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1998 Technology Diary



  October 1998  

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Sunday, October 25  
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JUDGE NEEDS HELP
At times in the Microsoft trial, lawyers have struggled to convey technical terms and concepts to Judge Thomas Jackson. Sometimes, metaphors are pushed to the limit.
An example here.

A CALL FOR COMPATABILITY
Microsoft and Netscape are making life miserable for Web publishers and Web users. Fortunately, there's something we can do about it. The situation is so bad developers and users have created the Web Standards Project, a collective effort to persuade browser makers that common standards are in everyone's best interest. Click for more. Visit Jesse Berst's Anchordesk to find out what else we can do.

SNEAK PEEK AHEAD
Have you wondered what happens to 1998 on the Web when 1998 is no more? I have been feverishly working on what will come next, looking at a launch date of January 1, 1999. I have posted a private beta version of the next incarnation of this adventure on the Neotown servers just for you. Be advised it is nowhere near finished, so you may encounter broken links or scripting errors, but you will get the general idea of what lies ahead. Please tell me what you think.

Thought for the day: "It's always darkest before.....Daylight Savings time." - Another 1st Grade Proverb

 

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Friday, October 23  
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APPLE'S RECOVERY PLAN
Apple Computer this week held its first financial analyst meeting in nearly two years, which some Wall Street analysts are taking as a positive sign that the company has finally gotten its financial house in order. They also highlighted their 5-point recovery plan for returning to full viability. Full story here.

A FEW GLITCHES IN MacOS 8.5
A problem affecting some users is the loss of data from the hard drive after installing the new operating system. The problem is limited, apparently hitting mostly users who have previously formatted their hard drives with third-party tools or different operating systems, according to users posting messages on the widely read MacInTouch and MacFixIt Web sites. Find out more here.

WHAT CONGRESS REALLY DID
A closer look at new high-tech laws reveals that some are merely interim solutions and others provide surprising groundbreaking rules. Details here.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE
One of my favorite sites in America; Vail, Colorado, was the recent victim of eco-terrorism. Radical environmentalists calling themselves the Earth Liberation Front torched and burned three buildings and four ski-lift houses at the world-renowned ski resort under the guise of protecting the lynx habitat from further wilderness development. Whether there is merit to their complaint or not, wanton criminal destruction of public and private property has no place in society. No Christmas donation from me.

Thought for the day: "If you lie down with dogs, you'll.....stink in the morning." - Anonynous 1st Grader

 

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Wednesday, October 21  
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NETSCAPE PERHAPS PROPOSED MARKET DIVISION
The most explosive revelation in court on this third day of the U.S. government's anti-trust trial was an email Netscape cofounder Jim Clark sent in December of 1994 to Microsoft executive Brad Silverberg, in which he attempted to persuade Microsoft to take an equity stake in the start-up browser maker. Barksdale grilling continues.

MEANWHILE, ON ANOTHER FRONT
Microsoft tried to "kill cross-platform Java by grow[ing] the polluted Java market," while a Sun Microsystems manager acknowledged that "Microsoft was smarter than us when we did the contract," according to newly released documents in the licensing dispute between Sun and Microsoft. Full story here.

HUBBLE HEAVENS
NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute today posted new pictures from the Hubble space telescope. The agencies kicked off the new Hubble Heritage Project with some color pictures of Saturn, a snapshot of the small spiral galaxy known as NGC 7742, and a keyhole view of the heart of the Milky Way's Sagittarius Star Cloud. The site will display new images on the first Thursday of every month.
Story and links here.

Thought for the day: "I believe we're in violation of the MS contract and our attempt to reclass things as extensions will have limited success." - Eric Chu, Sun Microsystems Engineering Manager

 

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Tuesday, October 20  
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CROSS EXAMINATION
Microsoft attorney John Warden today grilled Netscape chief executive Jim Barksdale on the witness stand, asking detailed questions that appeared designed to poke holes in allegations the CEO made in 127 pages of written testimony in the U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust trial against Microsoft. Details here.

REBUTTAL
Microsoft fires back at government prosecutors, claiming they have used "misleading" evidence to accuse the software giant of anticompetitive acts.
Microsoft attorney John Warden focused on the government's attempts to blunt the credibility of the company's chairman and chief executive, Bill Gates. More info here.

THE ROLL CONTINUES
Companies representing the range of industries that now make up the technology sector reported earnings today, including Microsoft, IBM, Sprint, SAP, Texas Instruments, and RealNetworks. The majority managed to deflect fears that the bull market has run out of steam by either beating or meeting Wall Street's expectations. Get the numbers here.

Thought for the day: "No." - James Barksdale, Netscape CEO, when asked by Microsoft attorneys if he had any evidence that Microsoft ever punished a computer seller for displaying the Navigator icon.

 

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Monday, October 19  
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SO WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
Government attorneys wasted no time in laying into Microsoft in the landmark antitrust trial that got under way in Washington, D.C. today, detailing a series of business acts that allegedly demonstrate the software giant's attempts to illegally maintain a Windows monopoly and to create a new one for Internet software. Opening arguments here.

NETSCAPE RELEASES COMMUNICATOR 4.5
In the wake of studies showing its browser market share both declining and advancing in key areas, Netscape Communications has released the shipping version of Communicator 4.5, its Internet software suite. Version 4.5's features are no surprise to Communicator users. In addition to two public betas of version 4.5, Communicator users also have had the opportunity to sample new search and navigation features, which Netscape categorized under the term "smart browsing." These were included in the 4.06 and 4.07 releases. There's a lot that's "not there" too. Find out what here.

SUPER GLOBALNET
A new fiber-optics technology from Lucent will quadruple the bandwidth of undersea lines and enable 10 gigabyte/second transmissions.
Details here.

Thought for the day: "When Netscape said no to Microsoft, Microsoft set out to do exactly what they told Netscape they would do -- to crush them." - David Boies, lead DOJ attorney

 

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