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1998 Technology Diary



  June 1998  

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Sunday, June 7  
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THE NEW COPPER CHIPS
In chip making, as in many other fields, size is everything—the smaller the better. For more than 30 years, the “line width” of chips (the minimum dimensions of the components on their surfaces and, crucially, of the spaces between them) has been shrinking without the need for a change of the basic materials. In particular, the “wires” that connect a chip’s transistors to the outside world have been made of aluminium, and the insulation that stops “cross-talk” between those wires has been made of silicon dioxide. But engineers have now come to the end of that particular road.
Click for full story.

NEW LASER ON HORIZON
This type of laser can be used in optical interconnects -- where light rays are used to transmit data over short distances, either through fiber or in free space, said Frederico Capasso, head of the semiconductor research department at Bell Labs and the leader of an industrial research effort. "But that is five or 10 years away," he said.
Details here.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
In what year did you first connect to the Internet?

1998    1997    1996    1995    Before    Huh?

      

Thought for the day: "If I had a dog, I'd train him to kill on command. And the command I'd use would be, "Is he friendly?"" - R.M. Weiner

 

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Saturday, June 6  
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HOW WE'VE BEEN DOING
It's been awhile since I've given you an update on the progress of Web site promotion for 1998 on the Web. Daily traffic continues to build, averaging about 35 unique visitors for the past month. That's a far cry from the bleak days of January, when this site launched, when it was a struggle to get 5 visitors per day. International traffic has been the largest recent addition. I have done a lot of work recently with European and Asian search engines.

I have received a couple more awards in recent days. The Market-Tek Design Award and BT Solution's Seal of Web Site Excellence both arrived in the past week. You can view the graphics on the trophy pages, and learn more about all the site promotion efforts undertaken, and how to measure promotion success in the Tips and Tools section.

WHAT'S ALL THE ANTI-TRUST FUSS?
Based on results from the "Question of the Week", one might wonder. As you will recall, the question asked "Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?" 100% of the respondents indicated they have both the Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer browsers on their systems. With that in mind, what's the big deal going on in the courts and elsewhere about whose browser gets installed on new PCs? It seems that at least readers of these pages are astute enough to download both. Now for the new "Question of the Week".

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
In what year did you first connect to the Internet?

1998    1997    1996    1995    Before

      

Thought for the day: "Two wrongs don't make a right, but two Wrights made an airplane."

 

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Friday, June 5  
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IBM FLIP-FLOP
IBM executives in the Aptiva consumer PC group said earlier that Netscape Navigator will be the only browser offered to customers connecting to the Internet through Big Blue's Global Services Internet connection. However, the company also revealed that it will switch alliances in September for its ISP and offer Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.
Here's why.

MANY QUESTIONS STILL UNANSWERED
The U.S. government's highly anticipated "white paper" on how to handle the transition of control over registration of Internet top-level domains leaves resolution of many of the major issues up to an as-yet-unformed nonprofit organization.
See c|net's special report.

WEB COMPUTING INFOSPHERES
New technologies will make the Web a more efficient system, setting all that information out there into action. While the goals are high, there's a way to go before the Web can become more than just a mechanism for browsing. This futuristic look at the Web will make you think.
Check it out.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?

Yes      NN Only      IE Only      Neither

      

Thought for the day: "A closed mouth gathers no feet."

 

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Thursday, June 4  
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SUN CAN'T DELAY WINDOWS 98
A federal judge denies Sun Microsystem's request to move up a hearing on its motion for a preliminary injunction in its case against Microsoft. The decision, issued by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose, California, means the hearing will occur July 31, as previously scheduled. Sun had asked Whyte to bump up the date, arguing that the motion was time-sensitive. Click here for details.

LUCENT AND UNIVIEW OFFER WEBPHONE
The telecommunications technology giant is working with Dallas-based uniView Technologies, a consumer electronics maker, to build a platform that will allow users to log onto the Internet and send and receive email. Lucent will supply its Inferno network software as the operating system and lend its design experience to the effort. UniView will be charged with developing, delivering, and licensing the new device.
Click here for the full story. See the 1998 on the Web predictions page for my thoughts on Inferno.

HOLY MUSHROOM CLOUD, BATMAN
Three teenage crackers say they have broken into computer systems at India's Bhabha Atomic Research Centre , Bombay (BARC) and that they are targeting Pakistani computers in a protest against the two nations' recent series of nuclear weapons tests. Get the scary details here.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?

Yes      NN Only      IE Only      Neither

      

Thought for the day: "For every action there is an equal and opposite government program." - Bob Wells

 

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Wednesday, June 3  
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MORE GOOD NEWS FOR PC BUYERS
Memory is selling at prices barely above the cost of production--and often below--because of a worldwide glut. Although major manufacturers have vowed to reduce or even suspend production, the glut likely will continue because of prevailing industry conditions and the international economy.
Click here for full story.

NET PRIVACY
Many companies are using Internet sites secretly to collect information about visitors, according to a new government survey to be released this week that is likely to prompt new restrictions. It delivers a bleak assessment of the Clinton administration's policy of allowing Internet companies to police privacy themselves.
Complete story.

THE 5.0 BROWSERS
Details are emerging about the next versions of Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. But the two companies are approaching the task in completely different ways. Netscape is the pioneer, making risky moves to open new territories. Microsoft is the settler, tilling familiar turf to get greater yields.
More here.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?

Yes      NN Only      IE Only      Neither

      

Thought for the day: "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use." - Kierkegaard

 

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Tuesday, June 2  
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IBM HAS NEW DISK AND TAPE PRODUCTS
IBM's Storage System Division unveiled a number of new software and hardware products and enhancements to its Seascape Storage Enterprise Architecture. Seascape provides a common architecture for various IBM storage components to work together. Click here for more info.

Y2K F
The U.S. government gets an "F" for its meager progress in fixing its computers to accept the year 2000, said Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif). The year 2000 problem is the inability of many applications, processors, and embedded chips to distinguish between the 20th and 21st centuries. This is because computers have traditionally stored years as two-figure dates, rather than four-figure dates.
Full story.

SPRINT IS
The long-distance carrier says its $2 billion network upgrade "expands the universe" of telecom services, and it promises the moon: high-speed Internet connections, multiple phone calls, and faxing -- all over a single line. Click to learn more.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?

Yes      NN Only      IE Only      Neither

      

Thought for the day: "There is no pleasure in having nothing to do. The pleasure is having lots to do and not doing it." - Mayur Patel

 

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Monday, June 1  
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THE LONG BOOM
Peter Schwartz foresees a “long boom” of growth driven by technology. Here are some of its ingredients: By 2005, phone and high-speed Internet access for everyone. By 2010, gene therapies to reverse aging. By 2015, simultaneous language translation, made possible by computer chips 100 times more powerful than today’s. By 2020, the death of the internal combustion engine. Cars are powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Click for more.

COMING SOON FROM NETSCAPE
The company unveils new features that will be incorporated into its NetCenter portal and Navigator browser. On the list: built-in parental filtering, pulling up sites by keywords instead of addresses, and a "related sites" feature. Full story here.

FIRST PEEK AT IE5
Improvements include enhancements to Dynamic HTML, persistent storage of web pages, improvements to the Favorites in terms of organization and compatibility with Netscape's Bookmarks feature and toolbar customization capability. A key developer-oriented enhancement to IE 5.0 will be a technology Microsoft is calling "behaviors." Check it out.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Do you have both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers installed on your personal computer?

Yes      NN Only      IE Only      Neither

      

Thought for the day: "At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer." - Marshall Lumsden

 

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