November 9 – 15, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. And the Michael Dell for Apple CEO Lobby

                                The not always serious, 
                                not always weekly update
                                on the Hi-Tech Industry
                                November 9th - November 15th
                Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
                And the Michael Dell for Apple CEO Lobby
Say that again...
"If your company has a good idea today, you can be sure that within a year
a competitor will be financed like a heat-seeking missile to find its way
right up your tailpipe."
- John Doerr, famous venture capitalist from Kleiner Perkins

"MacOS is cute, but Rhapsody is sexy."
- A suggested slogan for Rhapsody from an anonymous Apple employee

"In the future, we will all be Microsoft."
- George Colony, President of Forrester, sounding positively Borg-ish

"You never, ever want to compete with Microsoft. And even if they want to
compete with you, you run away and do something else."
- Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!    

"This conference makes one wonder whether your speakers traveled by Qantas
because it has all the hallmarks of a kangaroo court."
- Bob Herbold, Microsoft COO in a wonderful (and well worth reading) open
letter to Ralph Nader about Nader's "anti-Microsoft" conference.

"Was that it?"
- Apple's European PowerPC product manager summing up just about everyone's
opinion on Steve Jobs "mother of all press conferences" last Monday

"There are precious few instances in which Microsoft has invested in a
company in a healthy way." 
- Neil Weintraut, venture capitalist. 

Earnings Reports
Qualcomm easily beats estimates... HP earnings to be announced Monday...
PictureTel losing money... 

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Add Sun to the list of rumored companies (along with IBM, Compaq, DEC,
Microsoft) who are looking to purchase SGI... Oh yeah, and rumor has it
Sun is considering picking up Apple (Scott McNealy for Apple CEO?)... 
All those nice animated .gifs on Microsoft's page?  Yup, created
with Mac shareware... 

Nice comeback of the week
Microsoft's legal team has gone after  The site which provided
useful and helpful information about Windows NT for 3 years, complete with
Microsoft's knowledge, apparently was a threat to Microsoft's trademark on
Windows.  I just checked to see if they were still online and
they have changed the site to a central site for window manufacturers (as
in the glass stuff).  There is also a nice little definition of the word
"window" at the top of the page.

What's that you say about convergence?
PCs and TVs coming closer together all the time now.  Sanyo, this week,
released a TV with web access capabilities built in (do I hear WebTV execs
saying "wait a sec."?)... Phillips also has announced a PC-TV.  Their
DVX8000 Multimedia Home Theater is supposed to serve as the "centerpiece of
a home entertainment network"... Compaq has added a DVD-ROM to its PC-TV

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???)
Congress plans to delay quadrupling fees of satellite broadcasters because,
hey, it would probably make them all go out of business... All that hubub
last week about the British au pair's judge's decision to be announced over
the net fizzled when his ISP had a "power outage"... MCI accepts WorldCom
bid (do I hear the DOJ knocking?)... Steve Jobs names Michael Dell as the
new "enemy" of Apple, attempting to move hatred away from Bill Gates,
despite the fact that suddenly Apple is trying to do just about everything
like Dell (why yes, I *do* see the 1984 parallels)... New hard drive
technology from IBM to allow 16 gigabytes of storage... Mir crew still
struggling to shut the door... Taiwan and Korea both announce plans to
increase microchip production capacity... Web commerce will reach $100
billion in 3 years according to: Bill Gates (sure, Bill, and what
percentage of that were you planning on taking?)... Netscape gets religion:
claim they are going to aim for "enterprise strength" ('bout time)...
Disney interactive has more layoffs... Kodak lays off 10,000... IBM lays
off 600...  HTML 4.0 "just about" approved... PeopleSoft announce 2 for 1
stock split... Intel to produce Pentium II for sub-$1,000 machines...
Microsoft asks Federal Judge to just drop the antitrust lawsuit against
it... The combined characteristics in the bugs of Intel's Pentium and 
Microsoft's IE 4.0 that were discovered in the past week make it easier 
than ever to crash your own machine... Speaking of which, both companies 
came out with pretty quick fixes (though the Intel bug fix supposedly 
noticeably slows down the machine)... IBM and HP's Verifone to work 
together to create security standard for commerce on the net... MSNBC 
Business Video to work with WavePhore's Newscast... to be the 
"exclusive" bookseller to @Home customers (how many of those are there 
again, now?)... Intel to show off 450 MHz Pentium II at International 
Solid State Circuits Conference, while IBM says it'll at least be able to 
"describe" a 1 GHz PowerPC at the same time... Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst 
to buy United Artists Theatre Group for a mere $850 million... 
lays off 10% of staff including president (who apparently was cramping 
the style of founder Chris Cooper)... Apple resellers cut prices in 
response to Apple's decision to sell direct (what next Steve, destroy 
the resellers, too?)... DEC "real close now" to selling its network 
equipment business to Cabletron Systems... New Communication Decency Act 
introduced in Senate in yet another attempt to approve state censorship 
on the net... Pentium chip not the only one with flaws, the new G3 
PowerPC chip has a floating point error... Sun looks like it will win 
the vote to become the international steward of the Java standard... GTE, 
spurned by MCI (though they claim their offer still stands), picks up 
unwanted Genuity from Bechtel... Nader conference bashes away at 
Microsoft... Sportsline IPO jumps 22% (of course this was after they 
lowered the initial offering price by what? Oh yeah, 20%)... CNN "on 
demand" via @Home... CUC International in "strategic alliance" with 
Classifieds2000... Intel and ModaCAD to develop e-commerce software for 
fashion retailers... AOL was not responsible for death threats
posted on its service... 

PSINet to buy iSTAR, making the combined company the largest ISP in
Canada... Softbank consolidates Ziff-Davis and Comdex (remember, folks,
when reading ZD reports about Comdex to take it with a few extra grains of
salt)... DEC has announced plans to sell a debit card which customers can
use to pay for telephone service (leading to the obvious question
"telephone service for what?")... U.S. ISP revenue growing at 25% per
month... Sun apologizes for cheating the Java benchmarks saying "well, it
was okay what we did, but we probably shouldn't have bragged about it"...
ZDNet and MSNBC in a "content exchange alliance"... National Semiconductor
buys Future Integrated (maker of graphics hardware and software)...
Following USWest's lead, PacBell is offering DSL technology to folks in
Silicon Valley (yes, I'm jealous), though having dealt with PacBell, my
guess is that you won't be able to get anyone to install it for at least
another year... Vinod Dham, AMD exec credited for the K6, resigns... BeOS
available to download for free... HBO to lead the HDTV charge by
mid-1998... Apple's ftp server runs BSD Unix?... Fastest internet backbone
belongs to: Savvis Communications (who?)... Netscape removes Java logo from
new Communicator as it realizes (whoops) it's not complying with the Java
rules either (at least, it's trying, right?)... Legislation introduced in
Congress that would require U.S. government forms to be online and signable
using digital signatures... According to Larry Ellison, Apple has a
"favorite" for CEO.  My question is what's the opinion of that
"favorite"?... ISP files *criminal* charges against spammer... 

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
A doctor in South Africa diagnosed a patient in Norway this week via
"telemedicine"... PilotCE??? Calm down, it's just a joke... New MRI can be
used to "watch" a stroke in progress.  Personally, I'd prefer if they found
a way to *stop* a stroke in progress, but maybe that's just me... MovieMail
will email you movie schedules in your area... Special new mouse from
Immersion Corp. lets you "feel" web pages... Marlboro College is offering a
Masters degree in "Internet Strategy"... 

Almost a third of the people who followed the big crash in the stock market
two weeks ago did so via the internet... Top three websites still belong to
Yahoo, Netscape and Microsoft according to Relevant Knowledge (did you
really expect anything different?)... According to Education Week 18% of
public schools qualify as "hi-technology" schools (based entirely on
numbers of tech equipment, as opposed to actual use, of course)... A study
by Dataquest says that by the year 2000 faxes over the internet will rise
to 5.6 billion from 44 million this year... Web traffic has increased
110% since the beginning of the year, according to a new study by net
newcomers Nielsen... The number of "hate" sites on the internet has doubled
according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.  Now, I agree that this is
appalling and bothersome, but I find bad statistics to be appalling as
well, and this report was released without any mention of the increase in
overall websites... A study by Merrill Lynch Forum and Wired magazine found
net users to be "connected, optimistic and opinionated"... David Locke,
market analyst with Volpe Brown Whelan says that online commerce is "taking
off"... PC penetration in the US "stagnant" according to Lyra Research...
According to PC Magazine the best PCs are from IBM, Dell, NEC, and
Compaq...  Market Decisions Corp. has done a study saying that Java
programmers are losing interest in the language.  56% were upset by
incompatibilities in the different development kits, 47% were upset at the
lack of open standards, and 45% felt the language was "just too slow"...
Hi-tech really is driving U.S. economy according to a new study from the
American Electronics Association... Everyone keeps saying that ISPs are a
dying breed, but the latest study by IDC/Link shows that the number has
actually been growing (yeah, but for how long?)... According to USA Today
online travel web sites are pulling business from travel agents.  The
Travel Industry Association of America says that 14 million people will
make reservations over the web this year... Financial online services had
huge subscription growths over the last quarter (as high as 54%) according
to Simba/Electronic Information... 

Apple claims half a million in sales in the first 12 hours of its online
store.  Nice, but let's see where they are a year from now... People need
to start registering domain names *before* they announce plans.  New
business magazine InternetWorks apparently forgot to do so.  They had to
settle for (ooh, that's catchy)... DECs shareholders this week
voted against a "poison pill" plan.  Is it my imagination, or does this
mean they really want someone to buy up what's left of DEC *badly*... 

Memes o' the week:
Content ain't king, silly: it's the tools!  Gaming company 7th Level has
pulled out of the content business, and instead will be providing others
with tools to make games... Aggregator sites.  With the expansion of online
commerce, the deal was you could find anything (if you searched long
enough).  Now with sites like and that go
out and search all related sites for you (for music and airline trip
prices, respectively) aggregator sites seem to be the way to go... Flat
screens!  Intel dumps plenty of money into Cambridge Display Technologies
to get them to push forward with Light Emitting Polymer (LEP) technology
for flat panels... Forget DVD, I want HD-ROM, a new technology from Norsam
Technologies will store 165 gigabytes (read that number again) on a regular
CD sized disc... 

Too much free time:
Humungous Bank: Your Money is Our Money:

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. 
Up To Date is also available on the web at 

Comments are always welcome!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...