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IP: Basex: Top Ten of 1998
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 20:06:07 -0500

From: jspira () basex com
To: farber () cis upenn edu


Happy New Year.

I wanted to share with you Basex "Top Ten" list for 1998.


/s/ Jonathan

Jonathan B Spira                    E-mail jspira () basex com
The Basex Group, Inc                URL http://www.basex.com
15 E 26th Street                    Tel +1 (212) 725-2600 x113
New York, NY 10010 USA              Facsimile +1 (212) 532-5406


As 1998 draws to a close, we present ten of the year's most significant
events, as covered by VB:TechWatch.

1. Litigation: Microsoft and the Department of Justice. Microsoft and Sun.
Microsoft and 20 states plus the District of Columbia. You get the picture.

2. The Legislation of the Internet: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
and the Child Online Protection Act (CDA II). The ACLU had a busy year, and
the Recording Industry Association of America tried unsuccessfully (so far)
to repress the use of MP3.

3. Internet stocks (and sales) begin to fly: Take amazon.com and eBay for
example. Tech Investors sent the NASDAQ on many wild rides.

4. Wireless communication expands: Iridium telephones arrived. So did a
wireless Palm Pilot, WinStar point-to-multipoint wireless communication
technology, and, most recently, FCC-approved wireless communication for

5. Apple regains a viable market: Anyone seen the sales figures for the

6. The Year 2000 computer glitch is suddenly a reality: Companies began to
scramble for programmers with the ability to debug their systems -
recruiters are lining up outside the COBOL programmer's retirement home
near you.

7. The Starr Reports go online: The same administration that passed the CDA
II also put the Starr Reports on the Internet.

8. Portal madness: Everyone wants to be a portal site. Everyone then claims
to be a portal site. What actually is a portal site, anyway?

9. Mergers galore: The most compelling - America Online and Netscape, with
the added bonus of AOL's strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems.

10. The U.S. versus the European Union: Whose privacy standards should
govern the Internet? What level of encryption is permissible for
international e-mail traffic? Decisions are expected next year.


12-28      The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation enabled
residents of Rhode Island to buy limited quantities of beer, wine, and
liquor over the Internet. Some opponents worry that this change in
regulation will promote underage drinking and the avoidance of alcohol
excise taxes.

12-28      Shopping on the Internet was popular this year: by some accounts
it increased over three times over last year's sales. All was not bright
for online shoppers, however. Some sites, taken by surprise by the volume,
had to admit to stock shortages, slowness, and some crashed. Still,
shoppers appear to have found a preference to the holiday mall experience
in the convenience of online gift buying.


12-31      The popular New Year's tradition of watching the ball drop in
New York's Times Square can be done on the Web this year. The ceremony will
be streamed live to the Internet on a number of Web sites. More information
can be found on the http://webevents.broadcast.com/trylon/nytimessquare

12-31      In a move to speed convergence, the Monday ABC telecast of the
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl college football game will have simultaneous online
programming including interactive games, information, and scores. The game
can be found on the Web at http://espn.go.com.

12-30      Intel is working to regain marketshare lost to the sub-US$1000
PC market and specifically to Advanced Micro Devices by again reducing the
price of its low-end Celeron microprocessor product line.

12-29      Virginia State police launched a Web site listing names, photos,
and addresses of convicted violent sex offenders in Virginia. Connecticut's
Department of Public Safety will put a similar database online on January
first. The ACLU contends that such public databases are an invasion of the
privacy of people who have served out their terms in prison and who could
be made victims of vigilante justice as a result of the release of the

12-28      The Social Security Administration announced it has resolved its
year 2000 problems after extensive testing and much hard work. President
Clinton praised the agency, calling the problem "the most labor-intensive
problem imaginable."


12-30      Microsoft filed suit against "TrademarkDomains.com" and
"TexasRGV.com" for trademark infringement. The two companies allegedly
registered, used, and tried to sell domain names that are identical or
similar to Microsoft trademarks and product names.

12-28      Missouri student Brandon Beussink won a preliminary injunction
against Woodland High School, preventing it from using a controversial
suspension when factoring his grades and attendance record. Beussink was
suspended for ten days after school officials found he was responsible for
a Web site derogatory to the school. The ten day suspension was enough to
fail Beussink for the entire semester. The injunction also prohibits the
school from punishing Beussink in any other way for this act, and it also
cannot keep the student from exercising his right to free speech on his Web


12-30      Finally bowing to the pleas of many US software companies, the
Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration released new,
less-stringent rules for the export of strong encryption which are endorsed
by the White House. Under these regulations, online merchants, insurance
companies, most of the banking and financial industries and the heathcare
industry now are enabled to do more international business using strong
encryption. Regulations for other types of strong encryption export are
also significantly reduced under the new regulations.

12-28      The Federal Communications Commission granted a waiver of
approval for the operation of AirCell's system of air-to-ground wireless
communication for airplanes. AirCell has managed to circumvent the usual
interference problems that plague cellular communications in the air by
hiding the air-to-ground signal from ground-based cell sites. The system
will operate on the same 800-MHz frequencies as regular cellular phones,
but consumers will still not be allowed to use their own cellular devices
on commercial flights. AirCell wireless offers voice communication as well
as data communication such as fax, e-mail, and Internet access.


12-31      Hong Kong Telecom International will surrender its exclusive
license to provide external telecom services for Hong Kong on January 1.
The country's telecom business will be fully liberalized when the company's
international monopoly ends on January 1, 2000.

12-31       Rapid expansion in the number of cellular telephones in Japan
has forced cellular carriers to adopt a new telephone number system so
there are sufficient numbers available for the population. All telephone
numbers in Japan's second largest city, Osaka, and those of cellular and
PHS (personal handyphone system) telephones nationwide will change at 2
a.m. on the morning of January 1 in Japan, which is midday Eastern Standard
Time on December 31.

12-28      Two Chinese brothers, Hao Jinglong and Hao Jingwen, both
received the death sentence for the crime of hacking into the computer
system of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The brothers stole
the equivalent of US$31,400, all of which has been recovered.


12-30      The U.S. Department of Justice conditionally approved the merger
between AT&T and Tele-Communications. Included in the terms of agreement is
the codicil that Tele-Communications must sell its stake in Sprint PCS over
the next five years.

12-30      Internet directory firm The Mining Company filed for an
Independent Public Offering. The company hopes to raise US$50 million with
its IPO of 350,000 shares.


Modern issues such as the Year 2000 computer glitch have brought the
calendar once again to the forefront of public preoccupation. We at Basex
see Calendar, by David Ewing Duncan, as a fitting Book of the Year as it
addresses the historical struggles with which humanity has dealt with time
and its permutations.

Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year
David Ewing Duncan
Avon Books

A brief history of the world, as viewed through the one information
container that has become a universal yardstick for measuring progress, is
presented by David Ewing Duncan, who takes the reader from the first
recorded date to the present.  Duncan, with the powerful drama of cultures
from Vedic India and Cleopatra's Egypt to a cast of characters which
includes Julius Caesar and Omar Khayyam , demonstrates how, as the various
peoples of the world have struggled to record time, they have by and large
gotten it wrong, at the same time causing both war and strategic alliances
throughout the world.

You can order this book on line right now.


1999 starts tomorrow - so you have 1 last year to prepare for 2000 and one
of the best places for that is at The Year 2000 Information Center. Tons of
news, information, discussions, products, humor, job listings and more on
the world's most famous bug are available at http://www.year2000.com/.

Compiled and edited by Elisabeth Ward, Analyst
Copyright 1998 The Basex Group, Inc.  All rights reserved.
All data, opinions, and projections are based on Basex' judgment at the
time of publication and are subject to change.

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