June 21 – 27, 1999

from the Up-To-Date dept

More merger rumors than you can shake a stick at, the latest IPOs, paradigm shifts in vending machines and plenty more. Click below for the latest Up-To-Date.

			The not always serious, 
			not always weekly update
			on the High-Tech Industry
			June 21st - June 27th, 1999 
	Waiting for rumors about Techdirt's imminent buyout

Techdirt on the Web
The latest poll question on Techdirt is what folks think the reason behind
all this merger talk is.  Go vote at: 

Brian Day has come back from the missing and has added two new columns to
his "Friends of the Revolution" section.  The first discusses the age-old
battle of hardware vs. software:

The second gets a little more personal and delves into privacy issues on
the web:

As always Brian's columns are a great read.

All this and more can be found at https://www.techdirt.com/ which is updated
most every weekday.

Say that again...
"Plan long and hard.  This is not going to be fun.  This is going to be
like an earthquake for a lot of organizations."
- Eric Hemmendinger, analyst for the Aberdeen Group, on what it will be
like for companies to install Windows 2000 (this is part of his

"These new vending machines will lead to a paradigm shift in thinking.  The
machine is no longer merely a coin-operated Coke machine, but is now an
interactive entertainment kiosk."
- Gedaliah Gurfein, co-founder of TeleVend, on his new vending machines.
I'm really not sure the world needs an interactive entertainment kiosk that
doubles as a vending machine.  I'm positive that the world does not need a
"paradigm shift" in vending machines... 

"We have nowhere to go but up."
- Michael O'Donnell, CEO of Salon.com, after their disappointing IPO.  And,
to be honest, he's wrong.  They certainly could go down.

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
Salon.com has an iffy "Dutch Auction" IPO and no one knows whether to blame
the fact that Salon.com really isn't a very appealing company or the Dutch
Auction process (maybe it's both)... IBM has laid off 1,100 workers in
Northern California (maybe they'll move and ease the traffic)... CompUSA is
acting to stop their recent slide, in a move that is purely reactive.
They're closing stores and cutting costs, but not doing anything to really
deal with the fact that the internet exists and is competition for them...
Quepasa has a good IPO... Ariba has a damn good IPO (watch to see what
CommerceOne does in response)... 3Com beats estimates, but the stock
drops... Juniper has a very nice IPO... AMD warns (surprise surprise) that
they're likely to be losing a lot more money than expected... TD Waterhouse
has an okay IPO... CyberSource has an okay IPO... Software.com has a pretty
good IPO... Internet.com has a not-so-great IPO... Micron Electronics beat
estimates slightly, but Micron Technologies missed estimates by a lot... 

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Takeover rumors are everywhere... Microsoft still thinking about taking
over Baan... Gateway thinking of taking over Earthlink... Mindspring,
feeling left out, hinted that "hey!" it, too, was thinking about taking
over or being taken over or something, but they want to make sure that you
stop ignoring it... AltaVista might be taken over by CMGI (which could lead
to bad things for Lycos and DoubleClick)... Beyond might be taken over by
Amazon... Juno might be taken over by AOL... Microworkz might be taken over
by AOL... Now, the question is how many of these are serious, and how many
are just overzealous Yahoo! board posters trying to move the stock?...
CDNow, who has insisted all along that they will beat Amazon.com by
focusing solely on music, is now thinking about selling books... Paul
Otellini from Intel is in the lead to be Compaq's new CEO... 

News you should have read elsewhere
AOL has invested $1.5 billion into Hughes Electronics as a way of thumbing
their nose at all those cable companies who will have nothing to do with
them (of course, once they realize how little they can accomplish by
satellite, they might be feeling a little less giddy)... USWest says it
agrees with Frontier and wants nothing to do with Qwest, and so Qwest (who
strongly insisted they would never do this) raises their bid and guarantees
a lower limit on the offer... Amazon.com hires Joseph Galli from Black &
Decker as their new President and COO as Jeff Bezos gives up the
President's title, but keeps CEO... 

News you could do without
AOL "thinking about" a free ISP in the UK (this is news?)... eToys is
leasing a warehouse for distribution, and made a deal with Fingerhut to
fulfill overflow items... Free-PC finally is shipping, though the chance of
*you* getting one is slim... WashingtonPost.com is getting ready to go
through a redesign to become a "portal site" (little late for that, eh?)
that they say will cost "millions"... AOL users will be able to access
their mail via a 3Com Palm device... eBay buys a German auction site just
to try to switch any news away from Amazon.com... Norton AntiVirus bundled
on Intel motherboards... Reuters looking for a way to use Instinet in the
retail market (but they really - really - don't want to piss off any
brokerage houses)... Iridium cuts prices (again - and somehow, no one
really cares)... Rite Aid and GNC buy into Drugstore.com and laugh at
pitiful CVS who had to go out and buy third place soma.com outright...
Microsoft won't advertise on sites that don't have published privacy
guidelines... Chase, First Union, and Wells Fargo agree to work on an
e-billing system, and causes CheckFree (who already has an e-billing
system) to pull its secondary as investors thought they were trying to
sneak it through before the banks announced the competitive program (which,
of course, they would *never* do)... Excite@Home is offering a program that
will put customized info on your desktop (this is exciting how?)... The FTC
is "shocked" that websites are selling miraculous cures... IBM to use AMD
chips in new PCs... Office Depot is posting signs in its stores saying that
its computers might not be Y2K compliant, so buy at your own risk...
Microsoft plans to "reinvent" how it deals with customers (I suggest they
start by making a product that works a little better)... Oracle buys
Geodan... MicroWorkz begins offering $199 iToaster computer... BancBoston
Robertson Stephens is relaunching their internetstocks.com site...
Microsoft and the Government tried again to settle the current dispute with
no luck... Dell reorganizes just to show how nimble they are... CNBC is
beta testing its new website... Microsoft throwing $50 million at
Concentric... AMD decides to name the K7 "Athlon", but apparently a French
company already has the trademark (um, really guys, these are the type of
things you check with the lawyers *before* you announce)... 

Lycos is to be "included" in the latest version of Lotus Notes, basically
meaning that Lycos will probably get some more traffic, but Lotus Notes
doesn't actually get any better... Metricom got a huge investment (for 87%
of the company!) from MCI and Paul Allen.  Hopefully this will mean a wider
rollout (and higher bandwidth!)... Venezuela has hired psychiatrists to
figure out a Y2K "policy" to fit with the country's "mentality"... S3
really gets into multimedia by buying Diamond Multimedia (though Diamond
then announces it's spinning off the Rio, among other things)... Metromedia
Fiber Network bought AboveNet... VoiceStream buying OmniPoint for $2
billion... Softbank, Bandai, and Yahoo Japan working together to sell toys
online in Japan... Bank One has started an online bank, but they are
branding it WingspanBank.com and keeping it entirely separate from Bank One
(except for its impact on their earnings - which they admit it will cut in

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
The Georgia Institute of Technology is working hard on developing a hybrid
biocomputer that mixes live nerve cells with silicon circuits.  The horror
movie potential is endless... eBetween, by Phoenix Technologies, will allow
us all to receive advertisements that will be encoded in the system BIOS...
Reuters will use Reciprocal's technology to develop digital distribution of
their content (I don't believe this will ever go live - or if it does, that
it will be used by very many)... Paying to have a computer pray for you
(wrong in so many ways)... Coupons being sent to your wireless devices (as
in you're near a grocery store, go buy Ocean Spray Ruby Red Grapefruit
Juice and you'll get 10% off *right now*).  Okay, how annoying would that
be?... Microsoft Windows will soon let you set a filter that will not let
certain computer games run on that machine (do parents actually think their
kids won't be able to hack around that?).  They should build a filter for
kids to make sure their parents don't mess up all the work they've put into
the computer... RealNetworks' G2 to be put in cable set top boxes (so we
can stream fuzzy broadcasts through our TV?)... AT&T Worldnet has spent $60
million dollars so you can get a higher quality busy signal...

Arbitron NewMedia has released a study showing that while the percentage of
households with PCs has gone up, the percentage of people who actually use
those PCs has fallen from 90% in 1995 to 53% today... Ernst & Young has
found that e-commerce does not pose a "significant" threat to tax revenue
for state and local governments... An InformationWeek study has shown that
IT executives have found they need to "reset their priorities" more often
due to the rapidly changing nature of IT... Xerox PARC got a lot of press
this week for their study showing that popular websites are
self-reinforcing - that is, by being popular they become more popular as
word spreads (well, duh)... Amazon.com finally becomes a top 10 website
according to Media Metrix... No, wait, the latest study says that cell
phone really *are* dangerous (how long until the next study says the
opposite)... IT workers are at least twice as productive as others (and
earn nearly 80% more for their efforts) according to the US Commerce
Department... Newsweek has found that 71% of people questioned find the
Internet "essential"... A study by Rockbridge Associates shows that nearly
60% of people don't think online transactions are safe (nearly 80% don't
think it's safe to give a credit card number over the internet - so there's
the question of the 20% who don't think it's safe to give a cc number, but
overall think the transactions are safe)... A study from Case Western
Reserve University shows that people are more honest when they communicate
via email... 

Politicians use email... Spam cop... People are surprised that a Microsoft
expert witness from MIT was paid by Microsoft (um, how do you think expert
witnesses work?)... Wired complains that Linus is boring at latest
presentation... Streaming cell phone calls via shoutcast on the internet... 

UNext.com, the online training company (with Michael Milken backing it) is
going to run into some problems with getting beyond the hype factor... 

Too much free time:
Okay, I'm the first to admit that my grammar ain't great (and I honestly
believe that certain family members of mine only read this list to point
out my grammatical errors), so this next site seemed somewhat appropriate
as I often "misuse" quotation marks: http://www.juvalamu.com/qmarks/.

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 
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