I.T. Times
Volume 3. No 1 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis Fall 1994

Network News

White House Handbook

The White House now has an interactive, multimedia, electronic citizens' handbook on the White House, including a virtual tour of the White House, detailed information about Cabinet-level and independent agencies, a subject-searchable index of federal information and publications, and a map of Washington, D.C. The URL is: http://www.whitehouse.gov

Virtual Libraries Get a Boost

The federal government has pledged $24 million toward digitizing materials in university libraries. The four-year grants will go to Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan. The project marks the largest commitment to date to constructing "virtual libraries" on the Internet. (Chronicle of Higher Education 10/5/94 A26)

The Doctor Is Online

Physicians are increasingly turning to online medical databases to diagnose tough cases and stay on top of new medical developments. A study of more than 450 Medline searches found the service helped doctors in saving lives and curing ailments, avoiding unnecessary procedures and helping patients in disputes with insurance companies. Another report found Medline searches led to significantly lower costs and shorter hospital stays. Currently, only about 20% of practicing doctors are online. (Wall Street Journal 10/7/94 B1)

More High-tech Medicine

Federal support for telemedicine will top $85 million in 1994, and states are starting to ante up. Georgia is spending $10 million to link 60 sites via videoconferencing, and Oklahoma's 38-site project will cost $4.3 million. Altogether 20 states have telemedical projects underway. The hope is that by investing in high-tech medicine, the nation can reduce annual health-care costs by $36 billion, or 3% of this year's estimated health bill, according to Arthur D. Little, Inc. (Business Week 10/3/94 p.117)

Jostling for Cyberspace

It's getting crowded online, and is likely to become more so, as the 80% of U.S. households that own PCs but do not subscribe to an online service start getting connected. (Business Week 11/7/94 p.134)

Online Auction

According to Internet historians, the Computer Museum in Boston hosted the Internet's first online auction in April 1994. The Museum is the world's first institution devoted to people and computers. For info send mail to: computer_info@tcm.org, with "Request" in subject line, and "Send help instructions" in the body of the message.


An MIT study predicts the median age of Internet users will drop from 26 to 15 within the next five years. (Bottom Line Personal 10/15/94 p.10)

Internet Yellow Pages

Osborne/McGraw-Hill has published the Internet Yellow Pages, by Harley Hahn and Rick Stout. The book provides users with reference information useful when searching the Internet. It contains more than 2,400 free Internet resources, an annotated list of Usenet newsgroups, and definitions and hints about posted information. Price: 27.95 + $5.00 shipping. Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill at 800-227-0900. (from Educom Review)

Happy Birthday to the Internet

Twenty-five years ago the Internet began with the creation of ARPANet, funded by the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Project Agency. Vint Cerf, president of the Internet Society and one of the people who participated in that ARPA project, says: "You don't know how far you've come until you stop and look back." (Newsweek 7/8/94 p.56)

WWW Over E-mail

CERN, the European research group that developed the World-Wide Web, now makes it possible for people to get Web pages via e-mail. Send a message to listproc@wwwo.cern.ch and in the body of the message type the Universal Resource Locator for the Web page you want. (Chronicle of Higher Education 9/21/94 A25)

Client-Server for Less

A survey of 305 information systems managers by Business Research Group shows client-server systems costing an average of 8% less than original mainframe systems. More than half of the respondents say they're saving an average of 29% on client-server systems, while 19% say costs have increased. (Information Week 9/19/94 p.22)

A Virtual Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is planning to create a virtual library of digitized images of its collections of books, manuscripts, photos, etc., for transmittal over computer networks. A Digital Library Coordinating Committee will seek private and industry donations in addition to appropriations from Congress. The goal will be to convert the "most important" materials by the year 2000. (New York Times 9/12/94 B1)

E-Forms at Your Fingertips

Companies with more than 500 employees typically spend between $94 billion and $120 billion per year on some 1,210 different paper forms. Fortunately, electronic forms - accessed, filled out, and filed online - are making a dent in the paper chase, and BIS Strategic Decisions predicts a 118% increase in the average number of e-forms processed each month between 1993 and 1996 (compared with 4% for paper). (Information Week 8/8/94 p.42)

Items appearing in this column were gleaned from Edupage, a summary of news provided as a service by EDUCOM -- a consortium of leading colleges and universities seeking to transform education through the use of information technology.