September 21 – 27, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Larry Ellison School of “Demo before it works”

                                The not always serious, 
                                not always weekly update
                                on the Hi-Tech Industry
                                September 21st - 27th
                Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management
                and the Larry Ellison School of "Demo before it works"

Say that again...
"We weren't thinking, 'What's our answer to Java?' Our answer to Java is
called Windows." 
- Microsoft senior VP Jim Allchin,, 25 September 1997

HTML Terrorism on the Rise...
Building on last week's discussion of HTML terrorism, it turns out that
Data Art Corp. has been registering lots of domain names that are easy
typos of famous sites and using them for advertising.  Sites like,, and all belong to them... Some
unsuspecting HTML terrorism: the guy who runs noticed he was
getting way too many hits for a site that just has "under construction" on
it.  Turns out through some HTML errors, many webmasters mistype some of
their commands for graphics, that makes common browsers look to instead of a "graphics" directory.  So, created
some sloganized graphics that many people probably don't want on their page
to pop up whenever that happens.  As, Wired put it, this lets sites hack

Gutsy move of the week...
Power Computing has taken out a 3 page advertisement in MacWeek suggesting
that Apple represents "The Man" and is trying to take control of user's

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???)
The US Government says they might not be able to fund as much of the next
generation internet as expected... Netscape says they may give away
hardware to encourage use of the internet... Apple to make Network
Computers (thank you, Larry)... Gil Amelio accuses Steve Jobs of
orchestrating his ouster at Apple... Like clockwork, on Monday, the main
computer on Mir failed... Hackers intercept pager messages to President
Clinton... Seagrams gets control of USA networks after quite the fight with
Viacom... Russia, indeed, has lost suitcase nukes... Dell to sell flat
panel monitors... TCI buys Sonicnet... Radio station owners "worried" about
the internet... NEC to ditch its proprietary PC format and switch to
international standard... IBM makes PalmPilot clone... Andy Grove predicts
small market for NCs and NetPCs... Sun says "Every single thing that
Microsoft says and does is designed to protect their monopoly."  Really?  I
hadn't noticed... unveils new features that make it easier to
browse and order books... Layoffs at MSNBC... MSNBC stoops to spam to build
traffic... If you were down $30 million in losses, what would you do?  Yes,
have an IPO, like Sportsline... DEC to cut prices on networking products...
Netscape officially says it expects e-commerce to be "successful"...
Microsoft predicts its new browser will win 50% of the market... The
Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of putting in a "key
recovery" infrastructure (like the FBI wants) to be less than $2 billion.
Experts estimate this number to be more likely in the hundreds of billions
of dollar range, and point out that it would probably slow the internet
down 3 to 8 times... Free utility lets you steal Win95 passwords (check it
out: Almost all the developers
at a Microsoft Developers conference in France walk out booing in protest
after a Microsoft presenter started bashing Java... Compaq cuts prices...
Prodigy must reorganize... Progressive Networks buys Dell opens
an office in the Middle East... Larry Ellison predicts Oracle will do
well... Larry Ellison predicts that Informix will not do well... FTC
investigates Intel for anti-trust... Experts say FTC probably won't find
anything... European Union says it sees nothing wrong with Intel's
competitive practices... Iomega launches Jaz 2, which holds 2 gigs... Demo
of Mac's new Rhapsody "not very impressive"... FCC backs down on wireless
spectrum bidders who can't pay, offering them 4 options to get out of their
predicament... Network Solutions goes public at 18 and jumps to 25 in one
day... New technology from Intel makes web pages download faster...
Citibank and First Union invest in Integrion to create online banking...
CUC International buys New Apple ads to run during TV showing
of Steve Job's Pixar's Toy Story... PowerAgent goes out of business just
one week after trying to build hype about their (now never) to be released
product... Sony to create "Cyberman" with Xybernaut Corporation... Kodak to
cut jobs... Progressive Networks changes their name to RealNetworks and
decides (surprise) that it's about time to go public... WSJ's Walter
Mossberg "not impressed" by WebTV... Larry Ellison's demo of Network
Computer does not work... FBI spokesperson says privacy advocates are
"nondemocratic"... Xerox creates new user interface...

IBM unveils new chipmaking technology using copper instead of aluminum that
will lead to greatly improved chips... Xerox to sell toner cartridges for
HP printers... AGIS finally comes to its senses and kicks Cyber Promotions,
the worst of the worst in spammers off its service... Intel buys Dayna
Communications to expand their network division... Congress *rejects* the
bill to give law enforcement agencies the keys to encrypted data.  Is the
government getting a clue?... Apple has apparently found people who are
interested in being CEO!  Supposedly the list is down to 4 people... More
online advertising is coming from standard consumer goods producers such as
P&G than computer related goods...The busiest time for Smith Barney's web
site is Wednesday at 1am???...

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Rockwell has begun producing microprocessor to run Java for use in
"advanced avionics applications." Advanced avionics?  Java?... WebTV now
starts up with a series of commercials as it moves closer and closer to
being just like television.  Would you pay an extra $200 to have your
television act just like a television?... "Offset" the first video based
soap opera on the internet went online Monday... Researchers right here at
Cornell University have discovered a way to use insects to make medicine.
Not clear on how it was done, but the article suggested to me that it
involved "crushing" the bugs... A new service called Intraloan from
Intralink allows you to go through the process of getting loans online.  It
was demonstrated this week by having BancAmerica give a $4 billion loan to
Compaq.  All the hype was focused on this new technology, while only one
report mentioned "Just what the hell does Compaq need with $4 billion?"...

Studies on the Net:
A study by AOL says 37% of AOL users watch less TV than they used to.  And,
of course, next week AOL will release a survey showing that AOL users are
smarter and better looking than they were before joining the service...
Cyber pornography common at work in the UK, according to a survey by
Novell.  Why is Novell researching porn?... Web21 releases a study showing
that Yahoo Business, Stock Quotes, and the Motley Fool are the three most
popular finance sites... The number of children on the internet has
increased 18 % to 9.4 million over the past two years according to Emerging
Technologies Research... IDC says e-commerce will increase from $10 billion
to $220 billion in 4 years... Too much information is being pushed to
people, according to a study by Editor & Publishers Company... Third Age
Online discovered that internet users over the age of 50 are just as active
as younger users... A study by Relevant Knowledge has found Yahoo! to be
the most popular website... Jupiter Communications has a new study that
says college students are a "natural target" for online advertisers... The
Internet Advertising Bureau (watch the source) has new research that says
web advertising banners actually do work... The average female on the
internet is 41 years old with a household income of $63,000, is online 6
hours a week, and is looking for "relationships" according to a survey
released this week by NetSmart... India to have 8 million users on the
internet by 2002 according to NASSCOM... RHI consulting has determined that
approximately half of all U.S. companies have web sites... Dataquest says
that Macs will "spiral into insignificance"...

Snap! Online went live this week.  I will once again repeat my prediction
from a month ago that it will undergo a major reorganization by the second
half of 1998... AOL's The Hub has chosen Tower Records to be its exclusive
music seller.  I'm not impressed and think it will fail.  There is no real
value added here.  How do you compete with all the other music websites
that sell all sorts of music?  Tower has only a limited supply, but sites
like GEMM will find whatever you want for you...  It's now official in
California: you can complain to the government via email.  All state
agencies must now, by law, provide email addresses for complaints which
will be published in phone directories.  This one is just way too easy to
abuse.  There will be a controversy when the first person has some real fun
with this one... 

Memes o' the week:
IDC was reporting this week that commerce will be the internet's "killer
application".  Anytime anyone wants to sound knowledgeable about the
hi-tech world they feel the need to spout off on "killer apps".  I'll
believe it when I see it, okay?... Economy Boom backlash is coming on
strong:  both Upside and the Red Herring, two of your generally more
optimistic viewers of the economy print articles this week saying people
are perhaps just a little too euphoric...

Too much free time:
So bored that you wish to listen to police scanner traffic in some random
city?  Try it out:

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. 
Up To Date is also available on the web at 

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