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  Anvil Issue Twenty Two

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*Welcome to Anvil, a newsletter and Web site providing insight into online industry news, issues and trends delivered in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free!
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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
*Free Press?
*Banking On City Directories

DESIGN
*IE Opens Windows Wide Open
*Update: WebTV Is Jamming

HOSTING
*Satellites One Step Closer To Launch
*ISP Numbers To Dwindle

MARKETING
*Try Before You Buy New Guidelines
*Get The Latest AdTalk

TOP WEB PICKS
*Absolut Panushka
*Gamelan
*PoliceScanner.com
*Pseudo Online Network
*Reel


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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
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*Free Press?
The real-time nature of the Internet recently created problems for Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. Late last week, The Dallas Morning News published a purported confession online, potentially against a judge’s orders. Rather than risk waiting for the story to break in print Monday, they published the story online the previous Friday. Once the story was published online, it could be printed in ink with much less risk of a court injunction. The move circumvented a "prior restraint" order not specifically designed for the new online medium. Stephen Jones, McVeigh’s attorney, initially denied the existence of the "confession," only to recant and accuse the newspaper of breaking into the defenses’ computer system and stealing the document. The bold move by Dallas Morning News to print the story online is neither the first, nor the last time the online medium will be leveraged for the dissemination of sensitive information. Even if U.S. laws were tightened to include the online paradigm in "print" restraining orders, the information could still be "leaked" to an unnamed online source or to International press, with virtually no legal repercussions.
http://interactive4.wsj.com/edition/current/articles/
SB857522340962693000.htm

*Banking On City Directories
Online city directories, previously a service dominated by CitySearch, Yahoo and Cox Enterprises, have gained in popularity in recent months. Microsoft is entering the market with it’s own version of the service, soon to include 15 cities by years’ end. The first city guide, Sidewalk for Seattle, will launch late next month. The site will generate revenue primarily from advertising from both local and national sponsors. Microsoft recently announced participating national sponsors including Bank of America, BMW, United Airlines and Visa. The primary benefit to advertisers will be the regionally targeted nature of the service. Digital City, another competitor, is also expected to launch an online strategy next month.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8412,00.html


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DESIGN
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*IE Opens Windows Wide Open
Microsoft has developed quite a headache in recent weeks with repeated security breaches of the Web browser, Internet Explorer. Recently, a few German hackers discovered a security flaw involving ActiveX and Quicken. Early this week, students of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute discovered another flaw in IE, this time involving "shortcut" .url and .lnk files. A Web site can mask these "shortcuts," potentially running programs, transmitting viruses or deleting files in the background while the user surfs a site. Microsoft scrambled to put a patch together which notifies users of unknown "shortcuts" prior to download. As if these developments weren’t enough for Microsoft to handle, students from the University of Maryland discovered a separate but similar hole that would allow hackers to remotely retrieve files or run programs on a user’s PC. At this time, it’s still unclear whether the flaw affects only Windows NT or Windows 95 as well. Microsoft stresses that email, still largely unexplored by hackers, has a much greater potential for transmitting rogue files and programs.
http://wsf1.usatoday.com/money/mds030.htm
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8511,00.html
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8567,00.html?nd

*Update: WebTV Is Jamming
WebTV and Hewlett-Packard recently announced a partnership that will result in printing capabilities to the TV-top Web browser. The printers are reported to cost under $100 and should be available in May. In related news, industry analysts believe WebTV is planning on spinning off a non-IP-based network full of proprietary content. The rumors were further fueled by the announcement of a new online music network. JamTV will leverage Intel’s latest hybrid broadcast technology to provide users with live pay-per-view concerts, merchandise, CDs, and concert tickets. The WebTV-compliant Web site will generate revenue from advertising, online sales and database licensing fees. JamTV is supported by leading record distributors including Columbia, Polygram, MCA and BMG. The new network will try to compete against the nearly 20,000 music resource sites currently online. New players are entering the market as well: MTV, Yahoo, AOL and Rolling Stone.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8411,00.html
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8408,00.html
http://www.yahoo.com/text/headlines/970303/tech/stories/jam_1.html


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HOSTING
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*Satellites One Step Closer To Launch
Teledesic’s $9 billion plan to launch 840 satellites by 2001 has taken one more giant step toward reality. Project founders Microsoft and McCaw Cellular have partnered with aerospace giant Boeing for space systems and integration management expertise. Once all the satellites are up and running, 99 percent of the planet will have high speed fiber-optic quality videoconferencing, paging, faxing and voice communications. Analysts believe the once whimsical partnership between Gates and McCaw is now validated with the addition of Boeing. Along with managing the Apollo moon mission and International Space Station, Boeing call pull experience from Rockwell International and McDonnell Douglas to aid in the manufacture and launch of the new satellites. Currently, there are over 2,500 satellites in orbit, half of which belong to the former Soviet Union. This number is expected in increase to 3,750 in the next three years.
http://www.nando.net/newsroom/ntn/info/030397/info17_19318.html

*ISP Numbers To Dwindle
Similar to many early stage growth industries, analysts are predicting a major shakedown of ISPs in the next three years. In 1993, there were 90 ISPs. Today there are approximately 4,400. Forrester Research estimates this number will drop to 100 by the year 2000. The surviving ISPs will have a few characteristics in common: deep pockets and niche, value-added service. Currently, ISPs specialize by service: access or hosting, or by markets: individual consumers or businesses. Due to relative size of market and profit potential, the largest developing market right now is Internet access for small to medium-sized businesses. Netcom recently abandoned offering Internet access to individual consumers for the lucrative market. Level of service will also be a major differentiator for which users will pay a premium.
http://192.215.107.71/wire/news/mar/0302isp.html


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MARKETING
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*Try Before You Buy New Guidelines
The Software Publishers Association (SPA) recently announced new guidelines for "try-before-you-buy" (TBYB) programs. TBYB applications provide limited-time or limited-functionality to users for free, in an attempt to increase software sales. The announcement follows the SPA’s October release of electronic software distribution (ESD) guidelines. The new TBYB guidelines outline recommended methods of distribution including subscription, pay-per-view and rent to own. Most TBYB software relies on "digital wrappers" which protect code as it travels over the Internet as well as post-installation tampering. Skeptics of the new guidelines point out a lack of demand and the potential for credit card fraud. The real issue is deciding whether the increase in sales outweighs the loss in revenue from repeated use of trial versions.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,8410,00.html

*Get The Latest AdTalk
Marketers now have an online resource thanks to Ziff-Davis Publishing. AdTalk, launched this week, provides original reporting, photography and resource links for advertisers and marketers. Content is supplied by a family of ZD publications including PC Magazine, PC Computing, Computer Life and Family PC. ZD also partnered with Ad Age, Adweek and Cowles’ Media Central for advertising and marketing-specific content. Original content includes "The Buzz" by Richard Morgan, former Editor-in-Chief of Adweek and "Guest House," which provides profiles on leading marketing executives.
http://www.adtalk.com


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TOP WEB PICKS
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*Absolut Panushka
Absolut Vodka, famous for showcasing artists worldwide, recently launched the second phase of online animated films. Absolut Panushka provides a gallery of Quicktime and Shockwave movies from artists like Marjut Rimmimen and Stuart Hilton. While the movies make take a minute or two to download, the wait is well worth it.
http://www.absolutvodka.com/

*Gamelan
EarthWeb’s Gamelan Web site offers a wide array of Java-based applets. Whether you like playing Tetris or monitoring your investments online, Gamelan has a directory of applets to choose from.
http://www-a.gamelan.com/index.shtml

*PoliceScanner.com
AudioNet, online resource provider of RealAudio Web sites recently launched this site to appeal to die-hard "Cops" fans. PoliceScanner.com provides real-time audio feeds of police scanners in Los Angeles and Dallas. Pretend to be a cop while you sit safely at work.
http://www.policescanner.com/index.html

*Pseudo Online Network
Another RealAudio intensive site, Pseudo creates, produces, and promotes live online programming. Surfers will find movies, 3-D worlds and animation, chat rooms and games. The site is graphically heavy and is challenging for the bandwidth disadvantaged.
http://www.pseudo.com/

*Reel
Surfers having trouble deciding what movie to see now have an online resource. Reel Genius allows users to rate movies they’ve seen, and the database will return suggestions for movies based on personal preferences. While the movie database doesn’t include current theater releases, the functionality provides a worthwhile experience.
http://www.reel.com/

 

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