November 2 – 8, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. And the Disney School of Contradictory Accounting

                                The not always serious, 
                                not always weekly update
                                on the Hi-Tech Industry
                                November 2nd - November 8th
                Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
                And the Disney School of Contradictory Accounting
Say that again...
"This is a big problem from a moral, ethical and social point of view."
- Brad Weber, EVP of the ISP providing sites such as "Caf' Flesh" on
finding out that people are "sharing passwords" to get into these sites,
but saying nothing about the content of such sites, in the NY Times

"We would not argue that NT solves everybody's problems. We know there's a
lot of work to do." 
- Anthony J. Bay, general manager of Microsoft's Internet Servers Business
Unit, 'fessing up

"We are always going to be smaller than AOL. I just want to admit that." 
- Laura Jennings, Microsoft VP in charge of MSN, also 'fessing up

"People have the impression for us to win, Microsoft has to lose.  The
notion that we have to take them down is not accurate."
- Mike Homer, Netscape's executive VP of sales and marketing, leading up to
the fact that Microsoft is winning or what?

"CEOs are supposed to have class. I can see that isn't an opinion you hold."
- Steve Jobs, Apple temporary (yeah, right) CEO, to Michael Dell, CEO of
Dell in response to Dell's comment that Apple should just give it up and
shut down.

"Sun's board should wash his mouth out with soap.  If my five-year-old
talked the same way, she'd be blowing bubbles."
- Tod Nielsen, Microsoft Executive on Scott McNealy's anti-Microsoft quotes

Earnings Reports
S3 to "restate" earnings for a "number" of previous quarters, reducing
revenue by $40 to $70 million... Cisco beats expectations, and is "doing
rather well" overall... Cox Communications losing more money than
expected... Ascend says to "expect" sales increases over the next two
quarters... Acclaim Entertainment losing over a dollar and a half more than
expectations... AOL making money... Senators are looking into requiring
companies to report in their annual statements how much the Year 2000
problem will cost them...

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week... (hey, I just report 'em)
Steve Jobs is having a "big" press conference on Monday.  While Jobs has
been quiet, the rumors are flying:  Apple will become a Network Computer
company.  Apple will begin direct sales via the Dell model.  New, colorful
PowerMacs... The Intel-HP designed Merced is so bloated that 32-bit
machines are not capable of design rule checking, and so they've moved to
Alphas... Microsoft looking to buy either Rhapsody-for-Intel or BeOS to
replace an "unimpressive" attempt to create the next generation of Windows
NT.  No matter what happens with that, one report says that in six months
"nobody will recognize Windows NT"... DEC to buy SGI... Compaq to buy
DEC... Compaq to buy SGI... I heard this a year ago, but now it's popping
up again: MSN has replaced NT servers with Unix boxes because the NT boxes
"just didn't work"... Ed McCracken, ex-SGI CEO, to be the leading candidate
for the Apple CEO spot... Intel will use neither Slot 1 nor Socket 7 in its
NetPC designs, but rather solder the damn thing right into the motherboard...

Scott McNealy, playing fair, has requested that people mail-bomb Bill Gates
in support of 100% pure java... If the Microsoft Network billed you
incorrectly for $275 extra, what would you do?  That's right, just like
Michael Rudder and Mark LaRochelle, you would sue for $75 *million*...
Geoffrey Davidian apparently feels it's his right, based on the Freedom of
Information Act to know where government officials in Cookeville Tennessee
are web surfing.  He's suing for the city to release the cookie files of
its employees... 

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???)
Class action suit against Boeing claiming they knowingly hid production
problems from investors... A nice (successful!) walk by the astronauts on
Mir ended with them forgetting to close the hatch... The launch of the
first rocket in Brazil ends in failure as it goes "out of control"... Stock
valuations, according to a big name analyst: "suck"... The big four in
desktops (Dell, Compaq, IBM, and HP) are becoming the big four in
notebooks... HP cuts PC prices... Compaq cuts PC prices... Dell cuts PC
prices... IBM cuts PC prices (and introduces sub $1000 Aptiva)... Another
AOL email outage... @Home's modems easily open to hackers... Intel admits
that problems in Asia "might" impact them... AOL creates a streaming audio
product... AT&T has new technology for transferring CD quality music
quickly and securely over the internet... Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (whose
constituents include Novell and Caldera) suddenly finds Microsoft's
practices "abominable" (guess who is going to finance his re-election
bid?)... "revamped"... Oracle, Sun, and Lotus to work together
on an "open" standard for networking computing... Government web sites are
still collecting "cookies" to get data about visitors... The government has
decided to "galvanize a swift, effective response" to the predicted
shortage of information technology labor (does anyone else see the
oxymoron?)... Intuit offers mortgages via the web... Variety finally
decides they need a website (especially since they found out everyone has
been reading the Hollywood Reporter's website over paying for Variety)...
Microsoft to work with Liquid Audio to create "music commerce"... Borders
Books, the missing party in the online book selling wars, is gearing up to
enter with "exclusive" agreements with Infoseek and C-Net... Wall Street
Journal's online subscriptions have tripled to 150,000 while its hardcopy
sister has lost 9,000 subscriptions... The new and Pathfinder
sites have areas that require IE 4.0 instead of Netscape... AOL wins battle
against spammer... SEC sends out "warnings" to firms about the Year 2000
problem... The Senate officially will not allow laptops in Congress
(suggesting that having actual information at your fingertips is less
important than "posterity" when it comes to making important decisions that
effect the lives of millions)... In the midst of DOJ troubles, Bill Gates
plans to invest another $1 billion in cable.  This time the target appears
to be USWest... More examples of Microsoft exerting pressure on licensees
to sell more IE 4.0 and to shun Netscape... Intel, apparently getting as
annoyed as everyone else at DVD standards squabbling, has released its own
guidelines... Sun cheated on Java benchmark tests... "Benchmarks weren't
created correctly" claims Sun... Fountain of Youth hormone "doesn't
work"... Seagate buys more of Dragon Systems (they now own 35% of this
speech recognition software company)... MSN losing $250 million a year...
Microsoft and Infoseek in joint promotional deal (read: Infoseek just
scored a ton of cash)... The FTC found more than 400 websites with false
information about health products or treatments in just a few hours (which
search engine do you think would accurately respond to
"health+information+bogus"?)... Kodak restructuring to be announced this
week, with an expected 14,000 employee layoff...  Netscape buys GE's stake
in Actra (e-commerce joint venture) for $56 million...
revamped... Intel has "nothing special" to say at the semi-annual analysts
meeting... IBM CEO, Lou Gerstner, tells Wall Street that its entire 
industry will move to the internet, and any who don't will die out... 
Pentium bug revealed that crashes PCs... AMD having "problems" producing 
K6s at the rate they promised...  3Com gets into consumer video with its 
Bigpicture TV phone... 

Microsoft *admits* that NT isn't as "robust" as other operating systems...
AOL and Lotus working together on enhancing Kona... Despite claiming 3
weeks ago that they weren't, suddenly Disney is claiming that "Daily Blast"
is profitable.  Have they turned to Mickey Mouse to handle the
accounting?... Apple and CompUSA working together to create special "store
within a store" sections to sell Apple machines (and I thought CompUSA was
trying to stay *in* business)... The Justice Dept. puts on hold the Apple 
buyout of PowerComputing saying it has something to do with
Microsoft (???)... Gateway 2000, realizing that they're having trouble
selling PCs, has decided to enter what is probably an even more competitive
environment: the Internet Service Provider business... India gets rid of
government monopoly on Internet Service Providing... IE 4.0 for Unix
actually ships... Ira Magaziner, Clinton's advisor on things technical,
says that current anti-trust laws are "out-of-date"... As Asia's computer
sales are expected to head south, the disappointing European market appears
to be picking up... AOL co-founder, James Kimsey, resigns... Texas sues

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Warner Brothers has adopted togglethis ( technology.
Watch out for annoying Warner Brothers characters jumping around your
desktop and being a general nuisance... Anyone else think the eight million
or so stories saying that the judge in the British au pair murder case in
Massachusetts would release his decision over the net first, to be *just
slightly* excessive?  Certainly calling it a technological "leap" was
clearly dumb... Celebrities will now be heard on computers of AOL users 
saying the famous "You've Got Mail!" greeting.  Those who have already 
agreed to this ridiculous publicity stunt include David Letterman, 
Dennis Rodman and Rosie O'Donnel... 

A report by Credit Suisse First Boston predicts that within 4 years a
majority of the corporate PC market will be controlled by HP, IBM, Dell and
Compaq... A survey by MSNBC showed that 21% of people felt the service of
online brokers was excellent, 34% said good, and 21% said poor.  The most
popular site was E*Trade...  While 62% of consumer goods companies have a
web site, (up from 33% a year ago), a report from Computer Sciences Corp.
shows that very few are using it for e-commerce... CNN's website has 50%
more activity than last year according to Cowles' MediaDaily... The
Coalition for Ad-Supported Information and Entertainment said the average
company's budget for web advertising is only $285,000... 

Aptex's new neural networking software is supposedly a leap forward in
intelligent agents.  It allows servers to interpret an email or chat
inquiry, and send back an "appropriate" response.  Considering the number
of times I've gotten responses from *humans* who incorrectly understood my
inquiry, I'd be surprised if Aptex's software will have the level of
sophistication necessary... Streamland will fail... 

Memes o' the week:
Getting e-commerce off the ground: this week the latest application that is
supposed to accomplish this wonderful feat is paying bills online to
utilities... Virtual Communities are back in fashion again, as MIT
considers making it an area of study... Multimedia markup language?  SMIL... 

Too much free time:
A fascinating case study on intellectual property... of a toy:

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 with "Subscribe Up To Date" in the subject heading. 
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