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Article #728 (730 is last): From: aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Fred Horvat) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: Atari Online Vol1 Iss8 Reply-To: aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Fred Horvat) Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Mon Apr 26 09:32:05 1999 Volume 1, Issue 8 Atari Online News, Etc. April 23, 1999 Published and Copyright (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved Atari Online News, Etc. A-ONE Online Magazine Dana P. Jacobson, Publisher/Managing Editor Joseph Mirando, Managing Editor Atari Online News, Etc. Staff Dana P. Jacobson -- Editor Joe Mirando -- "People Are Talking" Michael Burkley -- "Unabashed Atariophile" Albert Dayes -- CC: Classic Chips With Contributions by: Stephen Barszczak Bengy Collins Randy Looney Jeppe Brdnnmark Brian Gudzevich To subscribe to A-ONE, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and your address will be added to the distribution list. To unsubscribe from A-ONE, send the following: Unsubscribe A-ONE Please make sure that you include the same address that you used to subscribed from. To download A-ONE, set your browser bookmarks to one of the following sites (more to be added soon): http://people.delphi.com/dpj/a-one.htm http://www.icwhen.com http://a1mag.atari.org http://homestead.dejanews.com/ssag Visit the Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi! http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=atari =~=~=~= A-ONE #0107 04/16/99 ~ People Are Talking! ~ Crichton To Do Games! ~ Compaq Shake-Up! ~ STiNG 1.20 Released! ~ SEC Files Suit in Hoax ~ Lycos Tops Yahoo! ~ CIH Virus Due April 26 ~ Sega & Iomega Team Up ~ AOL Gadgets? ~ Moment w/ Randy Looney ~ Best Buy Dumps iMacs ~ Web Registry Set -* Intel Settlement Questioned *- -* FTC Proposes Child Privacy Web Rules *- -* "trenchcoatmafia" Domain Names Registered *- =~=~=~= ->From the Editor's Keyboard "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""" I promised some time ago that I wasn't going to use A-ONE as a soapbox to write about political subjects. And I still feel that that's a good thing. But, this time it's relevant to a degree. I'm probably preaching to the choir since the bulk of our readership is made up of computer users and console gamers. I'm referring to this week's massacre in Colorado. Already people are speculating that the reasons behind these killings were cultivated from the internet, video game violence, and other "fantasy" factors. Sorry, that's a copout, in my humble opinion. My guess is that it's primarily the fault of one of the never-ending societal problems of today: status. Call it what you may - cliques, intelligence, race, color, wealth, etc. We're always tagging people with labels. It appears that these "kids" had an agenda and sought the athletes and "uppity in-crowd". Yes, I'm using labels myself. These killers didn't "fit in" with the rest. Yes, they played video games, browsed the internet, and had other "fantasy" interests. They also studied Hitler. They obviously resented their "standing" in the school. What a horrific combination. It sounds like they were seeking revenge before they graduated in just a few short weeks. Or were supposed to graduate. We'll never know the reasons; they died with the kids. Can we learn from this tragedy? Apparently not. These events continue to occur. But we continue to use video games, etc. as a scapegoat. Society is good at scapegoating also. Want my advice? Although I'm not a parent and can't relate like one, I'd recommend that parents get to know their children. Be part of their life and understand what they're going through growing up. Each generation brings with it a similar, but different set of rules for our youth. Learn about them. And regardless of their protests, give 'em a hug often, and tell them that you love them. It can never hurt. And now let's get on with the real focus of this week's issue: computing and video games - for work and entertainment. Until next time... New STiNG From: "Bengy Collins"
In case everyone doesn't know, an updated STiNG was recently released by Ulf Ronald Andersson and can be downloaded from MagiC Online in the Networking section, as well as the temp. STiNG page: http://www.ettnet.se/~dlanor/sting/html/index.htm Bengy Collins Next White Rose Atari Group Meeting From: Stephen Barszczak The next meeting of the White Rose Atari Group will be held at: 4 Langdale Street Elland Nr Halifax On the 9th of May 1999 Anyone wanting directions or other information about the group can, Telephone myself on 01274 412192 Or write to....... W.R.A.G. 3 Scholemoor Lane Lideget Green BD7 2RN Or Telephone Adrian on 01484 721694..... Leave a message on the answer machine if out, or you can write to...... W.R.A.G. c/o Adrian Haigh 1 Vale Street Brighouse HD6 1TR Or by Netmail on: FidoNet 2:250/303.0 2:250/303.1 Nest 90:107/206.0 90:107/207.0 Fan 95:110/202.0 95:110/203.0 Or By Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org WRAG@blackflag.zetnet.co.uk Bfn Steve Exposure Software Controls Light Dimmers From: email@example.com (Jeppe Brdnnmark) RELEASE OF NEW SOFTWARE Exposure is a new software to control light with a Atari ST. The software is being released at NAS in Gvteborg/Sweden. CHEAP ALTERNATIVE OF CONTROLLING LIGHT Exposure: A new software is being released for the TOS-based Atari ST computer to control light dimmers. The name of the software is Exposureand is released in its final version v1.00 at NAS (Nordic Atari Show) in Gvteborg/Sweden 11-13 June. 120 channels for $29.95 Exposure is delivered with 120 channels control as a standard. The number of channels can be patch to maximum 520 channels. Exposure uses the PMX protocol (Pulsar) through RS232/9600bps. At the low price it's a good alternative for smaller and medium/large theatres to ordinary light tables of a much higher price. With an Atari ST with one megabyte of ram you may use up to 6000 submasters, with up to 6 at a time. Showcontrol It's planned to be a release in August for an add-on component to use MSC 1.00/MIDI Showcontrol protocol. This means that one single Atari ST can control a medium/large show, including fire, smoke, CD-players, intelligent light such as color/gobo and motorized components. AtariNews: On The Prowl 04/22/99 LATEST HEADLINES: SONGBIRD PRODUCTIONS FORMED TO SUSTAIN ATARI CONSOLES Carl Forhan, currently developing games for Atari systems, including Protector for the Jaguar, and Ponx and SFX for the Lynx, has formed Songbird Productions to bring Atari systems into the new millennium. Songbird Productions also plans to make resources available to other Atari developers for all Atari platforms as far back as the 2600. The first product launched by Songbird Productions is SFX for the Atari Lynx. SFX is an exciting, new audio tool, perfect for the hobbyist developer or curious tinkerer. Retail price is $34.95, ordering information may be found on the Songbird Productions web page. More products for the Lynx are planned for 1999. http://songbird.atari.org NEW INFORMATION ABOUT JAGFEST '99 This years JagFest is slowly approaching, and the newly formed Songbird Productions is the official sponsor. This years theme is "Celebrate Atari", and the event has been expanded to cover all Atari platforms. The event will take place on June 18, 1999, at the Holiday Inn South in Rochester, MN. The ticket price is $10 in advance or $12 at the door. In addition, Songbird Productions has announced that anyone who attends JagFest '99 can get a free game. Every paid adult ticket includes a coupon worth up to $3 off any single game at the Songbird Productions table. Many new 2600 and 7800 games will be available for less than $3, and as such, are free with the coupon. http://jagfest.atari.org BACK IN TIME RADIO WEBCAST INTERVIEWS DANA HENRY OF HASBRO INTERACTIVE Back in Time, an all Atari Internet talk radio shows, recently featured guest is Dana Henry, Public Relations Director of Hasbro Interactive. The show's host, Mike Stulir, interviewed Henry about Hasbro's current plans dealing with Atari. Highlights include Hasbro's position on the Jaguar, Lynx, and emulators. Also mentions new products, including a revamped Pong product and Centipede for the PSX. You can hear this, and all the past episodes at the Back in Time homepage. http://www.emuclassics.com/backintime CLASSIC GAMING EXPO COMES TO LAS VEGAS THIS AUGUST WITH A SPECIAL GUEST The Classic Gaming Expo '99, known last year as The World of Atari, arrives this year with some big name guests. The list of names includes Steve Cartwright, Ralph Baer, Jay Smith, and many more. But more importantly, the keynote speaker is none other than Nolan Bushnell himself. The web page lists all the guests as well as schedules, exhibitors, and hotel and car information. http://www.cgexpo.com ST+ FANZINE CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ATARI USERS ST+ Fanzine is a European-based 36-page newsletter that ships on the 7th of every month. Guaranteed. It primarily covers the TOS-based Atari computers (ST, Falcon, etc.), with occasional coverage of the Lynx and Jaguar as appropriate. This is a fanzine written by fans, for fans. Check out their distributor contacts in numerous areas around the globe, and sign up for your issue of ST+ Fanzine today. http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/10s_Spot/stp Send any comments or submissions for "AtariNews: On The Prowl" to: Brian Gudzevich (Editor) at: Atarian@netzero.net Sponsoring web sites: -The Atarian Atmosphere: http://atmosphere.atari.org -The Jaguar's Domain: http://jagdomain.atari.org =~=~=~= ->From the Other Editor's Desk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Joe Mirando, Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org =~=~=~= PEOPLE ARE TALKING compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. It's been another tough week here in la-la land. I know that you're probably sick of hearing about me being busy while you're so busy yourself, but let's face it, venting is a good way to release some of the tension we all feel these days. If you're like me, you get home from work and relax a bit, then play around online or with whatever your favorite program is, be it a game or desktop publisher. It's really a great way to let the pressures of the day drain away. To tell you the truth, I'm kind of surprised that I haven't gotten tired of my online forays. I've been doing it for so many years now that, if it were any other kind of activity I'd have become bored and moved on to something else. But message bases and online chats have the virtue of being in constant flux. It's not like playing a game that is always the same.... move left, then up, shoot, move right. There are new things to talk about, new friends to make, new stuff to learn. And it doesn't look like there will be a lack of things to do in the near future. Well, let's take a look at what's helping me keep my sanity this week. >From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup ==================================== On the subject of Atari related IRC chats Chris Swinson pleads: "pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee tell me where they all are !!" Steve Stupple tells Chris: "On IRC, #atari #atariscne are two of them." Chris replies: "Great. Wanna share what servers they are on?" 'Atari Mad tells Chris that they can be found at: "ircnet.demon.co.uk #atari, #atariscne, and others starting #atari and ending with a country. #atariswe #atarige etc. etc." Rob Mahlert jumps in and adds: " If you have access to a computer that can handle Java, Every Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern (USA) try out Delphi's Atari Advantage. www.delphi.com/atari The Guy's From A-ONE are usually around (And ME!!). On Sat. I believe www.atariusers.com has a chat around 8pm Eastern time. (Dr.???) On my site, www.atari-users.net/chat I really haven't set-up a chat time. I would like to set-up a North American time and a European time... Anyone have a suggestion on either??? I know of one other.. but I can't recall the the url or name.. I know it's on the beseen.com site." 'Dr. Clu' tells us all: "Yeah, if you're looking for a chatroom to join in, you can E-mail some people and meet at www.atariusers.com/chat at any time... or join us each Saturday from 8-10pm Central Standard Time and we usually have a general chat session going. * Once a month we bring in someone in the Atari scene. So far we've had Kent Kordes of Systems for Tomorrow, Jim Collins of Chromagic, and Roger Burroughs maker of ExtenDOS. We're working on more guests ranging from developers, vendors, and so forth. We would *LOVE* to get a EUROPEAN CHAT SESSION going, and though Titan expressed interest, the word is the same... a two hour chat session would cost MONEY for the time for being on-line. Bear in mind that people overseas do not get the free local calls like we do here. (Hooray for good ole competition of local phone companies!) Nevertheless, if YOU know of a European vendor or developer that would like to advertise through a question answer section and spend time with the Atari community ON-LINE... send me a letter! I will personally stay up and help host the chat session comparable to European time. The good news about our chat site is that it does not use JAVA, and the no-frames version works most of the time with CAB drivers. (That is to say, it will work with Atari browsers). Come join us!" Daniel Rojo asks Rob Mahlert: "Not to be too picky about this, but is there any way to by-pass the java thing? That way the chat is restricted to those who have access to other computers. It is perfectly possible to set up a chat without java, like the AUNT chat that can be used with CAB." Rob tells Daniel: "On the Delphi chat... I believe they do have a non-java version, But I think you need CAB 2.7 at least, because the site uses "cookies" and 2.7 is the only version that supports it. Let me find out a little more info and I'll post it here." Since I've tried the HTML chat software on Delphi, I tell Daniel and Rob: "[You're right Rob,] It's not JAVA that's required, but cookies. While there is a JAVA applet that you can use to chat on Delphi, there is also a HTML version that sort of works with CAB 2.7. Cookies are an absolute must though. I used CAB and the HTML chat software this past Tuesday evening to chat for a while, but it drove me absolutely nuts. I prefer chats the way God intended... in ASCII. I frequent the Delphi chats, but haven't made it around to any others on the web... All a user needs to do is use CAB 2.7 or other cookie-aware browser (we don't _require_ the use of an Atari for this, but we might razz you a bit for using anything else ) to access Delphi (http://www.delphi.com) and find the Atari Advantage Forum. There is a complete address for the forum, which I'll post after I find it, but there is no "Chat Link" yet on the AA page. I assume that Dana, the Forum Manager, is working on having that oversight fixed, but as Delphi is in the midst of software changes, it might not happen for a little while. Perhaps Dana will drop by here and provide the proper address. (Dana? Is you 'round here?) Of course, you need to sign up as a Delphi member, but there is absolutely no charge for the service, and it allows you up to five MEG of space for a web page, email forwarding, and a public and/or private forum. While other services were simply talking about allowing free access, Delphi was forging ahead and making it happen. It's a far cry from when I first started telecomputing on "The Largest Online Service in the Universe", when prime-time charges were $36.00/hr. and the fastest you could go was 2400 baud. Oh, by the way, the established Atari Advantage chat is Tuesday evening at 9:00 pm EST (GMT -5:00), but I've known people to just drop in any old time to see if anyone wanted to chat... As a matter of fact, I just looked in on the Atari Advantage forum, and the new software/HTML is taking shape rather nicely. It seems like it's still being assembled to some degree, but the chat and message base links are there already. Just going to http://forums.delphi.com/atari will get you there so that you can check out what's available. For what it's worth, I think the new setup is going to be really great. How 'bout checking it out for yourself and letting the Forum Manager know what you think? By the way, I'm not a member of the AA forum team, just a long-time member." Dana Jacobson, Forum Manager of the Atari Advantage Forum and The Big Kahuna here at A-ONE, tells us: "You can access the Atari Advantage chat area from the web. There's a link to all available areas there, including Chat. I've even seen it in the new format, just rolled out. Here's the full url for the Atari Advantage area: http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=atari" Bengy Collins, keeper of the best MagiC page (bengy.atari.org) around, posts: "In case everyone doesn't know, an updated STiNG was recently released by Ulf Ronald Andersson and can be downloaded from MagiC Online in the Networking section, as well as the temporary STiNG page: http://www.ettnet.se/~dlanor/sting/html/index.htm" Roger Cain asks: "Why is Ulf releasing this? Has a disaster befallen Peter and/or the STiNG home page? As far as I remember Ulf was in charge of the RESOLVE module." Steve Sweet tells Bengy: "I didn't know, thanks for telling me, already downloaded from your site last night and installed this day. I finally got to see your site, lots of effort obviously, well done, and thanks." I'll second the thought about Bengy's page. If you use MagiC, you MUST go to his site. I've also installed the new version of STinG and, while I don't see a huge improvement, I must say that it seems to be rock solid on my system. On another subject, Andrew Wright asks for help in finding an Atari emulator: "As someone who was an ardent Atari supporter for many years, I recently fell out of touch with the Atari scene, and am desperate to make up for lost time. Can anyone tell me what is the best ST emulator to run on a P200 PC, and where I can get it from. I have hundreds of disks, and I'm unable to use any of them at the moment." Rob Mahlert tells Andrew: "It depends.. For Games.. the best is PaCifiST. the url is.. http://www.pacifist.fatal-design.com/ [The] latest version is from 16th June 98, 0.49beta (Giftware) Then my favorite.. TOSbox.. for running mostly utilities that url is... http://www.emuclassics.com/tosbox/ [The] latest version is 1.08, release date March 27, 1999. (Shareware) and last.. GEMulator best for "all around" performance, but this is a commercial program. the web site is http://www.emulators.com/" Well folks, that's it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING =~=~=~= A Moment With Randy Looney ========================== Hi there people. I'm Randy Looney. I promised to provide columns for A- ONE on occasion, and the editors have both been on my back about delivering on my promise. Have you ever noticed how picky people get when you offer to do something for them free of charge? I hate that. Sometimes I think it would be better to charge a nominal fee for the occasional column. That way people would be afraid that I'd want more money if they made a fuss. Anyway, those of you who don't know me will soon find that I'm one heck of a nice guy, with a quick wit and gentle manner. Those of you who DO know me know better than to take issue with that last statement. I've been an Atari user for more years than I care to count. I started out with a brand-spanking new Atari 400 with a state of the art tape drive. Not a tape backup drive, mind you, but a tape drive. It's what we used instead of a floppy disk. Back then, only the government and big companies had floppy drives. Of course that 400 lasted me for quite a while. I used it for everything I did that involved computing. Reports and columns and even my income tax. I hate when you buy something for fun and entertainment and end up using it to help the government take more of your money. Oh well, I guess I did enough fun stuff with it that I can chalk up the tax figuring as a necessary evil. I also used that computer to escape from my wife on the occasions when she wasn't visiting her mother or shopping for things that would take me an entire weekend to put together and then another weekend to take apart when she decided that she didn't really like it after all. When she got after me to do something around the house, I'd tell her that I would do it shortly, but that I had to do some work upstairs first. I'd go upstairs to the den where the computer was and play Star Raiders for a while. I loved that game. When I went back downstairs, usually more than a half an hour later, I'd look so frazzled that my wife wouldn't even mention whatever it was that she had wanted me to do. Sometimes technology can work for you. Then I moved up to a 1040 ST. What a great machine that was. At the time, my office had PCs. They were nasty things to have to use. I spent most of my day looking through what Microsoft laughingly called a manual back then, trying to figure out how to do even the most simple things. Not at all like my good old 1040. I had everything I needed on less than ten floppies, and with a full meg of memory it was more than I'd ever need for my meager projects. The machines at work were outfitted with 640 kbytes of memory and dual floppy drives. IBM hadn't endorsed 3.5 inch floppies yet, so they were the old 5.25 inch jobbers that held a whopping 360 K of data. My 1040 was faster, had more memory, more storage, and even had color. The PCs at work were monochrome only and had no graphics capability. I also had a mouse, which no one at work had ever heard of. They thought it was something funny and routinely made jokes about it ("Hey Randy, did you feed your mouse today?). Have you ever noticed how the usual assortment of office riff-raff will usually make fun of anything they don't understand and never even realize how wrong they are? And then when it finally dawns on them that they were wrong they jump on the bandwagon like they'd always been there and had shown everyone else the way. I hate that. Of course things never stay the same. Before long those clunky PCs at work were getting graphics cards and faster processors and Windows and even their own mice. Or is it mouses? I'm never sure. The long and short of it is that before I knew it those machines in the office were faster and more colorful than my now well-worn ST. But they still weren't easier to use. The ST line never seemed to advance much after that. Oh there was the Mega ST, the STE, the TT and Falcon, but they all seemed like variations on a theme to me. But that doesn't mean that the software and peripherals haven't changed. I've gotten my ST on the internet and done all kinds of things that none of us ever imagined back then. Well maybe some people did but I didn't. That doesn't mean that I'm any kind of computer whiz though. I'm just not one of those people that can be comfortable with simply putting a floppy or a CD into a drive and pressing the little graphic that says install. I'm constantly amazed by those kind of people. I need to know what's going on at least in a general way before I can be comfortable. I've been comfortable with my trusty ST for quite a while. Due to pressures at the office I do have a windows laptop that I use but it's an older machine, a 486 with Windows. If you just compare the memory and processor speed the Windows machine is the faster of the two. But if you actually sit down and use them you'll see just how much 'snappier' the ST is. I don't have the option of using the ST for my work but I still use it for all of my other needs. Now if I can just find a worthy successor to Star Raiders... 'Till next time, Randy Looney =~=~=~= ->In This Week's Gaming Section - Crichton To Do Games! 'World Driver' """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" 'WWF Attitude'! Legend of Legaia Contest 'Warpath: Jurassic Park' And much more! ->A-ONE's Game Console Industry News - The Latest Gaming News! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Acclaim Sports Announces June 3 Street Date for WWF Attitude for PSX Acclaim Sports, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. announced that WWF Attitude will ship at the end of May and be in-store by June 3rd, 1999. WWF Attitude is the follow-up to the top-selling wrestling title of 1998, WWF War Zone, and will showcase 40 WWF Superstars, over twice as many as in War Zone, and a new Pay-Per-View Mode among a host of new features. WWF Attitude is scheduled to ship in July for the Nintendo 64. ``WWF Attitude is the most anticipated wrestling title of the year," said Paul Eibeler, vice-president and general manager of Acclaim Entertainment, North America. ``Retailers expect Attitude to be their best-selling title this Summer." The following is the final list of WWF Superstars featured in WWF Attitude: The Rock Stone Cold Steve Austin The Undertaker Kane Ken Shamrock The Big Bossman B.A. Billy Gunn The Road Dogg D'Lo Brown Mark Henry Gangrel Edge Christian X-Pac Triple-H Mankind Goldust Val Venis Mosh Thrasher Taka Michinoku Owen Hart Steve Blackman Droz Al Snow Brian Christopher Dr. Death Faarooq Bradshaw Jeff Jarrett In addition to the thirty WWF Superstars listed above there will also be ten hidden wrestlers including WWF Women's Champion, Sable. Developed by Iguana Salt Lake City, creators of WWF War Zone, Acclaim has captured all of the excitement and high energy entertainment of the World Wrestling Federation. One of the most original and creative features in WWF Attitude is the first ever ``Create-A-Pay-Per-View" mode. This new gameplay mode allows gamers to select Match-ups, Title vs. Non-Title Bouts, Specialty Matches, and authentic WWF special events. Essentially, gamers will be able to create from scratch an actual WWF Pay-Per-View event, from choosing the participants and the type of matches, down to the name of the event and the arena where it all takes place. This unprecedented level of control is a first in videogames and just one of the innovative features that will help make WWF Attitude the greatest wrestling videogame ever created. WWF Attitude will also feature new specialty matches including the LumberJack, King of the Ring, and Survivor Series and all-new Match options including First Blood, I Quit, 2 out of 3 falls, Iron Man, Tornado, Last Man Standing, Weapons, and more. Other features include new arena environments, authentic superstar entrances featuring individual pyrotechnics and theme music, expanded Create-A-Wrestler with more options, action in the aisles, photo-realistic wrestlers with real-life faces and 3-D environments, and over 400 moves for each superstar including trademark finishing moves. WWF Attitude will be supported by a multi-million dollar national TV, radio, on-line and in-store marketing campaign. Acclaim's World Wrestling Federation license will not be renewed after its expiration on November 15, 1999. The proprietary game engine will be utilized for a wrestling title in 2000 and additional wrestling games to be announced. Jurassic Park Author To Create Video Games He has written best-selling novels and has created one of the most popular shows on television -- now author Michael Crichton wants to conquer the world of video games. Crichton, author of novels such as ``Jurassic Park" and "Disclosure" and creator of NBC-TV's ``ER", Friday announced the formation of Timeline Studios with the goal of creating next-generation computer games. Timeline Studios games will combine story lines developed by Crichton with technology from Cary, N.C.-based Virtus Corp., in an attempt to offer an unprecedented level of realism and interactivity. Virtus' technology enables games to have dozens of characters and hundreds of objects with which a player can interact, Crichton said in a statement. ``As a computer gamer for the past 20 years, I've noticed a lot of 3D games have featured large environments -- big worlds, a few monsters, some puzzles -- but limited interaction," Crichton said. Virtus was founded by David Smith, who collaborated with Timeline Studios co-founder Michael Backes to apply computer visualization techniques to the James Cameron film ``The Abyss." Backes was the display graphics supervisor for the "Jurassic Park" movie. Timeline Studios expects its first releases in early 2000. Electronic Arts to Release 'Warpath: Jurassic Park' for the PlayStation Electronic Arts announces the development of ``Warpath: Jurassic Park" for the PlayStation from DreamWorks Interactive. This dinosaur action fighting title presents a new twist on the Jurassic Park license by featuring original head-to-head savage dinosaur fighting based on the deadly predators from the blockbuster films ``Jurassic Park" and ``The Lost World." Players will be able to choose from more than ten dinosaurs and multiple unique 3-D arenas based off actual movie locations. The attention given to each of the dinosaur's fluid movement, skin textures and visible physical damage (bruising and scarring) elevates the game's level of adrenaline. ``We were delighted when DreamWorks approached us about this game," says Frank Gibeau, vice president of marketing at Electronic Arts. ``We loved the dinosaur versus dinosaur concept that makes "Warpath: Jurassic Park`` such a fresh approach to a fighting game. We think gamers will enjoy discovering how a T-Rex would fare up against a Raptor." Warpath: Jurassic Park focuses on extremely ferocious dinosaur combat among a variety of wild, diverse and well known predators from the Jurassic Park world, including the ever-popular Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Helping to bring another level of excitement and interest to the game, players will also be able to choose from an array of newly discovered dinosaurs such as the Mega Raptor and Gigantosaurus. The game's fighting arsenal will include moves such as bites, snaps, claw rakes, grabs, combos, reversals and slams. Battles will be supercharged with real-time wounding effects, shadows and lighting, rising dust, blood and environmental effects such as lightening. Players can also take advantage of destructible objects such as electrified fences, exploding oil drums and scaffolding to damage their opponents. ``Ever since 'Jurassic Park' was released in 1993, interest in dinosaurs has exploded -- everyone likes to be the T-Rex," says Glenn Entis, head of DreamWorks Interactive. ``We believe 'Warpath: Jurassic Park' is a fresh approach to delivering the dinosaurs from both blockbuster films in a way that is fun and entertaining." ``Warpath: Jurassic Park" will bring players a distinct game experience through technologies such as Hierarchical Modeling Data (HMD). This HMD technology allows for hierarchical jointed models, which result in more fluid life-like movements. Additionally, HMD technology will allow for single skin textures, which will enhance real-time lighting and shadowing on each dinosaur as they move and fight throughout the environment. Key gameplay features to include: * Head-to-head feral dinosaur combat via human opponent and/or Artificial Intelligence (AI). * Ten dinosaurs to initially choose from (with more dinosaurs to be unlocked), each exhibiting unique moves such as flesh ripping attacks, neck-breaking grabs and powerful throw abilities. * Fourteen arenas that are modeled after recognizable locations from the movies including the Visitor's Center, Helicopter Pad, Embryo Lab and T-Rex Paddock. * Devour human and animal "edibles" for power-ups to increase a dinosaur's health. * Challenging one and two-player modes provide plenty of game variety for competitive players. * Unique "Blood Rage" mode that award players with secret attack moves. * Interactive Dinosaur Institute allows players to learn the history and valuable gameplay for each dinosaur. * Bone crunching sound, primal tribal music and original orchestral score all help to escalate the degree of mayhem and damage going on in the game. Fun And Games For Kids Today's topics: talking fish, imperfect pinball, and a PlayStation game that tries to teach kids something. Searching for a thrilling, state-of-the-art pinball game for your PC? ``Sci-Fi Pinball" may be state-of-the-art, but it's as thrilling as a ``Buffy the Vampire Slayer" rerun. It's not because the developers at Fox Interactive didn't try hard. There's something about PC pinball games that make them a pale imitation of the real thing. In the days before silicon became a required ingredient for building games and show business careers, pinball machines were mechanical marvels, a sensory kaleidoscope of flashing lights, moving targets, and sounds you only heard in exploding junkyards. Players never had a chance to tire of the novelty because they usually ran out of quarters first. PC pinball games, like most computer simulations, simply mimic the experience. And without the need to keep feeding precious change to the machine, it's easy to tire of seeing the same ball hitting the same targets and producing the same sound effects. ``Sci-Fi Pinball" is designed to appeal to fans of "Buffy," ``Aliens," ``Predator" and ``The Fly." It tries to get around the boredom problem using ancillary diversions such as video clips and side games that play on the right hand side of the screen while the pinball table is on the left. But it's just not the same as a real table. Youngsters who have never been challenged by a real pinball machine and PC pinball wizards (and you know who you are) may find ``Sci-Fi Pinball" worth the $30. For the rest of us, it's a lot of money to spend for something that will become tedious after half an hour. CATCH THIS FISH If you've been waiting for the latest installment in the Freddi Fish series with a worm on your tongue (baited breath), or you're simply a parent who appreciates these cleverly designed games from Humongous Entertainment, you won't be disappointed by ``Freddi Fish 4: The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch." This game for ages 3 to 8 is filled with a whole new assortment of underwater characters ranging from a hapless puffer fish whose allergies make him swell up at the wrong times, to a couple of colorful hogfish rustlers that Freddi and his pal, Luther, have to corral in their quest to find cousin Calisto Catfish's prize-winning hogfish. As always, the animation is first rate, the game doesn't require reading skills, it comes with a 24-page activity book, and the puzzles differ a bit each time you play, which means children can go back to Freddi Fish 4 over and over without getting tired of it. It's a great way for kids to develop the skills for logical thinking. The quality is so good, parents won't mind playing with their kids. ``Freddi Fish 4" is quite a catch. 'ELMO' NOT LETTER PERFECT The words ``PlayStation" and ``educational" don't usually appear in the same sentence because you'd be hard-pressed to find PlayStation games -- or products for Nintendo 64 or Game Boy, for that matter -- that have any type of educational value. NewKidCo is trying to change that. The company has released two Sesame Street titles for the PlayStation, ``Elmo's Letter Adventure" and ``Elmo's Number Journey," both for ages 3 to 6. ``Elmo's Adventures in Grouchland," involving colors and shapes, is scheduled for release in the fall, as are versions of these games for Game Boy and Nintendo. NewKidCo is trying to take advantage of the tendency of children to favor game systems over PCs, and the fact that toddlers often want to mimic the game-playing tastes of their older brothers and sisters. ``Elmo's Letter Adventure" lets them be like the older kids with a game that's at their level. ``Elmo's" is exceptionally easy to play. For example, when you're flying through space, you can only go forward, backward and select a letter. Several buttons serve the same function. When it's time to move in and out of a game, flashing lights show the child which buttons they can push. There are three levels of difficulty, depending on whether you want the child to learn upper or lower-case letters. One thing I didn't like: certain letters were restricted to certain activities. As you're swimming underwater, for example, the only letters to appear are E, K, I, O, V and Z. I was surprised that the game doesn't randomly mix them up. And if you want to get to common letters like B, C, D, S or T, the youngster has to make it to a bonus world and select the letter that corresponds to the first letter of a word. For the hefty $40 price tag, it's surprisingly limited. DATABANK ``Sci-Fi Pinball" ($30) from Fox Interactive works on computers with 16 megabytes of RAM and a 4x CD-ROM drive. The PC version requires a Pentium-166 chip and Windows 95. The Macintosh version requires a Power Macintosh or an iMac with System 8. ``Freddi Fish 4: The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch" ($30) from Humongous Entertainment (800-499-8386, http://www.humongous.com) requires 16 megabytes of RAM. The PC version requires a Pentium-90 and Windows 95. The Macintosh version needs an 80 megahertz PowerPC and System 5.7.3. ``Elmo's Letter Adventure" ($40) from KewKidCo is for PlayStation. Midway and Boss Game Studios Announce Development of World Driver: Championship Midway Home Entertainment Inc. announced this past week that it has teamed with developer Boss Game Studios to bring racing fans the breathtaking, ultra-detailed racing game World Driver: Championship. Developed by the creators of gaming titles such as Top Gear Rally and Twisted Edge Extreme Snowboarding, World Driver: Championship is expected to peel out of the development pit this June. "Midway is very excited to again partner with Boss to bring this amazing racing game to our Nintendo 64 audience," said Paula Cook, director of marketing for Midway Home Entertainment. "World Driver: Championship is backed by an extensive marketing campaign, which includes TV buys, broad scale print advertising and in-store promotions including a pack-on T-shirt, sunglasses or car shade with purchase at various retailers and tremendous in-store signage." World Driver: Championship has already received rave previews from the gaming and consumer press, with IGN64.com stating, "Gran Turismo? Where you're going you won't need Gran Turismo...This game is going to rock!" Sports Gaming Network states, "Realistic physics, killer music, 30 cars and 10 different locations around the world make this the most ambitious N64 racing title to date." World Driver: Championship is a high-speed, realistic racer that will challenge both hardcore racing fans and novice racers alike. In World Driver: Championship, players are given the most realistic, up-close and personal view of the real world of race car driving ever offered for the Nintendo 64. World Driver: Championship's stunning graphic effects boast real-time lighting and reflection mapping and the game features over 30 exotic cars to choose from and 10 dazzling tracks all over the world. In World Driver: Championship, players enter the game as an independent racer and begin their "career paths" immediately as several racing teams scout them. Throughout the game, players have the option to test-drive for teams before making career decisions and switch racing teams along the way. Players enter several racing circuits in an attempt to win trophies and expand their racing career. Racers can play in either a high-resolution letterbox or standard screen format, race in reverse or in mirrored mode to create hundreds of different racing experiences. World Driver: Championship also features a split screen two-player option, "save your replay" mode as well as "time attack" mode, which allows gamers to race against recorded replays of semi-transparent ghost cars. Criterion and ATI Bring 3D Games to the Set-Top-Wonder II Criterion Software Ltd. and ATI Technologies Inc. recently announced Redline Racer for the Set-top-Wonder II. Redline Racer, a thrilling 3D motorbike racing game from Criterion Software - a world-wide success on PC and due to be released in Japan on SEGA's Dreamcast console on April 26th 1999 - is now available on ATI's Set-top-Wonder II, a complete high-performance set-top box reference design providing the world's most powerful set-top graphics subsystem. Redline Racer, an advanced interactive 3D game built using RenderWare 3 - conceived and designed specifically for high-performance PCs, videogame consoles and digital television set-top boxes - demonstrates the highly advanced state of convergence of these platforms. "ATI's Set-top-Wonder II provides the advanced 3D features needed by game developers producing today's leading edge 3D games," said Alfonse Licata, Group Product Manager ATI. "We're excited to see Criterion taking advantage of these state-of-the-art 3D features. Redline Racer running on the Set-top-Wonder II demonstrates to cable and satellite MSOs the viability of home set-top boxes as high-performance interactive gaming platforms." "ATI's Set-top-Wonder II is the first design we've come across that truly provides the graphics performance necessary for content developers to deliver cutting-edge games on a set-top box," said Mike King, EVP of Marketing at Criterion Software. "For the past 3 years Criterion has been rearchitecting its RenderWare 3D graphics software technology, from the ground up, specifically for future convergence platforms - and today, combining Criterion's software technology, and game design & development experience with ATI's graphics hardware and set-top box design capabilities, we're providing a glimpse of future mainstream set-top box content". Redline Racer is a stunning super-bike racing game that for the first time brings true arcade quality racing to the PC, videogame console and set-top box. By combining great gameplay with heart-stopping speed, arcade quality 3D graphics and real bike physics simulation, it provides the player with an enhanced feeling of realism. For example, fully animated riders are throwing themselves all over the bike as they take corners at high speed, or are launched off their bikes during very realistic crash sequences. Redline Racer pits the player against the fierce competition of up to 7 other players on a LAN, across the Internet, or via cable, satellite or 'phone back channels. PlayStation Invites Consumers to Enter 'Envision Your Own Site' Legend of Legaia Contest Consumers Compete For Cash and Prizes in Online Homepage Design Contest To celebrate the recent release of Legend of Legaia, a unique role-playing game (RPG) available exclusively for the PlayStation game console, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today the launch of the nationwide ``Envision Your Own Site" Legend of Legaia Contest. Consumers over the age of 12 are invited to envision the best and most unique Legend of Legaia fan Web site, then use their creativity to design their own homepage. Contestants should build their homepage and submit a snapshot of it, or send an image file that represents what their homepage would have looked like. Participants will have the opportunity to download artwork and information about the game, accessible via the Legend of Legaia page at the official PlayStation Web site located at http://www.playstation.com. Judging criteria will be equally based on creativity, design and content, with final winners chosen by the team at Jamison/Gold, a leading Web design firm and the developers of the playstation.com game site. One Grand Prize winner will receive $1000 in cash; one first prize winner will receive a copy of Legend of Legaia, a Dual Shock analog controller and three colored memory cards; and five second prize winners will each receive three colored memory cards. Entries will be accepted in the form of one image file (GIF, JPEG or BMP). Contestants should email the entries as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be accepted now through June 7, 1999, and should include the entrant's name, age, address and phone number. No links or addresses will be accepted. ``With the 'Envision Your Own Site' Legend of Legaia Contest we are giving artistic, technically-savvy consumers and RPG enthusiasts a unique opportunity to express their creativity and show their excitement for the game," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. ``We are offering a wide array of stunning downloadable artwork for Web page builders to work with, and are looking forward to receiving some spectacular contest entries." Legend of Legaia is currently available at retailers nationwide and features a new, innovative combat system called the ``Tactical Arts System," based on the battle systems traditionally found in fighting games. The simple command system allows players to experience the thrill of a fighting game with battle features never-before-seen in previous RPGs. Legend of Legaia also offers complete 3D polygonal graphics with 3D towns and dungeons, unique traps, screens that scroll in all directions and various structures, providing an action-packed adventure for each player. Legend of Legaia joins a distinguished list of top RPG titles available for the PlayStation game console, including Final Fantasyr VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, and SaGa Frontier from Square Soft; Wild Arms from Sony Computer Entertainment America; Alundra from Working Designs; Suikoden from Konami of America; and Tecmo's Deception from TECMO, Inc., among others. With such a wide selection of popular RPG games, PlayStation is truly the platform of choice for RPG gamers. Iomega and Sega Collaborate On Breakthrough Gaming Product Iomega Corporation announced thsis week that Iomega and Sega have signed a non-binding letter of intent to include Iomega's popular Zip(R) 100MB drive in a new collaborative product that will be designed to attach to Sega's Dreamcast system. The new product will also be designed to dramatically increase the capabilities of not only game playing, but Web-based activities such as content saving of e-mail and Web searches. In addition, Sega intends to sell private label Dreamcast Zip 100MB disks, offering both the device and disks in game-oriented channels. The collaborative product is expected to be offered as an option to Sega Dreamcast customers in the third quarter of 1999. Dreamcast began shipping November 27, 1998 in Japan and is expected to begin shipping in the U.S. and in Europe during the third quarter of 1999. Dreamcast is one of the most powerful game systems on the market today. Through a 128-bit architecture, offering high-speed processing capability, 26MB of RAM, 64 channels of sound, breakthrough graphics, superb 3D rendering, a 1 Gigabyte GD-ROM, and a modem for Internet gaming, Web access, and e-mail, Dreamcast has distinguished itself as a benchmark gaming system. Via Zip(R) Built-In(TM), this new product will be designed to make Dreamcast the first gaming system versatile enough to bring world-class game playing, Web browsing and e-mail together in an integrated system. It will also be designed to allow users to download game updates from the Web to Zip(R) disks. The system will be designed to work independently or in conjunction with Dreamcast games. "We are seeing a major revolution in consumer electronics from analog to digital," said Sean Kaldor, vice president, Emerging Market & Technology Research, International Data Corporation. "As consumers demand lower cost and easier-to-use solutions, digital technologies will open the door to a much wider range of new functions. One of the fastest developing areas is gaming consoles, in which interchangeable storage has a pivotal role." "Iomega is changing the home game system market with this new device," said Mike Lynch, director of Beyond PC, Iomega Corporation. "The broad familiarity of Zip drives with consumers, and our large installed base make Zip drives the perfect removable solution for beyond-PC products, such as Sega's Dreamcast game console." "Dreamcast represents a whole new way of thinking at Sega," said Corporate Senior Vice President of Sega Enterprises, Ltd., Hideki Sato. "We will be able to enhance the potential of Dreamcast further due to the architectural partnership between Iomega and Sega." As part of Iomega's Beyond-PC initiative, Zip(R) drive integration or compatibility is now being offered by OEMs in printers, scanners, set-top boxes, medical equipment and music and audio devices. These OEMs include 360 Systems, Lexmark, Microtek, Roland Corporation, Stryker and WebSurfer. =~=~=~= A-ONE's Headline News The Latest in Computer Technology News Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Compaq's Shake-up Provides E-Commerce Warning The ouster of Compaq Corp.'s hard-driving chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer gives one of the clearest signs yet that the Internet has transformed the business landscape and the corporate boardroom. Compaq, the No. 2 computer company, has seen its profits squeezed in recent years as upstart competitor Dell Computer Corp. dramatically outperformed its bigger competitor by adopting more quickly to e-commerce. Compaq could be just the first of many companies to face reshuffling if they fail to adopt quickly enough, analysts said Monday. It could portend a new era in which those who fail to heed the warnings will fall. ``It's critical for all chief executive officers to have Internet strategies on top of their radar screens," said Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT's director of E-Commerce and Marketing Research Project. ``Unquestionably it's going to grow in economic impact." So far, the Internet has sometimes been viewed as having interesting possibilities for companies to build new revenues, a kind of outsider art for the corporate world. The Compaq case begins to illustrate, however, that there are penalties for those who fail to integrate the Internet into their overall strategy. Previously, computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. and book seller Borders Inc. -- both criticized for laggard Internet strategies -- had opened up their top positions and cited the need for a stronger e-commerce focus. In both cases, the chairmen gave up the chief executive positions but sought their own replacements for the top jobs. But Compaq's is the first case involving an outright ouster. Compaq announced the departure of Pfeiffer, who had been president and CEO since 1991, Sunday and also said Earl Mason, chief financial officer since 1996, was leaving as well. The stock market's ebullient rally of the past two years has already placed Internet stock valuations at such a high level it will take years for earnings to match expectations. But while unrealistically high stock values are easy to dismiss, losing a competitive advantage to a well-placed Web upstart is much harder to explain to the board. The biggest challenge faces those who have built sales forces that will be made redundant by the Internet. ``Companies like Compaq who have a substantial investment in their (distribution) channels are going to have a hard time," said industry analyst Jim Balderston of Zona Research. ``They're on the horns of a dilemma." Before Internet-based business began to take off, it was easy to ignore, or push to the side, any concerns. But increasingly the issue is taking center stage. ``I wouldn't be surprised if we saw billions of dollars in write-downs as assets that are no longer as valuable as people thought because the Internet created a new channel," said MIT's Brynjolfsson. Dell closed its latest quarter with a 50 percent profit gain, and Compaq managed to gain just 13 percent. More recently, Compaq's deposed management struggled to convince Wall Street that the problems it faces are industry-wide. But many believed Compaq itself was stumbling, and its Internet strategy could take the blame. ``We think that Compaq's hybrid model of part-direct and part-indirect is not working well," said Merrill Lynch's Steven Milunovich in a report. Chairman Benjamin Rosen conceded in an interview with The New York Times after the reshuffling that ``some of our competitors have done a better job of positioning themselves in exploring that opportunity." Even before there was a World Wide Web, Dell was growing quickly as a ``made-to-order" company, building machines only when it had orders for them. Giving Dell the Internet just put their strategy on steroids. It built a $3 billion-a-year Internet ordering business before competitors like Compaq even responded. Compaq faced a far more delicate situation than Dell, having a big, active network of distributors who made them the world's largest personal computer seller. ``It's a challenge for companies to figure out how they migrate to the new environment without alienating people," said Balderston. But similar problems face many companies, said Balderston. "In industries where there are opportunities for cost savings or opportunities -- and the top executives miss the boat, they are going to pay the consequences." A likely target is the brokerage industry, where some top executives could face growing questions about why their Internet competitors have created 7 million new trading accounts in the past two years. While all of Wall Street has been lifted by the bull market rally, a market pullback could begin to boost pressures on executives at the biggest companies. ``Any industry that's not going through their Internet strategy, inside and out, is suspect," said an analyst at a top Wall Street house who asked not to be named. ``Wall Street's been telling everybody else to do it -- but we haven't done it ourselves." U.S. Government Proposes Child Privacy Web Rules Seeking to protect the privacy of children, the U.S. government unveiled a proposal that would require commercial Web sites to get parental consent before collecting data from youngsters. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 4-0 Tuesday for the proposed rule that leaves many questions unanswered. ``Protecting kids who surf the Internet has been a top priority of the commission's online privacy initiative," FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said. Pitofsky said the proposal, stemming from the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, would ``put parents in control of personal information that is collected from their children on the Web." Deirdre Mulligan, staff counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, which specializes in privacy issues on the Web, said that the FTC has ``no simple task." ``This is the first time a federal agency has been asked to take high-level privacy principles and craft rules about how to implement them on the Internet," she said. The proposed rule sets out no requirements for parental consent but suggests several approaches. For example, parents might sign and return a consent form by fax or mail, use a credit card, dial a toll-free number or e-mail their consent accompanied by a valid digital signature. The commission left the door open to other ``e-mail based mechanisms" that might work. That language raised concerns from a child protection group, The Center for Media Education. ``We know industry is pushing to have parental consent through e-mail," said the center's Katherina Kopp. ``We are taking the position that e-mail is not verifiable." She said that such a policy would compromise the will of Congress and the privacy rights of families. ``The industry, after all, is making a lot of money by collecting this information," she said. ``The industry should come up with mechanisms that verify parental consent." Lee Peeler of the commission's consumer protection bureau said that the FTC wants to collect and study ``a full set of public comments" before it speaks. The proposal is designed to give parents control over whether their child's information can be disclosed to third parties and to prevent further use or future collection of personal information from their child, the commission said. A site could collect a child's e-mail address without parental consent to seek the parent's consent, or to respond to a specific request by the children, the commission said. FTC Member Questions Intel Deal The only member of the Federal Trade Commission to oppose last summer's antitrust lawsuit against Intel Corp. expressed doubt Thursday the government would have won had it not settled with the company in March. FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, the dissenter in the 3-1 vote, also said he believes the government will have a difficult time enforcing its proposed "sin no more" settlement with the microchip giant. In its lawsuit, the commission accused Intel of holding a monopoly in the market for microprocessors, the "brains" of computers. The suit charged Intel illegally used its monopoly power to withhold key technical information about its future chips from three companies: Digital Equipment Corp., Intergraph Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. SEC Sues Alleged Internet Scammer Federal regulators are suing Gary Dale Hoke, who is already facing criminal charges for allegedly posting a fabricated news story on the Internet, boosting the stock of his employer. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday a civil suit against Hoke in federal court in Los Angeles, charging stock manipulation and seeking an unspecified fine. Hoke, a 25-year-old employee of PairGain Technologies, was arrested at his home in Raleigh, N.C., last Thursday after FBI agents tracked him down despite an alleged attempt to conceal his identity with pseudonyms and fake e-mail addresses. He was traced through Internet protocol addresses that uniquely identify any computer on the Internet, according to prosecutors. The April 7 hoax, which featured a copy of a Web page from Bloomberg News Service and a phony story about a corporate takeover, sparked a 31 percent jump in the stock price of PairGain, a Tustin, Calif.-based maker of telecommunications equipment. The bogus news report said PairGain would be acquired by ECI Telecom, an Israeli company, for $1.35 billion, or about twice its market value at the time. Later in the day, after PairGain, Bloomberg and ECI issued press releases denying the statements in the phony news story, PairGain's stock dropped precipitously, the SEC noted. Hoke knew or should have known ``that the posting of the false information concerning the acquisition of PairGain by ECI Telecom would result in an increase in both the price and the volume of trading in PairGain securities," the SEC said in its complaint. Hoke's attorney, Sam Currin, didn't immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the SEC's action. Richard Sauer, assistant director of enforcement at the SEC, said the action shows that the agency ``has the capability to jump on people like this (who) use the Internet to manipulate the price of a stock. ``We intend to go after this kind of stuff vigorously," Sauer said. In the criminal suit, Hoke faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine if convicted in what is believed to be the first stock manipulation scheme using a fraudulent news service Web site. Federal prosecutors have described Hoke as a mid-level engineer in electronics development at PairGain. He was arraigned in North Carolina and released on $50,000 bond with orders to report to a federal court in Los Angeles at an unspecified date. Prosecutors said there was no allegation that any executives at PairGain were involved in the hoax and that the company was cooperating in the investigation. Charles McBrayer, PairGain's senior vice president and chief financial officer, has said the company was disappointed and upset that the evidence appeared to point to one of its employees. McBrayer said that Hoke, an employee since January 1997, allegedly accessed the Internet through a computer at PairGain's facility in Raleigh. PairGain has about 70 workers there who make equipment that enables telephone companies to carry multiple calls over existing copper wiring. The criminal charges filed last week against Hoke alleged that investors who paid the inflated price for PairGain stock were defrauded. According to the charges, one victim of the hoax was an investor in Santa Ana, Calif., who bought 1,500 shares of PairGain after learning of the report. Prosecutors did not specifically allege that Hoke traded in PairGain stock on April 7, but an affidavit said Hoke has a history of using online trading companies to buy and sell securities, and that he traded PairGain stock as recently as January. Bloomberg LP, parent company of the news service, recently filed a related lawsuit in federal court in New York City, seeking unspecified damages. 5 Picked To Register Web Addresses The organization that will manage much of the Internet selected five companies Wednesday, including America Online, to help consumers register Web addresses. The decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers represents an important 60-day experiment aimed at opening the worldwide computer network to capitalist competition. Consumers who want to register addresses now must pay at least $35 each year to Virginia-based Network Solutions Inc., which has enjoyed a lucrative exclusive agreement with the government since 1993. Under plans announced Wednesday, people can instead pay AOL or four other companies or continue doing business with Network Solutions, which also will continue to administer a master list of more than 4 million Web addresses ending in ``com," ``net" or ``org." AOL Senior Vice President George Vradenburg called it ``an important step in the Internet's evolution." Robert Seidman, who distributes an e-mail newsletter about AOL to 50,000 subscribers, predicted that the world's largest Internet provider will encourage its more than 17 million members to register vanity Web addresses. ``It's pretty easy to see that they'll try to get to the space of personal vanity Web site hosting," Seidman said. ``They have a huge infrastructure from a promotional point of view to support that. The opportunity for them is going to be huge. There, they'll have an advantage over anyone." In exchange for Network Solutions administering the master list of addresses, the five companies agreed to pay it a one-time fee of $100,000, plus $9 per year for each address they register. That helped propel Network Solutions stock 53 percent higher Wednesday; it rose $32 to close at $92. AOL hasn't decided what price it will ultimately charge consumers, spokesman Jim Whitney said, adding that ``questions of marketing, pricing, are all for down the road." Network Solutions said it will continue charging $70 for the first two years, then $35 annually afterward. Another plan offered by the company costs $119 but includes other services. The U.S. government announced last year it plans to largely end its management of the Internet and turn over control of most functions to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a California-based nonprofit group. The government would still be responsible for assigning Internet addresses with the ``gov" and ``mil" suffixes for federal agencies and military institutions, respectively. The other four companies selected were the Internet Council of Registrars, France Telecom, Melbourne IT and Register.Com. Lycos to Launch New Way to Index the Web Internet media network Lycos Inc. will unveil a new practice Monday to provide a more comprehensive index of the World Wide Web. The company said it has entered an agreement to feature the Netscape Open Directory on its two leading Internet gateways, Lycos.com and HotBot.com, making it available to the 28.5 million people who visit Lycos sites each month. The directory is compiled by volunteer experts, editors and assorted computer hobbyists who host category pages in their areas of interest and expertise. Lycos Beats Yahoo! In Number of Users Over Month More than half of all Internet users visited a Lycos Inc. property last month, helping the online service surpass Yahoo! Inc.'s long-standing lead, according to a survey being released Wednesday. The new Media Metrix survey, which is closely watched by Internet advertisers and investors, shows that Lycos attracted 31.9 million users in March, compared with Yahoo's 31.3 million. It was the first time Lycos' reach has surpassed that of Yahoo!, which has typically ranked first among the Internet Portals. Trenchcoatmafia Domains Registered Two different individuals have registered the .com, .org and .net domains for trenchcoatmafia, both with the stated intent of preventing the names from being used for commercial purposes. The domains were registered Wednesday, according to registrar Network Solutions Inc. "Trenchcoatmafia.com" was registered by Redhorn Inc. in Hampton, N.H., while the .org and .net versions were registered by Jose Troche, an individual in Norton, Mass. Redhorn, an Internet service provider, could not be reached, but a statement on the trenchcoatmafia.com site began by saying "I registered it to beat anyone who would want to make a profit at it. What happened in Colorado was a very sick and twisted thing and I am very saddened by it." The statement offered to post information on emergency numbers or help lines that would aid people affected by the killings. Troche said his sentiments were similar, and that he hadn't registered .com as well only because it was already registered. "My motive behind (registering) it is so some other sick organization doesn't capitalize on it," he told ZDNN. "I have children, too, and I don't want them going on the Internet and finding sick things like Satanism and how to make pipe bombs and 'I hate blacks' and 'I hate Hispanics' and that." Troche, who would not give his occupation, but said that what he does for a living does not involve computers, plans to build a virtual memorial to the victims of the tragedy at Trenchcoatmafia.org and Trenchcoatmafia.net. Troche's registration form indicates that the domain name is for sale, but he said that was not the case. He explained that the first domain name he registered, troche.com, was for sale, and when he registers new sites, it continues to contain that tagline. Perhaps because of the tagline, he said he's already received 55 hate mails from Netizens, and two offers to buy the domain names -- one for $20,000. "I'm taking time on my day off and e-mailing every one of them, even the hate-mailers, and explaining why I'm doing it. Somebody has to stand up for this," Troche said. Sun Exec to Testify in MS Antitrust Trial Although the Microsoft antitrust trial is still in recess, interested parties are steeling themselves for the next round. Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday said Mike Popov, vice president and chief operating officer of staff operations will take the stand on April 30 in San Francisco Federal Court to give a deposition in the case, which is not expected to reconvene until sometime in May. A Sun spokeswoman characterized Popov as a key member of the negotiating team involved in the complicated deal that led to last year's purchase of Netscape Communications Corp. by America Online Inc. On Monday, Microsoft and the DOJ will exchange lists of rebuttal witnesses. That hearing was originally scheduled for Friday, but NATO anniversary festivities have delayed it one business day, according to sources. Both sides are expected to name three rebuttal witnesses - one on each side will be an economist. Many expect the DOJ to name AOL CEO Steve Case as one of the government's rebuttal witnesses. At least one published report has said the government also is looking to call Gateway Inc. CEO Ted Waitt, as well, but Gateway officials have not confirmed this information. Microsoft continually has declined to comment on whom it plans to name as rebuttal witnesses. Before the rebuttal witnesses begin to take the stand, Microsoft attorneys will depose four executives in connection with the AOL-Netscape merger and Sun participation in the deal - two from AOL and one each from Sun and Netscape. The depositions are open to the press and public, and are likely to be conducted on the deponents' home turf, rather than in Washington, D.C., or Redmond, Wash., Microsoft's headquarters location. The only deponent named publicly before Wednesday was AOL's Case. An AOL spokesman contacted for additional information on the name of the other deponents, as well as for dates and locations of the depositions, did not return a call by press time. Netscape is deferring all related calls to AOL. While the court has allocated six hours for the Popov deposition, a good portion of his deposition could be closed to the press and public because of a possible confidential designation, according to a Sun spokeswoman. Microsoft subpoenaed Sun at the end of March, requesting it make available the most knowledgeable executive who could testify about the AOL-Netscape-Sun deal. The deposition was originally slated for the week of April 12. Microsoft's subpoenaing of Sun followed by a day Microsoft's filing of an emergency motion to compel the release of all of the e-mail messages relating to the three-way deal. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson granted Microsoft's request at the end of last year to seek information relating to the AOL-Netscape-Sun deal, as it could have a bearing on the antitrust trial. The judge issued a court order in January requiring the DOJ's antitrust division to provide Microsoft with a number of documents pertinent to the then-pending AOL-Netscape merger. Following the AOL-Netscape-Sun depositions and the testimony of the six rebuttal witnesses, Jackson has scheduled a one-month break before representatives from Microsoft and the DOJ make their closing arguments. The judge is unlikely to rule on the case before fall if it continues at its current pace, trial watchers said. Computer Experts Warn Of New Virus A virus that can wipe out all the data on a personal computer's hard drive and even make it impossible to start programs up is set to hit next Monday, security experts warned. The virus is a malicious piece of software code that has been turning up in PCs for months, but the version that will strike Monday is the most-feared variation. The so-called CIH or ``space filler" virus originated in Asia last summer and hits on the 26th of each month. The CIH 1.2 that appears only once a year in April is the ``most prevalent and dangerous" form of the virus, said Sal Viveros, marketing vice president for Network Associates Inc., the largest computer security company. The CIH virus is far more dangerous to individual computers than Melissa, the much publicized bug that spread relatively benign problems far and wide on the Internet last month. The CIH virus can irretrievably destroy data on a user's computer, and even make the machine inoperable, while Melissa only really caused embarrassment, by sending a list of porn sites from a target computer's e-mail address book, and tied up some corporate e-mail systems with traffic. The CIH gets the name ``space filler" because it uses a special technique that secretly fills file space on computers and thwarts many of the anti-virus softwares in place before its arrival. The virus is also called the Chernobyl virus because it's timed to go off on the anniversary of the Russian nuclear accident, one of technology's worst disasters. The virus is designed to hide from view by inserting itself into empty coding slots on a computer's software utilities. Viruses are often detected because they use up extra space on hard drives, but the ``space filler" helps CIH avoid that traditional method of detection. It can lie dormant for months before causing damage. The April version of the virus is particularly damaging because it can also keep a computer from starting up by infecting the software on which all the PC's programs depend, the basic input/output system, or BIOS. If the BIOS is infected, the computer will not start. Most up-to-date anti-virus software will spot the bug, if it's there, and many corporate computers have recently upgraded their protection due to the Melissa scare, said Network Associates' Viveros. The biggest impact is likely to be on home computers, said Viveros, who said computer users can download an antivirus program free of charge from his company's site (http://www.nai.com/avertlabs). The virus can be spread by e-mail over the Internet or in pirated software. It infects Windows 95 and Windows 98 files. ``People should make sure they have the latest antivirus software run on their computers," said Bill Pollak, of Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, which runs the Computer Emergency Response Team, or CERT. The center has already prepared an ``incident" note that it will put on its site (http://www.cert.org). AOL To Unveil Net Gadgets America Online Inc. is reportedly gearing up to release a number of devices that will allow people to easily get onto the Internet without using personal computers. The online giant, with 17 million subscribers worldwide, plans to introduce some of the devices - including a screen phone - in the next several weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported. The devices would help AOL in its plan to increase its impact in a person's everyday life, by giving people the ability to obtain e-mail and access Web pages using devices such as a screen phone, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the company's plans. Screen phones, which have failed to catch on the United States but are popular in France, are like regular desktop phones but have a screen and a small keyboard. While consumers would still use the computer for lengthy trips onto the Internet, the screen phone could be used to quickly check e-mail or sports scores. It would also have the advantage of cutting down on the time it takes to get online, which can often be a lengthy process. The Journal cited Alcatel SA as a likely partner in AOL's strategy. The French telecommunications company has said it plans to market its WebTouch screen phone in the United States but has not identified any partners. Computer Show Glimpses at Future The baby has grown up. The spring Comdex show - once viewed as the lesser sibling of the massive fall showcase of new computer and electronic products - has come into its own. Earlier in the week, the show offered participants a glimpse of competing operating systems that will take computers into the next century. On Wednesday, the Comdex show took a look at the future of an even broader topic: the ``Webification" of America. With the Internet and intranets breaking down the walls that isolate computers and their users, show exhibitors and industry executives urged companies to move more quickly to embrace the benefits and judge the risks of the online world. ``Make no mistake about it - the rules of the last millennium will not apply to those who attempt to survive in the new millennium," said Rick Roscitt, president of AT&T Solutions and one of the show's keynote speakers. Roscitt said companies that succeed must be able to think beyond the brick-and-mortar walls of the past to a world where consumers will use the Internet to seek services far beyond buying books, clothing or music. ``Now, customers are doing things at a distance, 24 hours a day, on a plane or from home or a hotel, accessing services in real time," he said. ``The Internet has exploded their expectations." One critical component of meeting those expectations is ensuring that business can be conducted safely, reliably and easily as possible. Several exhibitors suggested that devices that scan body parts - biometrics - will become more and more important to the business community. Saflink's SaftyLatch was made for the user who wants to avoid memorizing dozens of passwords or wants to walk away from a computer without worrying about prying eyes reading files. The $60 application, compatible with Windows technology, allows the user's voice to be compared with a previously recorded speech sample before certain files can be accessed. ``My voice is my password," company product manager Andrew Halls says in getting the program to open a file that previously had resisted all attempts at access. ``It's certainly exciting and futuristic, but it's also very practical," Halls said. ``Folks are starting to want protection, but not want to deal with yet another password. The Tampa, Fla., company also touted products that recognize users through fingerprints and facial characteristics identification. And for those cyberjunkies who might tire of even telling a computer who you are, IriScan of Marlton, N.J., makes a device that does just what the company's name implies: It scans the iris of a user's eye and creates a digital file for continual comparisons. Kelly Gates, the company's director of marketing, said the device is more accurate at identifying a person than DNA testing and takes far less time. During demonstrations at the show, the camera and application system took just seconds to create a pattern of the iris and place it on file. The system, selling for about $4,000, has undergone testing at a bank in the United Kingdom since April and currently is being evaluated by prisons, businesses and large banks in the United States for use at automated teller machines, Ms. Gates said. For individual computers, the company later this year will offer a similar version for less than $1,000. ``Biometrics provides security for the company, security for the customer," Ms. Gates said. ``Very soon, there will be a time when you don't have to remember things and when you don't have to carry all the extra cards and gadgets around. Your body will be your key." Apple Unveils New QuickTime Version Apple Computer Inc., seeking to strengthen its position in the delivery of audio and video files over the Internet, has introduced a new version of its QuickTime software. QuickTime 4 software, unlike its predecessor QuickTime 3, allows for the ``streaming'' of live video and audio events over the Internet. Streaming is a technology that allows users to begin playing multimedia files as they are downloaded, rather than waiting for the entire file to be stored on a computer hard-drive before playback. Apple's upgrade of QuickTime is seen as a challenge to rivals Microsoft Corp. and RealNetworks Inc. Microsoft last week announced the release MS Audio 4.0. RealNetworks, which announced last week a partnership with IBM Corp. to deliver music over the Internet, holds a commanding lead in the streaming media arena. QuickTime 4, available as a free ``public beta'' version, also includes support for the MP3 digital-music format. Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also announced Monday that it was giving away parts of the underlying source code for its QuickTime server software, which distributes streamed media over the Internet. Apple will only develop server software for Macintosh hardware, but will freely license the source code for other machines and operating systems. Best Buy Dumps iMac Over Color Best Buy Inc. has stopped selling Apple Computer Inc.'s iMac while it hashes out a dispute with the company over color schemes. The issue involves Apple's practice of shipping pallets that contain a selection of each of the five colors the company produces. Demand for the different colors is highly variable, and Best Buy has complained about getting stuck with inventory that isn't selling. But while the potential for further problems among retailers -- particularly if other PC makers start experimenting with different colored machines -- the situation for now seems limited to Apple and Best Buy. CompUSA Inc., the other leading retailer that carries the iMac, has said that it doesn't mind stocking all five colors, even if it means that it runs out of a particular color once and a while. "We've been fortunate. Grape is the top seller but if it's gone, and they want an iMac they'll get something else. The computer is the big thing," said Susanne Shelton, spokesperson for CompUSA. And retailers also have the option of buying their systems from distributors, which charge more, but allow greater flexibility in ordering. "It would be impossible to have everything [people] want in stock, so we use a distributor to get an entire order together," said Dave Sweeney, systems engineer at Cambridge Electronics Inc. in Somerville, Mass. "People seem fine with getting it in two days instead of taking it home that day." Apple has become somewhat more flexible on the issue, announcing earlier this month that it would begin shipping pallets that contained four blueberry colored systems and one each of strawberry, grape, tangerine and lime. "If you want to stock inventory you have to take what they have. It takes a little longer to sell tangerine than blueberry or grape," said Tony Violanti, vice president of Computer Town Inc. in Salem, N.H.. "But there's other things you can do with those. In February, we ran a Valentine's day special with strawberry, on St. Patrick's day we ran special with the green one. It works out." =~=~=~= Atari Online News, Etc.is a weekly publication covering the entire Atari community. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted at the beginning of any article, to Atari user groups and not for profit publications only under the following terms: articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of each article reprinted. 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