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Article #673 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 21-Nov-97 #1346
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Fri Nov 21 17:51:41 1997



                                     
                           Silicon Times Report
                                     
                "The Original Independent Online Magazine"
                               (Since 1987)
                                 
                                     
 November 21, 1997                                                No.1346

                Silicon Times Report International Magazine
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 11/21/97 STR 1346   Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97!
 
 - CPU Industry Report - Jumpstart 1      - Sun Urges Judge..
 - Mastering the Net   - Online Pulitzer? - NET SCAMS SOAR!
 - Comdex Highlights   - IBM LAYOFF       - AOL 10m Subs
 - Naki Light Gun      - People Talking   - Classics & Gaming
 
                    Gates, Nader Exchange Barbs
                   "Dilbert" Creator Pulls Hoax
                   Intel Fixes New Pentium Flaw

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                                   The Publisher, Staff & Editors


                        Celebrating Our Tenth Year!
                                 1987-1997

Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 11/15/97: three of six numbers with no matches

>From the Editor's Desk...

     It that time of the year when we are reminded that we must take into
consideration the well being of our fellow human beings who are less
fortunate than we are.  I speak of the homeless folks we all see in our
home towns.  When you're in that supermarket. buy a few extra cans of food
and drop them off at your favorite charitable organization like the
Salvation Army, Red Cross etc..  

        Comdex has sown its seeds. the DOJ is deeply embroiled in trying to justify the noises they've made in Microsoft
's direction.  Janet Reno is busy fussing at herself in a mirror after having been told that a Japanese Tabloid had her 
picture on the front cover with the story about how she was voted; "the most desirable to be shipwrecked and marooned on
 an island with" by Japanese men.  Maybe she'll go there and become a "Pinup Girl".

     I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and also to
remind folks that this time frame is also the anniversary of the
assassination of JFK.  Hopefully, one day. we'll know the whole truth about
what took place in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963

                                                                        Ralph...


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                          STReport Headline News
                                     
                     LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson


                        Gates, Nader Exchange Barbs

Separated by 3,000 miles, Microsoft Corp. chief Bill Gates exchanged verbal
fire yesterday with consumer advocate Ralph Nader who is heading a two-day
Washington conference that is scrutinizing Gates' business practices.

Speaking at Microsoft's shareholders meeting in Seattle, Gates said the
Nader conference and government investigations of Microsoft are  creating a
"witch hunt" atmosphere that could aid his competitors.  And Nader, turned
down by Gates and other top Microsoft officials for appearances at the
conference, called the statement a "paranoid style of response ... typical
of Bill Gates and too many Microsoft top executives."

Meanwhile, at the Nader's conference, a Texas law enforcement official
called on potential witnesses to come forward and help build a case against
the huge software company. Says Sam Goodhope, special assistant to Texas
Attorney General Dan Morales, "You have to help us help you. You're
complaining a lot, but you've got to come forward. If you're afraid to give
us information, it doesn't do us any good."  Reporting for the Reuter News
Service, writer David Lawsky notes, "One theme of the conference was that
Microsoft has used intimidating tactics to defeat competitors."

As reported earlier, the Texas attorney general's office has sued
Microsoft, asking a judge to nullify secrecy agreements that require other
companies to notify the Redmond, Washington-based software giant before
talking to government investigators. A Microsoft spokesman said such
secrecy agreements are standard in the industry.

Gates told his shareholders that government investigations of his company
and the Nader conference were out to hurt Microsoft and help its
competitors, suggesting Nader was acting because he was getting money from
Microsoft competitors, who were well represented at the conference.

Said Gates, "We do have some competitors who have chosen to fund these
things and promote these activities in order to handicap Microsoft in the
competitive market."  Lawsky reports Microsoft Vice President Robert
Herbold wrote Nader one day earlier that he found it "curious that the
conference was advertised in full-page national newspaper ads costing
upwards of $50,000 apiece," referring to a New York Times ad.

But, says Reuters, "Nader laughed about the charge. He said the ad cost
less than one-tenth that -- $3,200 -- because it ran only in the paper's
California edition. Nader said Gates was 'refusing to address the issues
raised at the conference. ... He is still in virtual reality and out of
touch with what is the growing public challenge to his company's power
abuses and intimidations.'"

Gates contends this is part of a coordinated campaign by Microsoft to
counter increasing attacks on its expansion into new markets.   On another
front, Lawsky says, "Those at the conference underscored the Texas lawman's
call for companies to come forward. Christine Varney, a former Federal
Trade Commission member now representing a key Microsoft competitor, said
there are lots of private complaints about Microsoft, but 'the whispering
campaign is irrelevant.'"

Also, Lloyd Constantine, managing partner of Constantine & Partners law
firm in New York, is quoted by Lawsky as saying witnesses are not enough.
Congress must act, he said, to put new life into the nation's antitrust
laws because they had been eviscerated by a timid Supreme Court and a dozen
years of lax enforcement during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and
George Bush.

Varney, who works at Hogan & Hartson, told the wire service she thinks the
laws are sufficient but that monopolists need to be brought to justice if
they violate the law, adding, "There is no such thing as a benevolent
monopolist." She said monopolists extract "rents," which are excessive
prices and profits.

                       Gates Opens Comdex With Gags

Opening the five-day Comdex computer show in Las Vegas last night,
Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates showed that playing hardball with the
U.S. Justice Department and consumer advocate Ralph Nader hasn't dulled his
sense of humor.  Business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press
reports Gates "painted himself as ... a regular Joe who likes a few good
knee-slappers ... working the crowd of thousands with gags, video clips and
self-deprecating humor that had everyone laughing."

Jokes in Gates' keynote address were intended to show the importance of the
personal computer and Internet. Taking a cue from CBS comedian Dave
Letterman, Gates listed his "Top 10 Reasons Why I Love my PC," such as:

    Reason No. 5: "In just one weekend I can sit at my PC, collaborate
  with attorneys all over the world, comment on a 48-page legal brief and
  e-mail it to the Department of Justice."
    Reason No. 1: "I can use Microsoft CarPoint (online car ads) to show
  Ralph Nader my Corvair collection."

Kalish says Gates used video clips on two giant overhead screens "to
perform an outrageous parody of his tendency to repeat jargon," adding,
"Excerpts from different industry speeches were combined to make Gates seem
ridiculous, as he repeated the same dense words and phrases, including
'scalability,' 'manageability' and 'NC stands for Not Compatible.'"  Gates
even enlisted the U.S. Marines for a little help. As the Marines' anthem
blared, an officer dressed in full uniform marched on stage to show how
Windows software has helped make mobile computers an essential piece of
battlefield equipment.

Throwing a laptop on the floor and stomping on it to illustrate its rugged
outer shell, the officer said, "I wouldn't characterize it as Marine proof,
but it's clearly Marine resistant."  Meanwhile, a record number of
attenders are expected for this year's trade show, where, says the Reuter
News Service, they "will find a cornucopia of industry treats ranging from
newly minted Star Trek mousepads to freshly funded startup companies eager
for publicity."

Piggybacking on this year's show will be the Comdex venture forum,
highlighting some 38 companies. Chris Alden, editorial director of The Red
Herring magazine and show group that is sponsoring the gathering of young
companies at Comdex, told Reuters it is taking on more global and
futuristic issues this year.  Adds Reuters, "The conference will also tap
into global trends, including views on how the Internet will evolve from
representatives of Microsoft Corp., Xerox Corp.'s Xerox PARC laboratories
and a member of Britain's Parliament, Derek Wyatt."

                      Sun Urges Judge Block Microsoft

A federal court has been asked to bar Microsoft Corp. from using Sun
Microsystems Inc.'s "Java Compatible" logo in relation to Microsoft's Web
browser.  Reporting from Palo Alto, California, the Reuter News Service
says Sun's request, filed late yesterday in the San Jose Division of the
U.S. District Court's Northern California District, extends Sun's claim
that Microsoft improperly modified Sun's Java technology in Microsoft's
Internet Explorer 4.0 browser, released at the end of September.

In related developments, Sun says:

    It has received support from 20 of 25 national technical groups in the
  company's drive to be designated as the international standard-setter for
  Java technologies.
    Two independent technical experts had confirmed that Microsoft's
  products fail Sun's compatibility tests.

    Sun's filing documents include a response to Microsoft's countersuit,
  which alleged that Sun, not Microsoft, broke the terms of the companies'
  Java licensing contracts.

The computer maker is seeking a temporary injunction barring use of its
Java Compatible logo by Microsoft because Microsoft continued to use it on
consumer packaging and promotional materials, says Sun Vice President
Michael Morris, who added, "It's like buying a can of Coca-Cola and finding
ginger ale inside...The customer trusted the brand and was deceived."

                       'Dilbert' Creator Pulls Hoax

Dilbert comics creator Scott Adams recently pulled a hoax, posing as a
consultant and spouting nonsense at a meeting with executives of a
high-tech company. And -- surprise! -- most of them followed the boss's
lead and just nodded in agreement.

An account of the hoax at last month at Logitech International -- the
world's biggest maker of computer mice -- was published this morning in The
San Jose Mercury News' Sunday magazine, West.  The Associated Press says
Adams pulled off the deception with the cooperation of Pierluigi
Zappacosta, Logitech co-founder and vice chairman.

"Zappacosta summoned executives to a meeting with Adams -- alias Ray Mebert
-- to draft a new mission statement for Logitech's New Ventures Group," AP
says. "His memo touted Mebert as an expert who could help the group
'crisply define' its goals."  "What if I was a management consultant?"
Adams wondered. "I could lead a bunch of executives in writing a mission
statement so impossibly complicated that it has no real context
whatsoever."

Adams, whose strip appears in 1,700 newspapers in 51 countries, disguised
himself with a wig and fake mustache. He also arrived at Logitech's
Fremont, California, headquarters in the company of a photographer,
videotaping crew and a writer and told the group his credentials included
work on Procter & Gamble Co.'s "Taste Bright Project," a supposedly secret
effort to boost sales by improving the taste of soap.

There the fun began:

Said Mebert, "There actually are some people who admitted in focus groups
that they would sometimes taste soap." Executives nodded agreement.  Mebert
sneered at the New Ventures Group's existing statement -- "to provide
Logitech with profitable growth and related new business areas" -- and led
an exercise in which managers suggested words and ideas that might become
part of a new one.

The resulting new statement read: "The New Ventures Mission is to scout
profitable growth opportunities in relationships, both internally and
externally, in emerging, mission inclusive markets, and explore new
paradigms and then filter and communicate and evangelize the findings."
Finally, the speaker drew a last diagram, one he said would bring the
session into focus. It was a picture of Dilbert, and Mebert then pulled off
his wig, revealing Adams' thinning locks, shouting, "You've all been had."

AP says the executives took the joke with good grace, though Jack Zahorsky,
senior program manager for control devices, commented, "If Adams hadn't
revealed himself, I wonder how many of us would have gone home and tried
tasting our soap?"

           CyberAngel Stops Kids' Net Use When Parents Are Gone

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE, U.S.A., 1997 NOV 17 (Newsbytes) -- / By Sami Menefee,
Newsbyte. Computer Sentry Software's CyberAngel is now flying in the
virtual heavens to spread its protective wings over computers traveling the
Internet. The CyberAngel package includes software and a monitoring service
combination that watches for theft or unauthorized use on an Internet
accessible computer.

This can be very bad news for Junior, Sissy or the babysitter if they
attempt to log on to pornographic sites or unauthorized chat rooms while
Mom and Dad are away, company officials said: CyberAngel locks the modem
port and sends a message to Mom or Dad snitching off the miscreant.
"CyberAngel prevents children or others from getting on the Internet
without parental supervision," said Brian Wilcox, CyberAngel marketing
director. The passworded program locks up the modem and prevents the
unauthorized attempt to get onto the Internet from being made, he said.  An
e-mail message is then sent to the owner of the system that the
unauthorized attempt, or breach, was made.

Nothing more is done at that point, officials said. The parents, boss or
whoever is in charge of the system can take steps to prevent the
unauthorized use from happening again. The service continues to monitor for
unauthorized use, but remains passive.

Said Wilcox, "Many of the kids who spend all their time surfing the
Internet are those same kids who spent all their time in front of the Sega
or Atari. But now, they sit in their room, talking to another kid on the
other side of the world, sitting in his room, and think they are
interacting. It's just not so."   Parents need to supervise their kids, he
said. "It's the parents, not the courts who should monitor what children
do, see or hear."

Wilcox then discussed the other part of the CyberAngel service. If the
system is stolen, the monitoring agency gets actively involved.  Once the
monitoring service is notified of the theft, all stops are removed. An
incident report is filed and a map tracking the system's location is
generated, based on access attempts being made from the system. The owner
is notified and given the latest location by phone, fax or pager whenever a
new breach occurs.

The service continues to monitor and the owner gives the location
information to the local law enforcement agency to get the system back.
The program costs $25 to register, with a $60 per year fee for the
monitoring service.  CyberAngel can be downloaded from
http://www.sentryinc.com .

                       Survey Finds Vulnerable Sites

A new survey finds that approximately 80 percent of companies operating an
electronic commerce Web site experience at least one major network attack
per month, with 100 percent experiencing heavy probing (queries to servers
or server applications for sensitive network or server information) or
reconnaissance from a third party site.

The survey was conducted by NetSolve, an Austin, Texas-based network
management services company, between May and September.  NetSolve says the
data, which was collected from its customers, shows serious attacks occur
up to five times per month for customers with high visibility on the
Internet. Of the Web attacks detected, 100 percent were targeted at
electronic commerce sites and 72 percent originated from sites outside of
the U.S.

                        Nations Warned of Net Scams

Operators of hundreds of Internet Web sites have been warned by consumer
protection officials in 25 countries that their get-rich-quick business
opportunities and pyramid schemes may be illegal. Associated Press writer
John D. McClain says the warning came as a  followup to International
Internet Sweep Day was conducted a month ago, sponsored by the
International Marketing supervision Network, an association of consumer
protection law enforcement agencies around the world, and coordinated by
the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission and the federal Securities
Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission joined
consumer protection agencies and securities regulators in 22 states in
targeting suspect Web sites. The FTC then issued warnings to 180 site
operators.  "A prime objective of the sweep," says McClain, "was to educate
businesses using the Internet about consumer protection laws and to deter
any future violations. But the FTC said the sites will be revisited later
and, if additional information suggests that they are illegal operations,
law enforcement action may be taken."

Director Jodie Bernstein of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection told
the wire service, "We want to put computer con artists on notice: Law
enforcement agencies throughout the country and around the world are
patrolling the Internet."

Consumers are advised by the FTC to:

    Investigate all earnings claims.
    Beware of phony references.
    Avoid any plan that includes commissions for recruiting additional
  distributors.
    Ask for a disclosure document if they are investing in a franchise.
    Get specific information about work-at-home plans.
    Obtain all promises in writing, including any refund policy.

Among states participating in Internet Sweep Day were Alabama, Arkansas,
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New
York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.  And,
besides the U.S., international participants were Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary,
Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the
Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and
the United Kingdom.   For more information on Net scams, visit the FTC web
site at http://www.ftc.gov.

                       Intel Fixes New Pentium Flaw

A potentially serious flaw discovered in the Pentium microprocessor can be
fixed, Intel Corp. says, by using software, but it could take a while for
Intel to distribute the patch to customers.  Reporting from Santa Clara,
California, the Reuter News Service says the flaw would let a malicious
programmer send an illegal command to the Pentium chip that would freeze
the operations of the personal computer or network server.

"The flaw appears in the original Pentium and Pentium with MMX, two of the
most popular chips in the world," Reuters notes. "It does not appear in the
newer Pentium II."

Intel says it found a software solution to block exploitation of the flaw
and is working with major software vendors, such as Microsoft Corp., to
implement the fix in various operating system software.

"An Intel spokesman said a specific timeline is not available because there
are at least eight operating systems on the market, and delivery of the fix
would vary from company to company," says Reuters.  Meanwhile, Intel told
the wire service the flaw would not occur in everyday use of personal
computers. Instead, a programmer would have to intentionally issue a
specific command to the Pentium, which would "crash" the system. The
machine would have to be turned off and back on to recover from the crash.

                          IBM Laying Off Hundreds

In a bid to trim costs in its domestic sales and distribution operation,
IBM is laying off hundreds of employees.  The Associated Press says that
while the cuts affect only a fraction of the North American unit's 20,000
employees, they follow offers of voluntary buyouts to many of IBM's 241,000
employees last month that could add up to thousands of more job cuts.

AP says the Armonk, New York, computer giant plans to revamp the unit by
Jan. 1, adding, "The reductions come amid sluggish profits from some IBM
machines. IBM is trying to cut expenses in less profitable divisions while
adding staff in fast-growing areas such as computer services, which advises
companies on their technology purchases and how  to set up computer
networks."

John W. Thompson, head of the White Plains, New York division, said in a
memo to employees earlier this week, "In the past, IBM often reacted too
closely to changes in the marketplace. Now, we are determined to be ahead
of the curve."  AP notes the cuts follow two years of acquisitions and
hiring by IBM, and several prior years of downsizing which brought the
number of workers down from a 406,000 peak in 1985.

"The company recently has been buoyed by stronger sales and a strategic
shift toward new technologies," says the wire service. "Despite the cuts,
IBM plans to have more employees at the end of this year than last as it
adds about 15,000 workers to its booming services division."

                     Ellison Says Apple's New CEO Near

He's not saying who, but Apple Computer Inc. board member Larry Ellison
says Apple has a candidate for chief executive that the board members "like
very much."  Reporting from Santa Clara, California, the Dow Jones news
service says Ellison, who is CEO of Oracle Corp.,  commented during a
speech to the Churchill Club that interviews with Apple candidate aere
continuing and he declined to identify the individual the board members
"like."

Ellison also said Apple will be introducing a sub-$1,000 network computer,
adding the machine could help restore the financial health of the
struggling computer maker.  On the matter of Steve Jobs,  Apple's interim
chief executive, Ellison said Jobs almost certainly will not take the post
on a permanent basis. "I think he wants to focus on Pixar and his kids," he
added.  "Not surprisingly," says Dow Jones, "Ellison used his platform at
the Churchill Club to chastise Microsoft Corp., saying the company has "the
wrong technology" with its ever-more complex personal computer software for
the age of the slimmed-down network computers."  Said Ellison, "They've got
technology for the present, not for the future," adding he viewed the
Justice Department's recent antitrust action against Microsoft as a
justified attempt to restrain its business.  "If the government does
nothing about what Microsoft is doing to Netscape (Communications Corp.),
there is no reason to have an antitrust division at all," Ellison said.

                       CompuServe Revamps Messaging

CompuServe Corp. says it has created one of the most powerful and efficient
communications packages in the online/Internet industry, providing a
convenient, effective way to consolidate messaging options.  Available at
the launch of "C from CompuServe" -- the company's new Internet-based
product due out in the U.S. and Canada later this year - CompuServe
communications will provide universal access to electronic messages for all
subscribers to CompuServe's current CSi and new "C" subscribers. In
addition, it will offer special options which will unify e-mail, fax and
voice messaging into a single mailbox.

The enhanced POP3 e-mail package also includes a lifetime e-mail address
that users can keep even when they change Internet service providers, and
allows universal access to electronic messages with standard e-mail
software.  Future options include prioritized inbound messages based on
user specifications, priority messages by sender and subject, outbound fax
capabilities and new ways to retrieve messages, such as via touch-tone
phone and browser.  CompuServe's Web site is located at
http://www.compuserve.com.

                        AOL Passes 10 Million Users

America Online says it now has become the largest single presence in
cyberspace, its membership base now passing 10 million subscribers.  The
Dulles, Va., firm has added more than 3 million members in the United
States, Canada, Europe and Japan over the past year.  "We're pleased to hit
this milestone," AOL CEO Steve Case told Chris Allbritton of The Associated
Press, "but this is a marathon, not a sprint." This is an ongoing effort."
Case, who founded AOL in 1985 as a small computer bulletin board, added,
"We don't want to sound cocky or complacent. Our focus is on meeting the
needs of our 10 million members."  AP quotes Case as saying the service is
adding 25,000 modems a month now, bringing the number of available modems
to more than 600,000. He said 520,000 members use the service during peak
hours.

                      Satellite Phone Service to Soar

Satellite telephone service will challenge ground-based mobile phone
systems in the 21st century, reports market research firm Frost &
Sullivan.  "The latest breakthrough is the widespread development of low
earth orbiting (LEO) and medium earth orbiting (MEO) satellite networks,
which promise seamless global communications anytime, anywhere," says Jose
del Rosario, a telecommunications industry analyst with the company in
Mountain View, California.

Satellite phone subscribers are expected to increase from 450,000 in 1999,
when the market is set to launch, to over 7 million in 2004, finds Frost &
Sullivan.  The company expects that substantial price declines in satellite
services for both air time and handset prices will make costs comparable to
cellular services by the next century. This development is expected to take
market share away from cellular, PCS, paging and other wireless
technologies, especially in countries with inadequate or congested
terrestrial wireless networks.

"Satellites and other wireless technologies will likely co-exist for some
time. However, satellite technology has an inherent advantage in its
ability to provide wide area coverage for international, regional and for
large in-country communications for nations such as China, India,
Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, to name a few," says Megan Marek, a Frost &
Sullivan telecommunications Industry Analyst. "Combine this with
competitive pricing and an expectedly converging global protocol standard,
and satellites may prove to be a preferred solution in the long-run."
Frost & Sullivan's Web site is located at http://www.frost.com.

                  HP, Intel, Microsoft and Sharp  Propose
              an IrDA Specification for Wireless Peripherals

                           COMDEX Booth No. H422

IrBus Draft Specification Allows for Seamless Communication of Two-way
Command and Control Products from Across-the-room.  The Infrared Data
Association (IrDA) today announced that Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel,
Microsoft and Sharp have received draft status for their IrBus proposal
that meets the IrDA bi-directional command and control market requirements.

IrBus is designed to allow in-room, wireless use of such peripherals as
mouse, keyboard, joystick, gamepad, remote control units and PDAs with such
hosts as multimedia PCs, two-way consumer electronic devices and two-way
home appliances.  Supporters of the proposed IrBus specification include
Acer Laboratories, Alps Electric, HP, Intel, KeyTronic, Logitech,
Matsushita Electronic Components, Microsoft, Philips Remote Control Systems
and Sharp.

 "As the third largest supplier in the world of IR enabled input and
control devices for the consumer entertainment market, the IrBus
specification will be a key enabling technology for our wireless text
input, point-and-click, gaming and control devices.  All of these products
will become part of our daily life in the home," said Stefaan Note, product
strategy and planning manager at Philips Remote Control Systems.  "Besides
the obvious benefits of an open specification, IrBus offers features such
as multiple peripherals operating at the same time and the high bit rates
that are required by a number of new products."   What Can IrBus Do?

    Works with up to 8 peripherals simultaneously communicating with at
  least two hosts;
    Provides quick response for such real-time applications, as gaming and
  mouse control; Gives wide-room coverage over a typical range of 24 feet (8
  meters);
    Has a long battery life;
    Has a data rate 75 Kb/s;
    Has a lower cost implementation than RF and;
    Minimal regulation of IR allows the possibility of worldwide adoption.

First IrBus host devices are expected to be multi-media PCs.  IrBus has
been designed to take advantage of USB technology to simplify connecting to
PCs.  This also will enable multiple device manufactures to develop
compatible wireless PC peripherals quickly. IrBus supporters are
prototyping IrBus to USB adapters to help finalize the specification and
ready early product offerings. Other IrBus supporters are expected to
incorporate IrBus support into future I/O chipsets.

Microsoft's Hardware Group, makers of PC input devices such as Natural
Keyboard, IntelliMouse and SideWinder game devices, says it is committed to
supporting IrBus and is evaluating how best to incorporate this
specification in future products.   "The IrBus specification provides a
tool for developing wireless bi-directional, smart PC peripherals that will
continue to make computing more compelling and convenient," said Rick
Thompson, vice president, Microsoft Hardware Group, Microsoft Corp.  "This
wireless specification will allow input device manufacturers to develop
universally accepted peripherals for consumers."

A prototype IrBus system will be demonstrated at the IrDA Pavilion (booth
H422).  Various IrBus peripherals will be shown operating in different
interactive environments; multi-player games with gamepads, cursor control
with mice and text input with keyboards.  HP and Sharp are prototyping
infrared transceiver modules that will meet the physical layer requirements
of the developing specification. They have announced plans to produce
physical layer components that are second sources to each other.  This will
help enable the widespread adoption of IrBus where market potential is very
large.

Prototypes of these components will be shown at the respective company
booths within the IrDA Pavilion (booth H422) at Comdex.    These components
are scheduled to be commercially available by midyear 1998.   General
information on IrBus can be obtained on the World Wide Web at
http://www.irbus.org .  The IrBus specification version 0.9 is a draft
document and is available to IrDA members.  IrDA membership is available by
contacting the IrDA office at 510/943-6546 or through the World Wide Web at
http://www.irda.org .

                  Slip Clutch Provides Additional Safety
                   For Patient and Operating Room Staff

Computer Motion Inc. (Nasdaq National Market:RBOT), the world leader in
medical robotics, Friday announced it has received issuance of its seventh
patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.   The patent applies to
the use of slip clutches in robotic surgical systems for use in minimally
invasive surgical procedures.   U.S. Patent No. 5,657,429 applies to the
use of slip clutches in robotic systems which move a surgical instrument in
response to a surgeon's input.

These robotic systems have an end effector that is adapted to hold a
surgical instrument such as an endoscope.  The end effector is coupled to a
robotic arm which can move the endoscope relative to a patient. Slip
clutches are utilized at various joints in the robotic arm to help ensure
the safe operation of the robot and also to allow the robotic arm to be
manually positioned by the surgeon.  "We are pleased with this patent
because our approach to using slip clutches is critical in building a
surgical robot that is safe for the patient and operating room staff," said
Dr. Yulun Wang, executive vice president, chief technical officer and
founder of Computer Motion.  "We will continue to secure core intellectual
property to sustain a competitive advantage and maintain our leadership
position in medical robotics."

Computer Motion, the world leader in medical robotics, develops,
manufactures and markets proprietary robotic and computerized surgical
systems for the operating room.  The company's mission is to enhance
surgeons' capabilities, improve outcomes and reduce costs using computers
and robotics.   The company currently markets the Automated Endoscopic
System for Optimal Positioning (AESOP), a surgical robot capable of
positioning an endoscope in response to a surgeon's verbal commands.  The
company is also developing the ZEUS robotic surgical system for new
minimally invasive microsurgery procedures, such as endoscopic coronary
artery bypass grafting (E-CABG) and the HERMES Operating System for the
voice control of medical devices in the operating room.

                       Australian Whiz Kid Signs Deal

Australia's national telephone company, Telstra, has signed a deal with a
17-year-old computing star Alex Hartman for the rights to his new software,
InfiNET, which allows access to the Internet with one click of a button.
"I think this will do the same thing for the Internet as the remote control
did for TV," Hartman yesterday told The Sydney Morning Herald.  The
Associated Press notes about a third of Australian households have personal
computers, but most people use them mainly to play games,  followed by uses
for business and homework. Only a small percentage access the Internet,
which Telstra is actively trying to promote.

"Apparently," says the wire service, "many people are deterred from using
the Internet by the complicated process of logging on, punching security
codes, waiting for connections to be established, and other delays.
Hartman's program does away with most of the delays."  Judy Slatyer,
Telstra's general manager of cable services, told reporters she had combed
the world seeking improved Internet access programs, but finally found what
she was seeking in her own backyard, in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.

"Our initial reaction to Alex," she says, "is that this looks great and
this kid is going to go a long way."  The Morning Herald described the sale
as a "million-dollar" deal, but there were no precise figures on its value.
AP says Hartman has had his own software development company, Amicus, since
he was 15.

                          Enhanced Snappy Debuts

Play Inc. has unveiled the latest version of its popular PC-based image
capture device.  Like its predecessor, Snappy 3.0 captures high-resolution
images from video sources, including TVs, VCRs and camcorders, and
transfers them into Windows-based PCs.

Snappy 3.0 includes a a new color preview screen and faster screen updates.
The product also includes a "one- click" e-mail feature that allows users
to e-mail images from inside the Snappy software. Snappy 3.0 is set to
become available this month for $99.95

Play also says it plans to release Snappy 3.0 Deluxe. The product, due out
by late November, includes the ability to capture moving video clips and
stereo audio with video stills, a universal audio cable and three software
packages: "Adobe PhotoDeluxe," "Kai's Power Goo SE" and "Gryphon Morph." No
price has been announced.  To learn more, visit Play's Web site at
http://www.play.com.

                       Microsoft 'Hydra' Beta Ships

Microsoft Corp. has released the first beta version of Windows-Based
Terminal Server.  The product, formerly code-named "Hydra," is designed to
deliver the Windows experience -- including Windows applications -- to
computer terminals that can't run Windows.  Microsoft says Beta 1 will ship
this week to more than 1,000 testers for technical evaluation. The software
giant also reports that it has gained the support of several major terminal
vendors, including Boundless Technologies Inc., Network Computing Devices
Inc., Neoware Systems Inc. (formerly HDS Network Systems Inc.), Tektronix
Inc. and Wyse Technology Inc.

"Customers have told us they want a Windows-based terminal solution to
complement traditional Windows-based PCs," says Jim Allchin, senior vice
president of Microsoft's personal and business systems group. "With Hydra,
we have extended the 32-bit Windows development environment from Windows NT
Server to the terminal applications market. Hydra also is a great way to
easily provide line-of-business solutions on full PC clients."  Microsoft
says it will determine a date for Beta 2 based upon customer feedback from
Beta 1. Pricing, packaging and licensing for Windows-Based Terminal Server
haven't yet been determined, says the company.  Additional information can
be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/guide/hydra.asp.

                     'Office 97' Sells at Record Pace

Microsoft Corp. reports that its "Microsoft Office 97" software suite is
the fastest-selling business application in PC history.  In less than a
year, says Microsoft, "Office 97" has sold more than 20 million licenses at
an average rate of 60,000 per day. The software giant notes that "Office
97" licenses are selling at twice the rate of any previous version of
"Office."  "With record-level sales, 'Office 97' has reached a new
milestone in PC history," says Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's executive vice
president of sales and support. "Corporate customers of all sizes and
industries are driving the high demand for 'Office 97.' We credit this
success to the great feedback we've received from our customers."  For more
"Office 97" information, visit Microsoft's corporate desktop evaluation Web
site at http://www.microsoft.com/office/org/.

                      Handheld Computer Market Soars

Market researcher Dataquest Inc. reports that the worldwide handheld
computer market experienced strong growth during the first half of 1997,
with shipments reaching 1.4 million units, nearly equaling 1996's year-end
total of 1.6 million shipments.  Dataquest notes that the market's growth
was led by "standard" handheld computers, which accounted 842,000 units.
The standard handheld market was driven by the success of 3Com's PalmPilot,
which maintained 66 percent market share for the first half of 1997, says
the San Jose, California, company. Windows CE-based handheld PCs garnered
20 percent of the standard handheld market in the first half of 1997.

Expandable organizer shipments accounted for 39 percent of the worldwide
handheld shipments in the first half of 1997. The expandable organizer
market has declined as the standard handheld market continues to grow,
notes Dataquest.  At the end of 1996, the expandable organizers comprised
51 percent of the overall handheld market while the standard handheld
computers controlled 49 percent of the market.

"(Standard and Windows CE-based models) deliver very different application
sets, have different form factors and data input technologies, yet the
inevitable comparisons between the PalmPilot and the crop of Windows
CE-based handheld PCs came and went in the first half of 1997," says Mike
McGuire, a Dataquest senior industry analyst. "We believe the choice really
comes down to users' work patterns -- mobile or deskbound -- and their
primary computer, desktop or notebook/ultraportable."  Visit Dataquest on
the Web at http://www.dataquest.com.

                       Monitor Magnifier Introduced

Bausch & Lomb Inc. has introduced a screen magnification system that's
designed to help PC users see more information more clearly.  The Bausch &
Lomb PC Magni-Viewer magnifies on-screen information 175 percent. The $250
product, which is set to ship in February, offers multiple adjustments for
customized monitor viewing and allows PC users to automatically position
themselves in an ergonomically correct work posture.

The Rochester, New York, company says the PC Magni-Viewer should appeal to
writers who want to fit more words on a screen page, accountants who want
to add more columns to a spreadsheet, designers working with CAD/CAM
programs and engineers who want to enlarge schematics. The PC Magni-Viewer
also aims to help aging Baby Boomers who require bi-focals to see and read
at a closer distance.

The two-piece system provides a rotating base that sits underneath a 13-,
15- or 17-inch PC monitor. Other features include an adjustable swivel-arm
that extends over the top of the monitor and an adjustable acrylic optical
lens.  "The Bausch & Lomb PC Magni-Viewer represents a major step forward
in personal computer ergonomics," says James A. Goff, vice president and
general manager of Bausch & Lomb's vision accessories group. "It is an
optical solution that compensates for the optical illusion of computer
monitor technology. Monitors present the illusion that on-screen
information is completely still with defined edges -- like text on a
printed page -- when it is in fact a screen filled with moving dots of
light called pixels. This illusion tricks the eye and forces it to strain
to maintain a focus on a constantly moving target."  More details are
available on the Web at http://www.bauschvision.com.

                      IBM Unveils Flat Panel Monitors

IBM Corp. has introduced five new flat panel color monitors, designed for
use with desktop PC and workstations.  The active-matrix, thin film
transistor (TFT) products are available in 14.5 and 16.1 inches screen
sizes and with a black or white case. They offer resolutions of up to 1,280
by 1,024 dots with as many as 16.7 colors. Two multimode monitors provide a
range of settings that match various PC graphics drivers; three
autosynching models will automatically adjust into whatever mode is sent
from the computer's graphics subsystem

"Sales of flat panel monitors, which have been limited to select,
space-constricted environments in the past, are expected to move into more
mainstream markets in 1998," says Rhoda Alexander, senior analyst with
Stanford Resources Inc., a market research firm. "Street prices on these
displays have dropped dramatically in the past year and early indicators
point towards 1998 as a spectacular growth year in LCD monitor sales."

Compared to conventional cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, flat panel
monitors consume about two thirds less power, generate very little heat,
are smaller and weigh less.  The new monitors' prices range from $2,795 to
$4,595. IBM has also lowered the price of its current gray-cased multimode
16.1-inch flat panel monitor to $3,995.  More details are available on the
Web at http://www.us.pc.ibm.com/options

                         Pulitzers Now Look Online

Online journalism for the first time can be included in the entries of
newspapers seeking the Pulitzer Prize for public service.  Newspapers
seeking the 1999 prize based on work published in 1998 will be allowed to
submit a single CD-ROM whose content was staff-produced and made available
on the paper's World Wide Web site, Pulitzer Prize administrator Seymour
Topping has told Associated Press writer Tim Whitmire.

"If a paper has a story of some importance and it decides to elaborate on
or illustrate the story further, or make some arrangement for interactive
responses of readers to that story" through the paper's Web site, that
material could be included on the CD-ROM, Topping said.  He told AP that
including online journalism is particularly appropriate to the public
service prize, which is designed to reward papers that make full use of all
journalistic resources in presenting a story.

Geneva Overholser, chairman of this year's Pulitzer board and ombudsman at
The Washington Post, commented, "It's not as dramatic, I am sure, as some
who would advocate recognition of online journalism would hope for, but I
think all of us on the board think that it's significant. We do this in
recognition that online journalism is an important part of what newspapers
do."

Topping told AP the board was inspired to examine the issue after receiving
two entries for this year's public service award that included CD-ROMS with
material that had been posted on newspapers' Web sites. One was an Internet
presentation about Bosnia, titled "Uncertain Paths to Peace," submitted by
The New York Times; the other was from the Sun Herald of Charlotte Harbor,
Florida, for its online presentation of "Our Town: Charlotte." Both entries
had to be disqualified, Topping said, because online journalism was not
included in the entry requirements.  Says Topping, "In both cases,
particularly with the case of The New York Times, it was obvious that the
entries were made to put the whole issue on the table."

                      Pfeiffer Urges PC in Every Room

Compaq Computer Corp. President/CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer says a personal
computer in every room and in every vehicle should be the new goal of the
computer industry.  Speaking at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas about
the future digital home, Pfeiffer said, "The digital home will create for
consumers an array of devices all genetically related to the PC."  He
described the future digital home with a computer server in the basement
running a network of myriad computers and devices in every room ranging
from a PC Theatre to a device that looks like a cellular phone for
electronic mail.

Added the Comdex chief, "There will be a general-purpose PC in the study,
and some will sell for less than $500. We are going to see innovations like
we have never seen before." However, he didn't give a specific time frame
for his predictions. Currently, fewer than 40 percent of homes in North
America have PCs.  Later, speaking with Therese Poletti of the Reuter News
Service, Pfeiffer added, "I think every deduction in the buy price gets
another slice of the population into the store. It's a matter of price
elasticity in the end."

Reuters says Pfeiffer and other Compaq executives demonstrated the
company's PC Theatre system, which combines a PC and a TV in a product
aimed for the living room, developed with consumer electronics giant
Thomson SA and its RCA brand.  The wire service says the product is in
customer testing and an upgraded model now includes a DVD player to play
full-motion video. A Compaq executive sat comfortably in a living room
armchair on the stage, with a remote control, illustrating how the PC
Theatre jumps from TV programming to movies to the Internet to PC
applications.

Also at the trade show, IBM is wowing attenders at its booth with a car
that lets drivers surf the Internet, catch up on e-mail, get navigation
help and drive at the same time.  Reuters says the vehicle is the result of
a joint effort of IBM, Delco Electronics, Netscape Communications Corp. and
Sun Microsystems Inc., who formed an initiative to create the "Network
Vehicle."

The car, says Reuters, "is a working concept that employs technologies
already in use, such as IBM's voice recognition software, so that the user
can verbally request the computer to read aloud e-mail messages, locate a
restaurant or hotel, in a safe manner that does not interfere with
driving."  Most of the technology could be made available to consumers in
as little as 18 months as add-on's to their existing vehicles, IBM says.

"Early versions of Network Vehicles could be available in as little as four
years or less, depending on the development cycles of new car models,"
Reuters reports. "Daimler-Benz demonstrated a Mercedes wired for Internet
access at the Tokyo Auto show last month."

                     Eye Drops Aimed at Computer Users

Bausch & Lomb has introduced a new eye drops product designed especially
for computer users.  Bausch & Lomb says its Bausch & Lomb Computer Eye
Drops is an over-the-counter lubricant that works by restoring moisture to
eyes that can become irritated after working on a computer for more than
two hours per day. The company reports that the eye drops have been shown
to "effectively relieve dry, tired and strained eyes."

"We have estimated that Americans spend more than $1 billion in medical
costs attributed to computer-related eye problems," says Dr. Ellen
Strahlman, Bausch & Lomb's vice president for corporate medical and
scientific affairs. "With Bausch and Lomb Computer Eye Drops, this group of
consumers finally has an eye drop formulated specifically for them, to
restore the moisture in their dry, strained and tired eyes -- rather than
only alleviating the redness. This product should be a welcome relief to
hundreds of thousands of computer users."  More details are available on
the Bausch & Lomb Web site at http://www.bausch.com.

                     Pittsburgh Bond Makes Net History

Pittsburgh has just made Internet history, becoming the first city to sell
municipal bonds online.  Associated Press writer Geof Becker says applause
greeted the end of yesterday's half-hour of bidding when a computer locked
in winning bids for the $70 million in bonds.  This also was the first time
in a live auction that allowed bidders to top each other.   Cities
traditionally sell bonds by accepting sealed bids from brokers or
negotiating interest rates with them. Finance director Paul Hennigan told
AP that method would have cost the city about 5.3 percent to borrow money,
but the bonds sold on the Internet had an average interest rate of 5.17
percent, as competing buyers bid the rate lower.

Hennigan estimated that the city saved about $300,000 in interest and
commissions. The savings will go to more public projects.  Still, says
Becker, using the Internet to auction bonds makes brokerage houses uneasy.
"They worry," he says, "at being placed in the awkward position of bidding
against potential customers who theoretically could buy directly from the
city or agency that issues the bonds."  AP says Pittsburgh officials "bowed
to such concerns, making the sale off limits to insurance companies and
other institutional customers who normally buy bonds for mutual funds or
pension investments. Only brokers were allowed to bid."

Incidentally, Belle Haven Investments, a municipal bond brokerage firm
based in Greenwich, Conn., was the winning bidder for several issues.  The
Internet bidding didn't go by without complaints, though. For  instance,
Curtis Roach, a principal at the firm, told the wire service he didn't like
seeing his price posted on the auction web site because customers may feel
emboldened to bargain harder, knowing what he paid.  Said Roach, "It may be
a bit too much disclosure ... (but) I'm not sure it's necessarily bad. It's
not what we're accustomed to."








                                     










                         HAPPY THANKSGIVING -1997



           A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N







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                              COMDEX FALL'97


Highlights from `Vegas

                                     
                  Samsung Shows Prototype Web Video Phone

LAS VEGAS -- Samsung Electronics America showed a prototype of its Web
Video phone at Comdex/Fall. The company expects to ship late next year.
The Web phone looks like a regular phone but has a 5-inch LCD panel that
juts out at a 45-degree angle, and a small keyboard for composing e-mail.
The phone works like a regular phone and allows direct Internet access and
processes e-mail.  The telephone's standard features include a
speakerphone, caller ID, an answering machine, call waiting, and several
personal information management functions.  The Web phone connects through
a standard telephone line and complies with the H.323 Internet Telephony
Technology standard, a company spokesperson said. Pricing for the device
has not been set.

                   Borland Buys Visigenic In Stock Swap

Borland said Tuesday it will take a charge in the first quarter of 1998 for
its acquisition of Visigenic Software, a move designed to give Borland a
foothold in the enterprise market.  Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Borland
said it will issue 12.5 million shares of common stock to pay for the deal,
and see a charge between $10 million and $12 million, or 22 cents per
share.   Visigenic shareholders will receive .81988 of a share of Borland
stock for each outstanding share of Visigenic. The deal will be accounted
for as a pooling of interests.  Shares of Borland [BORL] closed down 1 5/8
to 10 3/8, and Visigenic [VSGN] jumped 2 1/2 to 7 3/4.

Borland, which announced the deal at Comdex/Fall, said the deal will help
it become the a key technology provider for the enterprise market.
Visigenic, in San Mateo, Calif., is a leading provider of CORBA distributed
object technology.  "Our acquisition of Visigenic represents the next step
in our ongoing turnaround initiative," said Del Yocam, Borland CEO, in a
statement. "We now embark on the next major phase of our turnaround."
Yocam said the merger would not be dilutive to Borland's earnings.   Once
the deal is completed, Visigenic founder and CEO Roger Sippl will become
Borland's chief technology officer. Rick LeFaivre, Borland's current chief
technology officer, will head research and development for the combined
company.

                           Smart Cards? So What?

LAS VEGAS -- They may be smart, but they are not very popular.  That's the
verdict on smart cards from an informal poll among attendees at Comdex/Fall
held in Las Vegas.  Many companies are betting on the idea that Web surfers
would use these debit-type cards for applications such as making
micropayments on the Internet -- paying a few cents at a time to read an
article, download a recipe, or look at a picture online. Users download a
finite amount of cash onto a card, then swipe it through a reader on the
side of a computer.  Besides convenience, proponents see a big plus for
security. Hackers would not be able to use the cards to steal credit card
numbers or access bank accounts.

However, when TechWeb reporters asked people on the show floor at Comdex
whether they would use smart cards for Internet transactions, most did not
see the point.  "A credit card would do just as well," said Michael Camplin
of Eastman-Kodak. He said he is "not worried" about using a credit card
online.  Others agreed smart cards were not particularly needed for
electronic commerce. "Credit card protection loss is pretty good," said
Niloy Shah of Amoco. "There's more risk on a smart card -- if you lose your
card, you lose your money."

"Once everyone agrees on [security] standards for e-commerce," said Richard
Zamora, "the security problems [with credit cards] will go away."  A few
attendees at least thought the idea was interesting. Kimberly Fox of REC
said such cards might simplify her life. However, she has never had a
chance to actually use one.  "If anyone loses their credit card online,
they can be mischarged or overcharged," said Elkharsashy Rasha of American
Express Travel in Egypt. "Of course I would use it. It's very risky to use
a credit card on the Internet."

                       Cisco CEO Sees Bright Future

LAS VEGAS -- Cisco CEO John Chambers said Tuesday electronic commerce will
top $1 trillion by 2001.
Chambers, giving the keynote speech at Comdex/Fall, said e-commerce was
accelerating and should easily outpace projections of $300 million by 2001.
The networking giant alone estimates sales of $15 billion to $30 billion by
2001, said Chambers. "I think this is going to happen at a much faster pace
if we stay on our growth curve," he said.  Chambers, who was heckled at the
beginning of his speech by a labor representative, said companies both
large and small face a stark choice: adopt Internet technologies or die.
"The companies who deploy these technologies will win," he said. "Those who
don't will be left behind."  Business-to-business sales will drive e-
commerce and companies that take advantage of their networks will thrive,
said Chambers, who was stumping for Cisco products. Cisco conducts 39
percent of its business via the Internet.  The company, based in San Jose,
Calif., has grown from annual revenue of $70 million in 1991 to $6.4
billion in 1997 making it the largest networking company. Chambers was mum
on market share or projections for the next quarter.

                 LCD Monitor Cost may Drop by Next Autumn

LAS VEGAS -- LCD monitors are not quite ready to hit the retail mainstream,
but they're getting closer, breaching the $2,000 price barrier and showing
up more frequently in stores.   Panasonic, ViewSonic, Samsung, and ADI
Systems are among the vendors exhibiting flat-panel LCD displays at this
week's Comdex/Fall show in Las Vegas, in part to position LCD monitors for
next fall, when prices are expected to drop to about $1,500.
"We are just starting to get around the curve, and LCD is beginning to
become a viable retail product," said Michael Marusic, Panasonic's
marketing manager for display monitors.   Despite such positioning by its
competitors, Sony is holding off and concentrating its efforts on CRT
products. "We're not going to show something just for the sake of showing
it," said Sean O'Brien, Sony's product marketing manager for displays.

Meanwhile, retail store managers said as LCD monitor prices drop, the
customer base has spread to include those outside the financial and medical
fields, to whom most LCD sales have been made to date. The placement of LCD
units in technologically sophisticated retailers, such as New York's RCS
Computer Experience -- and in the nation's largest computer retailer,
CompUSA (in most major cities and on the CompUSA Direct online catalog) --
is considered by ViewSonic as being a key strategic achievement because
their customers are most likely to make such a purchase, said Chris Franey,
ViewSonic's vice president of sales.   ViewSonic, Samsung, and other
manufacturers are making efforts to give LCD monitors more of a consumer-
friendly feel.  "We're taking big steps now. The product we are putting out
now is equipped with multimedia speakers, making it more retail-oriented,
and we are looking to sell to the SoHo and corporate market," said Jeff
Geis, Samsung's marketing manager for displays.

                         Smart Cards? Not too Soon

LAS VEGAS -- Smart cards are being test-marketed for consumers to use at
retail outlets, but hardware vendors say PC-based electronic commerce is
still years from adoption. According to the manufacturers of PC smart card
readers at Comdex/Fall, security -- not Internet shopping -- will be the
primary use of the credit card-sized devices in computers. Although the
companies surveyed are targeting different niches, they all agreed that it
will be 1999 or 2000 before electronic cash and the Web converge.

Smart card reader manufacturer SCM Microsystems, based in Los Gatos,
Calif., has been working with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide
secure desktops, and is focusing on network access and encryption.  Aaron
Zitzer, SCM product marketing manager, said the ability to track
individuals across a network while allowing their identity and
configuration preferences to travel with them will spread the use of PC-
based smart cards. Smart cards provide the necessary security to let
customers search corporate databases and facilitate business to business
transactions, Zitzer said.

Because of the lack of software standards for smart cards, SCM has
customized the firmware for use in its readers to communicate with several
Windows and Unix platforms. Microsoft's recent PC-Smart Card
standardization in Windows 98 and NT 5.0 will alleviate some of these
problems, Zitzer said, but widespread smart card usage requires a killer
application. It will take a Microsoft to create a suite of smart card-
enabled applications to generate the necessary demand, he said.

Tritheim Technologies, based in Tarpon Springs, Fla., is showing off
SmartPort LT developer kits that let integrators develop intranet and
Internet products focusing on business-to-business applications. Tritheim
offers PC Card and serial or parallel port desktop readers along with its
$495 kits for Win NT and 95, and is developing Win CE and 3.1 applications.
Tritheim is working with developer Extencia, based in Redmond, Wash., to
develop smart card-protected access to Websites, said Vincent Poole, vice
president of product development. Banks will eventually bring smart cards
to the masses and may even give away the readers to key customers, Poole
said.

Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is shipping two
Praesidium/Imagine Card Unix-based products that include the smart cards,
readers, and hardware and software for smart card creation and
administration . A corporate version provides on-the-fly encryption for any
application within an organization, such as a form-based acquisition
system.  The Internet product focuses on server-based authentication for
allowing external access to Web pages, but does not provide encryption. HP
officials said they have not seen enough demand to add a commerce component
to their smart card products. They added that they are selling many
evaluation kits to banks who "are kicking the tires," but are not looking
to extend the technology to consumers imminently.

                        Comdex has Latest Net Tools

LAS VEGAS -- Comdex/Fall is the industry's opportunity to catch up with
products that promise to help make life a little easier.  The Web has found
its way into nearly everything from databases to graphics applcations to
sound-editing software. Here are some examples of the next wave of Web
products:

Claris is back with new Web-savvy versions of FileMaker Pro and HomePage.
FileMaker Pro 4.0 enables dynamic database publishing to the Web with a
single click. Comdex attendees were guided through a hands-on session that
showed off the new Web server component and sample Web templates for
shopping cart, guestbook, and employee applications.  The next release of
Claris' Web page authoring tool, HomePage 3.0, was also being shown with
enhanced FileMaker support. FileMaker Pro 4.0 is shipping at $199. HomePage
3.0 is expected in early 1998 at $99. Both products are available for
Windows and Macintosh platforms.

CorelDraw 8 is a flexible graphics design package sporting useful features
such as color mixing, integrated 3-D modeling and rendering, and
interactive distortion. A preset tool bar environment exposing Internet
layout tools merely sratches the surface.  Web page elements, such as Java
applets, radio buttons, and embedded files, can be placed on the same page
as content created with standard CorelDraw illustration tools. The
resulting page can be exported to one of three HTML formats -- Standard
HTML, Netscape 4 Layers, and IE 4 Styles -- retaining the look and feel of
the original document.

The $249 upgrade takes the edge off the full $695 list price. Mac and
NT/Alpha versions of CorelDraw 8 are under development.  If you are looking
to build and render 3-D models or thinking about toying with VRML, Ray
Dream 3D from MetaCreations is a great buy at $99. More than 750 3-D models
and 400 shaders are included.  If you are interested in using audio, the
folks at Sonic Foundry offer a pair of professional-grade digital audio
products -- Sound Forge 4.0 and Sound Forge XP 4.0. Sound Forge XP can be
used to record, edit, and manipulate many digital audio formats including
AU, WAV. AIFF, and RealAudio RA.

The full version of Sound Forge offers better control, a wider range of
effects, and DirectX plug-in support. Sound Forge XP comes with an
affordable $149 price tag, while its big brother Sound Forge 4.0 weighs in
at $495. Both products include a build specifically made for the Alpha
microprocessor under Win NT. Most Web developers should find XP more than
suitable.

                      Alpha 21164PC-Based Systems RSN

LAS VEGAS -- Fourteen computer-system manufacturers announced new PCs based
on Digital  Semiconductor's Alpha 21164PC microprocessor at Comdex/Fall
Monday. These new systems, available in the sub-$2,600 price category, will
contain the Alpha 21164PC chip and Alpha PC164SX motherboard, which were
introduced last spring.  The companies introducing Alpha 21164PC systems:
AHCS International, A-Trend Technology, Alta Technology, Aspen Systems,
Carrera Computers, DCG Computers, Enorex Microsystems, MaxVision, Microway,
Multiwave Technology, Polywell Computer, Tri-Star Computer, Visual
Technology, and Vobis Microcomputer.

The Alpha 21164PC microprocessor was co-designed by Digital Semiconductor
and Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric. Hudson, Mass.-based Digital
Semiconductor is part of Digital Equipment. The chip, which is marketed and
sold by Digital Semiconductor, Mitsubishi, and Samsung Electronics, runs at
speeds of 400 MHz, 466 MHz, and 533 MHz.  According to Digital
Semiconductor, the Alpha microprocessors enable real-time, broadcast-
quality video playback. They can be used in applications such as creating
and rendering 3-D images, Web-content creation, multimedia authoring, and
videoconferencing, as well as architectural engineering and electronic and
mechanical computer-aided design.

The Alpha 21164PC is the first Alpha processor to utilize motion video
instruction (MVI) extensions, Digital Semiconductor said. The MVI
instructions accelerate the performance of video-data compression
algorithms that implement MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video and prevailing
videoconferencing standards, according to the company. MVI will be included
in all future Alpha microprocessors.

                        3Com Shoots for Marketshare

LAS VEGAS -- 3Com, a name long associated with network interface cards,
stackable devices, and other products that fit near the edge of the
network, has taken another major move toward the core of the network -- an
area historically dominated by rival Cisco Systems.  The Santa Clara,
Calif.-based networking vendor is using Comdex to roll out a high-end
switch for both ATM and Gigabit Ethernet, with support for Layer 3
switching, Fast IP, Multiprotocol over ATM cut-through routing features,
multicast/broadcast control, and Quality of Service/Class of Service
capabilities for mission-critical or low-latency applications, such as
voice and video.

"The CoreBuilder 9000 offers the highest level of aggregation in 3Com's
product line," said Clinton Ramsey, 3Com LAN systems director. "It's a very
effective and feature-rich follow-up to the CoreBuilder 3500 [Layer 3
switch]."  Forwarding rates, according to 3Com, have been measured in
excess of 100 million packets per second, with Layer 3 switching
capabilities running at 56 million packets per second, as a result of the
company's Flexible Intelligent Routing Engine ASIC technology. The box
supports as many as 112 ATM OC-12 (622 megabits per second) ports with
future scalability to OC-48 (2.488 gigabits per second). Maximum Gigabit
Ethernet port density, meanwhile, currently stands at 126.

Pricing for the ATM chassis starts at $41,000. A dual-port ATM module costs
$10,000. Both products are slated for April availability. The Gigabit
Ethernet version, anticipated in June, starts at $35,000; the dual-port
module will be priced at $4,000. Both interfaces, however, can be mixed and
matched in the same chassis.  "They [3Com] really need a solid core
product, and they seem to be accomplishing that by bringing together the
technologies they've gotten through some of their acquisitions," said John
McConnell, president of McConnell Consulting, in Boulder, Colo. "This seems
to be a really strong product that, over time, should really offer some
very substantial investment protection."

McConnell anticipates that the 9000 could give viable competition to Cisco
at the core, adding that Cisco's Gigabit Switch Router has only recently
begun to ship.  "If 3Com can really execute and get the product to market
when they claim, with the features they describe, this should be a very
credible offering," McConnell said. "Having traction at the edge of the
network is also going to give them some advantages as they move toward the
core. Some of the stuff they're doing with [network interface cards] is
really going to be increasingly leveraged by the core switches. So if
you've already got their NICs, you're using dRMON, [distributed RMON] and
service-level stuff, it can be pretty strong leverage for their core
switch. Clearly, Cisco is going to have more aggressive products in that
space also. They're not going to take that kind of a competitive move
lightly."

Channel participation seems likely to be focused primarily upon high-end
integrators.  "3Com usually sells a great deal of products through the
channel, but this type of box usually goes from the top down, through the
direct-sales force to large integrators," said Dave Passmore, president of
Decisys, a Sterling, Va.-based network consultancy.

But McConnell suggested that 3Com's move toward the core might pull more
than a few channel players along with it.  "I would think the resellers
would want to be pulled along toward the core," McConnell said. "It
certainly would open up some opportunities. Obviously, the stuff at the
core is going to be lower-quantity, higher-margin products. Some of them,
on the other hand, are likely to consider how much they want to [challenge]
Cisco, or whether they want to deal with having a lot of competing products
in their lines."

                        AMD Shows Low-Priced PC/TV

LAS VEGAS -- AMD is offering a PC/TV at well below the $3,000 to $5,000
price point for the existing PC Theater systems based on rival Intel's
chips.  The company teamed with start-up 4Tel, in Capitola, Calif., to
design a new system that contains all the basics of a PC and adds TV and
DVD functionality. Two models are available: A low-profile desktop-size box
that works with a flat-screen 29-inch monitor and an all-in-one unit with a
17-inch screen. Suggested retail prices for the models are $1,299 for the
desktop box (plus $999 for the 29-inch multimedia monitor) and $1,399 for
the 17-inch all-in-one unit.

Both systems, which don't have official names yet, contain two internal TV
tuner cards, so consumers can play back two video streams simultaneously or
display multiple videoconferencing streams. Also included are a DVD-drive
(for DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, and DVD movie playback), a 3-D graphics card, and a
wireless keyboard and mouse.  Each PC/TV uses an AMD 200-MHz K6 processor
and comes with 32 megabytes of RAM, a 3G hard drive, and Windows 95. In
addition to a lower price, the units contain a different television tuner
implementation as a way to differentiate themselves from major players such
as Compaq and Gateway.

The 4Tel systems contain an upgradable TV tuner box attached the back of
the monitor. Having a tuner box connected to the back of the television
means consumers can watch television without ever having to turn on the PC,
and "it provides an upgrade path," said Mike Boyd, chief technology officer
at 4Tel. The tuner box on the monitor was designed to be removable, so the
consumer can get a new tuner card when digital television options become
available.

4Tel systems, which started about one year ago, is being headed up by Bill
Manac, who is also chief executive officer at Quadstate Software, a
software compression company in Capitola. The design group is made up of
the former Net TV team, Boyd said.  The company is contracting with a
division of Umax to manufacture the systems, said Michael Stark, vice
president of product development. 4Tel said it is in the process of
briefing retailers and will also make systems available to consumers
directly from its Website at www.4tel.

                  Compaq CEO Offers Vision For PC Market

LAS VEGAS -- Chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer laid out a host of
predictions for the industry Monday and displayed his vision of a
ubiquitous PC.  Pfeiffer, who gave the opening keynote at Comdex/Fall, said
PC market share was consolidating among the four top vendors. He said 18
months ago, the top four vendors owned 24 percent of the market and now has
35 percent. And the trend is accelerating.  "I expect this to continue --
five years from now, the top four players will control the top 70 percent
of the PC market," he said.  According to Dataquest's third quarter market
share figures, the top four global PC vendors were Compaq, IBM, Dell and
Hewlett-Packard.

Compaq leads in market share both abroad and domestically. Pfeiffer said he
expected Houston-based Compaq to have revenue of $24 billion to $25 billion
this year.  The Compaq CEO added that PCs were making the mainframe
extinct. He specifically cited Windows NT and Intel's Merced chip as the
primary reason for that trend.  In a demonstration, Pfeiffer also gave an
indicator of where Compaq may be heading in the next year or so. Pfeiffer
ran through a demo of what he called the PC Theatre -- an effort to replace
the television with a PC.

The product, which would battle Microsoft's WebTV for living room eyeballs,
is a set-top box that is a PC with a remote control and wireless keyboard.
The PC Theatre, produced in a joint venture with RCA, would be a full-
fledged PC that would be able to pick up television.  Pfeiffer did basic
Web surfing while running a video in his demonstration. The product is an
effort to put PC's everywhere, said Pfeiffer, who envisions all living
rooms eventually being tapped into a computer.  The PC Theatre is being
test marketed, and Pfeiffer would not say when it would hit the markets.
The main hurdle is price. The PC Theatre, as it is configured now, would
cost $5,000, Pfeiffer said.

                           At Comdex. Thin Is In

Vendors at this week's Comdex plan to match the heaps of cheap eats at Las
Vegas' buffets by offering demos of a wide variety of inexpensive, thin
hardware clients as alternatives to PCs.  Systems vendors such as IBM and
traditional dumb-terminal makers such as Network Computing Devices (NCD),
Tektronix, and Wyse Technology will display a wide range of devices,
including network computers; plain vanilla Windows-based terminals;
wireless WBTs; and flat-panel, small-footprint, low-emissions WBTs.  The
goal is to augment the general-purpose, relatively inexpensive PC with
specialized, less expensive accessories for every computing occasion.
Toward that end, last week, a dozen hardware and software vendors announced
they will meet in January to set standards for managing NCs across
multivendor platforms.  But attendees at the show will find ample evidence
that vendors are not holding up product plans waiting to see what these
standards efforts will yield.

Wyse is arguably showing the broadest range of thin clients. Wyse will
demonstrate a WBT that integrates an LCD panel with computing logic for a
thin client that's not just thin in terms of weight and software
requirements -- it's physically very thin as well, said Jeff McNaught,
senior director and general manager at Wyse, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan.  The
company also will demonstrate a wireless handheld WBT with an LCD screen
and a stylus that can be used as a mouse or to tap out letters on an on-
screen virtual keyboard.  The two units will go into production in the
first quarter of 1998, priced in the low-$2,000 range for the flat-panel
device, and about $2,500 for the wireless device.

Wyse will display a new WBT designed for the low end, priced starting at
$550 for just the logic unit, to be available by the end of the year.  IBM
also will display the latest in its series of NCs, the Network Station
Series 1000, designed to run Java applications and priced competitively
against a low-end PC. The product will be available in the fourth quarter.
The 1000 is a follow-up to the already available model 100, which is little
more than a dumb terminal with 3270 and 5250 terminal emulation and X-
Windows display built in. The model 300 has the same functionality as the
100, but also includes an embedded Web browser. The model 100 costs $649;
the model 300 costs $799.  The model 1000 will have the same functionality
as the model 300, plus support for the latest Java virtual machine.

              Gigabyte Storage And Handheld Devices At Comdex

LAS VEGAS -- In the world's glitz capital, users sift through the neon to
find substance at Comdex/Fall.  "It's not a big show for us," said Mark
Bingham, a Sun Microsystems spokesman. "It's too hard to make a lot of
noise there." But that won't stop vendors big and small from trying. James
Staten, an industry analyst with San Jose, Calif.-based Dataquest, said he
is looking forward to four major highlights of this year's show.  One of
the most prominent will be the newest generation of removable data storage
systems, he said. Several of the new products will give users up to a
gigabyte of storage for roughly the same price as today's market leader,
the Iomega 100-megabyte Zip drive.

A key attraction of the show for corporate managers will be a hands-on look
at Windows 98 and new versions of Win NT and Win CE, Staten said. The
upgrade to CE, Microsoft's mini-operating system, should give a boost to
systems smaller than laptops.  "At this show, we're really going to start
to see handhelds that compete with notebooks," Staten said. These devices
will run stripped-down versions of most familiar office programs and will
increasingly threaten traditional laptops, he said. Microsoft will also
show the next release of its e-mail and messaging software, Microsoft
Exchange 5.5.  The show will feature "a lot of new device types, products
that don't fit the current mold," Staten said. Many of these are targeted
at home use, such as products that allow users to link their desktop
computers and their living room television sets, so they can surf the Net
in either place.

Staten said he hadn't expected that technology to reach the mainstream for
several more years, but it is likely to gain momentum at this year's show.
>From disk drive to four-wheel drive, Comdex has a little bit of everything.
Intel is featuring its Bunnymobile -- the high-tech van driven by the men
in the shiny bunny suits. The van is said to be equipped with Internet
technology that lets the driver send faxes, surf the Web, or place
telephone calls from the driver's seat. The car will reportedly give a
directionally impaired driver voice instructions as well.  Rivaling Intel
will be a Java car, co-developed by Sun and JavaSoft. The car's inner
computers all run on Java, of course. The Web-equipped car reportedly lets
a driver give voice commands, watch television, or listen to Internet
radio.

                               Wideband DRAM

LAS VEGAS -- Samsung Semiconductor at Comdex here this week will unveil
what it claims is the first 64-megabit double data rate synchronous DRAM
chip.  In a Comdex battle of next-generation wideband memory chips, LG
Semicon plans to show a 64-Mb Rambus DRAM and announce that it will make
samples available of Direct Rambus DRAMs in the first half of 1998.
Recently, Hyundai Electronics and Mitsubishi announced test chips for a
third high-speed DRAM contender: SLDRAM.  Intel has selected Direct Rambus
DRAM as the wideband memory for its upcoming 600-MHz and higher
microprocessors. However, the rival architectures are out to convince the
computer industry -- at Comdex -- that the wideband DRAM battle isn't over
just yet.

                PC Makers Struggle With Platform Expansion

LAS VEGAS -- There are portentous questions in the air as Comdex/Fall opens
its doors here next week. Just how far can the PC's architecture be
stretched? How will engineers handle the very different design challenges
presented by the PC platform's expansion into low-cost consumer systems,
"superportables," and workstations, among others?  Make no mistake about
it, the fragmentation of the PC is "very real and will continue," said Dan
Russell, director of platform marketing at Intel.  For Example:

    Some engineers designing home computers say they are hungry for more
  integrated silicon, and others are keeping an eye on alternative operating
  systems.
    A new class of small notebooks will emerge at Comdex that do not rely
  on X86 processors.
    Workstation makers say they are simply looking for ways to handle the
  power and thermal issues that Intel's upcoming processors will generate.


"Still," said Russell, "some technologies, like power management, will run
across all these systems."  Of all the emerging PC markets, the low-cost
consumer segment seems to be where the bulk of the action is. Some
consultants estimate that sub-$1,000 consumer desktops will account for as
much as 40 percent of retail PC sales this year. In this market the call
has been for integrated silicon.  Responding to that need, Micron
Electronics, in Nampa, Idaho, is partnering with semiconductor companies,
whose names it won't disclose, to roll out its Stiletto chipset. The logic
uses a Uniform Memory Access architecture similar to the Plato chipset from
S3 Corp. It integrates audio, video, modem, Universal Serial Bus, and a
south bridge into a fairly small single device, said Dean Klein, chief
technology officer at the PC maker. "This chip includes a memory port, CPU
interface, and several other ports to form what is essentially a three-chip
PC," said Klein. "That's consumerizing the PC."

The device will support Socket 7 processors and be available to third
parties, though Klein would not reveal production details.  For its part,
Compaq Computer has ordered integrated silicon from Cyrix in the form of
the MediaGx to meet the needs of its low-cost consumer systems. But the
semiconductor industry is not yet directing enough attention to this area,
according to one senior engineer in Compaq's consumer division, who asked
not to be named.

"The whole industry needs to make a switch from marketing that is going
nuts over megahertz to taking advantage of higher density silicon optimized
for lower costs," said the engineer. "The PC is still like the first cell
phones: It needs integration and an upgrade in technology. And we haven't
begun to take advantage of quarter-micron technology yet."  Seemingly ready
to respond to the call for low-cost components is Intel. At an analysts'
meeting in June, Paul Otellini, Intel's executive vice president for sales
and marketing, said that the company has tracked and would respond to the
demand for sub-$1,000 systems with new variants of its Pentium II now in
the works.

Gateway 2000, when it purchased the assets of Amiga earlier this year,
seemed to indicate a belief that Microsoft Windows would not be the sole
solution for its consumer push with high-end systems such as Destination,
its hybrid PC-TV. However, Mike Grubbs, director of global convergence
products for Gateway, continues to wave the Microsoft flag.   "We haven't
gotten to the point where we have pushed the PC architecture as far as it
can go, although we recognize it's not the only architecture that will
exist," said Grubbs, who expected to show a version of Destination with
enhanced audio and video capabilities this fall. "We're looking at other
architectures and keeping our eyes open."

Still, Grubbs -- who was part of the original design team on one of the
first retail microcomputers, the Tandy TRS-80 -- defended the PC
architecture as the right choice for Destination.  "If we had built some
exotic architecture dedicated to perform a specific function we would have
found it much more difficult to integrate things like DVD or the latest DSP
technology or the rapidly improved signal-to-noise ratio in our audio
subsystem. With the PC, we can take advantage of a large industry
infrastructure of people who are doing some very clever things.

"On the other hand, the PC has some baggage," Grubbs added. "I believe the
architecture will evolve to have more segmented and specialized
implementations."  "We don't want to see too much fragmentation because too
many baseline standards are confusing," said Russell of Intel. The
company's goal is to define a basic PC and "break out personalities to
create new platform types," he said. Of all those different spins of the
PC, the high-end consumer system is perhaps the one most likely to head off
in its own direction, he added.

"That may get split out over time," said Russell.  On another front, mobile
PC designers see an opportunity to radically ratchet back the power
requirements in a new class of small notebook computers that do not use the
generally power-hungry X86 processors. Leveraging Microsoft's Windows CE, a
number of mobile systems makers expect to preview systems variously called
superportables or mini-notebooks that use a variety of processors --
including the Digital StrongARM and others -- that offer faster speeds and
lower power consumption than typical X86 chips.

Last year saw the first wave of CE devices, a set of generally look-alike
handheld organizers that offer connectivity with the Windows desktop. This
year's show is expected to reveal a broader group of experimental products
that live in a space between a pocket-sized organizer and a full-sized
notebook.  "For Windows CE devices to be well received, they need to be
very aggressive in price and targeted to what the PC market doesn't do well
-- offer instant-on functionality and dramatically longer battery life,"
said Tom Schmidt, a mobile systems designer at Digital Equipment, in
Maynard, Mass. "There's the question with these products over where you
draw the line in the sand for what's the minimum basic system."

                            Storage Sacrificed

Generally, the mini-notebooks will offer small VGA monochrome or color LCDs
and larger keyboards than their handheld cousins, but they will sacrifice a
hard disk, CD-ROM drive, or floppy disk to achieve a size smaller than the
typical 8.5-by-11-inch notebook. Mass storage may come in the form of a few
tens of megabytes from any of the market's several miniature flash cards,
or simply via on-board RAM. The systems will generally come in at less than
$1,000.

Mitsubishi Electronics has already taken a crack at this market with a full-
blown Wintel design, the Amity CN, which uses Windows 95 and a 133-MHz
Pentium. It weighs 2.4 pounds and measures 9.3-by-6.7-by-1.34 inches,
builds in a 1.2-gigabyte hard disk and uses a 7.5-inch enhanced DSTN color
display for $1,995.  Advances in lithium ion batteries and Intel X86
processors mean today's versions offer longer battery life and better
performance than the earlier ones, said Daniel Jones, senior manager of
product planning at Mitsubishi's mobile computing division, in Cypress,
Calif.

Toshiba's Libretto 70CT handheld system, introduced earlier this month, has
gone even a step further in shrinking a full Wintel PC into a device that
measures 8.3-by-4.5-by-1.3 inches. The 1.87-pound computer uses a new 120-
MHz Pentium processor and runs Windows 95.   Moving in yet another mobile
direction, Mitsubishi will show at Comdex a prototype developed with
Hewlett-Packard of a standard 8.5-by-11-inch notebook that is a stunning
0.7 inches thin and weighs just 3.19 pounds. Called the Panther, it should
be shipped early next year in separate versions sold by Mitsubishi and HP.
The Panther uses a thin 12.1-inch TFT LCD made by Mitsubishi. The push for
ever-larger displays has driven systems makers to seek such thin form
factors to keep their overall systems as light and small as possible. The
Panther sports a hard disk that stores more than a gigabyte, a 233-MHz
Intel Tillamook Pentium processor, and up to 64 MB of RAM. (A CD-ROM drive
and other peripherals are located on a separate docking station.)

The Panther system is powered by lithium polymer batteries made by
Ultralife Batteries, in Montvale, N.J. Polymer batteries can be shaped to
the confines of a system, opening the door to thin packs. Mitsubishi has
licensed the Ultralife technology and intends to make the polymer batteries
in a Japanese factory.  But like the mininotebooks, the Panther may suffer
from a nonstandard keyboard. Although small notebooks use less than full-
sized keyboards, which users have rejected, the Panther uses a new keyboard
with a very small vertical travel distance to accommodate the system's
thinness. The keys are generally the same size as those on normal
notebooks, but their feel is different and may cause users to shy away from
the otherwise novel design.

Power is certainly a top concern for PC workstation makers.  "Total system
power requirements have gone up very little to date," said Wolfgang Baltes,
R&D manager for performance systems at Hewlett-Packard's PC operations in
Grenoble, France.  But that will change with the advent of Intel's Merced
processor, which is expected to boost the performance of tomorrow's
workstations -- and suck a significantly higher amount of power from them.
"Today's PC workstation, which consumes more than 300 watts, could become a
Merced system that consumes 600 to 700 watts," Baltes said. "That's in the
class of a small bathroom heater. You can't just put that on your desktop."

The power demands in tomorrow's workstations will not be confined to the
CPU, but will come from a whole new generation of Unix-class components
"with power and cooling requirements the PC industry has never seen
before," Baltes added. "Our graphics subsystems draw 10 to 15 Watts today,
but we have plans for new graphics cards that will draw in the range of 100
watts. Today's adapter cards are not designed to dissipate 100 Watts. We
will even have to change the way we bring power to an Accelerated Graphics
Port card."  The power and speed demands are forcing a shift to new design
tools at HP's PC group, a move likely to leverage the RISC workstation
heritage of the company.

"There are lots of tools for gigahertz-class design in the world," Baltes
said. "We just need to move them into the PC space with its focus on high
volumes and low costs."  But as they ramp up their technological savvy, PC
workstation makers believe the price tag of their systems will trend
upward, too.  "To make these systems perform well with the EMI and signal-
quality issues, you will end up delivering complex four- and six-layer
boards [that] don't hit the cost points the industry typically offers,"
said Satish Gupta, general manager of professional workstation products for
the IBM Personal Computer Co., in Research Triangle Park, N.C. "There will
be a leap in costs for all the elements."



EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


                                  Edupage

Contents

ISP Sues Spammer
AOL Not Responsible For Malicious
Posting
Mastering The Net
Giant CD-ROMs Slated For 2000
High-Tech Theft
Defining Information
Solving "The Year 2000 Problem"  --
The Old-Fashioned Way
Edupage Exposed Again To Censor's
Knife
U.S Regains Supercomputer Lead
Apple Courting New CEO?
Sun On Fast Track For Java Standard
MasterCard, AT&T To Build Private
Network
Randomly Groovy
Microsoft Doubles Share Of Browser
Market
Intergraph Sues Intel Over Patents
Information Technology Is Nation's
Largest Industry
Graves: Instructional Technology
Won't Work Without A Market
Texas Educators See Laptops As The
$1.25 Solution
Armed Robbers Steal Microsoft
CD-ROMs And COAs In Scotland
Sun Says Microsoft Deceives
Customers About Java Compatibility
Weather Forecasting System
Lucent Unveils Smaller, Faster
Transistor
Wireless Cable TV
AOL Reaches Ten Million Subscribers
Now
Vidal Says Computers Encourage
"Lousy, Repetitive Prose"
Down To The Wire


                             ISP SUES SPAMMER

SimpleNet, a San Diego-based Internet service provider, has filed a lawsuit
against several companies and individuals that allegedly used its servers
to send hundreds of thousands of e-mail messages advertising a book called
"Meet, Attract and Date Gorgeous Women."  But unlike previous "spam" cases
alleging civil violations, SimpleNet is requesting that criminal charges be
brought against the perpetrators:  "Criminal charges are being brought
because the named defendants have orchestrated an intricate and highly
deceptive plan to defraud SimpleNet and its customers," says the
plaintiff's attorney.  SimpleNet has also filed a civil claim in federal
court, alleging that the defendants illicitly used company resources and
damaged its reputation.  The  bulk mail and responding flame mail caused
SimpleNet's servers to crash on at least one occasion, and the unsolicited
messages have caused several organizations to filter out any messages
coming from the SimpleNet domain.  (Net Insider 13 Nov 97)

                 AOL NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MALICIOUS POSTING

In another case involving liability of Internet service providers, a
federal appeals court has ruled that a man who received death threats after
some anonymous enemy posted false and malicious information about him could
not hold America Online responsible.  Noting that the federal
Communications Decency Act of 1996 immunizes Internet and online providers
from lawsuits over material that comes from third parties, the Court said
that, if Internet service providers were  held responsible for such
messages, they would "have a natural incentive to remove messages upon
notification, whether the contents were defamatory or not.  Liability upon
notice has a chilling effect on the freedom of Internet speech."  (AP 14
Nov 97)

                             MASTERING THE NET

Marlboro College in Vermont will begin offering two new graduate programs
in January -- a master of arts in teaching with the Internet and a master
of science in Internet strategy.  "Knowledge-making is changing in every
field because of this technology," says the college's president.  "We're
not focusing just on the Internet, but how people can use this kind of
cardinal technology in a broader way."  The programs will focus on teaching
teachers how to incorporate the Internet into the classroom experience, and
teaching managers how to oversee an organization's Internet strategy.
(Boston Globe 14 Nov 97)

                       GIANT CD-ROMs SLATED FOR 2000

Norsam Technologies Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M., is developing a CD-ROM
technology that would enable users to store up to 165 gigabytes on a single
disk -- almost 10 times as much data as can be stored on digital video
disks.  The additional capacity is made possible by replacing the
prevailing 800- and 350 nanometer laser writing technology with a more
powerful 50-nanometer particle beam.  "The Norsam HD-ROM will ... be a
major competitor in the high-availability data arena," says the company's
president.  The HD-ROM disks will be the same size as current CD-ROMs, but
will require users to install high-density readers in their devices.
(InternetWeek 14 Nov 97)

                              HIGH-TECH THEFT

A group of Ottawa technology, law and insurance firms have joined with
police to start Canada's first technology anti-theft association. Police
say thefts, break-ins and robberies of computer parts have cost Eastern
Ontario businesses $40-million over the past year. Five years earlier,
almost no thefts were reported. (Toronto Financial Post 14 Nov 97 p6)

                           DEFINING INFORMATION

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research
Council is information technology literacy issues.  Sets of questions have
been developed for computer and communications scientists and engineers,
employers and labor professionals, librarians, K-12 educators, etc. about
the nature and scope of information technology literacy, and you are
invited to submit your answers to those questions in the form of a short
position paper.  See < http://www2.nas.edu/cstbweb/549a.html >

         SOLVING "THE YEAR 2000 PROBLEM"  -- THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY

Like administrators throughout the world, Treasury Board officials in
Canada are trying to solve the problem caused by computer numbering systems
that are unable to deal with the date for the  year 2000 and beyond.
Treasury Board Secretary Marcel Masse says that the public service is ready
to write dates on checks by hand in the year 2000. (Ottawa Citizen 13 Nov
97A5)

                  EDUPAGE EXPOSED AGAIN TO CENSOR'S KNIFE

Because we used a "red flag" word, the last issue of Edupage was rejected
as salacious by the filtering software used at one U.S. institution of
higher learning.  The offending word was found  in the sentence:  "The new
bill is more narrowly focused than the CDA, and is targeted strictly at
impeding the flow of commercial pornography on the World Wide Web."  (Of
course, because
of the same filtering software, some of you out there will never read this
issue of Edupage to know why you were unable to read the last issue of
Edupage.  Oh well.)

                      U.S REGAINS SUPERCOMPUTER LEAD

A study by researchers at the University of Tennessee and the University of
Mannheim indicates that the U.S. has built 16 of the world's 20 fastest
supercomputers, with the other 4 built by Japanese companies.  A year ago,
the Japanese had the 3 fastest supercomputers and 10 of the fastest
supercomputers were made in Japan.  Currently, the world's fastest computer
is a massively parallel processing machine built by Intel using 9,152
Pentium P6 processors and capable of a speed of more than 1.3 trillion
mathematical operations per second.  In parallel processing, a large
problem is broken up into many small pieces, and the various pieces are
solved simultaneously ("in parallel") by a massively large number of small
processors.  Only one of the 20 fastest computers is a traditional vector
machine which has one or several high-speed processors.  (New York Times 17
Nov 97)

                          APPLE COURTING NEW CEO?

Oracle CEO and Apple Computer board member Larry Ellison says that Apple is
very close to making an offer to the top candidate for the Apple CEO job:
"We're getting close.  We have someone we like very much...  He's really
terrific."  Ellison also says Apple will develop a low-cost network
computer, and that the key to Apple's future is the existing Mac OS, not
Rhapsody (the next-generation Mac operating system).  He predicts that
network computers will eventually supersede PCs in the computer
marketplace, thanks to their adaptability and easy upgrade capabilities.
"The PC is truly a device that only an engineer can love."  (InfoWorld
Electric 14 Nov 97)

                    SUN ON FAST TRACK FOR JAVA STANDARD

Sun Microsystems' request to make its Java software an official technical
standard has received a majority of favorable votes from member countries
of the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva.  The move
is part of Sun's strategy to encourage adoption among overseas governments
and businesses, many of which will use only ISO-approved technologies.  A
Sun spokeswoman said the company had received unofficial notice that only
two of the countries voting, the U.S. and China, had voted against the
proposal, with 19 for and 2 abstaining.  (Wall Street Journal 17 Nov 97)

                 MASTERCARD, AT&T TO BUILD PRIVATE NETWORK

MasterCard International is working with AT&T in building a 70-country
virtual private network to replace its X.25 packet-switching network.  The
credit card company anticipates reducing transaction waiting times in half
for its 23,000 financial institutions.  In the first year alone, the
combined times savings for companies that use credit card terminals is
expected to total 47 years.   The new IP-based network will enable
MasterCard to increase and decrease capacity as needed,  expanding for peak
times like the Christmas holidays, and shrinking when buying subsides.
Inaddition to flexibility, the network is considered a key component of
MasterCard's strategy for the future of electronic money.  "It has to be
anywhere, on time, and every time," says a senior VP with the company.
"Unlike in the credit-card business, there is absolutely no means for
failure." (Information Week 16 Nov 97)

                              RANDOMLY GROOVY

Scientists at Silicon Graphics have taken the mesmerizing flow of the lava
lamp to the next level of utility -- using the favorite fixtures of the
'60s to generate truly random numbers, something computers cannot do.  The
process involves using a digital camera to snap periodic shots of six
oozing cylinders, combining those images with electronic noise and
converting it into 1s and 0s, and then using the Secure Hash Algorithm from
the National Institute of Standards and Technologies to compress and
scramble the binary string to create a seed value for a standard
random-number generator. (Scientific American Nov 97)

                 MICROSOFT DOUBLES SHARE OF BROWSER MARKET

Over the past nine months, Microsoft has doubled its share of the Internet
browser market to 40%, up from 20% at the end of 1996, according to a
Dataquest survey.  Arch rival Netscape still leads with close to 58%, but
that's down from 73% earlier.  "If Microsoft's growth in browser  share
continues, Dataquest projects Internet Explorer to reach parity with
Netscape Navigator as early as the second quarter of 1998,'' says a
Dataquest analyst.  "The important battle to watch is the change by version
-- particularly, will Navigator version 3 users move to Navigator version
4, or will they choose Internet Explorer, or both?''  Microsoft is
currently under investigation by the  Justice Department over the bundling
of its Internet Explorer 4.0 software into its Windows operating system.
(AP 18 Nov 97)

                    INTERGRAPH SUES INTEL OVER PATENTS

Intergraph Corp. has sued Intel in federal court, charging the chipmaker
with a "systematic campaign of coercion" and violation of contracts and
patents.  Intel has countersued, alleging that Intergraph's patents are
invalid and that it wasn't infringing on them anyway.  The two companies
have been discussing their differences for months, but Intergraph
apparently decided to sue after Intel refused to help fix a bug Intergraph
engineers found in Intel's Pentium II chip.  Intergraph enlisted the aid of
another company to help it, which resulted in Intel warning that company
that it would be violating its contract with Intel if it worked with
Intergraph.  Intergraph is seeking monetary damages in the suit.
Separately, Intel has filed suit against Silicon Storage Technology Inc.,
alleging infringement of Intel's flash-memory chip patents.  (Wall Street
Journal 18 Nov 97)

            INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IS NATION'S LARGEST INDUSTRY

A study based on Commerce Department data and sponsored by the American
Electronics Association (AEA) and the Nasdaq stock market says that the
field of information technology (including both computing and
telecommunications) is now the nation's largest industry, ahead of
construction, food products, and automobile manufacturing.  And the AEA's
president took the occasion of the study's release to urge lawmakers to
learn more about technology:  "Whether we like it or not, high-technology
issues are going to be front and center in Washington and in state capitals
during the next few years.  At the state and national level, policy makers
have a lot of positive impressions about the high-technology industry, but
often very little knowledge of it.   The biggest public policy threat to
the high-technology field is the ignorance of technology and of how these
industries work."  (New York Times 18 Nov 97)

                   GRAVES SAYS INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY
                        WON'T WORK WITHOUT A MARKET

William H. Graves, who recently left the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill to form the Learning Technology Research Institute in the
Research Triangle area of North Carolina, says that the use of technology
in the classroom will never become routine unless businesses get involved
in it, much as publishers now produce textbooks.  Graves is also senior
vice president of Collegis, a consulting company specializing in the
academic market sector.  (Chronicle Of Higher Education 21 Nov 97)

             TEXAS EDUCATORS SEE LAPTOPS AS THE $1.25 SOLUTION

Faced with $1.8 billion in projected costs for textbooks over the next six
years, the Texas Board of Education is seriously considering replacing
textbooks with laptop computers that would be lent to the state's 3.7
million students for a cost of $300 million a year.  Board Chairman Jack
Christie, who says "there's no way it would not improve student learning,"
asserts that "a year ago we replaced social studies books that still had
Ronald Reagan as President, the Berlin Wall standing and the Soviet Union
as one country.  With laptops, you can upgrade that for $1.25."  (New York
Times 19 Nov 97)

                       ARMED ROBBERS STEAL MICROSOFT
                       CD-ROMs AND COAs IN SCOTLAND

Four masked men held up a manufacturing facility in Scotland and got away
with 100,000 CD-ROMs and 200,000 certificates of authority (4x4" papers
with holographic images, watermarks, special printing, bar graphs and
serialized numbers) worth millions of dollars.  A Microsoft executive says:
"We are doing everything in our power to ensure that counterfeit product
resulting from this robbery doesn't reach consumers in the United States or
elsewhere and  that, if it does, the trail is tracked straight to the
source."  (Wall Street Journal 19 Nov 97)

                   SUN SAYS MICROSOFT DECEIVES CUSTOMERS
                         ABOUT JAVA COMPATIBILITY

Sun has asked a federal judge to forbid Microsoft to use Sun's Java logo on
its Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser software. Sun claims Microsoft is
deceiving consumers by printing the  "Java compatible" logo on its
software, and a Sun attorney says:  "It's like buying a can of Coca-Cola
and finding ginger ale inside.  The customer trusted the brand and was
deceived... We are making a simple demand: because these Microsoft products
do not pass Sun's compatibility tests...  Microsoft must be stopped from
using the Java compatible logo."  (Financial Times 19 Nov 97)

                        WEATHER FORECASTING SYSTEM

IBM is demonstrating a new local weather forecasting system, developed in
cooperation with the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, that can create detailed forecasts, accurate
down to a three-mile range. Cost of the system ranges from $1 million to
well over $10 million, depending on how much detail is required, how
quickly the forecast is needed, and how many three-dimensional modeling
workstations are required to view the results. (San Jose Mercury News 19
Nov 97)

                 LUCENT UNVEILS SMALLER, FASTER TRANSISTOR

Scientists at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs have come up with a transistor
that is five times faster and one-fourth the size of conventional models.
The tiny transistor -- about 1,000 times  smaller than the width of a human
hair -- is also a power miser, consuming between 60 and 160  times less
power than transistors currently in use.  The company has not said when the
new technology will become commercially available, but industry experts
project such transistors to be standard by the year 2010.  (Wall Street
Journal 20 Nov 97)

                             WIRELESS CABLE TV

BellSouth is now offering a wireless digital TV service that will reach
about 80% of homes in the New Orleans area and that will be the nation's
first all-digital TV offering.  Though digital satellite carriers are not
allowed to offer local programs, BellSouth's customers will be able to
purchase as many as 160 channels at prices ranging from $15 to $80 a month.
(USA Today19 Nov 97)

                  AOL REACHES TEN MILLION SUBSCRIBERS NOW

America Online has exceeded the 10 million-subscriber level by adding more
than 3 million members in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan over
the past year. Forrester Research .  Based in Cambridge, Mass., says AOL's
new numbers give it about 20 percent of the world's online population and
half of the online households in the United States, making it a very
attractive advertising medium.  (AP 18 Nov 97)

                      VIDAL SAYS COMPUTERS ENCOURAGE
                         "LOUSY, REPETITIVE PROSE"

Novelist Gore Vidal says his writing would have suffered over the years had
he been using a computer:  "In general, people who write on computers don't
write nearly as well as those who type or write longhand.  They become
'easy settlers,' as we used to call movie writers who settled for their
first notion of a scene.  The computer page looks too perfect to alter the
first time around.  Hence, lousy, repetitive prose."  (Forbes ASAP 1 Dec
97)

                             DOWN TO THE WIRE

In hopes of being able to finally show a profit by the end of 1998, Wired
Digital (publisher of the  Wired News Service and the Hotwired Web site) is
cutting its staff by 20%.  The company recently abandoned its attempt to
fer features focused on health, sports and entertainment, and its parent
organization, Wired Ventures, recently jettisoned its plans to become an
independent book publisher.  (New York Times 20 Nov 97)




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Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor
fsereno@streport.com

                                     
                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                                     
                             From Frank's Desk
                                     
For this week's column, I've decided to place the review at the front and
have the news last.  I've assumed that people read my column for the
reviews so this will it make it easier to find them.

On the personal side, the tentative delivery date of my family's third
child has been set to December 3rd.  Thanks to everyone who sent along
congratulations when the news was posted a few weeks ago.

                                     
                                     
                                     
                        JumpStart 1st Grade Reading
                            Windows/Mac CD-ROM
                                ages 5 to 7
                             approximately $30
                                     
                            Knowledge Adventure
                          1311 Grand Central Ave.
                            Glendale, CA 91201
                               818-246-4400
                         http://www.adventure.com
                                     


                           Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
OS:       Windows 3.1, Windows 95            OS:            System 7.1
CPU:           486DX/66                      CPU:           68040/40
HD Space:      15 MB                                        HD Space:
15 MB
Memory:        8 MB, 16MB for Win95               Memory:        8 MB
Graphics:      640 by 480 with 256 colors                        Graphics:
256 colors, 13" monitor
CD-ROM:   Double-speed                       CD-ROM:   Double-speed
Audio:         8-bit Windows compatible sound card
Other:         mouse

reviewed by Frank Sereno (fsereno@uti.com)


Knowledge Adventure's JumpStart 1st Grade Reading is an enchanting
educational program.  This CD-ROM features eight activities that encourage
children to recognize sight words, learn letter sounds, and to develop
reading comprehension and spelling skills.  The program uses superior
animation, delightful music and engaging voice characterizations to create
a fun and immersive learning environment.

Frankie is a fearless circus dog that must save his four mates from an evil
spell cast by Mel, a malevolent magician.  To free them, he must assemble
jigsaw puzzles of each performer.  The pieces can be found at the Lost and
Found, but your child cannot get the pieces without tickets earned by
playing the learning activities.

An important feature of the program is that your child can play any game as
long as he likes, but he can only earn a few tickets.  He cannot earn more
tickets at that activity until he plays some others.  This encourages the
child to play a variety of activities for a more rounded learning
experience.  JumpStart 1st Grade Reading also features a monitoring program
that tracks your child's progress and gives him the option of increasing or
decreasing the skill level based on his level of success.  It also includes
a terrific parent's section for observing your child's progress in numerous
reading skills.  Parents also have the option to print pages from an
activity book included on the disc.

The learning activities are all captivating and are based on games or
activities you can find at a circus.  My children (first and third graders)
played the games for hours.  More importantly, my first-grade son seemed to
learn much from the program.  The smoothly animated characters made the
activities very enjoyable.  It's even fun to watch the dastardly and
despicable Mel try to foil Frankie.  The heroes were all delightful.  The
program is embellished with cool tunes, amusing animations and jokes.

With its intuitive interface, progressive difficulty and numerous
activities, JumpStart 1st Grade Reading provides a friendly, challenging
learning environment.  Knowledge Adventure backs this first-rate disc with
a 90-day moneyback no-questions-asked guarantee that assures you of
excellent value and complete satisfaction.  JumpStart 1st Grade Reading is
a wonderful complement to your child's schooling.

                                     
                                In the News

            KIDS CAN NOW FLEX THEIR BRAIN MUSCLES WITH SUPERMAN
              IN NEW ACTIVITY CENTER FROM KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE

Knowledge Adventure brings the #1 super hero - Superman - to CD-ROM,
promising hours of skill-building fun for young crime fighters

The Superman Activity Center, a new multimedia CD-ROM based on the #1 super
hero from the hit DC Comics series and Warner Bros. animated TV show, is
now available from Knowledge Adventure, Inc.  This exciting new CD-ROM for
kids ages 5 - 10 features 13 challenging games, puzzles and activities that
build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

In the Superman Activity Center, kids can interact in the Man of Steel's
worlds: Krypton, Smallville and Metropolis.  Kids will have fun writing
their own Daily Planet front-page story with Lois Lane and Clark Kent,
learning valuable safety tips using Clark's x-ray vision, and matching wits
with Lex Luthor in a game of strategy and skill.  The Superman Activity
Center also features original voice-over talent from the animated
television series, including Dana Delany ("China Beach") as Lois Lane,
Shelley Fabares ("Coach" and "The Donna Reed Show") as Ma Kent, and Clancy
Brown ("The Shawshank Redemption" and "Highlander") as Lex Luthor.

Says Larry Gross, president of Knowledge Adventure, Inc., "Warner Bros. and
DC Comics have a long history of success in children's cartoon programming
and character development.  Superman continues to be the most popular super
hero in the world, and he is a perfect character to deliver positive and
educational messages to children. Kids will love to explore Superman's
worlds as they play an exciting variety of challenging skill-building
activities featured in the Superman Activity Center."

New Activity Center Line
Knowledge Adventure recently introduced its new Activity Center line with
The Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center and FairyTale - A True
Story Activity Center.  Both combine popular entertainment with exciting
opportunities for exploration, creativity and learning.

Based on the hit DC Comics series and Warner Bros. animated TV show, The
Adventures of Batman & Robin Activity Center challenges young crime
fighters ages 5 - 10 to 11 exciting activities, mind-bending puzzles and
fun games in Gotham City.

FairyTale - A True Story Activity Center is based on Paramount Pictures'
motion picture starring Peter O'Toole and Harvey Keitel, and sweeps kids
ages 7 - 11 away to an enchanting fantasy world filled with fairy folklore
and 14 creative activities.

Superman Mania
A timeless American icon, Superman ranks as the #1 super hero among kids
and adults ages 6 - 49, according to Marketing Evaluations Cartoon Q.  DC
Comics first introduced Superman in 1938, and the Man of Steel is just as
strong today.  In fact, 10 best-selling monthly Superman comics continue to
entertain over six million readers worldwide every month.

In September 1996, Warner Bros. launched an all-new animated Superman
television series on Kids' WB, which has garnered positive reviews by
critics.  Warner Bros. also recently debuted "Superman: The Escape," the
world's fastest and tallest roller coaster, at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
In addition, 1998 will mark Superman's 60th anniversary.

An Action-Packed Activity Center
The Superman Activity Center features 13 fun-filled, skill-building
activities in the three worlds of Superman:

 Krypton
In Krypton, kids can play games in the home of Superman's parents, Jor-El
and Lara, and discover the wonders of Superman's home planet.  Kids can
build listening and memory skills by taking on the Brainiac Challenge,
helping Jor-El crack a security access code by repeating progressively
challenging sequences of musical notes.  Kids can also build a prototype of
the rocket that Jor-El used to send his son to Earth by completing a logic
maze, and use their creativity to paint colorful scenes of Superman's first
home and family.

 Smallville
Kids will have lots of fun discovering Superman's hometown, Smallville,
where he first discovered his powers.  In this world, kids can use Clark's
x-ray vision to spot common neighborhood hazards such as frayed electrical
wires and unlabeled containers of dangerous chemicals.  Kids can also color
scenes from Clark's childhood with Ma Kent.

 Metropolis
In Metropolis, kids can explore the big city and visit the Daily Planet
Building, downtown area and S.T.A.R. Labs.  In the Daily Planet Building,
kids can write their own newspaper stories with Clark Kent, color photos in
Jimmy Olsen's darkroom, lay out the paper at the editor's desk and recover
scrambled profiles from Lois Lane's computer. In the downtown area, kids
can try to catch Livewire in a fast-action memory game and match wits with
Lex Luthor in a game of strategy and skill.  In S.T.A.R. Labs, kids can
learn about 18 different constellations in a connect-the-stars activity and
help Superman recover his anti-kryptonite suit and capture villains by
completing a challenging labyrinth.

Kids can play the activities as part of a continuing storyline featuring
animated narratives, or independently.  In the story mode, kids can follow
the evolution of Superman -- from his escape from Krypton as a baby -- to
when he first discovers his powers in Smallville -- to the beginning of his
crime-fighting career in Metropolis.  Each world features several
activities that kids must complete in order to advance to the next world.
In the activity mode, kids can play any activity in any order they choose.
The mazes, puzzles and games re-set into new patterns each time they are
played, creating a new challenge every time.  In addition, three levels of
difficulty can be adjusted for each activity.

Availability, Pricing and System Requirements
The Superman Activity Center is immediately available at most major
computer stores and mass-merchant chains nationwide.  The Windows
95/Windows 3.1/ Macintosh CD-ROM is expected to be priced at approximately
$20.  Customers can call (800) 542-4240 for sales and ordering information.
System requirements are:

Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 CD-ROM
486SX 25MHz or better; Microsoft Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.1 CD-ROM Windows
95; 8 MB RAM; 10 MB of free disk space; 256-color SVGA graphics; 8-bit
sound; double-speed CD-ROM drive or faster.

Macintosh CD-ROM
Performa 550 or better or Power Macintosh; System 7.1 or higher; 640x480,
256-color video display; minimum 2500K unused block of memory; double-speed
CD-ROM drive or faster.

Knowledge Adventure, Inc. is a leading educational software publisher best
known for pioneering grade-based software with the best-selling, award-
winning JumpStart Learning System.  The company is also known for its
Adventure series and new Activity Center line.  Founded in 1991, Knowledge
Adventure is a subsidiary of CUC Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of
CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU).

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which includes the Licensing, Studio
Stores, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, WB Sport and WB Toys
divisions, is a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.

DC Comics is a division of Warner Bros., a Time Warner Entertainment
Company.  Since 1938, DC has created over 5,000 characters, including the
world's most popular super-heroes:  Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Their world-famous roster of characters have been favorites for years in
comic books, movies, television, TV animation, and most recently, in CD-ROM
and on-line productions.

                               #     #     #

                 DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES, INC. TO SPOTLIGHT
                    TWO OF ITS NEWEST TITLES AT COMDEX:
                 FISHER-PRICE LITTLE PEOPLE DISCOVERY FARM
                      AND SPANISH FOR THE REAL WORLD

            New worlds of discovery for toddlers and teenagers
                  from the leader in educational software

Tonight, at the ShowStoppers event taking place during the COMDEX computer
show, Davidson & Associates, Inc., a leader in educational software, will
preview two of its newest titles:  Fisher-Price Little People Discovery
Farm and Spanish for the Real World.

Fisher-Price Little People Discovery Farm offers an exciting day at the
farm with Farmer Jed, where toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years will learn
about delightful barnyard animals, growing crops and daily farm activities.
In Spanish for the Real World, students 10 and up put the pedal to the
metal in an exciting road rally through Mexico; as they compete to win,
they'll build their Spanish-speaking skills.

"Both Fisher-Price Little People Discovery Farm and Spanish for the Real
World expand two very successful and popular product lines from Davidson:
the Fisher-Price series, with over a dozen titles based on Fisher-Price
toys, and the 'Real World' series which takes a fun, 'real-life' and
interactive approach to important subjects such as math and foreign
languages," said Larry Gross, president of Davidson & Associates.
"Extensive usability testing and feedback from our customers have shown
that kids just can't get enough of exciting, multimedia titles like these."

Fun on the Farm for Fisher-Price Toddlers

By its very nature, the farm is a fascinating place for young children:
they can feed the animals, grow crops, sing barnyard songs and help baby
animals find their mothers.  Children ages 18 months to 3 years will do all
this and more in Fisher-Price Little People Discovery Farm, the latest in
Davidson's Fisher-Price series.

The familiar Fisher-Price Little People figures are their hosts in five
exploratory activities that teach counting, animal names, the concepts of
"same" and "different," and listening to instructions.  Each  activity will
captivate kids with adorable animations, toe-tapping music and different
games depending on whether they use the mouse or the keyboard.  Also
included is a printable Little People Farm Animals coloring book.

The Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Macintosh CD-ROM began shipping earlier this
month, and is immediately available at most major computer stores, mass-
merchant chains and toy stores nationwide.  It is expected to be priced at
approximately $20.

Learning a Foreign Language is Fun!

First-year Spanish students will be part of a "real-life" experience in
Spanish for the Real World as they compete in a road rally through Mexico.
They will be immersed in the language as they play seven fun activities and
three arcade-style games.  Rich content - including an on-screen, context-
sensitive Spanish English handbook; grammar and usage tips; over 500
vocabulary words; and numerous opportunities to hear Spanish spoken by
native speakers - perfectly complements first-year Spanish curriculum.

The Windows 95/Windows 3.1/Power Macintosh CD-ROM is expected to be
available during the first quarter of 1998 at most major computer stores
and mass-merchant chains nationwide for approximately $30.

Davidson & Associates, Inc. is a leading publisher and distributor of
multimedia educational and entertainment software for both the home and
school markets. The company is internationally renowned for its award-
winning Blaster Learning System, which has sold 5 million copies; the
Fisher-Price series, CD-ROMs based on popular Fisher-Price toys; and many
other innovative multimedia titles for children of all ages.  Founded in
1982, Davidson & Associates, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CUC
Software Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU).

                               #     #     #












Jason's Jive






Jason Sereno, STR Staff
jsereno@streport.com




                                     
                       Compton's Deluxe Interactive
                         Encyclopedia 1998 Edition
                           Windows or Mac CD-ROM
                           Street Price: $69.95
                                     
                         The Learning Company Inc.
                           One Athenaeum Street
                            Cambridge, MA 02142
                              1-800-227-5609
                            www.learningco.com
                                     


The Learning Company's new Compton Interactive Encyclopedia '98 Deluxe is a
very reliable source of information.  It contains loads of facts,
multimedia, and maps. When purchasing the program you receive an atlas,
dictionary, thesaurus, and timeline as well. Not only are there more
features on the Deluxe edition than the regular, there are also free
monthly updates via the Internet. Other accessories from the Internet
include asking Compton's librarians to recommend resources to help you find
information. This is a very beneficial program that even helped me on my
English homework!

The Interactive Encyclopedia '98 Deluxe has an abundance of information.
This twenty-six volume encyclopedia has over 16,000 photographs and
illustrations.  Also inside is more than one hundred and fifty videos,
animations, and slide shows.  In addition to, there are twenty hours of
sounds that include historic speeches and musical samples.  Included with
the Deluxe Edition is Compton's 1997 World Atlas.  It contains over four
hundred and fifty maps of the world.  Compton includes a dictionary,
thesaurus, and timeline with this package too.  The style is very
comprehensive and comparable to Java pages on the Internet.


Speaking of the Internet, '98 Deluxe gives you free updates located at
Compton's homepage (www.comptons.com). The annual subscription fee for
monthly updates is $19.95.  Also available at the web page is another great
feature:  Ask the Librarian.  It is a way to consult with Compton's team of
experts on online resources that pertain to the topic you are searching.
They find the best reading material, pictures, maps, and other materials.
Almost every article in the encyclopedia has a URL that you can browse for
more information.  Users without the Internet will still benefit from the
information but will not be able to access the web pages or upgrades
Internet users will.


I decided to put Compton's new encyclopedia to the ultimate test.  My
English class had just gotten done reading the Crucible.  My teacher had
assigned us groups and told each person to write an editorial, feature, and
news article for an imaginary Puritan newspaper.  We were to include visual
aides in the paper as well.  I decided to use this encyclopedia as a
reference.  I was amazed at the information I found on witch hunts,
Puritans, and the Salem witch trials.  There were many drawings and
pictures of Salem and Puritans.  I also found information on McCarthyism
and other related topics.

The Learning Company has certainly done it again.  Compton's Interactive
Encyclopedia '98 Deluxe is a great source of reference.  It has an
abundance of information and an understandable interface.  You receive much
more when you purchase this encyclopedia too. I recommend this program to
anyone in need of a sound reference tool. This encyclopedia updates itself
every month.  After purchasing it, you may never have to buy an
encyclopedia again!

Windows Requirements
486/DX2/66 MHZ or better; 8 MB RAM; hard disk with 12 MB available;
256-color SVGA; double speed CD-ROM drive; Windows 3.1 or higher;
DOS 5.0 or higher; Windows compatible sound card; mouse; printer and
modem (optional)

Macintosh Requirements
call 1-800-227-5609









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     However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII
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Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and
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                         Ralph F. Mariano,  Editor
                         rmariano@streport.com
                         STReport International Online Magazine














Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming


Enter the world of Seven Kingdoms and take control of any of seven emerging
civilizations: Chinese, Persians, Japanese, Greeks, Normans, Vikings, or
Mayans. Begin with a single, modest village under your command, and an
entire world to be conquered by force of arms, guile and persuasion, or by
whatever other means you choose.

Wage open warfare on your rivals, or forge alliances with them. Send spies
to infiltrate their ranks, or hold your spies back to guard against your
enemies' prying eyes.  Mine ore and manufacture goods, then build markets
and establish trade routes to bring gold flowing into your coffers. Have
your scientists research new weapons of war, or turn to the mystic arts and
seek the ultimate power: the ability to summon the aid of the gods. All
these choices and more are yours to make.

Features:
    Real-time empire building
    Multiplayer options for modem,  LAN, serial connection, and Internet
    Random scenario generator for  unlimited gameplay
    Espionage and counter-espionage
    Dynamic weather and random events  such as fires and earthquakes
    Stunning 800 x 600 SVGA graphics
    Diplomatic options and trade between kingdoms
    Fantastic monsters and mighty gods
    Battles by land or at sea
    Peasants with individual skills and loyalties

                               Product Facts
    Category:  Real-time strategy
    Computer:
     - Windows 95 and
     - 100% DirectX-compatible system
     - Pentium processor
     - 75 Mhz minimum
     - 16 MB RAM
    Graphics: SVGA capable of 800 x 600 resolution with 256 colors
    Sound:  Supports most popular sound cards
    Interface:  Mouse (required) & Keyboard
    Media:  4x CDRom
                            www.imagicgames.com

                      Published by: Interactive Magic
                      Developed by: Enlight Software
                           A Game by Trevor Chan






Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson
dpj@streport.com



>From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"

     Who said that there's an age barrier to using computers?  I've been
meaning to get to Maine to bring my father one of my spare STs so he could
fool around with it and perhaps get on the Internet, etc.  Well,  getting
down there from Massachusetts (yes, 'down there'.  It's New
England/DownEast-speak!) has been a problem; there's just been no time.  In
the meantime, my brother had been shopping around for his first PC and
finally got one a few weeks ago.

     He (my brother) got an AOL account a couple of weeks ago  (gotta get
him switched to Delphi!) and he naturally had to start surfing the 'Net.
We've been corresponding a bit via e-mail just to see if he could (he's a
newbie!).  He brought his system over to my parents' house to show it off;
and, he knew that my father  was semi-interested in learning how to use a
computer since I had mentioned it to him.  Well, my father seemed taken
with it all.  My brother mentioned that he was interested in getting my
father a machine, but he didn't want to spend $1,000.  I mentioned again
that I was going to give Dad one of my ST machines, but my brother
wouldn't hear of it.  So, I suggested that he look around for a used 486 as
they were likely pretty cheap these days; and, my father  really didn't
need anything fancy just to play around.  Needless to say, within a week I
get an e-mail from my brother saying that my father  was set up with his
"new" 486!  He was fiddling around with it, trying to learn how to operate
it (he was playing a few of the games that came with it).  The other day I
get an e-mail.  Now the sender's address looked like my brother's, but it
was a little different.  I realized that it was my father, with his own AOL
address!  He sent me his first message!

     So here he is, 77 years old, and playing on his first computer.  He's
reading up on the machine so he can figure out how to use it; but, in the
meantime, he's figured out how to surf the 'Net and send out e-mail.

     I think it's great.  I also think that it's a terrific pastime for
anyone, but especially for someone who's retired and not as active as he or
she might like.  And it also proves that you're never too old to learn
something new.

     Next week is Thanksgiving.  I thought  that I'd get in my holiday
greetings now rather than the day after the feast.  This will be our first
holiday in the new house; and we'll be spending it alone (the folks from
Maine can't make it - long story).  It should be fun, regardless.  I hope
that you and yours have a terrific holiday; it's one of my favorites.  And
we have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Enjoy.


Until next time...



                         WenSuite 2.30a available

From: Nicholas Bales 

Just thought people here might be interested : WenSuite 2.30a (still in
french) is available at http://wwwusers.imaginet.fr/~oxo/

Here's the history file. Have fun.

>From OXO_Systems :

02 nov 97 v2.25g

 -The new mails are marked and their number is indicated in the info bar
 -The mail/news background is now white and don't ever corrupt the web page
background
 -The speed of the fonts pop-up is now controlled for a better selection
 -The fonts pop-up don't flash when they are in top or bottom of the list
 -The disconnect phase in PPP Link is faster
 -It is now possible to iconify web/mail/news windows with TOS4.04
 -The texts of the title bars of the windows are now correctly separated
for each window
 -The process display of the compiler is not displayed for mail and news
window
 -The [CTRL]+[<-] and [CTRL]+[-] allows to switch mail and news data
 -It is possible to use [SPACE] to go to the next message in mail and news
(also available online)

 03 nov 97 v2.25h

 -Correction of a news bug causing the lost of the messages if an interrupt
occurs (maybe introduced in the v2.21)
 -The sliders have been improved, no more problems of selection with some
TOS versions
 -The position of the mail window is maintained when the displays are
switched
 -It is possible to add and E-Mail address to the directory list
 -It is possible to get a message without reading it by holding [SHIFT]
pressed during the mouse click
 -Two more buttons are added to PAP Link, it is now possible to exit PPP
Link simply by pressing RETURN
 -Clicking on an address of the directory prepares a new mail
 -The scroll speed of big pages have been improved (but must be improved
more)
 -First tests of sending mail

 17 nov 97 v2.30a

 -Better detection of the begin and the end of the comments
 -Rewriting of the PAP send/receive routines (PPP Link v1.10a)
 -Modifications to the PPP structure: faster TCP/IP handshakes
 -Implementation of the PPP compression methods ACFC, PFC and ACCM
 -Adaptation of the TCP/IP receive window to the data flow Display of the
news message download progress (in lines)
 -Support of the From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!

     This is the time of year when I miss hearing news from Atari - COMDEX.
This is when anyone and everyone shows off their latest and greatest
software and hardware.  The show pretty much takes over Las Vegas for a
week; and from what I've been reading, the shows are getting fancier and
fancier with each new year.  This year wasn't any different.  For the
gamers, lots of new stuff coming your way.  In this week's issue, we
captured some of that news and brought it to you as just a sampling of
what's ahead.  We hope that you enjoy the news.

Until next time...


Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile  -  The Latest Gaming News!



         The World's Fastest Hedgehog Races to the 3D Environment

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. (Nov. 17) BUSINESS WIRE - Nov. 17, 1997 - Dust off the
track spikes.  Get out the checkered flag.  Sonic the Hedgehog' is ready to
RACE!  Sega of America announced today the premier of the newest Sonic the
Hedgehog game -- "Sonic R."  Sonic is now taking it to the race track in
full 360 degree 3D.  The game will be available in stores nationwide
starting Nov. 18, exclusively for Sega Saturn.

Combining racing and action genres, Sega has created an all-new gaming
experience for every Sonic fan.  In "Sonic R," gamers assume the role of
Sonic or one of his four pals -- Tails, Knuckles, Amy or Dr. Robotnik.
Players race against the other characters to find the stolen Chaos
Emeralds, collect gold rings and make it to the finish line, all the way
looking for hidden power-ups and short-cuts in the expansive,
fully-explorable 3D environments.  "Sonic appeals to everyone, from kids to
kids at heart," said Bernard Stolar, chief operating officer, Sega of
America.  "Sonic R adds to our fall Sega Saturn line-up by providing a fun
gaming experience that every member of the family will enjoy."

And gamers have a rich experience with "Sonic R."  The game contains five
areas in which to race, including Resort Island, Radical City, Regal Ruin,
Reactive Factory and a special secret zone, Radiant Emerald.  Each course
and character is rendered in full, colorful 360 degree 3D.  The incredibly
detailed graphics and speed were developed using proprietary "12 Layer
Distance Cross Fading," which utilizes the Sega Saturn's second graphics
processor to draw 12 layers of transparency to create objects smoothly
without the "pop-up" found in other 3D games.  Three modes of play -- Grand
Prix, Time Attack, and Versus Mode, featuring exciting two-player split
screen action -- add an even deeper dimension to "Sonic R:"

                              Grand Prix Mode

In Grand Prix Mode, players race against all five characters in all four
areas to find the Chaos Emerald and score the best time. But they shouldn't
forget to look for hidden areas and tokens. Collect all the tokens and
score a hidden character.  Finish first in each area to access a secret
track.

                             Time Attack Mode

Time Attack Mode features four separate racing options -- normal, reverse,
tag and balloon.  It's the player versus the clock in Time Attack Mode as
he/she race to score his/her personal best time.  In the normal option,
racers select the course and let it fly.  In reverse, they run the course
the opposite direction.  The tag option  challenges gamers to catch up to
other characters on the course and tag them out.  In the balloon option,
players must race the course, breaking all the balloons along the way.  The
race isn't over until all the balloons are burst.

                                Versus Mode

It is head-to-head racing in the Versus Mode, as players battle it out in
split-screen action.  Two players select their characters and their course
and then hit the track.  May the fastest gamer win!

                             History of Sonic

Since his birth, Sonic has had a history of appearing in games that anyone
can pick up and enjoy.  Sonic the Hedgehog was universally applauded upon
his release in 1991.  Sales of "Sonic" skyrocketed, selling more than two
million units that year alone.  By year's end, the "blue dude with a 'tude"
had the highest penetration of any video game in history, breaking the
previous record set by Atari's "Space Invaders."

The release of "Sonic 2" in 1992 heralded in another benchmark, as the game
sold more than 400,000 units in just five days to become the top selling
16-bit game of all time.  By 1995, sales of Sonic games had reached 50
million units.  Today, Sonic is a cultural phenomenon, having had his own
float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, his own cartoon, his own
SpaghettiO's and even a Christmas television special. "Sonic R" continues
the rich tradition of the blue hedgehog by bringing tons of fun to the
masses.

"Sonic R" will be available in stores for $49.99 SRP.  "Sonic R" supports
the enhanced 3D analog control pad for Sega Saturn.

         PowerVR and Activision Combine Forces to Bring Top Games

   Eagerly Anticipated Sequel, Formidable New Game Introduced at Comdex

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Comdex/Fall Booth  L2612 -- NEC
Electronics Inc. and VideoLogic(R) today announced that two game titles
from Activision, Inc. will utilize the PowerVR(TM) 3D graphics acceleration
graphics technology.  The collaboration on these games demonstrates the
companies' commitment to bringing the most sought-after titles in the
industry to PowerVR-enhanced PCs.

Developed by NEC Electronics and VideoLogic in 1996, PowerVR's exceptional
3D graphics capabilities offer bilinear filtering, colored lighting,
translucency and fast frame rates at resolutions up to 1024 x 768 pixels.
The PowerVR architecture enhances PC-based 3D graphics software, providing
gamers with luminous, distinctive images at breakneck speed.

"Nightmare Creatures(TM)" and "Hexen II(TM)" are the latest PC titles to
emerge from the creative collaboration.  The titles are designed to provide
the consumer with arcade-quality performance, affording the most visually
realistic, fervently engaging gaming experience available on the personal
computer.

"By teaming up with Activision in the development of some of the most
eagerly anticipated titles of the year, PowerVR is achieving our mission of
delivering incredible gaming entertainment at unprecedented value," said
Charles Bellfield, product marketing manager, multimedia strategic business
unit, NEC Electronics.  "The gamers who play these Activision titles will
feel the brawn of PowerVR."

"Activision is committed to bringing the most compelling, challenging and
visually awesome games to the market.  With the PowerVR architecture, we
can offer gamers incomparable 3D graphics performance, and turn the home PC
into a virtual arcade experience," said Bobby Kotick, chairman and CEO,
Activision, Inc.

         'TUROK: Dinosaur Hunter' Roars Into PowerVR-Enhanced PCs

       Acclaim's Thrill-Packed Shooter Is Latest PowerVR Ready Title

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Comdex Booth  L2612 -- NEC Electronics
Inc. and VideoLogic(R) today announced "Turok(R): Dinosaur Hunter," the
chart-topping console hit from Acclaim(R) Entertainment, Inc., will join
the PowerVR(TM) title roster this holiday season.

Based on the Acclaim Comics/Valiant Heroes title and the popular Acclaim
Nintendo(R) 64 game, "Turok" takes full advantage of the PowerVR 3D
graphics acceleration technology capable of delivering explosive action and
breathtakingly realistic 3D effects.

The PowerVR architecture combines on-chip hidden-surface removal with a
unique method of texture mapping and a reduced memory architecture tobring
3D images to life.  High-performance features, including bilinear and
adaptive bilinear filtering, fogging and dithering from 16- to 32-bit
color, allow "Turok" to run at maximum efficiency as dinosaurs charge out
from the mist, waterfalls boil with foam, and trees explode into flames and
crash to the ground.

"From raging dinosaurs to fiery explosions, 'Turok' on PowerVR screams with
realism and artistic imagination," said Charles Bellfield, product
marketing manager, multimedia strategic business unit, NEC Electronics.
"PC gamers have been eagerly awaiting this title and with PowerVR, they can
have it in all its glory.  It can be purchased through retailers including
Best Buy(R), CompUSA(R) and Electronics Boutique(R).

                Cool Boarders 2 Shreds Onto the PlayStation

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Nov. 14) BUSINESS WIRE - Nov. 11, 1997 - Sony Computer
Entertainment America Inc. announced today that Cool Boarders(TM) 2, the
sequel to last year's hot-selling snowboarding videogame, is now available
exclusively for the PlayStation(TM) game console -- with all new Burton(R)
snowboards, a 2-player mode, challenging new courses and better-than-ever
gameplay and graphics.

Now, with Cool Boarders 2, gamers can enjoy the popular and fast growing
sport of snowboarding via the PlayStation.  This year's all-new version of
the tremendously popular Cool Boarders series provides brilliant real-time
rendered 3D graphics and a choice of 18 Burton(R) snowboards to ride while
"tear'n' it up" on any of nine all-new challenging downhill courses.
"Playing Cool Boarders 2 is an experience that offers the thrill of
snowboarding in an intense videogame environment," said Peter Dille, senior
director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America.
"Gameplayers will be amazed at the number of new moves and features they
can perform."

The gameplay in Cool Boarders 2 has been designed to test each gamer's
snowboarding abilities, with classic jumping maneuvers and the addition of
40 new moves.  Also new is the challenging half pipe, freestyle mode, Big
Air contest and brand new board park.  The all-new two-player mode means
gamers can now snowboard and compete against their fellow Shredders.  Cool
Boarders 2 Key Features  -- 2-player mode -- 18 new Burton snowboards --
New Half-Pipe -- New Big Air contest -- New Freestyle mode -- New Board
Park -- Nine new downhill tracks -- All the classic jumping  maneuvers plus
40 new maneuvers -- Men and Women riders to choose from -- 3D polygonal
characters, tracks and real-time rendering.

         Intelligent Qube Challenges the Mind; Addictive 3D Puzzle

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Nov. 17) BUSINESS WIRE - Nov. 17, 1997 - Sony Computer
Entertainment America announced today the release of Intelligent Qube, a
unique, challenging and addictive 3D puzzle game, exclusive to the
PlayStation game console.  Intelligent Qube puts the gameplayers strategic
thinking and reflex skills to the test in a fast-paced 3D brain twister.
Based on their success with each level they can earn bragging rights as to
how clever they are or have their intelligence insulted.

The goal of Intelligent Qube is to clear a narrow grid-like stage of an
advancing wall of cubes.  The player maneuvers their character around the
stage in an effort to capture cubes without being crushed or pushed off the
stage.  The player progresses through the increasingly difficult levels by
clearing each stage in the fewest possible moves. The desire to get the
best score adds to the highly addictive nature of this game and provides
high replay value.

"Intelligent Qube is an excellent example of what Sony Computer
Entertainment America means by 'depth and breadth' of PlayStation
software," said Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer
Entertainment America.  "Because of the PlayStation's CD-ROM format, we're
singularly able to bring unique and challenging puzzle games like
intelligent Qube to market, providing gamers the diversity they desire."

In Intelligent Qube, players "mark" a spot on the stage in front of the
cube they want to capture.  When the cube is on top of the activated spot,
the player presses the "X" button and captures the cube.  Adding to the
game's excitement and challenge are "advantage" and "forbidden" cubes that
are interspersed with the normal cubes. "Advantage" cubes are green cubes
that when captured can be activated at the appropriate time to capture all
cubes surrounding it - allowing the player to capture multiple cubes at one
time. "Forbidden" cubes are imposing black cubes that will disintegrate a
row of the stage if captured by a mark, penalizing the player by shortening
the length of the field.

                    Naki Introduces Advanced Light Gun

PACOIMA, Calif., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Get ready to knock them dead!
When the safest place for a gamer is behind the trigger, the Naki Nintendo
64 Lunar Gun is a must have.  The new accessory from Naki International, a
leading supplier of high-performance video gaming accessories, provides
advanced score-raising light gun features for all shooting games for the
Nintendo 64.

"For gamers who want to maximize both their scores and their fun, the N64
Lunar Gun has the most advanced, most innovative light gun features
available," said Moe Sapiro, National Sales Manager for Naki.  "And the red
sight attachment makes it into a 100% target killer."   The Lunar Gun
provides a number of special functions which will enhance any gamer's
performance.  These include:

    Auto Reload - Prevents the usual reloading delays built into most
  games, ensuring that the gamer never runs out of ammunition when in a tight
  spot.

    Auto Fire - Eliminates finger trigger fatigue; Auto Fire keeps the N64
  Lunar Gun firing as long as the trigger is held.

    Semi Auto Fire - Automatically fires three shots whenever the trigger
  is pressed.

    Special Button - A thumb-activated trigger bombs and special weapons,
  and is used to adjust the reload settings.

Colored LEDs on the side of the gun allow the gamer to monitor the status
of all the special functions.  Ensuring gamers the maximum mobility and
range, the Lunar Gun comes equipped with an eight-foot card.   The Red
Sight aiming accessory, which guarantees that gamers will never miss their
mark, attaches to the barrel of the Lunar Gun, adding laser aiming to the
list of features.   The suggested retail price for the N64 Lunar Gun is
$39.99.  The MSRP for the optional Red Sight attachment is $34.99.

                       GamePro readies holiday issue

SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- GamePro, the multiplatform gaming
magazine, says its December issue is now available on newstands to help
interactive gamers make their holiday selection.   The Holiday Shopper's
Guide includes the editorial staff's lists of games that looks at the
hottest holiday prospects in all gaming genres and some of the best
peripherals to accent your gaming experience.

The publication says one of the hottest games this holiday season is Jedi
Knight: Dark Forces II for the PC by LucasArts. It says that if you're a
fan of corridor shooters, you know all about Dark Forces which infuses the
genre with familiar Star Wars characters and lots of laser-blasting
excitement.   GamePro gives a comprehensive review of this highly
anticipated Star Wars game.

A new section in this year's issue is Spotlight On! that showcases exciting
new games and companies, giving you a behind-the-scenes view of the latest
gaming news. The issue features David Perry, founder of Shiny
Entertainment, who was responsible for such innovative games as MDK.

GamePro gives exclusive strategies in How To Master Madden -- for Madden 64
for the Nintendo 64 and Madden NFL '98 for PlayStation -- by Electronic
Arts. Johnny Ballgame has all the secret moves and tactics to master the
game.








ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!




                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING





Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com


     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Yep, another week closer to the
holidays. By this time next week we'll all be feeling guilty about not
having started our shopping yet, and resolve to start just as soon as the
turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce settles in our stomachs. Of course,
since I simply love turkey in any form (turkey with gravy, cold turkey
sandwiches, turkey soup, etc.) I always try to make sure that I've got
enough turkey to last me clear through to New Years, so if   you're
expecting a present from me for the holidays, don't hold your breath.


     As expected, it's slow in the Atari world (yeah Kreskin, tell me
another one!) and it's probably not going to get any better.  Perhaps if
the Atari line of computers had been better  marketed and upgraded instead
of sold until the masses lost interest and then slashing the price  instead
of adding value there might have been a chance for our favorite machines.
Of course the  same thing happened to the Amiga. Although it was upgraded
for speed, it was always a step  behind the competition and just couldn't
rely on those who used the machine for video production and modeling.

     It seems to me that these two companies (Atari and Commodore) made the
same mistake. They TOLD the customer what it was that they should want.
This time, as in the majority of circumstances, listening would have been
better than talking. But did IBM, the originator of the  PC, listen to
customers? Probably only slightly more than Atari and Commodore did. But
they had the advantage of their name. All most folks had to hear was the
name 'IBM' and they instantly  believed that this was the epitome of
desktop computers.  They were wrong, of course. I can remember seeing
either a  PC-XT or '286 PC-AT on display next to an Atari 520 ST way back
when.

     There simply was no comparison. The PC had a monochrome monitor, no
sound, 5.25 inch floppy drives, no mouse (why would they need a mouse for
DOS commands?), and about half the memory of the ST, and even at that, it
had to use the memory only in 64k chunks. And in the speed category, the ST
won also. Using TOS on the ST may have been our only choice, but it was
easy to use, standard to the platform, and took up no memory. On the PC
side, you had several possible operating systems, each of which required
special software, knowledge of commands, and memory.

     So, when did things change? When others started making PC "clones" and
Microsoft started selling operating systems to all of them.  There goes the
lead we had in the standard OS  category. The other biggie, as I've already
said, was the ability, willingness, and foresight to constantly upgrade and
improve the state-of-the-art.

     Is all of this upgrading and envelope-pushing the best option?
Actually, from the user's standpoint, I don't think it really matters. But
it does keep the technology marching on and the revenues rolling in. In
today's world, he who hesitates is truly lost.

     I can remember being a kid and really enjoying being lost. It was an
adventure. The world was full of things that I'd never seen before. All
those new experiences and the equal joy of reaching familiar surroundings
again when I was finished balanced each other out and taught me that you
don't always have to follow the crowd. It sort of reminds me of a song by
Harry Chapin, my all-time favorite musician. "We see the people, we see
them marching down. Do we join the parade, or do we try and turn around?"

     I think that's the question that we should always be asking ourselves.
Do we do what  everyone else is doing or do we 'zig' when everyone else
'zags'? If nothing else, we'll make the others wonder what else is out
there.

Well, let's take a look at what's going on at Delphi.


                   From the Delphi Atari Advantage Forum


When Greg Evans asks about a compression method called StuffIt, and
how it could be de-compressed on the ST, "Turbo" Nick posts:
     "There is... an ST program that will extract files compressed
     with the Mac program StuffIt.  It's called UNSIT.  My users'
     group's ST library has it (on the very last Disk of the Month,
     which disks aren't numbered by month - go figure ;-).  The
     version we have is 1.5.  I've never tried it (I had never
     heard of StuffIt before as I'm not a Mac user)."

I tell Nick:
     "The only reason that I knew that there was a StuffIt utility
     available for the ST is that someone once sent me a compressed
     file, and figured that, since the ST used the same CPU as the
     Mac, a Mac compression format would be the best thing..."

My friend Alejandro Aguilar adds:
     "for those Windoze machines, you can use a program called
     WinZip, that recognizes .sit files and decompresses them (also
     .tar and .gzip files)."

Ale also tells me:
     "The fact that the .sit format is from a machine with a 680x0
     processor, doesn't means that it is better. The compression
     formats are independent of the processor, although the ZIP one
     was originally intended for commercial use in the Wintel
     world. As better compression formats, I think .ARJ is the
     better (at this moment there are new formats - .RAR and .RAJ -
     based in .ARJ that are better, but I only on Windoze
     machines).

     Maybe we, the atarians, could use a new standard instead of
     ZIP, which is a bit unstable sometimes."

I reply to Ale:
     "It is true that because sit was developed for a machine with
     a Motorola CPU doesn't mean that the compression program is
     any better... just the computer! 

     My reason for mentioning that the person who sent me the file
     compressed it with StuffIt was that he _assumed_ that all the
     program required was a 680x0 processor. He was, of course,
     wrong.

     I was really hoping that ZIP would get a bit 'better' and
     then become the standard for all time. Of course, there will
     be newer, better, more reliable compression programs coming
     along, and we'll have to scramble to find programs to make use
     of them."

Greg Evans jumps in and tells us:
     [This is] "Sort of off the subject, but a few years back I
     developed my own compression method for a client that needed
     to store massive amounts of data -- uncompressed, the file
     would have been >2 gb!  Ok, with 3,4,6,8 and now 12 gb IDE
     drives that's not such a big deal any more but it was then --
     their entire network partition was only 2.5 gb.  Anyway, the
     nice thing about this method is that you could decompress the
     file in memory one record at a time so that a program could
     read and process just what it needed -- no need to uncompress
     the whole thing to disk.  I've thought about rewriting it in
     some portable format -- C, for instance, and making it
     available as a routine for other programs.  The down side was,
     I could never get better than 10:1 compression because I could
     only compress within a record."

Tony Greenwood (aka STOSser) tells us:
     "http://www.airtime.co.uk/users/stosser

     On my page you will find a zip file with a few..JPG's from
     the UK show, sorry no index,

     Also The November Issue 22 of ST+ Diskmag

     It would seem at the UK shows the guys that run the diskmag
     asked everyone about changing to HTML and it would seem they
     all said NO.. hmm in my view that is a shame as html is not
     only an internet tool, it is a great Multimedia authoring
     package for any ATARI user, probably the best Multimedia
     package there is for a bog standard ATARI.. ha well..."

I reply to Tony:
     "I'm sure that this will give you a warm fuzzy.  I agree
     with you about HTML being a good MM package for the ST. The
     only drawback is that the graphics are not inbedded in the
     page itself. In other words, you need a separate file for each
     graphic on the page instead of just the page as if

     it would appear in, say, an Adobe PDF file. (Yes, I know that
     _you_ know this, but others might not, so I figured I'd spell
     it out as best I could right at the start )

     As a matter of fact, my wife and I recently purchased all of
     the negatives of our wedding pictures (there are between 4 and
     5 hundred of them). I want I want to have them all converted
     over to PhotoCD and build an HTML index of them so that I can
     have a virtual wedding album. The downside is that having all
     of those negatives put on CDRom isn't going to be cheap.

     But if I ever do get around to it, I think it'll be kind of
     neat."

Tony tells me:
     "Someone agreeing with me always cheers me up 

     Yes..The good news is that about TWO years ago I made a
     multimedia authoring package that would work on a STFM one meg
     upwards, would allow large text files, with Coloured text,
     embedded fonts (15 of them) chip music, sampled sound,
     Pictures and animations.. when authored it would pack and save
     it all as one file,

     The author and viewer program was about 90k in total, and you
     could set it to auto view :)

     The bad news is it doesnt support higher than ATARI medium
     res, a limitation caused because of the text format ie: most
     text files are 78>

     I offered to support other colour modes and make updates...
     not one person replied in 2 years ?

     hehehe, maybe we all think alike.. with 5 children I have a
     massive amount of photographs, I got a 24bit true colour hand
     scanner (perfect for photos) and the idea is to make my own
     interactive CD complete with sounds ect,

     But simply havent had time. my ATARI projects take akll my
     time and the PC ones such as that take a back seat.. but one
     day..

     You're right, it is an excellent idea, because one day in the
     years to come, everyone will have CD's and be able to easily
     copy and view the ones you make now "

I tell Tony:
     "The other thing I like about the PhotoCD idea is that they
     are a bit more sturdy than negatives. And even if CDs turn out
     to be less 'permanent' than we figure that they are, I'll
     still have both the CDs and the negs."

Greg Evans tells me:
     "This is what I read about CDs when I started using a CD
     recorder two years ago:

     Life expectancy of
          Gold CDs ~100 years
          Silver CDs ~20 years
          Green CDs ~ 7 years <-- these are generally the ones sold
          for recording.

Silver CDs are the pressed kind, they aren't recordable."

Now Greg gets a bit adventurous:
     "I was playing around with Magic 5/Ease 5 to see if I could
     read some files on a DOS CD which TOS and Geneva/Neodesk
     couldn't "see".  I was hoping I could turn on the VFAT option
     and examine the files.  Unfortunately, I couldn't use that
     option on my CD partition.  I decided to try something else
     instead.

     I have a 14 meg Falcon with AUTO programs of Extendos, NVDI 4
     with 500+ fonts, Outburts, STiK, HSMODEM7, Screen Artist
     (modular screen saver) and the Falcon patches.  I started
     launching applications.  When I was done I had CAB 2.0,
     Gemview 3.17, Imagecopy 4, Kandinsky 2.5 (vector graphics
     creator), Texel 1.6 (spreadsheet), Papyrus 4, Face value 1.1
     (GFA program generator), Kobold 2 and Arabesque 2 (another
     vector graphics editor) loaded as well as the ACCs XControl,
     Screen Artist control panel and STiK TCP/IP.  I also had run
     the Magic programs StartMeUp!, Olga and XMEM_MGR.

     The amazing thing is after all that I _still_ had ~2.4 mb RAM
     free!

     Don't try that on Windows 95. "

Mark Showalter asks:
     "Has anybody seen these internet adds about having a
     permanante e-mail address, anything you want? I've seen it a
     couple of times & am wondering if it's a ligit add, & if it's
     truely free as the add claims."

Gordie Meyer tells Mark:
     "They are legit, but there are some things to be careful
     about. Some are limited to people who can use their
     proprietary software (juno.com in particular). Some have
     become known as sources of significant SPAM and have been
     blocked by some ISPs. But, if you know you'll be changing ISPs
     with some frequency, they can provide an unchanging place for
     people to send you email.

     How does it work? You sign up for an account, sometimes
     providing fairly extensive information about yourself that's
     used to determine which email ads best fit you. Some allow you
     to automatically forward your email to another account (and
     easily change where it's forwarded). Some require that you log
     into their mail server using whatever internet access you
     have.

     So, if you have the right system, don't mind having some
     people see your address as some kind of spammer heaven, and
     don't mind getting email ads sanctioned by the address
     provider, it's not a bad deal."

Mark tells Gordie:
     "Thanks for the reply. What in the world is SPAM? Other than
     the favorite food for Monty Python Vikings, I'm not familliar
     with this term."

Gordie tells Mark:
     "Hormel isn't wild about its use, but the term SPAM is used
     to describe unsolicited commercial email or commercial usenet
     posts that aren't upfront about their commercialism. It's
     essentially the online equivalent of junk mail."

     Well folks, on that tasty note, we'll call it quits and get ready for
the Thanksgiving Day turkey and all the trimmings. Did I mention that I
LOVE turkey? 

Have a happy and safe Holiday. And always remember to listen to what they
are saying when...

                                     
                                     
                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING









                                     

                               In Memoriam..
                             November 22, 1963
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
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