November 23 – 29, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Short, sweet, and with no actual point…

                                The not always serious, 
                                not always weekly update
                                on the Hi-Tech Industry
                                November 23th - November 29th
                Sponsored by the Technology Management Club of 
                Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
                Short, sweet, and with no actual point...

Say that again...
"We have to be able to control what goes into our products.  Otherwise, how
can we respond to our customers? How can we give good value? How can we add
more, more, more, more good stuff at low prices?"
- Steve Balllmer, Microsoft's # 2, doing his Crazy Eddie impersonation

"We're trying to do what we can to make sure the country favors an Internet
that's open and free for everyone and isn't controlled by any organization."
- A Sun Vice President in response to a question about the Microsoft
lawsuit.  This quote is especially amusing in light of the fight Sun has
put up to be the standard controller for Java...

"The reality is that we won't go broke. We have plenty of money and we have
better products than Oracle."   
- Bob Finocchio, Informix CEO, apparently in a state of denial.

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
Dell beats estimates and is doing rather well, thank you... Intuit warns of
"problems" that may cause "damage" to this year's earnings... Novell beats
estimates, but is barely making any money... goes public...
VeriSign plans IPO... 

Pissed off at work? Don't do the following...
A temporary employee at Forbes help desk was fired last year, and proceeded
to cause $100,000 worth of damage.  He's now looking at up to five years in
prison.  My question is what did he do to create that much damage?  My
guess is that he installed beta versions of MS IE 4.0...

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Scorned by MCI?  British Telecom is apparently looking at purchasing GTE in
a merger of the two companies MCI chose not to let purchase them...
Resurfacing of the Compaq to buy Digtal rumor (but what's left?)... Oops.
Intel's Deschutes chip, set for April release has an errata that won't
allow for dual processor versions... Okay, Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince
al-Waleed bin Talal invests $146 million in Netscape, and the next day
Netscape spends $180 million on Kiva Software.  Coincidence?  I think
not...  CNET is planning more layoffs as the company continues to tank... 

Berating the obvious: (they call this news???)
Rolling Stone buys a stake in JamTV... Microsoft gives in on its fight with
SCO but begins suing Argentina... HP drops notebook prices... Microsoft
isn't "ready" to do Java support for CE (will they ever be?)... Government
looking to tighten encryption rules... Executives at Lotus running for the
door... Computer hitch on Mir... Iomega gets restraining order against
Nomai (that sneaky company making Zip compatible drives that work
better)... IBM cuts prices... 30 million copies of RealPlayer (or its
predecessors) have been downloaded... Intel reorganizes to focus on
customer segments... Microsoft can't manufacture the necessary
number of WebTV for the holiday season (apparently taking a lesson from the
AMD school of "advertise before you have the slightest clue about your
production capabilities")... Juno takes spammers to court for forgery...
Scientists point out that President Clinton's signature on the No
Electronic Theft Act would "chill" the free flow of information... VP Al
Gore switches from Mac to PC, and finds he uses Netscape more than IE,
though he made it clear he uses both... Netscape disagrees with study
showing it's lost market share.  Comes out with their own study showing
they have 67% of the browser market... IBM shuts down their OS/2 unit (yes,
I didn't think it still existed either)... Chatting hoax starts on AOL (of
all places...)... Datapoint is looking to upgrade its patent infringement
suit against Intel to a class action suit (apparently they felt the weren't
receiving enough publicity)... Rhapsody for Intel released... 

Sub $1000 not a scary enough price point for Intel?  Acer is looking at
introducing a $200 computer... Netscape buys Kiva... DEC really really
(seriously) sells its networking business to Cabletron just as Cabletron's
stockholders sue it for fraud and deceptive business practices... Power
Computing this week has decided to stop selling Intel based machines.
Let's see, considering they stopped selling PowerPC machines a few months
back, that means they're now selling: nothing.  Yup.  Apparently they are
going to take a few weeks off and figure out what to try to sell next.
Good luck... First Toshiba decides to lower monitor prices, and then
decides, "what the hell" and ditches desktops altogether...

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Ninetendo Gameboy now has an add-on digital camera and printer available
for $50 each.  No, I don't understand it either... Universal Electronics
has been chosen to make a remote control for WebTV... Not quite sure how
this fits in, but it had to be included: K-mart has recalled rocking chairs
after 84 people injured themselves by sitting on improperly assembled
rocking chairs in K-mart stores... New technology from Ericsson lets you
make phone calls and access the internet simultaneously over one phone

Online subscriptions grow by 5% to 25.3 million according to Electronic
Information Reports... A new reports by NetSolve which (for the first time)
checked actual datastream info rather than human reports to check on
computer break-ins shows it's a dangerous cyberspace out there:  every
single corporate network checked had break-in attempts at least once
every other month (some had as many as 5 attempts a month... People are 
canceling newspaper subscriptions due to PointCast, says, well, PointCast 
(and next week they'll stop world hunger too)... EPIC has released a study 
showing that of the blocked sites of "family-friendly" search engines, 99% 
of those would be appropriate for children.  99% false negatives?!?!  Call 
me a crazy anti-censorship goon, but I think that's just a bit too cautious...

CNET's will dwindle into obscurity... Queen Elizabeth II will
broadcast her Christmas address over the internet.  It will be extremely
overhyped, and will have technical difficulties... Fujitsu's TransLinGo!
software to translate Japanese web pages to English will create some
interesting interpretations... 

Memes o' the week:
Mobile IP.  Have the same IP address wherever you are... Compare shopping.
I've said this before, and now maybe someone is listening?  Yahoo! and
Junglee Corp. started  a website that will compare pricing
from a variety of e-commerce merchants, make recommendations and link you
directly to the seller's websites.  Later this week, Excite decided to
follow suit using Jango, the annoying intelligent agent... Big Browser
Backlash.  I've already mentioned Opera's and NeoPlanet's small browsers
here, but all of a sudden I can't go a week without hearing about one of
these browsers.  What's more interesting is the fact that people are very
loudly expressing support for them.  Something to think about...

Too much free time:
The job search getting to be too much?  Is that job you've got just too
damn boring?  Try conning people for a living (hey, someone's gotta do

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 

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