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1995 | 08
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Long-distance firms fight change
August 2, 1995

In high school civics classes, they don’t mention the shrink-wrapped Monopoly board games in how a bill becomes a law.

A coalition of long-distance telephone carriers has sent the popular board game to every member of Congress and to newspaper editors across the country in a last-minute lobbying effort.

Much more than Monopoly money is at stake. The long-distance carriers are trying to keep federal telecommunications reform legislation from passing "Go."

The reform bill had cleared the U.S. House Commerce Committee May 25 by a 38-5 vote, with the long-distance companies’ whole-hearted support. Then on July 13, they learned that House leaders slipped …

Hot Bytes
August 2, 1995

No matter how hard you try to convince it otherwise, your computer won’t cook for you.

But it may become one of the most important tools in your kitchen.

Long before there was cyberspace or the information superhighway, computer makers had food fans in mind.

The makers of the first personal computers thought people would use them to store recipes. Very quickly, they found out otherwise: Pencil and paper did just fine for most folks.

But with the emergence of the Internet, the global link of computer networks, people have started talking about computers and cooking again.

Food lovers are flocking to the Internet. There …

Hot Bytes Sidebar: Internet offerings vary
August 2, 1995

Selecting recipes or nutrition information from the Internet isn’t like consulting your favorite cookbook. Most of the information has been placed there by individuals and the quality varies.

Some sites are lovingly crafted tributes to favorite foods that are rich in description but short on information. Others are simply online advertisements.

Keep in mind that the Internet is global and that most of the world measures their recipes on the metric system. Even the definition of a pint varies from country to country. So be careful when converting recipes.

Be wary of any online site that asks you to send your credit card …

Hot Bytes Sidebar: A sample of tasty sites
August 2, 1995

There are three types of food information resources on the Internet:

Mailing lists, essentially an ongoing conversation by electronic mail. You need to sign up for these, and messages are delivered directly to you via e-mail.

Newsgroups, the equivalent of a global bulletin board where anyone interested can post or read messages without registering.

Sites on the World Wide Web, which link Internet resources. The Web allows you to follow highlighted links to other resources .

Here are some sites that may whet your appetite. You can use searching tools like Yahoo and WebCrawler to find food resources elsewhere.

World Wide Web

Chocolate Lover’s Page, a …

Foam in the shape of things to come
August 12, 1995

ZEBULON - A 6-foot foam cylinder called the Funnoodle could be the Hula-Hoop of the 1990s. Or so its makers hope.

The packaging of the buoyant water toy says it’s from Tennessee, but the Funnoodle is really made right here in the Triangle.

So are Nerf arrows, parts of Seeley mattresses, and even the protective padding at those playgrounds McDonald’s provides for french fry-fueled youngsters.

"Those are applications that many consumers in the Triangle use and don’t know that it’s made here," said Marc Noel, the president of Nomaco Inc., a low-profile, privately held company that makes thermoplastic foam products.

With 460 employees and …

Business edges into the Brave new cyberworld
August 20, 1995

The Internet could be the newest commercial frontier, where pioneers strike gold every place they tread.

Or it could be a treacherous and deadly landscape, swallowing up trailblazers and setting in motion costly financial flops.

Welcome to the world of cyberbusiness.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the Internet as companies in the Triangle rush to go on-line. But, so far, success stories are few and far between as companies tentatively explore the intricacies of Internet commerce.

In fact, many companies have found they are more likely to use the Internet to save money rather than to make money.

"I don’t …

Home work has special benefits
August 22, 1995

When Paul Jones has a particularly thorny matter on his mind, he leaves his Durham office and plays a few holes of golf across the street.

He doesn’t have to worry about what his co-workers might think. Since July, he’s worked by himself, in an office above his garage.

When Jones agreed to leave his job at a Raleigh law firm to join a Columbia, S.C., company as vice president for business development, he insisted that he be allowed to remain in the Triangle.

"I didn’t want to move to Columbia," Jones says. "I can make an argument that, with the type of …

A stitch in time means profits after a year
August 22, 1995

RALEIGH - Vernita Evans’ business strategy looks remarkably simple:

Keep people in stitches. Laugh all the way to the bank.

No, she’s not a comedienne. She’s a seamstress. Evans owns Sew Well Learning Center & Manufacturing, a North Raleigh company that teaches people how to sew.

"Sewing is like typing," Evans said. "If you can type, you can get a job anywhere. If you can sew, you can always make money. People always need alterations."

So a year ago, she left her job working with mentally handicapped patients to try her hand at teaching sewing full time.

Evans rented office space on Wake Forest Road, …

Computer users clamor to open new Windows
August 24, 1995

The longest waiting game in software history comes to an end today. But the frenzy has just begun.

Microsoft Windows 95, possibly the most heavily promoted computer product ever, officially went on sale throughout the Triangle at midnight.

The newest version of Microsoft’s highly successful operating system should make personal computers easier to set up and use. Windows 95 will include better audio and video capabilities, and offer easy access to the Internet through the Microsoft Network, the company’s new online service.

Seven to nine million copies are expected to be sold this week alone, according to market research firm Dataquest Inc. Another …

Bombarded by the U.S. Navy; It's a Job and an Adventure To Keep Up With Their Junk Mail
August 27, 1995

THE NAVY COMMANDERS sent the letter to my mother, but they had really been after me.

In the fall of my junior year in high school, I took the standardized Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), which most colleges use to identify potential applicants. Check the box that authorizes the testing service to release your name and the colleges hit you with a flurry of brochures, videos, applications and scholarship offers.

What I didn’t know was that the Defense Department would seize upon the scores, too. Much like their academic counterparts, the armed services pore over those scores for potential recruits. And, for …