October 19 – 25, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

If it ain’t Info Fatigue Syndrome, it’s certainly “technosis”

                                The not always serious, 
                                not always weekly update
                                on the Hi-Tech Industry
                                October 19th - October 25th
                Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
                If it ain't Info Fatigue Syndrome, it's certainly "technosis"

Say that again...
"In no way do we violate members' privacy. We're able to reach our members
with ads that they're more interested in."
- Myer Berlow, senior VP of interactive marketing at America Online,
"We have never tried to stop any computer manufacturer from shipping any
other browser." 
- Mark Murray, spokesperson of Microsoft. 

"There is no fine; nobody pays a fine."
- Bill Gates, no explanation needed

"Well, I have to say, Lou, what we're hearing out in the West is a big
collective 'duh!'"
- Greg LeFevre, CNN San Francisco correspondent on reaction in Silicon
Valley to Department of Justice antitrust filing against Microsoft. 

"Once a business puts up an Internet store, all it needs are customers."
- Marc Andreessen, Mosaic inventor, Netscape founder and VP, and
apparently internet business expert    
Earnings Reports
Microsoft posts excellent earnings and says that the DOJ charge is "no big
thing"... IBM beats earnings expectations... Citrix wallops earnings
expectations (apparently the analysts haven't been reading the 6000 or so
stories that have been appearing on this company lately)... S3 misses
analyst expectations (a one product company... how far can they go before
what they do is swallowed by, say, Intel?)... Netscape beats earnings
estimates by a penny... Lucent beats estimates... Xerox beats estimates...
Computer Associates beats estimates... PeopleSoft beats estimates...
Quantum beats estimates... OnSale beats estimates... Borland beat estimates
*and* is actually making money (what happened here?)... Sequent (yes
they're still around) actually made some money... C-Net losing more money
than ever... Boeing losing money... Gateway losing money... Amazon.com (of
course) losing more money than ever... Infoseek losing money.. 

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
IBM to buy SGI???... Merced to suck.  Apparently at Microprocessor Forum
Fred Pollack of Intel said something to the effect of "just wait until you
see Merced 2!" causing some suspicious people to believe that Merced 1 just
won't be all that great... Apple to ditch PowerPC altogether and build
only Intel based systems... At the same time as the Government releases a 
report stating the US is in dire need of new information technologists, 
Microsoft announces it's MS Skills 2000 training initiative to train people 
for such spots.  This in the same week I receive a fake news story about MS 
buying the US government as a subsidiary to solve it's antitrust problems.
Coincidence?... Did anyone else get about 16 copies of the conspiracy
theory concerning John Denver being born in Roswell, New Mexico and the
fact that he crashed an "experimental" aircraft.  Come on, get real... 

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???)
Home Shopping Networks merges with Universal Studios TV... AOL suing
spammer (keep trying)... N2K has itself a hyper IPO (does anyone really
analyze the actual future potential of these companies?)... Mir crew hits
snags during repair job... New Infoseek has "channels" (how original)...
Microsoft search engine... New "media lab" to open in NYC... Now you, too,
can purchase OnSales' magnificent auction software... DEC introduces PCs
under $900... US admits further that computer terrorism "certainly is" a
threat... Not to be outdone by Microsoft and the DOJ, Network Solutions was
hit with a class action suit for antitrust... Intel to "help" develop cable
modems with @Home... Intel and DEC Alpha "licensing" deal still not
finalized... France attempts to institute a key encryption law, painfully
similar to US attempts... Australian telco Telstra is suing the US because
of lost revenue from internet telephony... Lotus cc:Mail 8.1 ships to very
little fanfare... Amazon and Barnes & Noble give up lawsuit... Datapoint
files a patent infringement suit against Intel (just in case they do get
out of the DEC one)... Microsoft claims that IE 4.0 is just another feature
of Windows (just how do they explain IE 4.0 for Mac then?)...
http://www.galaxymall.com/retail/spogge/ ... MIT gets a seven server Alpha
machine donated from DEC... South Korea blocks out all of geocities nearly
1 million pages due to one pro-North Korean page... A county in Virginia
restricts 'net access in libraries.  All machines will have blocking
software that you can't turn off and if you're under 18 you need a *note*
from your parents...  Compaq threatened by Microsoft to include IE 4.0...
NHL Hockey to be broadcast via audionet (and if you thought it's tough to
follow the puck on a television, just wait until you try at 12 frames per
second on a 2 inch screen)... CyberCash and Barclays Bank announce
BarclayCoin... Dell computers recalls AC adapters for "posing a risk of
shock"... 56bit crypto challenge cracked (big surprise there)... SGI's Cray
releases a 1+ teraflop system based on the Alpha (gee, where's MIPS?)...
Intel-DEC court postponement has "nothing whatsoever" to do with settlement
rumors... The Pentagon's computers were broken into 250 times last year...
SportsLine USA decides it's IPO isn't really as valuable as they originally
thought... Finally, someone realizes the power of interactivity: The Music
Connection will create CDs to order for you (of course they have no
selection)... Goldman Sachs finally decides to sell its research via the
'net... SGI will "most likely" layoff people (but Ed stays)... Documents
from Microsoft turned over due to the DOJ charge show that MS was
"obsessed" with Netscape... Apple has decided to charge for phone support
(yeah, that'll gain the love of already pissed off customers)... 25% of
CompuServe's members left due to the AOL buyout... NEC develops 128-bit
encryption but won't export it due to export laws in Japan... Wired to cut
staff... AMD says the K7 will be "slot 1 interchangeable" (hmmmm,

Department of Justice *finally* realizes something is amiss at Microsoft...
Turns out if you use Netcom as your email provider, they've been snooping
through your email.  Oh well... A browser that's 400k!!! (1/200 the size of
IE 4.0) get it at: http://www.neoplanet.com ... Federal judge to hear the
complaints of annoy.com ... Joe Costello resigns from Cadence to go to
Milken's Knowledge Universe (?!?)... Costa Rica will be testing online
elections and hope to eliminate paper ballots all together by 2002... The
fight over prince.com has just gone away peacefully... PointCast suckers a
CEO out of SBC Communications (didn't Prodigy just do the same thing?)...
New Media jobs in New York City have doubled over the past 18 months...
Upside and the Washington Post??? ... Intel postpones by one year the
opening of it's new Texas fabrication plant due to "weak demand"... 

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Yes, indeed, the military finally got around to shooting a laser beam at a
satellite.  Studies on the satellite suggest that the laser beam "didn't do
anything"... Honda claims its new engine "cleans up smoggy air"... New
clothes "block electric waves" to protect office workers from
electromagnetic radiation.  Yeah, right... New electric car fuel cell
developed... A clinic in Berlin has a "surgery robot" that will perform
oral, facial and jaw surgery... US clinics have been using "unapproved"
lasers to treat nearsightedness... Email translator from TenFour... For
just $12 a month you can listen to your email over the phone.  Oh joy... 

Average internet user spends 13 to 14 hours a week on the internet
according to McCann Erickson Worldwide... 33% of college courses use email
according to the Campus Computing Project Survey... Web Week's 2nd annual
survey of Web Design companies turned up some interesting findings:  Median
price charged to a Fortune 1000 company for a website is between $100,000
and $500,000.  1% charge over 1 million.  The most popular HTML tool in use
was BBEdit... Internet telephony will cost telcos $8 billion by 2001
according to Action Information Services... Jupiter communications believes
that chat rooms on corporate web sites would "boost" business (what kind of
business?)... FIND/SVP and Grunwald Associates have found that there are
almost 10 million children under the age of 18 online (22% of whom are on
AOL, explaining, just slightly, some of the messages I receive from the
xxx@aol.com crowd)... A wonderful study by Motorola says that 66% of
parents believe computers make their kids anti-social and lazy... According
to IDG, 79% of Information Technology professionals believe the DOJ charge
against Microsoft... Interactive Services Report has found that the number
of users online has *declined* between June and September... Telecommute
America has released a study showing that 62% of companies surveyed have
more employees telecommuting than they did 2 years ago...

New Chief Technology Officer at TheStreet.com, 22 year old college dropout
(apparently the class on C programming was too difficult), Gregg Bishop is
going to have some troubles... I warned last week that Time's new pay to
view Money site was going to fail.  I'll now repeat the claim for their
decision to do a pay to view FortuneInvestor site... 

Memes o' the week:
More and more and more... exclusivity.  Come on, people.  When it's just as
easy to click and go somewhere else, what's the use of exclusivity?
Apparently Netscape feels differently, after signing exclusive deals with
Amazon and N2K this week... DVD hype... City Guides are apparently all the
rage this week.  The New York Times, Knight Ridder, and NBC even mentioned
something about it... Just a month after the study telling us all about
Information Fatigue Syndrome we get a new book telling us all about
"technosis".  Technosis is apparently what happens when you grow too
dependent on technology and begin to lose your identity (I probably
qualify)... Static memory devices.  Devices that use protons to save
information even in the event of a power outage were given new life this
week by Sandia National Labs... 

Too much free time:
Internet Exploiter: http://www.jwp.bc.ca/saulm/ie4/

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
info.  And, of course, my comments may not accurately reflect reality. 

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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