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Article #694 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 3-Apr-98 #1413 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Tue Apr 14 21:10:06 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) [Image] Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 14gb * Back Issues * Patches * Support Files (Continually Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok * Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER news.streport.com Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.01 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office Pro 97, FrontPage 98, Homesite 3.0 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 04/03/98 STR 1413 "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!" CPU Industry Report Newt "The Beaut!" IBM & Sun do JAVA Hatch Still Playing Games COREL SINKS DEEPER Lapware for Toddlers New Intel LC Chip "SLOW" Virtual Museums on Net The Patience of JOBS Diablo for PlayStation People Talking Classics & Gaming State Net Laws Shot Down EarthLink Smacks Spammer AOL To Launch Bid For Corporate Clients STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Or, read STReport Online in HTML at our Website. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 03/28/98: five of six numbers with two 4# & three 3# matches [Image] From the Editor's Desk... This is the first week I can say.... Its about time we saw the Paula Jones soap opera garbage take a hike. Now, the next to go should be the Joe McCarthy reincarnation, Ken Starr. Starr is the epitome of obsession at its most nefarious best. Actually, he has dragged this "crusade" of his on for far too long. The Mellons ought to give up the ghost. They're not going to get satisfaction out of the White Water affair nor are they ever going to gain vindictive justice against Bill Clinton. Its time the entire "Republican Vendetta" went away. [Image] Otherwise it might just be time to re-open the investigations of Newt "The Beaut" Gingrich. Now there's a dilly for you. He stands next to the President and smiles while he's among the most ardent of Clinton Haters. Sort of reminds one of Nero's sad story. Newt kinda sticks in my craw as the slime of slimes.... He's caught scheming another of his now ever so famous schemes because he's stupid enough to use a cellphone. A private citizen happened to listen in and recorded the whole conversation. Guess what came of it? Newt slides away free and the private citizen gets busted for eavesdropping and taping. Get this though, they, Newt & Friends, STILL had the arrogance to go through with their dumb a** plans! Read this and weep.. this slimer is thinking about running for President! He's wanted it so bad I'm almost fearful of seeing another Dallas, November 22, 1963. Now Newt's back with ANOTHER Book! Talk about nerve! CONTRITE GINGRICH ADMITS MISTAKES IN NEW BOOK "Warming up for a possible presidential campaign in 2000, Newt Gingrich has written a new book in which he admits to making one mistake after another as speaker of the House. His biggest blunder, Gingrich acknowledged in the book "Lessons Learned the Hard Way," was badly underestimating the political skills and mental resilience of President Clinton, who he said repeatedly outmaneuvered him in 1995 and 1996. Discussing the showdown over the budget in 1995 which twice shut down the federal government, Gingrich wrote, "We were committed to the idea of Clinton as a weak president." Gingrich wrote they should have realized they were dealing with a tough and determined opponent who would not easily give way." Dear hearts... this is one Southern Yahoo Politician we DO NOT need in the Whitehouse. Not under any circumstances. This goof is the "main man" when it comes to controls freaks who play the "good ole boy" game. Anybody with a half a brain in their head could outwit this clown. Anyone including the likes of Saddam Hussein and any others like him. Its time Newt went home to Georgia and stayed there like a good "fat cheeked" spoiled brat little boy. One must ask; hasn't Gingrich done enough harm to this country?? He and his Republican Cronies have crushed or so heavily modified every major social bill in Congress that the proposed Bills were rendered ineffective except for the goodies they tacked on for their own pork barrel buddies. Gingrich has got to go. [Image] http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Graphics Rich HTML. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Help Wanted Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Scott Dowdle Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet: email@example.com 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 EarthLink Smacks Spammer Cyber Promotions Inc. has reached a settlement with EarthLink Networks Inc. that forbids the company from sending any spam to EarthLink accounts. The deal is the last settlement in a spate of lawsuits filed against Cyber Promotions and its CEO Sanford Wallace. It calls for Wallace to pay $2 million to EarthLink, and holds him personally liable to an up to $1 million fine if he, or any company he is associated with, sends spam to EarthLink. "I can't tell you how happy I am to be rid of one of the Internet's most notorious spammers," EarthLink CEO Garry Betty said in a press release. EarthLink has also instituted several measures to fight spam, the company said. The measures includes a policy to charge spammers $200 before canceling their accounts, discontinuing acceptance of third-party mail relays, and joining ISPSEC, an industry anti-spam coalition. EarthLink has also hired Dan Farmer, co-author of SATAN and COPS software, the company said. Wallace has had numerous legal and logistical troubles in his attempts to use the Internet as a method of direct marketing. His company has been kicked off by at least five hosting companies in four years, and has been sued by a host of ISPs, who charge that he was clogging their networks and annoying their customers with his unsolicited commercial email. Spam King: I'll Pay to Spam Coming from the man who used to relish his "King of Spam" title, it's a pretty startling statement. "We realize that the spam business model has run into a lot of roadblocks," said Sanford Wallace, CEO of bulk e-mail marketer Cyber Promotions Inc., in an interview following the news that the company had reached a settlement in a lawsuit against it by EarthLink Networks Inc. The once-defiant Wallace, saying he's moving his company in a different direction while still trying to deliver on the opportunity some see in consumers' e-mail in-boxes, said next week Cyber Promotions will roll out its long-rumored "spam backbone" along with a service for Internet service providers to get paid to accept bulk e-mail. "This way, the onus is on the ISP" if consumers feel they're being bombarded with too much promotional mail, Wallace said. ISPs can then ask their customers to opt in or out of the program -- and those that sign up can get price breaks on their monthly bill, he said. Asked how much ISPs will be offered to join the program, he said: "We're asking them to name their price." The amount of savings to the individual subscriber would be up to the ISP, he said. The difference between such an advertising model and that of America Online Inc., "which sues everybody it can get its hands on but then spams its members with its own ads," is that this system would give subscribers more control over the ads they receive, Wallace said. The outcry from Internet users wanting to stamp out spam has been Wallace's biggest challenge. His company has been hit with lawsuits from all sides, and he's been forced into numerous settlements such as the EarthLink deal that calls for Cyber Promotions to pay $2 million to the ISP. The settlement also makes Wallace personally liable, up to a $1 million fine, if he or any company he is associated with sends spam to EarthLink members. In the past four years, Cyber Promotions has also been kicked off at least five Internet services. He bristles at the suggestion that the company has lost the lawsuits, however. "We haven't lost a single case, in spite of what's been reported," Wallace said. Rumors that the company is in bankruptcy are also unfounded, he said. "If we are, that's news to me," Wallace said. Hatch Seeks Letters From Microsoft, Sun, Netscape Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch asked Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Netscape Communications to ease the way for their customers to talk to committee investigators. In letters to chief executives of the three companies, who appeared before the committee on March 3, Hatch and the top Democratic and Republican members of the panel asked for clarification regarding provisions of "non-disclosure agreements" the companies use. The agreements have become a bone of contention because they require customers and business partners who sign them to notify the companies before releasing any confidential business information, even to government investigators. The letters to Bill Gates of Microsoft, Scott McNealy of Sun and Jim Barksdale of Netscape ask the companies to provide clarifying letters freeing their contractual partners to provide information to the committee without prior notification. At the committee hearing, Gates told Hatch he expected to provide such a letter, as the company already has done for Justice Department investigators. Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said he was surprised by Hatch's letter because the company had been "working closely" with the committee to resolve the issue. "We want to make sure the committee has all the information that it needs," he said. "At the same time, we need to ensure that our confidential business information and intellectual property are protected against inadvertent release to our competitors and others." A Netscape spokeswoman said the company "absolutely" would comply with the Senate request. Sun officials could not be reached for comment. In addition to Hatch, the letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat; Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat; and Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican. (Can you tell its an election year?) Intel's Grove Steps Aside As CEO, Remains Chairman Intel's announced changing of the guard is drawing generally positive comments from analysts. The world's largest computer chip maker has announced Andrew Grove, who helped establish the $500 billion personal computer industry, will step aside as chief executive in May but remain chairman. Intel will promote Craig Barrett, its president and chief operating officer, to be its new chief executive, replacing Grove. At this stage in Intel's history, Barrett's operations expertise will be just as important as Grove's vision, said Ashok Kumar, analyst at investment bank Piper Jaffrey. "They need to have the highest-performance, lowest-cost microprocessor," Kumar said. "The key person who has been responsible for that is Craig Barrett." Grove, 61, will concentrate on devising strategy for the world's biggest chip maker. Barrett, a 58-year-old former Stanford University professor, will run Intel's day-to-day operations. "I have no plans of stepping down as chairman," Grove said in an interview with Reuters. State Lawmakers (Control Freaks) Are in a Web-Regulating Frenzy The Internet legislation just keeps rolling in. Tennessee lawmakers are pushing a bill that would tag porn sites with specific domain names to warn parents. Idaho recently legislated taxing the Internet. And in Ohio, house lawmakers have passed an Internet bill so sweeping it tackles everything from kiddie porn to making ISPs liable for smut. Every week it seems, another state politician jumps into the fray with new Internet legislation, even though such laws often butt heads with the First Amendment or with federal interstate commerce laws. An estimated 700 Internet-related bills are brewing at the state level. "What we saw last year as a rush to regulate the Internet is turning into a tidal wave of legislation," Paul Russinoff, who follows interstate issues for the Interactive Services Association. But industry experts say the bills are often misguided attempts to exert some influence -- however minor -- over the burgeoning new field of the Web. "A lot of these bills are not well-crafted, are not forward-looking," Russinoff said. The courts seem to agree. Of the dozen or so state Internet laws that have been enacted, at least three have been overturned on the grounds they violate free speech or restrict interstate commerce. But such resistance isn't stopping many state lawmakers from pushing bills that are strikingly similar to those that have been tossed out. Among the most popular movements is support for the "mini-CDA," a state version of the federal Communications Decency Act, which banned transmitting smut over the Internet if it could be intercepted by minors. That law was overturned by the Supreme Court last year on grounds that it violated free speech. But New Mexico state Sen. Stuart Ingle, the sponsor of one such bill enacted earlier this month, said he raised the issue following a case in which a young boy was lured away from home through e-mail messages. "Certainly the public needs to be aware these things are going on so they can act," Ingle said. Still, he acknowledges his law -- which is under scrutiny from the ACLU -- may follow the path of a similar law in New York. Last June, that law was struck down by a federal judge. "This one may be, too," Ingle said. Other states considering mini-CDAs include Rhode Island, Illinois and Ohio, as part of its omnibus bill. Internet policy experts say such actions indicate the states' desire to do something, anything, to play a role in shaping the Internet."States feel they have the right to regulate the morals of their citizenry," said Jerry Kang, a professor at the UCLA school of law. But he doesn't think they'll have much luck. "Over the next 15 years, we'll move toward more national, and later, international, regulation of cyberspace. States will have a weakening role," Kang said, adding that federal laws on the issue will eventually supercede any state laws. Solveig Singleton, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a national think tank, said many politicians are just looking to get their name in the spotlight. "The Internet is a very hip topic, and the media has paid a tremendous amount of attention to it. It gets a lot of attention. It gets a lot of press," she said. Singleton doesn't think state laws can apply to a medium that doesn't respect physical boundaries. "In an area where everything is interstate, there is no sense in having individual state laws," she said. But clearly, many states don't agree. Kentucky, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are considering laws that would require many public agencies to install blocking software, even though the ACLU and others are challenging a similar policy in Loudoun County, Va. Idaho, perhaps the bravest state, recently passed legislation that would require companies doing business over the Internet to pay state sales tax when selling to Idaho residents. The move comes even as the Clinton administration and industry leaders are pushing a hands-off policy. Oklahoma is considering legislation that would prohibit sending obscene material from state computer systems. A federal judge overturned a similar law in Virginia after professors and others filed suit. Spam is another popular topic for Internet laws. Washington state enacted an anti-spam law last week, following similar moves in Nevada and New Jersey. Such laws are currently moving through the legislatures of both California and Illinois. Some states are also considering laws that would expand existing child pornography laws to include the Internet. Still others are seeking to ban computer-generated images of child pornography, an effort that at least one federal court has upheld. State Net Laws Shot Down The following state Internet laws have been overturned by federal judges: In Virginia, a law that banned downloading "sexually explicit" materials to state computers was overturned in February on the grounds that it was overly broad and violated the First Amendment. In Georgia, a law that criminalized using pseudonyms on the Internet was struck down in June 1997 on the grounds it violated the First Amendment. In New York, a law that prohibited transmitting indecent materials to minors was overturned in June 1997 on the grounds it violated interstate commerce laws. White House Plans Internet Privacy Forum The Clinton administration plans to hold a conference exploring Internet privacy issues in May, officials said. The gathering, similar to a meeting held last December about protecting children on the Internet, will include representatives from industry, government and advocacy groups. Although the administration has largely favored private-sector self-regulation to protect privacy, some advocates argue that with more and more data about individuals being collected and made available over the Internet, new laws are needed. The goal of the May gathering will be to evaluate the administration's current self-regulatory policy, Under Secretary of Commerce David Aaron said at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing. Because the Internet "is so rapidly evolving and so multifaceted, we believe it's best to get the industry to embark on self-regulation," Aaron told lawmakers. Aaron conceded that the effort got off to a slow start, but said "the picture is reasonably encouraging at this point." The administration would be willing to "reevaluate" its policy if self-regulation proves ineffective, he said. Last year, the administration convinced several industry groups to promulgate voluntary codes of conduct. Fourteen leading collectors of personal consumer data agreed in December to limit the dissemination of some information, such as social security numbers. he controversy over private information erupted in 1996 when Reed Elsevier's Lexis-Nexis unit began a service called P-Trak that sold social security numbers and other sensitive data. David Medine, associate director at the Federal Trade Commission, said his agency was actively monitoring the voluntary pacts to make sure companies were complying. The agency is also surveying 1,200 web sites to determine their privacy practices, Medine said. Privacy advocates testifying at the hearing, however, said self-regulation was inadequate and called for new laws. Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the Clinton administration's policy was "exactly backwards." The administration imposed strict curbs on technology such as encryption that individuals could use to protect their own privacy on the Internet, he said, but relied on companies voluntarily not to misuse personal information they collected. Deirdre Mulligan, staff counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, advocated establishment of a federal privacy protection agency. Mulligan also warned that a host of sensitive data contained in business records is not protected by the Fourth Amendment's search warrant requirement. For example, Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr this week got access to Monica Lewinsky's book buying records without a warrant, Mulligan noted. "We've entered a brave new world," Mulligan said. "Data itself speaks and the little pieces of data that we leave in our daily transactions, whether they're at the book store or an online service provider or at a Web site, can come back and bite us." Massachusetts Democrats Barney Frank and Marty Meehan sided with the privacy advocates. Frank said relying on the FTC as the primary protector of privacy was "a pretty thin reed." Subcommittee chairman Howard Coble, Republican of North Carolina, said he was keeping an open mind. But at the close of the hearing, he said: "it's not likely Congress will do anything in a tangible way this session." Group Forms to Push Highly Secure Netcape Browser A grassroots coalition of Australian researchers and developers have formed the Mozilla Crypto Group to do what Netscape Communications itself could not -- bring strong security coding to Communicator 5.0 browser users worldwide. The group said in a statement Monday that their goal is to create a cross-platform Web browser by adding the full-strength cryptography provided by SSLeay, a free implementation of Netscape's Secure Socket Layer. The U.S. government has opposed similar efforts at using such heavily encoded systems on tech exports, arguing it would cause security problems. SSL is the encryption protocol behind the Netscape Secure Server and the Netscape Navigator browser. The news addresses one of the biggest questions surrounding Tuesday's much anticipated release of Netscape 5.0 source code. For legal reasons pertaining to Netscape's licensing of security code algorithms from RSA Data Security, the company had stripped out the encryption from the application's code base. The 10-member group includes Tim Hudson and Eric Young, who spearheaded SSLeay, and Farrell McKay, who last year developed Fortify, a patch that beefed up the cryptographically weak export version of Netscape to full 128-bit strength. The group said in a statement that the upgraded Mozilla will support both weak legacy - 56-bit and less - and modern full-strength cryptographic keys. "At the moment the development plans and projects are in a state of flux," the group's FAQ states. "More detail will be added as we find out more about the Mozilla code base after it is released. The initial aim is to add HTTPS (Secure HTTP) support into the browser before tackling the other interesting areas where crypto is used," continued the statement. By developing the crypto support in Australia, without US technical support, the alliance neatly bypasses US Commerce Department regulations barring the export of most strong encryption technologies on the grounds that doing so would threaten US national security interests. But the Mozilla Crypto Group demonstrates the shortsightedness of that scheme, experts said. "The export policies assume that foreigners can't program," said Phil Zimmermann, a fellow with Network Associates and the creator of Pretty Good Privacy. "I applaud the publication of source code of any product that can have cryptography in it," Zimmermann added. "It's another step on the road to worldwide strong encryption," said Bruce Schneier, president of Counterpane Systems. "It's a good step, it's a good idea - SSLeay has been around for a while," he said. Different sections of code from the browser, christened Mozilla, will be stewarded by various developer organizations. On Friday, a Netscape engineer revealed that the sections of code pertaining to extensible markup language (XML) would be turned over to a coalition of XML developers. Representatives of the Mozilla Crypto Group could not immediately be reached for comment. Canadian Software Firm Corel Plunges Deeper Into Losses Canada's Corel, the little software maker that took on giant Microsoft in the office suite market, reported it had slipped much deeper into losses in the year's first quarter. Corel lost $21.1 million, or $0.36 a share, in the first quarter ended February 28 against a comparable loss for the same period a year earlier of $11.3 million, or $0.19 a share. It was the fifth consecutive quarter of losses for Corel. Even so, Chief Executive Michael Cowpland tried to put a brave face on the result. During the quarter, even though the numbers were negative, we've made substantial progress in terms of restructuring the company going forward," he told reporters on a conference call. Ottawa-based Corel's sales dropped to $45.5 million from a year-earlier $80.7 million. Cowpland said the company had cut its advertising budget in half to deal with the drop in revenue, which resulted partly from a new sales strategy of lowering office software prices. Corel hopes a cheaper price for its WordPerfect product will help it compete more effectively with Microsoft's software, Word. "We've received encouraging signs from the marketplace... and we could get a surge in volume," Cowpland said. Corel, which formerly viewed Microsoft as its rival, has made WordPerfect fully compatible with Word, executives said. Cowpland ruled out cutting any staff as a consequence of the losses and said the company was an unlikely target for a takeover. "We haven't had any approaches at all," he said. However, others are not so sure. "They will likely be having a lot of vultures coming around seeing if there's anything ... of any value and maybe getting some kind of a bid for the company," said one analyst, who declined to be identified. Corel had $18.9 million in cash at the end of the first quarter versus year-earlier $12.0 million and company executives described the cash position as "stable." AOL To Launch Bid For Corporate Clients America Online is expected today to unveil new plans that will effectively allow corporations to rent the on-line service for use by employees when they are out of the office, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Employees will be able to dial a local phone number that will link their laptop computers to AOL's network, which in turn will connect them with their company's internal computer network, the Journal said. The Dulles, Virginia, company also has formed partnerships with a number of network-security companies to bolster the service, the paper said. It has struck an agreement with International Business Machines Corp.'s Lotus Development unit to give its 20 million Lotus Notes software users the chance to sign on to AOL. The companies providing AOL with software and services to ensure the security of corporate data include Security Dynamics Technologies Inc., Aventail, Axent Technologies and Check Point Software Technologies, the Journal said. Compaq Begins North America Sales of Handheld PC Compaq Computer said it started selling its new palmtop personal computer, the C-Series Handheld PC, in North America. Compaq said the device supported several exclusive software bundles as well as Microsoft's Windows CE 2.0 operating system for consumer electronics. The C-Series Model 810, which has a monochrome display, is priced at $599. Features include an integrated modem with standard phone jack and a display that offers two levels of backlighting. The C-Series also offers encrypted multilevel password protection, automatic information backup and other features, Compaq said. Sony Says Licenses Java Technology From Sun Sony said today it had entered into a licensing agreement with Sun Microsystems for the use and distribution of Sun's Java computer programming language technology. The two companies plan to support development of applications based on Java technology for digital home entertainment products and networks, Sony said in a statement. The collaboration will include Sony incorporating applications based on Java technology into its advanced digital audiovisual products and Sun creating Java software development tools for digital home entertainment products, Sony said. "Sony is creating an open architecture for the home entertainment network environment where users will be able to enjoy the seamless interaction of computers, audiovisual equipment and digital television," Akikazu Takeuchi, president of Sony Corp's software platform development centre, said in a statement. Sony declined to give further details of possible Java-based products. Sony Starts Online Entertainment Unit Drawing on its electronics and entertainment expertise, Sony will announce today the formation of a new U.S. unit focused solely on Internet entertainment projects, company executives said. The new subsidiary, Sony Online Entertainment, will bring together parts of two Sony business units in the U.S., Sony Online Ventures and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It will also sharpen the focus of Sony's year-old online network, The Station www.station.sony.com , unit president Lisa Simpson said. "We feel in the last year we have proved this concept both with advertisers, consumers and Sony," Simpson said. "Now we are evolving our mission and focusing specifically on games and game shows." In doing so, Sony hopes to capitalize on the recognition of a game show library that includes Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both of which are already on The Station. The focus and the format have produced a more sophisticated and perhaps profitable online venture than most companies have managed, said analyst Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communications. "Sony has learned a lot from the first year of its experience," Arlen said. "They've been among the first to really figure out how advertising works in this venue and the format lends itself to all kinds of other revenue streams." Simpson said Sony expected The Station to mirror other online ventures in that most of its early revenues would come from advertising. Sony asks "members" of The Station to complete brief demographic questionnaires at registration which are used to help target advertising content, she said. Also, the game format offers a favorable platform for advertising, said Executive Vice President Richard Glosser, because it "has an almost natural TV-like break between rounds" that can be filled with billboard ads. Slightly more than half of The Station's nearly one million members - Simpson expected to hit the milestone by the end of March -- are in the 18-34 age group, typical of an Internet sampling, but nearly half are female, a population often under- represented on the Internet. Simpson said the mix has attracted mainstream names like Kellogg and Procter & Gamble to the site. Simpson declined to say whether The Station was profitable yet, but said the creation of a separate business unit indicated Sony "absolutely expected" to profit, and not simply to use The Station as a marketing and promotion tool. Eventually, Sony plans to add new games and begin charging user fees for premium games. A new addition slated for this year is based on the recently resuscitated 1970s television artifact The Dating Game. Multi-player versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel, potentially with user fees, are also planned. Another addition will be a kind of "Coffee Break Jeopardy" with five-minute rounds and no sound, aimed squarely at the corner of the office market Sony has apparently tapped into. According to the company's own usage statistics, peak use of the site occurs during late mornings across the U.S. and then again in late afternoon, making the site among those visited most often at the workplace. "Sometimes I wonder if we're having a dramatic impact on the productivity of the American people," Simpson said. "I've heard anecdotally that we've been banned in some workplaces." Fujitsu Boosts LifeBook Notebook Line Fujitsu PC Corp. today introduced three new LifeBook notebook PCs. The Milpitas, Calif., company is adding two models to its corporate LifeBook 700 series and one model to its thin-and-light LifeBook 600 series. Fujitsu's LifeBook 770Tx, priced at $2,799, will offer a 200MHz Intel Corp. Pentium Processor with MMX Technology, a 12.1-inch super VGA resolution thin film transistor display, 32MB of synchronous dynamic RAM, a 3.2GB hard drive, a 20-speed CD-ROM and an integrated 56K-bps modem. The new LifeBook 790Tx, priced at $3,499, includes a 266MHz Pentium MMX processor and a 4GB hard drive, company officials said. The LifeBook 690Tx, priced at $4,299, offers a 266MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 12.1-inch XGA resolution thin film transistor display, 32MB of SDRAM, 4GB hard drive, 20-speed CD-ROM and integrated 56K-bps modem, the officials said. The notebook, which is 1.5 inches thick and weighs about 5 pounds, also comes with a second external battery. All of the models, which will ship in mid-April, offer manageability features, including DMI (desktop management interface) 2.0 and WFM (wired for management) 1.1 compliance as well as support for advanced configuration power interface, company officials said. Fujitsu can be reached at www.fujitsu-pc.com. New Intel Chip For Low-cost PCs Behind Rivals A new, much-anticipated chip developed by Intel aimed at the sub-$1,000 PC market is not as fast running applications as its clone competitors, according to tests performed by computer magazine PC World. The chip, called Celeron, is expected to be launched on April 15, but PC World said it obtained a pre-production PC with a Celeron chip running at a speed of 266 megahertz. "PC World completed the first road tests of the processor which indicate that Intel's rivals are still ahead in both price and performance," PC World said in a statement. Bill Snyder, senior news editor at PC World, said that while the chip runs at its expected speed of 266 megahertz, its performance running software applications is slower than the performance of rival chips developed by Advanced Micro Devices and National Semiconductor unit Cyrix. "The thing is pretty slow," Snyder said. "There is no doubt in my mind that ... why it's slow is because of the lack of secondary cache. Take away the secondary cache and you get a big hit to performance." Intel has said that Celeron will have no L2 or level two cache, which is a reserved section of the chip for storing memory, in order to make a chip that can address the low-cost computing market. PC World said it tested the chip running applications such as Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program; Microsoft Word, its word processing program; the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, made by Lotus Development's Lotus word processing program WordPro; and a few other business applications. "We don't know what the magazine has in terms of a test system," said Intel spokesman Howard High. "What we have seen historically, if you look back at other chips like Klamath and others, a number of publications get pre-production products and when the real product comes out, they wind up having to recant and reposition their words." PC World notes in its article in its May issue that the chip was close to the final version, but that sources close to Intel said the final version of the chip may offer slightly better performance. Nevertheless, PC vendors privately express little enthusiasm over the new chip's performance," PC World said. PC World wrote that Celeron fails to live up to its name, which comes from the Latin word "celer," meaning speed. PC World, a monthly computer magazine published in San Francisco, said it has a circulation of over 1.1 million. TI Unit Unveils "Made in India" Chip Texas Instruments today announced the successful development of a new computer chip designed entirely in India. "We are announcing a new digital signal processor (DSP) called Ankoor," TIIL's managing director, Srini Rajam, told a news conference. TIIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texas Instruments. DSPs are silicon chips used in a range of electronic appliances, ranging from mobile phones to fax machines to modems to digital cameras. Many components that go to make a personal computer, such as a hard drive, also use DSPs. Ankoor is a Hindi word for seedling. Rajam said the new DSP's silicon design project, and the development of software simulators and models were carried out entirely by the Bangalore DSP team. The project was started just two years ago, he added. "The new chip shows that the talent, commitment and design capabilities in India are second to none. We are on the world map now," Rajam said. A company statement said the new DSP combines signal processing and control functions in a single chip, allowing original equipment manufacturers (of electronics) to replace two processors with one. IBM, Sun Finally Unite on JavaOS After a couple of false starts, IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday will announce that they are co-developing and co-marketing JavaOS for Business. The new operating system will be available to computer and component manufacturers, software developers, enterprise customers, and Sun and IBM channels by mid-year. The two companies are also planning joint initiatives and training around JavaOS for Business. IBM and Sun are positioning the new JavaOS as suitable for thin clients, Network Computers and remote terminals such as kiosks and ticket machines. They are targeting vertical markets such as inventory management, banking and call-center support. IBM will offer the new operating system on its high-end Network Stations, which are Java-enabled. Sun, of Mountain View, Calif., will migrate its JavaStation customers from JavaOS for NCs (Network Computers), its current offering, to JavaOS for Business over the next year. Sources would not speculate on whether JavaOS for NCs will be phased out. At the JavaOne conference last week, Sun reintroduced the JavaOS for Appliances as JavaOS for Consumers. That operating system--suitable for Web phones and set-top boxes--is based on PersonalJava 1.0 and the Chorus architecture and microkernel, which Sun acquired along with Chorus Systems Inc. last fall. Sources said IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., will not be supporting Sun's JavaPC, which runs a Java virtual machine in DOS by hooking to DOS device drivers, because it appears to be "a transitory technology." Sun and IBM hammered out a deal over the weekend, sources said. Spyglass Unveils New Device Mosaic Software Spyglass said its Device Mosaic 3.0, a redesigned small World Wide Web browser for everyday devices, is available immediately. Whereas the previous version could be used only as an Internet browser, the new one can be a base for additional services needed by the digital cable and satellite industries, for example. The software can be customized to include electronic program guides or pay per view ordering, among other things. In addition, the new software requires less memory, the company said, making it fit more easily on small devices. Spyglass provides software and services to make devices such as telephones, set-top boxes and other consumer electronics, work on the Web. Netscape Frees Source Code, Big Hopes Netscape Communications Corp. today unveiled free source code for its upcoming Communicator 5.0, as promised. The company also said it would work hard to release by year-end a final version of its 5.0 browser, which will incorporate the free source code, some yet-to-be announced features, and new products created by independent developers working with the source code. "This is absolutely an event that's not just a major milestone for Netscape, but for the industry in general," said Jim Barksdale, Netscape CEO, in a press conference. Netscape officials said thousands of people already have downloaded the licensing agreement, which requires developers who create new products to make them available to Netscape in the future. The company said the giveaway would create a large team of developers working on Communicator, a team that Netscape alone could not afford. "Now it's not just Netscape pushing the browser forward, but it's really the whole Net," said Bob Lisbonne, vice president of the client products division. The source code is an early developer's version of Communicator 5.0. The company said the release would let developers create customized browsers, such as a version for kids. The company also is betting that the giveaway will increase Communicator's market share, which has been steadily eroded by Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser. Netscape said it's seen a 50 percent increase in browser downloads since it made the actual browser free in January. Microsoft's IE already is free. Netscape also hopes to increase sales of its server products by leveraging the proliferation of products based on its free source code. The company said it has the best luck selling its servers to companies who already use Netscape-based client products. The source code will include support for Netscape's upcoming Aurora interface. Developers: Thumbs Up on Netscape's Freebie Netscape Communications Corp.'s decision to release free browser source code on the Internet received high marks from developers who plan to distribute it with their software. The company released an early developer's version of its Communicator 5.0 source code earlier Tuesday on its mozilla.org Web site. Netscape also said it would release a final version of the 5.0 browser later this year, which would incorporate the code, yet-to-be announced features and new products created by outside developers working with the code. "I would expect it to become the most sophisticated, best browser out there," said Michael Hickman, chief technology officer of Blue Lobster Software, which may distribute products based on the source code with its software, which links browsers to databases. Hickman said the giveaway means more developers will be working to fix glitches in the browser and enhance its performance. "You won't have one person dictating what happens. It's going to be decided by consensus," he said. Netscape said today the release would put the code in the hands of a team of developers it could not otherwise afford, resulting in more browser-based products and customized searching software. "This is absolutely an event that's not just a major milestone for Netscape, but for the industry in general," said Jim Barksdale, Netscape CEO. Netscape officials also hope the move will boost server sales as more Netscape-based client software hits the market. Richard Buckle, vice president of marketing for Insession, a developer of transaction processing software, said the release will let his company integrate Netscape technology into its transaction processing products. Buckle said Netscape has been willing to offer its products to Insession and ask questions about working together in the large corporate market, unlike Microsoft, which he described as "pretty closed." Meanwhile, Microsoft launched an offensive against the source code release Tuesday, saying it had no plans to use or "Window-ize" the product. Craig Beilinson, product manager for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, also accused Netscape of dragging its feet by delaying its release of the actual Communicator 5.0 browser until the end of the year. Netscape has struggling to maintain market share against an aggressive IE team -- which released the latest version of its browser last fall - and its stock has fallen steadily since then. Beilinson said Microsoft already allows developers to build software on top of its browser by providing developers with specific components, or pre-packaged chunks of software. "They don't have to trudge through millions and millions of lines of source code," he said. But Blue Lobster's Hickman said the ability to customize the browser from the ground up is precisely the point of Netscape's giveaway. "If you want to get in there and hack with the code, you can." Symantec and Microsoft Tighten Ties Symantec Corp. today announced that its Act 4.0 contact manager has been integrated with Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook 98 messaging and collaboration client. The integration enables users to exchange information--such as contacts, meetings, to-do lists and activities--as e-mail attachments that can then be merged directly into the respective applications. For example, an Act 4.0 user can attach a contact or a proposed meeting to an e-mail message sent to an Outlook 98 user, who can then merge the information into Outlook 98's address book or calendar. Similarly, Outlook 98 users can e-mail contacts to Act 4.0 users, who can then merge the information into their Act database. At present, integration between the two products is based on the vCard and vCalendar Internet protocols, which enable users to share calendar and business card information. Further integration between Act and Outlook is expected over time, said Symantec officials in Cupertino, Calif. Today's announcement is part of a strategic partnership that the two companies announced earlier this year. The first result of the relationship was the inclusion of Symantec's WinFax Starter Edition fax software in Outlook 98. Act 4.0, which runs on Windows 95, is available now for $199 per useNews.htm (text/html) r. Through June 30, the Outlook 98 client is available for free at www.microsoft.com/outlook . Symantec can be reached at www.symantec.com. Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., is at www.microsoft.com. Is Novell the Next Cyber Johnny Appleseed? When Novell Inc. in late January disclosed plans to establish a $50 million venture fund for Internet start-ups, senior management wanted to keep the announcement a low-key affair. In that respect, the networking company succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. News of its Novell Internet equity fund hardly made a ripple in the press. But when money's available in the computer industry, word travels through the entrepreneurial grapevine. "We wanted to make sure we had our ducks in a row because we anticipated being overrun -- and we have been," said Rob Hicks, Novell's vice president of strategic investments. "Somehow someone found out about it. I've been buried (under business plans)." The move comes as Novell looks to rejuvenate its networking business and remain relevant in the aftermath of failed acquisitions, shifting business strategies and management turnover. But in recent months, the story line surrounding Novell has begun to change amid indications that the situation is stabilizing. Analysts say that NetWare 5, which is the next major release of its operating system, is on track and should contribute to the company's revenues by the September quarter. The company's stock closed Tuesday at $10.72, not far from its 52-week high of $13. Novell began thinking about establishing the fund to compensate for what company executives openly describe as a poorly resourced and managed developer program. "When I came here we had exactly one development tool, Watcom, for [NetWare Loadable Modules] and people had announced that we were getting out of the applications business, which was foolish," said Novell's chief executive, Eric Schmidt. The fund will make equity investments in firms that create applications and services revolving around Novell's networking platforms. Novell then hopes to leverage its sizable distribution infrastructure -- 28,000 resellers, 15,000 authorized Novell education centers and 400,000 certified NetWare engineers -- to help push the products into the public's eye. Novell declines to disclose names of companies in line to receive financing, but says they are usually not bootstrap operations coming out of the chutes. "They're usually looking to raise capital -- in the first and second rounds," said Hicks, formally the president and chief executive at Novonyx Inc., a joint venture established with Netscape Communications Corp. that Novell now runs by itself. "We're jumping in at a point where they've finished prototyping and got something that looks real. "It has to be strategic and it has to be a good fit with Novell's strategic initiatives," he continued, adding that the company expects to make about 10 investments over the remainder of 1998. The fund may also help toward repairing Novell's sometime rocky relationship with its developers, according to Frank Gens, an analyst with IDC. "I do know that one of Novell's great needs is to romance the developer community that they had really alienated over the years with restrictive terms," said Gens. "Throwing some seed money out there to add to the incentive obviously makes some sense -- and they're going to need those developers if they're going to make a comeback against Microsoft and establish a position in the Internet space, which is the core of their strategic thrust these days." This isn't the first time a major company in the computer industry has assumed the role of cyber Johnny Appleseed. Intel Corp., for example, has made several seed investments in a variety of companies in the last several years. The common theme: Create products and services that will ultimately expand the number of people using computers (which presumably would increase the number of machines using microprocessors sold by Intel.) WorldGate, Nielsen To Track Net Surfers On TV WorldGate Communications and Nielsen Media Research Thursday announced a partnership for tracking viewers surfing the Internet on their TVs. WorldGate offers a technology that allows viewers to access the Internet from a TV using a standard cable TV set-top box. It will roll out the service in St. Louis with Charter Communications in coming months, and it is working with several other providers to begin offering its system elsewhere. The technology, called Channel Hyperlinking, allows users to switch from a TV station to a Web site. WorldGate is working with some 30 broadcasters to incorporate it in their signals. Nielsen, a provider of audience information and ratings, will measure viewers as they go from TV to specific Web sites. "Nielsen's role will be to manage the flow of measurement information between the advertisers and the service providers," said said David Harkness, senior vice president of planning and development at Nielsen. WorldGate also unveiled a deal with The Weather Channel on Thursday to develop 24-hour links from programming and advertising to related web content like weather forecasts, travel information and advertising. Gates States U.S. Internet Use Hampered By Slow Access Many Americans were awaiting faster, cheaper Internet access before going online from their homes, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said. "If there's any area I have a concern with in the industry ... it's in the area of high-speed connection to the Internet," Gates told computer hardware engineers at the annual WinHEC conference in Orlando. "Although I see very good progress in connecting up businesses at high speeds, at reasonable prices, in order to connect the homes and have a connection that is very, very fast, the only progress we've made is somewhat of an increase in cable modems," Gates said. Gates said only low prices and quick speeds, such those offer by the superfast connections sold by some cable television companies, would drive the Internet into a high percentage of U.S. homes. According to London research firm Datamonitor, 20 percent of U.S. households had paid subscriptions to the Internet at the end of 1997. The percentage of wired U.S. households is expected to reach 30 percent by 2002, Datamonitor says. Microsoft, as well as many computer hardware manufacturers and retailers, will grow increasingly dependent on high-speed connections, he said. Windows 98, the next generation of Microsoft's operating system due out at mid-year, will automatically connect to the Internet to download changes in software and to allow users seek help. Gates said the Internet link would allow Windows upgrades without stepping up demands on individual computer systems and that such features were only the start of Internet usefulness. "We'll go even further," Gates said. "We'll get down to a shell that can take you anywhere." Gates said he saw no end in sight for increased demands for speed and power for computers as the machines, from desktops to palmtops, learn to read handwriting, recognize speech and anticipate their users' needs. "We're increasing our development quite dramatically. We've revved up very quickly," Gates said. The things that will really open this market are language understanding, speech understanding and writing recognition." Microsoft would spend $2.6 billion on research and development in 1998, Gates said. PC Week Commentary: Microsoft's Mixed Messages about Quality ORLANDO, Fla. -- In keynote speeches and seminars at this week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, Microsoft officials made the bold assertion that the company's operating systems are not at a high enough level of quality. Pardon the sarcasm, but imagine that. The fact that Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 have a few bugs probably isn't news to anyone who has ever used a Microsoft OS, although it's doubtful the company has ever made this assertion to an auditorium filled with customers. It didn't in this case, either. Instead, Microsoft was addressing an auditorium filled with engineers from independent hardware vendors that make products such as graphics cards and scanners. The IHVs probably weren't surprised either, since they spend about as much time developing for an OS as many customers spend using it. Some IHVs, notably the graphics card vendors notorious for writing buggy drivers, probably weren't surprised when Microsoft's finger of blame also wagged in their direction. Clearly Microsoft is proposing, humbly, that things in the PC world can be a lot better. As the keynote speeches rolled on, the company outlined a number of initiatives to encourage, and possibly enforce, a high level of quality from the hardware community to eliminate bad drivers and software. The initiatives include rigorous testing by Microsoft and driver signing to enforce its reliability. Officials also outlined new hardware initiatives that will make the PC a better platform than ever before, which is the purpose of the WinHEC conference. There are two issues here. The first, of course, is: Why the sudden concern? Well, because the consumer represents the next big opportunity, and at WinHEC the push is to make the PC more appealing to users who think PCs should be as reliable and easy to use as a toaster or TV. If they pull it off, corporate customers will reap the benefits, but the WinHEC message never mentioned rewarding the loyal repeat customer. We all know why that is: People buying computers today have learned to live with PCs and software that, to the industry's credit, make us more productive, with some noticeable caveats. The second issue is: How can Microsoft and IHVs get mundane, commodity devices to work while making sure all this new technology--such as USB, 1394 and DVD--works at the same time? Based on track record and product plans, this is a big task. Microsoft and the IHVs have had eight years to make the Windows-based PC an information toaster and haven't been able to do it. The plans discussed at WinHEC don't inspire confidence. NT 5.0, for example, includes a considerable number of new features to make the PC an easier platform to manage. These features come at the cost of an additional 250,000 lines of code. Reducing, not adding, lines of code would make debugging easier. Windows 98 provides another example. One of the benefits of the Windows 98 architecture is the ability to download new software and driver fixes easily over the Web. Talk about a mixed message: Microsoft is so concerned about quality, it's adding a feature to reduce the user burden of fixing its product. Will Microsoft win the Malcolm A. Baldrige Award? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org . U.S. Expands Internet Sports Gambling Prosecution The government expanded its prosecution of Internet sports gambling Thursday by filing charges against seven owners, managers and employees of five betting companies headquartered in the Caribbean. The action follows the first federal Internet sports betting cases filed against 14 people earlier this month. The new charges filed in Manhattan federal court allege the defendants, all who are U.S. citizens and own or operate sports betting businesses that illegally accepted wagers on sporting events over the Internet and telephones. All of the companies advertise and promote their sports betting operations to U.S. customers on Web sites on the Internet. Securities Group Names Top 10 Investor Scams The North American Securities Administrators Association identified the top 10 frauds to which investors easily fall prey, pointing to Internet fraud as the second most common. "Wall Street can be a mean street for people who aren't careful with their money," Denise Voigt Crawford, NASAA president, said in a statement. "Uninformed, unsophisticated investors make tempting targets for crooks." NASAA estimates unwary investors lose $10 billion a year, or more than $1 million every hour, to investment fraud. State regulators said the top investment fraud issues range from bogus franchise offerings and high-pressure telephone sales of speculative stocks to "affinity group fraud: and scams promoted on the Internet. From March 29 through April 4, state securities regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, financial industry and consumer groups plan a series of investor education events under the "Facts on Savings and Investing Campaign." The top 10 issues are: Affinity group fraud - fraud on religious, ethnic and professional groups by members of the same groups. Internet fraud - market manipulation, insider trading and unlicensed broker and investment adviser activity on the Internet. Abusive sales practices - sales to unsuitable investors, fraudulent offerings and market manipulation. Investment seminars - state regulators watch for unlicensed activity, lack of disclosure of conflicts of interest and hidden fees and commissions. Telemarketing fraud - boiler rooms" or high-pressure telephone sales operations that peddle illegal or fraudulent investment products. Municipal bonds - risky bonds secured by over-valued real estate being marketed as safe" general obligation bonds. Immigration investments - investments that allegedly confer "alien immigration status" on foreign nationals. Illegal franchise offerings - inadequate disclosure and fraud in connection with the offering of franchise investments, often through business opportunity and franchise shows. High-tech products and services - misleading or illegal offerings of high-tech investments targeting unsophisticated investors with promises of high profits and minimal risk. Entertainment - scams offering opportunities in movie deals and other entertainment products with promises of guaranteed profits that minimize or ignore risks. New Net Tax Ban Proposed No new taxes isn't just George Bush's slogan, it seems to be gaining popularity on the Net as well. A bill proposed in the Senate Tuesday calls for a three-year moratorium on state and local taxation of the Internet and Internet-related activities. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), also calls for the creation of a 15-member commission to survey existing law and propose model legislation regarding transactions on the Internet. The new bill, dubbed the Internet Fairness and Interstate Responsibility Act, or Net FAIR, is similar to the Internet Tax Freedom Act proposed by Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The Cox/Wyden bill also calls for a three-year moratorium on new taxes, but would allow taxes that went into effect before March 1 to remain. Neither bill would completely eliminate the power of state and local governments to levy taxes on Internet sales. The goal is to prevent new taxes that specially single out the Internet. For instance, states are prohibited from forcing an out-of-state company to charge sales tax unless the company has a "physical presence" in the taxing state. "This law is used millions of times a day by telemarketers and mail-order houses throughout the country. And that's what we believe we will need eventually when it comes to the Internet -- simple laws based on existing laws an practices," Lieberman said in a release. Most industry analysts agree that the bills would help to foster Internet commerce, saying that applying diverse taxes now could hinder growth of the emerging e-commerce market. "It's critical for the future success of the entire industry," said Mildred Wulff, analyst in the digital commerce group at Jupiter Communications in New York. The Cox/Wyden bill has gathered the support of President Clinton and the National Governors' Association. The latter agreed to support the act only after a compromise that shortened the moratorium and added the March 1 grandfather clause. That clause has stirred up debate in the 'Net community with many arguing that it offered a considerable loophole for the states to levy taxes. Ed Amorosi, a spokesman for Sen. Gregg, says the ITFA relies too heavily on the Governors' support, and could result in a "national sales tax." "Our bill is an attempt to limit taxes," he said. "We have a different priority." Specifically, he faulted the makeup of the ITFA's commission, and questioned a requirement that would force Congress to vote on the commission's report. The Net FAIR bill requires the commission to issue a report, but does not put votes on the fast track. Government sources said that having more than one bill out there actually increases the chances of some sort of legislation being passed. Saudis Seize 45,000 Pirated Software CDs Saudi Arabia has confiscated 45,000 compact discs containing pirated computer software in raids on more than 40 firms since August 1997, an industry watchdog said. The Business Software Alliance (BSA), grouping major software producers, also said neighboring Gulf state the United Arab Emirates had seized $7,700 worth of counterfeit computer products. Gulf Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have been working to apply copyright rules and eradicate piracy as part of efforts to attract foreign investment and encourage economic diversity. Strict application of intellectual property rights is also integral to a bid by Saudi Arabia to join the World Trade Organization. BSA said Saudi Arabia's drive to combat widespread copyright piracy included handing out fines for the first time in the kingdom to two firms for using copied software. The BSA said Saudi authorities had introduced a scheme which compensated those companies whose products had been copied. The scheme forces the copier to pay financial damages and replace the copied software with original software. "Saudi Arabia has moved decisively to combat the problem of software piracy...Their action is something we see as very positive indeed for the future of the computer and computer software market in the kingdom," said BSA Middle East director Ashok Sharma. The BSA estimates that last year some $100 million was lost to computer software pirates in Saudi Arabia, where the watchdog says piracy stands at some 70-75 percent. The watchdog said the counterfeit computer products seized by the Information and Culture Ministry on Wednesday in the UAE had come from a shop in Sharjah, one of the seven emirates in the federation. The counterfeit products included fake compact discs, diskettes, personal computer games and other office software. The BSA said the ministry has decided it would no longer issue warnings to computer shops selling illegal software and would impose a mandatory 30-day closure at the first offense. Convicted Hacker Mitnick Denied Use of Computer Convicted computer hacker Kevin Mitnick may not use a computer to review government evidence in his upcoming trial on computer-fraud and theft charges, a federal judge has ruled. "We're never in the world going to do that," US District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer said Monday. Pfaelzer ordered prosecutors to come up with an alternative plan that would allow Mitnick to review the evidence files. She gave them until April 13 to submit a proposal. Government prosecutors argued that because of the nature of the charges against him, allowing Mitnick unrestricted access to files containing such things as computer burglar tools would be unwise. They also called him a flight risk and argued against bail. The judge agreed. Mitnick was arrested in February 1995 after a nationwide search by federal investigators that later became the subject of several books. He faces three separate federal indictments: possession of cellular phone account information, violating the conditions of a supervised release program relating to a 1989 conviction of computer fraud, and alleged computer fraud committed between November 1992 and his arrest. Mitnick, who'd been placed in solitary confinement last year as punishment for hoarding tuna, is due back in court on April 14. Mitnick, already serving time for charges related to cellular telephone fraud and a parole violation, faces new charges resulting from a Federal grand jury. Cyber TV Shakeout: NetChannel Folds On the same day that its competitor WebTV Networks raised prices, Internet TV service provider NetChannel Inc. has closed its main offices, according to sources. In a Tuesday morning meeting, the company dismissed most of the staff at its South San Francisco offices, consisting of about 90 employees. Company CEO Philip Monego denied the report, only saying, "First I've heard of it." He declined to answer further questions. Earlier this month, NetChannel was reported to have been in merger discussions with America Online Inc. Sources say the collapse of the talks compounded the company's parlous financial position and left it with no cash reserves to continue. NetChannel has failed to attract many subscribers to its services, and its subscriber base is "well below" 40,000, according to one source. Blair Launches Millennium "Bug Busters" British Prime Minister Tony Blair today launched a plan to recruit an army of "bug busters" to tackle the problem of the computer millennium bug which threatens to disrupt major services, industry and commerce. Blair said the government will spend 40 million pounds on setting up a network of centers of excellence in information technology (IT) training and 30 million pounds on helping small and medium-sized companies to assess and fix their Year 2000 problems. "If we don't tackle this problem, the economy will slow as many companies divert resources to cope with computer failures and some even go bust," Blair told a conference on Tackling the Millennium Bug organized by Midland Bank. Blair also said the government's Action 2000 campaign would receive more funding, adding that, despite the success of the campaign, over 25 percent of British businesses have not yet taken action to combat the effects of the millennium problem. The so-called millennium bug" problem arises if computer systems with two-digit date fields malfunction by misinterpreting the year 2000 as the year 1900 or another default date like 1980. Blair also announced a new team to CO-ordinate the government's work on the millennium, reporting to trade and industry minister Margaret Bequeath and public services minister David Clark. He said the cost to central government alone would be around 400 million pounds and around 3.0 billion pounds for the whole of the private sector including the national Health Service and local government. "Resources are being found, but we are not complacent," Blair said. "Without careful preparation, there could be major disruption to essential government services." Blair highlighted the problem faced by many businesses that, even if their own systems are compliant, they will face disruption if the systems of their customers or suppliers are not. While many larger companies are well advanced with their millennium programs, many small and medium-sized concerns have still got a lot to do. Blair presented Reuters Group chief executive Peter Job with the first "Year 2000 Recognition Award" from the Confederation of British Industry, set up to recognize companies which are acting to solve the millennium problem. Blair said the millennium could be an opportunity for British business as well as a threat. "Many of our companies are ahead of the game, and will not only suffer less than their counterparts, but also improve our reputation as safe partners to do business with," he added. WebTV Boosts Monthly Rate, Blaming High Usage (Is it a rate increase gimmick?) WebTV Networks will raise the monthly fee for its WebTV Plus service to $24.95 from $19.95 effective June 1, the company said Tuesday. WebTV, a unit of Microsoft Corp., introduced the new Internet television service in December, although the needed set-top boxes, which retail for about $200, were in scarce supply until recently. WebTV officials said the price increase was needed in part because users of the service remain online an average of 41 hours a month, compared with about 24 hours for the average user of a computer-based online service. Based on similar concerns, AT&T's WorldNet unit Tuesday said it would eliminate its flat-fee unlimited Internet use plan and begin charging customers a fee for use after 150 hours per month. WebTV has grown to about 300,000 subscribers from 250,000 from the end of last year, although company executives declined to say how many have the new "Plus" set-top boxes, which provide a "picture in picture" display and unified remote control, allowing users to switch easily from television to Internet mode. Service on the older Web TV Classic units, which provides a more basic Internet service through the television set, will continue to cost $19.95 a month. While the price of WebTV Plus is rising, the company also promised enhancements this summer, including one-touch videocassette recording, searchable TV listings and the ability to add multimedia content to e-mail. "We believe the value provided easily supports this kind of price point," said Bill Keating, WebTV senior vice president for worldwide field operations. WebTV Executives say they remain optimistic they can reach a goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of the year. In addition to the United States, the service was launched in Japan last fall and testing just began in Britain. WebTV was purchased by Microsoft last year for $425 million as part of the software giant's strategy of reaching more consumers by melding the personal computer's capabilities with the television's ease of use and mass acceptance. WorldNet Adds Heavy Use Charge A day before online service behemoth America Online Inc. is set to raise its monthly fee from the $19.95 industry standard, AT&T Corp.'s million-member WorldNet service said it is adding a surcharge for heavy Net users.
Starting May 1, WorldNet subscribers on the monthly $19.95 plan will pay an additional 99 cents per hour after they pass 150 hours of usage, company officials said. Per month, 150 hours works out to about five hours of Internet use a day. But subscribers to the 10-hour plan, who now pay $9.95 per month plus $2.50 for each additional hour, will pay 99 cents per added hour after May 1, officials said. "The Internet has arrived as a mass medium and usage is soaring," said Dan Schulman, president of AT&T's WorldNet unit, in a statement. "We're taking these steps so that AT&T WorldNet will continue to provide industry-leading network performance at a fair price." Just 3 percent of the service's users are expected to pay more under the new plan, WorldNet officials said. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company also offered a guarantee that it will not raise the $19.95 rate again for the remainder of the year. AOL, feeling the pressure when usage soared among its 12 million-strong user base, announced last month that starting April 1, its $19.95 unlimited-access plan will go up to $21.95. No changes are to be made in AOL's $9.95 plan for access to its proprietary content only and its $4.95 "light usage" plan. AT&T also announced plans to add modems, lines and access numbers in cities where customer demand is heaviest. Letting Users Tell ISP Performance Tales Sick of sitting and fuming over Internet busy signals at your ISP? A company specializing in ISP performance tracking is set to debut a new service that will take user experiences such as this into account, letting ISPs know exactly how often users face busy signals, and how long it takes them to download Web pages. Inverse Network Technology Inc., formerly just a provider of performance metrics, is getting into the software business with its announcement today of a new package called AccessRamp, a diagnostic system for ISPs that provides real-time user experience data, said Bobbi Murphy, vice president of marketing at Inverse, in Sunnyvale, Calif. The AccessRamp client sits on the user's desktop, sending connection information including failed connection attempts, connection speeds, and number of redials, back to the ISP each time a user dials onto the network, she said. Inverse links with HP Also today, Inverse will announce that it has signed a deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. for HP to bundle the AccessRamp client software with its OpenView Smart Internet Service Management Suite and into HP OpenView Firehunter, the company's newly-launched ISP management service, Murphy said. The combination with HP's OpenView products will give AccessRamp an instant install base of 10 million clients, said Jeff Thiemann, general manager of HP's NetMetrix Internet division. The bundled products will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, and will be priced at $83,000 for a year's license and support for 50,000 clients, $414,000 for 500,000 clients, and $584,000 for 1 million clients, Inverse officials said. 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 [Image] LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn-around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 Color Engraver's Year book. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed [Image] Edupage Contents Distance Learning By Nearby I Want My Minitel! Internet Gaming Runs For Students Cover Copyright Situation In China Culture-Not Currency-Makes A Have-Not " Spamford" Wallace Agrees Country To Stop Sending Junk E-Mail The Patience Of Jobs Encryption Lawsuit "On Fast Track" Bell Atlantic Plans Mega-Upgrade Flaw Found In Proposed Encryption Gaming @Home High-Tech Cheap Labor Standard Shortage AOL Offers New Service For Goodbye Stamps-Hello Brokerage Execs Fired For Businesses Information-Based Indicia Transmitting Pornography IRS Not Happy With "User Error" Sun And IBM To Develop New Java-Based IRS Wants To Delay Excuse Operating System Restructuring AT&T Eliminates Flat Fee For Lapware For Toddlers Can Interactive Games Be Online Service "Literature"? 36 Missing Computers "Does Not Explaining The Customer Paradox Child Porn In The Eye Of The Suggest Poor Management" At FDA Computer Qradio Broadens Listeners' Horizons DISTANCE LEARNING BY NEARBY STUDENTS College and university administrators are finding that their distance learning programs are immensely popular with on-campus students, who see them as a convenient way to earn credits. In the State University of New York's online program, 80% of the participants are full- or part-time students living on a SUNY campus, and at Arizona State University, only 3% of the distance education students live in another state. The trend presents problems for administrators, who face decisions about how to pay for both online and on-campus education at the same time, and how to balance teaching loads for professors who teach both. "What happens to traditional teaching? As universities put so many resources into online education, are we going to take away from our efforts in the traditional classroom? That's troubling," says one administrator. (Chronicle of Higher Education 27 Mar 98) I WANT MY MINITEL! Almost 20 years ago, France became the first networked nation with the deployment of the Minitel, a low-tech terminal that citizens could use to do everything from check the weather to order a pizza. Now, the country's 35 million subscribers are loathe to give up their beloved Minitel and go online with the Internet: "The Minitel... could end up hindering the development of new and promising applications of information technology," warned Prime Minister Jospin last summer, adding that France's technology gap "could soon have dire repercussions on competitiveness and employment." To bring the populace up to speed, Minitel owner France Telecom is planning to deploy next-generation terminals that will access both Minitel and the Internet, but French Internet-industry executives say such hybrid solutions merely encourage users to keep thinking "Minitel," rather than "Internet." "While we sit and worry about the Minitel and ways to get around it, we could be throwing our whole future away," says one. (Wall Street Journal 26 Mar 98) INTERNET GAMING RUNS FOR COVER The International Internet Gaming Association, which represents the owners of Web sites that ponsor online gambling, says it has established working groups to develop recommendations for wys to work with various countries' regulations to stay in business. Earlier this month, U.S. Fderal prosecutors charged several online sports bookmaking operations with conspiracy to transmit bets via the Internet and telephone. Some companies say that if the IIGA can work out deals with other countries to accommodate their operations, the lion's share of the income will go to those countries rather than the U.S. Internet gaming brought in an estimated $500 million last year, and is expected to produce more this year. (Broadcasting & Cable 16 Mar 98) COPYRIGHT SITUATION IN CHINA Pirated videodisks of the movie "Titanic" were available throughout China last November, a month before its release in U.S. theaters, and about half a million pirated disks are smuggled into China every day from Macao. Chinese officials say there is little they can do about this blatant violation of the intellectual property rights agreement that China reached with the United States in 1995. One official explains: "The profits are so great, they will take any risk. They're like drug dealers. It is very difficult to arrange a crackdown. You have to coordinate all these different departments, the copyright publication department, the police, the Industrial and Commercial Administration. We take copyright violations very seriously. But when it comes to copying a disk, most Chinese people don't see what's wrong." And one merchant who sells pirated material insists: "There's nothing wrong with selling pirated VCDs. My son loves watching them." (New York Times 28 Mar 98) CULTURE, NOT CURRENCY, MAKES A HAVE-NOT COUNTRY Digital guru Don Tapscott says whether a nation remains a technology "have-not" depends on its mindset, not its bank balance: "It's not the poor countries that are blocking progress. It's countries that have a culture that impedes innovation, that cannot find the national will to go forward with technology. What is it about a national culture that enhances curiosity? You need countries to have an environment where companies have the potential to create wealth." (Upside Apr 98) "SPAMFORD" WALLACE AGREES TO STOP SENDING JUNK E-MAIL Sanford Wallace (dubbed "Spamford" for his aggressiveness in "spamming" the Internet with unsolicited commercial messages) to pay $2 million to settle the last of several lawsuits brought by Internet providers against him and his company, Cyber Promotion Inc. Wallace indicated that legal battles have "put Cyber out of the spamming business." (New York Times 29 Mar 98) THE PATIENCE OF JOBS He's thinking about it. It takes time, and you have to have a lot of patience when you're making major career decisions. Apple understands that. One director of the company says that interim CEO Steve Jobs "is the CEO. Whether we call him interim or not is a nonissue with us. We hope he will stay a long time." Apple's board is convinced that the effectiveness of the new management team has allowed Jobs to maintain a better balance between his various responsibilities to Apple, Pixar (the other company he runs), and his family. So call him interim. Or don't call him interim. It's a nonissue. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 28 Mar 98) ENCRYPTION LAWSUIT "ON FAST TRACK" A Case Western Reserve University professor will have his day in court on April 24, when the hearing for his lawsuit challenging U.S. government restrictions on the export of encryption software is scheduled. "We're back on a fast track," says Peter Junger, who adds, "The basic argument is about to what extent -- if any -- encryption software and other software is entitled to the protection of the First Amendment." Federal attorneys have called encryption software a "functional" piece of programming, no more entitled to First Amendment protection than a car engine. "In the case of powerful encryption, there are valid uses of hardware and software in securing communications... But encryption can also secure the communications of criminals, terrorists, and other hostile entities overseas, which gives rise to the government's concern over its uncontrolled export." Junger's case follows on the heels of another lawsuit filed by University of Illinois at Chicago professor Daniel Bernstein, which is being decided by an appeals court in California. (Net Insider 30 Mar 98) BELL ATLANTIC PLANS MEGA-UPGRADE In anticipation of rising demand for data applications, Bell Atlantic is upgrading its local telephone network to the tune of $1.5 billion over the next five years. The contractors selected for the work are Lucent Technologies, Fujitsu Ltd., Tellabs Inc., DSC Communications and Ciena Corp. "I would characterize this as an aggressive extension of the Bell Atlantic network," says the president and CEO of BA's Network Group. "The demand for high-speed access from businesses and residents is out there." (Wall Street Journal 31 Mar 98) FLAW FOUND IN PROPOSED ENCRYPTION STANDARD An ultra-strong version of the proposed U.S. data encryption standard knows as Triple D.E.S., which is intended for use in adding protection to the world's electronic financial transactions, can be weakened because of a flaw discovered by Eli Biham of Israel's Technion institution and Lars Knudsen at the University of Norway. Because of the discovery, the adoption of the proposed standard is being postponed by the American National Standards Institute. (New York Times 31 Mar 98) GAMING @HOME @Home is working together with Release Software to broaden its appeal with game enthusiasts. The online provider has opened an electronic shop featuring 20,000 titles, with 3,000 of them downloadable. The company sees the opportunity to build its subscriber base at the same time it can showcase its speed -- a 10-megabyte game takes 17 seconds to download via @Home's cable connection. "This will appeal to every hard-core gamer tired of dealing with latency," says an online gaming expert at Forrester Research. "The problem is, there aren't that many gamers willing to pay $50 or $60 a month to beat the latency. It's a great market, but it's really tiny." Although gaming revenue is estimated at $280 million this year, the market is expected to swell to up to $1 billion by 2000. (Broadcasting & Cable 23 Mar 98) HIGH-TECH CHEAP LABOR SHORTAGE The computer industry has been lobbying Congress to allow more foreign computer science specialists into the country to fill what they say is a significant gap between the number of high-tech jobs and the number of skilled workers available. But University of California professor Norman Matloff says the real shortage is not in skilled workers, but in cheap skilled workers: "The simple answer is they want to save money. They save money by hiring from two main groups of people. Number one, the new college graduates... Compared to the midcareer people, they make less in terms of salary. And they cost less in terms of benefits, because they're usually single and have no dependents. The second group of cheap labor is the H1-B (temporary visas for skilled personnel) work visa people. They, on average, make less than comparable domestic workers. That doesn't mean that all employers who hire H1-Bs are exploiting them. But there are an awful lot that do." Matloff says the industry focus on inexpensive employees has meant a lot of software engineers in their 30s and 40s looking for new jobs, or getting out of the business altogether. (Investor's Business Daily 30 Mar 98) AOL OFFERS NEW SERVICE FOR BUSINESSES America Online has created a new custom-designed service to provide corporate users away from the office secure access to their company's internal computer systems, by connecting through AOL's worldwide data network via software protected from eavesdropping by encryption techniques. AOL's first large customer will be Oracle, the database software company. (Washington Post 30 Mar 98) GOODBYE STAMPS, HELLO INFORMATION-BASED INDICIA The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled the first electronic stamps, which it refers to as "information-based indicia." With this system, a personal computer prints the stamp (sorry, information-based indicia) directly on the envelope at the same time it prints the address. Customers will pay an as-yet-to-be-determined transaction fee to download postage. (AP 31 Mar 98) BROKERAGE EXECS FIRED FOR TRANSMITTING PORNOGRAPHY Two managing directors in the equity research department of the Salomon Smith Barney brokerage firm have been fired for using company equipment to transmit pornography. A company memo explaining the dismissals said the men were fired "for violating the policy prohibiting the electronic transmission of offensive images or text such as pornography," and that "using firm facilities to communicate such offensive material is totally unacceptable and inconsistent with our insistence on professionalism and the mutually respectful environment we seek to promote. Anyone engaging in such activity should assume that he or she will be terminated." (New York Times 31 Mar 98) IRS NOT HAPPY WITH "USER ERROR" EXCUSE Bill and Karen Bergen, an Iowa couple charged with failing to report $530,000 to the Internal Revenue Service over a five-year period, say that the underreporting was partly due to their incomplete understanding of the Quicken software they were using. Their attorney said: "It might not be unfair to classify this as user error. But programs such as Quicken are designed to be user-friendly for the mass market. The difficulty is, their simplicity and ease-of-use permits people to pick up a program like this and use it for business, even though perhaps it shouldn't be used in this type of a business situation. In this kind of setting, almost any kind of program canbe dangerous, especially when used by someone such as Mrs. Bergan who has no computer or accounting background. This is not an indictment of Quicken. The Bergans chose to use this program and use it in this manner." (Newsbytes 30 Mar 98) SUN AND IBM TO DEVELOP NEW JAVA-BASED OPERATING SYSTEM Sun and IBM have agreed to work together to develop a new operating system based on Java, the popular computer language that was developed by Sun. The new system would be targeted for use in the world's many millions of terminals (a large percentage of which are connected to IBM mainframe computers devoted to such applications as airline reservation systems). The two computer makers also plan to license the new Java OS to other companies. (Wall Street Journal 1 Apr 98) IRS WANTS TO DELAY RESTRUCTURING Four months into his term, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rossotti says that if the agency doesn't address the Year 2000 problem immediately, "there will be 90 million people21 months from now who won't get refunds. He wants to delay a massive restructuring of his agency until after 2000. "The whole financial system of the United States will come to a halt. It's very serious," he says. Rossotti has set a Jan. 31, 1999 deadline for fixing the Y2K glitch, a project that he estimates will cost close to $1 billion. And if it doesn't work? "There's no Plan B." (USA Today 2 Apr 98) AT&T ELIMINATES FLAT FEE FOR ONLINE SERVICE The 1.2 million customers of AT&T's Internet access service will soon be charged an extra 99 cents for every hour spent online beyond the 150 hours of monthly use which will come with the $19.95 fee that has, up until now, bought unlimited usage from that company. (New York Times 1 Apr 98) LAPWARE FOR TODDLERS Children's software maker Knowledge Adventure is introducing JumpStart Baby, described as "lapware" for infants aged nine months to two years. The program features an animated teddy bear that plays hide-and-seek to teach word recognition and is designed to give children "a great sense of satisfaction to do something and see a reaction," says Knowledge Adventure president Larry Gross. Gross notes that the product was created in response to numerous requests from parents who wanted to give their children a technological head start in life, but some early childhood experts warn that exposing children to the fast-moving images of computers and television is "the most likely culprit" in the rising number of attention disorders. Whether computer use by toddlers is beneficial or detrimental to their development has yet to proven by researchers, but as one industry executive puts it: "Parents think computers will help their kids get into Harvard." (Wall Street Journal 2 Apr 98) CAN INTERACTIVE GAMES BE "LITERATURE"? When the two brothers who created Myst, the most successful of any CD-ROM computer game, were asked whether interactive games are "literature," their answers were these. Robyn Miller: "Interactive is an incredible medium, but I don't necessarily believe it's a storytelling medium. It focuses on environment. People are not what it portrays best. I think interactive games are more like Disneyland." Rand Miller: "I look at it a bit differently. In interactive, I can't lead a person from Point A to Point B, but linear stories in a lot of cases are just a revelation of someone's experiences. What I can give people is a chance to experience things on their own. The story forms in their mind; it's unique to them. Whether that can be effective in having any emotional impact remains to be seen." (US News & World Report 6 Apr 98) 36 MISSING COMPUTERS "DOES NOT SUGGEST POOR MANAGEMENT" AT FDA An internal review of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biological Evaluation Research is criticizing that agency for amassing a computer inventory twice the size of its staff and for being unable to account for 36 systems that are missing and may have been stolen. In response to the charge that "Management doesn't always know who is doing what," a deputy FDA commissioners says: "While we take the issue of missing equipment seriously, 36 missing computers does not suggest poor management or detract from the remarkable efforts that are made each day to promote, protect and enhance public health." (Washington Post 31 Mar 98) EXPLAINING THE CUSTOMER PARADOX Mark Evans, managing director of Deloitte & Touche's high-tech industry practice, has a theory for why consumers are increasingly unhappy with technology goods at the same time that they are increasingly higher in quality: "There's a customer paradox underway... I think the reason is that the expectations of the customers have risen rapidly because of information that's available on a real-time basis. Also, they're getting better service from all their vendors, (which raises the bar for everyone). Information is a great thing, but it also results in people expecting to get more. There's an idea of getting services along with the product itself. Customers were less hard on the manufacturers maybe three years ago. They were more willing to go off and contract with one company for products and another one for services. Goods are more complex now. They're more integrated and more important to running the business... Customers now want to be able to get an answer to a question, not just a product or a service." (Investor's Business Daily 2 Apr 98) CHILD PORN IN THE EYE OF THE COMPUTER Ruling that the use of computer technology to alter images of children to make them sexually explicit cannot be treated as criminal behavior, a federal judge in Maine has declared that a 1996 law defining pornography defining child pornography as a visual depiction which "appears" to be a minor engaging in sex was unconstitutionally vague. Kathy Fondacaro of the National Coalition Against Pornography says: "Whether it's simulated technologically or it's the real stuff, it arms a pedophile. It arms a pedophile so it's easier to find children and molest them." (AP 2 Apr 98) QRADIO BROADENS LISTENERS' HORIZONS Qradio, the brainchild of musician Quincy Jones, offers online listeners the opportunity to hear music from "great but underappreciated musical cultures around the world," says Jones, who believes that in the long run, music from South Africa will represent an export valuable "far beyond diamonds and gold" for that country. "They don't get the chance for the exposure and economic success," without such an opportunity adds Jones. < > (Broadcasting & Cable 23 Mar 98) [Image] STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. 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Eighth Page - $10.00 per Quarter Page - $20.00 per issue issue Half Page - $40.00 per Full Page - $80.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at email@example.com or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 March 1998 "Virtual Museums on the Internet" Salzburg, May 8-10, 1998 A Symposium organised by the ARCH Foundation in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, (United States) ; the ZKM - Center for Art and Mediatechnology, (Germany) ; Illuminations , (Great Britain) ; the Universtiy of Applied Arts, (Austria ) and Techno-Z, (Austria). The proposed symposium on virtual museums is aiming to define the dimensions of new a museum space which has no real world manifestation. These definitions will form the core of the ARCH Virtual Museum, within which all appropriate artworks dedicated to STATE OF THE ART project can be experienced. The ARCH Foundation's mission is to communicate an awareness initiative for the preservation of the world's cultural heritage through the intervention of contemporary artists. ARCH is trying to define how artworks created through the use of new media can become an important and effective communicator of the intrinsic value of cultural heritage. New forms of creative interactive dialogue and visual interpretation using ever evolving technology offer a provocative dimension to artistic expression. We hope that the challenge of multiple contexts will generate results that will stir the artistic community, as well as stimulate participation of a new audience into communities of interest. We want to put people in front of cultural heritage, and to bring the values it symbolizes to life. The speakers of this symposium are : James Boyle, Prof. of Law at American University, Washington (US) Peter A. Bruck, Managing Director, Techno-Z R&D (Austria) Graham Defries, Attorney, Bird & Bird, London (UK) Matthew Drutt, Associate Curator for Research, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (US) Volker Grassmuck, Sociologist (Germany) John Handardt, Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (US) Lynn Hershman Leeson,Media Artist and Professor for "Electronic Art" at the University of California, Davis (US) Tom Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, US Michael Naimark,Artist, Interval Research Corporation, Palo Alto (US) Hans Peter Schwarz, Director ZKM, Media Museum (Germany) Jeffrey Shaw, Director, ZKM, Institute for Visual Media (Germany) Charles Symonyi, Chief Architect, Microsoft Cooperation (US) Peter Weibel,Media Artist and Curator (Austria) John Wyver, Chairman, Illuminations, UK, and the list is not closed yet A little background information : The ARCH Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 by Francesca von Habsburg and its international headquarters are located in Salzburg, Austria. The foundation dedicates itself to the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage. Its focus was to promote and restore cultural heritage from Central and Eastern European countries. ARCH's latest project is a global awareness campaign which seeks to generate support for global cultural conservation. ARCH has turned to the medium of new media art, and has begun asking the most influential as well as emerging artists to articulate this mission so as to engage a young and captive audience to this cause. Our aim is to combine the future with our past in a compelling and imaginative way. Titled STATE OF THE ART, the project was inaugurated in Salzburg in the summer of 1997 to great critical acclaim. Each of the participating artists have dedicated works of art corresponding to chosen restoration sites. As a first step, both the artworks and panoramic photographs of the sites themselves were then mounted onto larger than life size projections onto the famous Mönchsberg rock in the center of Salzburg. The sensational projections were approximately 8000m 2 in size and were projected from an impressive Communications Tower. The problem on how to store these "light sculptures" and to exhibit them in the alternative world of cyberspace in an innovative way was the initiating spark behind this symposium. Being experts in conservation rather than in new media, we seek to define, with the help of international experts, how the combination of man's greatest achievements of the past can be brought successfully into the future and be experienced under new and exciting conditions and environments. In concordance with the foundation's motto: ,,Engaging the past into the present is synonymous with participating in the future" ARCH will be inaugurating this summer in Salzburg, a Communications Center with its own New Media exhibition space, as well as "The Station", an artist-in-residence studio. For more information about the ARCH Foundation, STATE OF THE ART and the ,,Virtual Museums Symposium", check our homepage at : http://www.arch.at or contact : Pierre Collet - Executive Director Verein ARCH Foundation - Gstättengasse 29 - A-5020 Salzburg TEL: +43 662 84 26 16 0 - FAX: +43 662 84 26 15 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Image] Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.... The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. * No Indenting on any paragraphs!! * No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmicks" * No underlining! * 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. * Most of all.... PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! * There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy * Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats * Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately * 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 has reached the "end of the line" As the major Online Services moved away from ASCII.... So has STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for HTML as opposed to our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 11 to 1 over the PDF edition. Cited are size, graphic quality and speed of download. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber PDF. So it too, like ascii, is gone. HTML is now a reality. On our web download page is a selection for HTML (Read or Download). As you can see, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine [Image] Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Well, Summer has come and gone! What, you say...what happened to Spring? Beats me! This past weekend, and a few days more, the weather was excellent. Temperature in the 80's and 90's, and then BANG - dropping 50 degrees in a single day and Winter is here again. Only in New England, folks! Y'know something, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else! So naturally, with the nice weather that we had, it was difficult spending much time behind the keyboard. I spent lots of time outside in the yard getting it ready for Spring - our first in the new house. It should be fun getting everything in shape outdoors, even if we're still working on getting things together inside the house! Heck, we still have a good number of boxes still packed from the move...six months ago! But, we're looking forward to the house-warming, the first BBQ, the first swim in the pool, and many enjoyable firsts in the Spring, in the new house. Well, let's forget about Spring Fever for the moment and concentrate on the real reason we're here - Atari computing! Until next time... Free JPEG software version 6b Atari binaries available From: Guido Vollbeding < email@example.com > I have placed at http://www.esc.de/homes/guivol/jpeg-bin the following files: jpg6btos.txt (221 Bytes) jpg6btos.zip (163528 Bytes) The zip archive contains generic Pure-C compilations for all Atari TOS compatible systems (68K code), following the public IJG source update announcement attached below. I have also uploaded the files to ftp://ftp.cs.tu-berlin.de/pub/atari/incoming , expecting a final move to /pub/atari/Graphic/. I would like to provide this ftp pointer for the Atari section of the JPEG FAQ, when this happens, because I don't know another actively maintained, accessible and stable public Atari archive. You are also invited to spread the code to other appropriate locations and update older versions, if possible. You may also grab the source and compile the code yourself. Please let me know of any problems when doing this, since I have taken over the provided Atari port. Note that besides providing some new features, stability of the code has also increased, so I would recommend to update your software anyway. Regards, Guido Subject: ANNOUNCE: Free JPEG software version 6b released Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:44:18 GMT From: Tom Lane < firstname.lastname@example.org > Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Independent JPEG Group Newsgroups: comp.compression, comp.graphics.misc, comp.infosystems.www.authoring.images, alt.graphics.pixutils Followup-To: comp.compression The Independent JPEG Group is pleased to announce a new public release of our free JPEG image compression software. The primary user-visible improvement in this new release is that the "jpegtran" sample program is now able to perform lossless rotation and flipping of JPEG images. Although there are some restrictions on the dimensions of images that can be transformed cleanly, this facility may be of considerable use to digital camera users. (My thanks to Guido Vollbeding for doing most of the work to provide this feature.) In the two years since our last public release, we've accumulated quite a number of small improvements in functionality, robustness, and portability. For example, the code should now build out-of-the-box under Microsoft Visual C++ on Windows and under Metrowerks CodeWarrior on Apple Macintosh. There is also support for building libjpeg as a shared library on many flavors of Unix. Although individually these improvements are minor, there are enough to justify a new public release. To avoid the Unisys LZW patent, djpeg's GIF output capability has been changed to produce "uncompressed GIFs", and cjpeg's GIF input capability has been removed altogether. We're not happy about it either, but there seems to be no good alternative if the code is to be freely distributed. The IJG C source code, documentation, and test files are available by anonymous FTP from The same code will shortly be available in a more DOS-friendly format (ie, ZIP) in the SimTel archives, The IJG code includes a reusable JPEG compression/decompression library, plus sample applications "cjpeg" and "djpeg", which perform conversion between JPEG JFIF format and image files in PPM/PGM (PBMPLUS), BMP, Utah RLE, and Targa formats. A third application "jpegtran" provides lossless transcoding between different JPEG formats --- for example, it can convert a baseline JPEG file to an equivalent progressive JPEG file. Two small applications "wrjpgcom" and "rdjpgcom" insert and extract textual comments in JFIF files. The package is highly portable; it has been used successfully on many machines ranging from Apple IIs to Crays. We are releasing this software for both noncommercial and commercial use. Companies are welcome to use it as the basis for JPEG-related products. We do not ask a royalty, although we do ask for an acknowledgement in product literature (see the README file in the distribution for details). We hope to make this software industrial-quality --- although, as with anything that's free, we offer no warranty and accept no liability. Please direct any questions about this software to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Thomas G. Lane organizer, Independent JPEG Group Gaming Section "Diablo"! "Atari Collection 2"!! PSX - 10 Million Sold! EA Tops! And more! From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! There's something to be said for progress. Technology, as it grows and improves over the years, provides us with wondrous new things. Ironically, it also provides us with the means to re-visit our nostalgic past. Hasbro buys Atari and the first announcements from the new owners is that some of the classic Atari games will be the first projects to bear fruit. And just a couple of weeks later, earlier this week, Midway announces the release of six Atari classics for the PlayStation. Wherever you turn, more Atari classics are re-appearing on today's technological wonders. No matter how you slice it, Atari managed to make a major impression on a large number of people. They want to re-live those "good old days" of gaming. We can only hope that any "modernizing" of these classics retain the flavor of the originals. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Midway Presents Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2 CORSICANA, TEXAS (April 1) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - April 1, 1998 - Paperboy(R), Gauntlet(R), RoadBlasters(TM), Millipede(R), Crystal Castles(R), and Marble Madness(TM) - Six Great Arcade Hits in One Package Now Available Wherever Video Games are Sold Midway Home Entertainment announced today the retail availability of its newest collection of classic arcade video games, Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2. Produced exclusively for the PlayStation(R) game console. Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2 features a compilation of six of the '80's most popular arcade games: Gauntlet, Paper Boy, RoadBlasters, Millipede, Crystal Castles, and Marble Madness and is now available wherever video games are sold. The announcement was made by Paula Cook, director of marketing for Midway Home Entertainment. The classic titles featured on Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2 dominated the market and helped to define the Golden Age of Arcades. Showcasing six of the finest titles from this dynamic video game era, Midway Home Entertainment's new game release faithfully translates all the non-stop action and entertaining gameplay of the original arcade releases home to the PlayStation game console: Paperboy: Paperboy delivers fast and furious, high-flying game excitement! The 1985 hit release challenges gamers to deliver the morning paper while fending off zany neighborhood characters and obstacles. Gauntlet: In Gauntlet, originally released in 1985, gamers seek to fend off ghosts, grunts and attacking monsters in an all-out heart-stopping competition to gather the most food, treasure, and magic potions. RoadBlasters: High-octane, futuristic warfare rules in RoadBlasters, the 1987 classic, as you battle evil opponents in a Specially-equipped, armored race car. The name of the game says it all in this "kill or be killed" super-speed, heavy-ammo challenge. Millipede: Those pesky bugs are back -- with a vengeance -- in this hard-core re-release of the 1982 arcade classic. Millipede challenges game players to ward off endless waves of creepy creatures that relentlessly hound you as you shoot them to pieces. Crystal Castles: 16 distinct and confounding playfields within a 3D super maze makes Crystal Castles, originally released in 1983, a super-challenge for the ages. Make your fortune in ruby gemstones...if you can avoid the multitude of murderous monsters! Marble Madness: An all-out race against time and a slew of formidable obstacles have made this 1984 release an authentic video game classic. Totally addictive, gamers hand-eye coordination skills come into play as they seek to reach the elusive goal line at the bottom of the playing field. Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2 includes the line's signature Game History Screens, providing gamers the "inside scoop" on each individual game. This comprehensive collection also includes historical "slide shows" featuring original video game artwork, print ads, sales sheets, and cabinetry. According to Cook, "The classic title featured on Arcade's Greatest Hits -- The Atari Collection 2, Paperboy, Gauntlet and Millipede in particular, are early video game treasures! Midway is very pleased to bring this collection of six extraordinary popular classic titles home to the PlayStation game console." 10 Million PlayStations Sold FOSTER CITY, Calif., April 2 (UPI) -- Sony Computer Entertainment America says it has sold its 10 millionth PlayStation game console in North America. Sony says PlayStation hit the 10 million mark less than 2 1-2 years after its North American launch on Sept. 9, 1995. Kaz Hirai, COO Sony Computer Enterainment America said "the 10 million milestone dramatically illustrates PlayStation's overall dominance and popularity, and strengthens our growing leadership in the burgeoning $5 billion plus North American videogame market. The announcement comes on the heels of another major milestone from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., the Tokyo-based parent company of Sony Computer Entertainment America. The company recently announced that its worldwide shipments of the PlayStation game console had reached 30 million units. Electronic Arts Tops Nintendo, Sony SAN MATEO, CALIF. (April 2) BUSINESS WIRE - April 2, 1998 - World-Class Creative, Development, Marketing and Distribution Capabilities Keep Industry's Leading Brands, Franchises Ahead of All Competitors. Electronic Arts(TM), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, has been named in a major industry study as the top provider of home interactive entertainment software for 1997. With 1997 calendar year revenues of $860 million, Electronic Arts (EA) outpaced a range of competitors including Nintendo of America, Sony Computer Entertainment, GT Interactive(TM), Cendant Software and Microsoft Corp. According to Home Interactive Entertainment Assessment & Outlook 1996 - 2002, a report just released by the highly regarded market research firm Access Media International (USA), Inc. (AMI), U.S. sales for home entertainment software grew by 34 percent to reach $5.8 billion in 1997. Globally, consumers spent more than $13 billion on home interactive software in 1997, an increase of 52 percent when compared to the previous year. Emphasizing that the market continues to consolidate around major companies that produce and distribute their own titles, the report stresses that the key requirement for vendors is to have robust distribution capabilities to ensure that their titles enjoy substantial retail shelf space. Specifically, the study states that "retailers are looking for a steady stream of quality games or evergreen products." Electronic Arts markets its products worldwide under six brand names: Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS(TM), Maxis(TM), Inc., Origin Systems(TM) Inc., Bullfrog(TM) Productions Ltd. and Jane's Combat Simulations. The company is best known for its EA SPORTS brand titles including John Madden Football(TM), FIFA Soccer, NBA Live, NHL Hockey, and Triple Play Baseball(TM), as well as Electronic Arts' brand Road Rash(TM) and Need For Speed(TM), Origin Systems' Wing Commander(TM) series and Maxis' SimCity(TM) franchise. "We're pleased that AMI has confirmed Electronic Arts' global leadership in the interactive entertainment software industry," said EA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Probst. "Our mission is to provide players around the world with the highest caliber sports, action, strategy and simulation titles for PCs and video game consoles. "We remain intensely focused on strengthening our existing brands and franchises while establishing new ones -- complementing those efforts by acquiring high quality creative organizations like Origin Systems, Bullfrog Productions, Maxis and Tiburon." "The interactive entertainment software industry growth is accelerating as new titles and new genres exhibit more'mass market' characteristics," said Walter Miao, AMI Senior Vice President and author of the study and a widely respected industry authority. "Fueled by its seasoned management team, high visibility brand, alignment with popular icons and command of the distribution network, Electronic Arts is an excellent example of what it takes to thrive in this competitive environment." Electronic Arts Ships "Diablo PlayStation Edition" SAN MATEO, CALIF. (March 30) BUSINESS WIRE - March 30, 1998 - Top-Selling Role-Playing PC Title Developed on Next-Generation Console Offers New, Exclusive Features and Original PC-Based Gameplay Electronic Arts, the world's largest independent interactive entertainment software company, announced the shipment of "Diablo PlayStation Edition," the next-generation console game derived from Blizzard Entertainment's highly popular role-playing personal computer (PC) title. The game incorporates all of the familiar characteristics found in the PC version, as well as several new features developed exclusively for the PlayStation game. These include a two-player single-screen mode which allows for a two-player cooperative assault and enhanced light sourcing and special effects including shimmering water reflections in the town that creates a rich, appealing landscape to explore. In addition, the game touts the ability to save a player's character that can be used to start a new "Diablo PlayStation" game for added replay value, 25-percent-zoomed-in view which helps to enlarge the appearance of the graphics (when compared to the PC title) along with a full-screen display mode; a comfortable, intuitive interface via the fully reconfigurable Sony controller, and two different game speeds that players can set for increased gameplay challenge. As in the original PC version, "Diablo PlayStation Edition" immerses players in a dark and mysterious land. The journey begins when players assume the role of one of three different character classes -- warrior, rogue, sorcerer -- each with individual abilities and attributes to help create varied gameplay. Success depends on the player's capacity to develop character abilities and strengths, master powerful sorcery, explore the town and underground Labyrinth, and engage in battle with foes, namely the ultimate enemy ... Diablo. "Both PC fans familiar with the original version and console owners will enjoy the game," said Dennis Hirsch, producer at Electronic Arts. "We've worked closely with the talent at Blizzard Entertainment, makers of the PC title, to ensure that 'Diablo PlayStation Edition' includes all of the familiar PC-based characteristics alongside the new features developed exclusively for the console game." Complementing the new features in the game are all the familiar PC-based gameplay elements, including more than 20 magical spells, three levels of difficulty to master, 16 randomly generated quests that change each time a game is started, more than 300 magical items to utilize and 100-plus mythical monsters to battle against. By combining the new and existing qualities, "Diablo PlayStation Edition" offers a highly detailed environment and engaging interactive experience. Developed by Climax Enterprises Ltd. and published by Electronic Arts, "Diablo PlayStation Edition" is available for a suggested retail price of $49.95 and has an ESRB rating of "M." ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. What a week it's been. Here in the northeast the weather has been somewhat unsettling. Yesterday's temperature was just shy of 90 degrees (89.4, to be exact). Quite a departure from normal. The average temperature here for this time of year is somewhere in the mid fifties. While I hesitate to blame this aberration on El Nino, it is quite tempting, isn't it? I wouldn't have minded yesterday's high temperature quite so much if today's high temperature hadn't been sixty degrees! Oh, my aching bones! There have been a few comments about our recent upgrade to HTML for STReport. Most of them have been quite positive. A few have been unhappy with the change (I don't see why, since the text version is still available), and some have commented that an index would be a nice addition to the "web page" version. I doubt that anyone feels that an index would be a bad thing. But the implementation might be a bit tricky. You see, the best way to use an index would be to use the 'frames' option. But there are three problems with this. First, it would cut down on the available area for the actual text and graphics that make up the magazine itself. Second, there are folks out there who cannot view frames in their web browsers. Not many, to be sure, but a few. The third problem is one of time. The final composition of STReport is something of a monumental effort put forth by just one person. The addition of an index requires that you take even more time to add the links to the articles and such. I'm not familiar with the current state-of-the-art for PC web page creators, but even if it is a simple operation, it is still take a bit more time to get the issue out to you, our reader. I don't doubt that we will eventually have an index, but HTML is still new to us as a magazine format. We're still finding our sea-legs and stopping up little leaks. I'm sure that as time goes on we'll see more and more neat things. Meanwhile, in the Atari world there really isn't anything all that exciting to talk about. Now that the news about Hasbro buying Atari for a mere five million dollars has died down and folks are beginning to puzzle out what Hasbro might do with its new acquisition (not much in the way of computers, unfortunately), things have slowed back down to their normal slow pace. This isn't a bad thing. There is much to be gained by having the time to really assess what you have and where it can actually take you. Perhaps that's why I have not yet run out of material for this column. There is always someone around who comes up with a way to do something that the rest of us never thought we'd be able to do with our computers. And there are always those of us who are eager to find out how WE can do it. So let's take a look at all the chatter on Delphi in the... ATARI ADVANTAGE FORUM One of the mainstays of today's Atari scene, Mille Babic, posts: "This about Hasbro is really great news, such as TOS 6 being developed for the Milan computer. I just feel that this year might be a start of a new era for Atari. Let Hasbro do what they want with the Atari and the logo, whatever they do is far better then what (not) happened the last years." Dana Jacobson tells Mille: "Welcome to Delphi, first of all!! Second, I agree that whatever Hasbro does with their newfound purchase can only be _better_ than what JTS has done the past two years. My guess is that Hasbro will do something with the old games (Frogger, anyone?); and perhaps re-do some of the old games, or license them out. I don't think anything will come about with the computer line other than perhaps licensing things out (which is not a _bad_ thing)." Since I've been a visitor to Mille's web page... ( http://hem1.passagen.se/atari ) ever since I got on the web, I add: "Good to see you here! Welcome to the best online service for us Atari-folk!" The really cool thing is that you don't need a direct line to Delphi to access it anymore. You can do it through the web! And memberships are priced right... they are free! Of course there are a few restrictions to the free membership, but you can still visit the message forums and participate in chats. All you need is web access and a browser that accepts cookies (C'mon CAB 2.7!). Anyway, back to the messages... Bob Trowbridge posts: "I have lately noticed a problem. I use a 14meg Falcon with a Cardinal 33.6 modem. When I am on for extended time periods I will all of a sudden lose my connection. This is most noticeable when perusing Usenet msgs (because there is so many of them). This happens both when using the Text side of Delphi or when using Delphi as an ISP. Incoming calls wouldn't cause problems unless you have special services right? I don't have this. I also thought that maybe someone in the house was picking up one of the other phones. But a lot of times it is late at night and no one else is awake. Also I have picked up the phone attached to the modem, trying to break the connection and it won't fail! Could it be SprintNet that is shutting me down? I guess I could try Tymnet to see if it does the same thing!" "Turbo" Nick tells Bob: "You're right, incoming calls won't cause any problems unless you have Call Waiting (a feature available from the local telco) on your phone line. As far as the telephone ("central office") switch is concerned, if you are on the phone using your modem OR talking (whether or not any data or voice is being carried at the moment) the line is busy. I suppose that it's possible that SprintNet is disconnecting you for some reason. I don't use SprintNet for text dialup to Delphi, but I do use it for a SLIP connection, and on occasion I have lost the connection unexpectedly. (For text dialup I use a TymNet node that's on the same switch as my phone line, and it's rock-solid: stable and no noise at all.) It might be worth while to try TymNet and see if the disconnections still happen." Gordie Meyer tells Bob: "Delphi does have a timeout if it doesn't detect any online activity. It should be settable in your user profile. It's been a while since I messed with mine textside, so I'm not positive this is the way to get to them, but you might want to try going into USING DELPHI, then entering SETTINGS. There's a bunch of things you can tweak, and one of them is TIMEOUT. I do seem to recall getting timed out when I was reading especially lengthy Usenet posts via the textside. (It loads in a big wad of them, and by the time you get to the bottom of it, you've timed out...)" Michael Burkley of Suzy-B Software asks: "The sound chip that controls the ST's sound and floppy drives is by Toshiba, right? I can't remember for sure. Can anyone tell me the part number on the ST (specifically the 1040ST)? I have a friend with floppy drive troubles and I need to rummage through some of my broken ST's to find the chip and see if replacing his will help. I know I can find it somewhere, but I'm being lazy and just asking here. So, if you don't know, don't search too hard. Make me do the work instead!" Jim Collins of chro_MAGIC Software (http://www.chromagic.com) tells Michael: "The sound chip I think you are referring to is the Yamaha YM2149F. However, most of the floppy disk problems I have encountered that were caused by a bad chip were due to the failure of the Western Digital Floppy Disk Controller ( WD1772 ). In fact, I replaced a WD1772 chip today in a computer a customer sent in for repair. The floppy disk on that system now works great!" Michael replies: "Ah yes, I meant the Yamaha chip (not a Toshiba one!). I had thought that all of the floppy disk was controlled by the Yamaha sound chip. Thanks for the new information about the Western Digital Floppy Disk Controller. I'll check them out." "Turbo" Nick posts: "...You say that STiK (1.12) won't work with compressed SLIP (CSLIP)? Do you mean that it won't connect, or that it even if it connects, client programs won't be able to use TCP/IP? My local ISP provides CSLIP (plain SLIP is supposed to also be available - controlled by a 1-letter prefix to your login - but I get CSLIP either way). I followed the comment in the 'template' DEFAULT.CFG file, setting the parameter for CSLIP. STiK will connect, but then CAB can't resolve any hosts (which all work fine when I use Delphi instead of my local ISP for an IP connection), and the CAB.OVL file seems to be corrupted (CAB won't even work with Delphi after that - gives a runtime error - until I re-install CAB.OVL). If CSLIP really is the problem, then I'll probably have to switch to STiNG and use PPP (or get some other PPP solution)." "Swampdog" tells Nick: "The most common problem we used to have with STiK was that SLIP accounts would be set up with VJ compression enabled even though (whoever) had asked for it to be turned off. We quickly came to realize most "helpline" staff are not trained well. VJ compression is Van Jacobson compression and is a method by which a TCP header is compressed so as not to use as much space and thus speeds up transmission speeds (very slightly). Ask the helpline person to explain VJ to you. If they don't state something similar to the above then it might be a good idea to ask to talk to someone else if you see what I mean!" Joe Villarreal adds: "I could never get Stik 1.12 to work whenever I set it to CSlip. The comments in the original dial script for Stik 1.12 states that Cslip will not work with that version. Cslip works with Sting though. Slip and PPP also works. Setting up the dial script is almost the same as setting the one for Stik. Make sure you use the latest versions of Sting and it's associated programs located on the author's web site. He updates the Sting files regularly. You'll have to download the main Sting program and also the various associated files with a newer date. He has updated the "coretools" and "module" files several times. The latest version of Sting works much better than the first one did. Joe Mirando wrote a script for a PPP connection thru CompuServe. Don't think I would of figured that one out. Getting a PPP connection on Delphi is relatively easy. Stik 2.0 will support PPP and Cslip. I saw one of the authors of Stik about to demo it with Cab, showing how to connect using PPP, at the Dallas Atari show last October. I did not get a chance to stay and see it though." Since there is a certain sense of uncertainty about setting up StinG, I tell Nick: "I've also written a DIAL.SCRipt for Delhi with PPP, one for SLIP, and one for CSLIP. I _think_ I uploaded the PPP script here, but I don't actually remember uploading it so if it's not here lemme know and I'll upload it. I've found the more recent versions of STinG to be much more reliable than the earlier ones, and quite a bit faster than ICONNECT, which is what comes with CAB 2.5. STinG also allows us to use all of the STiK compliant programs like NEWSie and AntMail. Being able to work in single-tasking is also a big plus with StinG. I've used it with TOS versions 1.04, 1.62, 2.06, and 3.0x, Geneva, MiNT, and MagiC without any problems at all. I know I keep babbling about how great STinG is, but it's true.
If I didn't really like the program, I'd probably just remain silent (it does happen on occasion). It is true that STinG takes a bit more to configure than IConnect or STiK, but you really only have to set it up once then rock and roll, wondering why it took you so long to switch to STinG. If you have any questions, feel free to ask... either here or in email... but ask here if you can so that others with the same problem can benefit as well. Greg Evans and Joe Villarreal were a big help to me when I was getting STiK going, and they've got knowledge that I don't, so this is probably the BEST place on the internet to brainstorm setting one of these programs up. Ya wanna hear something funny? Even though I've got PPP running smooth and clean on CIS at 28800 baud, I often dial up to Delphi at 14400 with Flash2 and use LYNX. It's faster by a fair margin and offers some nice options as long as you don't mind not having graphics." Bob Trowbridge posts: " Old docs mention a STIK II. Does anyone have information about whether such a pgm is still in development?" Joe Villarreal tells Bob: "I sent e-mail to one of the developers and got a response this past weekend. Michael White said they were working on Stik 2.0 although they all had full time jobs. Michael is also working on his masters." "BlackJ" tells us: "I just got my monitor, I'm looking for a comm program. Could anyone recommend one?" I tell BlackJ: "My first recommendation would be Flash2 from Missionware Software. It's a commercial program, but it is one of the two best comm programs out there. There are also several terminal programs that are shareware and are available here. STorm and FreezeDried Terminal are just two that are available here. I've used them both and they're pretty good (But not as good as Flash2)." Joe Villarreal adds: "Stalker and Flash II are two very good commercial terminal programs. Demos of these two programs are available here in the database. I use Stalker and Freeze Dried Terminal. I have also used ST-Term 3.7b, available in the database. This program supports Zmodem. It doesn't use a Gem interface though. Other terminal programs are available in the database including Teddy Term and Storm." Dana Jacobson adds: "There are others, but I'd highly recommend Flash II. There's a demo here in the databases. We also have a "bonus" here on Delphi - John Trautschold of Missionware Software (one of the developers for Flash II) is a regular member here. His Delphi ID is MISSIONWARE." Bob Matiska tells BlackJ: "I've been using Stalker for quite a few years now and am very satisfied with it. There might be a demo of it here in the databases to try out. All of the programs recommended by the others are also good, but I'd like to send a word of caution about Freeze Dried Term: It's shareware and the author stopped sending out the "key" files years ago, even though he continued to accept registration fees from users. So try the program we have here in the telecom database, but don't send a shareware fee to him. (It's actually a pretty neat program. Too bad nobody picked up on the rights to make key files.)" John Trautschold of Missionware Software jumps in and posts: "Yes, I still hang around here and am willing to answer any questions anyone has regarding Flash II." Greg Evans asks John: "How about a Flash 3 with Telnet capability and STiK/STinG support? I like Peter Rottengatter's Telnet program but miss uploading/downloading, function keys, capture buffer, etc. Come on, it's easy!" John replies: "Well, unfortunately Greg, we're not doing any more Flash II development. It just isn't worth it. I sold a whole 24 copies last year and that kind of income just won't support further development. We had planned on telnet and http support about the time Atari and the marketplace dried up. Oh well... We're selling Flash II direct for $59.95. You might also find it discounted at any Atari dealers, assuming there are any left, such as Toad Computers." Well folks, that's it for this time around. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES 50 Rules Men Should Live By Call. Don't lie. Never tape any of her body parts together. If guys' night out is going to be fun, invite the girls. If guys' night out is going to involve strippers, remember the zoo rules: No Petting. The correct answer to "Do I look fat?" is never, ever "Yes." Ditto for "Is she prettier than me?" Victoria's Secret is good. Frederick's of Hollywood is bad. Ordering for her is good. Telling her what she wants is bad. Being attentive is good. Stalking is bad. "Honey", "Darling", and "Sweetheart" are good. "Nag," "Lardass," and "Bitch" are bad. Talking is good. Shouting is bad. Slapping is a felony. A grunt is seldom an acceptable answer to any question. None of your ex-girlfriends were ever nicer, prettier, or better in bed. Her cooking is excellent. That isn't an excuse for you to avoid cooking. Dish soap is your friend. Hat does not equal shower, aftershave does not equal soap, and warm does not equal clean. Buying her dinner does not equal foreplay. Answering "Who was that on the phone?" with "Nobody" is never going to end that conversation. Ditto for "Whose lipstick is this?" Two words: clean socks. Believe it or not, you're probably not more attractive when you're drunk. Burping is not sexy. You're wrong. You're sorry. She is probably less impressed by your discourse on your cool car than you think she is. Ditto for your discourse on football. Ditto for your ability to jump up and hit any awning in a single bound. "Will you marry me?" is good. "Let's shack up together" is bad. Don't assume PMS is the cause for every bad mood. Don't assume PMS doesn't exist. No means No. Yes means Yes. Silence could mean anything she feels like at that particular moment in time, and it could change without notice. "But, we kiss..." is not justification for using her toothbrush. You don't clean plaque with your tongue. Never let her walk anywhere alone after 11 p.m. Chivalry and feminism are NOT mutually exclusive. Pick her up at the airport. Don't whine about it, just do it. If you want to break up with her, break up with her. Don't act like a complete jerk until she does it for you. Don't tell her you love her if you don't. Tell her you love her if you do. Often. Always, always suck up to her brother. Think boxers. Silk boxers. Remember Valentine's Day, and any cheesy "anniversary" she so names. Don't try to change the way she dresses. Her haircut is never bad. Don't let your friends pick on her. Call. Don't lie. The rules are never fair. Accept this without question. The fact that she has to go through labor while you sit in the waiting room on your ass smoking cigars isn't fair either, and it balances everything out. Best experienced with [Microsoft Internet Explorer] Click here to start. STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport HTTP://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 450,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 03, 1998 Since 1987 CopyrightŠ1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1413 The text for article 695 is not available.