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Version 3.06 (#30)     Circulating 40,000 Copies     September 1995
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FinanCenter is a personal finance resource providing interest rate quotes, advisory reports, and convenient access to all. FinanCenter's web page (www.financenter.com) offers free information, glossaries, "how-to" reports, financial services, and interactive calculations to evaluate borrowing and investments.

Unabomber Information Center
In the words of the keeper of the web page at http://pages.prodigy.com/CA/gvmm68e/home.html, "The Unabomer has gone far enough. A single person, or small group of people should not be able to forcefully gain power to control a nation. Nail this (these) person(s) and get $1,000,000, save the lives of innocent people, and stop the daily life of the nation from being disrupted."

This WWW site is designed to become a database of all available newspaper clippings about each incident and any clues as to who the Unabomer is. Although the FBI has their own Unabomber page at http://www.fbi.gov/unabomb.htm; in the words of the webkeeper, "it did not have enough information", so he started his own page, listed in the paragraph above.

The Web keeper welcomes all information on the subject. To contribute, send email to gvmm68e@prodigy.com. (Update: The FBI's web page info on the Unabomber, now caught, is at www.fbi.gov/majcases/unabom/unabomb.htm. It is still true the FBI's web page has very little information to offer - compared to http://pages.prodigy.com/CA/gvmm68e/home.html. Also, the author of the web page probably no longer needs any new information...)


30-1-book.gif Computer Crime - A Crimefighter's Handbook (O'Reilly & Associates, $24.95, ISBN 1-56592-086-4) is a handy reference guide for anyone interested in, or responsible for, computer and network security.

Rather than exaggerate the risks posed by hackers, this book summarizes the many different ways computer data can be destroyed, and offers practical tips on what to do to prevent attacks, correct damage, and recover from disaster.

Although the book totals 464 pages, nearly half the pages are used to reprint the text of the most common laws used to prosecute computer crimes. Many will find this legalese boring and useless - but some will find it invaluable.

Computer Crime goes beyond simple concepts, offering valuable insight and good advice. This is an interesting, well-written book for anyone who needs to get up to speed on computer security in a hurry.

ORA: Voice (800) 998-9938     www.ora.com     order@ora.com


Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Warren, longtime cyberspace freedom-of-speech advocate, recently won the Dvorak Lifetime Achievement Award. Warren is a leading journalist on First Amendment and technology issues, and founder of InfoWorld magazine.

After receiving the award, he told the audience that regardless of ideology, BBSs can be powerful tools for citizen empowerment by acting as forums for specific causes and office-seekers. "You can be the leaders. The saying is, 'When the people lead, the leaders will follow.' Let's do it. Let us make waves and 'surf' for freedom. Although it's never 'free,' all it takes is time and effort, said Warren to enthusiastic applause.

Warren publishes the GovAccess list-serv, keeping subscribers informed on the latest government actions/intrusions on the online world. To subscribe, send the message of "subscribe Gov Access" to Majordomo@well.com.

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At the same event, another award winner was the Yahoo!company for their Yahoo Search Engine at www.yahoo.com.








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Windows 95 (Steve Kong)
Now that Windows 95 has arrived, how does it look for the rest of us? Actually, not bad at all! The OS has an abundance of cosmetic changes that usually help to improve performance. These changes also help new users get around quicker. But, let's get to the part that we all want to know about - how good is the connectivity in Windows 95?

Windows 95 ships with a PPP-driven "dial-in" network protocol that is fairly easy to setup. You need to get the basic configuration information from your ISP and type it in, but it's not difficult. Connectivity through Windows 95 is very tightly integrated, although you will have to pay extra for it you have to buy the Microsoft Plus! package.

The Plus! package includes a 3D Pinball game, wallpaper, sounds, a system agent to schedule maintenance, and, most importantly, the Internet tools needed to complete the Windows 95 interconnectivity. In the Plus! package you'll find Microsoft's WebBrowser and a SMTP extension for the Microsoft Exchange program. Microsoft Exchange is software that handles all of your communications needs it is basically a revised version of Microsoft Mail. I wrote this text within the Exchange program. It also handles faxes, mail, and is the front end for MSN (Microsoft Network.)

Microsoft WebBrowser is their Internet Explorer. This heavily modified version of NCSAs Mosaic is a superb 32-bit WebBrowser. I had both the Internet Explorer and the Netscape 1.2b2 32-bit package working, and it appears that the Internet Explorer performed better. How easy is it to connect to the net? In the Plus! package they have an Internet Wizard that guides you through the whole process, and even asks you if you want to connect to the 'net via your own ISP or via MSN.

If you are looking to upgrade your Windows machine, and want an easy, no-frills way to connect to the Net, Windows 95 and the Microsoft Plus! package are a good bet.


Fort Knox
If you're looking for the largest freeware/shareware site on the WWW, then look no further than www.jumbo.com. With over 23,000 programs available, Jumbo has conveniently categorized its wares into six major groups, each further delineated into the major software compartments of DOS, MAC, Newton, OS/2, Windows, Unix, and Windows 95. An additional convenience is provided with startup kits for each of the above platform environments, with free decompressors, anti-virus tools, and simple downloading instructions.

The potpourri of free software ranges from games to business tools, programming development packages to foreign language aides, and utilities galore. Amazingly, Jumbo allows downloading the same software from a list of different countries to take advantage of off-peak loading found in various time zones around the world.


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The Road To 2015, (Waite Group Press [www.waite.com], $18.95, ISBN 1-878739-85-9) by John Peterson, is interesting!

Books like this are fundamentally fiction - authors predicting the future with varying degrees of speculation, bias, and subjectivity. The Road To 2015 is much more non-fiction than fiction. Peterson intelligently discusses the past, current, and (likely) future of issues of significance. This thought-provoking book is full of good ideas and insights. Recommended.


Postal Service Online

The U.S. Postal Service operates the Rapid Information Bulletin Board System offering a wide variety of data to customers and employees. Besides ZIP and ZIP+4 codes, RIBBS provides daily bulk mail reports, press releases and speeches, Federal Register notices, and mailing/postage information.

Users and organizations can use RIBBS to get answers from the USPS National Customer Support Center, as well as read questions and answers left by other users. Access to most areas is free for up to 30 minutes per day. Some areas require a subscription fee. RIBBS allows up to three ZIP code searches per call at no charge; additional searches are available for a fee.

RIBBS can be reached by modem at (800) 262-9541. Modem speeds from 1200 to 14,400 bps are accommodated using ANSI terminal emulation and a protocol of 8-N-1, usually the default for most communications programs. The USPS also has its own home page on the WorldWide Web at www.usps.gov, providing a large number of resources devoted to philatelists (stamp collectors).


40-bits Cracked
Two computer users managed to break Netscape's Secure Sockets Layer encryption code - in response to a challenge posted to the Internet. But instead of scaring people away from using the system for online purchases, the details confirm the safety of the encryption.

In July, a US computer user posted data from an Internet message he saved - after he sent an order containing a fake name and credit card details to Netscape's computer. He then challenged the hacking community to break the encryption and recover the name and address info in the form that was sent securely (with 40-bit encryption) to Netscape.

Recently, individuals with access to supercomputer networks, cracked the code and revealed the contents of the message. As Roseanne Siino of Netscape said, "The real issue is whether this compromises security on the net. They used 120 computers for eight days just to crack one message." Siino points out that to break into another message would require another eight days at the same 120 workstations and two parallel computers.

Netscape's current security is strong enough to protect consumer-level credit-card transactions because the cost of breaking the message is too high. Netscape estimates the total cost of this much computing time is currently about $10,000 - getting credit cards numbers by hacking Netscape SSL messages is not cost-effective. Anyone not satisfied with 40-bit encryption security can use the 128-bit encryption available in U.S. versions of Netscape since April 1995. Current law prevents Netscape from shipping the 128-bit encryption outside the U.S. They would appreciate your support in lobbying the U.S. government to lift the export controls on encryption.


Pages 2 and 3 had full-page ads for the WCO's Internet service.
Page 4, 5, 6, and 7 had full-page ads for Laitron Computers.
Page 8 had ads for the Silicon Matchmaker (www.silicon.email.net) and the Atlantis BBS/Internet service (www.atlantis-bbs.com).



Questions Letters Comments

Q: Why not put WCO magazine online? Make it a web site!

A: As the magazine grows we may go online. Consider that when you are surfing; there are web sites more interesting than online magazines or newspapers. Could we hold your attention long enough - when we have to compete with the Waterworld, Batman Forever, and Surfing Monkey sites?

For now, we are happy to sit in a newsstand where you can find us each month. Pick up a copy for yourself, and a couple for your coworkers. Carry it around, reading articles and checking ads. Use our web and BBS listings. We believe we serve our advertisers and readers better in print. Some people recycle each paper issue, some keep them.

We take the worldwide web seriously, and will put the magazine at least partially online in the future - but we will wait until we can do it right. (The future came nearly 2 years later, after this - my last paper issue.)

Many people put a lot of effort into creating a web site, but don't make the commitment to keeping the information up to date. The result is a good-looking web site filled with stale news or too little (useful or interesting) information. Visit a site like this, realize even the webmaster is bored with their own site, and you won't return.

Q: I use Zterm on my Mac to dial into the Unix shell and use pine to read my email. Sometimes it works perfectly and sometimes my arrow keys make the screen go "crazy", redrawing the wrong things. As soon as I hit the C key to compose a message, everything is fine, but when I get to the main menu, the problem returns.

A: Make sure Zterm's terminal window is big enough to accommodate pine's complete main menu. If your terminal window is too small, or your screen fonts are too large, the "crazy" screen problem will appear.

Q: When I upload a message into the pine editor, it is slow as molasses and the text formatting is lost.

A: Upload your message with Zmodem before you start pine to compose your message:
1) At the Unix prompt, type rz (with no filename).
2) Use your modem software to upload the file with Zmodem.
3) Start pine on the Unix shell.
4) Press c to compose, and press control-R while in the text (not the header) area of the message.
5) Type in the name of the file you just uploaded in step 2.

Q: In the shell, whenever I open a certain Usenet newsgroup, I get a message that says "bad overview record" and the names of many groups (some to which I subscribe, some to which I don't) scroll on the screen. The names are usually mangled and include various weird numbers. This causes a delay from a few seconds to a minute before I can see the articles within. What causes this annoying delay and the garbage I see on my screen?

A: Problems happen from time to time when an Internet machine spools (stores) massive quantities of Usenet messages. Usenet servers use a giant database to cross-reference every news article. Every once in a while, the database will get 'out of sync' with the actual articles saved - causing the delay and error messages.

With more than a million articles spooled on the disks of a typical Usenet mail depot at any given time, a small inconsistency can create a large number of 'bad overview records'. When this happens, send email to your ISP's technical support department.

Q1: I used the w command from the Unix prompt and I'm on twice! Why am I logged on twice?

Q2: I was experimenting with some commands, and did a cat on a huge file and wanted to stop reading - but couldn't figure out how, so I chose "hangup" on my modem program. I logged back in and saw I was still on! How can I remove myself from the system?

Q3: I configured pine to allow me to suspend my session using control-Z. Usually it works fine, but while I was "shelled out", my computer crashed, so I logged back in. Now, I got the message: "Trying to get mailbox lock from process 15853" and a "READONLY Inbox" that I can't do much with. What do I do to unlock it so that I can get up and running again?

Answer to all 3 questions: You can either:

First, type finger your_login_name
Note the "On since" line. Further down the display, there will be a line with something like (e.g.) " on pts 009". Write down which "pts" you are on.
Next, type ps -u your_login_name. This will show something like:

        PID     TTY     TIME     COMD
        8802    pts/8   0:00     ps   
        6483    pts/8   0:01     tcsh 
        23453   pts/1   0:01     pine 
        23450   pts/1   0:03     tcsh

Note that there's a "pine" running, but it's on a different terminal than the one you are currently on (for this example, you are on pts/8). Now you know which processes to 'kill' off. To kill the processes shown in this example, you would type:

kill -9 23453
then
kill -9 23450

These actions will kill the pine and tcsh processes that were previously activated when you were logged in on port pts/1. You should then be able to start pine again without it being locked. The same process is useful for killing off abandoned sessions. Be careful you don't kill the process you are currently using!

C: In the August issue on page 12, there was a question asking about the California Relay Service for the deaf. Here's the info: For the hearing, dial the voice number: (800) 735-2922. For the deaf, dial the TTY number: (800) 735-2929.

The California Relay Service is for hearing-enabled people that lack TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) units, wanting to contact a deaf/ hearing-disabled person. The service is also for deaf/hearing-disabled people wanting to contact a hearing-enabled person.
The service is free, except for normal toll charges, if any. It can be used to contact a person interstate as long as the call originates or terminates in California.

A: Thanks!


Page 9 had ads for the Atlas BBS/Internet Service (www.gilroy.com), Nolo Press (www.nolo.com), and the Interaction BBS/Chat/Internet service (www.diversion.com).



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Editor's Views

We can finally relax. Windows 95 is here, the MicroSoft Network is functional, and PC keyboards may soon have the Microsoft logo. Makes us wonder: What will computer magazines write about for the rest of 1995? Will Bill Gates run for President in 2000?





30-10-time.gif Time magazine recently ran a cover story about "CyberSex". The CyberSex story misrepresented the nature of pornography on the Internet by grossly exaggerating the amount of it freely available to anyone.

In August, Time's cover story was on "CyberWar", a story that grossly exaggerates the possible danger posed to equipment connected to the Internet. If Time continues this editorial slant, it will be considered a comic book by those in the online community.


The Future of BBSs?
Except for BBSs fully connected to the Internet, BBS activity and interest seems to be declining. World-wide Web browsers and telnet applications have made Internet access easy; that's where many people choose to spend their online time.

For years, WCO has maintained and printed the best BBS lists anywhere. Among thousands of WCO subscribers, only a handful are Sysops. BBS lists (and databases) require time and money to maintain. We've done our best to support the BBS community by printed BBS listings for free.

We pose a question to our readers: Is there any reason for WCO magazine to continue our policy of listing BBSs for free? Do you use our BBS list, or is it a waste of paper? (We got hundreds of responses to dump the free BBS listings, and 11 supporting the idea; of the 11, none were subscribers or advertisers. This was the last issue of the paper magazine.)



EFF Moves to Bay Area

(By Andre Bacard)

Advocates of freedom in Cyberspace, rejoice. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the nation's leading group working to protect and enhance the growth of the Internet, is moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. To grasp what this means, I recently had lunch with Lori Fena at Buck's Restaurant in Woodside. Fena is EFF's new Executive Director. As radio commentator Paul Harvey would say, "Here is the rest of the story..."

EFF was founded in July of 1990 by Mitch Kapor and John Perry Barlow to insure that our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are applied to new communications technologies. To further EFF's mission, EFF helps educate the public and legislators about threats to and solutions for Cyberspace. Also, EFF hosts conferences on the WELL, the SPRING, CompuServe, America Online, GEnie, Byte, and elsewhere. You can get full details at on their web page at www.eff.org, or by email to info@eff.org.

Until August 1995, EFF's office was located in Washington, DC. When EFF first moved to the nation's capitol from Cambridge, Massachusetts, there was a great debate. Should we play the politics game in DC, or should we stay close to our cultural roots outside the Beltway? EFF took a sensible "let's try DC and see what happens" attitude. Now, after much success in Washington, EFF has voted to come to the Bay Area.

Vic Sussman, Senior Editor/Cyberspace at U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, echoes many peoples' reaction when he told me: "I was surprised but not shocked to hear that EFF is moving to the Bay Area. At first I thought, how the hell can they have any influence in Washington if they are not here, hunkered down in the trenches of Capitol Hill? Then I realized what a wise decision they've made to clear their collective heads by getting way, way beyond the beltway and out of 'Babylon-on-the-Potomac'. EFF continues to be ahead of its time in recognizing that government is no longer chained to geography."

Esther Dyson, EFF's chairman, added: "We're moving to California from Washington D.C. to get closer to one of our leading constituencies; net-aware people, particularly in Silicon Valley area. This is a democracy. In the short run, you can influence laws in Washington, but in the long run, you change the world by forming public understanding."  

EFF has also made a few "people" changes. Lori Fena is its new Executive Director. Fena is a practical woman with a sense of humor who, I trust, can make EFF even more "EFFective". Prior to joining EFF, Fena was vice president of Business Development with Stream International. Stream was formed in April '95 after a $1.4 billion merger of Corporate Software and the Global Software Services business unit of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company.

Lori Fena told me, "I took the job because it's the right time to accept this mission." She continued, "With the increasing role of the electronic environment in our daily life, it's an exciting and important time to come on board."

EFF has also elected Esther Dyson its new chairman. The media often refers to Dyson as "the computer industry's most influential woman". Chairman Dyson is the President of EDventure Holdings. The new vice chairman, John Perry Barlow is a Grateful Dead lyricist and author.

Moving with EFF to California will be Mike Godwin, staff counsel and perennial net presence; Stanton McCandlish, online services manager; and Dan Brown, systems and network administrator. EFF hopes to maintain continuing ties with Shari Steele, director of legal services, who will remain in Washington, DC. Steele is currently overseeing two precedent-setting cases: one challenging the inclusion of encryption on the U.S. munitions list, and the other determining if system operators should be held liable for the content of their users' speech.

What issues does EFF focus upon these days?
In EFF's words: "Current hot issues" include:

How can you benefit from and help EFF's move to the Bay Area? As of press time, EFF is seeking office space. Perhaps you know of a business in San Francisco or the South Peninsula that would like to share space with or donate space to EFF. If so, please contact lori@eff.org. Also, BayFF (the Bay Area chapter of EFF) plans to hold regular meetings with interesting speakers.

The EFF events that I've attended at WIRED's office in the San Francisco Mission District and elsewhere were worth my time. To learn more about future BayFF meetings, send this email:

To: listserv@eff.org
Subject: (leave blank)
subscribe BayFF

Andre Bacard, author of COMPUTER PRIVACY HANDBOOK (To order: 800-283- 9444), is a frequent guest on radio talk shows.


Once Upon an EFF Meeting

(By Andre Bacard)

The EFF is actively involved with diverse layers of society - from corporate boardrooms, to courtrooms, to Bay Area meeting rooms. What you're about to read is just a small slice of EFF's rich heritage and future.

In mid-August, I found myself cruising through Golden Gate Park. Suddenly I swerved into the right lane and shouted "Eureka!"
For those who don't know, Eureka is the California state motto which, in the tradition of the Gold Rush, means "I found it!" In San Francisco it means a parking space.

Feeling euphoric about my good fortune, I started the short walk long on memories towards the Haight-Ashbury district. It was delightful and fogless. The salty air was cool. The smell of grass (the type that city gardener's mow) was fresh. Passing a guitarist, I thought of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, recently deceased. My mind flashed back twenty-five years ago when I first visited Haight-Ashbury. Twenty-five years ago at the dawn of the Computer Age... So many silicon chips under the bridge...

I thought of all the people in the Haight mourning Garcia and donating to the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in Garcia's memory. I flashed back upon my first meeting with John Perry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and co-founder of EFF. That meeting helped inspire me to write COMPUTER PRIVACY HANDBOOK. Such were a few of the images that danced through my mind as I entered the Cole & Page Street Public Library...

It was appropriate to be attending an EFF meeting. John Gilmore, EFF Board Member and legendary cypher-punk, was the first person I saw. Gilmore reminds me of a lean Cheshire cat. He has a mischievous smile as if to say, "You won't believe what just happened." Maybe we'll never discover what just happened with John, since he's so much into cryptography. In any case, Gilmore introduced Mike Godwin as "The first lawyer in Cyberspace and EFF's first employee."

Mike Godwin ("a cool guy who survived law school with his personality intact", according to an anonymous EFF publicist) spoke for ninety minutes about how to deal with reporters and, more specifically, about his role in trying to correct the damage done to cyberspace by TIME's infamous "CyberPorn" cover story.

Godwin detailed many flaws in Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate Mr. Rimm's study of CyberPorn that led to the "CyberPorn" piece. Godwin said of Rimm's paper: "It's as if you surveyed the bookstores in Times Square in Manhattan and generalized to all bookstores in America ."

During the intermission, people chatted with each other. A highlight for me was meeting Lori Fena, EFF's new Executive Director, who had just flown into town from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cliff Stoll ("a wild and crazy guy with interesting hair", according to the same anonymous EFF publicist) spoke for the next thirty minutes. Stoll is the author of the best-selling book SILICON SNAKE OIL. Stoll personifies the eccentric heritage of the San Francisco counter-culture. With lots of humor and drama, Stoll presented a critical view of the Internet. " The Internet is a perfect diversion from learning" and "The Internet opens many doors that lead to empty rooms" were two of his many memorable lines.

Stoll noted that wisdom and experience have little to do with the Computer Cult (i.e., all the hype surrounding the Information Superhighway). It was a fun evening, and I'll return for future events. When you come to a meeting, please say hello. I'm the guy with the fedora hat who people mistake for Indiana Jones.


The bottom of page 10 had ads for the Internet Roundtable Society, OneEarth Publishing (www.1earth.com), and
PowerBBS Computing (www.powwwerworkgroup.com)

The bottom of page 11 had an ad for a2i Communications (www.rahul.net).


End of page 11. Go back or go to page 12 or to Mark's home page.