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"I think some of them are just incurably Republican."---Vice-President Al Gore, explaining why most CEOs don't credit President Clinton for the healthy economyEDITED BY LISA SANDERSReturn to top


FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE Alexander Haig Jr. is poised to take on heavyweights such as Bill Gates, Craig McCaw, and Motorola Inc. in attempting to pull big money out of the sky.

The general and his son Alex are key players in Sky Station International, a Chantilly (Va.)-based startup that plans to provide inexpensive phone service and high-speed Internet access to consumers worldwide. At a thrifty $800 million, its cost is much less than the billions to be spent by two chief rivals: Teledesic, a Gates-McCaw venture, and Motorola's Iridium.

Sky Station is cheaper because it won't require launching pricey satellites into space. Instead, it will float 250 relatively inexpensive platforms in the stratosphere. Each will be suspended by two Hindenburg-like airships. Rival Motorola has already complained to the Federal Communications Commission that the platforms could fall out of the sky and kill someone.

Little money has been raised so far, but Sky Station holds patents on its platforms and has developed a business plan. President Alex Haig says the system should be fully deployed over the next decade.

One big hurdle remains. Sky Station must negotiate with regulators worldwide to gain airwave access. For that, the Haigs have teamed up with an old satellite hand: regulatory attorney Martine Rothblatt, who launched several satellite companies, including Satellite CD Radio.EDITED BY LISA SANDERS Mark LewynReturn to top


CRITICS HAVE LONG RAILED against computer games such as id Software Inc.'s Doom series for portraying murderous mayhem as entertainment. But one place it's producing smiles--and saving bucks--is at the Defense Dept.

Back in 1994, some U.S. Marines grabbed a version of Doom off the Internet, and First Lieutenant Scott A. Barnett realized the game could simulate infantry battle tactics. One reason: A squad of four players can play at once against the computer. Barnett's colleague at the U.S. Marine Corps Modeling & Simulation Management Office in Quantico, Va., Sgt. Daniel G. Snyder, "Marinized" the game. He replaced fire-breathing monsters with digital images of G.I. Joe dolls in Iraqi uniforms. Doom's exotic weapons were swapped for standard-issue equipment such as M-16 assault rifles. And with them, the fighting leathernecks have to clear rooms in an enemy-infested town, not in outer space.

Barnett's office is considering a more complex program, code-named Brute, that would simulate warfare for an entire 4,000-Marine unit. Snyder cranked out his version of Doom in only two months of off-hours work, for $200. Brute, which is to be developed from scratch, is still years away. Estimated cost of the proposed game: $1 million.EDITED BY LISA SANDERS Stan CrockReturn to top

SOFTWARE: Marine Doom game (.zip file)

To download a copy of the Marine Doom software developed by the U.S. Marine Corps, click on the Search button below, then from the listbox open Software, etc. to Download.

Please note: The user must have a registered copy of Doom II version 1.9 or greater for DOS to make use of this file. It has not been tested within WinDoom95. There is no Mac version. Novice PC users are discouraged from attempting this at all. Please see the file description in the Software, etc to Download area for more information.Return to top

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