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From Tue Apr 5 03:42:47 1994 To: "Bits N Bytes Distribution List" Subject: Bits and Bytes Online v2 #3 "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - Groucho Marx ====================================================================== BBB III TTT SSS BBB Y Y TTT EEE SSS ONLINE EDITION: B B I T S B B Y Y T E S =THE ELECTRONIC BBB I T SSS AND BBB YYY T EEE SSS =NEWSLETTER FOR B B I T S B B Y T E S =INFORMATION BBB III T SSS BBB Y T EEE SSS =HUNTER-GATHERERS ====================================================================== Volume 2, Number 3 (HAPPY YEAR OF THE RAT!) (April 4, 1994) (I MADE A MISTAKE LAST TIME) ====================================================================== (PARTIAL) CONTENTS = True Confessions = PDA NEWS: New Newton, General Magic = Lost in Cyberspace = BUSINESS BRIEFS: Prognosis, Piracy = FUTURE TECH: = Virtual Suppliers = House of the Future, = Selected Cool Guides to the Dataverse = Holographic Data Storage = Animals and the music that moves them = DIY grocery checkout = New and Improved <> section = ====================================================================== [EDITORIAL]: True Confessions This is the last thing I'm writing for this edition of B&B. I've been putting it off since this is not a pleasant thing I have to report. As I've mentioned before, this is pretty much a one man operation, if you don't count all the fine people whose thinking and writing I excerpt from in every issue. Ultimately, responsibility for any errors must rest squarely on my shoulders. And I have made one doozy of an error. In Bits and Bytes Online v2#1 (January 31, 1994) I opened with the following: I programmed three days and heard no human voices. But the hard disk sang. - Jay Machado There's only one small problem with the above. I didn't write it. The real author is Geoffrey James, author of The Zen of Programming, The Tao of Programming and Computer Parables. (All available from Info Books at 310/394-4102) Without going into the details, I found the haiku in an a 10-year old notebook of mine, and mistook it for one of my efforts. I was writing oriental-themed material at the time, staying up all night computing, heavily into my mystic phase if you really must know. I collect quotes, so I normally attribute them to their authors. This one was not properly labeled, alas. I own 2 of James' books, and I suspected that the prose in question sounded a lot like his, so I pored over the books I had. Turns out it's in the one I don't own, though where I saw that book I'll never know. I am very careful to attribute text to its sources here in B&B, and for me to make this massive an error is quite embarrassing. So correct your copies as I have corrected mine, and please accept my apologies. ====================================================================== It's a Kind of (General) Magic (Jay Machado) As a swimmer in the sea of (too much) information, I await with baited breath the latest and greatest of the emerging breed of computer-based personal organizers. Be they a handheld PDAs or some software-based PC incarnation, the promise is that these intelligent front ends will help us organize our hectic lives and find the information we need (primarily by filtering out all the stuff we don't need to see, I suspect). By using neural nets and rule-based reasoning technologies, the software will learn to anticipate our needs, actively seeking out and bringing to our attention useful facts that might otherwise be lost in the flood of incoming data. Unfortunately, in the real world the promise of PDAs has far outstripped the reality of what these devices are capable of: they are difficult to use, and the wireless infrastructure needed to make the devices truly useful is still "under construction," to put it kindly. "They are beta [test] products being sold as commercial products," says Alan Reiter, publisher of the Mobile Data Report. The Apple Newton is the best known example of this demon brood from development hell [see NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES section for an update on a new Newton model], and it's sluggish sales reflect this. But there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon, brought to us by people who revolutionized personal computing once, and may be standing on the verge of doing so once again. 10 years ago, Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld (along with a talented team of programmers and techno-wizards) created the Macintosh computer. With it's now familiar GUI interface and (relative) ease of use, it changed the way we interacted with our computers, and it changed our expectations of what a computer could *do*. In January their company, General Magic, demo'd their latest endeavor, a powerful new operating system called Magic Cap, to an enthusiastic audience at the MacWorld Expo. Designed to run on a variety of PDA-type devices, the program will eventually be ported to other platforms as well, like PC and Mac. Initially, the system will reside on devices to be sold by Sony and Motorola (both General Magic partners) in late summer; eventually the system will be ported to other PDAs platforms (like Newton?) and to microcomputer platforms as well. In an article in the April 1994 issue of WIRED, Atkinson describes the forthcoming devices as ones that people will "welcome into their lives and enjoy, as opposed to something they submit to and suffer with. will be our measure of success: What happens if I ask you ten years from now to stop using your personal communicator? The idea is that you will say, 'This is core to how I live. It's like my glasses and my watch and my wallet.' Not using it would seem as disempowering as not using the telephone does today." Pre-release hyperbole you say? I don't think so. If I could include graphics I'd show you Magic Cap's main screen -- one quick glance and you'd know how to start using the tools provided. Magic Cap uses a place-based metaphor for it's OS, and those places are reassuringly familiar: the 3 main on-screen environments are the desk, the hallway, and main street. Let's take a look at the desk. The point of view is what you'd see if you were seated in front of it. On the wall is a clock and in and out baskets. To your right is a filing cabinet. On the desk proper is a phone, a rolodex, a postcard with a pencil lying next to it, a notepad and a date book. There are two drawers, one sports a paper and envelope icon, the other a calculator icon. Most of the functions are pretty apparent: to make a call, tap the phone icon. To send a short note, click on the postcard -- your address list pops up so you can choose the intended recipient(s). Nice touches abound, many of them hidden away in the OS, unobtrusively working their, uh, magic: Postcards and letters can be stamped with virtual rubber stamps -- the stamps not only look cool, but they can contain embedded scripts that perform special functions, such as an URGENT stamp, or a return receipt requested stamp. Your inbasket can contain rules for prioritizing and dealing with incoming messages, beeping you directly, for example if the incoming message is from your boss and/or significant other, but sending your junk mail to a garbage can. Ease of use is the key here. That's a quick tour of the desk. Now let's get up and stretch our legs for a spell. We'll mozy on down the hallway, the second of Magic Cap's primary spaces. The hallway (which you can decorate to your taste, contains as many rooms as you care to set up: a game room, or a files storeroom, the Zen Room, or the Love Grotto (don't ask). Again, the metaphor seems intuitive to me; it maps naturally to the task at hand as long as you've had some exposure to the "point-and-execute" type interfaces. And, hey, who hasn't? Magic Cap doesn't try it's hand at handwriting recognition either, although you can write and draw on the screen with a stylus. It's getting pretty stuffy in here, so let's head outside to Main Street, the final primary "place" in the Magic Cap scheme of things. Here's where things *really* start to get interesting. The different buildings that appear in your downtown area will depend on what files from software companies and service providers you choose to allow on your system. Tower Records could have a shop here, with access to their catalog, and a listening bar. You'd link up with their service over the net -- whatever form that connection might take, the process would be invisible to you. You'd just *be* there. Or you could head over to the Electronic Newsstand to pick up a copy of your favorite e-zine: Bits and Bytes Online Edition, right? The graphics, designed by Susan Kare, who also perfected the look of the Mac Interface, are elegant but simple. Magic Cap is intended to run on handheld PDAs and phone-like devices initially. But as the OS is ported to more sophisticated platforms, I expect to see some pretty funky downtowns to develop. And imagine this: throw in some multimedia capabilities, a virtual reality front-end, and Magic Cap is good to head on into the 24th and a half century. It reminds me of the Metaverse in Neil Stephenson's great novel Snow Crash (reviewed in B&B v1 #4 and now out in paperback). Let's all plan on getting together for a massive vr block party when this all comes together. I'll bring my James Brown Records. Hear me now and believe me later: I've saved the best part for last. The other major component of the General Magic OS is the Telescript communications software. This was created by Jim White, who developed the X.400 international message transmission standard in wide use today. Here's how Telescript works: instead of being a static slabs of data, each T-script message is a software agent that can actively execute its appointed task(s) as it goes out into the net. An example of how this might work: You need to book a flight to Atlanta. You fill out a travel-request form (actually a Telescript "macro") and an agent goes to book your flight, perhaps checking with several airlines for the best rate. The agent sends you back the flight information, which is automagically added to your schedule. The original agent stays on the airline's server, waking up on the day of the flight, where it can send you gate information or information about last minute changes in the schedule. Or let's say you want to acquire mass quantities of PRODUCT X (and hey, who doesn't?) but only if the price is right. Again, your agent will scour the dataverse, sending you messages when your criteria are met. There are some interesting applications here for information hunter-gatherers. Magic Cap *good*. There are possible problems too. The resemblance of agents to computer viruses is all too apparent. And how long can an individual agent stay active? I can imagine the nets clogged with forgotten agents. I'm sure the system is designed to take these possibilities into account. Agents can be verified for authenticity and traceable (uh-oh) to their senders, both necessary steps if these agents are authorized to transact business on your behalf. Each agent has a "permit" so you can't send out a million of the things by accident. So when does all this wonderful tech reach the streets? The first Magic Cap equipped device, Motorola's Envoy, will start shipping later this year. It will be able to communicate with Windows and Mac machines, fax machines, public and private email systems, and other Envoys. It has 2 PCMCIA card slots for expandability, and infrared and wireless communications links that will let it work with wireless LANs and cellular services. This summer, AT&T will unveil their PersonaLink service based on Telescript technology. This service will fully support Telescript agents and provide a 'place' for businesses wishing to do business with t-script agents to set up shop. Third party developers are already planning Magic Cap apps. Mead Data Central will offer daily news summaries, America Online's services will be available, and Intuit Inc. will offer Pocket Quicken, an electronic checkbook. Around midyear, eShop Inc. will begin shipping software that will enable stores to build virtual versions of themselves on your main street. The first virtual malls won't be far behind. Virtual versions of stores like L.L. Bean, Williams-Sonoma and Land's End are already on CD-ROM, and the online versions won't be far behind when the infrastructure is in place. Magic Cap provides an important component of that infrastructure. Other operating systems want to do what Magic Cap and Telescript will do, but the General Magic OS has been under development for 4 years, and it's here now. None of that would matter if it was not a well thought-out system. Magic Cap has all the earmarks of a classic to me: the interface is elegant and intuitive, and ease of use was built in from the ground up. I'm sure there will be some rough spots around the edges, and other technologies need to mature a bit more to take full advantage of all the possibilities, but this has all the makings of a a new standard to me. I don't want to turn into a trend mongerer, but this is one technology I think is poised for takeoff. But then again I was wrong about the comet -- it missed. I'll keep you posted. (SOURCES: G. Christain Hill and Jim Carlton, "Getting Personal," WSJ 2/11/94, p. R6. Steven Levy, "Bill and Andy's Excellent Adventure," WIRED 2.04, Feb '94, p. 103) ====================================================================== NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: => FIRST PENTIUM CLONE CHIP SHIPS. NexGen's NX586 is a fully binary compatible clone of Intel's Pentium chip -- the first one to reach the marketplace. Four small U.S. hardware vendors -- Tangent Computer, Computek International, Adisys Corp. and Lucky Computer Co. -- will be announcing systems using the chip, systems that are expected to start at around $2000. An industry analyst said that this was the first time Intel had competition so early in its product cycle. This development should keep Pentium prices firmly on their downward course. (SOURCE: Computerworld 3/14/94, p. 14) => NEW NEWTON RELEASED. The MessagePad 110 is the next generation Newton device from Apple. Due to ship in April, the handheld PDA features improved battery life, an improved operating system, including options for fine-tuning the handwriting recognition, and a 38.4 Kbps infrared communications link. That's twice as fast as the one in the original Newton, which incidentally has been renamed the MessagePad 100 and which can now be had for only $499 (list). (SOURCE: InfoWorld 3/28/94, p. 29) => FORWARD... INTO THE PAST. This is too cool, in a retro sort of way. S.H. Pierce and Co.'s new software takes your QuickTime animation and turns them into color or b/w flipbooks. Oh, you heard me right. The Flipbook software comes with a special paper that's easy to assemble into your very own flipbooks. "For when you're tired of being wired" is how the ad puts it. Indeed. The ad's on page 21 of the April '94 WIRED. <> S.H. Pierce (617/338-2222) => PICK YOUR CITY VIA DISK. A software version of the best-selling "Places Rated Almanac" allows you to pick your ideal city, factoring in, for instance, your tolerance for crime against your desire to have more access to fine arts. The computer crunches the numbers and comes up with your dream city. (SOURCE: St. Petersburg Times 11/1/93, p. E2) (E/P) => ET PHONE HOME. Sprint has begun marketing a voice-activated long- distance calling-card service which allows a customer to dial a number by speaking the desired person's name rather than punching a bunch of buttons. As many as 10 numbers can be stored in the system. (SOURCE: WSJ 1/6/94, p. B4) ====================================================================== Lost in Cyberspace (Dan Kennedy) ... there's a dark side to the emerging electronic village, acknowledged almost as an afterthought amid the glowing financial projections and the futuristic technobabble. And that dark side is this: As information becomes increasingly decentralized, there's a danger that consumers of that information -- all of us, in other words -- will become more and more isolated from society and from each other. What's being lost is the sense of shared cultural experience -- the nationwide community that gathered to watch, say, the Vietnam War in the 1960s, or the Watergate hearings in the 1970s. With 500 channels, he [Media analyst Les Brown, a former TV reporter for the New York Times] fears, people will choose news programming that suits their political biases -- if they choose any news programming at all. (Originally published in The Boston Phoenix (May 7, 1993), this portion was extracted from the Utne Reader, Jan/Feb 1994 issue, p. 104) ====================================================================== THE ONLINE WORLD => ONLINE SALONS. The magazine industry is discovering electronic publishing in a big way. In the last 6 months of 1993 almost 100 magazines have signed up with online services, and others are joining up at the rate of 1 or 2 a week. Those taking the plunge are relieved to find out that their online versions are not cutting into newsstand sales. The real popularity of these services is not reading, but talking. Users are eager to make their opinions be heard, to participate in online forums and discussions, and to send letters to the editor. Some magazines have been overwhelmed by the number of responses. Among the well-known magazines on various online services: Time, Newsweek, U.S. World and News Report, Omni, Consumer Reports, WIRED, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Economist, and National Review. The Electronic Newsstand (on the Internet, see <<>> section) contains excerpts from many of these (and subscription information also, of course) (SOURCE: Deidre Carmody, "Magazines Create On-Line Salons", NYT 12/20/93, p. D6) => JOURNAL OF INFORMATION NETWORKING. A new journal on networking is being published in Great Britain. For info: => ELECTRONIC JOURNALS. The Association of Research Libraries has published the third edition of the hard-copy Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters, and Scholarly Discussion Lists. For info: => NETNEWS FILTERING SERVICE. Attention net.surfers: Surf's up! The Stanford Netnews Filtering Service, a personalized netnews delivery service, recently went online. You subscribe to the service with profiles that describe your interests. Netnews articles (from newsgroups available to our local news host) that match your profiles (based on content, regardless of which newsgroups they fall into) will be sent to you periodically via email. Only the first 15 lines of a message are sent to you, and if you like what you see, a simple command to gets you the whole file. After you receive useful articles, you send positive feedback to the service to improve your profile. You can also adjust the frequency of delivery, the volume of articles, and the length of subscription. The service is free, FREE I tell you! I use it regularly, and have gotten some good hits on the database, as well as some mysterious ones: My profile on the National Information Infrastructure has yielded postings from the rec.woodworking newsgroup. Go figure. To receive instructions for access by email, send a message with the word "help" in the message body to: Netnews can also be accessed via Mosaic: Questions, comments to ====================================================================== Lost in Cyberspace II (Gerald Grow) We may be overlooking the obvious here. Media separate as much as they connect -- perhaps more. Only as media help people overcome separation can they compensate for the extra separation any medium introduces between a person and the world. 30 years, when I was a teenage ham radio operator I met many middle- aged men who spent hours every evening straining to make contact with fellow strangers from remote parts of the globe. But never spoke to their own wives, living in the same house with them. Email decenters us from the immediate reality of our lives. So does the newspaper. ("12 Die in Plane Crash in Thailand," you read, while not talking to your family across the breakfast table.) We live in a hypermediated age, a time when direct, immediate experience of the basic realities of life is rare enough to require special meditative training. We know more about Opra, Michael Jackson, and Tonya Harding's E-mail than we know about our neighbors. A neighbor I liked died two weeks ago. Almost no one in the neighborhood knew he was sick. Or even that he died. Yet we all read the paper every morning. Many of us are on internet, read magazines, receive the mail, watch television, listen to radio. Have media so far brought America together? Anywhere? Any time? No. So what makes anybody think an electronic newspaper is going to do it better? This is not a despairing question, only an attempt to find the pulse. If we in journalism do not find the pulse, I fear that, one evening around 1998, seventy-seven million baby boomers may suddenly, independently all decide to stop using electronic media altogether, stop reading newspapers, let their subscriptions lapse, and yearn for direct human contact instead. How -- to repeat the question -- can our media become centripetal enough to overcome the powerful decentering centrifugal forces inherent in their nature? [Gerald Grow (, Professor, Division of Journalism, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee FL 32307. This message was reprinted with Dr. Grow's permission from his posting on the online-news mailing list.] ====================================================================== ANNOUNCEMENT: Compter Mediated Communication Survey via WWW The Decision Analysis Lab of Stevens Institute of Technology, in conjunction with SmartChoice Technologies Corporation, is undertaking a Computer Mediated Communication Survey to gauge the impact that CMC has had on the workplace. It will be accessible from Sunday, March 20 until Saturday, April 2. You need to be using a WWW Browser with forms support to take part in the survey. The URL to access the survey is: Contact with questions or problems. ====================================================================== PRIVACY => CANADIAN SUPER SNOOPER. A super-secret branch of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has awarded three contracts to a Montreal firm to make equipment that can quickly isolate key words and phrases from millions of airborne phone, fax, radio signals and other transmissions. The hardware has the "Orwellian potential to sweep through ... and keep records of all conversations," said one CSIS critic. President Clinton on the line, Mr. Prime Minister. (SOURCE: CTV National News, 01/31/94) (E/P) => THE TESSERA CARD. The Defense Department reportedly plans to employ the Clipper technology in a device known as a "Tessera Card." Someone at CPSR checked the dictionary and found the results to be kind of frightening: "Terrerea n. Lat. (pl. tessereae). Literally, "four-cornered". Used to refer to four-legged tables, chairs, etc. Also, a single piece of mosaic tile; a single piece of a mosaic. _Pol._: An identity chit or marker. Tessereae were forced on conquered peoples and domestic slaves by their Roman occupiers or owners. Slaves or Gauls who refused to accept a tesserea were branded or maimed as a form of identification." (From Starr's History of the Classical World and the Oxford Unabridged) Unfortunate choice of names -- or was it? (SOURCE: CPSR ALERT Volume 3.04, 2/15/94) => AIDS DATA STOLEN. Police are investigating the theft from a Miami hospital of 3 PCs and several diskettes containing confidential records on about 7,000 South Florida residents infected with HIV. The South Florida AIDS Network databases are protected by access codes and passwords; the agency has backup diskettes of all the stolen data. (SOURCE: Andres Viglucci, "Aids Records Stolen From Jackson", The Miami Herald, 12/4/93, p. lB) (E/P) ====================================================================== Not Exactly the Jeffersonian Ideal (John J. McCormick) I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said that the government that governs least govern best. With that in mind, it's unfortunate that the Clinton administration has decided that government -- not the people, not private industry -- will control encryption standards in the United States. The administration's policy endorses a National Security Agency- developed standard known as Clipper, based on a chip that, once embedded in a telephone or data terminal, can scramble a conversation or document so it can be deciphered only by the intended recipient. By the recipient and federal agents, that is. Officials say they will require law enforcement to receive approval from two government agencies before they gain access, and to comply with all legal protections against unlawful wiretapping. But the business community remains skeptical. "We're not sure how secure it is," says Brian Moir, an attorney who represents large telecom users opposed to the policy. "Another problem is that the government says the standard will be voluntary," says senior editor Mary E. Thyfault. But, she notes, the sheer size of government contracts and government-defined export rules will make Clipper a de facto standard. It's no surprise that security and privacy experts and key computer executives are fighting the plan. But the rest of us should be concerned whether Jefferson's words are falling on deaf ears. (John J. McCormick is the editor of InformationWeek. This piece appeared as an editorial in Information Week (2/14/94, p. 2) ====================================================================== FUTURE TECH => HOLOGRAPHIC DATA STORAGE. IBM scientists predict that holographic technology will make it possible to store the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a space the size and thickness of a penny. Holographic memory systems can stack data 40 "pages" deep, as opposed to computer disk and magnetic tape, which line up data on flat, single-layer tracks. The deeper "pages" can be read by tilting the angle of the laser beam used for reading the data. (Investor's Business Daily 1/20/94 p.4) (E/P) => PHOTOS DON'T LIE, DO THEY? The 1993 front-page photo of Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shaking hands wasn't the first of its kind; Life magazine in 1988 showed Arafat greeting then-Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir. The latter, of course, was a computer- manipulated fake. Such tricks can now be played more easily with image-processing software, raising concerns that doctored photos may be used more frequently. The day is fast approaching (or maybe it's here) when photographs will no longer be admissible as evidence in a court of law. (SOURCE: William T. Mitchell, " When Is Seeing Believing?", Scientific American, February 1994, p. 68) => SMART LIVING. Entergy Corp. of New Orleans wants to wire 440,000 homes into a high-tech electrical service. The system will use minicomputers in each home to communicate with computers at the power company, and will be able to direct appliances in the home to operate at the most energy-efficient times and levels. Bills itemized by appliance will help customers (and manufacturers? - ed) track energy usage and patterns. Entergy is also offering its existing fiber optic network, used for internal communications, to companies ready to provide information services and entertainment. Sprint has already signed up to connect customers to long-distance service, bypassing local phone companies. (SOURCE: Washington Post 12/28/93 D1) (E/P) => HIGH TECH SUPERSTORE. Infrared devices designed to gauge the flow of shoppers into stores are being installed in shopping centers in London and other major UK cities. Such a system can also help retailers count the number of times shoppers pick up and put down products by firing an infrared beam across individual shelves to find out precisely which are the most eye-catching parts of the store. (SOURCE: London Sunday Times, 10/24/93) (E/P) => DIY GROCERY CHECKOUT. The portable personal shopper is a handheld scanner that allows patrons to scan their own groceries as they shop and have a printed receipt ready when they reach the checkout, speeding up the grocery-shopping process. The device can be attached to the shopping cart for convenience, and you can change your mind and deduct an item from your inventory. Shoplifting and less than honest customers could be a problem. (SOURCE: Newsweek 12/13/94, p. 73M) => THIS IDEA REALLY SUCKS. It sounds like it's out of a sci-fi novel, but it's for real. Officials in Osaka, Japan, a city plagued by industrial and auto emissions, announced plans for test a giant vacuum cleaner that sucks dirty air through a filter of soil rich in pollution-eating microorganisms. And in Mexico City, scientists began testing mobile air-filter units they hope will Hoover pollution particles out of the capital's filthy air. (SOURCE: "Disregard That Giant Sucking Sound", Newsweek 2/28/94, p.8) ====================================================================== The Magic of the Internet II (Peter H. Green) It is relatively simple and inexpensive to gain indirect access to the Internet's electronic mail services through popular online information services like CompuServe, America On-Line and MCI Mail, which are known as Internet "gateways." But woe to the individual executive or computer novice who wants to tap directly into the rich depths of the Internet. Despite all the recent hyperbole praising the Internet as the precursor to the national data highway, establishing a direct connection to the Internet is about as easy for a novice as traveling a muddy road on a pogo stick, with traffic signs written in Unix. It will almost certainly get easier as more commercial Internet service providers spring up to meet the growing demand from businesses and as increasingly powerful computers and software make it possible to hide the Internet's Unix command system behind graphical, point- and-shoot interfaces like Mosaic (a free software program developed with Federal financing by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications) or even Microsoft Windows. (SOURCE: "A Growing Internet is Trying to Take Care of Business", NYT 12/12/93, p. F7) ====================================================================== <<>> NETGUIDE: The Guide to Network Resource Tools This guide makes a handy one stop reference to many of the tools in use on the internet today. There are chapters on: exploring the network with gopher and WWW; searching databases with WAIS and ASTRA; finding resources with archie, WHOIS and NETSERV; getting files via trickle and ftp; and interest group activities with listserv and netnews. The following tools are also covered: WHOIS, X.500, Netfind, BITFTP, Listserv, Prospero, Mailbase, Relay, and IRC. For each tool, the guide provides a general overview and details on availability, intended audience and basic usage with examples. The Guide to Network Resource Tools is available electronically from LISTSERV@EARNCC.BITNET in Postscript and plain text format by sending the command GET NETTOOLS PS (postscript format) or GET NETTOOLS TXT (plain text format) in an email message. The Guide is also available via anonymous ftp as follows: site directory file earn earn-resource-tool-guide.txt files/general_info earn-resource-tool-guide.txt ======================= <<>> NETGUIDE: Business Sources on the Internet Business Sources on the Net (BSN) was created by 7 business librarians as a comprehensive guide to business sources available on the Internet. After months of soul searching, many discussions about the content of the guide, and finally a whole lot of net-surfing, the Guide was finished, and finding business information on the net got a little easier. BSN is organized by subject. Each section is a separate file, available via anonymous ftp to KSUVXA.KENT.EDU in the Library Directory. BSN is also available via GOPHER to REFMAC.KENT.EDU 70 under its full name. There are nine files available to the public. Information on other business subjects is being compiled, and will be made available in later editions of BSN. Subjects covered in this edition: (name of file in parenthesis) - Introduction, Internet Guides and Common Definitions (BSN.INTRO) - General Business Sources (BSN.General) - Economics (BSN.Economics) - Foreign Statistics, Economic Trends and International Management (BSN.Statistics) - Corporate Finance and Banking (BSN.Finance) - Human Resources and Personnel Management (BSN.Personnel) - Management Science, Statistical Methods and Productions and Operations Management (BSN.Operations) - Accounting and Taxation (BSN.Accounting) - Management and Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations (BSN.Management) - Computers (as they relate to business) (BSN.Computers) Inquiries about BSN may be directed to the editor, Leslie M. Haas (lhaas@kentvm). ======================= + THE WIRED ONLINE CLIPPER ARCHIVE - features crucial essays written for WIRED by John Perry Barlow and Brock N. Meeks, and lots of other clipper material, pro and con. send email to:, containing the words: "send clipper/index" on a single line in the body + A.WORD.A.DAY LISTSERVER This server will email you a daily message containing an english vocabulary word and its definition. Subscribe by sending a message to: with the subject line: subscribe /\ / \ + UNPLASTIC NEWS - an eclectic occasional collection of / /\ \ weird and neat stuff (email for info) / / \ \ / / /\ \ \ + NET RESOURCES FOR CONSULTANTS (and you know who you / / / \ \ \ are): (Usenet newsgroup) / / RANDOM \ \ < < > > + UFO BBSs: keeps list of worldwide MUFON net BBS \ \ \ __ / / / USA: 901/785-4943 \ \ __ / / \ \__/ / + NETNEWS FILTERING SERVICE ( \ __ / Send message with "help" in the body for directions \__/ \/ + ELECTRONIC NEWSSTAND (Gopher: 2100) (mentioned in THE ONLINE WORLD section) + FLOPPY DISK MANUFACTURERS. In the March 1994 issue of WIRED Magazine, Simson L. Garfinkle, senior editor at NextWorld magazine was kind enough to gather together contact information for the major manufacturers of floppy diskettes. All major brands have lifetime warranties. Just throw your defective floppies in an envelope with a note saying "bad sectors, please replace," and send it back so the manufacturers can honor their guarantees. => 3M Data Storage Products, PO Box 709, Weatherford, OK 73096-0709 (ph) 800/328-9438, 405/772-5500 => BASF Corporation Information Systems, Computer Media Warranty Claims, Crosby Drive, Bedford, MA 01730-1471 (ph) 800/356-9006, 617/271-4000 => Fuji Computer Division, Fuji Photo Film USA, 555 Taxter Road, Elmsford, NY 10523 (ph) 800/755-3854, 914/789-8390 => Sony Magnetic Products Customer Relations, Sony Corporation, 1 Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ 07656-8003 (ph) 800/222-7669, 201/930-1000 => Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., Floppy Disk Warranty Claims, 1 Parkway North, Suite 500, Deerfield, Il 60015 (ph) 800/843-2108, 708/945-1500 ====================================================================== BUSINESS BRIEFS => PROGNOSIS FOR SOFTWARE. Cutthroat competition in PC software is predicted for 1994. Bundled software -- "suites" -- and networking software will be big sellers, and companies are also expected to focus on software for rising numbers of home computers, many with CD-ROM drives. HOME EDUCATION SOFTWARE is hot and getting hotter, according to the Software Publishers Association. Home education software sales for the first three quarters of 1993 were up 46% from the same period in 1992, outpacing all other categories except databases. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates predicts that by the end of the decade, 50% of his company's revenues will come from home sales -- a ten-fold increase from the current level of activity. Fueling the upward trend in both software and hardware is a DECLINE IN TECHNOPHOBIA among buyers, according to the president of Merrin Information Systems Inc. (SOURCES: The Heller Report 1/94 p.11, Business Week 1/10/94 p.82, Investor's Business Daily 1/6/94, Fortune 2/21/94 p.101) (E/P) => PROGNOSIS FOR HARDWARE. PC sales, up 25.8% from 1992 will continue to boom, according to Business Week's Industry Outlook 1994, with units sold growing around 10% in the coming year. The home market for PCs is growing at a rate almost three times higher than the overall U.S. PC market. The new PowerPC, Alpha and Pentium chips will turn desktop machines into "the new mainframes," according to an industry research analyst. Sales of the new high-powered PCs will be slow at first, as companies absorb the 486-based systems they purchased in 1993. MAINFRAME sales are expected to decline, although mainframe makers are hoping for a new lease on life, spurred on by Bell Atlantic's recent order for three new supercomputers and the software needed to build the first segment of the information superhighway. The mainframe industry is anticipating that hundreds of video servers (refitted mainframes) will be needed to manage the interactive TV services of the future. (SOURCES: Business Week 1/10/94 p.81, 1/24/94 p.92. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/3/94, p. C2) (E/P) => ONLINE PROGNOSIS. Forrester Research predicts that the commercial on-line service market will be a $3 billion industry by 1998, up from today's $530 million. (SOURCE: WSJ 2/3/94, p. A1) => SOFTWARE PIRATES RULE OVERSEAS. To understand the gravity of the software piracy problem, take a look at what happens overseas. In Cuba, there is a National Software Interchange Center, where all kinds of software are available to any Cuban -- free (kind of like what goes on in many American offices, I suspect). In China and South Korea, 90% of all software is thought to be pirated; in Italy, the number is 80%. (SOURCE: Suzanne P. Weisband and Seymour E. Goodman, "Subduing Software Pirates", Technology Training, November 1993, p. 30) => VIRTUAL SUPPLIERS. We've heard about the virtual corporation, the virtual boss, and the virtual office. But what we have now is even more real. It's taking shape each time buyers put together systems with multiple vendors: the virtual supplier. (SOURCE: Jeff Anderson, "Revealing The Virtual Supplier," Infomart Magazine, First Quarter 1994, p. 10, quoted in Information Week 1/31/94, p. 56) ====================================================================== What's Wrong With this Crazy Old World Anyway? "The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC ====================================================================== IN BRIEF... => A KINDER GENTLER ATOM BOMB. The Air Force's ICBMs will soon be fitted with new cooling systems to eliminate their use of CFCs, which deplete the Earth's ozone layer and contribute to global warming. The ICBMs, however, will continue to carry up to 10 nuclear bombs, each capable of wiping out an entire city. (SOURCE: The ZPG Reporter (Feb 1994) ->> Bill Love ->> => FREE SEX. The backlash against the information superhighway metaphor is already building... "It's a moronic term," complains Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future. A Denver publisher says, "If they say `information highway', they figure people will read it. It's like saying, `free sex.'" (SOURCE: WSJ 2/1/94, p. A1) => AI BATTLE LINES. There are two factions in the artificial intelligence community, and they're at war. The pure-science types scorn the make-a-buck practicality of the commercial faction, while the commercializers ridicule the scientists' tendency to investigate such esoterica as "How much of a bird is Tweety?" As the battles continue, AI has never been more cleverly, and profitably, woven into applications in corporate America. And some generate a whopping return on investment. (SOURCE: Lew McCreary, "AI-dentity Crisis," CIO, September 1993, p. 34) ====================================================================== Bits and Bytes Bookshelf: Selected Cool Guides to the Dataverse The Internet Yellow Pages - by Harley Hahn and Rick Stout [Osbourne/ McGraw-Hill, 1994. 450 pp. $27.95] Net Guide - by Peter Rutten, Albert F. Bayers III, and Kelly Maloni [Random House Electronic Publishing, 1994. 364 pp. $19) - These books are similar in intent, but different in execution: they aim to be subject-organized guides to the richness of the online world. NET GUIDE logs over 4,000 cybersites by address and description in more than 150 subjects, from financial management to paganism and the occult, from football to fantasy role-playing. Net Guide covers not only Internet resources but also forums and services on various online services like AOL, Delphi, Genie, Fidonet and even some of the larger (or cooler) BBS systems popping up everywhere these days. According to NET GUIDE's creators: "It's 1954 and your family has just bought a television set! Along with millions of others up and down Maple Street you want to know one thing: what's on? Now that same question echoes out in Cyberspace. As the Net becomes an entertainment as well as information medium, a program guide becomes an essential tool and a must-have part of the experience." The quote in the ads for this book says that "NET GUIDE is the `TV GUIDE' to Cyberspace!" They got that right. The NET GUIDE folks have also started an online service. NET GUIDE Online is an Internet-access provider that uses the NET GUIDE database to create an easy navigation tool for the Net. The Internet Yellow Pages takes a similar approach, but focuses exclusively on Internet resources. It's big, and it looks just like the yellow pages we all know and love. It's written by the same guys that wrote the most excellent book The Internet Complete Reference (reviewed in B&B V2 #1). That's a big plus for it. Look for Bits and Bytes Online Edition on page 61. Another big plus. #:-> Buy many copies of this heartwarming book! I did. There's a great quote from Penn Jillette (the big one of Penn and Teller) near the front of the book. I am quoting it here in it's entirety as it is most apropos: "This is a great book to skim through while you're downloading files from the Internet, and then you'll find other files you have to download, and faster than you can double grains of wheat on the squares of a checker board you'll have no life, and soon after that you'll have no time to read the stuff you downloaded before you had this goddamn book." I can relate with Mr. Jillette's predicament. UNFORTUNATELY, I have a bone to pick with the editors of the Internet Yellow Pages: they got one of my email addresses wrong. The other one was correct, but there was no mention of my listserver access. Fearing that there would be other errors I picked 10 items at random from each book and went out and verified that the information was correct. Both books passed that little test. Both are fun to browse through, and would make useful additions to any budding internaut's bookshelf. Any paper-based version of a net.resources listing is going to be out of print almost instantly. But they make good starting places. Send updates directly to the authors just to help keep them honest. Covert Culture Sourcebook - by Richard Kadrey [St. Martin's Press, 1993. 216 pp. $12.95] - "Nothing interesting ever happens at the center. Everything interesting is at the edges. Sparks kick up when opposing edges meet. Sometimes hot edges fuse, creating something wild and new -- the birth of a hopeful monster. That's covert culture." (from the introduction) If you are looking for something different, the Covert Culture Sourcebook will point you the best in truly alternative music, books, videos, zines, fashions, software, technology, and "tools for living". The material is reviewed, and contact information is given. I found all kinds of neat stuff I fully intend to check out when I get a chance, which (keeping in mind Penn's principle) may be in the year 2525). ====================================================================== SOUND BYTES => CHICKENS PREFER CLASSICAL MUSIC. Chickens rank second in farm- animal intelligence, as evidenced by their favorite composer, who is Vivaldi. This was discovered by a farmer who noticed that chickens were clucking happily in the hen house when he played a classical-music tape. In Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," chickens much preferred the "Spring" movement to "Winter." CD> MUSIC REVIEW: Material: Hallucination Engine. Bill Laswell's floating musical ensemble has made some great music, but this is their best work to date. This record really swings, it almost swings TOO MUCH. If you are a fan of house/funk/techno/ambient/ fusion/jazz/rock/world music -- and who isn't? -- and of adventurous music in general, this is what happens when you put a roomful of world-class musicians together, ignore labels and boundaries, and let them PLAY. Eclectic, essential music. Even the chickens will groove to this one. (Axiom Records) => ELVIS TOPS COW CHARTS. One herd studied by scientists produced more milk while listening to the King. This was supported by another study, which showed that cows generally prefer rock'n'roll to other music. CD> MUSIC REVIEW: Elvis Costello: Brutal Youth. If you're a fan but miss his work with the Attractions, put this new CD on and you'll think you're in a time warp. Costello's songwriting is in fine form, and the band plays like they never skipped a beat. Some new Costello classics here. (Warner Brothers Records) => AND, HEY, HOW ABOUT THOSE BEATLES, finally getting back together after all those years. Is technology great, or what? ====================================================================== "God only knew. If there was a God. And if there was a God and he knew, he was not talking. And even if he did know and was talking, no one would have been listening. Not here. Not now." - Bernice Richmond, winner of this year's International Imitation Hemingway Competition. ====================================================================== ### ADMINISTRIVIA ### IN THE FUTURE. Next up is our Information Superhighway mega-issue. We got a *lot* of mail with your favorite information superhypeway cliches. I will print the best (and worse) of them. We will also discuss BIll Gate's ambitious (to put it mildly) plans for a worldwide network of satellites. Keep watching the skies! B&B v2#4 will be in your emailbox around April 18th. Hear me now and believe me later. HEY SYSOPS! If you are archiving B&B on your BBS, please drop me a note. I'd like to mention your BBS in B&B. LETTERS. We welcome submissions and commentary. All mail sent to the editor or to B&B will be treated as a "letter to the editor" and considered printable, unless you tell me otherwise. (E/P) This symbol on some of the news items indicates that the source for this article was the EDUPAGE newsletter. EDUPAGE is a bi-weekly summary of recent news items on information technology. To subscribe, send e-mail to: containing the message: SUB EDUPAGE firstname lastname. <<>> BITS AND BYTES ONLINE EDITION BY LISTSERVER: Subscribe to B&B by sending email to text: SUBSCRIBE bits-n-bytes To unsubscribe send a message to text: UNSUBSCRIBE bits-n-bytes Retrieve back issues by sending email to text: send in the body of your mail message, no subject. Example: send bitsv1n1.txt Issues 1-9: The file name is in the form: bitsv1n1.txt Issues 10- : The file name is in the form: bits1n10.txt (Remember to disable or delete your signature, as this will generate an error message) (I'm not sure if all the back issues are available yet. Watch this space) ONLINE ACCESS. B&B is available for downloading on America Online in their telecom files area, and in CompuServe's telecom forum library, and on various fine BBS systems all across this wunnerful wunnerful world of ours. BBSs like the MICRO BBS in Denver, CO (303) 752-2943. INTERNET ANONYMOUS FTP SITES: in /periodic directory (DOS Users go here) in pub/Publications/CuD/BNB/bnb????.gz (where ???? is volume & number, e.g. bnb0116.gz) (UNIX users go here) INTERNET GOPHER ACCESS. in the Discussions and Listserv archives/Teknoids directory in the Electronic Journals directory ====================================================================== = BITS AND BYTES ONLINE, an electronic newsletter for information- = = based lifeforms, is printed using 100% recycled electrons, and = = is intended for distribution IN THAT MEDIUM. = = Contact the editor for reprint permission. = ====================================================================== = Jay Machado = (Copyright 1994 Jay Machado) *unaltered*= = 1529 Dogwood Drive = ELECTRONIC distribution of this file for = = Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 = non-profit purposes is encouraged. = ========================== The editor is solely responsible for the = = = editorial content or lack thereof. = ========================== Bits and Bytes contains no artificial = = ph (eve) 609/795-0998 = colorings, flavorings or preservatives. = ========================== Please refrigerate after opening. = ====================================================================== =============== End of Bits and Bytes Online V2, #3 ================= ======================================================================


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