August 17 – 23, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Up To Date

(8/17 – 8/23)The not always serious, not always weekly update on the Hi-Tech Industry (or at least what I feel like writing about).

Say that again…

“If you came down from Mars, Solaris and NT would look like the same thing.” —Sun CEO Scott McNealy,, 15 August 1997

Internet 3???

“A computing centre at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will join INTEL CORP and the University of California, Berkeley to create a new “system of computer systems” to do research and evaluate technologies for new supercomputers. Called “Millennium,” the three-year, $6 million project is aimed at allowing researchers in 17 different campus units to work locally on small clusters of computers, as well as tap into a much larger cluster which will be a campus-wide resource, to perform scientific research, the laboratory said.” Haven’t we seen this before?

Meanwhile, Bay Networks (headed by a former Intel VP) has donated $1 million to Internet 2.0 Do I see competing Internets?

Berating the obvious (this is news?):

Experian (formerly TRW) releases credit info on the net, and shuts the site down two days later for security problems… NEC joins Sony, Philips and HP in ditching the agreed upon “standard” for DVD… Justice Dept. Investigating Microsoft’s investments in video streaming and it’s “competitor” Apple… More computers connected to the internet than ever before according to Dataquest… Dell’s earnings per share double and beat Wall Street’s estimates… PCQuote, providing stock quotes to the Microsoft Network continues to lose money… Compaq lowers prices… Russia to end Mir funding by 1998, finance official says… CompuServe is still for sale… British Telecom tries to renegotiate it’s buyout of MCI… Novel losing money… Pointcast still looking for a CEO…


Corel ditches Java. Corel’s one big shot at saving it’s software against Microsoft’s domination was Java. Now they’ve gotten rid of it. Corel claims that Java’s not good enough (perhaps that belongs under “berating the obvious”). Now what’s Corel going to do?

(Mis)Uses of Technology:

Mercedes Benz is planning on embedding a web server into its cars so technicians can spot service problems remotely. Since when did HTTP become such a wonderful protocol? Isn’t there something more functional than that? It’s a hype thing.

Studies on the Net:

New studies released this week continue trying to build on .net fever: First University of Pittsburgh releases a study saying people can get “addicted” to the internet. Then, a psychologist from New York University announces at a conference that “sex drives technological innovation on the net.” Obviously, it’s those people addicted to sex on the net that keep this net fever going. In a related story, Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione says, “The Internet will be the biggest thing we have.” Now a new study cites that with the increase of information on our computer it takes us longer to find things. Who funds these?


Snap! Online, CNET’s new internet online service, will fail, or at least need a major overhaul by next summer. Netscape will decide that it can’t make any money charging for Communicator. Online contests become the next “big thing”. Following on Amazon’s widely publicized “write a book with John Updike” plan, it’s no surprise that companies such as Torani Italian Syrups (yes, a syrup company) are asking people to help write a book as part of a contest on their web site (

Meme Watch: Beta vs. VHS

The Beta vs. VHS “standards” argument is being used to explain everything these days. Watch out, or you might take it seriously. Recently spotted in the DVD defections, it’s also being used to talk about HDTV standards, as well as the new wireless industry for internet connectivity. It’s gotten to the point where any standards fight is relayed in terms of the big Beta vs. VHS battles of the 80s. Take heed.

Too much free time: or, Your Tax Dollars At Work…

The FBI has made all 663 pages of its Elvis Presley files available for download in PDF format:

Up To Date is written by Mike Masnick from whatever news he hears from whatever sources they happen to come from. It is not intended for any uses other than as one of many possible ways to follow what’s going on in the hi-tech industry.

If you would like to subscribe to the email version please send an email to with “Subscribe Up To Date” in the subject heading. Up To Date is also available on the web at

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Comments on “August 17 – 23, 1997”

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Violated (profile) says:

HTTP what?

“Since when did HTTP become such a wonderful protocol? Isn?t there something more functional than that? It?s a hype thing.”

To be fair then HTTP made the Internet pretty. Functionality was slowly added in during following versions.

I remember those web years when finding a good WYSIWYG program was sure not easy and I soon gave up and just wrote code manually in notepad.

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