In, Around and Online

Description: 

In, Around and Online
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 07:21:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ann Okerson <ann@cni.org>
Subject: In, Around and Online (fwd)

Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 12:53:30 +0100
From: au007@rs1.rrz.uni-koeln.de (Michael Uwe Moebius)
Subject: In, Around and Online

Here is a new newsletter called _In, Around and Online_ - A Weekly
Summary of Consumer Online Services. It is weekly posted to the
USENET Newsgroups alt.online-service, alt.internet.services and
alt.business. You can get it additionally from
http://www.clark.net:80/pub/robert/home.html.

[This newsletter has since been renamed, _Seidman's Online Insider_;
however, issues of _In, Around and Online_ are since available on this site]

Attached is the last issue.

**********************************************************************

In, Around and Online- Issue 7, Week Ending 10/21/94

Copyright =A9 1994 Robert Seidman. All rights reserved. May be
reproduced in any medium for noncommercial purposes.
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What's New

Circumstances beyond my control are going to cause this newsletter to
lose its image as a "quick and easy way to stay informed". The basic
problem is that some weeks a lot of new information is generated. If
I had an editor, many of the "short take" items would probably not make
it into the newsletter. I don't think it is necessarily correct for
me to make decisions on what is newsworthy. I figure every item in the
short takes will be of interest to some group of people. Secondly, I
got a lot of good feedback on the "feature" story I did last week and
several wrote in suggesting that I continue to include features. Time
constraints and personal crisis make that difficult this week, but in
future issues I'll try to do a feature story. With everything that's
happening, coming up with topics will not be difficult.

The end result is that this newsletter will grow in length. My goal is
to keep it structured in such a fashion that regardless of length,
skipping through the newsletter to find the items that interest you
will be an easy task.

Also, I've had some more mail problems (my fault, not my providers!).
If you see this in a newsgroup, but didn't get the e-mail, please
resubmit your request. Even if I sent you notification that you were
added to the list, it is possible that you were subsequently (and
accidentally) deleted.

On with the news...
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Update to Prodigy Rate Announcement

Last week I reported that Prodigy began offering new rate options. For
$9.95 a month, Prodigy members will get 5 free hours. Usage of any
Prodigy service after the 5 free hours would be billed at $2.95. The
"Value" plan is now $14.95/mo. for all the core service you can eat,
with 5 free hours of plus services. Additional plus hours after the 5
free will be billed at $2.95.

A couple of alert readers pointed out that while the $9.95/5 hours plan
seem ed similar to AOL's, there was one area where the billing structure
was differe nt. Users who want to upload messages and files or
download/save files/messages to disk will be billed incremental charges
on top of the hourly rates. The specific rates confuse me depending on
whether you're using E-Mail Connection (EMC) or just using save to disk,
and whether you're uploading or downloading. As far as I can tell, if
you are using EMC, you'll just be billed bytes at 1 cent per 1000
character block. If you're not using EMC and use the "save to disk"
option f rom the Prodigy front end, you'll be billed TIME plus 1 cent
per 1000 character block. You can however import and export text via
the copy/paste command at no other cost than TIME. These rates go into
effect on 11/16. I'd detail the current and new rate structures, but
for brevity, if you're interested, cont act PRODIGY. (1-800-PRODIGY)

This is confusing, and to me, it is very STUPID. Prodigy wants to bill
themselves as one of the premier communications services. This is 1994
not 1984. Prodigy is a CONSUMER service not a commercial service. MCI
Mail, Sprint Mail, and other such services can get away with character
based price schemes beca use the services are aimed largely at
businesses. Today, many individuals can ge t all you can eat Internet
e-mail accounts anywhere from $10 to FREE. Penalizi ng users by
charging for bytes that get pushed over the network and charging connect
time charges seems unthinkable. Educated consumers that use Prodigy
mainly for e-mail may well switch services. CompuServe has a monthly
e-mail "allowance" and America Online has just begun distributing new
Windows and Macintosh versions of the AOL software that have an off-line
mail reader bui= lt in.

America Online Updates

America Online this week announced that they'd begun shipping new
software to members. According to a letter from Steve Case a while
back, Macintosh users would receive their disks first followed by the
Windows users. Each user wil l receive two kits so that they can give
one to a friend. The new software will feature off-line mail (Mac
users already had this) and a new look and feel. Capabilities to
seamlessly integrate text and graphics are built into this software, but
at this point none of the areas have integrated this. Off-line
messaging other than e-mail (forums, newsgroups, etc.) is not part of
the current release.

An additional announcement advised that AOL will be putting up a World
Wide Web site soon. The site will offer a selection of screens and
content for free a s well as instructions on getting the software and
signing up. I'll keep you posted as soon as I find out the site is up
and running.

AOL released a preview of its anonymous FTP service this week. Users
can get their by going to Keyword: FTP . Enhanced FTP is expected in
the coming months. Additional enhancements to the newsgroups were also
announced. The enhanceme nts allow users to automatically reply via
e-mail and make it easier to toggle messages as read and unread.
Unfortunately, "auto quoting" is still not available.

AOL also announced this week that overall, they were now the most
popular provider of internet services. I know a lot of people will
think, "NO WAY", but I believe based solely on the amount of Internet
e-mail that they are proces sing that this true. The flip side to this,
is that there have been a lot of problems lately with the Internet
e-mail gateway. I hope this gets stabilized soon, because I don't like
sending letters to AOL that never arrive. Speaking of letters that
never arrive..

Cowles/SIMBA Media Daily Update

Last week I reported that SIMBA Information Inc. had decided to do away
with the planned surcharge of $29.95 a month on America Online. I'd
written to Alan Brigish, President of SIMBA Information Inc. and
publisher of the Coweles/SI MBA Media Daily to find out whether the
surcharge would be dropped on CompuServe. I got mail from Mr. Brigish
this week. Turns out he never saw the mail, but he did see the
reference in In, Around and Online. Mr. Brigish advises that they've
decided to drop the surcharge on CompuServe as well.

Mr. Brigish also probably thinks that I'm ripping the Media Daily off
to com pile my newsletters. I'm not. I have access to the same PR
Newswire, Business Wir e, AP, Reuters and Dow Jones stories that they
do. However, the Media Daily does have immediate access to a lot of
Cowles Media Publications stories and I don't. But, with the surcharge
being dropped, I have to put in a big plug for this service. If you're
on America Online or Compuserve check them out (AOL: Keyw ord SIMBA,
CIS: GO SIMBA). They provide extensive coverage on a daily basis Mond=
ay to Friday to everything happening in the media world. While they do
give good coverage on online services and the Internet, they also
provide coverage on print and broadcast media.

If you like this newsletter, you'll like the Media Daily. You won't see
much covered here that isn't covered there. Oh sure, they won't give
the same extensive coverage on services like the Condom Country World
Wide Web page.46 or pennies a day, it is a good deal.

CompuServe Notes

CompuServe demonstrated their FTP service this week at the PC Expo in
Chicago. The service in its final stages of testing and will be
generally available to members within 4-6 weeks.

CompuServe also announced the new fall season of "Stein Online", the
nations first online ongoing interactive talk show. Complete with
"interviews of celebrities, authors, experts and interesting people from
all walks of life." Some of the upcoming guests are: Bob Keeshan of
Capt. Kangaroo fame, Norther n Exposure's Rob Morrow and Elvis
Presley's step-brother, David Stanley.

GEnie News

Genie announced plans to provide full internet access by the end of the
year. While it isn't really full (no World Wide Web), it will be fuller
than what any of the other online services have. Phase 1 will include
FTP, Newsgroups, Outbound Telnet, Gopher and WAIS services.

Genie will also establish a Genie Information Server that will be
accessible to Internet users that might be interested in learning more
about Genie. I'm guessing this will be done via a WWW or Gopher site.

Other Interesting Blurbs

The Chairman of Viacom Inc, Sumner Redstone expressed his uncertainty
about the information superhighway. "The big seamless digital tapestry
that futurists contemplate with such anticipation is years away,"
Redstone said addressing the National Press Club.

In an unrelated story with an ironic tie-in, according to a survey of
attendees at the annual Forrester Research Technology Management Forum
76% of the Fort une 1000 professionals surveyed equated the information
highway to the internet. Only 16 percent defined the information
highway with the commonly held idea of interactive video and video on
demand. The Forrester Research Technology Management Forum is an annual
gathering of information industry visionaries.
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SHORT TAKES

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THE WHITE HOUSE hits the web! My personal politics aside, this is a NICE
WWW page. Lots of information and some fun too! Download a soundbyte
from Socks the cat, then read the text translation. A must see.
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MORE GOVERNMENT INFO with the SBA ONLINE. Get descriptions of Small
Business Administration loan and business development programs by
clicking here.
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AT&T LAUNCHES 800 directory on the internet. For those of you that are
afraid to dial 1-800-555-1212, now you can get directory listings of
800#'s from the comfort and safety of your computer. "Dial" to get the
number! For additional info from AT&T look at this.
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THE CULT, those "Cynically raucous rockers" will be the featured guests
on the Monday, Oct. 24 edition of Warner Bros. Records' weekly
interactive talk sho w, Cyber-Talk. Fans can chat with The Cult about
their self-titled new album wh ich was released by Sire/Reprise Oct.
11. On America Online- Keyword: Warner . N ote- the press release said
9:30 p.m., eastern, but I've seen other info showing the time as 10:00
p.m. The raucously inclined may want to double-check before ha nd.
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PEOPLE LOVE TO SHOP no matter where and no matter how! At least
according to the Home Shopping channel. HSC feels the launch of the HSC
Outlet Net on Prodigy has been very successful so far. Some cooking and
jewelry items sold out within the first few days.
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APPLE'S eWORLD announces eWORLD OF WORK, a comprehensive career
information center. With offerings similar to the other online
services, eWORLD is also offering some job placement services. I don't
have a Mac so I can't check this out. eWORLD plans to add more career
content in the coming months.
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PLS SPONSORS a "Win a WEB Publishing Kit" contest. What is a PL Server?
How does the contest work? Find out more at: http://www.pls.com .
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SEARCHING FOR AN E-MAIL address for friends, family, or long lost loves?
Today, it can be a difficult chore, but SLED corporations FOUR11 Online
plans to change all that. Whether your high school sweetheart was Cindy
Crawford or Mel Gibs on, you'll want them to be able to find you! Go add
your name to the list FOR FR EE. Other services provided on a
membership subscription basis.
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COMMERCENET, a consortium of companies and organizations is holding a
wide-scale market trial of commerce over the internet. Consultants and
value-added serv ice providers can add your name to a directory of
service providers. Find out mo re at by clicking here.
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46TP SOFTWARE, a leading provider TCP/IP software applications is making
product information and technical support available by WWW.
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DELUXE BUSINESS SYSTEMS announced their business form/office supply catalog is
now available via the Internet. Check it out. There is even a section on how
to get FREEBIES!
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THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS has selected Prodigy as their onramp to the info
superhighway. As a Washington Redskin fan, I'm not allowed to read this
paper. You Cowboy fans can check it out on Prodigy!
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CANADIAN SONGSTRESS LOREENA MCKENNITT will be holding a live press
conference this Tuesday, October 25th on CompuServe at 9:00 p.m.,
eastern. She'll be available to discuss her fifth recording (they can't
call them albums anymore), "The Mask and the Mirror". To get there
use: GO AUDITORIUM .
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WALL DATA announced that it has made a minority investment in SPRY, a
leading provider of Internet access software. This moves strengthens a
technology agreement made earlier between the two companies.
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THE NATIONAL CENTER For Super Computing Applications (NCSA) announced
that O'Reilly and Associates Inc (of GNN fame) will be responsible for
publishing,, maintaining and updating the NCSA "What's New" Mosaic page.
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TENNIS GREAT Pam Shriver will be part of a live WorkingWoman magazine
seminar on Apple's eWORLD. Event will be held Thursday, November 3,
from 9 p.m. till 10 p.m. Eastern.
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DELPHI INTERNET Services is now offering KESMAI multiplayer online
games. Harpoon, Island of Kesmai, Stellar Emperor and Air Warrior will
be offered on Delphi Internet at a significantly lower cost than on any
online service, according to Delphi's press release.
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Coming Attractions

Look for features on how to access online services from the internet,
reviews of the 3 major broadcast networks (ABC,CBS,NBC) adventures in
cyberspace, and t= he Internet as a marketplace in coming issues.

See you next week.

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Original posting date: 
Sunday, July 30, 1995
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