close this bookVolume 7: No. 19
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Gary McGraw agrees [TCC 7.17] that software liability will soon be a driving force in software product improvement and development. "The grace period our industry has both enjoyed and abused is about to end. In other words, here come the lawyers." Already, there are law tracks at the major computer security and software engineering conferences. Techniques of software quality assurance are becoming increasingly important. See for an IEEE Computer paper that Gary recently co-authored: "Fault Injection: A Crystal Ball for Software Quality." [, 19Mar97.]

Apple will pare its 13K workforce by several thousand, and will discontinue Pippen and certain Performas and communications products. [WSJ, 14Mar97. EDUPAGE.]

(BTW: Run a full backup first if you upgrade to Apple's System 7.6. You may lose your hard disk files if the disk was formatted with version 7.12 or older of Apple HD SC Setup. or . [Bill Park , comp.sys.mac.announce, 17Mar97.])

As Japan switches from its own analog HDTV to a US-style digital standard -- for image size and recording/editing tools, although not for broadcast technology -- it's becoming clear that government plans will have much less influence on Japanese industry than in the past. Other government-sponsored fiascos include Fifth Generation computers, the Japanese real estate boom, and a weak domestic aerospace industry. Japanese businesses are starting to say "Forget it; we'd rather sit down with some guys in the US and see what they're up to." [Jeffrey Bartholet, Newsweek, 17Mar97, p. 38.]

HP has announced a new high-resolution, low-cost printer for photo images. Printing costs about $4/page. HP is also offering a new scanner and a [Konica] digital camera. Look for HP and Kodak to profit from increasing use of graphics on the Web. [Mark R. Anderson , SNS, 02Mar97.] (For more of Anderson's predictions, see back issues of SNS at .)

HP's new TopTools software (for its Vectra computers) allows network operators to switch on and access networked computers for maintenance and upgrading. Analysts see this as a countermeasure to the touted ease of maintenance of diskless Net PCs. [IBD, 10Mar97. EDUPAGE.]

IBM is introducing a new IntelliStation line of Pentium Pro/Windows NT workstations, at $3,700 to $10K. This competes with its own RISC-based RS/6000 computers and with Compaq, HP, Dell, and others. [WSJ, 17Mar97. EDUPAGE.]

IBM is paying $50M-$80M for controlling interest in NetObjects Inc., a provider of graphical software for developing website pages. NetObjects also has partnerships with Microsoft and Netscape, and intends to support all platforms. [WSJ, 10Mar97. EDUPAGE.]

Sun Microsystems CTO Eric Schmidt is moving to Novell, as chairman and CTO. Technical cooperation between the companies is expected. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19Mar97. EDUPAGE.]

Digital Equipment Corp.'s Palo Alto research group is spinning out software tools to Tracepoint Technology Inc., a San Jose start-up. The C/C++ tools were designed for Unix, but will be adapted for Windows developers -- a much bigger market of 1M programmers. Competitors include Pure Atria Corp. (Sunnyvale) and NuMege Technologies Inc. (Nashua, NH). Digital is also selling some of its object-oriented "middleware" technology to BEA Systems Inc. [Jodi Mardesich, SJM, 19Feb97, 3C.]

IBVA brainwave hardware -- impressively demoed at Macworld Tokyo -- offers direct brainwave-to-MIDI output for "thinking" new music. About $1K in Japan. . [Chuck and Linda Shotton , TidBITS, 03Mar97.]