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The Net still makes a splash

It's becoming a clich?, but it's still true at this year's Seybold show in San Francisco: The Internet is the talk of the town.

It's becoming a clich?, but it's still true at this year's Seybold Conference and Exposition in San Francisco: The Internet is the talk of the town.

In yesterday's "Innovations in Publishing" forum, participants talked about the Internet's threat to print publishing, especially to the daily newspaper industry.

"We have a situation in which 40 percent of the average newspaper's revenue base is under fire," said Roger Black, creative director of the newly launched @Home cable modem service.

Online services and magazines that cater to local and regional news and entertainment are cropping up left and right, and their sights are set on the bread-and-butter advertiser dollars that local print publications need to live.

The looming threat to newspapers was underscored by IBM, which previewed what it called the "IBM Web Publishing Solution." IBM plans to sell the Solution, a set of Web tools and templates, to newspapers that have an interest in hosting or creating online community spaces. With the IBM Solution, a newspaper would help local interest groups establish a Web presence--with forms including calendars, directories, bulletin boards, and classified ads--that could either be password-protected or open to the general public.

The software is based on technology created by the founders of the Nando Times, an online site affiliated with the Raleigh News and Observer. It should be available by the new year, IBM officials said. The company did not announce pricing.

Other announcements made at Seybold this week:

--Adobe Systems got the jump on Monday with new versions of Photoshop and PageMaker that let users save to Internet-ready file formats, then announced today its plans for a new iteration of PostScript that will facilitate printing via the Internet.

--Corel showed off its upcoming Ventura 7 graphic design program for Windows 95 and NT that will allow users save documents as Web-ready Java applets. Corel also began shipping this week Draw 6 for the Power Mac platform.

--Ikonic and Future Tense both announced new Web publishing tools, and Microsoft, in step with its strategy to Web-enable everything in sight, added Web-pub capabilities to its design program Publisher 97.

--Apple Computer beefed up its high-end hardware with a network server and a workgroup server that run on 200-MHz 604e PowerPC chips. Apple will also demonstrate this week a dual-processor server that should pull the beleaguered company closer to the competition.

On tap for tomorrow: search engine maker Verity is scheduled to announce new search technology.