; ) Be Dope archive *  icon tarot *  qJLG * haiku
interviews *  bookstore *  newsletter

visit mikepop.net for more info about Mike Popovic

Article Archive - 9 March to 13 March, 1998

*Tune in to Be Dope throughout the BeDC for live reports from Be Dope Special Diva on the Scene Reporter, Be Inc.'s own Melanie Walker *

20 March, 12.25am est

Be Dope Special Diva On-The-Scene Reporter Checks In
Be Inc.'s Melanie Walker had this to report after the first day of the BeDC drew to a close:
Virtual Void, a single (song) shipping on the R3 CD by Be's Baron Arnold as a test file was such a popular song at the Dev Lab today that Baron pressed some CD's and started selling them for $5 a pop. Rumors are that it's gone gold. Platinum by tomorrow? Be doesn't want to dominate the CD singles market, we believe we can coexist peacefully with other hit CD singles...

Hamish Carr, the fellow who brought us "Critical Mass" (available on BeWare) is currently porting the game to be texture mapped onto a torus (playable)

Be Direct Window innovation in the Interface Kit allowed Pierre Raynaud-Richard to map a life -sized 3D map of the MilkyWay galaxy which you could fly through.

Jean-Louis was being followed by a French TV Crew, cameras and mikes in tow.

Alex Osadzinski, our VP of Marketing came blazing in on his motorcycle, looking powerful and studly.

Gobe Productive threatens Microsoft Office's marketshare in a serious way.

19 March, 10.10am est
BeDC Crowd Revs Up For Conference
A huge crowd camped out outside the Westin Hotel last night as Be developers and fans lined up outside the Westin Hotel Conference Center in order to get the best seats possible for the BeDC, beginning later today.

"There is so much going on," said one developer who was second in line for admission, "BeatWare's Relay technology, StudioA from Adamation, Gobe Productive - with so much to see I don't want to waste any time!"

Indeed the parking lot had taken on a "tailgate party" atmosphere usually reserved for major concerts and sporting events. Be developers played frisbee, barbecued, socialized and listened to music, much of which was computer-generated. Tangles of extension cords and Ethernet cables crisscrossed the parking lot as developers also ran demos of their work, held impromptu code workshops and battled each other in networked games using computers running the BeOS connected to portable generators and car batteries.

Scalpers hung out on the fringe and offered tickets to the sold-out event for up to four times the original purchase price.

"When we hosted a Microsoft developer's conference last month, the attendees just sort of filed in like lifeless zombies," said a hotel security guard, "I've never witnessed such a level of excitement and enthusiasm."

Tune in to Be Dope throughout the BeDC for live reports from Be Dope Special Diva on the Scene Reporter, Be Inc.'s own Melanie Walker.

18 March, 11.07am est
Another Reason to Choose the BeOS: Privacy
Add privacy advocates to the growing list of users moving to the BeOS. Many point to an article in last month's Washington Post as the reason.

According to the article, when Microsoft CEO and Chairman Bill Gates donated US$20 million to the University of Cambridge recently, he said he would love the university to come up with new anti-piracy techniques.

Building on technology developed as part of a program of espionage started by the United States in the 1950s, University of Cambridge researches delivered the goods by coming up with what they call "Soft Tempest".

The original government TEMPEST technology worked like this: Park a van filled with monitoring gear near an embassy and listen for the faint radio signals that computers routinely emit when they are on. Analyze those signals for clues to the data that are on the computers. Monitoring was expensive and any results were difficult and time-consuming to analyze.

Soft Tempest refines the process to an amazing degree. According to the article: "With special code written into software, they say, computers could be made to broadcast beacons that would carry several hundred yards and identify the software they were running, complete with serial numbers of each copy."

A Microsoft spokeswoman stated, "We have no plans to adapt this ground-breaking technology we funded with twenty million dollars. We swear. Don't worry about it at all. Just forget the whole thing."

Obviously, the code that transmits the serial numbers could in theory transmit anything. For example, it would be easy to "snarf...a PGP private key and radiate it ... by manipulating the dither patterns in his screen saver. You could even pick up the signal on a $100 short wave radio" according to project head Ross Anderson.

"Obviously there are Big Brother aspects," Anderson added.

Although Anderson's paper Soft Tempest: Hidden Data Transmission Using Electromagnetic Emanations includes methods for foiling Soft Tempest using special screen fonts, the information is not being publicized. And many people are moving to the BeOS rather than go through the hassle of "tempest-proofing" their computers.

"Why bother going to all the trouble when the next version of Soft Tempest will cancel out your safeguards, forcing you to start all over again while your data is insecure," said one privacy advocate. "I would much rather switch to the BeOS and not worry about my operating system compromising my privacy."

Microsoft denies a possible deal between themselves and the US Government to integrate Soft Tempest with its operating systems for the purpose of gathering encryption keys and reporting on so-called "un-American" activities taking place on a user's workstation or server.

17 March, 10.50am est

Be: OS of the Jedi
George Lucas has announced a derivation of the BeOS will be featured in the series of "prequel" movies currently being filmed at various locations around the world.

When he asked his technology department to feature a "distinctive and unique operating system that would reflect the special spiritual nature of the Jedi" the first thing that came to their mind was the BeOS.

"We needed something that combined power with elegance, with a focus on the sort of digital content that one might imagine in a world of advanced technology," explained Industrial Light & Magic Visual Effects Coordinator, Lisa Todd. "I had designed some custom apps to take advantage of the imaging processing power only the BeOS could provide, so of course I recognized that the BeOS would be the sort of OS a Jedi would use."

Aside from its considerable technical advantages, the BeOS has received praise from such unlikely sources as Tibetan monks for its "harmonious nature", "warm vibes" and its "interconnectedness to the spirit of the universe".

Once set design began on the Jedi Council Chamber, Todd's vision proved true.

"The BeOS consoles radiated an understated yet undeniable power, and allowed the Jedi seamless interaction with the computers and information stored within," said Todd, "he [George Lucas] was thrilled with the result."

Look for the BeOS in a theatre near you soon.

16 March, 1.55pm est
BeOS Proposed As OS For Lunar Base
Citing speed and stability, an internal NASA document obtained by Be Dope recommends the BeOS as the operating system for a permanent lunar base.

Approval for the base came soon after the discover of a water source on the moon was confirmed, eliminating the need to transport a large water supply from the earth.

The memo points to the BeOS as the logical and efficient choice for the new lunar station (code named Aqualonde). Below are excerpts from the memo:

"Today, the BeOS offers superior performance on existing, inexpensive hardware. It is stable enough to handle critical functions such as life support. It is fast enough to handle the complex statistical analysis task science teams will present.

Once the observation stations are set up, the BeOS will handle digital images from both observations of earth and space 49% faster than other image processing tools.

[The ease of coding] means the technology team can develop custom 'ad hoc' programs quickly when called for by a situation. It's ability to make use of multiple processors eases upgrades and expansion.

In conclusion, I will remind you that these are the strengths presented by the BeOS today. The operating system will no doubt be more impressive as we begin construction of the station in 2002.

A NASA spokesperson said, "I cannot comment on rumors and speculation, but if I was planning to build a lunar base, I certainly would use the BeOS. Unofficially speaking, that is."

Home | qJLG | Icon Tarot | Story Archive | Interviews | Bookstore | Newsletter | About | Advertise | Contact