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Article #686 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 6-Feb-98 #1405 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Fri Feb 20 17:53:02 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) February 06, 1998 No.1405 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 02/06/98 STR 1405 "Often Imitated, But never Surpassed!" - CPU Industry Report - Gates "Creamed" - Zapatista Hackers - MS, SPA in Spat - Linux Advocate - Viper V330 Review - Modern Day Shame - Jason's Jive - IBM Super Chip - Sony has Market - People Talking - Classics & Gaming CompuServe Sales OK'ed Hatch Politiking Again! Lessig Suspended! STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 01/31/98: two of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... This editorial is short because I've done another one of my now famous "opinions" about the staunch Republican Lackey Ken Starr and the DOJ with their goofy anti-trust actions against Microsoft. I patiently wait to see the DOJ go after ConAgra, Bechtel and few other CARTELS in foods, medicinal drugs, machinery, raw materials and of course, precious metals. Where's the DOJ? Trying to screw up the success story of the Century. What about the main company which owns Nabisco, Campbell Soup and about those who own Brown and Williamson Tobacco? Perhaps its time we began compiling lists of corporations that DWARF Microsoft both in size and wealth. Not to mention how their practices make Microsoft appear as a group of Saintly Altar Boys. Come now readers. step forward each one of you and simply pick a famous, USA Brand Name product off the shelf in your supermarket or discount store. Then research the product. Find which company actually owns the product. What it took for the product to get the shelf space it occupied. Where the profits of the particular actually go. Finally, is the money being paid for that product actually going to a US Corporation or, in fact, is it all going overseas? If overseas, then you have a real monster on your hands. Discover exactly who or which main "bottom-line" company, corporation etc., is reaping the profits in. At this point, establish what role the company you have uncovered played in WWII, Korean Conflict and/or Vietnam. Did they use Nazi supplied slave labor? Did they forcefully influence the actions being taken? Did they support the Allied Effort or Enemies of the USA? When you get the picture, You soon ask; Where is the DOJ now? What about the Ken Starr's and Joel Klien's now? Many of you are in for the shock of your lives. Ralph... Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Help Wanted Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson CompuServe Sales Approved Shareholders of CompuServe Corp. have approved sale of the online service to WorldCom Inc. as part of a three-way deal that will put the consumer service in the hands of America Online. And, reports Associated Press writer Mark Williams, CompuServe characterizes as speculative a report in The Wall Street Journal that as many as 300 CompuServe customer-support personnel may be laid off by AOL, noting AOL says only that it will conduct a thorough review of CompuServe's operations. Reporting from Upper Arlington, Ohio, AP says approval of the deal with WorldCom, announced in September, was a formality since H&R Block Inc. owns 80 percent of CompuServe stock. Under the deal: ú WorldCom will turn over stock worth about $1.2 billion to H&R Block. ú WorldCom then plans to trade CompuServe's content and its 2.6 million consumer subscribers along with $175 million to AOL. ú In exchange, WorldCom will get AOL's ANS Communications division, which provides Internet access mainly for large business customers. WorldCom also gets a five-year contract to service AOL's network customers. CompuServe spokesman Steve Conway told AP that holders of 89.7 percent of CompuServe's 92.6 million outstanding shares approved the deal, adding the approval clears the way for closing the deal between CompuServe and WorldCom. H&R spokeswoman Linda McDougall said WorldCom and AOL are expected to complete their portion of the deal today. AOL spokeswoman Tricia Primrose said the Virginia- based firm plans a thorough review of CompuServe, adding, "We are completely committed to continuing to build the CompuServe brand as its own separate service on its own network. We are equally committed to continuing to provide first-class customer service." WorldCom Completes CompuServe Buy WorldCom Inc. says today it has closed its purchase of CompuServe Corp. >From Jackson, Mississippi, the telecommunications firm also says it has completed its acquisition of America Online Inc.'s ANS Communications unit and entered into five-year contracts with AOL to provide network services. As reported earlier, CompuServe shareholders Friday approved sale of the online service to WorldCom as part of a three-way deal that will put the consumer service in the hands of AOL. As part of the deal, AOL received CompuServe's Interactive Services Division and $175 million cash. WorldCom retains CompuServe Network Services. The Dow Jones news service reports each CompuServe share was converted into the right to receive 0.41 WorldCom shares. >From AOL's Steve Case, to all CompuServe members: Dear CompuServe Members, CompuServe has been an online pioneer for nearly two decaades, and we want to thank you for your dedication to the brand that introduced the notion of online services to the public. Now that CompuServe has joined with us, I want to reassure you that we will maintain CompuServe as a separate service, here and internationally, running on its own network. This means we will also maintain CompuServe's distinctive content, e-mail system, forums and functionality to preserve the service's look and feel. We pledge to you that we will both honor that tradition and build on it to ensure that CompuServe remains a world-class service that meets your needs. Sincerely, Steve Case Chairman and CEO of America Online, Inc. Stuntz Named CompuServe Chief Mayo S. Stuntz has been appointed president of Compuserve Interactive Services Inc. by America Online Inc. Stuntz had been chief operating officer of Cendant Corp.'s Century 21 Real Estate Corp. Also, a 50 percent stake in CompuServe Europe's online business has been bought for $75 million by Bertelsmann AG from AOL. Reporting from Dulles, Virginia, the Dow Jones news service says AOL and Bertelsmann also invested $25 million each in a venture that will operate the business. As reported, CompuServe has been acquired in a three-way deal between AOL, WorldCom Inc. and CompuServe. American Online, which provides Internet services, will operate CompuServe as an independent unit. In a letter this morning to CompuServe subscribers, AOL chief Steve Case said, "CompuServe has been an online pioneer for nearly two decades, and we want to thank you for your dedication to the brand that introduced the notion of online services to the public." Case added that as the AOL-CompuServe merger takes place, "I want to reassure you that we will maintain CompuServe as a separate service, here and internationally, running on its own network. This means we will also maintain CompuServe's distinctive content, e-mail system, forums and functionality to preserve the service's look and feel." He added, "We pledge to you that we will both honor that tradition and build on it to ensure that CompuServe remains a world-class service that meets your needs." States Subpoena Microsoft Eleven states are demanding documents relating to Microsoft Corp.'s upcoming Windows 98 operating system, expanding an investigation into practices of the software publisher that some consider anti-competitive. Reporting from Albany, N.Y., today, the Reuter News Service quotes New York state Attorney General Dennis Vacco as saying in a statement that he and colleagues in 10 other states have issued identical subpoenas to Microsoft in a continuing investigation of the Internet browser market. Says Vacco, "The states' investigation is focusing on whether Microsoft is improperly using its dominant market position in Windows operating system software for personal computers to force consumers also to use its Internet browser product, Internet Explorer." As reported, Microsoft faces similar litigation on the federal level, where the U.S. Court of Appeals is due to hear arguments in April over whether the company's decision to define the browser as a feature of the operating system violates its 1995 settlement of antitrust charges. Vacco told Reuters he and officials of other states are working with the U.S. Justice Department, adding the subpoena specifically demands information about plans to market Windows 98, the successor product to Windows 95 due out by midyear. As reported, Windows 98 integrates the browser and the operating system more completely than the current generation of Windows. Microsoft Wins a Round A legal victory has been scored by Microsoft Corp. as a federal appeals court agrees to temporarily halt the work of Lawrence Lessig, a court-appointed expert named to investigate the technological aspects of the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit. The ruling late yesterday follows Microsoft's intense efforts to disqualify the Harvard University law professor as a "special master" appointed to prepare a report on technological issues in the dispute. As noted, Microsoft contends Lessig was biased against the company and it challenged the legality of a lower court's decision in naming him. Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray told Associated Press writer Rob Wells, "We see this as a very positive step, but it's only one step in a longer deliberative process." Wells says the order issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia effectively freezes the work of Lessig by granting Microsoft's request for a stay. "The court's decision was swift -- and surprising," adds AP. "Microsoft's earlier attempt to have a lower court judge, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, disqualify Lessig was denied in a harshly worded ruling. In denying Microsoft's request, Jackson described the company's accusations against the law professor as 'trivial' and 'defamatory.'" But, of course, the victory is tempered by further antitrust probes on the state level. As reported, 11 states are demanding documents relating to Microsoft's upcoming Windows 98 operating system, expanding an investigation into practices of the software publisher that some consider anti-competitive. Hatch Wary of Microsoft on Net U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says that if Microsoft Corp. takes over the Internet, it runs the risk of being overseen by a federal "Internet Commerce Commission." Citing remarks prepared for delivery to the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the Reuter News Service quotes the Utah Republican as saying the possibility of a Microsoft takeover of the Internet can be prevented if vigorous antitrust enforcement preserves competition on the Internet. Adds Hatch, "It seems far better to have antitrust enforcement today than heavy-handed regulation of the Internet tomorrow, so let me suggest to those of you who abhor the regulatory state that you give this some thought." Hatch says he will conduct hearings and do whatever he can to assure that competition rules "are being applied both fairly and effectively," adding he thinks Microsoft is trying aggressively to dominate the Internet. "Just how much control over the Internet Microsoft will exercise is anyone's guess," Hatch said, but many people believe the company is trying to achieve "in effect a proprietary Internet." The senator said that if there is proprietary control of the Internet, and it becomes a critical medium for commerce, news and information, "rest assured that we will be hearing calls from all corners for the heavy hand of government regulation, for a new 'Internet Commerce Commission.'" Hatch thinks Joel Klein, who heads the antitrust division of the Justice Department, "is up to the task" of pursuing antitrust enforcement to prevent a takeover of the Internet by any one company. Hatch said this will prevent the need for government regulation. Editor Note: Orrin Hatch. is seemingly "politiking" as usual. A year and a half ago he was busy bleating he had no clue about the Internet let alone computers. Hatch also was among the most vociferous when the Senate decided Laptops had "no place" in the Senate while they were in session. DUH! Now, to ask the big question again of Orrin. why wasn't he so outspoken against Word Perfect Corp. when they were busy buying up and absorbing all the other Word Processor companies.. After all, Word Perfect was within his domain.. or, were they heavy contributors? Maybe just maybe.. Old Orrin has a problem with MS as a result of Word Perfect's ultimate sell-off and demise. Corel is doing OK with Word Perfect now. perhaps the profit taking isn't as heavy as it seemingly was when WPC was alive and not so well in Orem, Utah. Hatch. when will you quit "politiking" and begin properly serving the people whom you are alleged to represent? .rfm Netscape May Be for Sale Insiders say Netscape Communications Corp., facing ever more intense competition from Microsoft Corp., may decide to sell some or all of the company. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, reporters Kara Swisher and Don Clark cite unnamed sources familiar with the situation as saying Netscape is holding "serious discussions" with America Online Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp. and IBM about strategic investments or an outright purchase. Swisher and Clark say no deal was believed to be imminent, though. They add, "The discussions illustrate the severity of Netscape's problems, and a recognition that it may need outside help in overcoming them." Adds the paper, "Rumors about possible acquisitions of Netscape aren't new, but have become more persistent in the wake of Netscape's recent report of a loss for its fourth quarter." For instance, rumors yesterday focused on a possible purchase by Sun and helped drive Netscape's shares up $1.0625 to $19.25 in heavy trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, giving the company a market value of $1.86 billion, less than half its value this summer. Net Firm Beats Murdock Group In a classic David-Goliath contest, a U.S. subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's giant News Corp. Ltd. has lost a $2.7 million court judgment to a small privately held Internet services company in a contract dispute. Reporting from Philadelphia, the Reuter News Service says the PAN Network, which provides Internet services for the music industry, said the award against News America Digital Publishing Inc. as part of a federal breach-of-contract case. Court documents show a U.S. judge approved the award following an arbitration ruling in 1997. PAN attorneys told the wire service the award now will be used as evidence in a related case against News America Publishing slated for trial in federal court next July. Says attorney Ralph Jacobs, "This ought to give a lot of hope and a lot of confidence to the thousands and thousands of small cyberspace entrepreneurs -- that they don't have to fear being completely steamrollered by a few giant players. The law will ensure that even the big shots on the Internet live up to their obligations." Based in Skippack, Pennsylviania, near Philadelphia, PAN became a pioneer in the online business in the early 1980s, providing computer-based services to musicians, recording studios, booking agents and other music industry operators. The company used the computer resources of Delphi Internet Services Corp., another online pioneer that joined the Murdoch camp in 1993. PAN lawyers contend News America executives ignored Delphi's contractual obligations in 1995, when their client tried to get Delphi to help expand PAN's presence on the burgeoning World Wide Web. PAN alleges the inaction ruined its business by forcing many of its clients to migrate to other services. PAN founder Perry Leopold, who now runs the company out of his home with his wife, told Reuters, "We had a thriving company," adding that as a result of News Corp.'s involvement, PAN's annual revenues have fallen from $700,000 in 1994 to just $60,000. "Hopefully, this judgment will give PAN the financial wherewithal to rebuild," he said. Reuters notes News America has since sold Delphi, which was named in the original arbitration case. Lycos Acquires Tripod for $58M Search engine publisher Lycos Inc. has acquired Tripod Inc., one of the largest and fastest growing Internet home page communities, in a $58 million stock swap deal. Lycos says the acquisition will establish it as the fifth most-visited of all Web sites. The Tripod Web site (http://www.tripod.com) currently generates over 100 million page views per month and includes more than 1.5 million member home pages, according to market research firm Media Matrix. "The unbeatable combination of Lycos and Tripod symbolizes the strategic evolution of the Web. Overnight, the unification of two great companies moves us to the very forefront of this industry," says Bob Davis, Lycos' CEO. "This powerful user destination model will greatly benefit members, advertisers and commerce partners like no other media network on the Web." "We are thrilled to join the Lycos family, a leading media brand and a financially successful company," says Bo Peabody, CEO and co-founder of Tripod. "Lycos is a perfect fit for us because we are both fast-growing, forward-thinking companies. With this union, we can offer our members the Web's most valuable features and services while maintaining the hip, homegrown culture that has made Tripod a favorite destination for savvy twenty-somethings for years." Lycos' Web site is located at http://www.lycos.com. Judge Cites Ex-Novell Employees A federal judge in Provo, Utah, has ruled three former Novell Inc. employees took company trade secrets with them when they left the networking company early last year. In what The Associated Press characterizes as "a significant ruling in the contentious battle between the network software company and its former engineers," 4th District Judge Anthony W. Schofield issued a 62-page ruling granting Novell's request for a preliminary injunction. Jeff Merkey, Darren Major and Larry Angus were told by the judge that for the next nine months they cannot develop software products based on the knowledge they gained while at Novell. Judge Schofield concluded that when the trio formed a company called Wolf Mountain, later changed to Timpanogos Research Group, they intended to use Novell technology to market a product in connection with Microsoft Corp. The three, says the judge, "have demonstrated a predatory intent and a deliberate strategy to claim and use as their own, technologies which they developed while at Novell. To a large extent their actions have been in bad faith." He then ordered the trio not to develop products using the disputed "clustering" technology during the next nine months. After that, they will be free to develop software products using clustering, an alternative to networking that links several personal computers to act like a mainframe. Calling the ruling unfair and alleging the judge was "under a lot of political pressure from Novell," Merkey said he and Major will seek a stay of the ruling and then appeal it. Judge Schofield said in his ruling the issue is not whether or not Timpanogos Research Group should be allowed to compete with Novell. Rather, he said, the problem is that when Merkey and Major left Novell, they took a former Novell project, renamed it and continued to work on it. Says AP, "Just days after leaving Novell, Merkey met with Microsoft representatives in Redmond, Washington, to discuss releasing a product that was identical to one Merkey had been working on at Novell, Schofield found. Merkey not only disclosed confidential technical information that belonged to Novell, but he also planned to pirate it in creating his own product called 'Tapestry,' the ruling says." The judge added, "He even bragged to the press and to other Novell employees that he had under-documented the technology so that Novell would not know what he had, and that if Novell sued him, it would not even know what to sue for." Schofield noted that while many of the technologies used in clustering are in the public domain, the particular combination in which Novell was using them constituted a trade secret. He said it is ironic, though, that Novell has spent so much money protecting the technology when it long ago abandoned plans to market clustering products. Europe Considers Internet Cops A move to let police in Europe snoop on Internet users as a measure to tackle organized crime is being considered by European Union justice ministers. Writing from Birmingham, England, for the Reuter News Service, reporter Helen Smith notes, "Police, who fear the Internet is being used by international criminals for money laundering and other crimes, are currently barred from tapping into the computer messages." Gathered for an informal meeting, the ministers yesterday agreed police should be given new powers, but said they also should be tightly restricted so as not to damage the rapidly growing computer industry. Britain's Home Secretary (interior minister) Jack Straw said police forces must be brought into the modern age, adding, "We are using 19th century procedures to pursue 21st century criminals." Rebels Hack Government Page Supporters of Mexico's Zapatista rebels are being accused of hacking into a Mexican government home page on the Internet and defaced it with anti-government propaganda. Reporting from Mexico City, the Reuter News Service says the he home page for Mexico's Finance Ministry (http://www.shcp.gob.mx) appeared this morning to be plastered with pictures of the rebels' revolutionary namesake Emiliano Zapata. One part of the message read, "We're watching you, big brother!" characterized by Reuters as an ironic reversal of George Orwell's famous phrase warning of government excess. Also, the phrase "X-ploit" appeared beneath a giant yellow face and a "parental advisory" sticker similar to those found on explicit rock-and-roll records was pasted nearby. Said the message, "We belong to no group, we do not belong to the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, but we are expressing our free expression as Mexicans." It was signed, "Zapatista Army for National Liberation." After launching a brief rebellion in early 1994, the Zapatistas pioneered use of the Internet by a guerrilla group, creating a home page to encourage international support. The page can be found at http://www.ezln.org. "Led by the charismatic, pipe-smoking Marcos," says Reuters, "the rebels fighting for Indian rights and democracy have been locked in fruitless peace talks with the government for more than four years. A tenuous cease-fire has held." Net Blamed for Sleazy Journalism A Columbia University journalism professor is blaming the instantaneous Internet for lowering reporting standards on the current White House-Monica Lewinsky controversy. "On this story, there have been no standards," professor Craig T. Wolff told Associated Press writer Chris Allbritton. "I don't think anyone has been above reporting unsubstantiated rumors. I've never seen so much secondhand information used." Said the professor, "As we move into a technological stage in journalism, it's important that we should not forsake basic virtues. To see journalists approach everything in this breathless, unmoderated tone -- I think we are absolutely going to look back on this time as a very sorry day in the history of the media." Some media critics are specifically targeting 31-year-old Net gossip columnist Matthew Drudge, whose online Drudge Report made history on Jan. 17 when he told online readers that Newsweek magazine was sitting on a bomb about to explode in the White House. A week later, Drudge had rocketed to stardom, appearing on "Meet the Press," where he said he learned reporting from the Internet and "I'm a citizen first and a reporter second. The people have a right to know, not the editors who think they know better. You should let people know as much as you know when you know." Meanwhile, another journalism professor -- Jay Rosen of New York University -- says that, while he isn't a regular Drudge reader, he doesn't believe the columnist is responsible for the erosion of standards. Slipping started before the "Hollywood parajournalist" popped up, he told Allbritton, adding, "In Watergate, you had a two-source rule," he said, referring to the practice of two independent sources confirming information about the White House. "Now, you have a no-source rule. If you have a source that has a source who says a Secret Service agent will testify about the president, that's enough. Rumor and news just seem to have merged." Drudge answers critics who blame him for lowering journalistic standards by saying, "That's elitist, and you should know better," adding he believes he is giving people what they want to read. Rosen says that reluctantly he agrees. "Journalists can't claim, on the one hand, they are a profession with self-policing standards and demand special treatment and then say, on the other hand, they are a business responding to customers," Rosen said. "If they legitimize Drudge and use what he reports, then they are saying they're really no different and their standards are no different. And the collapse of standards in a profession as influential as journalism is very worrisome." Finally, producer Scott Ehrlich of Fox News Online told AP the solution is for readers to be their own editors, to filter and be aware of the source of the news, adding: "If I go to Fox News Online, I can trust that information is as good in that medium as it is in the traditional medium," he said. "If I go to Matt Drudge, and I have no idea who Matt Drudge is, I need to be aware that I may not be getting good information." Bill Gates: This Pie's for You Even the richest man in the world isn't immune to a pie in the face. From Brussels, Belgium, comes word visiting Microsoft Corp. chief Bill Gates was on the receiving end of a cream pie yesterday. The Associated Press reports police arrested two people, one of whom reportedly had distracted Gates while the other made the snack-attack. Authorities say they are looking for a third person who also may have been involved. "The pie caught the Microsoft chairman head-on as he entered an ornate hall near the center of Brussels for meetings with Belgian computer industry and government leaders," says AP. "Associates hustled Gates into a side room. He emerged looking cleaner, but still grim." A spokesman for the Belgian office of Microsoft said simply, "We regret the incident (but) will not press charges." Police have not identified the pie-throwers, but, says AP, "There were unconfirmed reports the pie was thrown by Noel Godin, a Belgian prankster who has struck at famous people before. His targets have included philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard." Government Wants Out of Net Names The Clinton Administration is recommending that the government end its involvement in running the Internet's naming and address system. The proposal would end the monopoly for registering Internet addresses currently held by Network Solutions Inc. under an exclusive contract expiring this year. Additionally, a non-profit corporation based in the United States would take over management of the numerical address system underlying the naming system. That function is currently performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority under a contract with the Defense Department. The proposal is being applauded by companies such as Image Online Design Inc. and Iperdome Inc., which already operate alternate naming systems. "Overall, the plan is right on the mark," says John Frangie, CEO of Image Online Design. "Image Online Design has always believed that there needs to be minimum levels of technical, financial and administrative capabilities to handle the demands of being an Internet Domain Registry. We meet these criteria now, and are prepared to demonstrate that and go online immediately." Net Groups Work With White House Rather than fighting, a group of Internet organizations with a plan to revise the Net's addressing system says it will continue to work with the Clinton administration, which has offered its own naming plan. The Internet Council of Registrars has developed a plan to add seven new top level domains and empower dozens of competing firms to register names in the new domains within a few months. "But," says the Reuter News Service, "the Clinton plan would dramatically slow and alter the process of ending government management of the address system. The plan would add only five new domains, reopen the process of selecting competing firms to register addresses and limit competition in some areas. The plan also would establish a U.S. based corporation to oversee the address system." As reported, the Clinton administration is recommending the government end its involvement in running the Internet's naming and address system, ending the monopoly for registering Internet addresses currently held by Network Solutions Inc. under an exclusive contract expiring this year. ICR Chairman Alan Hanson told Reuters that, despite the wide gulf between the two plans, his group will try to continue negotiating. The wire service notes the council's plan was backed by some leading Internet businesses, including MCI Communications Corp., but, says Hanson, the Clinton plan "has established a good starting point and we look forward to working with the White House to move quickly to the new era of self-governance." Hanson criticized the Clinton plan for junking his group's more international approach, including basing the council of registries in Geneva, Switzerland. He added, "Members throughout the world are concerned the proposed policy overlooks the international nature of the Internet." Opponents of the group's plan, who had lobbied the Clinton administration to block it, reacted with glee after the new plan was unveiled. Meanwhile, President Andy Sernovitz of the Association for Interactive Media, a coalition of businesses and groups on the Internet opposed to the council's plan, told Reuters, "I'm glad all this silliness in Geneva is over." His association, which includes America Online, Viacom's MTV Interactive and Walt Disney Co., has called the council plan "ill-considered" and potentially damaging to the Internet. Hanson argues the council's plan would not destabilize the Net and charged the Clinton plan was warped to aid Network Solutions, the Herndon, Virginia, firm with a monopoly on registering names in some of the Internet's most popular domains. He contends the Clinton plan "appears to carve out a U.S.-centric process designed to better serve the vested interests of Network Solutions rather than the broader interests of the world Internet community." Clinton administration officials said the plan, which could be altered after a short comment period, was intended to balance the competing needs of many Internet users. Gates Won't Invest in Telecoms Bill Gates says Microsoft Corp. has no plans to buy a stake in a telecommunications company, but he does want to work as partners with phone companies. Speaking at a news conference in Paris after meeting French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Gates said, "There has never been any discussion about us (buying) any part of a phone company, British Telecom or any other phone company." The Reuter News Service says Gates added, "However, the co-operation between ourselves and the phone companies is a very important thing. If you believe in the Internet, you need lots of high-speed connections and that requires investment by the phone companies. For the phone companies, there is an opportunity here to provide new services, including hosting the Internet, including running electronic mail systems or electronic commerce clearing houses." Gates said, "We have a very good relationship with France Telecom, we are doing quite a few things with them, as we do with phone companies around the world. At this stage, I do not see, and we certainly aren't discussing, any type of investment. We are in the software business, that's the business we know. It is a very different business from the communications business." Also, he said, "like we do with chips manufacturers, personal computer manufacturers or consultants, we are going the partnership model to create global solutions for the customer." Reuters says British Telecommunications Plc shares were boosted in January by various bid rumors including one that said Microsoft would want to buy the telecommunications group. FCC Chief Tackles Net Congestion He has no specific plan yet, but FCC Chairman Bill Kennard says he will start looking into ways to ease congestion on the Internet by giving companies incentives to provide more high-speed connections into homes. "One issue that I'm particularly interested in," he told Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa, "is finding ways that we can foster more investment in high-capacity bandwidth. I believe that our nation will have an ever-increasing appetite for bandwidth -- for high capacity data transmission capabilities." Also, he said, the FCC should consider streamlining regulations to give companies incentives to build these networks. As reported earlier, Bell Atlantic has asked the FCC to stop states from regulating Internet services and sought permission to build high-speed networks to carry Internet traffic in its local phone region, which stretches from Maine to Virginia. Kennard told AP the FCC will consider Bell Atlantic's proposal as part of a broader proceeding to ease Internet congestion and that he wants to collect other ideas to solve the congestion problem. Said Kennard, "We have in this country already 40 million households that have home computers and most of those computers have more computing power than can be accommodated by the pipe into the home. So we've got to find ways in this country to increase bandwidth capacity." WhiteCross, MRJ Technology Solutions Team To Build Data Mining Laboratory WhiteCross Systems and MRJ Technology Solutions, two leaders in the field of data mining, exploration, and decision support, announced they have agreed to create a Data Exploration and Mining Center. The Center will combine WhiteCross' massively parallel processing (MPP) data exploration server and HeatSeeker(TM) data mining software with MRJ's expertise in applying a full range of techniques for mining and analyzing very large databases (VLDBs) for hidden information. The Data Exploration and Mining Center, to be built at MRJ's Fairfax, Virginia headquarters, will provide client organizations with the insights they need to identify their most profitable customers and markets, in addition to risk assessment, customer retention, cross-selling, health care analysis, and fraud detection. The center will empower clients to use MRJ's and WhiteCross' expertise to their advantage, without requiring them to make the large money and time investments needed to build a similar system in-house. WhiteCross will provide MRJ with a 650-node database super computer, capable of analyzing over 100 million rows of data per second. One result is that the WhiteCross/MRJ solution will produce meaningful answers to a wide range of complex queries and data mining analysis in real-time; taking only seconds or minutes to produce data exploration insights which have traditionally taken hours, days or even weeks. Time spent transforming data from legacy sources, auditing, and cleansing it will be minimized by the capabilities and speed of the WhiteCross technology. The Center is aimed at providing answers to companies and government agencies in the fields of telecommunications, banking, retail, utilities, health care, intelligence, analysis, and law enforcement. A number of leading corporations have already committed to use the Center, including Sprint, MCI, Mercury, and EBS. "The laboratory concept leverages WhiteCross' powerful MPP-based database server, HeatSeeker data mining software, and MRI's data mining expertise to create a powerful selling proposition," said Henry Morris, Program Director, Data Warehousing and Information Access, International Data Corporation. "It offers organizations a unique opportunity to test the system's capabilities with their actual data in order to solve a business problem. The power of the WhiteCross solution lies in enabling organizations to achieve results faster based on an analysis of the full volume of data rather than a sampling," Morris commented. "WhiteCross has successfully demonstrated the worth of an outsource data mining lab in Europe," said Jim Suszka, WhiteCross Vice President, U.S. Operations. "Companies appreciate the value they receive from discovering true business insights from their volumes of detailed data. They also appreciate the fixed-cost advantage our solution brings, since we are able to clearly identify significant opportunities and provide them with a substantial return on their investment," he added. WhiteCross Systems Inc. helps organizations derive real value from large amounts of data through its products and service offerings. Recent solutions completed on behalf of its clients include areas such as: Customer Profiling Segmentation Predictive ModelingRisk Management Target Market Analysis Customer Acquisition & Retention Cross Selling Product Development & Promotion Margin Improvement Fraud Detection & Prevention META Group Vice-President Aaron Zornes said the WhiteCross/MRJ venture is another sign that companies are looking beyond enterprise data warehousing to projects which use data exploration and mining techniques to quickly identify real business opportunities at reduced costs. Zornes added that WhiteCross and MRJ share META's vision of second-generation data mining tools, which provide companies with the ability to: ú analyze scaleable VLDBs ú easily perform more actionable opportunities ú provide real-time, interactive analysis ú enable faster, better-refined decisions Apple to Focus on CompUSA Apple Computer Inc. today announced that it is focusing its national retailing efforts on CompUSA. Apple's hardware products will be phased out of Best Buy, Circuit City, Computer City, Office Max and Sears. Last November, Apple and CompUSA announced a plan to launch a "store within a store" retail environment for Apple products. The companies report that CompUSA has now substantially completed the rollout of the environment at its 148 superstores. According to Apple, the retailing model has boosted the percentage of Mac sales at CompUSA from 3 percent of total sales to 14 percent. "We set out on a national level to create a full selection of Apple hardware, software and peripherals all in one place," says Mitch Mandich, Apple's senior vice president of the Americas. "Our customers have responded enthusiastically to this new format as shown by the huge Mac sales we've had at CompUSA since the launch of the 'store within a store.'" Amazon.com Launches New Contest Online bookseller Amazon.com is giving away a full year of tuition to law school or the cash equivalent of $25,000 in a contest celebrating the release of John Grisham's novel, "The Street Lawyer." In a statement from Seattle, Amazon.com officials, noting the book is its most popular preordered title of all time, say the "Street Lawyer" Contest launches today on its website http://www.amazon.com). The contest runs through 6 p.m. Pacific time March 16. One winner will be contacted via e-mail by Wednesday, April 8. The site also features the first chapter of "The Street Lawyer." WordPerfect to Get Speech Support Corel Corp. has reached an agreement with Dragon Systems Inc. to incorporate Dragon's NaturallySpeaking continuous speech recognition software into the Corel WordPerfect product line. The deal's terms weren't disclosed. The technology will allow users to create, edit and format documents by talking into their computers. It will be provided in the English-language versions of Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 and Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 Legal Edition, both due to ship this spring. International language versions are scheduled to become available later this year. "Corel is seizing another opportunity to be a leader in exciting emerging technologies, as we believe that speech- enablement is a way of the future," says Michael Cowpland, Corel's president and CEO. "This long-term agreement with Dragon Systems is a fusion of strengths that we believe will impact all of society." "The integration of large vocabulary continuous speech recognition into these WordPerfect products means that millions of people interacting with computers will quickly and affordably experience the benefits of natural speech," says Janet Baker, president and co-founder of Dragon Systems. "This innovative user interface will rapidly propel many mainstream computer users to much higher levels of productivity." IBM Testing Super Chip IBM is testing a new super-fast computer chip that is said to operate about three times faster than the fastest Intel Corp. Pentium. However, The Wall Street Journal reports today in its electronic edition, that the chip isn't expected to be commercially available for at least two to three years. The Journal quotes IBM as saying the chip can be tested using conventional testing equipment and doesn't generate extra heat, overcoming two big constraints in designing and producing chips with faster speeds. Look for the computer giant to give details of results of its research, for which it has already filed 23 patent applications, at an upcoming chip industry conference in San Francisco. The Journal says IBM is expected to say the same process will lead to even faster microprocessors when combined with its recent efforts that replace aluminum wiring on chips with more-conductive copper. Study: Newspapers Top Web Sites Newspaper sites on the World Wide Web fare well in the marketplace for classified advertising online, claims a new study issued by the Newspaper Association of America. According to the Vienna, Virginia-based trade group, newspapers on the Web are viewed in a more positive light by consumers than non-newspaper Web sites for online classified advertising. The study also finds that newspaper Web sites are viewed as more informative and entertaining than other sites and that newspaper sites rate higher on measures of interactivity than competing Web sites. "Newspapers are on the cutting edge in terms of producing informative and entertaining Web sites, and America's newspapers are establishing themselves and their brands as the places to visit on the Web," says John F. Sturm, the NAA's president and CEO. The NAA's Web site is located at http://www.naa.org. Execs Wary of Year 2000 Bug Most business and technology executives responding to a new survey don't believe the Year 2000 problem will be fixed before the turn-of-the-century deadline. Many computer systems, now set up to read years by their last two digits, will lose track of dates as the year 1999 turns to 2000. Nearly 70 percent of the 400 executives polled by CIO Magazine said they aren't confident the millennium bug will be fixed by Dec. 31, 1999. When asked if they would fly on a commercial airline on January 1, 2000, more than 50 percent either said they would not fly or are unsure about flying on a commercial carrier. A full 60 percent recommend that Americans need to investigate their bank's Year 2000 compliance to ensure the safety of their personal assets. Nearly 50 percent are concerned their job will be in jeopardy if they are unable to fix their company's Year 2000 problem. "Congress must mandate that agencies like the Federal Reserve, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Aviation Administration periodically report to the American people on the status of their Year 2000 compliance. None of us want to be surprised on January 1, 2000," says Joseph L. Levy, the magazine's publisher. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! 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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 Microsoft unworried by U.S. case Microsoft Corp will not have to make any fundamental business changes because of an antitrust case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, chairman Bill Gates said Monday. Gates said investors in the software giant should not worry about the potential impact of the charges that Microsoft used improper business practices to expand its position in the crucial Internet browser marketplace. "I wouldn't worry too much about this case in terms of what it means for shareholders," Gates told a news conference at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. BMC Software to acquire BGS BMC Software Inc said Monday it has enteed into a definitive agreement to acquire software company BGS Systems Inc in a stock deal valued at about $285 million. BMC would pay the equivalent of $45 in BMC common stock for each share of BGS common stock, using the average price per share of BMC common stock during a 10-day trading period preceding closing. The transaction is expected to close within 60 to 90 days, subject to BGS shareholder approval, regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. BMC said the acquisition would combine BGS's performance analysis and prediction technology and products with BMC Software's suite of application management, data management and performance optimization products, providing the industry with application service assurance products. InfoBeat announces marketing relationship with Cendant InfoBeat and Cendant Corporation announced an agreement to market Cendant's netMarket and other interactive services to InfoBeat's combined circulation of 2.3 million subscribers. netMarket (http://www.netmarket.com), Cendant's membership-based, value-oriented consumer site which offers discounts on millions of products and services, will be offered in conjunction with exclusive e-mail services from InfoBeat and offered to InfoBeat's subscribers and Web site visitors. "We expect netMarket's offerings to be very popular with our subscribers. For only $1 during the three month trial period, subscribers have the opportunity to purchase almost every type of consumer product and service instantaneously and at significant discounts," said John Funk, founder and chairman of InfoBeat Inc. Clinton proposes increased spending for Internet President Clinton's proposed budget asked for $110 million in fiscal 1999 for his Internet project and administration officials vowed Monday to do a better job of selling it to a skeptical Congress. Clinton asked for the funds for "Next Generation Internet" after Congress allocated only $85 million of the $105 million requested for fiscal 1998. The "Next Generation Internet," to cost $500 million or more over 5 years, will operate at speeds up to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet. That is intended to enable new uses for the network, some involving live sound and video. Microsoft, SPA in spat Microsoft Corp. and its trade association got into a nasty spat Tuesday over the role of antitrust law in preserving competition in the high-tech industry. The 1,200-member Software Publishers Association unveiled a list of principles, declaring that the nation's 100-year-old antitrust laws have an important role to play in making sure that no competitor goes too far in promoting its own computer code. Microsoft immediately denounced the Software Publishers Association, to which it pays $100,000 dues annually, for a "charade" and charged the association had been "co-opted by a few competitors who want to use the government as a weapon against Microsoft." PeopleSoft lands 2 contracts with Boeing, GM PeopleSoft Inc said it received big contracts to supply its human resources and financial software to Boeing Co and General Motors Corp. Boeing, the world's biggest aircraft manufacturer, will use PeopleSoft's software to track its 235,000 employees while GM, the largest U.S. auto maker, will use it to track its 650,000 workers. Boeing also purchased PeopleSoft's accounting software. Terms of neither transaction was disclosed, but they are significant contracts, PeopleSoft executives said. NICE unveils logging, monitoring system Israel's NICE Systems Ltd, a maker of computer telephony integration equipment, unveiled the latest release of its call center evaluation program, NiceUniverse 3.0 on Wednesday. "Our goal is to offer clients logging and monitoring systems that are easily integrated with their existing computer network and telecom environments," Morgan Sturday, president of NICE Systems Canada said in a statement. NiceUniverse automatically records and monitors agents in call centers, the statement said. Voice recordings are stored on the voice/data server and call details are stored in a Windows NT-compatible database. Clinton establishes 'Millennium Bug' council After repeated calls from Congress to pay more attention to the year 2000 computer problem, President Clinton set up a council Wednesday to oversee government efforts to exterminate the Millennium bug. The move came on the heels of a report from the General Accounting Office that the nation's air traffic control system could be crippled by the bug because the Federal Aviation Administration has fallen behind in upgrading its computers. Clinton named John Koskinen, former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, to chair the new council. The order required agencies to assure no critical federal programs experience disruptions because of the year 2000 problem. See full story Lawmakers doubt FAA can fix 2000 glitch in time. Dell chief upbeat despite rivals' merger Dell Computer Corp boss Michael Dell conceded Wednesday a merger of Compaq Computer Corp and Digital Equipment Corp would make life more challenging. But he said his rivals' move would do little damage to his plans to hit the sector's No. 1 slot soon. "My prediction was that if Dell continued to grow at its current rate, and its competitors continued to grow at their current rates, we would be no. 1 by the year 2000," he said. He saw the fact that Compaq had gained about $2 billion of PC revenue from its link-up with Digital as a challenge to his prediction, but not an obstacle. Siemens to sign strategic pact with Microsoft Siemens AG confirmed Thursday it planned to work with Microsoft Corp to develop a wide variety of industrial and household devices based on the Windows CE operating system. Siemens planned to use Windows CE - a compact version of the Windows systems for personal computers - as the interface for new generations of mobile phones, automobile controls, digital TV sets and cash registers, they said. "It will certainly be a strategic relationship," a Siemens spokesman said. Gates coins a network term Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced a new term Thursday - the digital nervous system (DNS) - for networks of personal computers. "The DNS means using PCs together with Internet standards to create an environment of easy information access to replace current information tools," Gates said according to a summary of a speech at a seminar in Finland. The DNS networking solution could replace telephone calls, paper and databases on large computers where information is hard to browse. Clinton secretary turns over evidence President Clinton's personal secretary has told investigators Clinton gave her an account of his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky that mirrored his testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit, the New York Times said Thursday. Quoting lawyers familiar with her account and with Clinton's testimony in the Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, the Times said the secretary, Betty Currie, told investigators Clinton said he had never been alone with Lewinsky and had "resisted her sexual advances." Currie has told investigators the president and Lewinsky sometimes were alone, the newspaper said. The Times also said Currie has turned over gifts to investigators she retrieved from Lewinsky. Golfer Greg Norman says Lewinsky not with Clinton, in Palm Beach. Starr gives Lewinsky ultimatum; new details surface Independent counsel Kenneth Starr wants Monica Lewinsky to decide by Friday if she will answer questions on allegations surrounding President Clinton, but her attorney was noncommital on if Lewinsky could get an immunity deal from Starr. New details emerged Thursday, but a White House official dismissed the reports as the latest "in a long series of leaks and lies." On Capitol Hill, a senior Democratic lawmaker was preparing a detailed complaint accusing Starr of abusing his power. Starr issued an ultimatum to Lewinsky - saying he could not agree to an immunity deal unless she agreed to a face-to-face interview with investigators, and possibly a lie detector test. Conyers accusing Starr of abuse of power The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee will issue a detailed letter this week accusing independent counsel Kenneth Starr of abusing his power, a staff member on the committee said Thursday. Starr recently expanded his investigation of the failed Whitewater land deal to examine allegations President Clinton had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and then urged her to lie about it. Rep. John Conyers, a Mich. Democrat, was preparing a long legal document detailing the alleged abuses by Starr, the aide said, adding it would probably be sent to Attorney General Janet Reno with a request for a Justice Department investigation. Federal judge again throws out Keating's conviction A federal judge Thursday threw out for a 2nd time the 1991 state securities fraud conviction of Charles Keating, the financier who became a symbol of the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. U.S. District Judge John Davies originally dismissed the conviction in 1996 and granted Keating a new trial, but a federal appeals court reinstated it last month and sent the case back to Davies. After hearing arguments from Keating's attorney, Stephen Neal, Davies once again threw out the conviction Thursday, ruling as he had before that the jury in the 1991 case was improperly instructed by Judge Lance Ito. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Green Paper Outlines Net Registration Plan Suing For Rights To The Cookie Jar Export Controls On Computers Reuters Suspected Of Electronic Espionage Against Bloomberg AOL May Lay Off 300 CompuServe Workers California Virtual U. Offers Sample Courses Postponement Of Online Elections In Costa Rica It's An Ill Wind That Blows No Good ... For The Net Edupage In French Internet2 Focusing On Applications Apple Picks CompUSA For Product Distribution Europeans Voice Disappointment Over U.S. Domain Plan Microsoft Wins Temporary Victory Netscape Takes Judo Lessons AOL Bumps Niche Products Off The Shelf College Students Swell Ranks Of Internet Addicted Banner Ads That Take Your Order,Too Video Game For Would-Be Olympians IBM, DEC Pick Up Pace In Chip Race Government Looks At Microsoft's Deals With Media Partners Europeans On PC Shopping Spree Got A Y2K Headache? Here Comes The Euro Conversion! E-Commerce Problems Faster Routing On The Way Online Journals Tap Authors For Revenues Is Big Brother Really Watching? White House Unhappy With Pornographic Web Site Child Porn On The Internet GREEN PAPER OUTLINES NET REGISTRATION PLAN The Clinton Administration has produced a green paper on its plan to privatize the Internet, calling for a private, nonprofit corporation to be established to administer the Internet domain name system. The new corporation could appoint up to five new independent organizations to assist it in administering the domain registries. It would also be responsible for the registration of Internet number blocks and an "authoritative root system," and control the inclusion of new top-level domain names in the root system, as well as "other technical parameters." The new corporation is expected to be operational by September 30, and the U.S. government will exercise "policy oversight to assure stability until the new corporation is established and stable." (TechWeb 30 Jan 98) SUING FOR RIGHTS TO THE COOKIE JAR The publisher of The Putnam Pit, a Tennessee newspaper, is suing the town of Cookeville, claiming that his federal civil rights were violated when the town refused to share its "cookies" - electronic markers that a Web site leaves on a PC when it visits. The publisher has been feuding with the city for some time and wants access to the cookies to determine whether city officials are wasting company time cruising the Internet. Cookeville maintains that the cookies are privileged, but a spokesman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that argument may not stand up in court, pointing out that in the past, courts have ruled that government-created paper documents are in the public domain. (Business Week 26 Jan 98) EXPORT CONTROLS ON COMPUTERS The Commerce Department has developed new rules requiring computer manufacturers to notify the government about any planned sales to customers in countries that might develop nuclear weapons, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Israel. Following such sales, Commerce Department representatives will visit every installation and verify that the systems are being used for peaceful purposes. Computer industry officials are unhappy with the new requirement, and a Sun executive says: "It would introduce an added level of complexity, which would be a competitive disadvantage and add to our operating costs." (Washington Post 31 Jan 98) REUTERS SUSPECTED OF ELECTRONIC ESPIONAGE AGAINST BLOOMBERG Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Reuters Analytics, a subsidiary of new and financial giant Reuters Holdings PLC, is responsible for industrial espionage activities involving break-ins to the computers of Reuters competitor Bloomberg LP. The inquiry has been underway for about a year. Bloomberg entered the business about 15 years ago, and homed in on the business of providing historical data packaged with analytical software -- making its services essential for bankers, traders and others who need sophisticated analysis of market trends. In response, Reuters developed its own data and analytical service, called Reuters Decision 2000, but nicknamed in the industry as the "Bloomberg killer." The company subsequently developed a new system called Reuters 3000, which federal investigators are now examining to determine whether lines of code from the Bloomberg system were used in its development. (New York Times 30 Jan 98) AOL MAY LAY OFF 300 COMPUSERVE WORKERS America Online is considering laying off 300 CompuServe customer-support personnel -- more than 20% of the CompuServe workforce -- as part of its strategy to reduce overlap between the two companies once operations are combined. (Wall Street Journal 30 Jan 98) CALIFORNIA VIRTUAL U. OFFERS SAMPLE COURSES The California Virtual University is making sample courses available over its Web site, http://www.california.edu/tour.html . Prospective students can check out an online introductory computer class offered by Cerro Coso Community College or take a guided tour of online offerings by Santa Rosa Junior College. (Chronicle of Higher Education 30 Jan 98) POSTPONEMENT OF ONLINE ELECTIONS IN COSTA RICA Plans to test the Internet as a way of holding national elections in Costa Rica (reported in Edupage 23 Oct 97) have been postponed by the Costa Rican government, for reasons the project director says are "unclear," but which apparently include fears that the losing party might use the test as a reason to contest the election. (New York Times 30 Jan 98) IT'S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NO GOOD ... FOR THE NET The new frenzy over the alleged Monica Lewinsky-President Clinton affair has brought a huge increase in activity for Web news sites, such MSNBC, which had 830,000 unique daily visitors last Monday, compared to a number that is usually around 300,000. Scott Charron of Forrester Research says that this event "is changing the news business. This will open the eyes of news executives and convert them if there are any doubters about the Web." (ZDNN 30 Jan 98) EDUPAGE IN FRENCH We are please to announce that, after a hiatus of several months, there is once again a French-language version of Edupage, available http://cursus.edu/thot.asp/. Welcome once again to our French-speaking readers of Edupage. Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer qu'aprs un hiatus de plusieurs mois, la traduction franJaise d'Edupage est de retour. Effectue par Cursus, La formation " distance sur demande, elle est accesible ": http://cursus.edu/thot.asp. Elle est 1galement disponible sur abonnement 1lectronique gratuit. Bienvenue " nouveau aux lecteurs francophones d'Edupage. INTERNET2 FOCUSING ON APPLICATIONS Doug Van Houweling, CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, the group creating Internet 2, says that a major focus of that project is commercial applications: "We're starting off this time with an even more determined effort to work with the major companies in the industry. The applications are the focus of what we do -- we don't want to build a highway for some kind of vehicles that will never arrive." Among the many possibilities are the use of Internet 2 by manufacturing companies to securely transfer technical design data between offices and suppliers. (New York Times CyberTimes 2 Feb 98) APPLE PICKS COMPUSA FOR PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION Apple Computer says it has chosen CompUSA to be its sole national retail distributor, and will phase out products from Best Buy, Circuit City, Computer City, Office Max and Sears. "These have been very important business relationships, but we believe it's an important time to move away from them," says Apple's senior VP of the Americas. "This does not represent a retreat from retail, but instead a redefinition of what the retail buying experience will be for our customers." In addition to the CompUSA stores, Apple will sell its products through regional retail chains, specialized Apple dealers, value-added resellers and catalogues. (TechInvestor 2 Feb 98) EUROPEANS VOICE DISAPPOINTMENT OVER U.S. DOMAIN PLAN A leading member of the European-based Internet Policy Oversight Committee and the Council of Registrars (CORE) says they do not intend to accept the recently announced U.S. government plans for privatizing the Internet domain name registration process. "The problem with the concept of top-level domains being owned by commercial registries is that the database is worth tremendous commercial value. We could have a situation where one company in the U.S. is going to have right to one very high value domain name, such as .inc." The committee and CORE plan to meet soon with White House technology adviser Ira Magaziner to express their concerns. The alternative plan they had proposed has been endorsed by a number of European government officials, who now stand to be "extremely embarrassed by this [new] plan," says the president of Euro-ISPA, a European Internet service provider association. "They have made a major contribution to reforming the domain name system, but they lost the debate." (TechWeb 31 Jan 98) NETSCAPE TAKES JUDO LESSONS Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, professors at the University of California's Haas School of Business in Berkeley, say that Netscape's latest move to make public the source code for its Communicator Web browser is the equivalent of delivering a judo blow to Microsoft. Judo uses the opponent's strength and size against him, and Shapiro and Varian note: "Netscape has not only matched Microsoft by starting to give away its browser, but has raised the stakes by allowing anyone with the requisite skills to extend, modify, customize and enhance the program." The authors point out that Netscape runs the same risk as Unix did, generating a slew of incompatible almost-look-alikes, but concede that the novel strategy has a good chance of working: "Netscape is giving its customers a fully customizable browser, something Microsoft will have a hard time matching. In judo the prize goes not to the biggest player, but to the one who is most nimble and has the best moves." (Wall Street Journal 2 Feb 98) AOL BUMPS NICHE PRODUCTS OFF THE SHELF America Online no longer makes it easy for its small content providers to reach an audience, and instead submerges them into information "channels." An AOL spokesperson explains: "Our new mission reflects our belief that there is limited shelf space online or on the Internet and that in order to compete in the content business, we needed to launch categories that target large consumer segments, not niche players." And the company's president of creative development explains that it's a cruel world out there on the Internet, just like everywhere else: "We want our partners to be successful. But guess what? We can't guarantee that. Just like in television with the new fall season, there's going to be one success for every eight failures." (New York Times CyberTimes 2 Feb 98) COLLEGE STUDENTS SWELL RANKS OF INTERNET ADDICTED An article appearing in the journal CyberPsychology and Behavior says that students between the ages of 18 and 22 are especially at risk for developing "Internet addiction," defined as "a psychological dependence on the Internet, regardless of type of activity once 'logged on.'" According to the article, administrators at Alfred University have noted a correlation between high Internet use and a high dropout rate among students, and a number of schools have set up support groups for Internet addiction. Meanwhile, the University of Washington is attempting to curb Internet overuse by limiting online time available to each student. (Chronicle of Higher Education 6 Feb 98) BANNER ADS THAT TAKE YOUR ORDER, TOO Advertising technology firm Narrative Communications Corp. has developed technology that provides a shortcut to buying products online. In a demonstration of a banner ad for Eddie Bauer, consumers who clicked on the ad saw the ad replaced by information about Eddie Bauer jeans. They could then enter information about their size and desired color, credit card number and mailing address, and the order was completed without ever leaving the original site where the ad appeared. The technology will enable retailers to track more carefully which ads are generating sales, and should make online shopping easier for consumers. "A lot of times when you do leave a site to go off somewhere following a banner, you don't necessarily end up at the right section of the new site," says an analyst with Forrester Research. "This allows advertisers to put the information where consumers can get to it easily." (Wall Street Journal 3 Feb 98) VIDEO GAME FOR WOULD-BE OLYMPIANS Konami Co. has released a Nagano Winter Olympics '98 video game that enables mouse potatoes to participate in Alpine skiing, giant slalom, speedskating, ski-jumping, bobsled, luge and curling events from the comfort of their PCs. The game was a year in the making, and designers worked closely with Olympics officials who have licensed it as the official video game of the Winter Games. "You'll see a snowboarding game out there and some skiing games, but nothing that has 12 or 13 events that are all unique," says Konami of America's senior products manager. The game is available for the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 platforms. (Los Angeles Times 2 Feb 98) IBM, DEC PICK UP PACE IN CHIP RACE Both IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation are announcing experimental chips that operate at more than a gigahertz (one billion cycles) a second and that will be commercially available after the turn of the century. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have previously announced that the Merced chip will be available at the same time and will operate at comparable speeds. The IBM chip (which does not take advantage of the use of copper to increase the speed even further) draws only 6.3 watts of power, which is much less than Digital's chip. (New York Times 4 Feb 98) EUROPEANS ON PC SHOPPING SPREE The European PC market is booming, with analysts terming it a main sales driver for global PC manufacturers. "Earlier in the year, we saw signs of growth but were reluctant to call it a boom," says a Dataquest analyst. "Clearly that has now happened." PC unit sales were up 24% in the fourth quarter over the same time in the previous year, marking the highest quarterly growth in the past two and a half years. Top-tier U.S computer manufacturers have reaped the benefits of the buying spree, with direct seller Dell Computer reporting increases of 70% over the comparable quarter last year. "The recent strength of European markets suggests that companies are starting to realize they need technology to compete globally," says CEO Michael Dell. (Wall Street Journal 4 Feb 98) GOT A Y2K HEADACHE? HERE COMES THE EURO CONVERSION! Companies that do business either with Europe are starting to realize that they've got some serious programming work on their hands, and it has nothing to do with the millennium change. With the euro set to debut in 1999, "Everyone is starting to wake up to the fact that it could be a big deal for their IT infrastructure," says the head of Price Waterhouse's New York banking practice. The euro is "creeping up on CIOs' radar screens." Industrywide, software conversion costs in Europe alone are expected to exceed $100 billion, says the Gartner Group. The estimate includes the cost of upgrading larger computer systems, but not PCs or the software that will be needed to support the euro. Meanwhile, the Meta Group says the combined crunch of the euro conversion and Y2K could extend the shortage of information technology workers until 2004. And the learning curve is steep: "If you got 100 programmers in a room, they could be briefed on year 2000 in 10 minutes," says a project manager at Chase Manhattan. "With the EMU, it takes a good three months before you get the full view of the issues." (Information Week 26 Jan 98) E-COMMERCE PROBLEMS A recent meeting on electronic commerce, sponsored in part by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, has produced more questions than answers. "The line between law and technology blurs and raises the question about what laws need to be amended," said Michael Power, director of the Electronic Commerce Secretariat at Canada's Justice Department. Top concerns included privacy and security, legal jurisdiction and compliance with regulatory legislation. Power cited an example of an American company wanting to sell home HIV testing kits over the Internet. The server hosting the Web site is in Mexico, but home HIV testing kits cannot be sold in Canada, raising a question about how laws pertaining to specific countries or regions work in the Internet world. In addition, participants cited concern over offensive content and taxation issues. (Ottawa Citizen 4 Feb 98) FASTER ROUTING ON THE WAY With Internet destination addresses set to increase in size from 32 bits to 128 bits, computer scientists at Washington University have patented a mathematical procedure for speeding up router performance -- a process they liken to the game "20 Questions." The router first divides the address in half and compares one half of it to a database. The router then either keeps it or discards it in favor of the other half, and then repeats the process. Using the procedure, a router should be able to find the needed information in no more than seven steps. A number of large router makers are negotiating licensing deals with Washington U. (Business Week 9 Feb 98) ONLINE JOURNALS TAP AUTHORS FOR REVENUES At least two scholarly journals are forging a new business model for academic publishing: they're charging the authors, not the readers. Optics Express, a publication of the Optical Society of America, and the Internet Journal of Nitride Semiconductor Research, both have adopted the "pay to publish" strategy and distribute the journals free to subscribers. Optics Express charges $300 for an accepted article, and the Internet Journal charges $275 per submission, with a refund of $165 if an article is not accepted. Publishers acknowledge that the success of this approach will hinge on whether they can produce enough influential readers to make it worth the authors' while. The director of science libraries at Yale University calls it a "fascinating new approach to journal distribution." (Chronicle of Higher Education 6 Feb 98) IS BIG BROTHER REALLY WATCHING? A secret hearing of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board was told the Canadian government paid $31-million during the early 1980s for state-of-the-art software to track Canadian citizens by interfacing with credit card transactions, banking data, driver's license information, pension records, taxation information, criminal records and immigration records, according to transcripts. The U.S.-made Promis system could provide details of a person's health care and even library transactions. Updated versions are reportedly still being used by the RCMP and CSIS, but neither agency could be reached for comment. (Ottawa Sun 2 Feb 98) WHITE HOUSE UNHAPPY WITH PORNOGRAPHIC WEB SITE Presidential attorney Charles F.C. Ruff has expressed the White House displeasure at a pornographic Web site named whitehouse but with a ".com" domain name. In a letter to the site's Webmaster, Ruff wrote: "However distasteful your business may be, we do not challenge your right to pursue it or to exercise your First Amendment rights, but we do challenge your right to use the White House, the president, and the first lady as a marketing device... As your own online disclaimer implicitly acknowledges, the foreseeable result of your use of the White House domain name is that children will access your Web site inadvertently. Your customers will understand such a result is unconscionable, and so, we submit, should you." The owner of the site, who says "I personally like President Clinton and am happy with the way he is running the country," points out that there are several U.S. trademarks for the words "whitehouse" or "white house," none of which are owned by the U.S. government. (News.Com 4 Feb 98) CHILD PORN ON THE INTERNET Queen's University professor Dr. Michael Mehta says the number of Internet sites devoted to pornography and child porn is growing despite laws aimed at limiting them. He said the success of the online porn industry, virtually the only Web sites that make money, is driving the development of technology as consumers of adult material demand better monitors, more powerful micro-processors and faster Internet access speeds. (Toronto Globe & Mail 4 Feb 98) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report); ú maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. ú offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. ú presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. ú is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 20% Discount for Advance Q2 ads. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view Featured Review Viper V330 PCI or AGP Bus Video Card retail: $199.95 Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. 2880 Junction Ave. San Jose, CA 95134-1922 408-325-7000 http://www.diamondmm.com review by Frank Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) Diamond Multimedia, a trusted and innovative leader in multimedia products, has again manufactured an excellent graphics accelerator. Based on NVIDIA's RIVA 128 media controller, the 128-bit Viper V330 is an outstanding single card graphics solution that provides blisteringly fast 2D and 3D video. This card is a great choice for both businesses and home enthusiasts. The power, speed and flexibility of the Viper V330 are amazing. The retail version of the Viper V330 comes with an outstanding software bundle of productivity and entertainment software. Included games are the full versions of Interactive Software's iF-22 and BMG Interactive's Moto Racer along with the OEM version of Shiny Entertainment's MDK: Mission Laguna Beach. Productivity software includes Microsoft Internet Explorer, Backweb Software, MGI's PhotoSuite SE and MediaMagic's MPEG Arcade Player. To enable new Viper owners to make stunning 3D graphics, Diamond Multimedia includes Asymetrix Web 3D and Platinum's VRCreator VRML development system. The Viper V330 is a dream to install. The Installation Wizard directs the owner in each step to set up the driver and graphic settings. Diamond's InControl 95 Tools make changing resolutions a breeze. Other options include virtual desktops and hotkey activation. Drivers are constantly updated and available for download on Diamond's Web site at http://www.diamondmm.com. The card has a flashBIOS that's as easy to upgrade as creating a boot disk! Diamond has designed this card with future expansion in mind. It can be used with Diamond's Maximum DVD Kit to provide a complete DVD solution. In addition, Diamond has just announced the DTV 2000 card that adds a TV tuner and video capture capabilities to several video accelerators including the Viper V330. Expandability and great support make the Viper V330 a terrific value. Needless to say, the Viper V330 has great benchmark performance. Raw numbers can be very boring so I won't list them here. My personal observation is that this accelerator kicks butt. Screen redraws in Access Software's Links '98 are almost instantaneous. In 3D apps, graphics were stunningly detailed with little or no artifacting. The video is as smooth as silk and blazing fast. The card has a complete 3D feature set including Alpha-Blending, Anti-Aliasing, Bilinear Filering, Gourand Shading, Mip Mapping, Texture Mapping and Z-Buffering. This card does have one drawback. It is NOT 3Dfx capable. It is compatible with OpenGL and Microsoft's Direct3D. Most applications are compliant with these two API's. The OpenGL drivers are still in beta, but they are available from NVIDIA. The final release drivers will be available soon. With future expandability, terrific support and dazzling performance, the Viper V330 is a tremendous value at $199.95. If you're ordering a custom- built Pentium II system, be sure to ask your vendor about the availability of the AGP version of the Viper. You will be impressed with the Viper's features and performance. I highly recommend the Viper V330 as a single card solution for both 2D and 3D graphics. Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com The Oregon Trail 3rd Edition Pioneer Adventures Win 95 and Mac CD-ROM Approximate Retail: $49.95 Educational Program for Ages Ten and Up The Learning Company. One Athenaeum Street Cambridge, NA 02142 1.800.227.5609 www.learningco.com When most people think of Educational Software, one series of programs come to mind instantly. Oregon Trail has been around for over twenty-five years. This series has been used immensely in, homes, libraries, and of course school PCs. In fact, it has been noted as the top selling curriculum software used in schools. I still vividly recall playing off a 5 ¬ in my third grade computer class. But with two editions already published, what more can a person with a healthy thirst for knowledge expect to gain from this third series? Here's what I found. To start, this 3rd Edition, as a whole, is much more interactive than any of the first two programs. From the very beginning you can realize this. This program, unlike the other two, let the user choose their wagon party. You must be very careful because each companion you choose may be crucial in deciding your chances of traveling West. Many more supplies and vanity items are also available before you begin. Some of these items may help keep the moral high for the majority of the journey. Another very apparent improvement in the game is the graphics. Pioneer Adventures displays brilliant scenes of what is still the most beautiful parts of North America. It is truly remarkable because some scenes are actually recreated with actors and props. When you actually interact with characters, they speak in a new full motion video. These are two things which are very pleasant surprises from the two predecessors. When you are actually on the trail, you have a few more opportunities too. Fishing, along with gathering flowers, has been added to hunting for ways to find food for your wagon train. Many kind of animals and fish are available for feasting. One thing I didn't enjoy while hunting, is the frequent misfires of the gun which often leads to wounds and casualties. Crossing rivers is much more virtual too. When you caulk the wagon and float across, you may have to actually paddle against a harsh current. The largest plus in the game is the information. History, Social Studies, Geography, Geology, Botany, and Zoology are the educational subjects covered in this game. Characters also show a huge abundance of first person stories about life before they left for the West. There are also references to Native Americans that treated pioneers kindly whenever they encountered them. When you converse with these people, it is very reminiscent of another trail game, the Amazon Trail II. The only difference is that you cannot respond to what people say. This is not the only similarity between the two games. The fishing and interactive river crossing are two things that seem to be "taken" from the Amazon Trail series as well. There is also a book to read up on about fish and plant life. These things are also in Amazon Trail II. In fact, I might be inclined to say that, despite the loads of information, all this 3rd Edition may be is a combination of the two games. That is why I am recommending this program to anyone that doesn't own Amazon Trail II. The similarities will simply be too frequent. If you don't have this program, I would tell you to purchase Oregon Trail 3rd Edition for any home, school, or other institution for learning. It does what the series has tried to all along, make learning fun. Until Next time, Jason PC Requirements Windows 95, Pentium 90MHz, 30 MB Hard Drive Space, 16 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA, Quad Speed CD-ROM, Windows Compatible Sound Card Macintosh Requirements System 7.5 or higher, PowerPC, 30 MB Hard Drive Space, 16 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA, Quad Speed CD-ROM Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. ú No Indenting on any paragraphs!! ú No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmicks" ú No underlining! ú Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. ú Most of all.. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! ú There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy ú Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats ú Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately ú Please use a single font in an article. TTF Times New Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Well, it seems that for the time being, Clinton has dodged another bullet. On the other side of the world, Bill Gates takes one - in the guise of a cream pie! Isn't life sweet? Norm Weinress, an infamous "virtual pie thrower" on Delphi, is looking down from heaven and ROFLMOL!
It appears that the Atari section is nil this week. I don't know if it's been unusually quiet, or I've been unusually blind to it. It's been hectic around the ol' homestead this past week, so perhaps I've overlooked some interesting news. If so, we'll find it in time for next week. Until next time... Gaming Section PSX Owns Half the Market?! BlueSky Software! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sony Claims Nearly Half of N. American Console Market Jan 29, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 19) -- Sony Computer Entertainment America, basking in the glow of Christmas '97 numbers, said yesterday that PlayStation controls 49.2% of the console market in N. America and the company sees no reason to radically alter its pricing strategy. PlayStation will retail for $149 again this year, COO Kaz Hirai said yesterday during a conference call with analysts. New software releases will remain at $39.99, with some exceptions, and older titles will retail for $19.99, VP of Sales Jack Trenton said. Sony doesn't plan to add modem capabilities, which the forthcoming CD-based 64DD peripheral will give N64. It will also not enter the hand-held market, where Nintendo's Game Boy dominates. N64 market share is about 41%, Sony said. Nintendo did not return calls by our deadline. While Sony would not divulge details about the platform's 150-title first- and third-party product lineup for 1998, it does expect a big seller in racing game Grand Tourismo from its Japanese parent. In addition, "Crash [Bandicoot] will be back," says VP of Marketing Andrew House. Software sales for PlayStation reached 18.4m units in Q4 '97, while hardware reached 3.8m, raising the console's installed base to 8.7m in N. America. Q4 '96 hardware sales were 1.46m. Of the 3.8m consoles sold in Q4, 2.4m went in December, 1.01m in November and 408,000 in Otober. From the console's launch in N. America Sept. 9, 1995, through mid-January 1997, Sony had an installed base of 3.2m, 600,000 fewer than it sold during Q4 '97. Through the end of 1997, 47.3m PlayStation software units have been sold. PlayStation in 1997 represented 65% of total video game sales in the U.S., Trenton said after consulting NPD's TRSTS. For the growth of the console, he credits key third-party titles such as Eidos' [EIDSY] Tomb Raider, Capcom's Resident Evil, Namco's Tekken 2 and Electronic Arts' [ERTS] Madden 98. PlayStation's key to growth, Sony said, is reaching a broader audience. At present, the average age of PlayStation owners is 22, 60% are under 24 and 90% are male. History has shown that console sales plateau because developers were restricted by the small 12- to 17-year-old male demographic, Sony VP of Third Party Phil Harrison said. Since Sony wants to reach a larger demographic, "we actually started to track penetration" of PlayStations into households with VCRs, he added. PlayStation can be an entertainment system, "not just a video game system." And music-themed Parappa the Rapper is a "small step" toward a broader reach. It was not until VCRs penetrated 25m households that "we really saw an explosion" in the home video market, says THQ's [THQI] VP International Tim Walsh, paralleling VCR growth in the early 80s to that of PlayStation today. And the VCR is a good comparison, Walsh agrees, noting that both sit in the living room, connect to a TV and provide entertainment. French Publisher Acquires American Developer Feb 3, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 22) -- French publisher Titus Interactive sgned a letter of intent to acquire developer BlueSky Software. Financial terms were not disclosed. Titus, which is publicly traded on the French stock exchange Nouveau Marche, reported $22m in revenue for 1997, compared to $8m in 1996. Frost & Berman represented Titus in the deal. BueSky's resume dates back to the 8- and 16-bit consoles with games: Vectorman, Joe Montana Football and World Series Baseball for Sega Genesis. The company is currently developing PlayStation title Superman. MS OFFICE PRO 97 HELPS ONLINE MAGAZINE KEEP COMPETITIVE EDGE Company Overview The STR Publishing, Inc., publisher of Silicon Times Report (STReport) is one of the true pioneers of online publishing. Founded more than 10 years ago to serve the needs of computer enthusiasts, the magazine has been published exclusively on the Internet since its inception. "Our basic philosophy is that we're going to say it the way we see it," says magazine founder and publisher Ralph Mariano. "As such, we avoid accepting any directly related advertising." Originally conceived as a means for supplementing software publishers' manuals during a time "where the industry lacked really solid documentation" says Mariano, STReport now is aimed at users of all types, with an emphasis on novices. One of the magazine's top goals is to encourage new computer users, trying to simplify computers and software for them. As the market has evolved, so has the publication. STReport has grown to encompass a staff of editors and writers located throughout the country, and offers product reviews, opinion pieces and issue-related stories. They try to have "something for everyone" in each issue, according to the publisher. In its early years, the magazine was published as straight ASCII files in a simple ASCII editor. However, as the Internet market evolved, it became apparent to Mariano that the magazine needed to change its format in order to remain competitive. Technology Challenges STReport faced several challenges in creating a new look and feel to its Web site. Most notable were the time demands on its staff. Because the report is published weekly, the magazine staff did not have extensive time to invest in designing the site or in HTML coding. However, to be competitive in the new online magazine market, the publication needed an innovative and creative look and feel that took advantage of the new technology available in Web publishing. Solutions Mariano personally conducted product reviews for various Web authoring tools. As part of this process, he participated in a number of beta programs. Mariano selected Microsoft Office Professional 97 for several reasons-its ease of use and compatibility with other Microsoft products. Mariano and his staff planned to design the new STReport entirely in-house, so they needed a product that they could use quickly. In addition, the publication was already standardized on other Microsoft products, so using MS Office Pro 97 instead of a competitive product made file transfers and updates much easier. In planning the new site, Mariano focused on designing an online magazine that was visually compelling. During this process, Mariano and staff found themselves using several features repeatedly, particularly MS Office Pro 97's ability to handle animation and sound, which they incorporated liberally throughout the Web site. Using Allaire's Homesite 3.0 and MS Office Pro 97, Mariano was able to design an automatic subscription form for STReport. MS Office Pro 97's and Explorer 4.01 helped Mariano consolidate the documents within the site so they flowed together smoothly. Finally, Mariano found MS Office Pro 97's ability to handle color exceptional due to it being a true WYSIWYG application. Mariano says STReport saved a considerable amount of money by electing to design its Web site in-house, rather than hiring outside consultants. "I could have bought two new cars with the amount we saved by designing the site ourselves," said Mariano. In addition, readership has increased and the site itself has won a number of awards for its innovative design. Mariano would like to see the report become what he calls a Mecca for Internet users to turn to in order to gather information and products. Future plans call for the publication to offer software drivers, among other items, that readers can download online. Thanks to MS Office Pro 97, this should be no problem. The Linux Advocate Column #6 - written 05 FEB 98 by Scott Dowdle firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle LOGIN: Welcome back to the Linux Advocate column. I've been busy with school and reading the text book for my Business Telecommunications and Networking class. I way ahead of the class (which I don't mind) and am really learning a lot about networking from the "book learning" point of view. I just wish I had the hardware networking resources to play with all of this stuff. One of the things I've been playing with lately is The GIMP (see http://www.gimp.org) which is a GNU Public Licensed (aka GPL'ed, aka freely distributable software with complete source code). The GIMP is a clone of Adobe's Photoshop graphics application and is really a high quality program. In fact, I think The GIMP is amazing. Currently, it's The GIMP is at version 0.99.18 and I just installed the latest the other day and have been trying to learn more about graphic arts with it. I'm no artist but I'm not that bad. I certainly have a lot to learn about computer graphic arts. While I had hoped to spotlight The GIMP for this week's column installment, I didn't get around to learning all of the ins and outs of screen grabbing nor picturing it in my head exactly what screen shots I wanted to make for the column, so maybe next time. Linux News News Item #1: Linux is the #1 non-Microsoft Operating System - While it is hard to determine the exact numbers of the Linux userbase nor how fast the Linux userbase is growing, given its freely distributable status, in a recent blurb on Red Hat's Web site was the following: Linux is the fastest growing non-Microsoft Operating System in the world according to Dan Kusnetzky of IDC (International Data Corporation - the leading computer industry analysts). In Sun World Online Magazine, Kusnetzky estimates that "between 2 million and 6 million copies of Linux were installed in 1997, compared with around 3.8 million copies of the MacOS, over 7 million copies of Microsoft Corp.'s NT Workstation and 1.2 million copies of IBM's OS/2." See the following URL for the source of this information: http://www.sun.com/sunworldonline/swol-01-1998/swol-01-eyeoncomp.html#2 It has also recently been noted that Red Hat Software sold approximately 232,000 copies of their Linux distribution in 1997 (at an SRP of $49.95)... which is pretty amazing given the fact that Red Hat Linux is also freely distributable, FTP-able over hundreds of Internet sites, and available on cheap CD-ROMs like those produced by such vendors as Cheap*Bytes (http://www.cheapbytes.com only $1.99 plus shipping). While Red Hat Linux appears to be the most popular distribution of Linux, it certainly isn't the only one and not necessarily indicative of the over all Linux market. Some vendors, such as LinuxMall (http://www.linuxmall.com), have even been giving away a free Linux distribution of your choice CD-ROM as long as you pay the shipping. The fact that in Red Hat's first year in the Linux distribution market, they clear a cool $10 million on freely distributable software... well, that's pretty amazing. News Item #2: Netscape to release source code for Navigator 5.0 - As reported in last weeks STR, Netscape announced that they plan to release the source code to Navigator 5.0 when it is released. As a result of Netscape's announcement, some of the computer industry press has run a few stories on the free software movement from which Netscape got the inspiration. The following URLS are a few of the better articles I've run into. Those URLs were correct and working at the time of writing. Freed Software Winning Support, Making Waves http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/9966.html Developers on Free Netscape Code: Follow Through http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/9860.html A Titanic challenge to Microsoft http://www.msnbc.com/news/139296.asp ...and finally... Netscape Decision Could Alter Software Industry http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/digicom/020298digicom.html That last URL is on the New York Times Web site and requires filling out a free registration form, a slight annoyance, but perhaps worth your time to receive the article in question. Not so oddly enough, many of the articles draw back to sources from the Free Software Foundation, and the Linux community and in many cases, the success of Linux is credited for having something to do with Netscape's decision to release the source. The articles talk it all out pretty well so I'm not going to beat it into the ground. Oh, before I close this news item, I should mention one article specifically mentioned as helping Netscape make the surprising decision to release the source code: The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric S. Raymond http://www.ssc.com/linux/Eric/cathedral.html News Item #3 - Red Hat Linux 5.0 won Infoworld Magazine's 1997 Network Operating System Product of the Year award. You can read the announcement on Infoworld's web site at the following URL: http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayTC.pl?/97poy.win3.htm Just so you know, Red Hat 4.x tied with Microsoft Windows NT for Network Operating System Product of the Year for 1996. News Item #4 - Caldera's OpenLinux Receives Editors' Choice Award of Distinction in the Dec. 1996 issue of Byte magazine. While this news item is a little dated, it seems only fair since I mentioned Red Hat's recent award. For more info, see the following URL: http://www.caldera.com/byte/byteaward.html News Item #5: Bill Gates gets hit in the face with a cream pie - I know, news about the incident will most assuredly be mentioned elsewhere in this issue of STR, but I couldn't help but mention it myself. Simply Fabulous! Linux Myth Dispelling As admitted many times before, I'm borrowing completely from the Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage (http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html) for this section of the column. This installment's topic myth is: "Linux is hard to network" [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on] Linux is hard to network For Mac, it's AppleTalk. For Novell, it's IPX. For Windows, it's a mystery. For the Internet, it's TCP/IP. Linux supports them all. As you may know, TCP/IP (Internet Protocol) is the best networking protocol, and is native to UNIX. It is also native to Linux. Networking Linux can be done in one weekend (assuming you do have network cards), with some reading, testing, and setting up. Connecting it to the Internet takes about 10 minutes. Networking always has some stigma to it, but Linux is certainly no worse than other operating systems. [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off] Linux Distribution Spotlight This time I'll talk briefly about Caldera Inc's OpenLinux line of Linux distributions. First off all, Caldera has a multi-tiered distribution with OpenLinux Lite, Base, and Standard. Each distro is aimed at different markets and OpenLinux Lite is free. Who is Caldera? Well, the core of Caldera is made up mostly of former Novell employees and, in fact, the company is silently bank-rolled by former Novell founder, Ray Noorda... and was incorporated in January of 1995. Caldera has contributed several things to the Linux development community including much of the TCP/IP PPP code as well as virtually all of the Novell IPX networking code. Caldera excels in Novell connectivity and their Linux distribution is the one to choose if one of your main Linux Intranetworking projects is with a Novell network. Like many Linux distributions these days, Caldera's OpenLinux is based on Red Hat's RPM package manager. Caldera also has a slew of software licenses for optional packages for OpenLinux including WordPerfect Internet Office Suite, among others. Caldera also markets Sunsoft's WABI (a Microsoft Windows 3.x emulator) for OpenLinux. For more information on Caldera, visit their Web site at the following URL: http://www.caldera.com Linux Application Spotlight As mentioned previously in the LOGIN section, I had hoped to spotlight The GIMP this time but didn't get around to it... as I'm still learning more about the program, graphic arts in general, and my screen grabber. Expect more on The GIMP next time. In the mean time, feel free to visit The GIMP WWW site at Oh, for those who noticed that last column, when spotlighting TkDesk... I never mentioned how much TkDesk costs... well, that was because TkDesk, like virtually all of the software I'll talk about in this column, is freely distributable and comes complete with source code. Isn't the free software community wonderful? Linux History Who hasn't heard of the Free Software Foundation? For those that haven't, the Free Software Foundation is an organization that was founded in the early 80's by rebel Richard M. Stallman. The Free Software Foundation is responsible for all of the GNU software products that are available for virtually every computer platform that exists. GNU stands for GNU is Not Unix and is a recursive acronym. Cool, huh? Any Atari ST fans might remember MiNT originally stood for MiNT is Not TOS, which is a take off on GNU if you ask me. Anyway, Richard has done a lot of writing and speaking in the almost 2 decades he has been the world's leading advocate for free software. There are those in the free software community, even outspoken folks like Linux's Linus Torvalds and PERL's Larry Wall, that have had some minor political problems with Mr. Stallman but admittedly they were all minor and RMS (Mr. Stallmans initials and common nickname) still deserves a lot of respect and admiration... and he has lots from me. While it is debatable on just how important the GNU tools from the FSF were in the birth of Linux, and what obstacles the Linux community would have had trouble overcoming if the GNU tools weren't available and used by Linus Torvalds... all of that is water under the bridge so far as I'm concerned. The FSF and GNU play a major role in the history and development of Linux as we know it. I encourage any and all to visit the FSF WWW site for all kinds of propaganda. :) Visit the following URL for hours and hours of reading pleasure: http://www.gnu.org Oddly enough, RMS has found a way to make donations to the Free Software Foundation tax deductible and in fact, you may select the Free Software Foundation as a direct charity when donating to the United Way if you so desire. LOGOUT: Well, that's about all I have time for this column. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me or visit my homepage. See you next time. Thanks for reading! Scott Dowdle - Feb 1998 THE SHAME OF MODERN TIMES IN THE USA An opinion by R.F. Mariano Microsoft is standing up rather well in the face of the grandstanding politicians trying to gain notoriety via the "monoply - anti-trust boondoggle. Eleven states have now entered the fray. mind you, only entered with subpoenas and nothing more. So MS will be obliged to furnish business plans. Any fool can tell you what that is at this point in time. Make a profit for the stockholders, make enough profit to pay wages, taxes, and operating costs. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize what MS must do to not only remain in business but to continue to furnish a truly compatible platform that is placing computer use within reach of every man, woman and child in the USA and perhaps, the world. One can only speculate as to how many remember the "Good Old Days" of computing. When DOS, in all its incarnations, reigned supreme. Sure we do. this Network Hardware/Software Company had its own proprietary formats and routines, that Network Hardware/Software Company had its own. Anyone wishing to enjoy the benefits of networking had to submit to pricing that was, even when described mildly, a god-awful rip off. Then came the ultra specially qualified network ace, certified by this company, who furthered the rip-off on an hourly basis. Oh, did I tell you that once the system was set up by this knight in rusty armor you were forever more in his servitude for anything you required. from updates to hardware add-ons or upgrades. Once again of course, at the sky high, rip-off prices. Then came the "inexpensive" networking software groups that sounded so good but in the long run you were nickel and dimed to death. And to the tune of more than you would've paid the other company. No matter which way you went. you came away bleeding. Now enters. MS Dos and Microsoft. Shortly after being "horsed around" by a few high placed executives in a NY company.. MS decided to bring forth a DOS for everyone. and what seems likely shortly thereafter a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that was called "Windows". Of course, Windows at that point in time was scoffed at by most all the DOS babies and without a doubt the heavily certified network specialists and all the other gouge goons hiding in the woodwork. Who had the best Word Processor? Who knows? You had to buy each one to be able to read files produced by each one. Who had the best Graphics programs? Who knows?? There were so many, on a bunch of different platforms, that it would've taken a herd of Einstein's to keep track of them. Don't even mention MIDI programming or Games. Windows and Microsoft's concept of compatibility (cross platform) would soon address many of these inconsistencies that deeply plagued the computing communities. When the smoke finally cleared long enough for many to look around and finally get the message, that Microsoft had introduced true, unmitigated cross platform compatibility. Oh my, did the opponents scream, moan and literally weep. Their big noise about going bankrupt, losing their shirts, pants and souls went on for what seemed like an eternity. Lo and behold. after many were done lamenting, they soon found fresh new markets had been opened up to them. Markets that had never existed before. They grew, prospered and were more healthy than ever before. Then these very same "criers" began to mimic Microsoft's business tactics. Hey imitation is the highest form of flattery. right? This caused MS to vary its deployment of shrewd, highly savvy business strategies. Once again. MS is leading the way. showing the moaning dunderheads the facts of life as far as the Internet is concerned. Now that MS has indeed shown the "competition" as "they" wish to be called at this time. MS is getting a black eye for having blazed new trails in software technology. God help us all if today's gouge artists get their way.we'll not own a single program and we'll pay rent for each time we use one. Talk about a gouge. Caveat Emptor! Microsoft, when Windows was released, established certain software programming guidelines that were well thought out to facilitate compatibility and ease of programming across the boards. What happens?? Easy.. a few "hotshots jump up and are going to teach MS a few tricks. They tried and tried. yet all that seemed to happen was the software they were producing kept "breaking". They began to cry all over again. "MS is not playing fair". they cried. What they didn't do was follow the rules. If they had, their software would've ran beautifully from one version on Windows to the next. Admittedly, I am using Windows 98 (legally) and I must say its marvelous! Everything about Windows 98 is a sheer pleasure. Windows 98 makes all previous versions seem like the original GUI systems that appeared years ago. Gotta tell ya.. I am somewhat dismayed at the fools who are hell bent to go about re-setting up many of the gouge deals MS all but eliminated. MS brought true compatibility between programs and platforms. The gouge artists obviously lost a cash cow in their "proprietary voodoo rituals" Now, not surprisingly, we see where our "ever so enlightened" politicians are getting involved in persecuting Microsoft. Orrin Hatch R- Utah comes to mind. Somebody ought to dig real deep into Hatch's background both private and public. While they're at it, be certain that his ever so secret likes and dislikes are made public. After all, he said that Clinton in being a public official, should have no secrets and that he and his Judicial Committee were taking a long hard look. Senator Hatch take a long hard look at this. if you think for a minute that you are pulling the wool over anyone's eye's with your silly grandstanding and posturing both on Clinton's headaches and Microsoft's you are sorely mistaken. The only one who's got "hair" in his eyes is you. Wake up my good Senator and smell the coffee. Microsoft pays more taxes.. locally, statewide and Federally than any 50 Senators. Better yet, Microsoft has done more to eliminate unemployment than both the House and Senate in the last ten years! I could care less what Clinton is doing during his private time. I do care about how much taxpayer money is being wasted by jerky politicians in their vigorous pursuit of totally unimportant matters that amount to less than a hill of beans. I am elated with the levels of computing power Microsoft and its software engineers have placed in the hands of the average everyday people in this country. Don't forget the vast numbers of students whose learning skills were tremendously accelerated through the use of computers. Most of which use MS products in one form or another. Its high time, the DOJ stepped back and removed itself from the clutches of politics and the painful throes of being a political pawn. Its so sad to see the DOJ look no better than Ken Starr the "Modern Day Inquisitor". Its time to end these nightmares! BOTH of them!! The DOJ's MS Anti-trust actions and Starr's obsessions over Clinton make a mockery of the US Constitution and what it stands for. EDITORIAL QUICKIES THINGS WE CAN LEARN FROM A DOG Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. When it's in your best interest, practice obedience. Let others know when they've invaded your territory. Take naps and stretch before rising. Run, romp and play daily. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout...run right back and make friends. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport HTTP://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 06, 1998 Since 1987 Copyrightc1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1405