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» NASA Loans Russia Hardware To Complete Internet Link «
WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1993 NOV 2 (NB) -- The National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, NASA, has announced that after several year's work
the agency is now proceeding with the loan of hardware and software to
the Russian Space Agency that will allow a direct high-speed link between
Moscow scientists and the Internet.
Charles Redmond of NASA told Newsbytes on Tuesday that the system now in
the process of being installed is basically an upgrade to computer
facilities at the Soviet Space Agency offices. The deal began with an
agreement between President Bush and Premier Gorbachev which is only now
being implemented with the current Russian Space Agency because of delays
having to do with obtaining permits to ship high-tech equipment to the
former Soviet Union.
This constitutes the first direct hard-wired link between the Russian
scientific community and the worldwide Internet scientific, and academic
communications network. Mr. Redmond told Newsbytes that an indirect link
has existed for years but that it was made through a gateway located in
West Germany and therefore only operated at a relatively slow 9600 bits per
The new linkage between the Space Agency facilities just north of Moscow,
Russia, NASA, and everyone else on the Internet is a high-speed 56-kilobit
link using a combination of land lines and a satellite linkage.
According to NASA, the new network link will provide a means for the two
major space agencies to carry on much more intensive liaison activities
which just wasn't possible using the much slower gateway.
To provide a high-speed Internet link, NASA had to receive Department of
Commerce permission to ship about $480 thousand worth of routers and front-
end computers, including a MiniVAX, to the Russians on loan from NASA.
The equipment will be in operation by the beginning of 1994 and should
eventually link a number of Moscow-based and outlying scientific stations'
networked computers with the Internet although those outlying locations
will still be linked only through relatively slow dial-up modem lines to
the high-speed Moscow center.
Shipment of the hardware and necessary software has already begun, but not
everything is yet in place, according to the NASA spokesperson in
» 3DO Int'l Assn, 3DO Club Started «
REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1993 NOV 2 (NB) -- 3DO has started two
support groups, one for people in businesses related to 3DO technology, the
3DO International Association (3DOIA), and the 3DO Club for consumers. The
compact disc read-only memory (CD-ROM)-based 3DO hardware was shipped into
retail outlets by Panasonic in September.
Panasonic, the only hardware manufacturer currently offering the 3DO player,
says sales of the Real 3DO are going very well, despite the fact that there
are only three software titles for the player to date. The 3DO boasts a
reduced instruction set computing (RISC) chip, is specially designed to offer
fast graphics rendering, and connects to a television set. The unit will also
play audio CDs and Kodak Photo CDs.
Twenty more entertainment titles are expected by Christmas and in excess of
300 developers have signed up to either move existing software titles or
create new ones for the 3DO market.
The 3DOIA is $95 per year and is aimed at developers, publishers, producers,
dealers, distributors, and manufacturers of 3DO products. The group has been
formed to offer a forum and information about 3DO as well as information
exchange between members and will offer a newsletter, special interest groups
(SIGS), and conferences.
The 3DO Club is the source for fun information aimed at consumers or would-be
consumers who are willing to spend $19.95 per year to learn more about 3DO.
Members can expect a quarterly newsletter with information about new 3DO
products, behind-the-scenes previews, and profiles of those who have licensed
3DO's technology. Contests, special events, and sweepstakes will also be a
part of the club, 3DO added.
To entice membership, those purchasing Panasonic 3DO systems now will receive
free one-year memberships and a sweepstakes with a grand price of an all-
expense-paid trip to Universal Studios is also being offered. Ten first prizes
of 3DO software titles will be awarded as well, the company said.
Those interested in joining 3DOIA are encouraged to call 3DO for more
information. Information on the 3DO Club may be obtained by mail. Janet
Strauss, director of marketing for 3DO said the company has already received
thousands of letters from people who want to joint the 3DO Club.
3DO has as its largest competitor Philips with the Compact Disc Interactive
(CD-I) player. Philips has announced a deal with Paramount to introduce
72-minute movies for the CD-I player that will play with the addition of
special Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) hardware module for decompression
of the video. The company recently cut the price of the CD-I player so
with the MPEG module it is comparable to the 3DO price of about $700. Philips
is also doing "infomercials" on national television and has more game titles
available as it has been marketing the CD-I player for over a year. However,
3DO claims other game systems are no match for the graphics capability of
One other player in this market could be the Atari Jaguar system. While Atari
officials hope the Jaguar will be as popular as the now ancient Commodore 64
home computer, the company has lost nearly all its momentum in the US market
and is struggling to manufacture the Jaguar systems in large enough quantities
to meet demand. However, Atari does have backing from C-Cube, a maker of video
compression hardware chips.
The preceding stories are © 1993 NewsBytes.
Reprinted with permission.