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1998 Technology Diary

  December 1998  

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Sunday, December 27  

The television, computing, and telecom industries are obsessed with talk of "convergence." But it's more like a massive, head-on collision. Check out this c|net special report to find out how they're all being thrown together.

You can buy just about any CD online. But you no longer need FedEx or even a stereo. The Net is loaded with compressed song files representing every possible musical genre. But some of those files aren't legit. Short for Motion Picture Experts Group, audio layer 3, MP3 compresses music files at near-CD quality for easy transmission over the Internet. To the big record labels, MP3 spells piracy, and they're putting the issue on trial. View the Wired News special report to learn more about this emerging dog fight.

BEST OF 1998
Before you get out those party hats and noise makers to herald 1999, let's take a surf down memory lane with TechWeb's Best Of '98 year-end coverage. It's been quite a year.

As the new year approaches, so too does the launch of the new Internet Brothers web site. Titled Helpware for the Cybercommunity, look for this new offering on these pages beginning January 1st, 1999. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Thought for the day: "Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." - Benjamin Franklin


Your author was on holiday vacation during these intervening days.



Friday, December 18  

Comments by the judge in Microsoft's antitrust trial that a formidable new competitor might change "the playing field" in the software industry signals the government may not impose stiff remedies if it wins. More information here.

The year is drawing to a close, and so is the U.S. Department of Justice's portion of what experts say is a convincing case against the most powerful software company in the world. Come 1999, the Microsoft defense team gets its turn at center stage in the historic antitrust trial when it begins calling its witnesses. Holiday review here.

Microsoft is preparing an update to Internet Explorer for the Macintosh that incorporates some of the technology first used in the Mac version of Office 98 and emphasizes ease of use for Mac's largely consumer customer base. Full story here.

Thought for the day: "Read every day something no one else is reading. Think every day something no one else is thinking. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity." - Christopher Morley



Wednesday, December 16  

U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he had ordered a "strong, sustained" series of airstrikes on military and security forces in Iraq, designed to degrade Iraq's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction. Full story here.

U.S. House Speaker-elect Bob Livingston has announced a delay of the House debate on whether to impeach President Bill Clinton. Sources at a House Republican caucus said the debate could begin either Saturday or Monday. Full story here.

Thought for the day: "The two news headlines above are obviously related. Whatever your opinion of either matter, I suggest when you read this you take a moment to reflect not for the politicians above, but for the people of Iraq and for the men and women of the armed forces."



Monday, December 14  

Microsoft gets caught in the growing litigation storm surrounding the Year 2000 technology problem, as the software giant is sued by a developer over Y2K compliance issues. Details here.

New devices with lower power demands, pervasive connectivity, and new user interfaces, bolstered by evolving standards, will radically change the face of our environment with smart, cheap, small, wireless information appliances within five to 10 years. More info here.

The Internet we have now is too unreliable for remote-control surgery, telemedicine, and collaborative research. A new national backbone could change that. Full story here.

Thought for the day: "Make yourself more useful."


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