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News Briefs, part 1

AMD Found Not in Violation Of Intel Chip Copyrights

The Washington Post

A California jury dealt a blow to Intel Corp.'s dominance of the world's $9-billion-a-year market for the core chips of personal computers Thursday.

Analysts said the verdict in the U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Jose could fuel competition, bringing lower prices for chips and the finished computers that consumers buy.

The jurors ruled that Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which has made millions of clones of Intel's best-selling 386 and 486 microprocessors, was not violating Intel copyrights. Intel said it would appeal the decision. According to Dataquest Inc., AMD now controls roughly 17 percent of the combined market for 386 and 486 chips, which control the basic functions of computers. Intel played down the jury's decision, saying it was a narrow legal finding about a 1976 licensing agreement between the two companies and could be overturned on appeal.

Some, such as Cyrix Corp., offer chips that they say function like Intel's but use different designs. AMD, however, used a 1976 licensing deal that it signed with Intel to contend that it had rights to incorporate major design features from Intel's products into its own.

But Intel alleged that AMD had overstepped the bounds of the licensing agreement and was stealing its property.

UCLA Faulted for Informed-Consent Procedures in Schizophrenia Study

Los Angeles Times

Psychiatrists at the University of California, Los Angeles were reprimanded by the National Institutes of Health Wednesday for what the agency said was their failure to get proper informed consent from patients in an ongoing clinical trial of a new antischizophrenia drug.

As part of the trial, many of the patients were taken off the drug to determine whether treatment was no longer necessary and, in the process, 23 of the 50 were reported to have suffered severe relapses, including hallucinations and paranoia.

One of the patients, Antonio Lamadrid, committed suicide and a second, Gregory Aller, has said that he threatened to kill both of his parents and attempted to go to Washington to assassinate then-President Bush at the order of space aliens.

The two young men's parents filed a complaint with NIH and that agency Wednesday sent the physicians involved, Dr. Michael Gitlin and Dr. Keith Nuechterlein of UCLA, a draft of its reprimand, although its contents have not yet been made public.

Sources at NIH confirmed Wednesday that the researchers were faulted for their handling of informed-consent procedures. "We have been investigating this particular study for some time, and we have sent the draft report to them," said an NIH source.

Crime Is Focus of Clinton's NY Trip

The Washington Post

For more than two hours President Clinton sat on a theater stage at Brooklyn College here and chatted, almost like a talk show host, about changing America so people no longer felt afraid. He said crime was strangling American streets and schools and referred to shootings Wednesday at Eastern High School, "perhaps our safest high school in Washington."

The president sat in a chair beside police officers, a mother of a slain son and Sherman Spears, a young man who wheeled himself toward the microphone and described the bullet that keeps him from standing up: "The force of it slammed me into a door."

Crime and the upcoming "Summer of Safety" program that will employ 3,500 youths, some in police precincts and community foot patrols, were the focus of Clinton's 10-hour trip to New York. But he veered from it briefly, alluding to events unfolding in Washington, where the Whitewater investigation is distracting much of the White House staff.

The summer program is part of Clinton's national service initiative called "Americorps," that will involve 20,000 students when it's yearlong program begins in September.