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May 1996 Stories

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

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

What's New for the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's Web Site?

Technology Summer '96: Opportunities for Educators

May 31, 1996 -- The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology has set up a Web site to list opportunities for learning how to integrate technology into instruction. Their goal is to highlight professional development technology opportunities available this summer in every state. If your district, university, company, non-profit or other organization is offering a summer professional development course, institute or seminar in instructional technology, simply use the online form to enter the information. If you are interested in finding out what is available, listings include information about the content area, grade level, delivery method, sessions, dates, credit, cost, location, contact and addresses where online materials can be found. For additional information, contact Gwen Solomon at

Retail Marketing Opportunities on the Internet

May 31, 1996 -- The Greater Washington Board of Trade in conjunction with the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, is sponsoring a three-hour seminar on "Retail Marketing Opportunities on the Internet and the World Wide Web: Can it Work for Me?" Topics include Internet demographics, how retailers are using this new interactive communications medium, an overview of equipment needs and costs and resources in the greater Washington region. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit a variety of retail Web sites. The seminar is on Thursday, June 13, 1996, from 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. at the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, 1801 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, Virginia. Space is limited. For more information, please contact or call 202-857-5936.

Internet Network in Russia

May 31, 1996 -- According to Reuters, billionaire financier George Soros said his non-profit foundation plans to underwrite a five-year, $100 million program to install Internet connections at universities across Russia. "We are providing the equipment, the training and the staffing on the ground," he said. "The whole program is $100 million in the next five years."

In a recent speech in Houston, Soros said he remains concerned Western democracies have missed an opportunity to create open societies in the former Soviet Union. "The West didn't really engage itself to help in the transition" since the end of the Cold War, he said. The Internet network he envisions may help in that transition by improving communications and promoting education through online classrooms across Russia.

"It is a way of keeping Russia more open and building what I call open society. More equally, it gives the foundation a network to reach the people outside Moscow," Soros said of the online network, which he said has the support of the Russian government.

Soros plans to travel to Russia in June to open the first of 32 Internet centers in Yaroslavl, an ancient city 160 miles northeast of Moscow.

A money manager whose net worth is estimated at more than $1 billion, Soros has set up a global network of foundations in 24 countries throughout the former Soviet Union and in South Africa and Haiti.

Getting Online: Communities on the Internet Conference

May 31, 1996 -- Around the world, communities and non-profit groups are looking at the Internet as an essential survival tool – economically, socially and culturally. "Getting Online," a conference sponsored by InfoLink, will bring forward community views on development of the information highway while opening dialogue among non-profit organizations, the electronic community networking movement, communications policy-makers and the Internet industry. The conference will be held on June 21-23, 1996 at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Participants in "Getting Online" will hear from communities and non-government organizations that have made the leap into cyberspace. Participants in "Getting Online" will share front-line ideas on the most affordable, appropriate ways of using the Internet to meet basic community needs. Other items on the agenda include:

  • what community groups can accomplish by going online;
  • ways of using electronic networks to create jobs and bring communities together; and
  • factors that can limit community and non-profit uses of electronic networks.

Contact InfoLink to learn more about the conference and to register online. Individuals may also register and obtain additional information via email at or by calling 1-800-265-3973.

A Good Lawyer on the Internet

May 24, 1996 -- The Internet has provided a whole new field of opportunity for writers to publish their work beyond the traditional publishing environment. Stephen W. Comiskey recently published a book on the Internet, "A Good Lawyer: Secrets Good Lawyers [and their best clients] Already Know." His goal was to create a small book to be for all who practice law what Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" is for all who write. The book is designed to "give law students some guideposts for practicing law honorably and some compass points for ethics. "A Good Lawyer" says succinctly what Comiskey believes is rightfully expected of a good lawyer.

However, "A Good Lawyer" is not just for lawyers. It is for clients, potential clients and anyone curious about the legal system and legal processes in the United States. In a recent review of the book, Gannett News Service's Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Hanchette wrote, "…The result is a compendium in which each nugget of experiential wisdom stands on its own, but presents a seamless whole -- sort of like what might result if the famous 4th century B.C. Chinese scholar and military strategist Sun Tzu ("The Art of War") were asked to write about attorneys: cosmic thoughts on cosmic subjects, but of bumper sticker length."

Comiskey is a partner in the law firm of Comiskey & Hunt based in McLean, Virginia. A Good Lawyer may be downloaded or read online.

Mario Morino Gives Keynote at High Tech Awards Dinner

Mario Morino, chairman of the board of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project and chairman of the Morino Institute, presented the keynote address at the 10th Annual Greater Washington Region High Tech Awards Dinner on May 15, 1996. The speech focuses on the opportunity the greater Washington region has to come together as a community to seize the economic, educational and social opportunities of the communications revolution in part by recognizing and nurturing a network-centric entrepreneurial community today. Highlights of the speech include four key strategies to position the region as the global hub of the knowledge industry in the 21st century, the need to understand the transforming change and opportunity of the communications revolution and examples of how each business leader can make a difference by doing their part.

FreBon Announces Worldwide Bridging Services - Facility Based in Greater Washington

May 20, 1996 -- FreBon International Corporation, a videoconferencing integrator, has recently installed a new multipoint control unit (MCU) for videoconferencing. This service allows up to 20 certified videoconferencing sites to be bridged together at transmission speeds from 112 Kbps to full T-1. The MCU can connect 3 to 20 standards-based systems (ITU H.320) from any manufacturer for an interactive conference.

This new multipoint bridging facility, located in greater Washington, offers onsite and worldwide users electronic and bridging services. According to Fred Mueller, executive vice president of FreBon, "This multipoint bridging service (facility) will definitely fill a need which exists in the Eastern Region."

FreBon's multipoint bridging services are available 24 hours a day on a scheduled basis. Through July 30, interested potential users may be registered and certified at no charge by calling the FreBon Help Desk at 800-723-5273 or by sending an email to

Surf the Wave to Free Summer Classes

Explore the Internet, sharpen your creative writing skills or learn to surf the World Wide Web this summer at Spectrum Virtual University. The University is repeating several of its most popular courses and introducing a dozen new "focus groups" that will provide valuable opportunities for hands-on learning.

All summer classes are free to the public. Enrollment deadline is Friday, June 14. Classes begin Monday, June 24 and run eight weeks. Visit the University's virtual campus and complete their 3-minute online enrollment form. For information on how to register by email, send a message to

Greater Washington Entrepreneurs Honored at 10th Annual High Tech Awards Dinner

May 17, 1996 -- Over 1,000 members of the business community gathered to honor and recognize this region's top entrepreneurs and technology companies at the Greater Washington Region High Tech Awards Dinner. Presentations include:

The Used Computer Mall

May 17, 1996 -- The next time you need to buy or sell used equipment, parts or supplies visit The Used Computer Mall. the online used computer equipment marketplace. Features include hundreds of new listings every day, free buy and sell ads for end users and close to 1,000 dealers indexed by brand and type. Also available is MicroPricer, an online publication which lists thousands of asking prices for used computer equipment. Email address is

A New Mailing List: Blindsport

May 17, 1996 -- Blindsport, a new mailing list, focuses on sports for the blind. Topics include announcements of upcoming tournaments, how to make sports more accessible to the blind, results from tournaments and events, sports training camps and other related topics. To subscribe, send a message to indicating you want to subscribe to the "blindsport" list (do not send listserv commands as this is not a listserv address).

Tri-State Assistive Technology Programs Form Partnership

May 14, 1996 -- Through a unique collaborative effort, the three state technology programs from Virginia (VATS), Maryland (MDTAP) and the District of Columbia (DCPAT) have joined together to sponsor a Tri-State Conference on assistive technology. The purpose of the conference is to learn more about the assistive technology programs and services across the three states in hopes of building interstate networks to assist users and providers of technology. The conference will be held on Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31, 1996 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

The theme of the conference is Assistive Technology: Across the Life Span. Many respected leaders in the field of assistive technology will gather to share their knowledge and personal insights. Bonnie O'Day, a member of the National Council on Disability and staff member at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., will present the keynote address. Dr. Katherine Seelman, director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, will close the conference with her vision of assistive technology and possible future opportunities from a federal perspective.

Concurrent sessions on Thursday, May 30, are designed to share innovative approaches to assistive technology throughout the three states. The sessions on Friday, May 31, will include parents and family members to discuss the impact of technology on their lives. Additionally, there will be technology exhibitors from across the three states throughout the conference.

For more information, please contact Sandra Mason via email at, by phone 804-662-9990 or fax 804-662-9478.

Cliff Kendall of Computer Data Systems Named Board of Trade "Leader of the Year"

May 7, 1996 -- Clifford M. Kendall, chairman of the board of Computer Data Systems, Inc. (CDSI), recently received The Greater Washington Board of Trade's 1996 "Leader of the Year" award. Each year the Board of Trade recognizes an individual whose service to this region has been outstanding. Recipients of this award have demonstrated years of leadership, vision and practical guidance to the business community in greater Washington.

Kendall has guided CDSI's growth for 27 years. CDSI started with only four persons in 1968, and now employs over 3,000 and generates more than $220 million in annual revenues and has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the country's 200 best small companies.

Kendall has played a major role as civic entrepreneur and catalyst for the region's technology sector. As chair of the Board of Trade's Technology Committee, Kendall led the effort to complete the first documentation of the technology industry's presence in the region. During his three year service as chairman of the Suburban Maryland High Technology Council, his actions led to the establishment of the Montgomery County Technology Enterprise Center, an incubator for entrepreneurial high tech start-up firms generating new companies and jobs for the region. As chair of the Montgomery- Prince George's CEO Roundtable, he targeted the revision of the Maryland's Transportation Funding Formula as that group's highest priority. That unprecedented, historic revision was enacted this year.

Other awards include recognition as the Greater Washington Area Master Entrepreneur Award sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP, Merrill Lynch and Inc. Magazine and the 1995 Suburban Maryland High Technology Council's Leadership in Technology Award.

Kendall has demonstrated leadership in his dedication to higher education as well. He serves on the Board of Visitors at College Park, and is a member of the Advisory Council for the School of Business and Public Management at The George Washington University. Currently, Kendall teaches in the graduate program at John's Hopkins University.

Kendall serves as president of the Greater Washington Salvation Army Advisory Board and serves on the board of the Kiwanis Foundation of the District of Columbia and the Kawanis Clinic Foundation, Inc. He is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. and is active with the Lighthouse for the Blind and the Montgomery County Education Connection.

The Board of Trade is a regional chamber of commerce representing over 1,000 businesses in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Presenting The Commons: A New Discussions Area At the Potomac KnowledgeWay Web Site

May 6, 1996 -- Got a question about Internet access but don't know where to find the answer? Need volunteer help or looking to fill a job opening? Want to find people who share your interest in digital video production? A new Potomac KnowledgeWay Web site feature, the Commons, can help you with this and more.

The Commons is the first part of a new area of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Web site dedicated to helping you make connections and solve problems. It is part bulletin board and part discussion group where you can post messages, requests for assistance, invitations and announcements, questions and answers--all in real time on the Web. Commons is free-form. It's a place where everyone in the region can come together to collaborate. You can search through Commons to find postings about a particular concept or browse existing messages.

Commons is based on Proxima Corporation's Podium product. Proxima has donated the software and provided hours of help installing and adapting it for the Potomac KnowledgeWay Web site. The Project thanks the kind folks at Proxima, it's President Raul Fernandez, and especially to programmers Kevin Hsu and Jesse Caulfield for their kind support.

You can find Commons by selecting "Connections" from the Potomac KnowledgeWay's home page, then choosing Commons and Forums. The Forums section will be coming soon. Forums will work like Commons, but will be focused discussions around particular issues, the Internet And Law for example. They will have discussion leaders to facilitate interaction.

Visit Commons soon and tell us what you think. We encourage you to use Commons often. Check back frequently to see what new postings have been made and who has replied to your messages. Commons has just started. The more people who use it, the more it will become a valuable tool for you and your organization.

Regional Effort Results in Over 120 Computers Donated to Inner City Schools

May 6, 1996 -- As a result of Tech Day '96, over 120 computers, 286's and 386's, were collected, refurbished and donated to D.C. schools and learning centers. Tech Day '96 was organized by The Lazarus Foundation and the National Computer Recycling/Mentoring Association.

Tech Day '96 was the area's largest computer round-up and recycling effort with 11 collection sites throughout greater Washington. This event brought together many of the leading recyclers in the region, including The Lazarus Foundation, Computer Reclamation and 2nd Chance. In addition to collecting the computers, over 200 participants learned the art of computer recycling through hands-on experience at the area's first computer recycling assembly line.

Sponsors included Microsoft Corporation, US Tech Corps, the Morino Institute, Americans Communicating Electronically, the National Grants Management Association, the Points of Light Foundation, Tech Corps-DC, Tech Corps-MD and Reach for Tomorrow. Tech Day '96 was also sponsored by the Computer Recycling Action Team of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project.

For more information about Tech Day '96 or to find out how to donate additional equipment, please call 202-628-TECH.

100 Attend GBCC Internet Seminar: KnowledgeWay Presents Keynote Address

May 6, 1996 -- On April 23rd, over 100 participants attended the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce seminar, "How To Make The Internet Work For You And Your Business". The seminar offered two tracks: "Go From Novice to Navigator" and "Net-Friendly Marketing." Participants also saw live demonstrations and participated in lively interactive discussions.

The keynote address was presented by Cathy Lange, a member of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project Team and owner of BusinessWorks of America, Inc. Ms. Lange spoke about the Internet, its role in the communications revolution and how the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is serving as a catalyst to help the Metropolitan Washington Area capitalize on its strengths and position itself for the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

Additional support for this program came from the following companies: Comsoft Learning Center, WebFirst, Internet Interstate, Firefly Communications, Harper West and Bell Atlantic.

First Clio Gold Award in Cyber-Advertising Goes to Greater Washington Firm

May 6, 1996 -- Proxima Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, received the first Clio Award in the field of cyber-advertising at the 37th Annual Clio Advertising Festival and Creative Expo Gala Awards held in San Francisco on May 3, 1996. Proxima won the award for their web site design for the pantyhose-maker Leggs. The Clio Awards honor advertising excellence worldwide.

With much of the Internet targeted towards men, the Leggs site is a haven for female internauts. It combines subtle marketing of Leggs products with a small library full of wisdom and resources for women. Visitors to the site can get health and fitness, political, legal, entertainment, personal finance, career and style information, and they can go to discussion forums and chat about all those topics with other site users. The site also offers users the opportunity to test their heart rate, use an interactive calculator for budgeting and send messages to their Congressional representatives.

The Leggs site is indicative of what our distinguished panel of judges were looking for, said Clio Marketing Director Peter Zapf. The judges wished to honor and recognize Web site designers who use creativity and thoughtfulness, not mere technology, to communicate with impact.

Other web sites recognized by the Clios for their combined interactivity, information, fun and marketing include Duracell USA, Joe Boxer and Molson Canadian Beer.

In addition to recognizing web sites for the first time, the Clios launched its own web site during the award festivities. The Clio Awards site brings advertising creatives from around the world together via modem for discussion on advertising and related topics. Users can access information on all Clio winners and view samples of great creative work.

Gaithersburg Library, Microframe Technologies and Hewlett-Packard Team-Up To Sponsor Internet Classes

May 3, 1996 -- John Makulowich, internationally known Internet trainer and columnist, will present a series of seven free Internet seminars in the Fall 1996.

The special Internet Seminars are being presented in cooperation with the Gaithersburg Public Library in Gaithersburg, and sponsored by Microframe Technologies, Inc. and the Hewlett-Packard Company. The seminars will show users how professionals benefit from the Internet. Details of the seminars, scheduled for September, October and November, are at Questions about the seminars should be address to

InfoBITS Event A Success

May 3, 1996 -- "You are the Potomac KnowledgeWay," explained Mario Morino, chairman of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, to a crowd of more than 200 Arlingtonian's and other Northern Virginia business leaders gathered at the infoBITS luncheon on Friday, April 26, at the Arlington Renaissance Hotel. InfoBITS, now in its third year, is an annual showcase of the Arlington information technology community and provides educational opportunities for the Northern Virginia high-tech community. Each year, infoBITS occurs during National Science and Technology Week sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Morino discussed the pervasiveness of technology in society today and especially in the greater Washington area and how it can be used to enrich our professional and personal lives. The communications revolution is happening and there is nothing we can do to stop it, he explained. What we can do, however, is shape it and direct how it impacts our lives. Ideas that were once considered futuristic are happening today and they are happening fast. It's time to seize the opportunities and prosper individually, as a community and as a world leader in information technology. He also addressed the new breed of entrepreneurs that is springing up around the country and especially in this area, because of our indigenous network culture and high numbers of knowledge workers and net-savvy workforce. He charged the audience to get involved in the Potomac KnowledgeWay or get left behind the curve.

Prior to the luncheon, infoBITS featured three concurrent workshops, on getting involved in the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, marketing on the Internet and selecting Internet service providers. For additional information on infoBITS or the Arlington information technology community, contact the Ballston Partnership at 703 528-3527.

Benton Foundation Summarizes FCC Filed Comments on Universal Service

May 3, 1996 -- As a public service, the Benton Foundation has contracted Emilio Gonzalez, author of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration's "Connecting the Nation", to write summaries of comments filed in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) proceedings on universal service. This work is available on Benton's World Wide Web site at

These summaries are not intended to be nor should they be represented to be comprehensive nor interpretive. They are a limited snapshot of the positions filed on this issue. Complete filings are available from the FCC.

The Benton Foundation's Communications Policy Project is a nonpartisan initiative to strengthen public interest efforts in shaping the emerging National Information Infrastructure (NII). It is Benton's conviction that the vigorous participation of the nonprofit sector in policy debates and demonstration projects will help realize the public interest potential of the NII. Over the past two years the Benton Foundation has commissioned a number of research papers on the subject of universal service and now hosts the World Wide Web's most comprehensive library of universal service and access documents.

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