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In the News Press Releases
October 30, 2000
Mindsurf Acquires HiFusion in Nationwide Expansion Strategy
Wireless Education Leader Gains Critical Business and Operational Assets; Including Established 75-Person Sales Force and Experienced Technical Development Team.

BALTIMORE - October 30, 2000 - As the first phase in its aggressive nationwide expansion strategy, MindSurf, the mobile computing infrastructure company for the K-12 market segment, today announced it has acquired HiFusion, an education technology company offering filtered, age-specific content and communication tools for student, parent and teacher communities. Through this strategic acquisition, MindSurf gains an established sales force of more than 75 professionals enabling the company to immediately promote its wireless education solution to schools nationwide as well as a highly skilled technical development team located in Northern Virginia. The HiFusion sales and development teams possess extensive K-12 market segment experience.

"Today's announcement is a major milestone in realizing MindSurf's ambitious plans to provide an affordable mobile computing solution to schools across the United States," said Bruce Davis, president of MindSurf. "HiFusion's existing services and infrastructure constitute significant parts of the MindSurf vision. In addition, their sales force gives us instant penetration into the K-12 market nationwide. This acquisition will rapidly advance our business plan, and we welcome the HiFusion team of talented professionals to the MindSurf family."

MindSurf was created in July as a joint venture between wireless data leader Aether Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: AETH), Critical Path (NASDAQ: CPTH), and Sylvan Ventures, a division of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLVN). The company provides students with dynamic educational content, computing and communications resources through low-cost, wireless handheld devices. MindSurf's unique new tools enable teachers and parents to stay closely connected to the educational process. MindSurf is currently implementing its first pilot program at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md., where a select group of ninth-grade English students are participating in the project. The company will roll out additional pilot programs this year, leveraging the HiFusion sales and technical teams to ensure rapid nationwide deployment.

"HiFusion has always been dedicated to opening doors for young people everywhere by enriching the education experience. Early on, I became involved in the eRate program for just that reason. We believe that students can achieve their full potential with access to all the opportunities technology provides for learning, career advancement, community, and fun," said Ira Fishman, CEO of HiFusion. "MindSurf shares this belief and is committed to enriching the learning experience for students through a unique blending of technology and curriculum accessible to all schools. We are excited to join the MindSurf team."

"MindSurf is rapidly leading the way and meeting the industry challenge of successfully integrating cost-effective technologies into America's classrooms," said Aether Chairman and CEO Dave Oros. "MindSurf is enhancing the entire learning experience by providing the computing platform and wireless infrastructure of the 21st century school. This acquisition is an important step in MindSurf's effort to provide affordable, wireless devices and new collaborative tools to the educational community."

MindSurf is headquartered in Baltimore. HiFusion's development team will be based in McLean,Va. MindSurf's management team and board of directors are currently being assembled.

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