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March 1996 Stories

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The following stories appeared on the Potomac KnowledgeWay's Regional News page during March 1996.

All links within stories are verified at the time of publication, but some may have changed or no longer be available.

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Alexandria Company Offers Mexican Investment Information Services On Web

March 28, 1996 -- The Mexican Commentary is an Alexandria-based investment information service focused on the Mexican economy. The Web site activity is starting to increase past 20 hits per day. Each week the Mexican Commentary posts closing prices for 33 Mexican ADRs and stocks and 4 mutual funds. Price changes are shown along with trends based on the 20-day moving average. The Bolsa IPC index, percent change and exchange value of the peso are given along with AMEX-MXY index and the CBOE-MEX index.

Charts on daily price movements are frequently updated on our Internet Web pages. Comments on expected price movements, support prices and upward resistance prices are given for each ADR and fund. Trend reversals are highlighted.

Tables are given showing past performance of round turn indications and current status from when issues looked attractive for purchase.

Each week the Mexican Commentary delivers economic news affecting Mexico including trade developments, official government statistics from the Ministry of Finance, The Bank of Mexico and Mexico's statistics bureau.

Interest rates at the weekly Cetes auction is covered along with news of major government and corporate financings. Corporate news covers company announcements, earnings reports and other news stories affecting individual Mexican companies. A special section covers mutual funds including interviews with fund managers, dividend declarations, rights offerings and market price versus net asset value for the closed-end funds traded on the NYSE.

For more information send email to MexCom@aol.com.


George Washington University Offers Internet and Worldwide Web Training Courses

March 28, 1996 -- The George Washington University School of Business and Public Management has announced that it will offer ternet and World Wide Web training course beginning in April and continuing through the summer.

Designed and taught by educators with the university's Business Technologies Program, these courses provide personalized training in the latest computer technologies. They develop the high-demand skills that are -or soon will be- at the heart of business processes.

These courses enable you to master critical business applications as you take command of the current technologies:

  • Introduction to the Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Business Applications of the Internet and the World Wide Web
  • Creating Electronic Publications on the Internet
  • Java Programming for World Wide Web Applications
  • VRML and the World Wide Web
  • Setting Up and Administering Your World Wide Web Server
  • Setting Up and Administering a Windows NT 3.5 Server

Enrollment is limited, call 703-578-8845 to register today.


KnowledgeWay Announces Support for Tech Day `96 and National Computer Recycling/Mentoring Conference

March 28, 1996 -- The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project announced today its support for Tech Day '96 and the First National Conference on Computer Recycling and Mentoring on April 27 and April 29, 1996. The two events are sponsored by the Lazarus Foundation, the National Computer Recycling/Mentoring Association (NCRMA) and Microsoft Corporation.

Tech Day '96, held on Saturday, April 27, will have participants work together in a day of training on recycling, culminating in the placement of 200 refurbished machines in local public schools and neighborhood learning centers throughout the region. The computer recycling conference, held on Monday, April 29, will bring individuals and organizations interested in providing recycled computers to recipient organizations together in a collaborative effort for the region. Both of these sessions will be held at the National 4-H Headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Because of the importance of this initiative, the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, in conjunction with the Morino Institute, has established an electronic forum and a KnowledgeWay Action Team whose members are involved in recycling efforts throughout the region. The team's charter, in conjunction with NCRMA, is to bring awareness and a structured framework and guidance to grass roots recycling programs; to allow for the exchange of best practices; and to work together to find new solutions for common challenges.

The entire Potomac KnowledgeWay team urges you to attend Tech Day '96 and the charter National Conference on Computer Recycling and Mentoring and to consider donating used computer equipment you have in your office or home.

There is no charge for participation in Tech Day '96, but you should register before April 20 to ensure space. Conference fees for the Monday session are $75 for employees of corporations, $50 for government and nonprofit representatives, and $25 for teachers and students. For further information or to register for the conference, please contact Don Bard by phone (410-740-0735) or email (ebard@aol.com) or Kevin Dolan by phone (301-229-7391) or email (kevindo_ms@msn.com).

For more information, see the following pages on the Crossroads:


Network To Link Washington State Schools

SEATTLE, March 28, 1996 -- Rueters News Service reports that Washington State governor Mike Lowry has signed a bill to create a telecommunications network linking all public schools -- kindergarten through college -- in the state.

A fiber-optic network will expand an existing system, the Washington Education Telecommunications System, to link all public schools, colleges and universities and eventually public libraries and government agencies.

A spokesman for the governor said private colleges may be included as well, but they would have to pay any costs to link into the system.

Funding for the network, about $42 million, was included in the 2-year state budget, which is expected to be signed this week.


First NII Awards Panel Discussion Held In DC

March 22, 1996 -- On March 19, 1996, the sponsors of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards, and others, held a reception and interactive panel discussion of the critical issues shaping the future of the Information Highway. Entitled "Beyond the Barriers," the event was co-sponsored by The Morino Institute and the United States Postal Service. The reception was the first of several that will be held across the U.S. in anticipation of the NII Awards Ceremony scheduled for September 1996.

Over 130 NII sponsors, judges, nominees and guests attended the reception held at the USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Panel participants included panel moderator, Mitch Ratcliffe, Editorial Director, Digital Media; Mario Morino, Chairman, Morino Institute; Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Sr. Editor, Time Magazine; Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA); Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, Deputy Secretary, US Dept. of Commerce; Robert Reisner, Vice President, Technology applications, USPS; and Karl Salnoske, General Manager, Network Applications, Internet Division, IBM.

Sponsored by more than 60 industry, government and community leaders, the mission of the NII Awards is to help the global community realize the potential of a networked society by recognizing best practices and examples of excellence and helping others understand and learn from those examples. The panel discussion was the first in a series of such meetings that will be held over the next several months in cities throughout the country.

The panel discussed a number of issues that were brought to the forefront by the 1996 Telecommunications Reform such as: access, privacy, control, censorship and security. The audience participated in a lively interactive Q & A with panel members which yielded diverse points of view from some of the nation's leading thinkers.

The Second Annual NII Awards presentation ceremony will be held in September of this year. Nominations and entries are being accepted through May 1 and may be submitted online. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Arts and Entertainment, Business, Children, Community, Education, GII Next Generation, Government, Health, Public Access, and Telecollaboration.

Last year's winners included HotWired, the National Materials Exchange Network (NMEN), the Alzheimer's Disease Support Center (ADSC) on the Cleveland Free-Net, the DO-IT Program of the University of Washington, the Utah Library Network Initiative and the Information Network for Public Health Officials (INPHO).


April Young to Lead the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project

Reston, VA, March 21, 1996 -- Mario Morino, chairman of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, announced today that April Young will become the Project's first executive director on April 1, 1996. Morino also announced that he will continue as chairman of the board of directors for another year, and that Clair Sassin will join the Project as director of communications.

"We consider April's acceptance of this position quite a coup for the Project," said Morino. "April has been instrumental in the formation of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, and her background, broad knowledge of the region and interest in education make her a natural for the job. April will be responsible for the organization's day-to-day operations, and we will work closely together to achieve the project's goals."

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is striving to promote understanding of the transformation of our society through the communications revolution, to encourage the community to adopt the changes and leverage the revolution's potential to improve the economic and social health of the Potomac region. The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's four strategic initiatives include engaging the community, educating the workforce, cultivating networked entrepreneurs and advancing the regional information infrastructure.

The KnowledgeWay's effort to engage the community is already under way through initiatives designed to promote individual, business and institutional acceptance of the changes occurring due to the advent of networked interactive communication. Part of the Project's networking infrastructure is also in place, through Crossroads, its World Wide Web site. Crossroads is intended to provide the link to a regional information infrastructure and to support all the Project's initiatives.

"In addition to the community and networking infrastructure initiatives that are already in place, we are moving forward aggressively to develop a plan for the entrepreneurship and workforce education components of the Project," said Young. "Within the next month, we expect to begin implementing several new programs that address the needs we have identified and our plans for implementing them."

Formed in June 1995, the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project has quickly emerged as a powerful and positive force in the Potomac region. It is committed to establishing the Potomac region as one that has embraced the communications revolution and prospered from it by educating the community and workforce about the enormous opportunities the communications revolution represents.


"Thriving In The Electronic Village"
Special Conference At GWU March 28, 1996

March 21, 1996 -- Be sure to join the expected 400 participants in The Fifth Annual Technology and Business Competitiveness Seminar Expo, THRIVING IN THE ELECTRONIC VILLAGE, on Thursday, March 28, 1996 from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the George Washington University Virginia Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

About the Seminar EXPO:

Technology innovation drives business competitiveness, quality of work life, productivity and communication. In the Information Age, dramatic changes create new business opportunities, upheaval and displacement, opportunities for new product development and inventive services. As clients demand more customization tailored to meet specific requirements at lower costs with faster deliveries, organizations much be poised to respond. New methods of doing business will challenge industry and government leaders to think inventively and build business in new directions.

Technology and Business Competitiveness Seminar Expo gives you a forum within which to hear and discuss pressing issues with colleagues, GW faculty experts, and noted industry authorities.

The program is free and open to the public. Advanced reservations are strongly suggested.

Register by phone: 703-729-8300; fax 703-729-7244 or email jwenzel@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu
Web Location: http://www.va.gwu.edu/techexpo.htm


"Internet Commerce Still an Open Field" Concludes O'Reilly Study

Sebastopol, CA, March 20, 1996 -- How many businesses are connected to the Internet? What are those companies doing online--are they selling on the Web, transmitting trade secrets, sharing sensitive databases through an Intranet? What are the barriers to using the Net as a business tool? Conducting Business on the Internet, a new study from O'Reilly & Associates' Online Research Group, answers these and other questions about North American businesses' use of the Internet. Study results confirm that the Internet holds great promise as a business tool, but also point to the Net's current limitations in reach and acceptance. For example, 53% of medium-sized businesses (101-999 employees) stated that they had no Internet connection and no plans to acquire one.

Don Ulsch, Senior Vice President of O'Reilly's Online Research Group stated, "Conducting Business on the Internet underscores the tremendous opportunity that remains for businesses on the Net. At the same time, continued caution is warranted. Among medium-sized and small businesses that employed less than one thousand people, the percentage who had no plans for Internet access proved surprisingly high."

"This suggests, however, that companies with products attractive to Net audiences have an open field if they use this channel to their competitive advantage. Clearly, providing product information is the Net use with the highest perceived value. However, Net access is far from universal, even within large companies, so be sure you can really reach the target audience you are seeking to reach."

Conducting Business on the Internet found that large (1000 employees or greater) and medium (101-999 employees) companies in the U.S. and Canada are online in significant and growing numbers. Fifty-one percent (51%) of large companies have Internet access, and another 15% plan to connect to the Net by the end of 1996. Twenty-five percent (25%) of medium-sized companies have already connected to the Internet, and 17% plan to do so by year's end.

Although Internet activity is healthy and growing in the business community, not all are convinced of its value. When asked whether the Internet has improved the business environment, more than half (57%) of the representatives from large companies and only 42% of those from medium companies said that it had.


Net Day

March 20, 1996 -- The New York Times reported last week that President Clinton and Vice President Gore participated in ceremonies to celebrate Net Day. Net Day is an effort to wire 20% of California's public schools to the Internet by the end of this school year. About 200 private companies, coordinated by Sun Microsystems, participated in the event, and more than 3,000 Net Day kits were mailed to California schools, each worth about $500 and each including 2,000 feet of cable.


2nd Annual NII Awards Champions of Cyberspace Call for Entries

March 19, 1996 -- The National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards recognize innovation and excellence in use of the "Information Highway." From electronic commerce, Intranets and telemedicine to community networks, educational Web sites and broadband, the NII Awards looks for projects that show the world the power and potential of networked, interactive communications.

"A first-ever Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Award is part of the 1996 NII Awards program. Open to projects worldwide, the Award will recognize "next-generation" applications and services."

The Awards are sponsored by more than 60 industry, community and government leaders. Vice President Gore calls the NII Awards "important to our future" and Newt Gingrich says the Awards are "a model for how important national objectives can be achieved." Winners will be honored at a special ceremony in the Fall of 1996. Enter your project, service or application via the NII Awards Web site. Final deadline for entries is May 1, 1996. Early Entry Deadline: March 27


600 American Communities Joining World Wide Web Tourism Spawns Rapid Growth

CHAMPAIGN, IL, March 19, 1996 -- According to a new study coming from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the number of American communities on the World Wide Web has grown from less than a dozen to at least 600 over the past 18 months.

The proliferation of Web browsers, like NCSA Mosaic' and local Internet access providers has made this phenomenal growth possible. Many of the early on-line communities were essentially land claims in cyberspace-initial sites established, without much sophistication. Today, however, there are a wide range of on-line services that provide not only support to local communities, but also attract new businesses, residents, and tourists to an area.

A research group at NCSA has recently completed a rigorous analysis of websites at the USA CityLink Project to determine what communities in the United States are doing on the Internet. Their findings, one of the most extensive analyses of Web sites to date, have been documented and are now published.

Dr. Alaina Kanfer, research director of the project, reports that the best city sites on-line were "official," produced and supported by a the city government, chamber of commerce and other official, often in partnership with Internet service provider companies. In this recent study, two distinct types of city sites were identified: tourism sites and sites whose mission is to support their local community. Tourism related information is the most common type of information found at city sites on the Internet. More than half the cities provide information on tourist sites, restaurants and accommodations. Less than 20% provide information on taxes, local labor or utilities.

The study reveals that relatively few cities provide information about libraries, health care or local community networks on the Internet. Instead, of the 600 cities studied, 80% focus on local businesses, and 50% provide information on local community events and education.

The future of communities online is clear said Blake, "The city of tomorrow will be an information paradise accessible at your fingertips via the Internet." However, Kanfer cautions, this paradise can only be realized if more civic leaders and community members continue to become involved in the cyberspace revolution.

NCSA, a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is dedicated to advancing leading-edge technologies in information and high performance computing and communications in academia and industry. The center receives major funding to support its research from the National Science Foundation, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, corporate partners, the State of Illinois, and the University of Illinois.


Internet Related Jobs To Skyrocket In 96

March 18, 1996 -- The Wall Street Journal reported recently that nearly 100,000 Internet-related jobs will be created this year, up from 36,000 in 1995. This according to research compiled by Christian & Timbers Inc., a Cleveland executive-search firm.


Use the Potomac KnowledgeWay Connected Logo

The new Potomac KnowledgeWay Connected logo is now available for everyone who has registered in the Roadmap, to show their support for the project.

The logo is available in several formats, all gif files suitable for use on your Web site. Just download the best file for your site and make it a link from your home page to the Crossroads. You'll be showing your support for this important community effort.

We also encourage you to use the Connected logo on other marketing or corporate communications. We can supply you with other forms of digital graphic files, camera-ready hard copies or give you pointers on how to use the files. Just email the webmaster@knowledgeway.org for help.


White House Announces Internet Services Internship Program

The Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President has openings for qualified volunteers and unpaid summer interns to help improve the White House Web site. This according to David Lytel, a representative of the organization.

In his announcement Lytel indicated they do not anticipate having any paid positions for the summer. However, applicants should have a demonstrated interest in politics and government, strong writing abilities, and at least some experience with HTML. The strongest applicants would also have a UNIX background and some experience with Perl and CGI scripting. Especially desirable would be candidates who are fluent in Spanish or VRML. While they will work primarily on the Web site, volunteers and interns may also be called upon to do general office duties.

Applications will be considered from all qualified persons without discrimination.

How to apply: Please send an electronic mail message with the URL of your Web home page in the subject line to intern@ostp.eop.gov. The subject line must begin http:// and it must contain nothing else other than the address of your homepage, ie. http://address/of/yourpage.html. It can contain links to Web sites you have helped to build or maintain, but **must at a minimum** contain your name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, and age. THIS PAGE MUST CONTAIN THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO CONTACT YOU. You should also indicate if you are interested in being an intern (and if so, summer of fall) or a volunteer. No applications will be accepted by mail, fax, or telephone.

For more information contact:
David Lytel
Office of Science and Technology Policy
202-456-6037


More Internet Trivia:
Survey Finds Half of All Internet Users Plan to Switch Providers

CNN's Web site posted recently the results of a survey that found that nearly half the nation's Internet users plan to change the company that connects them in the coming year.

Does that mean more than 4 million made the wrong choice when they signed up with America Online, CompuServe or one of the other commercial Internet links? The cyberspace experts say no. With on-line services, there is "the curse of rising expectations," said Brendan P. Elliott, president of C+C Data Inc., and a consultant on the survey. Commercial services that package information into an easy-to-use format are favorites of novice Internet users, but experience may bring a desire for more.

"There is a sort of inevitable learning curve that people go through when they discover the Net and get their feet wet," said Bruce Koball, a technical consultant in Berkeley, Calif. "It's almost like a sort of maturing. You start out with training wheels and then you realize, 'Hey, I can ride this bike and there are places I want to go.'"

The survey, based on more than 27,000 phone calls in November and December, found there are nearly 9.5 million Internet users in the United States. It also found that 47 percent of the respondents planned to switch access providers within the next year.

The survey found 46 percent of the Internet users connected to cyberspace via a commercial on-line service provider. Thirty percent of the respondents used America Online, 11 percent used CompuServe, 9 percent used Prodigy, and 2 percent used the Microsoft Network, said Peter Clemente, an analyst with Emerging Technologies Research Group, which sponsored the study conducted by the research firm Find/SVP.

The source of dissatisfaction varied, but nearly 25 percent said they wanted faster access. Twenty percent of all respondents said they wanted flat monthly fees, and 8 percent said they wanted local access from any location from which they might be dialing in.


MicroStrategy Announces DSS Web; First Relational OLAP Interface for Accessing Data Warehouses Via the World Wide Web

MicroStrategy, the largest relational on-line analytical processing (ROLAP) vendor today announced DSS Web, the first product to enable end users to conduct OLAP analyses over the World Wide Web (WWW). Microstrategy has corporate headquarters in the KnowledgeWay and has been recognized by "Database Programming and Design" as one of twelve companies that define the direction of the database industry.

DSS Web is a relational OLAP interface which enables end users to access data warehouse and decision support applications through Internet browsers. DSS Web is a completely server-based application, therefore it drastically reduces the deployment, maintenance, training, hardware, and software costs normally associated with data warehouse implementations.

"DSS Web signals a new era in data warehouse access," said Michael Saylor, president and CEO of MicroStrategy. "The web represents the universal software socket, removing most economic and technical barriers to the distribution of decision support applications. Using DSS Web, it is now possible for companies to provide decision support services to their employees, investors, suppliers, partners, distributors, and customers without regard to geographic, organizational, political, or technical boundaries. Our corporate vision is a crystal ball on every desktop, and we expect to achieve this with DSS Web."

DSS Web is currently in Beta, with a targeted general release date of March 30, 1996. For more infomation, contact Lisa Houde at (703) 848-8692. or visit their Web site at http://www.strategy.com/


Links to Internet Surveys

March 25, 1996 -- The Crossroads Web site has added links to four important studies about the Internet and World Wide Web demographics. You can find them in the list of information resources on the Basics page of Living in a Networked World. The researchers include companies such as O'Reilly, CommerceNet, Nielsen and NCSA and topics such as conducting business online, demographic data on Internet users, and World Wide Web markets.


Events: A New Calendar For Crossroads

March 22, 1996 -- There is a new service for Crossroads users. Visit Events to find listings of upcoming classes, seminars, shows and other happenings in the KnowledgeWay region. You can enter your own listings for events sponsored by your institution or organization so that others can find out about them. Events has only just become available, but you will already find information about some valuable learning opportunities.

Everyone is encouraged to add Events listings. We ask only that:

  • listed events have a meaningful relationship to the Project's mission of helping people learn, collaborate and succeed in the Knowledge Age
  • they occur in the KnowledgeWay region of DC, Maryland and Virginia, are sponsored by organizations based in that region, or are events which occur over the networks
  • you observe the Project's acceptable use policies

Please make use of Events, and send us your opinions of how to improve it. Over the next several months we will be adding more sophisticated capabilities to Events, such as searching and editing.


How To Get Engaged

Sorry, no diamond rings, but if you would like to learn more about Engaging with the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, we've tried to make it a little easier.

At the top of every Crossroads page you will find a new Engage button. Click on it to find out about all the different ways you can become involved. From something as simple as Subscribing, to taking the step of becoming a Net-Worker or starting an Action Team, you can get an overview in this brief page with links to further explanations. As the Project grows, new avenues of engagement will be appearing, like Town Hall meetings and open discussion groups.

Please take a minute to review the Engage page. And then take the step toward engagement that's right for you. The success of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project depends on the effort of our whole community.


New Homes For KnowledgeWay Action Teams

Many people have wanted to learn more about the work of the KnowledgeWay Action Teams. As a start, you can find new home pages for each of the current teams here at the Crossroads. New pages will be added as the number of teams grows. The pages contain information about each team's mission, current members, a description of the group's work, links to archives of their individual discussion group and information about how to contact the group leader. You can learn more about the Action Team Program and visit the individual team home pages today:


The Roadmap Continues to Grow

Whether you are looking for an Internet access provider, a place to learn how to use the internet, business or non-profit groups in the region, or Knowledge Age products or services, look in the KnowledgeWay's Roadmap.

Roadmap is the source of information on resources in the Potomac region. The numbers grow daily; make sure your organization, products and services aren't left out. Register now.


A New Look for "the Crossroads," Potomac KnowledgeWay's Web Site

By now, you've probably noticed the new design. We have been experimenting with ways to improve the Crossroads' performance for all of our users while keeping the site visually attractive. You are looking at the results of our efforts. We hope that we have created a site that is pleasing to look at, easy to use and responsive to the wide variety of modem speeds, Web browsers, and computer setups that our users described to us during our testing.

A heartfelt thanks to all the subscribers, friends, and communications and information experts who responded to our requests for feedback time and time again. Your comments, suggestions, and patience were immeasurable.

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Team will continue to adapt the Crossroads Web site as the Project grows and the needs of the region evolve. Please continue to provide us your feedback. We are always happy to hear from you.


KnowledgeWay Action Teams' Discussions

KnowledgeWay Action Teams provide an important vehicle to engage interested citizens and their institutions to focus on how a specific discipline, such as law or K-12 education, or area of need, such as ensuring public access to networks in the region, can be advanced with regard to the Potomac KnowledgeWay's mission. KATs are made up of individuals with a shared interest who adapt and succeed by understanding the potential and applying the tools of information technology and electronic communications. The outcomes sought by KATs can vary according to the area addressed, from nothing more than better orientation and understanding all the way to the development of position papers or even prototype services to facilitate progress in the region.

The Crossroads maintains archives of the KATs' discussions.

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