from the Up-To-Date dept

Okay, Up-To-Date is finally back (for this week at least). More IPOs (silly ones, too!), Microsoft bugs, CIA venture funds, what our Supreme Court Justices eat at McDonalds and plenty more.

Click below for the full scoop.

				The not always serious, 
				not always weekly update
				on the High-Tech Industry
				September 27th - October 3rd, 1999 
				Definitely overvalued

Techdirt on the Web
The Techdirt tagline (or as someone suggested, perhaps it should be an
"anti" tagline) contest is still going.  So far there are a few contenders,
but I'm in no rush, and still think we might get a few more good ones.
Details at:

This week's Techdirt Poll: What do you do with your spam?

And, if you missed our last poll, let us know how you use instant messaging
(if at all):

How do you feel about colored computers?  This week we had a bit of...
um... a discussion on that topic.  Feel free to weigh in:

How about companies that pay folks to create word of mouth buzz?  What is
this world coming to:

Now, as for article submissions, we've been receiving quite a bit lately,
and so I've put together a quick little list of rules to help you put
together your submission: or just ignore the
rules altogether and submit something:

And, as always, there's plenty more stuff at
updated most every weekday.

Say that again...
"I have regrets about bookshops going out of business. It does give me
pangs of conscience."
- Jeff Bezos, CEO of, showing his compassionate side (which, by
ignoring, has made him billions and billions of cold, hard, cash).

"It looks like the purpose of a dot-com is to transfer money from venture
capitalists to ad agencies."
- Michael Murphy, editor of California Technology Stock Letter.

"It violates the basic courtesy of not shoving yourself in other people's
- Jeanne Hinds, publisher of Website Etiquette, talking about instant

Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
Microsoft has thrown $15 million into everyone's favorite startup,
Akamai... Foundry Networks jumped insane amounts in its debut (no, really,
stupidly ridiculous amounts)... Medscape, in comparison, just did okay
rising more than 70%... Caldera delays IPO (everyone gets scared that the
Linux IPO window is closing)... TiVo had a pretty good IPO... Espernet,
another more or less unknown ISP files for a $150 million IPO... InterNAP
Network has a good IPO..., however, drops on its first day
of trading (you mean people aren't just buying every dot com that comes on
the market?)... 

Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
Excite@Home, AT&T, and AOL.  Put 'em in a basket, shake 'em up, and pick
out your rumor of the week... Steve Ballmer gave his famous tech stocks are
absurdly overvalued talk to knock down the price of everyone else's stock
(though, Jeff Raikes' assertion that he was just "having a bad hair day"
might work, too)... Yahoo! looking to buy ZDTV... Fleet thinking about buying

News you should have read elsewhere
Teledesic is hurrying up to prove that they're no Iridium before everyone
freaks out and stops giving them money... NSI and the US Commerce Dept.
finally agree on a domain registration plan and no one cares... Some folks
at a gas company in Ohio accidentally cut one of the main fiber lines
connecting internet traffic between the west and east coasts of the US... 

News you could do without
Consumers like flat screens and computer companies are caught off guard
(who would've thought that folks liked cool looking screens?)... Intel
opened up its new hosting center (are people convinced that Intel can do
better than folks like Exodus and GlobalCenter?)... Qwest and HP in a deal
for data storage and backup... Nike signs deal with Fogdog for online
sales... Lycos makes a deal with Fidelity's Powerstreet... Lycos also plans
to pay users of its Tripod service if those users can get enough traffic
(do the math, if you're really good, you'll make a few bucks a month)...
Prodigy (yes, they *are* still around) is planning on doubling its network
capacity (waiting for that mad rush of customers are they?)... CMGI keeps
on buying, this week picking up, a free ISP, as well as FlyCast,
(which is its 3rd advertising buy of the month - if I were DoubleClick, I'd
stop using AltaVista in my future revenue projections)... AOL and Kodak's
"You've Got Pictures" to launch this week (no, really, they mean it this
time)... SportsLine USA is now (yeah, whatever)... CDNow has
found that they sell more of products they offer free download samples for
(surprise, surprise)... Sun snags IBM's head of Java software business to
head up Sun's software group... Lycos unveils a site targeted for kids (no
Infoseek/Disney executive jokes, here)... Intel fesses up to problems with
the Xeon chip... Bar codes had their 25th birthday this week (how
exciting)... Nielsen and Media Metrix disagree about whether or not AOL is
the most popular website... More bugs found in IE5... 

eBay gets greedy.  Doesn't want anyone else searching their site... Whole
Foods is spinning off an internet business (do they really get enough
business to justify that?)... Chase buys up technology focused investment
banking firm H&Q (and just how many H&Q folks do you think will stick
around?)... Amazon and the U.S. Post Office to advertise together... Yahoo!
admits there are "gray areas" on the legality of their new operation in
China... Amazon jumps into the online store hosting business, and takes on
Yahoo! stores with its own version, called zSHOPS (well, there goes
BigStep's plan to sell out to Amazon)... FCC accused of extortion and
shakedowns by (get this!) one of its own commissioners... PrivacyX, the
browser that was supposed to protect users' privacy (and was proven not to)
is now going open source, because (apparently) they can't really figure out
how to do what they said they could... The CIA's plan to start a venture
fund with $28 million (these days, that'll do what, fund half a seed round
for one company?)... Microsoft's Millennium Beta, not really a beta (oops,
sorry 'bout that, now)... One of the US's lead lawyers in the Microsoft
case has resigned... Microworkz needs a distribution agreement (with
Electronic Boutique) to sell its iToaster... Someone (who had better have
been fired by now) at Oracle faxed a list of the database company's top 20
customers and how big a discount they receive to the Wall Street Journal
(among the discounts was a company receiving a 94% discount)... Eckhard
Pfeiffer actually has found another job, and at an internet company, no
less: he takes the Chairman's seat at Intershop... 

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
ABC reveals IP addresses of participants during an online chat (my favorite
thing about this was the numerous reports claiming it was the "unique 4
digit IP address" which suggests to me that, oh my, only 10,000 people can
access the internet at once)... Online trading via Sega Dreamcast (it's
thinking?)... Alaska Airlines (based in Seattle?) is now allowing folks to
create their own boarding passes via their website (um, photo ID?)...
Gambling on Y2K disasters... UK's Orange with plans to provide mobile phone
for video conferencing among other things... Online Zoo opens a few weeks
late, due to (this, I love) the fact that the animals ate the original
cables and broke the cameras (oops)... British Telecom and Excite have
plans to let folks surf the web in airplanes (and it's free so long as you
stay on Excite's web site)... 

Lost mobile phones outnumber lost umbrellas in lost-and-founds in London
(conclusively proving what?)... A Gallup poll shows that fax machines are
still important to business, suggesting that productivity would drop 40% if
fax machines were taken away... Gomez Advisors has found that many students
on college campuses are active stock traders, but approximately 50% go for
long term strategies over day trading... According to Greenfield Online,
folks who buy online prefer to use online only retailers... Online brokers
shouldn't focus on price, but service level according to Jupiter
Communications... Ah, the holiday shopping predictions start coming in:
Forrester says $20 billion, while Emarketer is looking at $18.6, Dataquest
comes in on the low end predicting $12 billion... Zona Research has found
that 54% of online users can't even name a single online brokerage, and no
single brokerage was recognized by more than 8% of people surveyed
(ouch!)... A new study from Jupiter shows that redesigning your site,
generally will piss off customers... Drugs (the legal kind) bought online
tend to cost more than those bought in a brick and mortar pharmacy
according to a study from UPenn... 

Sun open-sourcing (sorta, maybe) Solaris code... New Transmeta patents have
everyone guessing again (when they finally announce what they're doing, it
had better be good)... 

Wal-Mart's "new" web site isn't going to turn it into an internet
powerhouse either... 

Too much free time:
Yes, it's finally here.  I know you'd been waiting.  Now, you too, can find
out what the favorite McDonald's food of our Supreme Court Justices is:

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 with "Subscribe Up-To-Date" in the subject heading. 
Up To Date is also available on the web at 

If you want more in depth, daily up dates, along with your own commentary 
head over to 

Comments are always welcome! Email:

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...