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THE CUTTING EDGE | CYBERNEWS | HEARD ON THE BEAT

Slate's Out--but It's Not at a Newsstand Near You

June 24, 1996|JULIE PITTA

"Slate is owned by Microsoft Corp. and that bothers some people," editor Michael Kinsley writes to readers of Slate, the Internet magazine that makes its debut today. "Can a giant software company put out a magazine that is free to think for itself?"

Kinsley makes a forthright effort to answer that question in the affirmative in the first issue with a feature entitled "Is Microsoft Evil?"

But clicking on it yields a rather tame e-mail discussion among Atlantic Monthly editor James Fallows, Manhattan Instute for Policy Research senior fellow Peter Huber, fund manager Roger McNamee, New York Times Magazine columnist James Gleick and Microsoft Senior Vice President Steve Ballmer. With the exception of Gleick, they seem to conclude that what's good for Microsoft is good for the country.

The inaugural issue has a "cover story" on the ramifications of Bob Dole's tax-cutting proposal and a long article on President Clinton and "the character issue." There's also an acrostic puzzle, a piece of computer art by Jenny Holzer, and a supposition of what Henry David Thoreau's home page might look like had the writer lived to see the Internet: "bean cam--a new image from my bean field every 30 seconds."

pittaj@aol.com

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