close this bookVolume 4: No. 30
View the documentFunding news
View the documentBusiness news
View the documentInternet news
View the documentJob opportunities
View the documentDiscussion groups
View the documentArtificial brains
View the documentScholarly publishing
View the documentComputists' news

The Clinton Administration has decided to limit its Clipper push to voice communications (and only after additional months of study), and that future encryption standards will be voluntary, unclassified, and exportable. Private key escrow may also be permitted. [Stanton McCandlish (mech@eff.org), alt.privacy, 7/21/94. Chuck Morefield.]

Silicon Graphics CEO Ed McCracken says that entertainment projects now drive graphics technology. Five years ago it was military, intelligence, and perhaps space applications. [Upside, 8/94, p. 32. EDUPAGE.]

Consumers are unhappy with half the CD ROMs they buy, returning as many as 20% as slow, boring, or buggy. [WSJ, 7/6/94, B1. EDUPAGE.] (Several caching and indexing programs are available to greatly speed up CD ROM sessions. Mac users can buy CD AllCache, CD-ROM ToolKit, or Rapid CD for about $46-60.)

Rocket Science Games Inc. found a way to speed up CD-ROM interaction. Now Times Mirror is buying a $5M stake in the technology, for its non-fiction CD ROM products. [WSJ, 7/27/94, B5. EDUPAGE.] (Want to be rich? Solve problems that need solving.)

Britannica Online is in beta test as a WWW service, with commercial availability planned for 9/94. Check http://www.eb.com/about.html for info; comments to editor@eb.com or help@eb.com. [Gleason Sackman (sackman@plains.nodak.edu), net-hap, 7/5/94.] (Britannica and World Book are also producing CD ROM versions, chiefly for purchasers of printed sets. Neither company wants to undercut its extensive sales force. Britannica's CD ROM sells for $1,595, World Book's for $395. CD ROM street prices for Encarta (best for kids), Compton's (families), and Grollier (adults) are $89-99, from $250 list. Sometimes these discs are bundled free with CD ROM drives, or are available in remaindered OEM versions for $35-$45. Apple is shipping Compton's and three other CD ROM choices with its double-speed Multimedia CD Kit, now just over $400. Toshiba and NEC drives are also good, and are offered in bundles by Tiger, EduCorp, and others. MacUser was disappointed by NEC's triple-speed design, but perhaps the caching has improved. Soon everyone will be buying quadruple- speed drives, but no available software really exploits the higher transfer rate.)

AT&T is shutting down its EO portable communicator subsidiary, as only 10K units have been sold since 4/93. [Atlanta Journal- Constitution, 7/28/94, D2. EDUPAGE.]

Thinking Machines is looking for a buyer, having neared bankruptcy due to military spending cuts. [NYT, 7/28/94, C1. EDUPAGE.] Cray has had similar problems, due partly to IBM's entry into the commercial HPC market. [WSJ, 7/29/94 B3. EDUPAGE.]

Franz Inc. (Berkeley) is acquiring the technology assets of Lucid, Inc. (Menlo Park). Franz makes Allegro CLOS/CLIM development tools and databases for Unix and MS Windows; Lucid sells Lucid Common Lisp, Lucid C, Lucid C++, and the Energize C/C++ development environment for Unix workstations. Fritz Kunze is president of Franz Inc.; Dr. Richard Gabriel is/was founder and chairman of Lucid. For more details, contact Hanoch Eiron, (510) 548-3600, or Patrick Corman, (415) 326-9648. [Press release. Bill Wilkinson (wmw@netcom.com), 7/28/94.] (Although portrayed as a merger to better serve customers, I get the impression that Lucid has disbanded and only their software remains intact. I have no word yet on whether Franz will be hiring Lucid staff. Let me know if your own organization wants to hire some Lisp-literate professionals.)

Computer Associates recently acquired ASK, and has refused to continue benefits to unmarried domestic partners (of any sexual orientation). About 100 employees have resigned, mostly from ASK's Ingres subsidiary. [NYT, 7/1/94, C3. EDUPAGE.]

NRL's HCI Lab has closed due to budget cuts, expected to be permanent. NRL is closing 41 positions in DC, 19 in Orlando, and 49 at Stennis AFB. DoD is trying to open slots for Reduction in Force (RIF) casualties by voluntary early retirement (VERA) and separation pay incentive (SPI) offers of up to $25K maximum, but finding equivalent positions for scientists is difficult (especially when the government is not hiring above GS 12 level). Anyone accepting retirement incentives is ineligible for government employment for five years. [NRL Labstracts, 7/4/94. Helen Gigley (gigley@itd.nrl.navy.mil).]