Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on March 2, 1998 · 51
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 51

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St. Petersburg, Florida
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Monday, March 2, 1998
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51
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SITE SEEING BY JULES ALLEN Of bugs and good old days A sweep of the Net turned up some interesting fare for surfers on a range of topics. www.ent.iastate.eduMisc InsectsAsFoodhtml Ever get home after a hard day, look around die kitchen ' and think to yourself. "You know, there's just nothing to eat in here? On days like this, I fire up tliis page and almost immediately my hunger goes right away. Yes, they're cooking with insects. I'm not talking about a roach falling into your ice cream, but actually planning to include bugs in the food. With ' ingredients like .-cup dry-roasted crickets and instructions like "Gradually add flour mixture and insects, mix well," IH get back into my high school jeans in no time. Maybe well call this the Tech Times diet! This page is great and is from die Department of Entomology at Iowa State University. swift.eng.ox.ac.ukrjmmuseuni.html Last week's column found me completely nostalgic for the '80s. When I thought about it, I spent the '80s much like die '90s: staring at a computer screen for way too much of the day. When I stumbled across Bob's Computer Museum, I got all squishy thinking about die computer hardware of yesteryear. Those slow, unreliable tajie drives as a storage medium, trying to tune in the TV so I could use my computer, CompuServe at $22 an hour and thinking that color would be a complete waste of time for business computers. Maybe the good old days weren't that good after all. www.shockrave.com If you enjoyed last week's sprinkling of Shockwave games (www.macromcdia.com for the free plug-in), youll get a real kick out of this site. By the time you read this, the ShockRave site will be a little over 2 weeks old and may expand on die already copious content I can't say I like "Dilbert" having a voice, but the "Peanuts" cartoons were worth the download. If you like "Peanuts," of course. This site conies from Macromedia, which makes its money from selling die tools that make diese whuzy online cartoons and games. www.usafrica.com After reading John Perry Barlow's recent Wired magazine article (www.wired.eomwired6.01barlow.html), I've been thinking quite a bit about Africa and pondering a life without ready access to die Internet fast PCs and the plethora of communication equipment that almost transparently makes up my day. I was naturally intrigued when Nischal Patel from the U.S.-Africa Education Foundation in Tampa e-mailed and suggested we take a look at its site. WTiile a Utile light on original content tiiis new site contains some great links and basic demographics about die continent and is well worth checking out if you have an interest in tilings African. nt.exche.com Staying on top of the burgeoning news sites is almost a full-time job in itself, although it's hard to collect a paycheck doing this. So, to make sure I keep my day job, I've been making Excites NewsTracker my morning and midday stop during the past couple of weeks. Not only does this news search engine snake through the usual suspects such as CNN, MSNBC, et al, but it also will comb regional organs such as the Times and the other guys across die bay. Ad-sponsored and totally free, from those nice folks who do the regular Excite search engine. Jules Allen director of interactive services for Best Software in St. Petersburg. Send suggestions to tecmimes(2sptimes com or write PO. Bwt 1 121, St. Petersburg, fi 33731. Visit the St. Petersburg Times on the Web: http:wvvw.sptimes.com States assert right to tax Internet Knight Ridder Newspapers WASHINGTON Setting up a fight with Congress, the nation's governors approved a resolution last week that allows states to collect sales taxes on the Internet, saying state and local governments could lose billions in needed revenue as more and more commerce goes electronic. The measure, approved by a wide margin at the end of the National Governors' Association meeting here, also calls for a permanent prohibition on taxing the access fees consumers pay to use the Internet The measure was strongly opposed by a handful of governors, including California's Pete Wilson, who warned that his fellow executives "are in danger of acting in haste" on Internet taxation. The resolution, which several governors described as one of the most important policies to issue from their meeting in years, cuts to die heart of a crucial question surrounding electronic commerce. If, as boosters say, the Internet will come to dominate many types of commercial transactions in the next century, how if at all should taxes apply? And how do governments make up the potentially huge shortfall in revenue if business, now subject to sales and other taxes when conducted in a physical location, escapes those taxes when conducted in cyberspace? The question has already begun to occupy Congress, where the House Commerce Committee has passed a bipartisan bill that would place a moratorium on any new Internet taxes for several years while legislators assess the growth of Internet commerce. The administration, too, has proposed a national Internet policy tliat calls for no new taxes to be placed on the Internet And both Internet service providers and those with business-oriented Web sites bristle at the notion of taxes creeping into a largely unregulated medium, especially given that there are some 6,000 sales tax jurisdictions in the nation. Everybody in the debate insists they have one main goal: to keep from stifling the growth of the Internet and electronic commerce. While today electronic commerce is a small part of the nation's economy, largely confined to computer-related goods, books, CDs and a smattering of investment trading, it is not expected to stay that way. "Within four or five years we could be dealing with one-half trillion dollars worth of electronic commerce" a year, said Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, one of the chief authors of die resolution. Much of that commerce will compete with traditional "Main Street" businesses that must collect and pay sales taxes, Ieavitt said. The issue, he maintained, is "not about revenues ... if s about equity." It is also about billions in tax revenue, and part of a larger battle pitting states against die federal government States fear die Internet may become the source of more problems. Some worry dial a failure to create a uniform sales tax system in each state for Internet commerce invites the federal government to impose a national sales tax on the Internet, paving the way for a more widespread federal sales tax or value-added tax. "We need to be absolutely certain dial we do not find the taxing powers of state and local government to be on a 'motiier may-F basis with the federal government' said Colorado Gov. Roy Romer. Video driver may need to be updated Q. My NEC9701 hangs up and I have to restart it when it has been idle for 20 minutes or so, even with the screen saver on. A This problem could have many sources. The most likely suspect is your video driver. Verify that it is up to date by checking die vendor's Web site for the latest version. If this doesn't solve the problem, try reseating andor rearranging the order of your memory .SIMMS, or even removing SIMMs one at a time. Q. Thanks for your answer to my startup problem. However, my computer opens with an ugly diamond pattern background and then brings up a window that allows me to click off that pattern to a brick background that I prefer. How do I get rid of the diamond background? A Is it possible that you still have an unwanted program running at startup? What you describe is not ordinary Windows behavior. If you are running some odier interface (some vendors like HP and Packard Bell include their own "user-friendly" interface on top of Windows 95), you will need to check die vendor's documentation in this case. Q I have a Sharp PC 8700 that had a voice that gave the time and another that said "Welcome to Windows 95." Somehow, both have been lost Is there any way to retrieve them? A Simple tilings first Make sure that your sound card is not muted (double-clkk the speaker icon in the System tray) and that your speakers are connected properly. If that doesn't work, locate the .wav file for "Welcome to Windows 95": StartFindFilcs or Folders. Enter ".wav" and click Find Now. This will list all .wav files on your system. Double-clicking each V-0 SOLUTIONS W BY JOHN TORRO one should automatically play the file. Once you find it, note its location. Then through Control PanelSounds, scroll down to "Start Windows," select it and then click Browse to navigate and select the proper .wav file. As far as the voice giving the time, this must have been a program; ifs not a regular Windows sound event If you find it put a shortcut to it in your StartUp folder. Q. I have just installed Internet Explorer 4.0 and am constantly running into problems: "This page provides potentially unsafe information to an ActiveX control. Your current security settings prohibit running controls in this manner. As a result, this page may not display correctly." And second: This page has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor." After the first error I cannot go any further; after the second error I have to start all over again. A ActiveX controls are mini-programs that Internet Explorer downloads to your computer and then runs. A malicious program of this type can harm your PC. As a precaution, IE warns you of tiiis and takes different action based upon settings that you can viewchange under ViewInternet OptionsSecurity. A setting of "medium" will allow you to optionally run or not run these controls. Any ActiveX component should be digitafty signed, verifying its creator, before you allow it to run on your system. Internet Explorer will let you know a given control's status before any action is taken. This does not guarantee that the control is harmless, but does offer some level of accountability. If the "illegal operation" error occurs only in the circumstances you described, that may explain the problem. Otherwise, as nonsensical as it may seem, uninstalling (through Control Panel, AddRemove programs) and then reinstalling IE usually fixes this problem. Q. I use Netscape Communicator. When I send my mail to the trash folder and it starts to accumulate there, I empty it. Where does all this unwanted mail go and how can I get it off my computer? A Emptying the Trash Folder removes the folder's contents from your disc drive, creating more free space. Q. We are gone three months of the year. Would it be better to unplug the computer or just leave it plugged into the surge protector? A If you are going to be gone for three months, I would definitely unplug your entire unit Some surge protectors are rated for direct lightning hits but only once. After that if s open season on your electronics. Don't take a chance. Q. How does Phone Dialer work for long distance? I want to use my micro phone to call someone out-of-state. D I pay a toll? A The Phone Dialer that comes with Windows (under Accessories) simply take the place of your fingers for dialing regular phone rates still apply. Send hardware and software questions to techtimessptirnes.com, or Tech Times, PO. Be 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions will b answered only in the column John Torro, a systems engineer for a software company in Tampa, is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer 14 TIMES MONDAY, MARCH 2, 1998

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