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  Anvil Issue Thirty

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*Welcome to Anvil, a free weekly newsletter and Web site providing insight into online industry news, issues and trends. Now with a child-proof safety cap.
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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
*Ticketmaster Hits The Pavement
*Tuning Into Digital TV

DESIGN
*Java Bug Revealed
*Just The Fonts

HOSTING
*AT&T An ISP?
*Online Services To Sell Out

MARKETING
*Webreference Ad Study Released
*Ads Under The Microscope

TOP WEB PICKS
*Ask Jeeves
*Candystand
*Keynote Business 40
*Spice Girls
*WiseWire


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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
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*Ticketmaster Hits The Pavement
Former business partners and friends, Bill Gates and Paul Allen have reunited in Los Angeles U.S. District Court over "electronic piracy" issues. Ticketmaster, owned by Paul Allen, is accusing Microsoft of illegally using Ticketmaster’s name and trademark on Seattle Sidewalk. The local online service directory created by Microsoft links to Ticketmaster’s Web site, which provides live event and ticketing information. Ticketmaster believes Microsoft is benefiting from the Ticketmaster brand to help generate traffic and ad revenue without their approval. The lawsuit was filed after Ticketmaster broke off exclusive rights negotiations with Microsoft’s Sidewalk and partnered with rival directory CitySearch.
http://www.merc.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2673581-c5d

*Tuning Into Digital TV
DTV, HDTV, PCTV, SDTV, MTV and WebTV - What does it all mean? A recent article in USA Today provides great insight into the various technologies and related benefits. For starters, the old standard, High Definition (HDTV), is a theatrical (16x9) format with five times the resolution of current TVs. The images broadcast ghost free and are supported by the large broadcasting companies. Standard Definition (SDTV), also ghost-free digital quality, offers multiple programs over one channel but sacrifices resolution. PC Industry Proposal (PCTV) emphasizes information delivery over picture quality and is easily adapted to PCs. PCTV format has the least support from broadcasters, as it eats into their profitability while allowing high-tech companies to enter into their industry.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cta393.htm


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DESIGN
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*Java Bug Revealed
Supporters of Microsoft’s ActiveX technology likely smiled at the recent discovery of a security flaw in Sun’s rival Java language. Sun’s Java stole the spotlight this week as a team of scientists from Princeton University discovered hackers can gain access into computers by impersonating a "trusted" software publisher. The flaw is related to Sun’s latest version of the Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.1.1 that allows digitally stamped applications to bypass normal security restrictions. Sun has scheduled a new release (1.1.2) of JDK in a few weeks.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,10188,00.html

*Just The Fonts
While most of us take it for granted, fonts are indeed the essence of electronic (and print) communications. An issue increasing in importance as Web-based media continues to grow in popularity is how fonts will look on the screen. Fonts were a hot topic at a recent Seybold Seminar in New York. Adobe and Microsoft announced technical specifications for OpenType, a new way to create and deliver fonts via the Web. Similarly, Bitstream and Netscape touted their competing TrueDoc standard. The issue behind which fonts to use and how they look is complicated by security issues. Currently, browsers only use fonts that are installed on the resident system. The only way for designers to deliver exotic fonts today is by turning them into images, which uses up needed bandwidth. Hopefully, the new standards will allow non-resident fonts to be downloaded and displayed instantly. Both standards are very similar, but OpenType may have an edge as Adobe announced their Postscript level 3 will support it.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,10181,00.html


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HOSTING
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*AT&T An ISP?
Internet access industry consolidation continues as rumors surfaced recently regarding AT&T’s bid to buyout Internet Service Provider BBN Corp. BBN’s stock raised nine percent in trading earlier this week. A Wall Street analyst reported AT&T was planning to offer $26 a share. This is old news for some as AT&T Ventures, an independently operated venture capital arm of the telecommunications giant, bought an $8 million equity stake in July of 1995. BBN clients include AOL, also in the news for their merger discussions with CompuServe.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,10150,00.html

*Online Services To Sell Out
One of the most respected online community services has crossed into the nebulous area of data-mining. GeoCities provides free Web pages and e-mail services for over 500,000 members. The service recently decided to "rent" names, e-mail addresses, and in select cases, home or business addresses. The decision was made with the help of a member survey, which revealed that 70 percent of members would not object to receiving solicitations via e-mail. Licensing is expected to generate over $1 million, or equal to that of ad revenues generated last year. In related news, AOL will reportedly release information regarding their members favorite Web sites. These figures could greatly affect ad buying decisions as nearly one-sixth of all netizens use AOL.
http://www.msnbc.com/news/71260.asp


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MARKETING
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*Webreference Ad Study Released
A recent study by Webreference revealed some insight into online banner ad placement. The study, conducted by graduate students at the University of Michigan, indicated banner ads placed next to the right scroll bar in the lower right-hand corner of the first screen generated a 228 percent higher click-through rate than ads placed at the top of a page. Ads placed one-third of the way down the page generated a 77 percent higher click-through rate than page-top ads. In related news, the Gap has taken an innovative new approach to banner ads: scratch n’ sniff. Rather than attempting to create odors, the ads provide sounds that capture the essence of each fragrance. Currently, the Gap ads can be found on Digital City and AOL.
http://www.webreference.com/dev/banners/
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,10161,00.html

*Ads Under The Microscope
While scratch n’ sniff is a novel concept in banner advertising, does it help sell product? There are many factors to a successful banner ad, and Microscope provides insight into ads that work. A special Top Ten edition is now available online to review. Take a look at Hewlett-Packard’s ad (number two). Clicking the ad will provide analysis of the ad itself, in an entertaining, informative and somewhat sarcastic manner.
http://www.pscentral.com/notes.html


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TOP WEB PICKS
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*Ask Jeeves
Tired of poor results from search engines? Try the human approach with Jeeves. Pose a question in plain English, and Jeeves will provide quick and accurate results. The site is also divided into topics ranging from aviation to women’s issues. Frame-compatible browsers work best.
http://www.askjeeves.com/

*Candystand
More than just another online gaming directory, the Candystand provides puzzles, games and links. The site theme revolves around the sponsor, Lifesavers, so be sure to brush. Unlike most shoot-em-up theme sites, most of these games involve thinking.
http://www.candystand.com/index1.htm

*Keynote Business 40
Online marketers and designers may find this site interesting. The Keynote Business Index is designed to gauge the performance of 40 leading business-related Web sites. The Index appears in both the weekly print and online versions of InfoWorld. The service, developed by Keynote Systems, also appears monthly in the Wall Street Journal.
http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayStat.pl?/keynote/970428key.htm

*Spice Girls
Those not familiar with the British pop group need not read any further. Those familiar with the hyperactive group of women and their Top 40 toons, will jump at the opportunity to slap them silly in the manner of Whack-A-Mole. The interactive game requires Shockwave.
http://www.head-space.com/Urban75/spicebelt.html

*WiseWire
WiseWire is the latest "personalized" information service. Similar to Excite Channel and NewsTracker services, users have the option to customize the information they receive, and user profiles are updated based on user feedback. As tested, the site offers quick and easy registration, but content is limited at this point.
http://www.wisewire.com


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CREDITS
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*Kent Lewis, Managing Editor
*Michael Pearo, Graphic Designer
*Monica Simmons, Copy Editor
*Theo Jones, Jeremy Huffman, Programmers

*Send questions, comments and suggestions to
editor@anvil-media.com.

*Visit the Web site at http://www.anvil-media.com

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