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TBTF for 1995-06-20: GIF89a replacement; Nehru jackets

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Tue, 20 Jun 1995 07:52:10 -0400

>>From The Weekly Recap

CompuServe, Inc. has completed its new 24-bit lossless graphics
specification, which provides an enhancement (not backwards
compatible) to the earlier GIF89a specification while eliminating
the proprietary LZW software, replacing it with compression
technology compliant with the PNG ("ping") specification.
CompuServe will make a toolkit available within the next few weeks
for free distribution.

[Any bets how long before PNG is supported in Netscape? Under 3 months
is my guess.]

Note added 1997-11-13: Greg Roelofs <roelofs at PRPA dot Philips dot COM> wrote to inform us that native support for PNG was added to Netscape Navigator version 4.04, 2.75 years after the spec was frozen. He notes, "It doesn't do transparency at all, nor does it support gamma correction, but hey -- it's a start. (MSIE does no better, but [at least] NN supports PNG on lots of platforms.)"

Apogee Software and Mpath Interactive announced an LOI to publish
3D action games on an Internet multiplayer game service being
developed by Mpath for launch in early 96; Domark Software Inc.
announced the upcoming release of "Confirmed Kill," a WWII flight
simulation game allowing up to 500 players at a time on the
Internet; Domark plans to release several on-line games for the
Internet this year.

[The URL for Apogee is <http://cyberspace.org/u/rhfactor/www/apogee.html>.
It's under construction, of course. A FAQ is at <http://pubpages.unh.edu/
~ss1/apogeefaq.html>. Mpath is at <http://www.mpath.com/>.]]

Microsoft Corp., Netscape Communications Corp. and Progressive
Networks (RealAudio) announced the Information Highway Parental
Empowerment Group, which plans to lead industry efforts to enable
parents to "lock out" access to inappropriate content on the
Internet. The group welcomes industry participation, with info at
IHPEG@prognet.com. A report will be issued by year's end, with
plans to incorporate recommendations into software products in 96.

[This effort was the Great White hope to block the Exon amendment regu-
lating covering online indecency and obscenity, which passed in the
Senate last week by a margin greater than 5-1. Its chances in the House
this week are less certain.]

>>From Edupage:

IBM is introducing its Power Series computers this week without the OS/2
operating system, which is not ready. Some analysts are predicting that
IBM will drop OS/2 completely and build its PC strategy largely around the
newly acquired Lotus Notes groupware software. (Atlanta Journal-
Constitution 1995-06-15 F3)

[Or around MacOS, which IBM announced it will support in some yet-to-be-
determined fashion, probably in late 1996.]

Many of the marketers developing commercial sites on the World Wide Web
have unrealistic ideas of the costs and benefits of an effective Web site,
with at least one merchant expecting to pay less than $10K for an operation
which would realistically cost ten times that much. Web enthusiasts are
worried by the excessive hype, and one ad agency executive said:
"Everybody points to 1-800-Flowers, with 30,000 hits a day and 25 orders.
I fear the possibility that people are going to use the medium badly--as
they already are--and then the prevailing sentiment will send Web sites to
the Old Fad Graveyard to rub shoulders with the CB radio and the Nehru
jacket." (Internet Business Report, June'95 p.1)

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Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
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