Published: Sunday 31 March 1996

Made for each other
Sun Microsystems Incorporated have developed new microprocessor chips compatible with their newly launched Java software. The chips bearing price tags that range from US $25 to $100 could eventually replace the current desktops and enable the user to hook directly onto the Internet. All one would need is a 'stripped down' computer and Internet access, which can be obtained at as Iowa cost as US $500. Scott McNeally, chief executive officer of the company, recently unveiled the prototype device in San Francisco, US.

No nonsense
Access to 'unwanted' material on the Internet had been disturbing the Chinese government a great deal. James Chu of the University of California at Los Angeles, US, has now sorted out the problem. Based on the latest filtering technology developed by Sun Microsystems Incorporated - which produces a software called 'Firewall' - Chu has come up with 'Intranet', an isolated corner of the cyberspace. Although Chinese users will hereafter have unrestrained access to each other, their links with the outside world shall be screened. All international Internet access would be channeled through the ministry of posts and telecommunications which is under the direct control of the State Council - the Chinese cabinet.

Ring, ring...
Installing the right software can transform one's computer into a toll- free phone. Internet Phone, a software developed by VocalTec of Northvale, New Jersey, USA, is currently the most popular and can be installed for US $50. International Discount Telecommunications of Hackensack, New Jersey, is also planning to introduce Net2Fone. This software would enable a PC owner to dial any phone number anywhere in the world. The call would travel through the net to the destination and jump back to the local phone system. This would cost a mere 10 cents a minute. The 'netizens' of the world might just shrink it further.

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