September 7 – 13, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Matt Drudge School of Unsubstantiated Reporting…

                                       The not always serious, 
                                       not always weekly update 
                                       on the Hi-Tech Industry 
                                       September 7th - 13th 
                      Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                      Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management 
                      and the Matt Drudge School of Unsubstantiated Reporting... 

Say that again... 
"We want our God-given 90 percent market share, and we will exploit every 
friggin' distribution channel to get it." 

Netscape's VP of sales and marketing Mike Homer, Wired News, 10 September 1997 

Everybody, let's work together... 
Never thought you'd see this one:  Intel, AMD, and Motorola to work 
*together* with the government to work on news ways to shrink chip circuit 
sizes...Compaq has invested $4 million in Ramp Networks to help push along 
their Internet technologies that allow you to make "fast" connections... 
Sun has acquired Chorus Systems SA.  Chorus, a French company, develops 
operating system for telecommunications devices (hmmmmm...)... A consortium 
of companies in the cable industry have decided to work together to offer 
low-cost, high speed internet access through the television (more or less 
attempting to take on WebTV).  Companies involved in the process or the 
backing include heavyweights Worldgate, Citicorp and Motorola... Microsoft 
buys 20% of Trados GmbH, a maker of translation software from 
Germany...Digital, Wells Fargo, VeriFone (owned by HP) and (of course) 
Microsoft are working together to create total solutions for 
storefronts on the internet... Netscape is working with Bell Canada to 
create E-commerce solutions... Intel, Microsoft, DEC and Compaq have asked 
Sun to give up their control of Java... 

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???) 
Motorola and IBM decide the PowerPC chip belongs in "noncomputer" 
devices... The Mir space station's main computer fails, is fixed, and fails 
again... HP attempts (again) to become the number one supplier of PCs to 
the world...Compaq announces it will become one of the top three computer 
companies in the world... will be redone to be "radically" 
different... Net2Phone finally creates a service that allows you to make 
calls over the internet without a computer... Microsoft opens NY offices 
for content... CompuServe customers "nervous" about AOL's takeover...A 
PCMCIA removable hard drive?  I want one.  520 MBs on a single Type III 
card from Procom (watch out Iomega...)... Psychologists have started 
counseling over the internet (does this belong under "misuses of 
technology"?)... Dell sells more PCs to corporate users than Compaq... 
Apple still looking for a CEO... Experian (ex TRW) shuts down *another* 
online service due to (take a guess) security concerns... The government 
votes to tighten export controls on encryption.  Obvious, yes, but one 
keeps hoping that they'll get a clue... MSNBC's servers (maintained by 
Microsoft, of course) failed all day Tuesday (did anyone notice? I didn't 
think so)... Packard Bell says it's selling more of its low cost computers 
than higher cost ones (go figure...)... Next generation internet "delayed" 
due to government mistakes... Microsoft saw possibility of buying 
CompuServe "not worth it"... IBM sees "no real demand" for NetPC... 
Softbank to reorganize its US media properties... Stories on the rise 
about "pet-sitting" for Tamagotchis (no comment) while 496 of the little 
buggers were "seized" for being anti-social at Ho Chi Minh city airport. 
According to officials "It is a harmful game that separates children, and 
even adults from their normal life."... Motorola's profits to be below 
expectations... Microsoft bans java applets on their web sites (could this 
be in response to Sun's banning of PowerPoint?)... 

Yes, CompuServe was actually sold!  AOL bought their customers and Worldcom 
gets AOL's network business.  The real surpise, though, is that investors 
seem to think this is a good thing for AOL (whose stock rose dramatically 
following the deal).  Also of interest is that it has now come to light 
that CompuServe in the early '90s worekd out a deal to buy AOL, but H&R 
Block vetoed the deal (oops)...Throwing another wrench into the whole DVD 
process: Digital Video Express has created Divx, a disposable DVD.  The 
plan is you can rent a movie on one of these discs for $5 and then throw 
it out!  Or, pay a bit more to get the movie to show again.  Or, if you 
really like it, hell, pay around $20 more and the movie is yours for good. 
This was not what others were planning on, but Circuit City thinks it's a 
grand idea... Silicon Graphics announces that, indeed, they will build 
workstations based on the Intel Pentium Pro microprocessor and running 
Windows NT.  This fact may belong under the "Berating the Obvious".  The 
surprise is simply the fact that they may have actually realized the 
necessity for this in time.  We shall see... 

(Mis)Uses of Technology: 
No, I don't know why this section seems to repeatedly mention cars, but: 
Intel has equipped a Peugeot Citroen (the orthopedic shoe of the European 
car industry) with tons of computer gear so that drivers and passengers can 
(via voice control) retrieve email, get news from the internet, receive 
traffic reports, and play digital movies (in the back seat). 

New York City has established computer kiosks throughout the city where you 
can pay off your parking tickets and property taxes.  It just won't be the 
same, though, until they add that lovely NYC attitude into those machines... 

Studies on the Net: 
A report by Media Matrix is predicting that the long prophesied convergence 
of TVs and PCs is a hoax!  The feeling is that many people want them to be 
remain separate.  In fact, 40% of households have both TVs and PCs in the 
same room and have them both on at once... Odyssey, a market research firm 
has determined that household usage of online services has doubled in the 
past year to nearly 12.8 hours a week... Speakers at Telecom Interactive 
'97 have announced that flat-rate charges for internet access are going to 
disappear (again)... 98% of online shoppers are satisfied with their 
purchases according to Vaidec Inc... Forrester Research predicts 53% of 
homes will have PCs by 2001... Austin Knight Inc. has found that 99% of 
colleges have web sites, but only 60% find it a useful recruitment tool... 
OmniTech predicts that multimedia based training for corporate education 
will double by the year 2000 (big surprise there...)... People are spending 
more time on the internet and as a result: 59% are watching less 
television, 24% are doing fewer household chores, 14% are not excercising 
as much, and 12% are spending less with family and friends (you can 
probably chalk me up for each of those categories...) 

AT&T is now incorporating an "electronic shopping agent" called Jango into 
it's Internet services.  I am just waiting (patiently) for the catastrophe 
that awaits this one.  "Jango buys unsuspecting family a new Porsche and 
unrefundable cruise around the world"... I don't care what that Media 
Matrix study says, I think that convergence will continue in some form.  To 
base their findings on the fact that 40% of households use both TVs and PCs 
at once is like saying that no one would ever use a telephone because most 
people write letters from home already... 

Meme o' the week: 
It started out innocently enough.  Then it began to become too much to 
handle... In light of the unfortunate passings of Mother Theresa and 
Princess Di last week all the technology and internet related news sources 
felt this strange need to somehow be part of the hype.  Almost everyone 
had to point out "mourning" sites on the web, as if that somehow 
legitimized their way to join in the "real" news... 

Too much free time: 
Hours of pointless fun: 
Type in any website and get to see it *backwards*! 

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.  I certainly wouldn't rely on it as your only source of 

If you would like to subscribe to the email version please send an email to with "Subscribe Up To Date" in the subject heading.  Same 
goes for unsubbing, of course. 

Up To Date is also available on the web at 

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