It seems like a different era now, that distant time when the government's antitrust action against Microsoft was first filed in 1997. The dotcom era was dawning (now it's in a sullen cocktail hour), Bill Gates's riches were headed toward $100 billion (these days the poor guy scrapes by on less than $50 billion) and AOL wasn't yet in the business of making movies and selling Daffy Duck denim jackets. (It hadn't even bought Microsoft's browser rival Netscape.) Yet the case plods on, now headed...
Anyone who's flown in an airplane has felt the odd, disconnected sensation of looking out the window and seeing that the plane is banking into a turn, and yet knowing that the floor of the cabin is still solidly "down." It's called spatial disorientation, and for air passengers it's less annoying than, say, crummy food.
What happens to art majors once they graduate? Designing computer chips seems to be an option. Microscope buff Michael Davidson stumbled onto the practice of etching images on chip surfaces four years ago, when he found hide-and-seek champ Waldo staring back at him from a microprocessor.
THE FIRST WILD LYNX TO roam Colorado's San Juan Mountains in 25 years initially wanted nothing to do with the place. Surrounded by a clutch of biologists from the Colorado Division of Wildlife last week, the young female from Canada remained obstinately curled inside her metal box.
BALANCING A DRUG'S BENEFITS against its side effects is tricky business. That was the lesson in September when American Home Products, the maker of two drugs for treating obesity--Redux (dexfenfluramine) and Pondimin (fenfluramine, which with the diet drug phentermine constituted ""fen-phen'')--pulled them from the market after suggestions that they might cause a deadly heart-valve disease.
IT HAS BEEN ALMOST TWO months since the tragic car crash in Paris, but Diana mania rages on. One tribute to the princess made history last week: Elton John's "Candle in the Wind '97" became the biggest-selling single ever, with 81.8 million CDs shipped worldwide in just 88 days.
FOR A WHILE THERE, IT SOUNDED great. Take a couple of pills, get rid of those pesky 10 pounds hanging around since last Christmas. The drugs - a tongue-twisting pair called fenfluramine and phentermine, or fen-phen - were intended to treat serious obesity, not cosmetic insecurity.
IT MIGHT NOT HAVE WOWED NEW- ton, but what Richard Garfield, then a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, did over three months back in 1991 surely ranks among the great achievements by a mathematician, right up there with the discove ry that people will pay 18 percent interest on their credit cards if you call it 1i percent a month.
BACK IN 1990 MICRO-soft overlord Bill Gates and cellular-telephone pioneer Craig McCaw introduced what was arguably the most audacious plan in modern telecommunications: a network of satellites--hundreds of them--forming a worldwide "Internet in the sky," beaming data anywhere in the world 35 times faster than the fastest analog modem.
WHEN ONE GUY IN A CASE FINALLY squeals, it's champagne time in the prosecutor's camp and ulcer time for the defense. Sure enough, tobacco opponents broke out in cheers and press briefings last week, when Liggett Group became the first of the major cigarette makers to say the magic words: cigarettes cause cancer, nicotine is addictive and we market directly to your kids.