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August 24 – 30, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Up To Date 
               (8/24 - 8/30)

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... 
"Microsoft, I think, is fundamentally an evil company." 
     ---Netscape chairman Jim Clark, BusinessWeek, 25 August 1997 

Putting yourself on the line the correct way: 
If you're going to test out your product why not go full bore?  Start-up 
Crypto-Logic is offering $1 million to anyone who can crack their 
"uncrackable" email encryption scheme.  Crypto-Logic's employees have made 
it clear they will have to go out of business should anyone win the $1 
million.  If you would like to take a crack at it, have a ball: 

Berating the obvious: (this is news???) 
Microsoft moving towards web transactions and away from web content... MCI 
shareholders suing over the renegotiated merger with British Telecom... 
Dept. of Commerce accuses NEC of "dumping" (selling below cost) super 
computers in the U.S.... Criminals said to favor targeting America Online 
when trying to steal credit card numbers... Yahoo! teams up with another 
big name content provider (CDNow)... Mir faces new problem after fixing 
oxygen system... Intel being looked at for anti-trust violations in 
connection with it's purchase of Chips & Technologies to make graphics 
chips... Online book selling gets even more competitive as books.com lowers 
their prices below Amazon and Barnes & Noble... Rumors that Novell is for 
sale continue... Plenty of new bugs found in the new Netscape 
Communicator... Blockbuster adds an online contest about Star Wars... 

A federal judge has ruled that the Clinton administration's laws against 
exporting high encryption software is unconstitutional.  In response, the 
Clinton administration is challenging this ruling (no big surprise).  Don't 
expect this one to do down easily.  Also, expect foreign competitors to 
have this market thoroughly sewn up by the time the U.S. government gets a 
clue... Broadcast television realizes what Newspapers knew all along: 
classified ads make money.  CBS has announced a plan to put classifieds on 
their web site... A week after Corel drops java software development 
because the language just isn't good enough, Netscape picks up the java 
bandwagon and is now preparing to make a fully java based browser... 
Welcome back to the age of pouring money into unproven startups: Juniper 
Networks, in only its 18th month secured a sweet $40 million dollars this 
week.  Of course, Juniper has no product.  Nor do they know 
when they will.  I bet it will be some product... 

(Mis)Uses of Technology: 
Tamagotchi, the Japanese digital pet that has sparked quite a craze across 
the world, will now be a "channel" on Microsoft's next internet browser IE 
4.0.  I'm glad to see the computer is being used for such useful endeavors. 

Studies on the Net: 
Yahoo! announces a study saying that Yahoo! is the most highly used search 
engine.  No surprise, but you have to question the source... A new study of 
government web sites found that while Bill Clinton has been asking 
corporate web site developers to respect viewer's privacy the government is 
not following these rules.  Nearly half of the government's sites secretly 
record data on the individuals visiting. 

New strategies were announced this week by Marimba, Netscape, Novell, Sun 
and @Home for improving HTTP.  I'd be willing to bet, even if these follow 
through, what's needed is a total overhaul (such as Xerox PARC's 
recommendation of HTTP-NG).  HTTP has proven tremendously useful as a 
protocol, but it was not designed for what it's now being asked to do. 
Patches will only work so long. 

Meme Watch:  What I've got is good enough 
People are getting sick of the having to upgrade constantly.  Watch out for 
a backlash against new technologies like Intel's Merced chip. 

Too much free time: or I wonder how they got this camera purchase approved... 
Ever wonder what the cows outside of some no-name internet access provider 
in New Jersey were doing _right_ _now_?  Me neither.  But if you care: 

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 
mdm8@cornell.edu with "Subscribe Up To Date" in the subject heading. 
Up To Date is also available on the web at 

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