QuickLinks - 5 January 1998
issue no. 32
Links to news items about
legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and
market and technology.
Tornado Loosed by Court Ruling
Microsoft Adds HotMail To Stable of MS Companies
Legal and regulatory issues
- Browser removal question shadows Microsoft case
How easily can a user -- or for that matter, Microsoft, Judge Jackson, or a PC manufacturer -- remove Internet Explorer from a computer's hard disk and still have a functional operating system left behind? The question of how to "uninstall" the feature has become one of the most pressing issues in the government's antitrust case against Microsoft
- L'affaire Microsoft envahit les nouvelles.
On aurait tort de croire que le procès "historique" intenté par le département américain de la justice contre Microsoft n'est qu'un de ces psycho-drames médiatico-juridiques à la O.J. Simpson dont les Américains ont le secret. Il s'agit d'un évènement extrêmement important. Mieux vaut s'habituer à en entendre parler assez régulièrement, et sur toutes les tribunes, au cours des prochains mois. News.com, qui est un peu au cyberespace ce que CNN est à la télévision, se prépare à une longue veille journalistique qui devrait durer plusieurs mois.
- Microsoft asks court to remove special master from Justice case
Microsoft on Tuesday asked U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Jackson to revoke his decision to appoint a "special master" in the consent-decree compliance case brought against the software company by the U.S. Department of Justice. See also company press release.
- U.S. Court of Appeals grants Microsoft expedited hearing
(PC Week Online)
Score one for Microsoft Corp. The U.S. Court of Appeals today granted the company's request for an expedited hearing of its appeal of a ruling by District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who issued a preliminary injunction on Dec. 11 in the Microsoft v. U.S. Department of Justice case.
Internet access and use
- Net usage up, but growth is slowing
The Net traffic jam is for real. There are almost 37 million PCs regularly accessing the Internet, up 19 percent from a year ago. New half-year figures released this week from the research firm Computer Intelligence (CI) show that Internet usage continues to grow, but at a more moderate pace than in past years.
Filtering and rating
- Report Takes Aim at Cyber Patrol's Blacklist
At the Focus on Children Internet Summit earlier this month, government officials, big business, and concerned parents alike came away lauding filtering software as the post-CDA solution to a smut-filled Net. But a newly released report is depicting the Cyber Patrol filtering software in less roseate hues. Blacklisted by Cyber Patrol, a report from The Censorware Project, takes a close look at the sites that others won't be seeing in the hopes of educating the public why critics term such programs "censorware."
- Germany - Deutsche Telekom veut faire payer près de 150 marks à ses clients infidèles
Deutsche Telekom compte faire payer jusqu'à 150 marks (84,3 dollars) à tout abonné qui veut la quitter pour un concurrent privé.
- Germany - Plus de 100.000 Allemands séduits par le privé
Les nouveaux opérateurs privés du téléphone revendiquaient vendredi plus de 100.000 clients ou futurs clients, au lendemain de la libéralisation totale du marché allemand des télécoms.
- Germany - Table ronde sur les taxes réclamées par Telekom à ses clients infidèles
Une table ronde de tous les acteurs du marché allemand des télécoms, ouvert à la concurrence depuis le 1er janvier, se tiendra à la fin de la semaine prochaine pour examiner la question des taxes réclamées par Deutsche Telekom à ses clients infidèles, a annoncé samedi un porte-parole de la nouvelle instance de régulation des télécoms.
- USA - Tornado Loosed by Court Ruling
A federal judge in Texas ruled the 1996 Telecommunications Act unconstitutionally discriminates against the Baby Bell phone companies. The decision will intensify the storm over a law that has failed so far in its main objective: telecom competitition. See also Reuters report
- USA - The home office just got more expensive
Telephone bills will get a face-lift in 1998. Consumers will discover new charges on many bills as a result of deregulation in the telecommunications industry. If callers have more than one phone line in their home or business they will be particularly hard hit.
- USA - Why I Hate the Phone Companies
I hate the phone companies. If you find out what they're up to, you'll hate them too. In a nutshell, they are thumbing their noses at the law so they can raise prices and eliminate competition. And they're deliberately delaying high-speed, low-cost Internet access so they can continue to charge outrageous prices for high-bandwidth lines.
Market & Technology
- Marriage of computers and electronic gadgets blurs rules
(Nando.net - The Associated Press)
Phones that let you cruise the Internet. Computers for watching movies and television. Boxes that enable TV viewers to surf the Web and send electronic mail. Such long-heralded devices -- which blur the lines between computer and appliance, information and entertainment -- are finally starting to change people's lives. But they've also shaped a new battleground between computer and consumer-electronics companies.
- Les Web-TV se vendent comme des petits pains.
Les fabricants de décodeurs Internet pour la télévision, dits "Web-TV", ne suffisent pas à la tâche : leurs produits s'enlèvent comme des pains chauds sur les rayons des magasins aux États-Unis.
- Sales lead to WebTV service snags
WebTV users have been experiencing delays in accessing the Net, apparently because the number of subscribers has increased following strong holiday sales of the first-generation set-top device.
- Net shopping more than a fad
Some people think Internet shopping is just a fad like CB radio, and the only thing that keeps it going is "its easy, anonymous access to sex material." Others expect Internet shopping to become so popular it will revolutionize the way the world buys goods from groceries to guitars. With all the hype and bluster about the Internet, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
- UK-based travel sites target Europeans' needs
Compared to the U.S., which boasts big travel sites like Travelocity and Expedia, British travel online is a nascent business. But, as British travel Web sites like the brand-new A2BTravel (launched December 15) and the Thomas Cook site gain momentum, they're emphasizing the differences between travel in the U.S. and Britain, not the similarities.
- Consumers' Rush Online Is Slowing
Businesses are leaping online much faster than consumers, despite falling prices for computers and other Web-connected appliances.
- E-commerce: Charged Up, Ready, and SET To Explode
The race for electronic commerce dollars is on! With spending over the Internet by the year 2000 forecasted to range from $80 billion (Forrester) to over $255 billion (Input Inc.), who wouldn't be interested?
- Net earnings: E-commerce in 1997
As 1997 ends, Internet commerce experts are busy counting up how much consumers spent shopping on the Net. But the real e-commerce action this year came from businesses selling to each other.
- Offbeat films sell better online
The best-selling movies on the Internet are not summer blockbusters or even classics, but a mix of the offbeat, cult classics, and "oldies but goodies," according to a survey released today.
- Survey: B-to-B Companies Most Likely to Be Online
Two-thirds of respondents to Direct magazine's annual online marketing survey indicated that they have a Web site, up from 52% in last year's survey. Business-to-business-focused companies were most likely to be online, with more than three-fourths (77%) responding that they had a site, compared to just under 59% of consumer marketers, and 68% of companies targeting both consumers and businesses.
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam)
Internet access and use
- 1997: Internet, la métamorphose qui effraie
Internet a poursuivi en 1997 sa métamorphose en un média de masse, soulevant une tempête d'interrogations sur la protection de la vie privée et la lutte contre une criminalité qui se joue des frontières. L'explosion du réseau informatique mondial ne s'est guère ralentie, alimentée par des technologies qui tirent le meilleur profit de sa nature à la fois multimédia et interactive.
- More People Sending Holiday Wishes via E-mail
During the 1997 holiday season, more people are using the Internet as a means of communication among family and friends in the United States, according ActivMedia's FutureScapes study.
- Study Finds Nearly 37 million PCs Regularly Access the Internet
The Netizen population continues to acquire new members, according to research released by Computer Intelligence's (CI) Mid-Year Update to its 1997 Consumer Technology Index (CTI) study, which found that 36.9 million PCs are regularly accessing the Internet in the United States.
- Microsoft Adds HotMail To Stable of MS Companies
Another 9.5 million Internet users will get a closer look at Microsoft as the software giant adds the free, Web-based mail service of HotMail to a growing stable of acquired companies. The completed deal according to a Microsoft spokesperson, leaves HotMail running as an independent company without changing personnel or executives.
- 1998's New Web
Let's pause for a moment and peek into my virtual crystal ball to spot four trends for 1998, a year that promises to be most interesting online.
- CompuServe Web service comes online
CompuServe on Wednesday made available to U.S. and Canadian users C, a Web-based service that may be a survival kit for the online content and service provider whose subscriptions have been gradually eroded both by users going online without proprietary services and stronger competition.
- Getting Attention Is Challenge For Content Sites - Forrester
In the crowded world of content sites on the World Wide Web, you can build all the better mousetraps you want, but the world will not beat a path to your door. The biggest headaches and the biggest costs for such operations in the next few years will have to do with getting sites noticed, according to Forrester Research Inc.
- RealNetworks launches int'l content site
RealNetworks Inc. is launching a new title in its growing lineup of Web sites designed to direct users to streaming media on the Internet. The company this week is rolling out RealPlanet, a site focused on guiding users to internationally oriented content on the Web.
Security and encryption
- New Tools Make Hackers Lives Easy
Two new attack tools, which hackers use to quickly break into computer systems and networks, have recently emerged, prompting the U.S. Department of Energy to issue a bulletin warning that they are being used maliciously.
- Intermedia Leads Local-Competitor Charge To Net Telephony
Intermedia Communications Inc. hopes to become the first competitive local phone carrier to use Internet telephony by moving call traffic to its data network.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
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