August 31 – Sept 6, 1998

from the Up-To-Date dept

Still waiting to put out an issue with nice things to say about Microsoft

The not always serious,?
not always weekly update
on the High-Tech Industry
August 31st - September 6th, 1998
Still waiting to put out an issue
with nice things to say about Microsoft
Say that again...
"My client has lost millions of dollars in potential ad revenues, not to mention the permanent damage to his reputation as a filmmaker and an actor."
- Stan Lieber, attorney for Ken Tipton, on the lawsuit Tipton has filed against IEG for shutting down ? because it was a fraud.? I?m sorry, but going through with the fraud would have uplifted Tipton?s reputation as a filmmaker and an actor?? Someone want to explain that one?

"Some people feel banners are annoying.? Some people feel TV commercials are annoying. I feel the Internet is going to become commercialized and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.? What corporations can do is minimize the annoyance.?
- Bernard Ferguson, CEO of MicroSmarts Innovative Business Solutions, the company who created Link Exchange?s new Pop-Up Exchange ad network of annoying pop-up advertisements.? It strikes me that the best way to minimize the annoyance is simply *not* to have these pop up ads.? It also strikes me that this idea is not smart (even ?microsmart?), innovative, or a solution, which makes me wonder about the company?s name.

"Our arrangement with InfoSpace is particularly exciting, as it is intended to serve as the foundation for Skyline's immediate expansion into providing a broad range of both Web-related and location-based tour and travel services catering to individuals and groups that visit our attraction at The Empire State Building.?
- Jay Berkman, co-CEO of Skyline Multimedia Entertainment.? A hearty congratulations in next week?s issue to anyone who can tell me what, if anything, the above statement means.

Startup City
Who wants to work for big boring bureaucratic companies anyway?? Execs from SAP, Oracle, and HP all quit this week to run startups...?

More Reasons to be Disgusted by Microsoft
I try.? I really do try.? Each week, though, Microsoft does something to disgust me.? Microsoft officials refuse to use the word ?browser? now in their court case.? To them, they say, the ?browser? no longer exists.? There are just ?bits of browsing technologies? built into the Operating System.? It makes you sick, doesn?t it?? Why doesn?t someone just show them IE for MacOS?... In other news, an article by Wendy Goldman Rohm, who has admitted to making up good sounding stories about Microsoft, reported that a Microsoft employee has admitted to destroying evidence in the Caldera case... Also, proving that deep down inside they really are bastards, MS has subpoenaed Netscape?s ?Really Bad Attitude? newsgroup.? RBA is an internal newsgroup at Netscape, mostly for developers to vent...

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
Yahoo! to be added to the NASDAQ 100... Morgan Stanley raised their estimates on Intel, and suddenly Intel didn?t care that the rest of the market was tanking... CMP misses estimates by a wide margin... uBid, yet another online auction house, had their IPO delayed due to ?market conditions? (not business model conditions?)... Cadence to buy Ambit...??

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Apple to build ?search? functionality into MacOS.? The search will happen both locally on the hard drive and on the Internet (not a bad concept, actually)...?

News you could do without
Earthlink is the ?official? ISP of the NFL (how much money was thrown away on that deal?)... Inktomi buys C2B, the comparison shopping agent (or, as some called it: ?Inktomi pulls an Amazon?)... Microsoft offers new pricing plan to academic institutions (one academic official says ?I?m not excited by this?)... Yahoo! and Amazon expand their deal (is this a big game of Risk? They work together until one feels powerful enough to screw the other one over)... Network Solutions in a co-marketing deal with Info USA (why?)... A user who figures out a way to break into voice mailboxes is threatened with a lawsuit when he tries to report the bug to PacBell... Intel blames bandwidth providers for holding up web publishing (is that a tone of desperation? Intel badly needs fancier web page applications to justify selling more powerful processors) ... More web based email bugs... Gordon Moore not all that worried about Y2K... Lots of child pornographers were arrested this week in a worldwide crackdown on Internet child porn... IBM wins a $3 billion outsourcing agreement from Cable & Wireless... The Department of Justice expands its case against Microsoft... It?s okay for Network Solutions to collect extra money for domains (watch those prices jump back up)... eBay shells out $12 million to be AOL?s exclusive auction service (as some begin to question their IPO offering)... Sportsline expects to renew its exclusive agreement with AOL (how much will they have to shell out?)... AOL to use Inference call center technology to answer customer questions ?more quickly and accurately?... PGP 6.0 already on European servers despite not being released in the US (is it illegal if it hasn?t been released yet?)... CompUSA finishes sucking up Computer City... A spam bill in California (a smart one ? basically saying unsolicited email has to be flagged with an [AD] tag) raising free speech issues... Oracle has been making deals with lots of companies owned by (guess who?) Larry Ellison (I?m sure the stock holders will love those deals)... Juno hires detectives to track down a spammer who abused their service... Judge John Flaherty excuses himself from the Sun-Microsoft case due to a conflict with his pension fund.? (Two thoughts: 1. He got out of this case realizing it was going to be a real bitch to make a decision or 2. Microsoft ?got? to him)... Fujitsu shuts down semiconductor plant, kills 570 jobs... Hitachi shuts down semiconductor plant, kills 650 jobs... Mitsubishi shuts down semiconductor plant, kills 230 jobs... It must suck to be in semi?s right now... The U.S. government predicts it will take nearly half a billion more than expected to fix Y2K problems (someone want to explain to them we don?t care how much it *costs*, just the amount of *time* it will take)... Bill Gates not to testify in the DOJ case... New bug found and fixed in IE... Bell South has decided to charge companies that offer long distance calls over the net the same charges they apply to regular long distance companies... According to an Intel executive, game consoles are history (thanks to powerful new PCs, of course)...?

Zapata has hired Salomon Smith Barney to prove they are a real Internet company (well, golly, now I?m convinced)... PointCast founder, Chriss Hassett working to launch a new Internet startup called PrizePoint (let?s see if he can sell out at the high point of hype this time, rather than letting the company collapse into nothingness in a few months)... Condominiums (minimum bid $9!) for sale on OnSale (they also plan to auction plane tickets ? watch out Priceline: who needs a reverse auction when a forward one will work just fine, thank you)... Web folks consolidate: USWeb and CKS make the big merger news, while Proxicom and IBIS slip under most news radars... HP, Compaq and IBM team up to challenge Intel on circuitry... Andersen Consulting sued for an installation done in 1990 that isn?t Y2K compliant (hope that suit gets done before 1/1/2000 or Andersen may not be able to find the money it owes)... ESPN, who had a fairly successful site, redesigns it to look like yet another portal... Symantec told to stop selling Uninstall Deluxe due to copyright infringement on a CyberMedia product... John Romero, one of the main developers of Quake, and the co-founder of id Games and Ion Storm ?fakes? his death on the Internet using a newspaper photo of a different John Romero (well, at least this guy is making games involving lots and lots of death)...?

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
IP-enabled vending machines... Yahoo! Internet surfing stations in Times Square... IRS to use VeriSign to test digital signatures on tax returns filed electronically.? They plan to deploy it on a wide-scale basis in 2000 (wait a sec... I thought the IRS was going to drop off the planet on January 1st 2000)... Microsoft has produced a pop song in Hong Kong that urges listeners not to pirate software (I can *smell* the desperation)...? The web movie ?Monster Home? where the end-users get to choose the order in which they see the scenes... Text mode Quake (no, there is *no* good reason for this)... President Clinton signs an e-commerce communique with Ireland using a digital signature... David Bowie has decided to become an ISP ... Yet another computerized essay grader: Thomas Landauer at the University of Colorado at Boulder has created a program that, after reading a ?gold standard? can grade other essays based on content ? but not creativity...?

According to eMarketer, CDNow is the top ranked music website, followed closely by N2K, and CD Universe... Broadband Internet access will be used by a quarter of all online homes by 2002 according to Forrester ? 80% of which will be fulfilled by cable companies... More than 10% of Internet users have browsed for clothes online ? a category most folks swore could not be sold over the Internet, according to @Plan... Forrester is predicting that lower income houses will start buying more computers next year... Apparently, according to Student Monitor LLC, the Internet is ?cooler? on campus than ?beer-drinking? (man, I left college too early)... Saatchi & Saatchi has found that chatting makes up 26 percent of time spent online...?

Mixing sex and stock quotes.? IEG announces their little venture into this arena and suddenly it?s news on every site.? Do we care?... That damn Microsoft-Disney spam.? Is it that the net is getting *more* gullible?? Though, I love the new excuses I get from people who are normally quite technically savvy: ?well, it?s probably not true, but just in case?...??

Pop-up Exchange will fail.? Don?t they understand?? Pop-up banners are (1) annoying as anything and (2) damn easy to program out *or* to simply shut down before they even load...?

Too much free time:
A fairly good analogy to software piracy:

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. Finally, an explicit warning about investing: I do not, under any circumstance, consider any piece of information in this newsletter "investment advice" and neither should you.?

To subscribe to Up-To-Date type your email address in the box below and press enter:?

Click here to return to the Up-To-Date index.??

Comments are always welcome!?

If you would like to discuss this article with others, feel free to go to the Diner, or to e-mail our discussion list, backstage.

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...