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The News – 08/02/02

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

The Death of Internet Radio

The second part of the Why You Need to Get Hip to HIPAA series will appear in a future SNS

There once was a burgeoning Internet Radio community. Once upon a time, thousands of amateurs and professionals spun records on the Web asking little or nothing in return besides the ears and attention of their listeners. It was once upon a time, but it was not so long ago: It was before June.

Now the whole Internet Radio thing is pretty much over, at least for the law-abiding, because Congress, in its great wisdom, caved in to – who else – the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Is there an industry group anywhere that hates its customers more than these rascals?

Anyway, the Library of Congress passed down what is known as the CARP ruling, establishing royalty rates for the playing of copyrighted material on the Internet. Let’s not even get into the business of whether the government should intervene in markets in this way. Let’s just take a look at what we now all will need to live in.

We need to live in a world where advertiser-supported commercial radio is not likely to be available on the Internet. We need to live in a world in which music enthusiasts can’t broadcast their picks, educating and entertaining other music fans.

It used to be that anyone could play DJ on the Internet. Sites such as Live365 could set you up in a matter of minutes to be a star. With the advent of the CARP ruling, it’s now only a matter of time until the RIAA comes knocking at amateur DJs’ doors with their hands out.

Many Internet Radio broadcasters have adopted policies requiring artist permission before broadcasting music. One would think that would put the kibosh on lots of stations and decrease the number of listeners. But in at least one case, the operator, Pulverradio, experienced an almost 10-fold increase in listeners after the format change. Pulverradio's daily listeners went from averaging between 250-500 daily listeners to averaging between 2,000 to 3,000 daily listeners with peaks to as many as 6,000. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep Pulverradio from closing up shop.

Why would limiting a play list to largely unknown acts increase listenership? Could it be that music fans are sick and tired of the crud the music-industry-controlled broadcast radio stations are pushing at us? Could it be that people want to hear new and different music by unknown artists? Could it be that the Internet offers the single most significant marketing tool the music industry has ever seen? And they want to kill it. (I’ve written about this before.)

Congress may yet ride to the rescue. Three forward thinking leaders, Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA), George Nethercutt (R-WA) and Richard Boucher (D-VA), have introduced the Internet Radio Fairness Act (HR 5285) in the US House of Representatives. The act basically exempts small businesses and individuals from the CARP ruling. If you believe in copyright, but also believe that non-commercial sharing of music through Internet Radio should be allowed to thrive, make your voice heard by faxing your representatives through the Voice of Webcasters site.

Briefly Noted

  • Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: I’ve put up the Nanotechnology Resources directory I promised last November.
  • Also, check out the article I wrote for the Taylor Harkins newsletter entitled, Do you hate your customers? It continues the theme from my earlier article, analyzing the media industry’s response to file sharing.

    Finally, and at long last, the CTOMentor wireless white paper, You Can Take It with You: Business Applications of Personal Wireless Devices, is available at ITPapers.

  • Just Another Stupid Date Name: OK, would somebody please tell me why PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the giant consulting firm, would want to name itself Monday? Naming itself after a date didn’t work so well for MarchFirst (which debuted the name on March 1st – how cute!). That was bad enough, but at least they had an explanation, something about marching and being first – I forget now. But Monday? Leaving aside the obvious puns (Just another manic, blue, I don’t like), think of the confusion: “Who’s coming in on Tuesday?” “Monday.” It’s a good thing IBM bought them (on Tuesday) to put an end to the foolishness. Now will they be Big Blue Monday?

  • Visual Security: I’ve written about it before, but now the academics are studying it: the ability to steal data from the glow of a computer screen or the blink of a modem light. Joe Loughry of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and David A. Umphress of Auburn University have published a paper on the phenomenon. According to the researchers, “Experiments show that it is possible to intercept data under realistic conditions at a considerable distance. Many different sorts of devices, including modems and Internet Protocol routers, were found to be vulnerable.” (PDF file)

  • Free Firewall: If you’re like me, you’ve got one or two obsolete PCs hanging around doing nothing. Well now you can convert them into a firewall for your home or office network. SmoothWall is a free product that converts the obsolete hardware into a firewall. If you can download a CD image and follow some setup directions, you can have that old 486 or Pentium-60 boat anchor doing some useful work. Commercial versions of the product are also available for less than $200.

The Wayback Machine – A Year Ago in SNS
SNS: Enlightening and Frightening for Nearly a Fifth of a Decade!

The lead article in the August 1, 2001 SNS was Online Advertising = Online Branding, which examined the brand effects of online advertising. A Jupiter Media Metrix study found that the halo effect of online advertising on brand recognition increased the Return On Investment (ROI) of such advertising by 25 to 35 percent.

The article, Nokia Readies 850MHz GSM Phone, had me wondering how AT&T Wireless was going to convert their TDMA cell phone network to GSM. It’s hard to believe that the wireless giant not only did that, but added GPRS (General Packet Radio Service – in other words, faster data services) and recently introduced NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode service as well, all in just a year. When you consider all that was involved, you have to hand it to AT&T. I must admit, I was a big doubter that they’d pull it off.

I’ll bet you can figure out what OK, I Gotta Mention Code Red was about. Usually I try to bring you the unusual and the overlooked news, figuring the big stories are covered well by other sources. I used the Code Red worm infection to bash Microsoft’s Internet Information Server, wondering why anyone would use such a bug-ridden, insecure piece of garbage when free alternatives such as Apache exist. I’m still wondering.

Finally, I succumbed to another tempting Microsoft story in Not Another Microsoft Story! Everyone’s favorite (apparently legal) monopoly was whining that AOL had done a deal with Compaq to feature their Internet service on Compaq desktops. Microsoft claimed the move eliminated customer choice, to which Compaq’s spokesman had a classic response: “It’s called competition.” Look into it.

In the August 3, 2001 edition of SNS, the lead article was Attack of the Blogdex! It concerned an index of Blogs, which are online journals similar to the woefully not-up-to-date SNS Stratlets. MIT tracked the top Web sites linked from Blogs. A year ago, the number two link was to pseudonymous commentator Robert X. Cringely’s article on TCP/IP; the number 10 link was porn site, which I will not dignify with a link; others on the list concerned the 20th anniversary of the PC, the fatness of Americans, and the poor guy who got nailed, literally, in the eye.

On August 1, 2002, the top 10 included a link to CNN’s coverage of a heaven-or-hell argument in Texas that ended with shotgun slaying, the hijacking of the al-Qaida Web site, two reports on the status of Osama, the news that a Saudi prince had died of thirst in the desert, and the really stupid opinion poll commissioned by the Florida High Speed Rail Authority of innocent motorists who were flagged off I-4 by police officers to gauge public interest in riding a proposed 120 mph bullet train.

Another good place to take the pulse of the Web is Google’s Zeitgeist, which lists the most popular search terms on the search site. A year ago, two of the top 10 links were to information on the SirCam and Code Red viruses, one was to the Planet of the Apes movie, and another was to information about ailing Beatle George Harrison. On August 1, 2002, top search terms concerned the  snakehead fish, Austin Powers, Bruce Springsteen, and Anna Nicole Smith. Interestingly, the only repeat entry was for soccer superstar Rivaldo. AskJeeves’ top 10 searches included 2002 British Open, Pamela Anderson, Falun Gong movement, John Edward psychic, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, and Austin Powers: Goldmember.

Just the Right Stuff™

If you subscribed to CTOMentor’s Just the Right Stuff™ newsletter, over the past few months, you’d have received news nuggets like the following, along with expanded analysis. Your personalized Information Needs Profile would determine which of these items you’d receive. For more information, check out CTOMentor.

  • Increasing International Traveler Demand for World Phones
    The demand for world phones (phones that work almost anywhere) will increase significantly over the next five years according to Cahners In-Stat Group. In-Stat reports that the total number of world phone subscribers will be approximately 91 million in the year 2005.
    Cahners In-Stat

  • E-mail Coming to Cordless Phones
    Cordless phones are in about 94 percent of all U.S. households and now Panasonic, Philips Electronics and Siemens will begin selling cordless landline phones that can send and receive e-mail. This technology will give cell phone companies a run for their money.

  • Tiny “Ultra-Personal” PC In Development
    The $1,000 OQO wireless PC is designed by Apple alums, powered by a Crusoe TM5800 processor that runs at up to 1 GHz, and features full Web browsing with Internet Explorer on a four-inch "super bright" VGA color LCD -- about the same size as a Palm screen. It weighs less than 9 ounces and can fit into a shirt pocket. Unlike Pocket PCs, which run stripped down versions of Windows, the OQO runs Windows XP Professional with the power of a fully functional PC.
    Wireless NewsFactor

Still news to you? Get this Stuff as it happens, not months later. Subscribe to CTOMentor today. Charter subscription discounts still available.

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Can’t Get Enough of ME?

In the unlikely event that you want more of my opinions, I’ve started a Weblog. It’s the fashionable thing for pundits to do, and I’m doing it too. A Weblog is a datestamped collection of somewhat random thoughts and ideas assembled on a Web page. If you’d like to subject the world to your thoughts, as I do, you can create your own Weblog. You need to have a Web site that allows you FTP access, and the free software from This allows you to right click on a Web page and append your pithy thoughts to your Weblog.

I’ve dubbed my Weblog entries “Stratlets”, and they are available at Let me know what you think.

Also check out the TrendSpot for ranking of the latest emerging trends.

In Memoriam

Gerald M. Ellsworth

March 14, 1928 - July 5, 2003

In Memoriam

Jane C. Ellsworth

July 20, 1928 - July 20, 2003