New Year on the Internet Will Be Transforming

Article excerpt

A Whole New Net

Well, maybe a quite *different* Internet is in the making. The changes for 1995 promise to be exciting and transforming as well, as the progress toward commercialization and privatization continues. The National Science Foundation (NSF), which has provided much of the backbone for the U.S. Internet to date, implements a new regional NAP (network access point) structure. Most of the regional and larger ISPs (Internet service providers) will be upgrading equipment and providing faster and more robust Internet connections for their users.

America Online (AOL) has recently announced the purchase of one of the major ISPs, Advanced Network & Services, Inc. (ANS), and plans major AOL system upgrades and newer, faster access points for AOL users; the impact on Internet access via AOL isn't clear, but AOL has made a major move into Internet operations with the buying of ANS and other Internet-related software companies. Keep your eye on AOL in 1995, and likely CompuServe and Prodigy won't stand by watching their market erode either.

Also on the horizon for the Internet are more software clients, such as the fine World Wide Web browser Netscape from Netscape Communications, Inc. There are some great new features scheduled for the new Version 3.0 of the great e-mail software Eudora, from Qualcomm, Inc.; reportedly, Eudora will be able to access Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) in e-mail if the configuration and setup for Internet access is selected. We'll likely see improved versions of most of the current network tools in 1995; a new version of Jughead --a specialized gopher search tool--was just released.

So, it's a great time to be a part of the fast-growing and ever-changing Internet. We may even find some costs dropping this year from the overall competition in the marketplace. Caveat: watch the game in DC to see what the Republicans want to do with government information and access. Some of the Clinton Administration initiatives may be revamped under the new party in power's leadership.

Now, on with the Internet news.

What's News and New

Elsevier Web and Gopher Sites Launched--Elservier Science, one of the premiere science and technology publishers, has opened new World Wide Web and gopher servers. Try out the Web site at URL: http://www.elsevier.nl/ to see a catalog of books and journals, get information about the TULIP library research project, and see some current awareness services covering the sciences. For more information, send e-mail to nlinfof@elsevier.nl and ask about the services.

The Virtual Mirror Is Now Online--The Internet's newest online publication is up and running on the World Wide Web (WWW). Virtual Mirror has a review of Web browsers, a Fractal Gallery, and a survey of Film and Cinema Listservs, with promised new content frequently. To visit the new site, open the URL: http://mirror.wwa.com/mirror/

Internet Resources--is a WWW newsletter produced by Heriot-Watt University Library, and though written for local staff and users, issues may be of interest to Internet users at large. Issues will have lists of new resources (with hypertext links, where possible), with an emphasis on engineering, science, and social science. The newsletter is available via the BUBL WWW server (a major U.K. library-related Web site), and the URL for the home page is: http://www.bubl.bath.ac.uk/BUBL/IRN.html

"Virtual" Law Library Reference Desk (VLLRD)--A new, law reference service is available from the Washburn University School of Law Library in Topeka, Kansas. The service helps users with questions about law in a virtual environment. Access to the service is either via Telnet: telnet law.wuacc.edu and login=reflaw, or via WWW at URL: http://law.wuacc.edu/washlaw/reflaw/reflaw.html.

Federal Research Info Online--A new online Net resource is a series of databases that provide information about research funded by the Federal Government. …