Deep Blue, Stale, and Imminent Death of the Net (tm).

I Find Karma (
Wed, 21 Aug 96 02:18:04 PDT

Subject: Edupage, 20 August 1996

The IBM computer "Deep Blue" that lost its six-game chess match with world
champion Garry Kasparov will get a second chance with another six-game
match-up May 3-10 in New York. Deep Blue has 32 parallel processors and can
attain computational speeds that allow it to analyze 200 million moves a
second. The Deep Blue project team is working to program more knowledge of
chess into the computer and to develop new programming tools that the
machine could use to help it adapt to an opponent's strategy between games.
Project manager C.J. Tan says: "We're not conducting a scientific
experiment any more. This time, we're just going to play chess." (New York
Times 20 Aug 96 B1)

Just six weeks after Microsoft launched its online magazine Slate, some New
York writers have developed a parody called Stale. Stale writers Daniel
Radosh and Michael Tritter feel their alternative should serve to take
Microsoft down a notch from its proclaimed pinnacle of Web publishing:
"They come off as saying that they're on a mission to civilize the Web, as
if they're the only ones who can make it safe for America," says Radosh.
And in case you tire of the humor, each Stale spoof is electronically linked
to its Slate mate. (St. Petersburg Times 19 Aug 96 p12) < >

The inadvertent shutdown of America Online a few weeks ago was only the
beginning, say some industry observers, who predict that outages at
overburdened Internet providers will become more common in the future.
"Maybe for the first time in the history of the Internet, the demand is
exceeding the supply that technology can deliver," says the CEO of Advanced
Network & Services. Because flat-rate pricing is the dominant Internet
service provider business model, there is no financial incentive to conserve
the resource, warns the executive VP of Nynex Science & Technology. He
predicts that the Internet eventually will collapse under its own weight,
but will reemerge with "a lot more tollbooths on that highway than there are
now." (Business Week 26 Aug 96 p62)

AT&T president Alex Mandl, who had been the presumptive heir to the
company's top position when chief executive Robert Allen steps down in a few
years, has resigned to become chairman of Associated Communications, a small
company that offers wireless phone and data service. Industry analysts see
Mandl's decision as an indication of just how much deregulation has changed
the telecommunications business. (New York Times 20 Aug 96 C1)

Sprint Corp. is the latest entrant into the Internet service provider field,
announcing plans to roll out its Sprint Internet Passport over the next few
months. "I still don't understand what's taken them so long," says a
director at Forrester Research Inc., noting that the company has been
operating a major portion of the Internet backbone since 1992. Sprint's
gradual approach is a cautious response to some of the mistakes it saw rival
AT&T make in its WorldNet launch. "The reason we waited as long as we did
is to assure that the service we delivered was the best in the business,"
says a Sprint executive. The company, which claims to carry as much as 60%
of the data traffic to and from the U.S., is hoping to snag 20% of the
market within a year. (Wall Street Journal 20 Aug 96 A3)

Network Solutions Inc., which August 9 announced another round of revisions
to its Domain Name Dispute Policy, is imposing additional requirements on
the trademark holder who challenges a domain name registrant with trademark
violation. The trademark registration must be identical to the domain name,
and trademark holders must provide NSI a certified copy of its trademark
registration, as well as a copy of a written notification addressed to the
domain registrant of the trademark holder's prior claim. In an attempt to
avoid being named in any more lawsuits, the new NSI policy implements an
interpleader-like procedure, where NSI turns over control of any disputed
domain name to the court and will carry out all court orders without being
named a party to the suit. The new guidelines go into effect Sept. 9, and
text of the revised policy can be found at < >. (BNA
Daily Report for Executives 19 Aug 96 A7)

Novell Inc. has joined the intranet gold rush, unveiling a collection of
programs designed to run on corporate networks. IntranetWare, as the
package is called, includes a new version of Novell's network operating
system, a program that routes messages among networks, a new version of its
Web server program, and two programs for creating and managing Web sites.
The new product will be available November 1. Industry observers say Novell
faces an uphill battle in its fight for intranet market share, with Netscape
and Microsoft already claiming dominance, but one analyst at International
Data Corp. notes the company has a vast arsenal of independent distributors
and resellers that will use its product to set up intranets for client
companies that can't do it themselves. "This isn't revolutionary or
earth-shattering, but it's absolutely necessary for Novell to maintain any
credibility at medium and small-size customers." (Wall Street Journal 20
Aug 96 B4)

NCR Corp. has a $140 million solution to power computing. The company, a
unit of AT&T, developed a way to combine 32 200-Mhz Pentium Pro chips into
one server, and then link 128 of the servers together, giving them access to
the combined computing power of 4,096 Pentium Pro chips. (Investor's
Business Daily 20 Aug 96 A8)

Discount shopping has hit the Web, with the arrival of Wal-Mart on the Web,
an online shopping site for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club merchandise. The site
features electronic greeters, just like in the real store, and once inside,
you can fill up your virtual shopping cart, pay with a credit card, and have
everything shipped to you via UPS. < >. (Tampa
Tribune 19 Aug 96 B&F5)

The value of mergers and acquisitions in the media, electronic and
entertainment sectors in Europe and North America jumped to $20.1 billion in
the first half of 1996, says a report issued by the mergers and acquisitions
group Broadview Associates, which predicts that the global battle over the
delivery of digital entertainment services by satellite "cannot fail to
drive M&A activity over the next few years. The opportunity is just too big,
and the risk/reward ratio too acute for even the most bullish to consider
going alone." (Financial Times 19 Aug 96)

Trade publication Byte Magazine reports that Microsoft's latest Windows NT
version suffers a slowdown when run on computers equipped with a Cyrix 6x86
microprocessor running at 150 megahertz rather than a comparable Intel
Pentium chip. The Windows NT 4.0 operating system ran 16% slower than a
previous release of NT on a Cyrix chip, and 24% slower than Windows 95.
Cyrix says the problem is a hardware malfunction, and is offering customers
a free software patch. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Aug 96 A8)

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