Up-To-Date – November 23 – 29, 1998

from the Up-To-Date dept

Still not caring about the DOJ/MS trial

Up-To-Date
The not always serious,
not always weekly update
on the High-Tech Industry
November 23rd - November 29th, 1998
Still not caring about the DOJ/MS trial
--------------------
Say that again...
--------------------
"We have found increasingly over the past year and a half, that the part that slows us down is not convincing people they should be online, but it's the 'how'. We've been forced to share our technological expertise with them...."
- Bob Pittman, AOL COO claiming that AOL has technological expertise.

"Since this announcement, guys have come out of the woodwork to offer us oodles of money."
- Larry Kieves, K-Tel President, discussing the announcement that the company has pretty much run out of money and might be delisted by Nasdaq

"It's kind of like the girl next door. You grow up with her. You don't much like her as a kid... Before you know it, you meet in an elevator, and it just happens."
- Mike Homer, Netscape VP, on the AOL deal...

"Operating system software is software that can be part of the operating system" and "I define the operating system market as running on the PC operating system."
- Two of the more revealing quotes from DOJ "expert" witness in the Microsoft Case, Dr. Frederick R Warren-Boulton.

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Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
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Netscape reported earnings that just missed the analysts' expectations, but does anyone really care, anymore?... Novell beats estimates and continues to increase revenue... Intuit beats estimates and is losing less money than expected... Internet commerce sites went crazy this week, with OnSale leading the pack, increasing nearly 262% in one, shortened, week... Higher revenue, but (of course) increasing losses for TheGlobe.com, but that's okay, because they're "cooler than AOL" (claims one founder)... Inktomi and DoubleClick rush to offer more shares to the market...

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Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
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Pointcast close (really!) to having some damn fool give them some more money to throw away... Sprint to buy the rest of Earthlink... Metricom, a wireless Internet service, is running out of cash...

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News you should have read elsewhere
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Okay, shut up already. AOL bought Netscape for over $4 billion. Sun is part of the deal in a convoluted way that no one really understands. What a way to ruin a boring, relaxing week. Everyone else in the world has his or her commentary on the deal, so I'll keep my mouth shut... Nine internet retailers, including such huge, towering names as CDNow, eToys, and Cyberian Outpost officially banded together with their new mall in order to compete with Amazon.com (yes, people are making a bigger deal of this than they should)...

--------------------------
News you could do without
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Excite integrates multimedia search from RealNetworks... HP to take a "fundamental look" at how they do business (to which, HP employees hope, the answer isn't simply "badly")... Earthlink to be CompUSA's "official" ISP... Hotbot, recently purchased by Lycos, finally realizes it's 1998 and adds free email and home pages to their offering... Microsoft, of course, claims the AOL-Netscape deal proves the DOJ has no case (you get the feeling that Microsoft wouldn't hesitate to claim the sun rising, world peace, and/or Hurricane Mitch proves the DOJ has no case)... You know it's a slow news week when Wired publishes a feature all about "Geeks with Guns". Whoohoo, guys. Good one... Amazon.com to be featured on MSN... Everyone acts all shocked that the Feds didn't really test to see if they were Y2K compliant (and of course, they're not as ready as they claimed). Luckily, though, the guy in charge of testing has a "good feeling" that they'll be all right in time. Phew... US District Court strikes down the Virginia library policy requiring filtering software on Internet access machines... The Miningco takes on Up-To-Date with their hyped up weekly newsletter... The gov't providing $2 billion to schools to get connected to the Internet... Geocities to allow the use of Parable's "Things" on their web sites (is someone going to write a "thing-killer", please?)... Ralph Nader opposes the AOL-Netscape deal... British Telecom buys half of Excite UK... Pointcast gives up on the Mac. Apple and Apple users, for the most part, "don't notice or care"... InfoSeek and Netscape "renegotiate" their deal, such that InfoSeek pays more for less... RIAA can't stop Rio (nice try)... China copies Germany and organizes a one day Internet strike... Amazon.com site goes down for a bit in the middle of the "busiest shopping weekend of the year" for "scheduled maintenance" (I don't think so)...

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Surprises:
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Get this, AOL still plans on using IE as its default browser... MCI charges customers it doesn't like a hell of a lot more than those it does (at least according to a recent lawsuit)... AOL, after not bugging AOLsucks.com, is attacking AdiosAOL, a site for people to post change-of-address notices (from any ISP, not just AOL)... Idealab company Ewallet gets lots of hype despite the fact that CyberCash killed their own, very similar, product a few months back for "lack of interest"... IBM to get into digital music delivery... Speaking of IBM, free DB2 for Linux... Someone is suing Netscape for accepting a below market price for the sale to AOL (makes sense)... Motorola to sell flat panel displays, as they attempt to find some product that might sell...

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(Mis)Uses of Technology:
-------------------------------
A raffle to get a free liposuction online?... The MemoMouse pad with a built in digital voice recorder for the truly geeky among us...

----------
Studies:
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AOL.com and Yahoo.com top sites in traffic again... MSIE has a higher browser share than Netscape according to AdKnowledge... Yet another study (a "me too" study, apparently) says that online shopping will be big this year... Cyber Dialogue predicts that many people will shop online, but do their actual buying offline... According to ZD Market Intelligence, Dell beat out Compaq as the number one supplier of PCs to businesses in the third quarter of this year... A study from Jupiter Communications shows that 80% of consumers in the US say they trust Internet news sources as much as other media news sources (oh, the power)...

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Overhype
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Had you heard of Books A Million prior to Wednesday? Didn't think so... The fact that computer.com is for sale (serious bidders only!) for a mere half million initial bid. Would you believe you need to send email to someone with an AOL account to bid?...

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Predictions:
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Time for more third party browser companies. I've never heard so many people say "Maybe it's time to check out Opera, again" as I heard this week. Also, look for more Mozilla based browser companies from the OSS crowd...

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Too much free time:
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Probably not the best story to read to your kid:
http://www.xvt.com/users/kevink/storytime/henry/

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.

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