Barbara Kantrowitz

Where The Techies Are

CHIPHEADS AREN'T ALWAYS in front of a screen. For some F2F time, try these spots: 321 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, Mass. Industrial decor looks like the inside of a Pentium PC with petri dishes for ashtrays.Locations vary, Cambridge, Mass.

Garage-Band Programmers

At the Macworld Expo held each August in Boston, software developers try to dazzle each other with technology that pushes silicon chips to the limit. This year, one of the bigger draws was Jump Raven, a sci-fi game with movie-quality sound and images -- clearly the work of master programmers.

An Evolving Technoculture

Photography has always been as much artifice as art. But software that seamlessly meshes images from unrelated settings has escalatead the debate over the validity of photographic reality. "Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age" (Aperture, $18.50) is a state-of-the-art look at the evolution of electronically altered images through the eyes of photographers and curators.

Eye I.D.

Forget about the lowtech retinal scanner that unlocked Arnold and Tom's secret headquarters in "True Lies." Kids' stuff. Two scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have come up with a way to identify people by patterns in the colored part of the eve, the iris.

Apple Bites

Meet the John C. Dvorak of cyberspace. He's Adam C. Engst, the 26-year-old editor of a free electronic newsletter about "the world of the Macintosh and electronic communication" called TidBITS, one of the most popular publications on the Net.

Face 2 Face In Realtime

Ever wonder what a hacker looks like? There will be at least several hundred gathered in New York City this weekend for a 48-hour convention called H.O.P.E., Hackers On Planet Earth. "This is the first time something of this magnitude has happened in the U.S.," says co-organizer Emmanuel Goldstein.

Which Way To Neptune?

The dispatcher's name is Rita, and she speaks in the dulest tones of deepest Brooklyn. But the hacks in Voyager's "Planetary Taxi" are ready to whisk passengers to the farthest reaches of the solar system.

Dissent On The Hard Drive

The no-frills brick building in downtown Hackensack, N.J., is an unlikely setting for an attack on censorship around the world. But entrepreneur Howard Jonas thought it was the perfect place to start an electronic bulletin board that puts banned books on line.

Multimedia's Latest Hits

GAMES NOW AVAILABLE FOR 3DO'S Multiplayer are part of a virtual tidal wave of interactive games that have come out in the last year for both videogame players and personal computers.

Computers as Mind Readers

THE MARRIAGE OF MAN (OR WOMAN) and machine is one of the most intriguing images in science fiction. From the Bionic Woman to RoboCop, these creatures are blessed with bodies that just won't quit and brains at the top of the evolutionary scale.


AS A LONGTIME "STAR TREK" devotee, Janis Cortese was eager to be part of the Trekkie discussion group on the Internet. But when she first logged on, Cortese noticed that these fans of the final frontier devoted megabytes to such profound topics as whether Troi or Crusher had bigger breasts.

Child Abuse In Cyberspace

EVEN THE CHELMSFORD, MASS., POLICE were shocked when they raided a local computer bulletin board called The County Morgue. The operator, John Rex Jr., a 23-year-old engineering student, ran the electronic forum out of the house he shared with his parents and two 15-foot pet pythons.

Bill And Craig's Big Idea

IN THE WORLD OF THE START-UPS, THERE are ideas, big ideas and Big Ideas. On that scale, Bill Gates and Craig McCaw have a BIG IDEA. Last week they announced plans to launch 840 small communications satellites, nearly triple the amount circling the Earth today, so that virtually everyone will be able to send and receive video and sophisticated data.

The Tempest In A D-Cup

GET READY FOR THE BATTLE OF THE Bras. Last week, Gossard, the British lingerie maker, launched its Super Uplift bra, an engineering marvel consisting of 46 separate pieces of lace, padding.

The Information Gap

JONATHAN HEE, 15, AND MICHAEL Tran. 16, attend the same suburban high school, Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring, Md., outside Washington. Both hope to use computers at work someday.

Sex On The Info Highway

MEET THE COUPLE WHO CALL themselves the Roarks. This is how they looked for love on a Florida electronic bulletin board last week: "My fiancee and I have a well-evolved submissive/dominant relationship.

Out Goes The Nouveau

ONE DAY YOU WAKE UP, TAKE A long look around the living room and decide that the old, familiar stuff looks ... just plain old. There's only one thing to do, really.

Hey Computer, Do My Taxes

CANDICE BERGEN MAKES IT LOOK SIMPLE. In the Sprint Foncard ads, she merely tells the telephone to "Call home" without ever lifting a manicured finger. Major computer manufacturers are also touting the power of speech.

Happy Birthday: Still Wired At One

WHEN WIRED MAGAZINE debuted, it was billed as a Rolling Stone for the computer generation. A year later it appears to have achieved just that. The paper version of the magazine is a required accessory for about 110,000 technotrendies--along with a color PowerBook and access to "the Net." Wired also reaches thousands more readers online, through America Online and the Internet.

In A Class Of Their Own

WHILE OTHER 15-YEAR-OLDS ARE struggling through geometry, the periodic table and the agony of high school social life, Gabriel Willow is blissfully pondering the body angles of fish, the mysteries of evolution, origami and anything else that intrigues him. "I've got a pile of about 12 fish books," says the teenager, who lives in rural Maine. "I'm looking for fish with the most exaggerated shapes that I can do in origami, things like puffer fish and angler fish, barracudas." What educational...

Who Holds The Key To The E-Mailbox?

REPORTERS ARE PAID TO BE NOSY. BUT there are limits, at least if you work at the Los Angeles Times. Earlier this month Times editors recalled a reporter in the paper's Moscow bureau because they believed he was repeatedly reading his colleague's electronic-mail messages, according to sources at the Times.

Hillary's House

DAVID LETTERMAN WAS CLEARLY NOT impressed. After viewing pictures of the freshly renovated White House private quarters last week, he concluded that the only thing new in the Lincoln Bedroom was the deep fryer by the bed.

Take The Money And Run

CALIFORNIA IS THE STATE that spawned the tax revolt (remember Proposition 13?) and term limitations. Now some Californians hope to add school vouchers to the "you saw it here first" list.

The Fugitive

After 23 years, Katherine Power turned herself in. The Vietnam-era radical could no longer bear "the shame and hiddenness' of life on the lam. So many times, more times than she could even remember, she just walked away without looking back, But this time, it would be different.

Live Wires

SO, YOU'VE GOT YOUR VOICE MAIL, YOUR OFFICE FAX, YOUR home fax, your car fax, your cellular phone, your car phone, your pager, your laptop...and you think you're totally wired?