StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 01/22/01

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — 01/22/01

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The News – 01/22/01

New Domain Names Delayed

Well, ICANN apparently CAN’T. Can’t get the new registrars for gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) up and running as quickly as they promised, that is. ICANN is the relatively new authority that controls the generic TLDs such as .com, .net, and .org. They recently approved seven new gTLDs (.aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .name, .museum and .pro) but are having problems getting the registrars ready to go. Potential registrars had to apply to ICANN last year for the right to register the new gTLDs. Once accepted, they needed to get the registration systems together before opening for business.

Many people worldwide have been clamoring for new gTLDs because .com has gotten so crowded, and because they hated the monopolist policies of Network Solutions, who was forced to give up the monopoly last year. Somehow these (supposedly) intelligent people think it will be easier if there are more gTLDs. I don’t necessarily agree. I think more gTLDs solve little and add more confusion. As an example, do you think Coke will allow anyone else to register, or, or coke.anything? I think not. So the biggest brand holders will try to dominate the new domain landscape like they’ve dominated the current .com.

And think of the user confusion. Nowadays, if you want to find a company, you tack .com on the end of their name and take a stab at it. Chances are good you’ll find them. But with the new gTLDs you will have to think if they’re a museum or a professional association (lawyers, doctors, accountant) or a co-op. You may have to try .com AND .biz. It could be a nightmare.

The only ray of light is that the new gTLDs are not available to just anyone who wants to register a name. To qualify for .pro, for example, you have to prove you’re a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. But what if you’re an architect? Aren’t you a professional? What about an engineering firm? How about a strategic Internet consultant? I can see a world of hurt coming as various professional groups try to barge their way into .pro.

The other gTLDs are similarly restricted: .aero (air travel), .biz (businesses), .coop (cooperatives), .museum (museums), .name (family names). So will I need to give up and get Will companies be forced to give up .coms to get .pros? It’s hard to say, but stay tuned. It will be interesting.


B2B Means Back 2 Basics

Hold any B2B stock? If you’re like me, you’re a hurtin’ unit. Ariba is trading down from a high of 183 at about 52, Commerce One went from 165 to 22, FreeMarkets dove from 370 to near 19, PurchasePro only lost 80 percent of its value, at 16, down from 87, and former media darling VerticalNet is just above 5, down from a high of 148.

Chris Vroom, an analyst at CS First Boston, said he expects a “wave of recovery” because B2B technology is the next big thing in IT.

Why is this? Because, for the most part, B2B technology works, and it addresses real needs that real companies have. And companies are going to modernize their procurement and supply chain systems, maybe not this year, but certainly soon. All it takes in each industry is for one company to gain a competitive advantage by driving cost out of their supply chain, and the whole industry will tip.

So the technology enablers like Ariba, C1, SAP, Oracle, i2, and Manugistics should prosper. It’s not as clear that exchanges will flourish, however. See my presentation at a recent Delphi Group conference for my take on the subject. Basically, I believe that public exchanges will wither while private exchanges, AKA intelligent supply chains, become the dominant form of B2B e-commerce by the end of the decade.

The other news for exchanges is good, however. Some analysts are seeing reason and realizing their earlier irrational bias against transaction fees was misguided. Where exchanges provide value, expect to see them collect a transaction fee. It probably won’t be based on the value of the transaction, but businesses will pay it like they pay the phone bill.

Any way you look at it, it will be an interesting year.

[Standard disclaimers apply. If you
saw my portfolio, you wouldn’t take stock advice from me!]


A Revolution in Retail

NetPOS is selling an Internet Point of Sale (POS) system that uses the Application Service Provider (ASP) model to provide real-time purchasing information to a central site. They aim to replace cash registers and the headaches retailers have in keeping them running and extracting meaningful information from them. They are also offering various value added ASP applications like employee scheduling and video conferencing.

So the CEO is 23 and I think to myself, what can he know about the challenges of replacing cash registers in retail settings? Then I look a little further and see that Nathaniel Borenstein is Chief Scientist at NetPOS. Holey moley! This guy is really bright. I met him back in 1994 (AKA, The Dark Ages) when I was part of the Dun & Bradstreet Electronic Commerce Special Interest Group. At the time he was with First Virtual, the first serious online payments company. He also authored the MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) standard, which is the reason you can get an email today with graphics imbedded, and he is the author of three books, two patents, and numerous articles. So now I’m interested, and impressed that this major smart guy is involved.

Do these guys have a chance against the NCRs of the world? Can’t really say. It will probably boil down to bandwidth. If they can get decent bandwidth dropped into the stores, they’ve got a chance. If they need to rely on modems, they’re toast.

Nonetheless, some kind of rapid transfer of POS data along the supply chain will be developed. It remains to be seen if NetPOS will be the ones to hit the home run.


StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 01/18/01

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 01/18/01

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The News – 01/18/01

You’ve Got . . .Wireless!

As you know if you’ve been following these news alerts, I hate headlines about AOL that begin “You’ve got.” Nonetheless, I perversely thought I’d preempt today’s headline in (take your pick) InfoWorld, PC Week, Upside, or Business 2.0. After reading what follows, you may understand why I considered making the headline, “You’ve got . . . a Problem with Your Web Site!

So, AOL and Nokia inked a deal for AOL to use Nokia’s microbrowser technology, which allows cell phones to display Web pages. Now this makes me a little confused, since I thought Nokia had licensed’s microbrowser. So I go to Nokia’s site to check it out and was informed access was forbidden. Hah? After several reloads of the page, I get their main page, but the problem happened again minutes later. So I finally use their search to look for “microbrowser”, and half the links I try to follow are not found and, too boot, the server can’t even find the error document it wants to display to tell me the page isn’t there. Cripes! I guess AOL should be glad they’re not licensing Nokia’s server technology!

This just underscores the paramount importance of making sure your Web site works. All the time. No excuses.

I finally managed to dig up some interesting stuff, like a nice little piece on mobile architecture , and a closer look at the new 7100 phone . But bupkis on whether Nokia’s microbrowser is based on’s.

A visit to causes me to recall that they’re not any more. (Yeah, that’s a stupid name for a company! No marketing potential there!) They combined with (Yeah, let’s abandon that worthless brand as well!) to become . . . OpenWave. Much better, I’m sure you agree.

Anyway, after much fooling around, I find that, indeed, Nokia licensed’s UP.browser. But that doesn’t mean that’s part of what Nokia is licensing to AOL.

At this point, I’m tired of looking. It’s just too difficult. Like most, these sites are not good at answering a specific question quickly and efficiently. Their search engines do a spotty job at best (try finding anything at, for example). I guess we should just be grateful for easy access to their press releases.

So it’s a great point to reinforce: Your Web site is your face to not only your customers and suppliers, but also to people who would like to write about you. Making it easy for them to do their jobs is just as important as making it easy for your customers to do business with you. I’m interested enough in the Nokia/AOL thing to look at the Web site and write this, but I’m not interested enough to call press relations in Finland. There are lots of people out there with a similar level of interest in your company.


Web Maturing – Users Now Need a Break

According to a recent study, online holiday sales reached $9.8 billion this season, more than double last year’s $4.7 billion figure. However, there’s evidence that Web use is no longer a novelty, but a normal activity, from which one needs to take a break now and then. A Nielsen/NetRatings report shows that individuals spent an average of 14.9 hours surfing the Web in December, compared with an average 17.5 hours in October. In another measure, the average individual held 33 online sessions in October, compared with just 28 sessions in December.

So if your business plan is predicated on ever-increasing consumer Web use, I’d rethink it. Usage may be ready to plateau. At least until decent wireless Web phones get here.


News Flash: Latest Internet Security Threat Doesn’t Involve Microsoft!

It’s no secret that I don’t like Microsoft operating systems. Not only are they unreliable (how many times do you want to reboot today?) and hard to use (ever try to resolve a hardware conflict?) their design principals favor ease of use for developers and not security. They offer a fertile ground for script kiddies, Internet crackers with little technical skill who use MS’s scripting languages for attacks such as the “IloveYou” virus. The list of incidents for Microsoft OSes in the last year is as long as your arm.

So it’s weird to see a major news story on a security threat involving a non-MS OS. Now all the Microsofties out there, don’t get irate. I’m not saying other OSes are perfect. They do have their own security problems, just not to the degree that MS OSes do. Anyway, it seems that there’s a new Internet worm (like a virus, but spreads even more quickly) that attacks Red Hat Linux systems that have not been properly configured.

Known as the Ramen worm, the worm spreads by scanning the Internet for servers based on Red Hat 6.2 or 7.0–identifying the servers by their release dates–and then attempts to gain access using several methods that exploit well-known vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities all have patches or workarounds available, but some users are either lazy or ignorant of the issues.

Anyway, since Red Hat Linux accounts for almost 70 percent of all Linux servers on the Web, this is a big deal. Infected servers display a main page claiming: "RameN Crew — Hackers looooooooooooove noodles."

So Microsofties, you’re not alone! There are stupid system administrators even in the Linux world!


Shameless Plug: Free Wireless White Paper

A white paper I wrote on the emerging wireless market is now available from Geneer, a premier enterprise software consulting company and one of my clients. You can get it free just by surrendering a little contact information at:


StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 12/13/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 12/13/00

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The News – 12/13/00

Unknown, Failed Search Engine Assets Worth $9M

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Scour. Anyone? Anyone? Class? I didn’t think so. Well, now that lots of dot-coms with shaky business propositions are going belly up, Mike Doonesbury’s business plan is becoming more and more viable. (The cartoon tycoon runs a company that buys distressed dotcom inventory.)

Scour was a search engine. One of umpty-umpty search engines. Oh wait. It was also a file-sharing company. How cutting edge. Anyway, CenterSpan Communications (Class?) had the winning bid of $9 million. Included in the assets was Scour’s P2P file-sharing technology. Turns out this is what killed the company, which was driven into bankruptcy by recording industry lawsuits.

Centerspan, I’d be careful out there!

Wired News

Greatest Japanese Invention of the 20th Century?

Let’s see. The VCR? The musical toilet? Hello Kitty?

According to a recent poll, the Japanese feel their greatest 20th century invention was . . . instant noodles. The delicacy, invented in 1958, edged out karaoke and the Walkman. My favorite, the films of Akira Kurosawa, placed a very appropriate number seven. (Kurosawa’s best known work is The Seven Samurai.

Who says the Japanese lack a sense of irony?

BBC News

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 12/12/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 12/12/00

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The News – 12/12/00

P2P For Pete’s Sake

A couple of recent developments illustrate how the P2P fervor is finding its way into mainstream applications.

Real Networks announced their new media streaming scheme, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Napster. RealSystem iQ does away with the idea of a central server serving media streams. Rather, a network operator can configure peer servers that can share the load. If one area of the network gets overloaded, less-busy servers can step in to service the load. This makes a self-healing media distribution network a reality.

Under tremendous pressure from Microsoft’s MediaPlayer, Real Networks still claims 160 million users and 72 percent of the media files on the Net.

In other P2P news, two of the Net’s killer apps are united in Aimster, a combination of instant messaging and file sharing (a la Napster). Now, not only can you chat about the latest music, you can share it with your buddy list. Unlike Napster, there is no central server, and thus very little way to stop this file sharing. Created by the improbably named Johnny Deep (who is an equally improbable 43 years old), Aimster was released this summer, has 73 million users already, and has not escaped the notice of the record industry. However, since the file sharing is limited to buddy lists, it could be argued that Aimster just facilitates the kind of music sharing that happens when you lend your CD to your friend who then tapes it.

Inside (Real Networks story)

Inside (Aimster story)

Wireless Growth MDA

You can’t let a day go by without reading another rosy prediction of wireless growth from a pundit or industry flack. To help you with your minimum daily requirement, here’s a chart and a couple of quotes:

Lucent claims that by 2005, 50% of wireless traffic will be from data. Motorola asserts that by 2004, more people will be accessing the Internet from a wireless device than a wired one. In the U.S., there’ll be 96 million wireless users by 2005.

You’re welcome.


How Fast is Fast Enough?

I love my cable modem. Despite my misgivings about cable company service, I’ve had very few problems with it. And it’s fast, up to 1Mbps. But if things go right, by late next year, I could be trading it in for access that’s 40 times faster.

Called Ultraband and developed by Advent Networks, this new technology runs over hybrid fiber coaxial networks. Unlike my cable modem, which shares bandwidth with other users in my area, Ultraband uses switched Ethernet over cable, creating virtual channels for each user that delivery 40Mbps. This means you get guaranteed performance that is more than 700 times as fast as a 56Kbps modem.

Now to put 40Mbps into perspective, your office network probably only runs at 10Mbps, and your office Internet access is probably only 1Mbps. Plus, you share these resources with everyone in your office. How’d you like to have 4 times that performance dedicated to your use along?

While you’re pondering that, consider this: The cable network is capable of speeds up to 1Gbps.

Advent Networks

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/21/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/21/00

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The News – 11/21/00

XML Creator Maps the Web

Now here’s a new concept: Visually represent the Web against a map of Antarctica. It sounds strange, and it surely is ambitious, but check out and see what you think. Oh, and it only supports IE 5.x browsers. The goal is to become the largest human-edited directory on the Web.

It’s called™ (cute name alert), and it’s the brainchild of XML co-creator Tim Bray. It’s ironic that the project currently only supports Microsoft browsers, since the basic data comes from Netscape/AOL’s Open Directory Project ( ). Each of the 300,000 categories includes chat capability as well. The site is free.

So what’s the business model? Seems that the company expects to make money doing custom maps of corporate networks. Kinda like the old Netscape model . . .

One2One Targeted Audio Messages

Here’s a weird use of technology. MusicBooth’s AdAcoustics® ad insertion technology enables advertisers to deliver targeted, one-to-one audio messages to online radio listeners, without requiring a download or registration. AdAcoustics removes broadcast ads from its partners’ streaming content and seamlessly replaces the advertisement with personalized messages. To do this, it uses database of over 80 million anonymous profiles to select the right ad.

The MusicBooth holds three patents covering numerous aspects of

targeted audio and audio/video advertising. It’s target market is online radio stations which can now customize ads to individual listeners. “For example, a broadcaster using the AdAcoustics system could deliver a message about the release of Ricky Martin’s new album to one listener while it promotes Mariah Carey to another simultaneously . . .Even if the user goes to another website, the music goes with him,” says 56-year-old lawyer Bob Wolfe, who holds several patents on the technology. “This way, a site could charge 10 to 15 cents a message, as opposed to the 1 cent banner ads now cost. Another benefit is you can pull an ad quickly if it’s not working. Or you can run test campaigns before you move to more expensive media like TV.

They plan on going wireless, using partner Interep, as well.

Listeners can immediately respond to an advertiser’s message using another MusicBooth tool, I-fetch (all these I- products make me I-retch).

Well, it sounds like a cool idea, but I worry a little about the “80 million anonymous profiles” database. It sounds a little like what Angara does. They have a database of more than 100 million anonymous profiles. Partners of this network include Engage, MatchLogic, Naviant, and Persona. As long as this information is truly anonymous, then I guess it’s OK. But what if it isn’t?


StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/14/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/14/00

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The News – 11/14/00

HP and Nokia to Enable Cell Phones to Print from Web

The two companies recently announced an effort that would allow a person to identify a document on the Web via URL, send that URL to an HP printer, and the printer would retrieve the document and print it. The phone would use IR, vCard or Bluetooth protocols to send the URL to the printer. “Nokia 9110 and 9110i Communicators currently have the capability to beam a URL using today’s vCard and IR technology. HP printers supporting these evolving standards will be available beginning next year.

This effort is stemming from HP’s “CoolTown” research project. Let’s see. Our image is stodgy; we don’t seem to get it. I know! Let’s start a project called “CoolTown!” Then all the kids will think we’re hep!

Kidding aside, HP envisions, in CoolTown, that devices will be broadcasting URLs wirelessly throughout our environment via “beacons.” This sounds like Bluetooth, but HP doesn’t name that technology specifically. HP is also a partner in MIT’s Oxygen project, which aims to bring a pervasive computing fabric to everyday life.

I do like one turn of phrase in HP’s CoolTown propaganda, though: “your pocket device becomes a remote control for the world-at-large.” Yes! Now I can mute the people who talk in movies!

Visit CoolTown

MIT’s Oxygen Project

HP Press Release

A B2B Business Standard?

UDDI is a non-profit organization originally established by Ariba, IBM, and Microsoft that is fostering a Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration standard. This standard will involve “the creation of a service registry architecture that presents a standard way for businesses to build a registry, query other businesses, and enable those registered businesses to interoperate and share information globally in a distributed manner.” This registry will contain information on how each business is able to do electronic commerce and provides a globally unique identifier. The goal is to help businesses find trading partners and enter into productive relationships without worrying about disparate technologies.

“Registering with UDDI will enable a company to publicly list a definition of itself, its services, and methods for engagement.” The list of community members includes most of the luminaries of the B2B marketplace. The real test will be in spreading the concept into the rest of the industrial marketplaces.


Business 2.0

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/13/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/13/00

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The News – 11/13/00

Most Popular ASP Applications

EMarketer has released a survey that ranks the most popular ASP applications. To no one’s surprise email was number one. E-commerce, however, was second followed by accounting/financial. I guess I’m not surprised about e-commerce, but accounting/financial? Very interesting.


Voice is Golden

I just love the lead from this article in Business 2.0: “Cell phone haters are out of luck, because voice is the word on every Internet company’s tongue this fall.” Although AOL is mentioned, we know that, if the story concerned AOL alone, the title would have been, “You’ve got voice!

The big stat in this article is: “The Kelsey Group predicts that speech portals will be reaping more than $5 billion in revenue from advertising, ecommerce transactions, and subscriber fees by 2005.” The big bummer is, the business model for voice is not yet clear, and it’s not at all a sure thing that consumers will accept advertising.

Business 2.0

I Want This Phone

The Japanese have the coolest phones. Take a look at the latest from Sharp for the Japanese market.

"J-SH05" has a TFT liquid crystal panel, which can be folded into the size of a palm. The screen is 2-inch in size, displays 65,536 colors, and displays up to 10 words x 12 lines.

Nikkei Electronics

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — StratVantage News Summary 11/10/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — StratVantage News Summary 11/10/00

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StratVantage News Summary 11/10/00

Be on the wave or under it™

The News – 11/10/00

In this Issue: Recommended Reading
I realize this is the only newsletter you’ll ever need, but if you want more in-depth detail, check out:

Stan Hustad’s The Coaching Connection

Management Signature’s The Express Read

Convergence to the Max

Sprint and Samsung have released a phone with a built-in MP3 player and access to music downloading sites. Sprint PCS My Music service is supplied and managed by HitHive and incorporates RealNetworks RealJukebox software. The phone is the new Samsung Uproar. Apparently, users must rip and upload MP3s from their own music collections for later download to the phone. What’s wrong with this picture? Wouldn’t a Rio be handier? But I guess the pocket bulk factor is important too.

The cool thing is you can stream the music directly to the phone. And the phone has 64MB of memory for more than an hour of playback time.

Watch the video


Gateway-AOL: You’ve got Net appliance!

I usually try to write my own headlines for these bits, but I used this one from the ZDNet article to make a point. Using “You’ve got . . .” to introduce articles about AOL has gotten really, really old! Come on you media types! Get off this tired convention. Then maybe we can say, “You’ve got . . . a clue!”

Anyway, unlike Netpliance, which is getting out of the consumer market, Gateway and AOL obviously don’t think the Net Appliance market is dead. But tell me: Who wants a $600 appliance? Get an eMachine! However, this announcement is also notable because it involves Transmeta chips. Transmeta is the company that persuaded the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, to come work for them.


Swatch Redefines Time

Can you say, hubris? Swatch and Ericsson have unveiled the T20 phone, the first phone to use Internet time. “In Internet time, there is no day or night, there are no time zones or geographical borders. Internet time was invented by Swatch and is based on one global time zone for all Internet users.” The phone was unveiled at 480 beats in London. Somehow this is easier than saying 10:32 am GMT. As Sting said, “One world is enough, for all of us.

So where have I been? Swatch invented Internet time two years ago!

Oh, darn. One small problem: the phrase Internet Time® is trademarked in the US by VirtualFund.



Briefly Noted

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: StratVantage has launched a new service, CTOMentor™, designed to allow Chief Technology Officers and other technical leaders to get rid of the Guilt Stack, that pile of magazines you’ll get around to reading someday.

    CTOMentor is a subscription advisory service tailored to customers’ industry and personal information needs. Four times a year CTOMentor provides a four-hour briefing for subscribers and their staffs on the most important emerging technology trends that could affect their businesses. As part of the service, subscribers also get a weekly email newsletter, Just the Right Stuff™, containing links to the Top 10 Must Read articles needed to stay current. These and other CTOMentor services will let you Burn Your Inbox™.

    As part of its launch, CTOMentor is offering a two-part white paper on peer-to-peer technology: Peer-to-Peer Computing and Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear. Part 1, What is P2P?, is available for free on the CTOMentor Web site . Part 2, How Are Businesses Using P2P?, is available for $50.

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/09/00

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Mike’s Take on the News 11/09/00

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The News – 11/09/00

Is the Web a Good ASP Platform?

Here’s a good way to get some publicity: Do what the new ASP named 7 (stupid name alert) did. Challenge the assumption that the Web can provide decent quality of service and be reliable enough for application delivery. Instead, 7 will run leased lines to the businesses it serves. The UK ASP launched this week.

Naturally, other ASPs are up in arms, but Sun more or less agreed that some apps can be delivered reliably over the Web. A poll of European IT directors by Rhetorik found that 70 percent were concerned about security, and more than half worried about reliability of ASP applications.

It’s an interesting debate, and one we’ll hear more about as more and more companies move their businesses to the Web. original story followup story

News Websites Not Up to Election Pressure,, and all had problems handling the volume as voters flocked to the Web for the latest news. There were similar problems four years ago, and the sites had vowed they’d handle it this time.

Who does Microsoft turn to when they want to run their business application? AS/400.

This is such poetic justice. Dr. Frank Soltis, the IBM engineer who has been called "the AS/400’s Elvis," (you know, fat, puffy, drug-addicted – I guess that’s what they mean) related the story of a software company that turned in their 23 AS/400s and fired up 1,200 NT machines to replace them. Now that company is back on AS/400, having despaired of getting the NT solution to work. The company? Microsoft. It’s just too good to be true.

Midrange Computing

Secure Music Delivery On the Way?

The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) issued a $60,000 challenge to hackers to try to break six proposed security schemes for secure digital music delivery. The group claims that three of the technologies survived the challenge, while two of the other three were hacked successfully.

SDMI did not reveal the identities of the successful schemes, but San Diego, Calif.-based Verance Corp. claimed its watermarking technology was one of the challenge survivors. And Princeton University and Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) claim to have defeated the four technologies using digital watermarking, contrary to SDMI’s claim. The Princeton/PARC group claims SDMI is using a technicality, the fact that the group reserved the right to publish their results and thus were ineligible for the prize, to avoid acknowledging their success.

Political much?


Get Ready for Wireless Ads, But Watch Out For Norm

This article by Dan Briody is alarming in a couple of ways. First, he details plans to bombard us with ads on our wireless phones (analysts predict a $750 million wireless advertising market by 2005), and he allows that he’d welcome them if they’d knock $20 off his phone bill.

But even more alarming is his tale of visiting the restroom at a tony New York restaurant only to be assaulted by an audio ad featuring Norm MacDonald. Truly terrifying: Are we not to be given a moment’s peace?

Even more depressing is the news of a European study that found that users are receptive to the idea of wireless ads. Of course, the study was done on behalf of cell phone vendor Ericsson, but 40 percent of 5,000 Swedish subjects found the advertising compelling, and 20 percent wanted more information after viewing the ads.

Where’s the mute button?

Red Herring

Ad Age

Listen to the Web

Hear the wave. InternetSpeech introduced its NetEcho service that will read you Web pages over your phone. Now we’re getting somewhere. This service promises to trump more limited offerings like TellMet.

But will the audio Web change the way Web pages are designed? Are your pages audio-friendly? Could this be the demise of overly Flash-y pages? Stay tuned. (Incidentally, competing voice portal Talk2’s site is fronted by a Flash animation. Ironic?)

PC World

Ad Age

StratVantage Consulting, LLC — Gain the Strategic Advantage for Your Business!

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StratVantage Consulting, LLC — 11/03/00

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The News – 11/03/00

Rosy Technology Predictions May Be Pessimistic

In a recent paper, George Washington University examines predictions for 85 emerging technologies over the years. Some of their findings indicate the hype isn’t intense enough for some technologies. This feeling is shared by Wired Magazine’s Kevin Kelly, who said in a keynote at the Delphi Corporate Portals Conference, “The Web is underhyped.

The GWU study cites a few instances of underhyped technology:

Forecasts can often be overly pessimistic, and nowhere has this been more true than in information technology. Microprocessor development has proved so successful that chips are now three times faster than they were predicted to be in the early 1980s. It is as if we have in 1997 computers from the year 2000. By some measures, computer performance has improved a million times since their invention fifty years ago. The problem of pessimism is so notorious that the attitudes of prominent scientists often seem quaint in retrospect. In 1923, Robert Milikin, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed “there is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” In 1895, Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, said “heavier than air flying machines are impossible.

The flip side often reflects an optimism bordering on naiveté. Many people still recall predictions in the 1950s that the world would enjoy nuclear power “too cheap to meter.” Or that we would fly personal jets to work and return from 20-hour workweeks to smart homes and robot servants that would prepare dinner automatically.

So the computer on your desk is the equivalent of a million of the room-filling behemoths of the early ‘50s. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Here are some of the computing related predictions for this decade from the experts in the study:

Prediction Year
Entertainment On-Demand
PC Convergence
Distance Learning
Advanced Data Storage
Standard Digital Protocol
PCS Gains Markets
Groupware Systems
Computer Sensory Recognition
Modular Software
Parallel Processing Computing
Information Superhighway
Personal Digital Assistants
Intelligent Agents
Ubiquitous Computing Environment
Broadband Networks
Electronic Banking/Cash
Expert Systems

George Washington University

Airflash Teams with Excite and Orange on Location-Based Services

Even more progress on the Personal Area Network front. This announcement doesn’t detail exactly how the network will determine proximity. I suspect the user will somehow input his or her location. Still, the future’s coming fast.


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