April 5 – 11, 1999

from the Up-To-Date dept

    Wow, this was a boring week.  Nothing exciting happened.

Read more by clicking below.

The not always serious,
not always weekly update
on the High-Tech Industry
April 5th - April 11th, 1999
Wow, this was a boring week. Nothing exciting happened.
So, if you've only got a little time to waste just read
this first section and go to the web page.

Back in business... with some new stuff
For those of you who only read every few issues, and missed the fact that I was taking a little time off, now I'm back (so stop emailing me asking me if Up-To-Date is no more). I took some time off to work on a few things and to travel a bit. One of the things I was working on was the brand spanking new Techdirt website, available now at https://www.techdirt.com/ . In some sense the new site will act as a "daily" Up-To-Date with more commentary (including your own commentary). It has links to interesting and amusing stories and pages all over the web. It will be constantly updated (with your help). It is also going to evolve as we go forward, so please give us your feedback on the new page.

Yes, yes, yes, for those of you familiar with Slashdot, it is fairly similar. We are using Slashdot code, which is pretty cool, actually. If this bothers you, tough. Just because it looks like Slashdot, doesn't mean that it *is* Slashdot. The site is much more focused for business related stories in the tech world (or whatever folks find interesting and amusing). We definitely plan to keep evolving the site so that it will probably look less and less like Slashdot as we move forward. We made the decision, however, to launch the site as is because (for the most part) it works now, and it should be used, dammit. Cosmetic fixes can come later.

For those of you unfamiliar with Slashdot, or who could care less, this is how the new Techdirt works:

* You (yes, I mean "you, reading this right now") find interesting articles or stories on the web that you think others would find interesting.
* You (yes, same you) go to https://www.techdirt.com/submitstory.php (or just go to the main page and click on "submit").
* You fill out the form and write a little blurb about why the article rocks and you are the coolest person in the world for finding it and submit it.
* We (probably me, but possibly one of the other folks with logins) review your submission and if we think it's interesting and relevant (and hasn't been posted already), we will post it.

That's the basics. There are different levels of participation as well. If you're lazy, you can just go to the web site, read the articles and then post your thoughtful, intelligent comments on the various posts. You can also vote in whatever poll topics we have, and post your thoughtful, intelligent comments there as well.

If you're really enthusiastic about the site (as you should be), you can write full-length articles for the site (though, you probably should email me about that first) or "apply" to be a poster (one of the folks who reviews submissions and/or posts stories they find themselves).

Being ultra-lazy and just reading the site on a daily basis is also allowed, but I have log files and might track you down and force you to post comments or something.

Now, before we go on, a massive amount of thank-you credit has to go to Dennis Yang for being the mastermind who got the damn thing working, and making sense out of the Slashdot code (and expanding it to do other cool things not originally intended).

So, in summary, it's a new, cool site (https://www.techdirt.com/). Go to it, use it, comment on it, submit stories you find elsewhere (make it worth our time to keep it going), and tell all your friends and relatives about it. Since it's new, it might be a little buggy. Please report any bugs to bugs@techdirt.com. As always, feedback can be sent to feedback@techdirt.com.

And now, on to a new Up-To-Date...

Say that again...
"These stocks really defy analysis anyway, although we can all fake it for a while."
- Robert Dickey, Managing Director at Dain Rauscher Wessels on Internet stocks that he claims to analyze.

"At a risk of being called sexist, ageist and French, if you put multimedia, a leather skirt, and lipstick on a grandmother and take her to a nightclub, she's still not going to get lucky."
- Jean-Louis Gassee, Chairman of Be, in a quote that was sent to me by more people than any other quote - ever. If you haven't seen it, it's referring to Microsoft planning on releasing another consumer addition of Windows 9x.

"[She should] get a life."
- Darryl Peck, CEO of Outpost.com, in response to a commentator calling Outpost.com's commercials "the dumbest commercials I've ever seen".

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
Dell becomes the latest "big name company" to throw money at Red Hat in an effort to show that they "get it", too... Real Networks shot up thanks to a super high price target from DLJ... DuPont invests a ton of money into WebMD... Yahoo beats estimates and look at that market cap go... TheGlobe.com decides to split, apparently just for the reaction of its brain dead investors who drive the stock up to ridiculous highs (damn that new stock math)... Compaq warns (pretty late warning) that it's going to really miss earnings big time (the reaction to this one should be interesting)... Lernout & Hauspie receives $30 million from Intel, and then posts quarterly earnings in line with expectations... Network Associates beats estimates... FVC warned that it is going to miss earnings quite a bit and post a big loss (analysts expected a small profit)... AMD warned that it will come in well short of expectations due to production problems (the old standby excuse for AMD)... GeoCities lost 21 cents a share this quarter, but it doesn't matter any more, since Yahoo! is buying them... Western Digital is going to take a $20 million charge and layoff over 500 workers...

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Chris Hassett and friends looking to buy back PointCast (and ignore PrizePoint?)... AOL looking to buy CBS (now follow the rumor trail: let's say NBC comes to Lycos's rescue and buys them to combine with Snap.com. CBS buys NBC, and then AOL buys CBS, and combines Snap.com, Lycos - and all of its properties - with the additional properties of CBS and Netscape, as well as AOL.com and blamo. What a mess that would be, huh?)... Microsoft looking to buy Jump.com, now that AOL has bought When.com... PeopleSoft looking to buy Trilogy, Pivotal, Onyx, or Saratoga Systems to jumpstart their front office strategy... Another fun week for internet IPOs: Claimsnet.com, Rhyhms NetConnections, Value America, iTurf, Extreme Networks, and Usinternetworking all had first day leaps (some bigger than others). It scares me that more and more of these IPOs are from companies I've never heard of. Not that I know all, but I do think I'm fairly well informed...

News you should have read elsewhere
Ameritech sells some of its cellular business to GTE so they can merge with SBC...

News you could do without
Life sucks: Many workers are being told that they will have to be on duty when we click over into 2000, just in case Y2K really is a problem... Yahoo working with Online Anywhere to make Yahoo available on PDAs (this is big news, why?)... Net.B@nk opened 8,000 accounts last quarter (yes, but how many work and are used as a primary account?)... NSI "cracks down" on "cybersquatters" and evicts many legitimate domain owners in the process (oops)... Senator from Washington claims the judge in the Microsoft case is a bad judge (and who says the government makes decisions based on which constituents give them the most money?)... Lots of stuff with Liberty Media buying and selling various things... Microsoft is stealing away professors for its research labs, because who cares about the education of our youth: the smart ones will all have internet startups before they'd go to college anyway, and they might as well be using Microsoft products... RoadRunner hits the 250,000 subscriber mark... Micron makes a deal with Earthlink, Yahoo and 3Com to have internet connectivity for anyone who buys a Micron PC... HP to work with BEA... Netscape and Fedex in e-commerce deal... Wallstreet.com is up for auction, after a porn site offered a quarter of a million dollars for it... Someone is really against discussing things on line this week: Netscape killed its communities, DejaNews and Yahoo both have technical glitches with their discussion groups... Cisco buys Fibex and Sentient Networks... Spinner.com to have music auctions (how original)... Qualcomm to cut 500 jobs... LinkShare (stop confusing it with LinkExchange) hires former vice-chairman of TCI as CEO...

Salon goes into hyper drive acquiring the domain Salon.com (finally) and then buying the Well (do you think they'll convince the Well's users that it no longer is 1986, and that they should stop talking about how awesome they were back then?)... Lucent buys Mosaix (can I ask why Lucent is buying a CRM company? That seems like a completely different business)... AOL buys When.com beginning the feeding frenzy for the six million online calendar companies (if you own one, sell *now*)... Amazon.com and WalMart settle their lawsuit and agree to kill off (oops, I mean transfer) employees who know too much (yeah, right)... Topica buys Liszt... TheGlobe.com buys Attitude Network... Now that eBay has stopped auctioning firearms, gunbroker.com has come in to take over and *only* auction off firearms... BMG and Universal creating getmusic.com (interesting concept, though I expect a pretty big shakeout in the online music site category)... Covad offering long distance DSL... IBM finally decides to sell direct off their website (channel conflict? We don't care about no stinkin' channel conflict)... Symantec's Chairman, Gordon Eubanks going to become CEO of Oblix...

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Intel's AnyPoint technology for home networking (actually, this is pretty cool)... US Forest Service Chief, Michael Dombeck, has decided that in an attempt to reduce the amount of email sent to Forest Service employees, all email from constituents to employees, must first go through him... Disney/ABC is launching a 24 hour soap opera network on cable... Trying to sell private equities on Amazon.com auctions...

A study from PaineWebber and Gallup shows that internet stocks are mostly owned by younger investors, and that only 15% of investors own or have owned internet stocks... According to Computerworld and Gartner Group studies, anywhere from 5 to 20% of companies plan to stop IT purchases during the second half of the year in preparation for Y2K, and up to 60% will probably stop upgrading core systems... Jupiter predicts that e-commerce sales driven from portals will not account for as much as expected in the future... Apparently, a new study finds that cell phone emissions increase your reaction time and don't cause cancer (I wonder who sponsored the study)... According to the latest data from Media Metrix, the average internet user at works spends seven hours a month surfing, and the average home user spends five and a quarter hours a month surfing...

Al Gore and his many internet goofs... The false notice that PairGain was bought by ECI Telecom. Not only did investors fall for this, but so did the press, who claimed it was a very tricky scam. What? All someone did was post a bogus Bloomberg story on an Angelfire page? Does no one look at domains? I think whoever got screwed over by that deserves what they got... Microsoft and Open Source...

Stocks dragged down by Compaq will induce a series of speculative articles on whether or not the "bubble" has finally burst...

Too much free time:
Okay, look, we put a lot of work into this website, so that's all I'm pushing this week: https://www.techdirt.com/

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.

If you would like to subscribe to the email version please send an email to utd-sub@techdirt.com with "Subscribe Up-To-Date" in the subject heading. Up To Date is also available on the web at https://www.techdirt.com/uptodate/

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