<p>None of the drive makers involved would provide specifics on how they plan to tweak their hard drives for the new systems. But most said the changes, while relatively minor, are many.</p>

But the Field Guide adds customizable templates for documents like block specifications, test plans, HDL files and synthesis scripts. It provides pro-cess-control checklists for things like specification and code reviews, and third-party intellectual-property evaluation. Finally, it offers metric generators and reports for bug-fix rates and code stability.

Last June the same federal district court issue a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling insulated gate transistors in this country. Samsung appealed that decision, and the case is pending in the federal appellate court.

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The impeachment of Bill Clinton over the wishes of a majority of the American people ushers in a new and dismal era of deepest cynicism and the decline of participatory government. The ruling class knows what's best for America, the electorate be damned.

Let us not forget, however, that it was the selfish, small man from Arkansas who put us in the mess with his low-life behavior and his pathological lying on a Nixonian scale. In the twisted logic of the spear carriers for impeachment, Clinton got caught in a lie while Nixon only covered up the dirty work of others working for him.

Clinton is Nixon with a human face.

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Yes, we are a nation of laws and no man or woman — president or pauper — is above the law. But the president's sins are, constitutionally speaking, low crimes and misdemeanors. The U.S. Constitution does not offer perfect justice, and a constitutional lawyer would be hard pressed to make the case that the Framers anticipated that the dalliances of the chief executive would force a constitutional crisis. Either way, Bill Clinton is going to pay the ultimate price to uphold this principle — and the rest of us get to clean up after him.

In the end, though, the political reality is that this pulp-fiction scandal is about politicians screwing each other. This is what the American political system has come to. Tom the Hammer” DeLay, the Texas bug exterminator and House majority whip, wins the day for the forces of reaction. The liberal whiners with their 60s values have been vanquished.

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Precisely how much damage DeLay, Henry Hyde and the other bomb throwers in the House of Representatives — the People's House,” according to the U.S. Constitution — inflict on the country is uncertain. But damage us it does.

Unfortunately for the newly powerful electronics industry, it must find a way to play the political game in a place that has become the snake pit of democracy. Will the industry play the Washington game like all those who came before it, spreading the money and cutting deals? Can the best product ever produced by the high-tech industry, the Internet, democratize politics or merely speed up the process of making short-sighted decisions that benefit the few over the interests of the many?

Gold Acquisition Group said it will consider adding to its shareholdings in Oak (Sunnyvale, Calif.), or disposing of its shares altogether. The group may also contact Oak shareholders, employees or members of its board of directors, a Gold Acquisition Group spokesman said, adding that the group had not yet decided upon a course of action.

Gold Acquisition Group is comprised of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., the Asia Growth Fund of Hambrecht & Quist LLC, and David Tsang, the current chairman and chief executive of Oak. On Nov. 13, Gold Group tendered an offer to buy out Oak at $4.50 a share. Oak's board of directors rejected that offer.

Tsang deferred questions about Gold's acquisition strategy regarding Oak to a Hambrecht & Quist spokeswoman, who could not be reached for comment.

Jason Chang, chairman of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, said in a statement that the group believes its proposal reflected a fair valuation” for Oak, especially given the market's continuing difficult conditions.

Chang also said the group was disappointed that neither the special committee of Oak's board of directors, nor any of its advisors, chose to discuss any part of the offer with any member of the group or its professional advisors prior to making the determination to reject it.


Strong growth in telecommunications applications will help to pump new life into the programmable logic-device business next year with PLD revenue expected to increase 11 percent to $2.36 billion in 1999 compared with $2.13 billion in 1998, Semico Research said Monday.

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