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Mark Russell on PBS just took a shot at the Information Superhighway. He said that if the information is just the opinions of a million guys hunched over their screens without any semblance of a life, then "we're just playing with ourselves." And if you'd like to join his war against technology, send him a fax. [5/11/94.]

Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark has released details of his new software company, Mosaic Communications (Mountain View). He has hired Marc Andreeson, Eric Bina, and four other young developers of NCSA Mosaic, plus a few engineers from Silicon Graphics. Andreeson, 22, is VP for technology and is eager to build the next generation of multimedia interfaces. The company is still formulating its business plan. "I'm investing in him," says Clark. Mosaic development at NCSA will also continue, under Jae Allen. [David Bank, SJM, 5/6/94, p. 1F.]

Large-scale multimedia projects require the close collaboration of many creative people. It's a good environment for women's businesses. Jan Davidson started Davidson & Associates (Torrance, CA) in 1982 to produce children's software. Now she employs 350 and has revenues of $59M. Female software artists and designers also predominate at Mary Cron's Rymel Design Group (Palos Verdes, CA). [Barbara Kantrowitz, Newsweek, 5/16/94, p. 52.]

A venture fund for multimedia and interactive television is being created by Bell Atlantic; Interpublic Group; InterActive Partners; Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield; and Byers and Technology Partners. [Investor's Business Daily, 5/5/94, p. B14. EDUPAGE. Chuck Morefield.]

Proposed legislation would amend copyright to include artists' "performance rights" (and payments) for downloading of commercial sound recordings. [WSJ, 4/22/94. EDUPAGE.]

"The Virtual Reality Construction Kit," by Joseph Gradecki, tells how to build 3D goggles, motion trackers, etc. $27.95 for the book/disk set from John Wiley & Sons (New York, NY). [EDUCOM Update, 4/11/94. net-hap.]

ResearchStation is software to facilitate scientific research. It supports text, numbers, images, video, sound data input, molecular modeling, stats, plots, word processing, and graphics applications, for individuals or distributed teams. Helix Systems (Palo Alto) is conducting market research, and will offer a demonstration version soon. Contact for the product description and marketing survey. [Churchill-Madison Group, sci.research, 3/26/94. David Joslin.]

Broderbund and Electronic Arts have canceled their plans to merge as an entertainment/educational software giant. [Investor's Business Daily, 5/4/94, p. A7. EDUPAGE.]

Illusion, Inc. is a new VR company formed from Illusion Engineering, Inc. and New Entertainment Guild. Illusion Engineering developed SIMNET for the US military, and Illusion inherits four defense contracts. Entertainment, educational, and commercial markets will also be sought, including hotel and tourist attractions. For info, contact chairman Peter Beale, (310) 838-4646, or president Bob Jacobs, (805) 371-4530. [Jerry Isdale (, 4/29/94. sci.virtual-worlds, 5/2/94. Bill Park.]

You can now read Usenet newsgroups via gopher, with message sorted chronologically or by thread. 42 hierarchies are available, including alt, bionet, biz, comp, eunet, fj (from Japan), gnu, ieee, market, news, rec, and many local geographic domains. Access gopher:// This is an experimental service from Dennis Boone ( [Bruce Speyer (, gopherjewels, 4/29/94. Elliott Parker, CARR-L.]

UMinnesota's Internet Gopher program now does FTP. Menus can be set up so that FTP archives look just like other gopher files. Try "gopher:// Searches/Popular FTP Sites via Gopher" for a menu of popular archives and resource files. [, gopherjewels, 4/6/94. net-hap.]

The comp.infosystems.www FAQ contains instructions for starting your own WWW service. FTP /pub/usenet/news.answers /www/faq on [Thomas Boutell (, c.i.w, 4/13/94. net-hap.]

Internet Distribution Services provides electronic marketing, publishing, and distribution services on the Internet. [Julie Petersen (, online-news, 4/4/94.]

Nomad is a new WWW resource locator -- in the spirit of Archie and Veronica, I presume. Try it on Comments to James Aviani ( [comp.infosystem, 4/19/94. net-hap.]

Mail archive servers interpret email messages and take appropriate actions. Piero Serini is maintaining a FAQ about such software: NETLIB, MajorDomo, etc. Most of the applications are for Unix systems. FTP MAS.Z from /pub/Faqs on or contact [, comp.mail.misc, 4/16/94.]

The Knowbot Information Service will search the net for addresses, much like NetFind (telnet, login netfind). KnowBot is described in section4-5.txt from resource-guide/chapter.4 on To access the service, telnet to 185. [Edward (, comp.infosystems, 4/21/94. Chuck Morefield.]

Sportswriter is a $100 program that spins sports copy out of basketball game stats and a few quotations from the coach. 80 small newspapers are using it to cover high school events. [WSJ, 3/29/94. EDUPAGE.] Sportswriter is from Zybrainics Software Inc. (Rochester, MN), 507/252-9114. [Kelly J. Boldan (, CARR-L, 3/31/94.] Roger Helms wrote Sportswriter as a training program for high school journalism students, but it didn't work out that way. Small-town editors say that many people want to do sports copy, but few do it well. Sportswriter does most of the job, and is cheaper than students. Helms worries about the threat to journalism -- especially the loss of entry-level jobs -- and is bothered by the computer doing the intellectual work while people do only the data entry and post-editing. He has turned down requests to do volleyball and other sports, and is no longer selling the program. [John Ochway, SJM, 5/8/94, p. 1F.]

Harvey Newquist's "The Brain Makers" is an expose of the AI business in the 1980s: Symbolics, LMI, Gold Hill, Intellicorp, etc. "A fun read." [John Nagle (,, 4/16/94. David Joslin.] Not to be confused with David H. Freedman's "Brainmakers," which trashes top-down AI and praises bottom-up research. [Hans Moravec (] Jorn Barger is circulating a chronology of significant AI events, derived from "The Brain Makers." He'd call the book "The Great LISP-Machine Bubble." The publisher is Sams, $24.95 hardbound. [,, 4/22/94. Chuck Morefield.]

An index to David Kahaner's reports on Japanese and Asian CS technology -- AI, expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks, computational linguistics, artificial life, 3D graphics, supercomputing, etc. -- is available from Rick Schlichting (, the moderator of comp.research.japan. If you're traveling to Japan, this is a good way to study up on the labs. The listing lets you scan for keywords in 420+ reports for the past four years. FTP reports (and the index?) from japan/kahaner.reports on ( [4/5/94.]

For research on the merging of ontologies (e.g., hierarchies) see the huge ARPA Knowledge Sharing Effort based at Stanford: and A good paper to start with is Thomas Gruber's "A Translation Approach to Portable Ontology Specifications." [Ralph Becket (,, 4/27/94. David Joslin.]

Andy Pryke has collected Internet-accessible information on data mining and knowledge discovery in databases. Take a look at [,, 4/26/94. David Joslin.]

CompuServe has an AI forum with "an enormous file of research abstracts, dissertation abstracts, book reviews, and the like." [Fred (, sci.psychology, 4/4/94.]

Thirteen BibTex bibliographies containing 240K CS references have been collected on /www/bibliography.html, echoed on and /Mirror/bibliography/www/bibliography.html. Some of the bibliographies prohibit commercial use. All are compressed with gzip (.gz). Alf-Christian Achilles ( [, 4/27/94. David Joslin.]

US Patent No. 5,305,423 has been awarded to a speech- generation system that emphasizes words in italics or capital letters. [NYT, 4/18/94. EDUPAGE.] (I'm not sure if it covers other forms of prosody or emphasis.)

Patents don't seem to have hurt electronic R&D. Modem designer Earl Gibson has 24 patents, and is now working on the near-optimal V.Fast (or V.34) single-carrier modem standard with automatic frequency and rate selection, four-dimensional trellis coding, adaptive precoding, non-linear encoding, and shell mapping of eight symbols concurrently. CMOS designer Mark Holler has 18 patents (and only 25 published papers, some jointly authored). He's working on chips for neural network recognition of hand printing. [IEEE Grid, 5/94.] (It's one way to build toward retirement. More importantly, patents allow incremental techniques developed within commercial projects to be advertised and sold on their own. That has not generally happened with commercial software development.)

Greg Aharonian is trying to characterize (or ridicule?) a patent for displaying "knowledge" as an on-screen flowchart; representing the flowchart in the input language of a computer inferencing system; and thus, taking the two steps together, creating a rule base or "knowledge base." He's looking for gut estimates of when each of these three ideas ceased to be novel or unobvious. Send guesses to [,, 4/25/94. David Joslin.] (Aharonian runs Internet Patent News Service. For prior-art search services, send a "prior" subject line to

David Gelernter of Yale is urging support for the Clipper proposal. He was nearly killed by a letter bomb, and feels strongly that anti-terrorist wiretap capability must be preserved. [NYT, 5/8/94, p. 4:17. EDUPAGE.]

A Connie Chung program on TV this week identified a man who had allegedly harassed and threatened, or "stalked," people on Prodigy. The language quoted was frightening. Prodigy repeatedly kicked him off, but he would sign up again using a new name and free trial kit. He was arrested once, but the DA declined to prosecute. Prodigy did not cooperate, and the arrest was only possible because a neighbor had seen this man typing one of the messages. [5/12/94.] (I don't know if laws meriting a wiretap were involved, but it might have helped to convict or clear him. Public accusation without trial doesn't seem any better.)

Novell is suing two companies that allegedly reused serial numbers from original software to obtain upgrades, then sold the upgrades at a large profit. [WSJ, 4/29/94. EDUPAGE.]

Watch out for a PC program named CD-IT.ZIP. This trojan claims to make CD ROMs writeable (!), but instead damages local and networked hard drives. [, NASIRC BULLETIN #94-17, 5/5/94. Arlene Rinaldi (, NETTRAIN, 5/10/94.]

The US Army Research Laboratory, Computer Vision Research Branch, needs NN PhDs for studies in target, handwriting, and face recognition. Contracts are also being established with university neural-net scientists. Ms. Teresa Kipp (, AMSRL SS SK (T. KIPP), 10221 Burbeck Road, Suite 430, Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-5806; (703)-704-3656. [connectionists, 5/6/94.]

A Silicon Valley company need a senior C/C++ software engineer to design and develop a multimedia authoring system for interactive TV. Reports to the Manager of Visualization Tools Engineering. $100K-$120K plus bonus, stock, and relocation. Two other software engineers are needed, $50K-$85K. Mark DeWitt (, The TransPacific Group (Palo Alto), (415) 327- 8801, (415) 327-8802 Fax. [Bill Park (, 5/2/94.]

A DC-area company needs a clearable MS/MA or PhD computational linguist familiar with any Southeast Asian language. Job complng-dc, Manny Rao, Recruiting Services Inc. (, 513/721-3030, 513/721-2010 Fax. [m.j.o, 5/6/94.] John McEachen ( is advertising a similar position. [m.j.o, 5/6/94.] (Sounds like the job BAH advertised last week. It's best to go through the headhunter if s/he has an exclusive contract -- for advice and to avoid "not found here" sabotage. Bypass recruiters who echo someone else's ad on spec, since you're a bargain if you contact the employer directly.)

Xerox Desktop Document Systems (Palo Alto) needs an experienced, senior-level image processing software engineer for C-language image analysis algorithms. Rebecca Davis (, 415/813-7172, 415/813-7215 Fax. [m.j.o, 5/4/94.] A similar (or same?) position is advertised by Debbie Gonzalez (, Bridgeport Technical Services (Cupertino, CA); 408-727-2730, 408-727-2709 Fax. Unix/C, for porting to Mac/Windows. OCR, image processing, pattern recognition, neural networks, and graphics helpful. [ba.j.o, 5/4/94.]

ManTech Services Corp. (Fairmont, WV) is seeking a Lisp programmer experienced in knowledge-based expert systems and AI. Nick Flynn, (304) 363-7213 Fax. [Nagender Vedula (, m.j.o, 5/4/94.]

HNC, Inc. needs a BS/MS software engineer for Unix/C NN algorithm development in financial pattern recognition. Position 412. Human Resources, 619-546-8877, 619-452-6524 Fax. Follow up with a hardcopy resume to 5930 Cornerstone Court West, San Diego, CA, 92121-3728. [Anu Pathria (, m.j.o, 5/8/94.]

Curagen Corp. (Branford, CT) needs a PhD computational scientist to help analyze DNA fragmentation patterns. Non-linear statistics, neural architectures, and biocomputing experience desirable. Up to 50% discretionary research may be possible. Greg Went (, (203) 481 1104, (203) 481 1106 Fax. [, connectionists, 5/3/94.]

SFA, Inc. (DC area) needs an experienced developer /manager/marketer for AI/FL/NN/GA systems to be created for DoD and perhaps other customers. Gary Fleming or Karen Dockery, (301) 596-7310, (301) 596-7255 Fax. [Thomas P. Vogl (,, 5/5/94. David Joslin.]

Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA) may have a research opening in machine learning for environmental toxicology. Geoffrey Matthews ( [, 5/5/94. David Joslin.]

The Australian AI Institute (AAII) is seeking software developers for Unix/C/C++ distributed real-time agent-oriented systems. Recent graduates may be considered. Salary to A$60K. Personnel Department (, Level 6, 171 La Trobe Street, Melbourne 3000, Australia. [Rick Evertsz (, m.j.o, 5/5/94.]

ETH Zurich is offering a PhD assistantship in Unix/C/X information retrieval. May speak German, English, or French. $36K. Prof. Peter Schauble (, +41 1 632-7222, +41 1 262-3973 Fax. [IRLIST, 5/2/94.]

Catholic University of Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Knowledge Modelling Group, needs a medical-informatics RA in differential diagnosis. Up to four years. EU citizenship or working permit. Professor Pieter de Vries Robbe (, +31-80-619158, +31-80-613540 Fax. [, ai-medicine, 5/3/94. Chris Matheus.]

USalford's National Advanced Robotics Research Centre is offering a PhD research scholarship in visual data fusion and object modeling. EU citizens or graduates. Apply by 5/20/94 to Ruth Aylett (, (44)-61-745-5716. [, 5/6/94. David Joslin.]

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) has an immediate opening for an NLP software engineer to integrate modules for its VERBMOBIL speech-to-speech translation project. LISP, Prolog, C++. Thomas Bub (, Systems group (Kaiserslautern). [Matthias Wittmann (, HUMANIST, 5/5/94.]

Graduate Student List (GSL) is a new "supportive environment" for graduate students and educational policy. Contact Scott Kerlin ( or Carl Reimann ( [AERA, 4/23/94. net-hap.]

STUMPERS-L is a high-traffic list for difficult library reference questions. Send a "subscribe stumpers-l " message to [Sperry Olsen (, CARR-L, 4/20/94.]

New Usenet newsgroups this month include misc.creativity, sci.psychology.research, and (e.g., non-English fonts). [4/30/94.]

A list of e-lists for language learning is available from David Bedell ( A list of Spanish-language lists is also available: send an "index" message to, or contact Yuri Herrera Burstein ( [Carolyn Kotlas (, INFOBITS, 4/29/94.]

North Texas Assoc. for AI (NTAAI) hosts meetings at UTexas Arlington and tries to help members in other ways. Contact Dr. Lynn Peterson (, (817) 372-3609. [Steve Rainwater (,, 5/3/94. David Joslin.]

A Fuzzy Systems research group was founded 10/93 within the AI division of the German Society of Computer Science (GI). For information, contact Dr. Rainer Palm (palm [Detlef Nauck (,, 4/27/94. David Joslin.]

IEEE MultiMedia combines print, online discussion, and [soon] multimedia CD ROMs. Readers, identified only by a personal number, are invited to publicly discuss the peer-reviewed articles. Telnet to and log in as IEEE with password FORUM. [Lloyd Davidson (, PACS-L, 4/28/94.] (Interesting experiment. I suspect that people read few of the journals they subscribe to. Will public discussion motivate them to keep up? Even anonymous discussion?)

NSF Network News is a bimonthly hypertext about Internet issues, resources, tools, and uses, plus InterNIC activities. It's in the InfoGuide from InterNIC Information Services,, a gopher/WWW server that replaces InfoSource. Another InfoGuide service is a weekly Scout Report of Internet news and resources. Use WWW, or send a "subscribe scout-report " to Or gopher to (Information Services). Send notices to [Info Scout, 5/3/94.]

Gleason Sackman's high-volume InterNIC Net Happenings list is changing slightly. Each message has a subject keyword that can be used for filtering. Sign up with a "sub net-happenings" message to [, net-hap, 4/21/94.] (This news wire list has over 4,000 direct subscribers.)

HOTT (Hot Off The Tree) from High On Technology Media Ventures -- a husband-and-wife venture -- has published the first third of its inaugural issue. (This is the "4/25/94" issue, with the first 77KB (30 pp.) delivered on 5/3/94.) Over 35K people have subscribed directly. The editor is scanning hundreds of sources, including news wires that scan thousands. (His own subscription cost are $20K/year, and may soon go to $50K.) Coverage will include PDAs, interactive multimedia, wireless communications, speech recognition, HDTV and agent-oriented software, neural nets, fuzzy computing, genetic algorithms, nanotechnology, VR, telepresence, and other telecomputing topics. Support is through sponsorship and advertorials (up to 12.5% of content). Send a "subscribe hott-list" message to The level is suitable for investors and technologists willing to follow up on key leads. Cited articles can often be obtained from Ask*IEEE (, the British Library Document Supply Centre (Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ), or University Microfilms (+1 313-665-7075 Fax). [David Scott Lewis ( or] (Dropping out is easier on the net than with a hardcopy subscription, and reading lengthy files is more difficult. Keeping this readership will be a challenge.)

David Lewis is also editor of IEEE Engineering Management Review, a 100-page quarterly reprint journal for high-tech managers and executives. Contact Bill Burke (, +1 800-742-0432 or +1 518-382-5512, +1 518-382-5531 Fax. For IEEE Computer Society membership contact, +1 714-821-8380. [, HOTT, 5/3/94.]

ModemNews Magazine offers free reprints from other free e-magazines, to show people what's available on the nets. Commercial publications can be advertised for a fee. Contact Jeff Green (, (203) 969-1183, (203) 359-2299 BBS. [online-news, 5/9/94.]

Athelstan Newsletter on Technology and Language Learning includes software reviews. $10-$20/year from Athelstan Publications, 2476 Bolsover, Suite 464, Houston, TX 77005; 713-523-2837, 713-523-6543 Fax. Free to US language teachers and researchers. [Carolyn Kotlas (, INFOBITS, 4/29/94.]

International Teletimes is a general-interest e-magazine, free from Ian Wojtowicz ( Specify your email address, computer type, and country of residence. IT's WWW server is [online-news, 4/28/94.]

The On Line Job Stress Newsletter covers job stress, health tips, time management, and other stress-related issues. A free sample copy may be requested from, (415) 868-1158. [James Davis (, CPU, 4/12/94.]

News junkies and talk show fans should ask John Higgins for his NET-LETTER GUIDE to free, newsy Internet periodicals such as EDUPAGE and HPCwire. Write to, or check Larger lists of e-pubs include John Labovitz's e-zine-list ( and the giant archive on [CARR-L, 4/27/94.]

The InterNIC Directory of Directories has begun publishing a list of new publications and services each month. 46 were added in 4/94. [, CARR=L, 4/28/94.]

Over 50 Internet books were published in 1993. The Unofficial Internet Book List is a new Internet bibliography from Kevin Savetz ( Regular postings will be on, but ask him nicely and he'll put you on his distribution list. Each release will feature one new book. The first month was "The Internet Unleashed" by Martin Moore, Rick Gates, et al. 1,380 pages (62 chapters), $44.95. Sams Publishing, 0-672-30466-X.. [3/24/94. net-hap.]

Hope Tilman has prepared an annotated bibliography of net guides, training workshops, etc. Gopher to, Internet menu. [Prescott Smith (, net-hap, 3/20/94. David Joslin.]

The 4/94 issue of Online Access magazine is a special issue on Internet access and resources. At $4.95, it's one of the cheapest guidebooks to dozens of access providers, a hundred mailing lists, and 2,500 Usenet newsgroups. Check your newsstand. [Richard Lee Holbert (, EDTECH, 4/1/94. net-hap.]

A 27-lesson gopher course by Jim Gerland and Rich Smith is available as gopher:// It can be retrieved in three blocks of nine lessons. The course can also be FTP'd from /gophern at, or retrieved with "index gophern" and "get gophern 93-xxxxx" commands to From Europe, try gopher:// /gopherinfo/recently/Listen/gophern. [Jim Lawson (, KIDSPHERE, 4/6/94. net-hap.]

Adam Gaffin's "Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet" has been very popular. As new information comes in, Gaffin and the EFF have been issuing Big Dummy Updates. Number 2 is just out, as bdupdate.002 in pub/Net_info/Big_Dummy/Updates on or as You can also send an "add big-dummy-update" message to, or check (Net Info/ Big Dummy/ Updates). [,, 4/5/94. net-hap.]

MaasInfo.TopIndex (4/7/94) is a guide to Internet/Bitnet /Usenet guides, indexes, resource lists, and bibliographies that are available by FTP or email server. MaasInfo.DocIndex is a guide to network tutorials, and MaasInfo.FailNet suggests ways of tracking down bounced email addresses. FTP these and other helpful files from Documents/Internet/MaasInfo on, or from pub/maas_info on [Robert E. Maas (, PACS-L, 4/7/94.]

Futurist Paul Saffo argues in Wired (3/94, pp. 76-7) that context or point of view will be more important than information. Individuals with unique points of view could become the stars of cyberspace, just as happens with authors in the print world. [Elliott Parker (, CARR-L, 3/6/94.]

Richard Seltzer of The B&R Samizdat Express notes that getting books into print is easy compared with getting them sold. Even with good reviews, bookstores will give shelf space for only a short time, and the price must cover all remaindered or shredded copies. Electronic publishing, however, is cheap and forever -- even for scholarly or niche works. (A Jules Verne novella -- Le Mariage de Mr. Anselme des Tilleuls -- was recently published for the first time, by Samizdat's PLEASE COPY THIS DISK.) Electronic publication also seems to help hardcopy sales. Authors should be reluctant to give up electronic rights. [, INTERNET-ON-A-DISK newsletter #3, 5/2/94.]

You can probably get copyright registration forms from your public library. If not, call the Library of Congress at (202) 707-9100. [Terry Carroll (, cni-copyright, 2/3/93.]

Palatino is an elegant and readable font for text; New Century Schoolbook is even more readable. Knuth's Computer Modern Typewriter works well for listings, and Helvetica or Computer Modern Sans Serif for figure labeling. Another good set is that used by Scientific American: Lucida Bright for text, Lucida Sans for figure labels, and Lucida Sans Typewriter for listings. [Michael Covington (, comp.fonts, 4/14/94.]

Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a mail-based grammar hotline from Purdue. Send an "owl-request" subject line and "send help" message to for a list of free handouts. Questions to will be answered within 48 hours. [Dave Taylor (, misc.writing, 2/21/94. David Joslin.]

A useful guide to citing electronic sources may be FTP'd as electronic.biblio.cite from pubdocshistory etuse on [Elliot Palais (iacesp@asuacad.bitnet), PACS-L, 2/9/94.]

CINDEX is excellent PC software for constructing a book index. Its macro facility will also dynamically expand abbreviations and perform other text formatting. Indexing Research, P.O. Box 18609, Rochester, NY 14618-0609; (716) 461-5530. [Paul Zohave (, HUMANIST, 2/24/94.]

Readers of HUMANIST seem agreed that automated indexing is very poor. A better solution is to tag terms within an advanced word processor. Word for Windows has several formatting options, and even lets you add an index button to your tool bar. [, 4/4/94.] Joan Cook suggests hiring someone for $3/page. Your publisher can suggest a competent professional. One procedure is to use separate highlighter colors for main entries and subentries (i.e., modifiers). Use pencil to connect the two, if necessary, and to note page numbers on the proofs. Alphabetizing entries as you type them in is almost as fast as using sorting or indexing software. []

Frank Coyle will be giving a talk on Smalltalk's Model-View-Controller Architecture, at Object Expo '94 (June 6-10) in New York City. [, 4/28/94.]

Bob Jacobson's Worldesign company is demonstrating its interactive, immersive virtual world, "The Seattle Central Waterfront Project," in Seattle and DC next month. Displays include changing surface traffic patterns and the effects of expansion on marine life. The project is an architectural review, urban design, and construction management tool for the building industry -- a sort of interactive environmental impact statement. Interns from UWashington's Dept. of Landscape Architecture are participating. Contact or for details. [5/9/94.]

-- Ken