycled PCs is up 14% this year, according to research by International Data Corp., with most of the growth in the education and small business sectors, where budgets are often tight. IDC expects the market to continue its upward spiral, from 6.4 million units this year to 7.3 million in 1999. (Investor's Business Daily 3 Apr 98) APPLE TOOK BITE OUT OF AMELIO His new book "On The Firing Line: My 500 Days At Apple," in which ousted Apple chief exec Gil Amelio takes shots at many of his former colleagues, Amelio explains that his severance check "represented an all-in settlement for the remainder of my five-year term in the amount of $7.7 million. What I actually kept, after taxes and other government deductions and after paying off part of my $5 million loan from Apple was about $2 million. I still owe $2.5 million on this loan, so my net was actually negative by about $500,000. The 130,960 shares of Apple stock I received -- plus another 50,000 shares promised -- is far under the million shares spelled out in the original term." Amelio says that if he had stayed at National Semiconductor he would have continued to accumulate wealth at about $5 million a year. "I made a bad decision for myself and my family. But like the majority of major-company CEOs, I'm a risk-taker; most of the time risks pay off. Sometimes they don't." (USA Today 3 Apr 98) FINDING A NEEDLE (OR 7,079 PAGES ON NEEDLES) ON THE WEB A study by the NEC Research Institute says the Internet has exploded to more than 320 million Web pages, an estimate that does not include millions of pages that are protected by passwords or "search walls" that block access to browsers or search engines. The study indicates that the HotBot search engine has the most comprehensive index of the Web, but even so, covers only about 34 percent of the indexable pages. Coverage of some of the other search engines includes: AltaVista (28%); Northern Light (20%); Excite (14%); Lycos (3%). One of the report's coauthors says that the Web's data explosion may be better controlled by the "meta-search engines," such as Meta-Crawler and Ahoy!, which have developed thinking techniques that sense what readers are looking for and seek out pages not found on most indexes. (AP 3 Apr 98) WOMBWARE? The research firm PC Data Inc. says sales of software for children up to the age 5 have increased by more than 133% in 1997. Child psychologist Corinne Rupert says, "Just as books are adapted in both form and content to meet the needs of babies and toddlers, computers and software can be adapted to delight and educate even the very young. There is no minimal age level to computer introduction." But Judah L. Schwartz of the Educational Technology Center at Harvard counters: "Computers are transforming our society in both good ways and silly ways. And this seems to be one of the sillier ways." And Ann Stephens of PC Data says: "What's next? Wombware?" (New York Times 3 Apr 98) EDUCOM PUBLISHES STANDARDS FOR DIGITAL LABELS Educom has devised a set of digital labels, called metatags, that can be embedded in educational documents, making it easier for search engines to find them on the Web. The metatag specifications are posted on the Instructional Management Systems Web site < http://www.imsproject.org >, and documents containing metatags will provide information about the page's contents, its title and publisher, and when it became available online, among other things. The tags could also include information such as whether a license is required to use a particular software program. The introduction of metatags will enable computer companies to build educational software around a common labeling standard. (Chronicle of Higher Education 10 Apr 98) CHEAP CHIPS FROM NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR National Semiconductor Corp. is developing a new microprocessor that integrates the circuitry of more than a dozen additional chips needed to run a PC. This "PC-on-a-chip" could drive the price of PCs down below the $400 price point as early as next year, says National Semi CEO Brian Halla. In addition to lower overall costs, using a PC-on-a-chip would enable a laptop to operate for as long as nine hours on battery power. National Semiconductor has invested $1 billion in developing the PC-on-a-chip, and another $1 billion in a manufacturing facility in Maine. (Wall Street Journal 6 Apr 98) SKIRMISHING AGAINST THE POWER OF MICROSOFT A group of industry executives critical of Microsoft has delivered a 10-point memorandum to the U.S. Justice Department suggesting that Justice force Microsoft to separate its applications businesses from its operating system business; establish a system to monitor Microsoft's business practices; force Microsoft to be more open about its description of the operating system; prohibit Microsoft from tying new products to the Windows operating system; divest Microsoft's software compatibility laboratories (which award a Windows 95-approved logo to products meeting Microsoft's standards); etc. A Microsoft executive scoffed: "This is a wish list from Microsoft competitors with no basis in the facts of this industry or the laws of this country." (New York times 7 Apr 98) ENCRYPTION ALTERNATIVE SEPARATES THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF An alternative approach to electronic privacy has been proposed by MIT cryptographer Ronald Rivest that could render the current debate over third-party encryption keys moot. Unlike conventional encryption programs, Rivest's new technique doesn't rely on altering message bits; rather, each bit is tagged with a "message authentication code" (MAC) and then mixed in with random bits tagged with incorrect MACs, called "chaff." The intended recipient can then use a secret code shared with the sender to "winnow" out the fake bits. (Science 3 Apr 98) A description of the process can be found at http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/chaffing.txt. E-COMMERCE POTENTIAL WIDELY UNDERESTIMATED Government estimates on the future of electronic commerce fall far short of private predictions, according to speakers at a recent Web publisher's conference. While the government has pegged e-commerce activity at $365 billion by 2000, industry experts say the real figure will be closer to $1 trillion. MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte said about 70% of the transactions will be business-to-business commerce. Meanwhile, Sun Microsystems chief scientist John Gage touted the benefits of using Java-based smart cards, predicting that the widespread availability of such cards will serve as a catalyst for increasing online consumer spending. (Computer Reseller News 6 Apr 98) PAUL ALLEN ACQUIRES CABLE COMPANY Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is buying Dallas-based Marcus Cable, the country's largest closely held cable-TV operator. The deal is the first in what is expected to be a series of purchases by Allen -- people familiar with his plans say he eventually hopes to cobble together enough smaller cable systems to allow him to build a nationwide platform for selling services such as Internet access over cable. (Wall Street Journal 6 Apr 98) COMPUTER CENSUS ON HOLD The Census Bureau has decided to postpone its plans to use the Internet to compile census information, noting that security concerns have prompted the delay. The bureau now plans to use the Internet in data gathering in 2010. (St. Petersburg Times 6 Apr 98) NUNN AND TENET WARN OF CYBERSPACE ATTACKS At a Georgia Tech forum on information security, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (the host of the forum) warned that "we must not wait for a cyberspace Pearl Harbor," launched by interests unfriendly to the United States, and CIA director George Tenet said that the Central Intelligence Agency must be able to decipher the messages that our enemies send to each other: "When the building blows up and 30, 40, 2,000 people are killed, there will be hell to pay, because we the government didn't think through the issue." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 7 Apr 98) OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED BAN ON INTERNET GAMBLING Proposed legislation to ban gambling on the Internet is being vigorously opposed both by gambling interests (including the horse-racing industry and Indian tribes) and by computer businesses (including software makers who joined in formation of a group called the Committee for Freedom of the Internet). The proposed bill's chief sponsor, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl, hopes to bring the measure to a vote in several weeks, and plans to make sure that a 1961 law prohibiting interstate gambling is extended to cover satellite communication and virtual games such as online roulette. (AP 6 Apr 98) JOBS WANTS TO HELP BROADCASTERS GO FROM ANALOG TO DIGITAL Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs told a convention of TV broadcasters that Apple is "dying to work with you" in managing the change from analog to digital transmission, which will be required of all broadcasters by 2006. He thinks he can help them deal with the different digital standards for producing video imagines for the Internet, computers, video conferences, and television: "The problem right now is a very simple one. What we basically got is a tower of Babel." (AP 6 Apr 98) FREE JAVA FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS More than half a million nonprofit academic institutions at all levels of instruction will be eligible for free one-year software licenses from Sun Microsystems for software development tools based on Sun's Java computer language. Sun says that the value of software donated under this program could run into the billions of dollars. (Dow Jones Newswires 8 Apr 98) http://www.sun.com/edu/java/free MICROSOFT, SONY FORM PC/TV ALLIANCE Microsoft and Sony have agreed to incorporate each other's technologies in both companies' products, in an effort to achieve the convergence of PC and television technologies. Sony has agreed to license Microsoft's Windows CE operating system for "certain future products," and Microsoft will license Sony's Home Networking Module for use with "certain versions of Windows CE." The future hybrid products likely will be based on the IEEE 1394 I/O standard. "We expect to create the true fusion of the PC world and the television world and when that happens, everybody wins," says the president of Sony America. (InfoWorld Electric 7 Apr 98) TELECOMMUTERS CITE HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AT HOME A Kensington Telecommuting Survey indicates that nearly 75% of telecommuters say they get a lot more work done while at home or on the road, as opposed to time spent in the corporate home office. Most pegged their productivity level at about 30% higher. The survey also showed that of companies that allow telecommuting, 63% don't give any formal training on how to be a telecommuter, and few pay for telecommuting employees' PCs and accessories. About 8 million workers telecommute regularly in the U.S. (Investor's Business Daily 8 Apr 98) LIBRARY GROUPS CALL FOR NEW POLICIES ON E-JOURNALS The International Coalition of Library Consortia, a group comprising more than 40 library groups, has issued a statement calling for an end to the "excessive pricing" of electronic publications and for a cease-fire in "attacks" on libraries' rights to redistribute documents. "We're saying that, during this period, it is important not to be locked into a pricing model that is difficult for libraries to afford," says one of the statement's authors. The coalition's statement suggests that subscription rates for e-journals should be lower than those for printed versions, and that libraries should have the option to subscribe to the electronic version only. In addition, libraries should be allowed to follow fair use guidelines in dealing with electronic material, and store archives of e-journals on their own systems. Publishers have been noncommittal in their response to the statement: "I don't think our pricing model is unreasonable," says a spokesman for Elsevier Science, adding that his company is "trying to expand the options on pricing models" for online publications. (Chronicle of Higher Education 10 Apr 98) VIRGINIA JUDGE LETS SOFTWARE FILTERING CASE GO FORWARD A ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema allowed civil liberties groups to proceed with their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Loudon (VA.) County Library Board's Internet policy, which requires that children younger than 17 must be sitting with a guardian or parent if they want full access to the Internet, unblocked by filtering software. Brinkema ruled that content-based restrictions on the Internet "must be justified by a compelling government interest and must be narrowly tailored to achieve that end." (Washington Post 9 Apr 98) SEIKO'S PC WATCH Seiko Instruments will introduce the world's first wearable PC on June 10 in Japan. The $285 "Ruputer" wristwatch will be able to download data, including text and pictures, from other PCs, and will come loaded with three programs that run on Windows 95. Users will be able to exchange data via infrared signals. (Investor's Business Daily 9 Apr 98) VETERANS GET SCARE THROUGH MASS E-MAIL WARNING A "well-intentioned but misinformed veteran" in Minneapolis scared hundreds of thousands of other veterans by sending out a mass e-mail communication falsely advising them that they faced possible termination of their benefits. A Veterans Administrator spokesperson said: "He thought he was doing the right thing by warning people, but he really disrupted millions of people with this information." (AP 9 Apr 98) LOST DATA AT STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL When outside contractors failed to verify that data had been saved before attempting to move two servers from the Stanford Business School to the university's central computer system, 10 to 15 of the school's 200 faculty and Ph.D. candidates lost their databases, research notes, and parts of books or dissertations. The dean of the school says, "This was a disaster. Even though lots of people recovered their work, some people lost data irretrievably." (San Jose Mercury News 9 Apr 98) PALM TRICK: NOW YOU SEE A PALM PC, NOW YOU SEE ... A PALM-SIZE PC Faced with a lawsuit from 3Com Corporation for trademark infringement, Microsoft has agreed to change the name of its handheld computers from "Palm PCs" to "Palm-size PCs," to avoid confusion with 3Com's popular PalmPilot line of handheld devices. (Wall Street Journal 9 Apr 98) [Image] STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... 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Eighth Page - $10.00 per Quarter Page - $20.00 per issue issue Half Page - $40.00 per Full Page - $80.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at email@example.com 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 [Image] Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Holidays everyone! [Image] Jason's Jive [Image] Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com Before I begin this weeks review of the Photo Creation's All in one Studio, I would like to share with you a little encounter I had with a couple of MTV celebrities this weekend. I've only met a couple of famous people in my life. The one that stands out the most was Jon Astin from the "Addams Family". So this was a pretty big deal to me. For those of you that are familiar with the show "The Real World", you might enjoy this. Those of you that aren't part of the "MTV Generation" you may want to bypass this short narrative. Here it goes... Friday night, A couple of friends and I decided to go out and get some dinner at a local restaurant. I had never eaten at this place before and didn't know what to expect. I had no idea what kind of food was there but I knew a lot of friends that enjoyed eating at this place, so I thought I would give it a try. I pictured it as one of those casual restaurants that had an almost formal atmosphere. From the few looks at it I had previously, I concluded it was definitely not a McDonalds, but there was no valet parking either. The food was probably a little higher priced than normal and the titles were surely just on the border of cheesyness. As we entered the restaurant I noticed only a few open parking spaces. We contemplated eating somewhere else in case there was a wait. However, since this was the "place to eat" in my town I suggested we bear the small inconvenience and dine here regardless. As we entered, the person at the door informed us there would be a small delay. It turned out for the best though, since they gave us a small pager-like utility that would vibrate when our table was ready. We found the little device pretty entertaining. I wonder if it was really necessary to give the customer or something devised to keep them in good spirits and amused while waiting in anticipation for it to activate. While waiting in anticipation, I spotted someone I knew looked very familiar. He was a tall black man with a shiny, bald head and wearing a leather jacket. He was sitting with two other people at a table in the smoking section. I thought back as to where I knew this person from only to realize he was Cyrus, from the last "Real World" cast. Now, I haven't been a frequent watcher of the show, although the concept always seemed interesting to me, but I was very shocked as to why he would be eating in my town of all places. I told my friends, who were both girls, Cyrus was literally ten feet from us. Of course, they did not believe me. However, after I pointed him out, the girls both let out tiny screams which were quickly covered by their now sweaty palms. They looked at each other in a sort of disbelief. I was embarrassed at the reaction of my companions so I quickly took a few steps back and acted like I had no idea who they were. I casually strolled over to a couple of my teachers I recognized from school who were just getting done eating at the other side of the restaurant. Even across the room I could see where everyone's eyes were. Small chatter and talks of the show's events were being discussed at nearly every table. We talked for a while and I told them who was here. They told me they spotted Cyrus earlier as well, and also informed me that one of his companions was also from the show, but they couldn't remember her name. I shifted my head in the general direction of the table everyone else was glancing at only to notice that a very attractive, blonde hair woman who was looking out the window appeared to be also very familiar. She was sitting next to Cyrus and smoking a cigarette. She turned her head to talk to the gentleman across the table, who must have been an executive or producer or something, and I realized she was Genesis from the same cast. Genesis, was the "lipstick lesbian" with a alcoholic mom as I recalled. Okay, I saw more than just a few episodes. My friends, just realizing I had left them, eventually spotted me. I told them that Genesis was here also. The same reaction before followed and I again walked away hoping not to be associated with the two giddy girls I entered with. I walked back to the waiting area and tried to plan out how to approach them. It's not everyday you (or I anyway) meet someone famous. I at least wanted to talk to them or get their autographs. "Buzzzzzzz" That's when the device given to us before started to vibrate. We were going to be seated soon and we all hoped it would be next to the two celebrities. Sure enough, we were seated only two seats behind them. I arranged myself so I could see their table although a rather large man with an afro type hair du blocked most of my field of vision. I wasn't spying or anything, I was just waiting for the right time to approach them. About twenty minutes into our sitting, I decided to make my move. About ten adolescents, like myself, had approached them with a pad of paper and pen in their hands. Cyrus and Genesis were polite to each one and didn't shy from any questions that were asked. No pun intended, they seemed very "real". I however, was not equipped with pen or paper. So I decided to grab a napkin from our table along with a crayon that little kids apparently used on their activity sheets. I approached them just after a bunch of girls had left. I handed the napkin and crayon to Cyrus and told him my name was Jason. "Jason..., how you doing, Jason?" He asked. "Pretty good how about you?" I replied. I think for a second I actually felt like we were old friends. I mean, when you watch someone on a TV show like "The Real World" and they aren't acting, just being themselves, you get to see a lot of the little things about them. It also helped that Cyrus was so cordial and friendly towards me. "Oh you want me put this down with a crayon, huh guy?" He asked. His tone was very humorous as he looked at the man across the table. "Well my handwriting is bad enough as it is so I'll do us both a favor and write it in pen, so you can actually read it." We all laughed. After he was finished, Genesis took the napkin and started to write on the opposite side. I was pleased and surprised that she took her time. Her penmanship was very good. It made me feel special in a way. Meanwhile, Cyrus and the man across the table started to strike up a conversation that I was also invited in on. They informed me that they were in town to speak at St. Francis University, a college about fifteen minutes from my house. They were going to speak on the format of the show and take questions from the audience. I got the impression that they were on a nation wide trip and they were probably going to stop at a lot of colleges and eateries along the way. When Genesis was finished, she gave me the napkin and smiled. Having bothered them enough, I thanked them and walked back to my table. Both my friends who now considered me a celebrity too, were pretty amazed at my little experience. I felt proud and I read the napkin while sitting there at the table. It read on one side: "Jason, remember to have fun in life and always be yourself. Love, Genesis" It was sort of generic but I'm sure she varied her signatures once in a while. The other side read: "Jason, remember to keep it real. And keep pimping. Cyrus." I know the last one may have seemed a little inappropriate to some people, it was meant to be read lighthearted, but it was definitely something that I'll remember for a long timeJ . Seriously, I was very pleased to find two TV personalities from my generation who were kind to me and everyone else they met. If they weren't chances are that I'd never watch the show, or MTV again. However, they were very nice indeed, and I enjoyed the experience a lot. Hope you enjoyed reading about it. -Jason Photo Creations All-In-One Studio Windows CD-ROM Suggested Retail: $49.95 For all ages Creative Wonders. P.O Box 9017 Redwood City, California 94063-9017 http://www.photocreations.com [Image] Photo Creations has a lot of graphic utilities for the home user. Now they have put them all into one package. The All-In-One studio combines all of the new Photo Creation products into one package. Although it is a good idea, I for one, did not care for the interface. It does have some very good features though. Here's what I thought... The three products combined are the greeting card maker, album maker, and calendar maker. What may make the package attractive to at-home artists is that sold separately each product has a retail of $24.95. So buying this package will actually figure out to buying two of the individual products and getting the third for free. Each feature gives you all of the basics. All three have a lot of templates so you can create cards, signs, albums, or calendars. Many unique borders and layouts provide for a lot of possibilities as well. All of the setups were easy to use and no directions were really needed to understand the basic procedures to making creations. After deciding the look and feel you want your creation to express, you can also alter the picture itself. The real feature that stands out is the red-eye remover from photographs imported by scanner or digital camera. Some other options include converting to black and white, changing contrast and color levels, enhancing edges, and creation mosaics. All of these features are pretty common among most graphic enhancing products released in the last few years. [Image] What really didn't impress me much was the interface that combines all of the features. It has won many awards but I didn't care for it much. The main menu is an animated desk with many tiny accessories laying on it. Two shelves which represent your work folder hang above the desk. Also in the vicinity are useless little objects that when clicked on come to life with small animations. Something else which seemed useless was a coffee cup sitting on the right of the table. When it is clicked it shows an imaginary window that gives you a scenic shot. I suppose this is meant to inspire the user, it had little effect on me. Another thing which seemed strange is a safe that individual users keep their most prized creations in. I don't see many people really trying to disturb or damage anyone's art work therefor it seems this accessory is just for fun and gives a false sense of security. If someone really wanted to get at your projects, all they would have to do is browse through their Windows explorer to tamper with them. I can understand why some people might like this interface, it is different from most other graphic programs. However, I am a fan of the simple, ordinary, and straight forward approach to creating artwork. In the top left corner of the "studio" there is a pull down menu which can be used to give commands. I found myself using this to bypass the small, yet time consuming animations. Perhaps this interface is geared towards children a little more. If so, I can understand some of the useless objects, but for someone just looking to make a project, it is pretty useless waiting for the blank template to emerge from the mechanical slot in the desk. So, that is what I think of the All-In-One Studio. It's a good concept and a great deal, if you can learn to appreciate the unconventional interface. If so, you should give it a try. It also has a thirty day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied. Free inside is up to $99.00 in Kodak offers to. So you have at least that to look forward to if nothing else. Until next time, Jason [Image] Program Requirements Microsoft Windows 95 or 3.1, 486/66 MHz or better, 8MB RAM (16 recommended), 2X or higher CD-ROM drive (4X CD-ROM recommended), 20 MB hard disk space, SVGA Card, Microsoft compatible mouse or keyboard, SoundBlaster or compatible card optional, supports all major graphic file formats, TWAIN compliant. [Image] Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.... The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. 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The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for HTML as opposed to our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 11 to 1 over the PDF edition. Cited are size, graphic quality and speed of download. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber PDF. So it too, like ascii, is gone. HTML is now a reality. On our web download page is a selection for HTML (Read or Download). As you can see, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine [Image] Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Well, it's been a week of ups and downs, and the days just flew by. I can't believe it's deadline time again! I don't have much to say this week because, frankly, I haven't had much free time to think about any editorial comments. So, I'll skip any comments and ad-libbing for this week and we'll move right into the news and information. After all, that's why we're all here for in the first place. Until next time... ST Informer Magazine Returning to the Web From: Scott Tirrell <firstname.lastname@example.org> First of all, please excuse me for cross-posting this but I thought it concerned all Atari owners. ST Informer Magazine is set to return soon in Web format. Many previous subscribers probably know that ST Informer's web site has been stagnant for awhile. Well, I have just been appointed Web Editor of ST Informer and hope to change all of that with monthly issues of ST Informer. Issue 98 will be posted shortly. For those who want to be kept updated, please send me an e-mail and I will add you to the ST Informer mailing list. What will ST Informer include? I plan on having letters, Rod's trademark Potpourri column, news, interviews, and product reviews. What Atari products will we cover? All of 'em with a focus on the computer line. This will include pictures (though they will not be bandwidth-busting). There will be no Java or animated GIFs so that we can concentrate on the information and to make this site available to all (even those with slower modems like myself). This, of course, cannot be a one person show. First of all, I don't own all Atari systems. Secondly, I just don't have the time to write all of the articles, lay out the pages, etc. I am asking for volunteers interested in writing for the magazine. The benefits include, er, fame and, um, prestige. Seriously, it is fun and those willing to put in the time will be first considered for review products from vendors. All submissions are welcome so please send your articles to me at email@example.com. For advertising information, please send requests to Rod McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be happy to send out information. Also, to get your products reviewed, please contact me at email@example.com. I will make sure that they get to a reviewer as soon as possible. If you have any comments or suggestions for ST Informer Magazine, don't hesitate to write to me. I really want to hear from you and, as a community, make this new venture a success for all Atarians. Sincerely, Scott Tirrell Gaming Section "Asteroids"!! "Sanitarium"!! "Rampage World Tour"! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Activision to Bring Arcade Classic Asteroids to the PSX and PC SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Updating one of the best-loved and most influential arcade games of all time, Activision, Inc. announced today that it plans to release a new version of the blockbuster video game Asteroids for the PlayStation Game Console system and PC platform this Christmas. Activision previously acquired the rights to create updated versions of Atari's Asteroids property as part of an overall strategy to develop mass-market games. Originally introduced by Atari in 1979, Asteroids became one of gaming history's most successful coin-op arcade games. In 1981, the game was released for the Atari 2600 game system and by 1982, Asteroids was one of the fastest selling home video games in the United States. Activision will utilize 3-D effects and other technological advancements in its updated version. "Asteroids is one of the most legendary video games of all time and is sure to appeal to both those who played the game on their 2600 machines and in the arcades, as well as a whole new generation of players," said Robert Kotick, Chairman and C.E.O., Activision, Inc. "The remake presents us with an incredible opportunity to preserve many of the classic elements that made Asteroids a hit, while updating a terrific gaming premise with the features and capabilities that make a great game today." Set deep within hyperspace, the original Asteroids challenged gamers to shoot a path to the stars as they escape plummeting asteroids careening their way and take aim against invading flying saucers. The new Asteroids will recapture the non-stop dodging and firing of the original, but will take the classic game to an all-new level with vivid 3-D graphics, expansive playing areas, increasingly difficult space hazards and multiple modes of gameplay. Midway Home Entertainment Announces Rampage World Tour CORSICANA, TEXAS (April 7) BUSINESS WIRE - April 7, 1998 - Midway Home Entertainment announced today the retail availability of its updated version of the classic Rampage video arcade game, Rampage World Tour(TM), for the Nintendo(R) 64. Rampage World Tour can be found wherever video games are sold. The announcement was made by Paula Cook, director of marketing for Midway Home Entertainment. Boasting game play for up-to three players, Rampage World Tour for the Nintendo 64 is the eagerly awaited home game adaptation of the arcade game of the same name, as well as the sequel to the phenomenally popular classic Rampage game. Rampage World Tour is also currently available for play on the PlayStation(R) game console and the Sega Saturn(TM) System. All the action-packed game play from the arcade game translates faithfully to all three of Midway's home versions. A wild romp with universal appeal, Rampage World Tour is chock-full of dynamic and exciting game play depth and challenge yet simple enough to be played by gamers of all ages. In Rampage World Tour, loaded with awesome hidden surprises including hovercrafts, cheeseheads, a used elephant lot and more, up to three players will embark on a fun-fueled "Rampage" that goes beyond the bounds of imagination! Throughout the game, eating good stuff - such as tasty and nourishing humans - will provide welcome health boosts. At the same time, eating bad stuff will make you puke! In addition, a variety of secret moves allow players to help fend off a constant barrage of bullets, fire, and explosives fired-off by local residents, army soldiers, and even the police force! Bursting with special bonuses and surprises, Rampage World Tour's 130 standard levels, 14 bonus levels, four grudge match levels, three bonus match types, and numerous hidden levels have been created with state-of-the-art technology and feature spectacular 3D graphics accompanied by mind-blowing sound. According to Cook, "We are thrilled to bring Rampage World Tour home to the Nintendo 64. Our newest version allows up-to three players to participate in a fun smash 'em up Rampage romp around the world. Rampage World Tour's great classic game play is sure to appeal to gamers of all ages." Journey To The Brink of Insanity In 'SANITARIUM' DARIEN, CONN. (April 7) BUSINESS WIRE - April 7, 1998 - ASC Games, a leading publisher of video games for the PC, PlayStation and Sega platforms, will unlock Sanitarium, a darkly disturbing new PC CD-ROM adventure game on April 30. Developed by DreamForge Intertainment, Sanitarium thrusts players into a world of tenuous reality, mental chaos and abject fear. Deeper and more compelling than either "Riven" or "Myst," Sanitarium challenges players to reassemble their shattered identities and escape from what they believe to be a nightmarish institution. "Sanitarium is the first adventure game of its kind," says David Klein, president and COO of ASC Games. "This emotional thriller combines a highly emotional and deep storyline that must be played to be understood. Imagine a major motion picture thriller - the less you know the better the experience. Once you've revealed the elements of the game, the Sanitarium adventure will stay with you for a long time." Sanitarium is the first game title that challenges players to solve puzzles and situations wrapped within a storyline driven by players' emotions - not just their intelligence. From the first moment the game begins, players establish a strong emotional connection with the main character through visions, flashbacks and video sequences. Sanitarium gives birth to an ambience of dreamlike uncertainty often found only in books and movies such as the ominous "Jacob's Ladder." With its 80 characters, 3D-rendered environments and digital soundtrack to reflect the game's bizarre visual and audio style, Sanitarium is an immersive, cinematic experience with plot twists unlike any other computer game available. Sanitarium is a 3-CD adventure available on store shelves beginning April 30 for the PC CD-ROM and carries an average retail price of $49.99. ASC Games recommends the following system requirements: Windows 95, P90, 16 MB of RAM, a 4X CD-ROM drive, a 1 MB PCI video card, sound card, and 30 MB free hard drive space. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, this week has been something of a non-revelation for me. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, released pictures of the surface of Mars from the Mars Global Surveyor. This particular picture, or image as NASA likes to refer to them, is of the area of Mars known as Cydonia. This is the region famous for "The Face on Mars". The original picture was taken more than two decades ago. The current picture is about ten times the resolution of the original, and has been processed in the same manner as the first. Lo and behold, the new picture does not show a sculpture as many had supposed, but only a series of hills, cliffs, and plains. The face on Mars, or at least the first picture of it, is a wonderful flight of fancy that calls up images of others in this vast universe who are, if not wiser, at least more technologically advanced than we are. How wonderful it would be to find that there had once been titans who had taken an interest in us. That would mean that we were worthy of that notice, that there were great things in store for us, that we had only to advance a bit more to come of age as a species, that we were capable and worthy of an exalted place in this vast universe, that we were...special. What human could resist such a scenario? It's only human nature to want to be helped to some degree, or to believe that someone has faith in us. For that reason, an over-processed image composed of shadowy features and missing data became something of a banner for those who wanted to believe in it. The non-revelation portion is that I had believed from the start that a simple combination of missing data and fortuitous lighting conditions had produced an imagination-capturing spectre that would continue to cause discussion and debate for quite a while. I do not see this latest image as an ending to the story, simply a slightly later chapter to a story that is still being written. For all the accusations of conspiracy and coverup posed by supporters of 'The Face', it did generate interest in one of our nearest celestial neighbors. True, it has taken us decades to re-visit this neighbor, but who knows how long it would have taken had there not been popular interest and discussion. A youngster's first footsteps are almost always slow and faltering, but from those first steps come determination, familiarity, and confidence. And, along with those first steps, there is invariably a hand reaching out for something that is just out of reach... for the moment. We are learning to walk where we have not walked before, to explore beyond what we already know and, perhaps finally, to accept that we didn't know everything we thought we did about our surroundings. Where will this non-revelation lead? I don't know. But that is what makes it all worthwhile. Even though I have no idea of the destination, I think we can be fairly sure that what we will find will be, to quote Arthur C. Clarke, 'something... wonderful'. Oh, and by the way, I do believe that "We Are Not Alone", I just don't believe that we are all that important in a universe of billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars that may have their own little blue-skied planets where the conditions were right for the evolution of life. Well, now that I've offended just about everybody, let's take a look at what's being said on the UseNet... From the comp.sys.atari.st.tech NewsGroup: Ken MacDonald asks: "Is there a speech to text program available for the Atari? i.e. you speak, and some smart little program converts it into ascii text?" Mario Becroft tells Ken: "Although it may seem like it could be some "smart little program", speech recognition is no trivial matter. It's extremely difficult to do accurate recognition. There was a speech recognition program of some sort for the Falcon a while back, but I'm not sure what happened to it or where it can be obtained now. I never tried it myself." Anthony Jacques adds: "Yes, a very difficult problem. IMO, its too much for a Falcon, even using the DSP. Probably even for a Hades + DSP. Somebody please prove me wrong :) It [the program] was called VOX, and was written for ST-Magazin. It was uploaded to a couple of FTP sites, but I dont remember seeing it on any of the usuals. It recognized (well, sometimes) a set of preset commands (like UP, DOWN, HELP, CLOSE etc.) and sent them to the "top" application/window under MultiTOS. It was pretty buggy though..." Niall Moran asks for help: "I've just got a mega STE and i was wondering where an internal hard drive plugs into the board. I pressume there must be an internal asci/scsi connector like the mega. Also what do the bank of dip switches in front of the simms control? I'm also having problems with the blitter. When it is turned on with the control panel the screen messes up. If the machine is booted without the blitter switched off a dialog comes up saying something like unable to allocate window memory and the screen is totally corrupt. Is the blitter buggered then?" Anthony Rudzki tells Niall: "When you open that side piece (to look at the simms) there MAY be a ASCI to SCSI card near the rear. You can't miss it. If it's not there, you will need to get the board and the HD plugs into it. I believe the only one that's used is 7(?) it tells the megaSTE you have a high density (1.44 Meg) disk drive." Gaven Miller asks: "What exactly is TOS 1.09? From the late 1980s, British Atari mags frequently mentioned TOS 1.09, but, AFAIK, there never was a TOS version labelled 1.09. From descriptions of it, I am led to believe that it is really TOS 1.02 "Blitter TOS" (or "Mega TOS", if you prefer) Can anyone enlighten me as to where the moniker "1.09" came from? As far as I can recall, none of the internal version numbers (AES, GEMDOS etc) in that TOS version were 1.09, so it is unlikely to be a case of transposed version numbers." James Arthur tells Gaven: "I seem to remember seeing this in an ST Format once, but it'll take me ages to sift through all the feedback/STA columns. I think that it was just another (wrong) number for a TOS version, or a TOS version that was never released. It doesn't exist as v1.09 anyway, but apparantly some programmes had trouble detecting certain TOS versions..." Steve Stupple tells Gaven: "The TOS version I think you are on about, is the disk based version named as TOS 1.09. I use it every now and then to get some programs running on other St's that wouldn't usually run. I can't remember why it was called 1.09 though. If you have come across program that do not run on STE's, 1.4 or 1.2 machines then try using the disk based TOS." --- Okay folks, here's the story of TOS 1.09... Many years ago I had a 1040 STF that was damaged in an electrical storm. I sent it back to Atari for replacement (this was back when Atari still gave a thought or two about customer relations, well before things went soft). The computer I received in return had a one page addendum (Atari document number 22-001-07 K.I.3. 1989) that read: IMPORTANT This Atari ST computer is fitted with the Atari Operating System ROM version 1.09. This is the latest version of the operating system and has been introduced to facilitate your ability to upgrade to future products such as the Atari Blitier. [Yes, that's right, they spelled "Blitter" as "Blitier"] Please ensure that you purchase software compatible with this operating system version. Your Atari dealer has been advised of the few titles that are incompatible with this version. The authors of incompatible software products have been informed and will be releasing compatible versions. (end of Atari documentation) What I find most interesting is the fact that this version of TOS is listed as 1.09 in Atari's own documentation, and that it was released in 1989... well before STE TOS and its subsequent error-correcting follow-up. If you recall, the original STE TOS was version 1.6. The version that fixed the "boot in medium rez" bug was 1.62. Soon after, due to a snafu (in the truest sense of the acronym), Atari began referring to TOS versions as "1.06", "1.062", and "2.06" saying that this had always been the official method of naming TOS versions. My question to Bob Brodie, then head of public relations at Atari, was "how could version 1.09 have come out several years before version 1.06?" Mr. Brodie was not sure of the accuracy of my statement about there even being a TOS version 1.09, and would not hazard a guess. From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup Carsten Krumnow posts: "One or two weeks ago we discussed about ATARIs and the year 2000 problem. All ATARI (esp. MagiC users) have been so proud that their system will have nothing to fear concerning the millenium bug. But now - tadaaaa - there it is! Yesterday I wanted MGSEARCH, the MagiC file search application, to look for any file created after March 22nd. And it found many files with GEMDOS date of 00/00/28 which is the result of a faulty creation routine in an old TOS version. Apparently the search program recognised these files as created some time in the year 2028. But the main problem is the following: the search mask of MGSEARCH does not allow an "elder than" date which is later than the parallelly given "younger than" date. So the two digit year mask assumes only 19xx dates! Worse, MGSEARCH only accepts year digits in the range 80..99 (which means 1980 to 1999)! I understand that programmers in the seventies did not bother with the year 2000 in favour to save expensive RAM and disk space. For MagiC 5 (which includes MGSEARCH) is developped in the very last years of this century (and this millenium) I think it is a real (though little) scandal! Let's hope the best and prepare for the worst! (The best = this bug will be fixed in the next version) (The worst = it won't be)" Andreas Kromke tells Carsten: "I fixed this some months ago for MagiC 6." Carsten tells Andreas: "Thank you very much - that was the answer I expected... But how about a cheap freshup for MagiC 5.0 users?" Peter Van der Noord asks: "How can I see which TOS version I have, and what exactly IS TOS? (and GEM, because I don't understand any of it)" Nicholas Bales tells Peter: "TOS is the entire Operating System, GEM is part of TOS and is the Graphic Evironment Manager. There are also AES and VDI which other parts of the OS. GEMDOS is in charge of the filesystem. To see which version you have, you need a utility such as sysinfo, but basically, if you have never modified anything, you can base yourself on this: ST,STF,STFM - 1.0 or 1.4 Mega ST - 1.2 or 1.4 STE - 1.6 or 1.62 Mega STE - 2.05 or 2.06 TT - 3.xx Falcon - 4.01 or 4.04 I forgot to add: for the earlier machines, you can see if you have 1.4 or not by opening the Desktop/Information dialog box with a colour monitor or TV. If the Atari logo has some nice rainbow scrolling colours, then it's TOS 1.4 (also called "rainbow TOS")." Peter Rottengatter, author of STinG, adds: "The word "other" is wrong. GEM basically consists of VDI and AES. TOS consists of GEM, and a part that resembles the conventional idea of an operating system. The latter is BIOS and XBIOS on the lower level (takes care of hardware), and GEMDOS, which uses BIOS and XBIOS, and is responsible for filesystems, processes, etc." Hugo Coolens posts: "I have an Atari st1040 with 4Mb RAM and TOS2.06 and also Magic. I would like to use this configuration as an X-terminal, does anyone know about software which emulates an x-terminal?" Hallvard Tangeraas tells Hugo: "You have to install MiNT and X-11 for that, but it's painfully slow!!! I don't know how you'd go about to connect the ST together with the rest of the network, but I'm sure it's possible (there seems to be no limits to what this machine can do!). Have a look at my "operating systems and emulations" section of my Atari web page. You'll find it from the main Atari page which is located at: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/8745/ " Well folks, that's about it for this time around. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING [Image] STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content ABOUT Newt... From: Don Acrey [email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, April 04, 1998 12:05 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Here, Here! Ralph, I could not agree more with you regarding your comments concerning Speaker Gingrich. They seem appropriate with regard to Senator Hatch, also! You would think that the "baby boom" generation would rid themselves of this kind of "ilk"...even in Georgia! (And...Utah) See ya.... Don Acrey http://users.arn.net/~dacrey/morelink.htm From: John O'Hare [email@example.com] Sent: Monday, April 06, 1998 3:11 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: re: Gingrich I couldn't agree with you more. So, other than not voting for him, what can the average citizen do to get rid of this stupid fat ****? -John- ABOUT our NEW HTML Format From: Darla [email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 3:50 AM To: Ralph F. Mariano Subject: RE: Streport - ascii edition Ralph, Thanks for letting me know what's happening. I'd gotten the file and it still had the *.asc on it so I couldn't figure out what was happening. I did go to your website and checked out the html version and really like it. Darla Editor Note: The magazine has received an overwhelmingly positive response to our new format. Obvioisly, everyone is able to read it and see the great fonting and graphics.. EDITORIAL QUICKIES French Driver saves Virtual Pet, KILLS Cyclist! A French driver killed a cyclist and injured another after she took her eye off the road trying to save her Tamagotchi virtual pet, police said Wednesday. The 27-year-old woman became distracted when the electronic pet, which was attached to her car key ring, started to send out distress signals. She asked a companion in her car to attend to the Tamagotchi but in the confusion she failed to notice a group of cyclists on the road ahead and slammed into the back of them. One died instantly and another was taken to hospital. Police said the woman was arrested after Sunday's accident near the southern city of Marseilles. Best experienced with [Microsoft Internet Explorer] Click here to start. STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 850,000 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 Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 10, 1998 Since 1987 Copyright)1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1414
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