New $5,000 Multimedia Computer System Downloads Real-Time TV Programs, Displays Them On Monitor

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Vol 33 Issue 08

Ants Demand 23.9-Hour Workday

STILLWATER, OK—Frustrated with what they describe as unreasonable working conditions, a local clan of carpenter ants went on strike Tuesday to demand that their workday be reduced to 23 hours and 54 minutes. “All we ask is a mere six minutes off each day, so that we might rest and replenish ourselves with nutrient paste,” said ant spokesman HR-23200165-8608. “Is that so unreasonable?” Sources within the ant clan have suggested that the workers are willing to compromise, and would likely accept a 167.65-hour work week. If the strike persists for another three seconds, the queen of the clan has threatened to dispatch her legion of hunter-seeker warrior-class drones to devour the 18,000 ants participating in the strike.

Sixth Grader Begins Work On Pony Trilogy

CANTON, OH—Canton-area sixth-grader Melissa Wright announced plans Monday to begin work on her much-anticipated "Pony Trilogy," a three-part series chronicling her adventures with fictional pony Star Rider. Volume one, tentatively titled Melissa Meets Star Rider, is expected to be completed sometime this week. "It’s gonna be about me and Star Rider having all this fun together, and I’m also gonna talk about how much I love to ride her," Wright said. While Wright did not give exact details of the second and third installments, they are widely expected to touch on Star Rider’s amazing ability to fly, as well as the pony’s acquisition of a magic emerald which grants Wright the power to eavesdrop on anyone she wants to by speaking their name. "Expect this work to take sixth-grade pony fiction in exciting new directions," said George Toffel of Doubleday Press.

PLO Claims Responsibility For Bombing Of Krippendorf’s Tribe

BEIRUT, LEBANON—In one of the deadliest acts of cinematic terrorism in recent years, the Palestinian Liberation Organization claimed responsibility Monday for the bombing of the Touchstone Pictures comedy Krippendorf’s Tribe. "To protest the continued Jewish occupation of our homeland, we have engineered the bombing of this film, creating singularly unappealing promotional ads and posters; giving it a formulaic script filled with tired, unfunny gags; and devoting more than 45 minutes of screen time to a naked, body-painted Richard Dreyfuss," a PLO statement said of the bombing, which claimed the jobs of three Touchstone executives. "Return Palestine to its rightful owners, or we shall mastermind a three-hour Steve Guttenberg/Shelley Long romantic comedy such that the world has never seen."

The Super-Flu Threat

Although there hasn't been a new case of avian flu since last December, when it took six lives in Hong Kong, virologists fear it could combine with another existing flu to form a highly lethal and contagious "super-flu" virus, killing millions worldwide. What do you think?

Heads Need To Be Cracked In!

I know I speak for every organism that has ever existed on the planet when I say that heads need to be cracked in, fast. Cracking people's fucking heads in was my first love, and it shall be my last.
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New $5,000 Multimedia Computer System Downloads Real-Time TV Programs, Displays Them On Monitor

HOUSTON—The highly touted "Internet Revolution" took another major step forward Monday, when Compaq unveiled the breakthrough Compaq Presario 6000, a $4,995 multimedia computer system that enables users to download files containing network-television programs and display them on a computer monitor.

Joseph Ryback of Salinas, CA, enjoys an episode of <I>Home Improvement</I> on the Compaq Presario 6000. Ryback praised the advanced new computer system, calling it "just like TV, only a computer."

"Imagine watching TV at the click of a mouse, instead of a remote control," Compaq director of product development Bill Welborne said. "With the Compaq Presario 6000 and a few reasonably priced add-ons, you'll never have to watch TV on a television again."

According to Welborne, for a $49 monthly fee, owners of the Presario 6000 will be able to access network websites, where 300MB ".vid files" will be available for download. The downloaded files can then be conveniently viewed on the Presario 6000 using a special TV-dedicated version of Netscape Communicator 4.0, priced at just $89.95.

A sound card enabling users to enjoy the sound that accompanies the downloaded TV images is also available for $349.

"Pictures, sound—this is the promise of the Multimedia Age realized," Welborne said.

Demonstrating the technology, Welborne stood proudly beside a prototype of the Presario 6000 as it displayed an eight-minute segment from a recent 3rd Rock From The Sun episode, downloaded from an NBC server in under 75 minutes.

"Please note that this is a television program," Welborne said, "but it is being displayed on a computer monitor."

More exciting still, the viewing can occur in real-time concurrent with the download, provided the user owns a dedicated T1 Internet connection.

"Yes, the image is somewhat grainy and limited to just six frames per second," Welborne said. "But the technology will only improve as 466 MHz processors with more efficient Pipeline Burst Cache and Accelerated Graphics Ports with 10 MB VRAM become standard in the consumer marketplace. And when they do, the images will be remarkably crisp and detailed, every bit as good as that of, say, a 19-inch Philips-Magnavox TV."

"This is incredible," said Wayne Messers, a Huntington Beach, CA, systems analyst who sampled the Presario 6000 last weekend at the National Computer And Electronics Expo in San Diego. "I'm watching TV, but there's a keyboard in front of the screen."

Added Messers: "There's also a disk drive to the left of the screen."

"When I buy my 6000, I'm going to have all my co-workers over to view the first-ever Spin City episode downloaded from the Internet," said Peter Rinaldi of Escondido, CA. "I feel like I'm a part of history just buying this product."

The Presario 6000 will be the first computer to feature the forthcoming 550 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, with MMX2(TM) technology. It is this revolutionary new chip that will enable the Presario 6000 to play television programs on its monitor, a capability virtually unheard-of in an electronic device.

As for the future, Compaq promises even more astounding breakthroughs.

"An even bolder technology still in the planning stages involves a plug-in computer peripheral featuring rows of metal coils which heat up when activated," Welborne said. "Once this device is perfected, computer users will actually be able to convert bread into toast. The future is now."

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