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1998 Technology Diary



  August 1998  

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Sunday, August 9  
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FIRST WINDOWS, NOW OFFICE
IE 5.0 is approaching a second beta release, and Microsoft officials next week will begin touting its integration with Office 2000, sources said. For instance, both IE 5.0 and Office 2000 will feature customizable toolbars and menus that adapt based on usage patterns, sources said. Click here for full story.

BACK ORIFICE PLUGGED
Just a week after a hacker group posted a utility that could give anyone on a TCP/IP network complete access to another Windows 95 PC, a security firm has come out with an evaluation of the software and its potential threat, and a method to detect and remove it from the system.
Details here.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Microsoft is releasing its first update to Windows 98, officially calling it a "multimedia update" as controversy over its purpose persists.
More info here.

Thought for the day: "With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster 13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress." - Ransom K. Ferm

 

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Saturday, August 8  
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DOM STANDARDS NOT LIKELY
The debate over diverging browser standards has in part been sparked by Microsoft's decision to merge its browser into the dominant Windows operating system. By developing sites for Internet Explorer, Web designers know that millions of Windows users will be assured of accessing those sites. But Netscape's Navigator remains the more popular browser by a slim margin, and developers are hesitant to throw their lot into only one camp, thus inflating the cost of Web development. More info here.

BILLS NOT POPULAR HERE
In the largest response of all previous Questions of the Week, readers of these pages made it clear in no uncertain terms that Bill Clinton need not enter any popularity contests. To repeat the survey question: "Whom do you admire more, Bill Clinton or Bill Gates?" Absolutely no one picked Bill Clinton. The most popular response, however, was "neither", with 65% of the answers. Bill Gates was picked by the other 35%. My own personal opinion, I agree with my audience that Bill Clinton is one of the 20th century's biggest jerks, but I also believe that Bill Gates is one of the century's great marketing geniuses. Now for the new survey.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

With Netscape and Microsoft's seeming unwillingness to work together on a common Document Object Model, which are you most likely to develop for?

Netscape      Microsoft      Neither, I'll use W3C standards

      

Thought for the day: "Good news is just life's way of keeping you off balance."

Your author was away on business August 5-7.

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Tuesday, August 4  
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HISTORIC STUFF
In a move that may have broad industry impact in the digital age, the U.S. House of Representatives approves a landmark bill already passed by the Senate to safeguard copyrights for music, software, and written works on the Internet. In addition, an amendment to the legislation will affect the way Webcasters do business. Get details here.

CHALLENGE TO MICROSOFT
Back Orifice, produced by an anonymous hacker, will let anyone access a Windows PC and fully control the computer over a TCP/IP network, not good news for administrators.
Want to know more?

TENSION
The federal judge considering the antitrust case against Microsoft scheduled a pretrial hearing for Wednesday, as the U.S. Justice Department and Microsoft wrangled over access to source code for the company's operating systems and the deposition of Bill Gates and other Microsoft officials. Full story.

Thought for the day: "GUI - What your computer becomes after spilling your coffee on it."

 

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Monday, August 3  
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LOVED BY ALL, SHE WILL BE MISSED
The Emmy-winning ventriloquist and her puppet pal Lamb Chop charmed youngsters for decades, including yours truly. Shari Lewis died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for uterine cancer. In all, she won 12 Emmys, including one for her PBS series Lamb Chop's Play-Along. Her most recent show, The Charlie Horse Music Pizza, which Lewis billed as an educational Cheers, premiered on PBS in January.

STREAMING MEDIA MARKET HEATS UP
The now-infamous bug battle between RealNetworks and Microsoft represents a problematic part of the software industry: how competitors' products work together. Microsoft, for example, may take on Apple's popular multimedia platform QuickTime even though the software giant is an investor in the Mac maker. Full story here.

RAISING THE BAR
IBM says its new "silicon-on-insulator" technology will mean better performance across the board, from mainframe computers to handheld devices. Details here.

SPAM DERAILS SPAM
After thousands of angry netizens emailed federal and state officials over proposed pro-spam legislation, the hearing is postponed while the House rethinks the bill. More info here.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Whom do you admire more, Bill Clinton or Bill Gates?

Clinton      Gates      Neither, they're both jerks

      

Thought for the day: "If marriage were outlawed, only outlaws would have in-laws."

 

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