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Article Archive - 8 June to 12 June, 1998

12 June, 11.40am edt

Coca-Cola Looks To BeOS Technology
Before Netscape Navigator vs. Microsoft IE, before Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux, a platform war had been raging for decades. In fact, today's battles within the computer industry are the only ones that have ever come close to matching the war that has been waged for nearly a century between the Coca-Cola Empire and Pepsico, Inc. At stake is no less than the taste buds of billions of consumers world-wide.

Now Coca-Cola, according to a source inside the sugar-water superpower, is seeking high-tech help for the next battle in the war. And it is rumored the partner of choice is Be, Inc.

This internal email was sent from a Coca-Cola vice president to a member of the R&D team:

"We [Coca-Cola] must lead the Cola Wars into the technology age. Regarding the Be angle, these are questions I'd like you to consider:

1. Can Be multi-threading technology enable a consumer to enjoy a can of Coke and a can of Sprite simultaneously?

2. How can the BeOS help us render polar bears, penguins and other assorted critters that are even cuter than what we already have?

3. Is it possible to get Be, Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée to drink anything other than fine french wines, i.e. Coca-Cola products?

[remaining content deleted to protect source's identity]

Our source also informs us that while most of the projects combining BeOS technology directly with soft drink products are in the conceptual stage, other projects using the BeOS in Coca-Cola machines and trucks have already produced working prototypes.

"We have Coke machines here that will scan the building for Pepsi machines, determine the price they are charging for a can of Pepsi and lower the price of Coke to below that price, if necessary," reported the source. "If such action does not produce an increase in the amount of Coke beverage consumption, the same machine can send an override signal to the Pepsi machines, causing all the 'selection empty' lights to turn on."

The source also points to the hope that the "inherent coolness" of the BeOS as a desirable side effect to integrating Be technology with as many aspects of Coke production and distribution as possible.

"Let's face it - the Cola Wars have little to do with taste anymore," said the source. "It's all about image. And the BeOS oozes coolness, energy and speed - everything we need to reach our target demographics."

Be Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée had little to say about the recent delivery of 120 Coke machines to Be Inc. headquarters.

"Designing the most powerful OS in the world is thirsty work," dodged Gassée.

Although competition with Pepsi is driving the adoption of advanced technology in the Cola Wars, sources inside both Coke and Pepsico admit there is fear of an even greater threat they are both preparing for.

"Our greatest fear is that it's only a matter of time before Microsoft decides to go into the muti-billion dollar soft-drink business," said an executive of Pepsico. "It would be little effort for them to buy up a struggling company like RC, rebrand it with the Microsfot name, and ship it with Microsoft Office, or even integrate it with Windows 98/NT as an included 'liquid refresher' component. If we're not prepared with some sort of counter-attack when that goes down we are all screwed."

"Have a BeOS and a Smile," Gassée added.

11 June, 10.50am edt

BeOS Demos To Be Simulcast On JumboVision
In an unprecedented event, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani has announced that Be Inc.'s demos from PC Expo will be piped into the world-famous JumboVision - a television screen several stories high mounted in the heart of Times Square.

"My office has been flooded with calls regarding the Be situation. The [Jacob Javits] convention center is just too small to hold everyone that wants a closer look at the BeOS. Scalpers are price-gouging the citizens. Something had to be done," said Giuliani .

Times Square will be closed to motor vehicles and temporary seating will be erected to hold the expected crowd of 20,000.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates reportedly attempted to purchase Times Square from New York City in an effort to stop the BeOS demonstration from being broadcast. However, the mayor refused the offer, partially due to the fact he was pissed off because he was up late the night before trying to resolve IRQ conflicts with his new sound card on his home computer, which currently runs Windows 95.

"I will be watching these demos with great interest," added Giuliani.

10 June, 9.55am edt

Scalpers Receive Record Prices For PC Expo Tix
For the first time ever, New York City ticket scalpers have been making a fortune selling tickets to PC Expo, a computer industry trade show. Experts claim the presence of Be, Inc. at the Expo is driving the demand.

Normally tickets to the event can be had for as little as $55. In fact, many tickets are usually given away for free to promote a healthy attendance. Now, scalpers are fetching prices of $2,000 for a one-day pass and $5,000 for a full three-day pass.

"I have to see Be. Be, Be, BeOS, MediaOS - this is all I hear. I don't know what it is and I don't care what it is, as long as I sell tickets," said one leading scalper, speaking on condition of anomymity.

"This is Be's first PC Expo, and this is the first time we've seen kind of price-gouging from scalpers for the event. Coincidence? I think not," commented industry analyst John C. Dvorak in a recent article. "This is a chance for those on the east coast to get and in-depth look at Be and it's obvious many are taking advantage of that opportunity."

"My staff has gotten hundreds of calls regarding Be's presence at the expo," said show director Laura McQuaid. "Bill Gates calls me personally everyday to ask if Be is still coming to the show. It's damn annoying."

Although the public has been asked not to patronize the scalpers, some see it as the only alternative to missing Be's appearance.

"I waited too long to register, and now PC Expo is sold out," bemoaned one computer user. "I had to sell some blood to come up the money, but there is now way I am missing Be's demos."

Lucky ticket holders planning to attend PC Expo are reminded that Be will be exhibiting for the full three days, and are urged not to storm the Be booth en masse when the doors open Tuesday at 10.00am.

"Let's not have a stampede here," McQuaid added.

9 June, 10.52am edt

Convention Center Prepares For Be
Just one week away from PC Expo, workers at the Jacob Javits Convention Center are focused on one thing: the Be booth.

"We don't want a disaster like the one at Software Development '98," said Laura McQuaid, Show Director for PC Expo. "We are taking special preparations to ensure the safety of the attendees."

The floors around the Be booth (aka Boothzilla), normally rated to withstand 350 pounds per square foot, have been specially reinforced to withstand 500 pounds per square foot.

"I've seen these Be demos before. Not only do they draw tremendous crowds, but the people get worked into a frenzy," explained McQuaid. "When you get a crowd of that size jumping up and down, hollering and stamping their feet, there is no question that the floor must be reinforced to handle the stress."

As an added precaution, a first aid station has been set up next to the Be booth.

"There is a real danger of people being trampled as they try to order the BeOS and get a better look at the demos," said McQuaid. "Plus, you always have some people who simply faint from the shock of witnessing the power the BeOS can bring to their computer."

"Now I only have to worry about angry exhibitors, wondering where all their traffic has gone," added McQuaid.

8 June, 1.20pm edt

BeOS Vegetables Astound Researchers
An experiment in genetic engineering involving the BeOS has produced better than expected results, surprising researches working on applying the advanced technologies of the BeOS to growing vegetables.

The experiment used cutting-edge genetic engineering techniques to merge the powerful core of the BeOS with various strains of vegetables - including corn, tomatoes and pumpkins.

"The results are nothing less than remarkable," said Dr. Richard Norden, director of the project, hefting a tomato larger than a basketball. "What we have here may be the total elimination of world hunger."

Vegetables grown in the study, showed an average 400% - 900% increase in size, depending on the species. Additionally, the BeOS-enhanced altered vegetables were considerably more nutritious and flavorful than "normal" vegetables.

"The increased size and richness of the vegetables is merely the side effect of the true benefits the BeOS brings to vegetable gene-splicing," explained Dr. Norden. "In fact, the BeOS-enhanced vegetables are superior the moment they are planted."

Traditional vegetables can process only one nutrient at a time. If they are gaining substinence from the soil, for example, nutrients offered by the air and water are lost. BeOS-enhanced vegetables use "symmetric multinutrienting" to take in and process nutrients from air, soil and water simultaneously.

Additionally, BeOS-enhanced vegetables are designed to be "soil-agnostic". Not only will they grow in almost any medium - sand, dirt, water - they will outperform seeds that are designed to grow only in that medium

"We examined the DNA and found a lot of legacy code that had not been optimized for thousands of years," Dr. Norden reported. "By stripping out this DNA code and replacing it with modern code written from the ground up to take advantage of today's growing conditions, BeOS seeds are able to do more with less."

Since the BeOS-enhanced vegetables grow faster than traditional vegetables, farmers can grow several different crops in one planting season. And due to an advanced "journaling" system, the vegetables are able to self-repair any damage caused by insects, thus eliminating the need for pesticides.

"The applications are endless," added Dr. Harden, stepping into a pumpkin that had been hollowed out, sealed and fitted with a door and windows to form a spacious two-bedroom cottage.

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