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All the News That's Fit to Click

You can't carry a computer as easily as you can a newspaper, but you'll find a lot of other things to like about online newspapers.

More than 100 daily papers in the United States and Canada publish electronic editions. You can connect with them using your computer, a modem and Internet browser.

Online newspapers have the most up-to-date news. Both USA Today and The San Jose (Calif). Mercury News add stories to their electronic editions throughout the day.

"A good example was the Oklahoma City bombing (in April 1995)," said Steve Anderson of USA Today. "We had a photo and a story online within minutes of it happening." Most newspaper readers had to wait until the next morning for their news.

Ever wish you had saved a newspaper article after you threw it away? With electronic newspapers, you can go online and find old articles you need for class discussions, reports or your own personal use.

"Everythingthat's appeared in The Mercury News for the last 10 years is available on our Web site or America Online," said Barry Parr of The San Jose Mercury News. "There are more than a million news stories in our database."

And you can search papers from all over the United States for the information you need - The Mercury News has links to 16 other papers. In the future, electronic newspapers may add all kinds of new features, like audio and video clips of news you can see and hear on your computer.

Will traditional newspapers ever disappear? Not likely - electronic newspaper are just one more way to reach more people.

 

WEB JAM

Res Rocket Surfer hasn't headlined a major concert, and they don't have any gold records. But they've played all over the Internet globe as the world's first cyber-band.

Computer software called the Distributed Real-Time Groove Network (DRGN) lets groups of musicians jam on the Internet. It's like being in a chat room, but instead of talking, you play instruments.

Each player sends his part of the impromptu jam session live through the Internet. A musician in Germany might start the beat by playing drums. Then someone else in England adds bass? And a person in the United States plays the melody with a lead guitar - all at once.

When you start playing, DRGN blends the music together, making it seen like everyone is playing at the same time in the same place - even if there are delays on the Internet.

DRGN was developed by Matt Moller and Canton Becker in March 1996. "DRGN provides the opportunity for people to meet and play music together who would have never met otherwise," Moller said. "People will be able to form global bands easily without the hassles of geographical boundaries."

 

WILL THE INTERNET AFFECT THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE?

Q: Will the Internet affect the practice of medicine? How? Karima El Kori? Morocco (elam(AT)mbox.azure.net)

A: The Internet will affect almost everything, and the practice of medicine in no exception. Many affects are left already.

The Internet is accelerating the sharing or research ideas and results, and allowing health-care professionals patients alike easier access to the latest student.

People with WEB access who have a very sick relative typically go out on the Internet and see what's going on. I've personally spent many hours on the Web reading information about health issues facing my friend and family. The detail of medical information is stunning - but there's lots of quackery out on the Internet, too, so don't believe all that you read.

The Internet lets patients who share a malady stay in touch, share information and feel less alone. The community of patients is worldwide, and forums make it easy for them to connect.

If you're trying to choose between two risky procedures, it's valuable to be able to exchange e-mail with other people who now face - or have faced - the same choice.

A good place to begin your exploration of medical information and patient support groups is at the MedWeb site manufactured by the Emory University Health Science Center Library (at http://www.gen.emorv.edu/medweb). Other gateways include two U.S. goverment

site, www.healthfinder. govand www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/.

In the years ahead, the Internet's impact on medicine will grow. Once high-speed connections are common and people adjust to the emerging Web lifestyle, remove consultation will become popular.

Strides in "telemidicine" are being made already, especially in regions of the word where doctors and medical facilities are spread thinly. For example, images such as CAT scan and X-rays are compressed and transmitted via the Internet, so those specialists elsewhere can offer rapid consultation.

The paper approach is terribly inefficient compared to want computers make possible, but this in inefficiency has the practical advantage of helping protect privacy - and protecting advantage is a virtual in electronic form, there is at least the potential for efficient but unauthorised distribution.

Fortunately, encryption and authentication technologies combined with strong privacy polices can make electronic medical records much more secure than their paper counterparts.

 

BY BILL GATES

INNOVATION FEEDS SUCCESS IN THE PC INDUSTRY

In the personal computers industry, innovation is the part to success. This reality is widely understood by small and large companies alike.

That's why makers of PCs, microprocessor chips, peripherals, software applications and operating system incorporated new features continuously. It's why hardware and software improve so rapidly, even as prices fall relentlessly. It's wondrous for consumers, wondrous for the economy and unprecedented in any other industry.

It's truly exciting to work in an industry that is so motivated to always do better. The pressure is intense but the pace is thrilling.

Every product on the market today will be obsolete within a few years. The only question for my company is whether we'll be the ones to replace our products, or whether some other company will do a better job. Everybody here knows it, and so competitors. If we don't keep up with technology and the market, we'll quickly become irrelevant.

Innovation is particularly important for an operating system, the software that coordinates the elements of a computer - including its applications and peripherals, so that information can flow. The more functions the operating system coordinates or assumes, the easier the computer in use.

Customers value this simplicity. Even sophisticated users of personal computers have limited time and patience. They want to get access to information quickly. They don't want to have to figure out how to make a lot of pieces work together. They just want a computer to work.

Integrating features to achieve power and simplicity has been a hallmark of the PC industry.

A single Intel microprocessor chip how contains features that once required dozens of chips, including math co-processor chips. That's why PCs are faster, smaller, cheaper, and less likely to fail than they were only a few years ago. But to remain competitive in the chip business, Intel must continue to sweep new features into the microchip.

Today's PCs have built-in modems, CD-ROMs and other peripherals that not so long ago were add-ons that could be a hassle to get to work. But as operating system evolved to support these peripherals, manufacturers started making them standard equipment and people started taking them for granted.

 

MICROSOFT: COMPETITION ONLY WITH ITSELF

Microsoft is the only large company in the world that has no competitors. Only Microsoft could grasp a giant market violating no laws. But it violated more than USA federal laws - it disturbed USA market traditions. According to these traditions, in every sector of the economy each major company has at least one major firm-competitor. These are Coca-Cola and Peps/, Ford and General Motors, IBM and Apple. But Microsoft is singular.

Then, each major company gives an opportunity for the existence of many smaller firms. For example, Ford doesn't make alarm systems, garages and radios for its cars. They are made by other smaller companies. But Microsoft itself sells each new version of Windows together with all necessary applications.

So Microsoft is very unpopular in the American business world. Since 1990, scandals about Microsoft have been happening annually. It was already accused of an 'anti-competition' agreement with IBM, attempting to monopolise the market of operating systems and their program security, and many other violations of anti-monopoly legislation. Sometimes Microsoft won in these conflicts, and sometimes it was defeated, but really it always remained a monopoly.

The reason of Microsoft's great success is Bill Gates. His almost supernatural talent to foretell the market's future is well known. He can guess which product he will be able to sell very profitably some years later, and so makes this product earlier than others.

For example. In 1990 Gates declared his new conception - information on your fingertips', and foretold the development of the world computer industry in 1990-2000. He said that in the nearest future everyone would have any information within one's grasp - 'on fingertips' -with a computer's help. Now it has already become a reality - there is almost any information one could want in networks.

In 1995 Gates foretold that ten years later there would be pocket computers, car computers, PC-kiosks, and personal computers that understand the owner's voice; that information would be accessible everywhere to everybody. A pocket computer will replace everything in a person's pocket, except a handkerchief: omission, credit card, pager, notebook with modem. If you need a large screen, you can use a PC-kiosk, or any other computer.

At present there already are hand-held PCs. Now they are not as good as Gates promised - but an operation system in them is Windows, they are Internet-ready, and can be connected with common computers. This proves that everything Gates says is possible. As yet his forecast aren't completely realised, but he spoke about the year 2005, and then, probably, they will become reality.

THE CHECKERED FLAG OF THE LEADER

Once I saw an article in a newspaper which said that you hardly could find a computer where Norton Commander or its analogue wasn't installed. 1 think you also can't find a computer where there is no Microsoft product.

Microsoft's success began when IBM asked it to develop an operating system for its new computer. So MS-DOS appeared. Later such systems as DR-DOS and PC-DOS emerged,, but Microsoft's aggressive policy didn't allow them to become popular, in Russia the system PTS-DOS (PTS means PhysTechSoft) was developed, but t don't think it has been installed even in one per cent of computers in Russia. MS-DOS remained the most popular operating system until 1995.

In 1981 the first version of Ms Windows was issued. It wasn't an operating system, because when computer started, it loaded MS-DOS, and later one could run Windows. But Windows also became very popular. It was the first system that allowed to run more than one program at a time. It wasn't relevant for users in 1981, because most of them had no hard disk, but it was important for companies. And as computers have been developed, and hard disk appeared in every computer, and they began to grow (it's difficult to believe, but ten years ago we considered a hard disk which had the size of 40 Mb to be huge), Windows appeared in each computer.

IBM became the competitor of Microsoft, when it developed the operating system OS/2. A lot of computer specialists think that OS/2 is much better than Windows. I don't know, I haven't worked with OS/2. But the fact is that it has been never installed in more than 10 per cent of computers throughout the world. In 1995, Windows finally became an operating system. The system Windows '95 was issued. Nearly everyone thinks that his duty is to abuse Windows '95 (in FIDO it is called MustDie95), but nearly everyone now works with this system. When the market of operating system was seized by Microsoft, it began seizing the market of internet browsers. Before the leader of this market was the company Netscape, with its browser Netscape Navigator. And Microsoft having issued its Microsoft Explorer, there wasn't any considerable reaction. But when Microsoft began to deliver its browser with Windows '95, it became much more popular. By the end of 1997, 31 per cent of the market belonged to Microsoft Explorer.

Now Bill Gates, the president of Microsoft, wants to design computer, which will control all everyday apparatus at home. You will be able to operate with any apparatus, including lamps, from this computer. In any case there is already such a computer in Gates house, and through Internet Gates can manipulate his apparatus even from the other side of the earth. But when he tried to demonstrate it at the exhibition MacExpo '97 the computer hung up.

By YUSUP

 




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