QuickLinks - 9 February 1998
issue no. 45
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.
EU - European films take on Hollywood's big guns in fight for future of cinema
Legal and regulatory issues
- EU - European films take on Hollywood's big guns in fight for future of cinema
The EU has taken on Hollywood in an important ruling which could improve life for European cinema-goers jaded by a diet of American blockbusters. The European Commission demanded the dismantlement of UIP, the distribution arm in Europe for the three Hollywood studio giants Paramount, MGM and Universal.
- EC Investigates Mobile Phone Rates
(Total Telecom )
The European Commission is starting an investigation into the pricing of mobile phone calls in Europe, prompting expectations of lower mobile prices and a possible shake-up of interconnection fees.
Data Protection (privacy)
- US blasts European privacy directive on personal data
The Clinton administration will not permit the European Union to apply its privacy directive to companies operating in the United States. Senior Presidential adviser Ira Magaziner said the directive, which could forbid the transfer of data about EU citizens to U.S. and multinational firms, included improper, extraterritorial rules.
Security and encryption
- GILC Releases International Crypto Survey.
(Global Internet Liberty Campaign)
A world survey of crypto policies released on February 9 has found that most countries do not restrict the use of encryption.
- USA - Alternative carriers applaud Texas ruling on Internet fees
Competitive local carriers are cheering a Texas ruling that incumbent SBC Communications Inc. must pay them fees for Internet dial-ups the rivals carry on their phone networks. The state's public utilities commission voted unanimously Thursday that Internet traffic is local and therefore subject to "reciprocal-compensation" rules under the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996, just like local phone calls.
- USA - Court upholds FCC restrictions on next round of airwaves auctions
(The Associated Press )
Local telephone and cable companies lost an attempt in federal court Friday to bid without restriction on licenses to offer phone, television and Internet services through new wireless technology. To encourage newcomers, the FCC barred cable and local phone companies from bidding on one of two licenses in markets where they already provide service.
Market & Technology
Internet access and use
- France - Canal+ va tester l'accès à Internet par satellite
Canal+ va tester auprès d'un panel de 200 abonnés "dans les prochaines semaines" l'accès à Internet à haut débit par satellite et lancer ce service au niveau commercial "dans le courant de l'année".
- Microsoft Knocks Out Netscape In Browser Fight
(Computer Reseller News )
For the first time since the Internet became prevalent among the corporate community, Microsoft unseated Netscape as the best-selling browser vendor among CRN's reseller community. Forty-nine percent of those polled last month cited the Redmond, Wash.-based developer as the maker of their best-selling browser, up from 42 percent the month prior and 32 percent a year earlier.
- USA - @Home, Road Runner in talks
@Home and Time Warner's Road Runner are holding talks about merging their high-speed Internet access services, uniting the cable industry to take on the Baby Bells in this burgeoning market.
- A Search Engine by Developers, for Developers
Using devSearch, a user can now search 21 sites on specific HTML, scripting, design, and other developer-related questions - including Wired Digital's Webmonkey, CNET's builder.com, Netscape's DevEdge, and developer.com.
Security and encryption
- Voiceprints Aim to Simplify Security
The proliferation of passwords, PIN numbers, and security cards needed to access everything from ATMs to computer networks has turned into a mind-boggling maze of digits for many people. One solution to that problem is biometrics, by which an individual is identified by inherent biological traits such as fingerprint, retinal pattern, or simply voice.
- Sony chief calls for common tech standards
(Nando.net - Scripps Howard )
The head of Sony, the Japanese electronics company, called for the creation of a worldwide technical standard embracing computing, television and mobile telephones. But Idei's appeal was received coolly by other industry specialists.
- ITU - U.N. telecommunications body adopts new modem standard
(Nando.net - Reuters )
The International Telecommunications Union will conclude a meeting in Geneva on Friday, where telecommunication industry officials hashed out an agreement to merge two competing standards for 56-kbps modems.
- CNN Reports Record-Breaking Web Traffic
The CNN Interactive Networks served a record-breaking 76 million page impressions during the week ending February 1, 1998. The weekly traffic total is an increase of 40 percent on the average traffic for the months of October and November 1997.
- New Numbers Show Net Improvement
The performance of the Net is improving, according to year-end results from the testing firm Inverse Network Technology Inc. E-mail performance, which showed marked degradation last summer, appears to be on the mend. While Internet throughput improved 2.6 percent over the year, the average time to download Web pages jumped 11 percent.
QuickLinks are edited by Richard Swetenham
- Contributor: Yaman Akdeniz
http://www.qlinks.net/ * Now with subject index *