January 3 – 9, 2000

from the up-to-date dept

Well, here it is the: the latest Up-To-Date newsletter, that may or may not be considered as spam, depending on what someone on the list decides. This week includes all the usual mix of stuff found in Up-To-Date including all the fun earnings warnings of the week which helped push the stock market roller coaster around, stories of credit card theft, lots and lots of overhyped items, and plenty of other news from the past week. Click below for more…

ATTENTION: If you are the person who reported Up-To-Date to SPAMCOP as
spam, please read the first section of this newsletter.  You subscribed to
it.  I keep records of every subscription request.  If you want to
unsubscribe, PLEASE do: unsub@techdirt.com

*********************************************************************
			      	UP-TO-DATE					  
*********************************************************************
				The not always serious, 
				not always weekly update
				on the High-Tech Industry
				January 3 - January 9, 2000 
*********************************************************************
				Not Spam.

--------------------------------
Wrongfully Accused of Spam
--------------------------------
For the fourth quarter of 1999 I confess that Techdirt's Up-To-Date
newsletter went on a bit of a hiatus.  People still subscribed, and I
probably should have put a note in the autoresponder that notified you of
your subscription.  Apparently one of the individuals who subscribed during
that time completely forgot they did so.  Thus, when Up-To-Date returned
last week, they assumed it was spam, and reported it to Spamcop.net.
Spamcop is a great service, and one that I use and recommend.  What
happened is that my ISP told me that a complaint had been filed and I was
to take it as a warning.  Obviously, any more instances of this could
result in me losing my account.

The problem is that the Spamcop is very good at protecting the address of
the person complaining (for good reason!).  I asked the ISP to contact the
person for me, and let them know that they subscribed to Up-To-Date and
that they should send mail to unsub@techdirt.com to get off the list.  The
ISP, who has proven to be very reasonable about all this (and in fact, it
appears someone from that ISP subscribed themselves to Up-To-Date!)
promised me they would - and I'm sure they did.  However, no one has
unsubscribed this week, suggesting that the person is still very much on
this list, and will most likely report this mailing again as spam (so if
I'm never heard from again... this might be why).

I am hoping that this person reads at least far enough to realize their
mistake and not to report this as spam and to simply unsubscribe.  Once
again, it's very easy: unsub@techdirt.com.  I'm also looking to install
better list management software which will help automate the subscribing,
unsubscribing, and management of your subscription.

I am sure it comes as no surprise that I am very much against spam in any
form.  I keep very detailed records of subscription requests, and honor
unsubscribe requests in whatever format they come in (and trust me, they
come in many formats).  I have never sent the newsletter to anyone who
hasn't requested it, and in fact people who know me will note that I don't
even tell most people I know about it.  Maybe it's bad marketing on my
part, but I hate the thought of forcing something on someone who doesn't
want it, and spamming goes well beyond even that.  If you reported this
newsletter as spam, please unsubscribe, or let me know so that I don't fear
future spam complaints.

--------------------- 
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---------------------
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Cybersquatter with a good heart?  Or neat publicity stunt?
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And, as always, there's plenty more stuff at https://www.techdirt.com/
updated most every weekday.

--------------------
Say that again...
--------------------
"When is a human not a computer? ... I should shut up. I don't want to
sound weird."
- Vinod Khosla, uber-venture capitalist from Kleiner Perkins.

"The common environment will not be CE. There is not enough room for
Ctrl-Alt-Del on many of these things."
- Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun, talking about net appliances.  Scott's always
good for a quote on a slow week.

"The pioneers - Amazon included, alas - will die."
- Fred Moody, ABCNews.com reporter, reporting after one experience with the
e-commerce company.

------------------------------------------
Earnings Reports, IPOs and the like
------------------------------------------
Merrill Lynch thinks that Dell is going to have trouble maintaining their
profit margins (tough call, there, considering margins have consistently
been dropping over the years anyway)... Senior execs at Oracle are dumping
stock like there's no tomorrow (they know something we don't?)... Amazon is
making a ton of money (in fact, 4th quarter sales exceeded all of 1998) but
they're still no closer to becoming profitable... Gateway warns that they
are going to miss expectations.  Investors sell like crazy just for one
day, and then act as if nothing happened... Lucent warned that it was going
to miss earnings by a long shot and the stock plunged... Sony's President
very clearly says that his company's stock is overvalued (I'm sure the
shareholders love that one)... 

------------------------------------------------
Rumors, Conspiracies etc. of the week...
------------------------------------------------
For a very brief and silly moment people actually believed that the Chinese
government might ban Windows 2000... Well, well, well, it looks as though
Intel has been quietly selling PCs directly via PC.com (this might not look
good to many of Intel's customers - while the website doesn't say it's
Intel, a whois lookup indicates differently)... 

----------------------------------------
News you should have read elsewhere
----------------------------------------
Compaq buys a large part of distributor Inacom (and IBM quickly decides
that they don't really want to do business with Inacom any more)... 

--------------------------
News you could do without
--------------------------
How many reporters actually believed that people bid $10 million for the
domain year2000.com.  As predicted, all of the top bids were hoaxes (where
do these reporters come from?)... Y2K doom predictors backlash (oh, leave
them alone already)... Another magazine reports for people to be on the
lookout for internet addiction... CBS looks around and realizes, "Hey, ABC
has go.com, NBC suddenly shows up with NBCi, maybe we should do something
like that too" and voila, a special internet division shows up at CBS
(please, please, please don't let it focus around iwon.com)... Apple
invests in Earthlink... Stamps.com signed up nearly 90,000 users in just 10
weeks... Excite@Home to offer free internet service (via CMGI's
1stUp.com)... Register.com to offer 10 year domain registrations (smart
move - maybe this will help Microsoft remember to pay for their domains)...
Microsoft, realizing that their attempt to create a "Palm PC" has been a
universal failure is now working on the "Pocket PC" instead (big
improvement)... Stealing credit card numbers:  watch your credit card
statements carefully if you flew Northwest Airlines recently, or ordered
from CD Universe at any point.  Apparently both sites accidentally revealed
plenty of credit card data.  There have also been reports of credit card
numbers stolen from Amazon, but Amazon is denying the reports... 

------------
Surprises:
------------
The state of Oregon selling surplus property on eBay?... In what I think is
a pretty smart move, Expedia has decided to drop its registration
requirement to let surfers explore their site... LOpht mixed with a bunch
of computer industry execs equals $10 million to form @Stake, a consulting
company (LOpht promises that they will continue to just use their handles -
phew)... Idealab buys the domain find.com in order to create yet another
portal (because there just aren't enough these days)... Tokyo Joe: taken
down.  See, if you're promoting good stock buys on your website, it
probably helps if you're not trying to sell those same securities...
Wal-Mart has decided that its new and special web site is special enough to
be its own company.  The decision, of course, influenced by the folks at
Accel Partners who are backing the deal (and who apparently got tired of
hearing how Benchmark got all the good brick-and-mortar spinoffs)...
ReverseAuction has settled charges concerning stealing email addresses from
eBay... 

-------------------------------
(Mis)Uses of Technology:
-------------------------------
Smart exercise machines that will read your "workout card" and tell you
what exercises to do... Robin Williams is developing a half hour of
original programming to be broadcast only on the net each week... Wal-Mart,
always a good and wholesome place, didn't happen to notice when they
relaunched their website last week that it contained a ton of pornographic
books and movies (a "small" mistake, which they've taken care of)... 

----------
Studies:
----------
Amazon is the top online holiday shopping location according to Media
Metrix (as if it needed to be made official)... Also from Media Metrix we
discover that the top sites visited by Europeans are all American sites
(ha! take that!)... ActivMedia Research reports that the biggest
"consumable" category of purchases over the net will be health care and
beauty products (hence the 15 or so different online drugstores)... Wharton
(the school) has released a study showing that 15% of people who bought
online in 1997 no longer do so (I'm not quite sure if this actually means
anything useful)... Forrester expects that 1 million tax returns will be
prepared online this year... The latest report from Dataquest shows that
the worldwide semiconductor market grew almost 18% last year, which is much
more than expected... 

-----------
Overhype
-----------
Oh, that's right, the world isn't supposed to end on January 1, 2000, but
now it's February 29, 2000... Steve Jobs is no longer interim CEO (as if he
ever was?) but is leaving his title as iCEO because that i is just *so*
cute... Massive overhype on the Microsoft/Barnesandnoble.com deal to offer
an "eBook" store.  Does anyone care?... How much news did the Broadband
Digital Group make for announcing their plans to offer free DSL service?
Enough that many ignored all the small details: including the fact that to
get free service you had to convince 10 other folks to sign up (wow, that
sounds suspiciously like a multi-level marketing scam)... Revoking
hyphenated domain names... Defrauding Microsoft of $400 if you live in
California or Oregon due to a legal loophole in their $400 Best Buy rebate
offer (MS, wisely realizing the potential problems has pulled the offer)... 

--------------
Predictions:
--------------
CNet Radio?  Can we say niche?  I mean, I'm a fairly geeky, technology
focused guy, but even I have no desire to listen to a 24 hour radio station
focused only on tech... 

------------------------
Too much free time:
------------------------
It's sites like the following that remind me why I include this section in
each Up-To-Date.  What sort of world do we live in where someone keeps,
scans, and uploads every receipt he has from shopping at Wal-Mart:
http://lightning.prohosting.com/~receipts/

*********************************************************************
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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Comments on “January 3 – 9, 2000”

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1 Comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Spam and the selp-annoited spam police

ORBS has some .69 million nominations for ‘open relays’
.59 million of them are on one day, from one site.

Without any kind of e-mail that ‘we got this e-mail as spam via your host’, or notification my host got probed.
After having my host probed, I let the ORBS site know that I felt their behavior was not only rude, but EXACTLY like the spammers. (Both probe for a hole, and find none). In fact, ORBS is WORSE than a spammer, because a spammer goes AWAY, but orbs doesn’t.

It seems ‘they’ don’t *LIKE* it when someone points out their behavior is as bad as the people they claim not to like. So now my host is ‘on the list’, yet checks out ‘ok’….boggle

The *REAL SOLUTION* to the spammer problem is to make it uneconomical to spam. How do you do that? *YOU* the complainer about SPAM *MUST* claim damages and take the spammer to court.
At the point where the cost of spamming exceeds the benifits, the spamming will stop.

So….have *YOU* taken a spammer to court?

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