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Java kiosks ready for Super Bowl

The city of San Diego will deploy 24 Java-based kiosks to provide municipal and game information to more than 100,000 expected visitors.

The city of San Diego will deploy 24 Java-based kiosks to provide municipal and game information to the more than 100,000 visitors expected to jam the city this week for Super Bowl XXXII.

The kiosks are a result of a public-private partnership between the San Diego Data Processing Corporation, a non-profit company owned by the city, and Sun Microsystems, which is providing the Java expertise and hardware; American Digital Network, which is providing the proprietary backbone network; and Apunix Computer Systems, which is providing the application software for the kiosks.

The terminals, which feature a touchscreen interface, will be placed in public areas such as hotels, city buildings, and the "SuperFest" block party in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.

Sun's JavaStation Network Computers, whose release has been repeatedly delayed, were originally touted as being ideally suited for kiosks due to their small size and configuration. The JavaStation holds a Sun MicroSparc II chip, up to 63MB of memory, networking connections, and a color monitor but no hard drive or floppy drive.

The San Diego effort is the first large-scale rollout of Java-based kiosks, which are designed to "write once, run anywhere," using a Java Virtual Machine to translate between different applications. The San Diego kiosks will use Oracle database software on a variety of network connections ranging from ISDN to T1 lines.

The kiosks will also feature filtered Internet access, which means visitors will only be able to access a pre-approved list of sites relating to city events, facilities, weather and traffic information, and information about Super Bowl events.

In other Super Bowl news, Fox Sports Online and ESPN SportsZone have both announced their Super Bowl coverage lineup.

Fox Sports Online will offer a pregame look back at past Super Bowl athletes and games, including the "Top Ten Greatest Moments in Super Bowl History." During the game, visitors to the site will find Super Bowl statistics and analysis, as well as polls, trivia and other online games.

ESPN will also offer an online pre-game show, featuring ESPN commentators Joe Theismann and Ron Jawarski. During the game, the sports site will offer a virtual tour of Qualcomm Stadium, trivia, and interactive chats and polls.