August 17 - 23, 1997

from the Up-To-Date dept

Up To Date
(8/17 - 8/23)

The not always serious, not always weekly update on the Hi-Tech Industry
(or at least what I feel like writing about).

Say that again...
"If you came down from Mars, Solaris and NT would look like the same thing."
---Sun CEO Scott McNealy,, 15 August 1997

Internet 3???
"A computing centre at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will join
INTEL CORP and the University of California, Berkeley to create a new
"system of computer systems" to do research and evaluate technologies for
new supercomputers. Called "Millennium," the three-year, $6 million project
is aimed at allowing researchers in 17 different campus units to work
locally on small clusters of computers, as well as tap into a much larger
cluster which will be a campus-wide resource, to perform scientific
research, the laboratory said." Haven't we seen this before? Meanwhile,
Bay Networks (headed by a former Intel VP) has donated $1 million to
Internet 2.0 Do I see competing Internets?

Berating the obvious (this is news?):
Experian (formerly TRW) releases credit info on the net, and shuts the site
down two days later for security problems... NEC joins Sony, Philips and
HP in ditching the agreed upon "standard" for DVD... Justice Dept.
Investigating Microsoft's investments in video streaming and it's
"competitor" Apple... More computers connected to the internet than ever
before according to Dataquest... Dell's earnings per share double and beat
Wall Street's estimates... PCQuote, providing stock quotes to the Microsoft
Network continues to lose money... Compaq lowers prices... Russia to end
Mir funding by 1998, finance official says... CompuServe is still for
sale... British Telecom tries to renegotiate it's buyout of MCI... Novel
losing money... Pointcast still looking for a CEO...

Corel ditches Java. Corel's one big shot at saving it's software against
Microsoft's domination was Java. Now they've gotten rid of it. Corel
claims that Java's not good enough (perhaps that belongs under "berating
the obvious"). Now what's Corel going to do?

(Mis)Uses of Technology:
Mercedes Benz is planning on embedding a web server into its cars so
technicians can spot service problems remotely. Since when did HTTP become
such a wonderful protocol? Isn't there something more functional than
that? It's a hype thing.

Studies on the Net:
New studies released this week continue trying to build on .net fever:
First University of Pittsburgh releases a study saying people can get
"addicted" to the internet. Then, a psychologist from New York University
announces at a conference that "sex drives technological innovation on the
net." Obviously, it's those people addicted to sex on the net that keep
this net fever going. In a related story, Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione
says, "The Internet will be the biggest thing we have." Now a new study
cites that with the increase of information on our computer it takes us
longer to find things. Who funds these?

Snap! Online, CNET's new internet online service, will fail, or at least
need a major overhaul by next summer. Netscape will decide that it can't
make any money charging for Communicator. Online contests become the next
"big thing". Following on Amazon's widely publicized "write a book with
John Updike" plan, it's no surprise that companies such as Torani Italian
Syrups (yes, a syrup company) are asking people to help write a book as
part of a contest on their web site (

Meme Watch: Beta vs. VHS
The Beta vs. VHS "standards" argument is being used to explain everything
these days. Watch out, or you might take it seriously. Recently spotted
in the DVD defections, it's also being used to talk about HDTV standards,
as well as the new wireless industry for internet connectivity. It's
gotten to the point where any standards fight is relayed in terms of the
big Beta vs. VHS battles of the 80s. Take heed.

Too much free time: or, Your Tax Dollars At Work...
The FBI has made all 663 pages of its Elvis Presley files available for
download in PDF format:

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.

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

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