June 14 – 20, 1999

from the Up-To-Date dept

Greed, auctions, privacy violations, mp3’s, lots of folks working on markup languages, the death of Divx and plenty more in this week’s Up-To-Date. Click below.

The not always serious,
not always weekly update
on the High-Tech Industry
June 14th - June 20th, 1999
With nothing to say about "Pirates of Silicon Valley"

Techdirt on the Web
This week we're all about money...

First, vote in the poll and tell us what incentive *you* might have in starting a company:

If you chose "money", then perhaps you should look at this piece on greed in Silicon Valley, including the pointer to Joe Costello's take on the matter:

Then, for the really greedy, you might want to see what internet companies the famous junk bond guys of the '80s are now involved with:

These, and plenty of other posts are always available (and updated most every weekday) at https://www.techdirt.com.

Say that again...
"The days of putting your resume on the Net and hoping to get discovered and get a $100,000 job are over."
- Michael Erbschloe, Research VP at Computer Economics. Wait a sec, when exactly were those days in the first place?

"There is one chapter that keeps repeating itself in this valley, and that's Chapter 11."
- Fred Hoar, Silicon Valley veteran and angel investor.

"Starting companies is very hard and time consuming. You want to keep those to a minimum."
- Jay Walker, founder of Pricline.com. But, sucking companies dry by patenting business models, why that's easy and fun. You should do that as much as possible.

"We both got started as booksellers. It's just that we got started 251 years earlier."
- Diana D. Brooks, CEO of Sotheby's on the Amazon.com investment.

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
LookSmart files for IPO... Oracle has a great quarter and everyone forgets that just a quarter ago they couldn't meet their numbers... Sucks to be Compaq: they warned that the second quarter is going to come up negative, but they really (really) plan to fix things (no, really)... Iomega not doing well at all and is cutting jobs... Liquid Audio to go public... TimeWarner looking to spin off its Net Business, as if to brag how big of a failure Pathfinder was... GoTo.com has a .com style IPO... Viant has a pretty good IPO... Mail.com, however, only went up a bit in its IPO... Fidelity invested in W.R. Hambrecht... Maxtor warned of a bigger loss than expected... Adobe beats estimates and rose well above last year's numbers (so, they too have done a good job of cost cutting - now can they sustain it?)...

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
AT&T is denying very strongly that they were ever talking to AOL (which only makes me wonder more)... Marc Andreessen pitching Miller beer?...

News you should have read elsewhere
DoubleClick decides to shell out a billion dollars for Abacus Direct, and everyone freaks out as they realize that, hey, DoubleClick now has a hell of a lot of info about all of us. DoubleClick replied that we really shouldn't worry our little brains about it at all, as they stifled the evil laughter... Sun released Java for Palm Pilot's and decided to sell PalmV's at half price at the JavaOne conference (and you wonder why eBay is overwhelmed with PalmV's for sale)... Amazon.com buys into Sotheby's and thumbs its nose at eBay... Frontier decides to ignore Qwest's buyout bid... Priceline.com lured away a top exec from AT&T to be President and COO...

News you could do without
Amazon.com buys up more of Pets.com and now has a majority stake... Snap.com buys into GlobalBrain.net... Dell finally realizes that cheap PCs are in... The US Gov't decides that it's just going to give up altogether on its joint venture with Northern Light to allow users to find gov't info online... NBC puts more money into Xoom.com (do they know something we don't?)... AOL buys online incentive marketing programs company, Digital Marketing Services (as if AOL needs more "online incentive marketing programs")... Y2K liability limit passes the Senate... The Rio is okay and not going to kill anyone (except, perhaps, the RIAA)... eBay outage screamers turn out not to have much bite as the site's traffic rebounds easily... Joe Firmage's new deal is called Intend Change, and that change seems to be going straight into his pocket: 10% of the company is the cost for him as a "venture catalyst" (a term that is extremely overused), and that doesn't include any actual monetary investment. Plus, it forces you to use USWeb (putting more money into his pocket)... Bertelsmann gives more money to Lycos to expand Tripod in Europe... Starbucks has a "convergence" strategy... Jump Networks, who Microsoft paid good money for just a little while ago, goes down for most of the week (either they tried to switch over to a MS backend, or one hopes that the folks over at Jump cashed their checks before MS can change their mind)... LucasFilm gets to run rampant in San Francisco's Presidio. CNet, the other party trying to move in, ignores the story... Cisco buys up another telecom company (I'm surprised there are any of these companies that *haven't* been bought by Cisco these days)... Paul Allen throws money into Oxygen Media... No one understands why Dennis Rodman was at WebAttack (including, apparently, Dennis Rodman)... Microsoft and 3Com both throw money at AvantGo... IBM to work with JP Morgan and PricewaterhouseCoopers on FPML... Gateway and Packard Bell NEC get into the "cool looking" computer biz (took 'em long enough)... Netcom sold... Critical Path bought up dotOne, a competitor (who maybe has systems that stay up?)...

Microsoft, Sun, AOL, and IBM all agree on ECML? (how long does that last?)... Oregon is pissed off at Intel for creating *too* many jobs... Circuit City finally ditches Divx and you'd be amazed at the number of news articles positively *gloating* about it... Raging Bull to add content from CBS MarketWatch... Siemens and Fujitsu are combining their computer businesses, which will put together one pretty damn big computer company... Eric Raymond speaking at Microsoft... Microsoft fired their ad agency (apparently they don't agree where to go today)...

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Distance learning poster child, Western Governors University, falls short of enrollment expectations by nearly 2900. They were expecting 3000 students... MSN Mobile (catch-up product, but that just means we're two versions or so away from total Microsoft dominance)... Band-aids that deliver antibiotics to your body over time... First Apple I going on the auction block, and is expected to bring in around $40,000...

Gartner Group released a study showing that spam costs ISPs a ton more than they think in terms of people switching services to get away from the stuff. ISPs come back and tell Gartner Group they're full of shit... WebSideStory's StatMarket claims that 44% of web traffic comes from non-US domains... Web traffic went back up in April after being down in March (will June be down again due to eBay's outage? - the eBay outage effect?)... Yankee Group has found that 90% of those looking to buy houses in the next year would use an online real estate service (that number seems damn high)... WebNoize says that 32% of college students surveyed had downloaded MP3s (up from 5% in December)... Nielsen Media now says there are over 92 million people in the US and Canada on the internet with a nearly even split between men and women... A new study shows that email and phone calls have a negative health effect on workers by increasing their heart rate and making them more fatigued... Keynote Systems is now measuring the speed with which online brokerages process transactions. The current leader: Dreyfus...

Anonymous poster in Xircom case fighting back, but losing, against those trying to reveal his identity... ICANN, NSI, and the war that seems to exist between the two, and the PR blitz each side pulled out this week...

Now everyone's getting in to the free unified messaging business. This week, Excite@Home announced they'll be working with General Magic for their offering. Plus there are a ton of startups and established companies working on unified messaging solutions. Something has to give...

Too much free time:
Okay, here's a winner. A gallery of internet related license plates. They should drive up and down 101 and I'm sure they could pick up a few more: http://www.webreference.com/outlook/license/gallery.html

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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