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  Anvil Issue Two

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*Welcome to the second issue of Anvil - a weekly newsletter providing insight into online industry news, issues and trends. In this week’s issue:
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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
*Seattle, WA; New York City, NY; and Silicon Valley, CA; were recently named in Wall Street Journal articles as the leading cities for Internet-related startups.
*Netscape has countered Microsoft in a bold move toward robust, open software solutions.
*A slew of new companies are combining Internet access with cable TV in an attempt to reach a currently untapped market of non-PC users.
*MedicaLogic, a leading provider of integrated medical software solutions, has recently debuted their new site at http://www.medicalogic.com.

DESIGN
*In the war to control the desktop, Microsoft and Netscape continue to make technological advancements in multimedia offerings for the Web.

DESIGN
*The rush to develop corporate intranets and put Web browsers on every desktop is displacing proprietary services such as America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy and The Microsoft Network (MSN).
*Internet security and reliability are hot buttons with today’s users.

MARKETING
*Many marketers and Webmasters are struggling to understand and communicate site statistics and what they mean.

TOP WEB PICKS
*c/net news.com- http://www.news.com/
*Wall Street Journal Interactive: http://www.wsj.com
*TotalNEWS: http://www.totalnews.com/
*WorldPages: http://www.worldpages.com/
*Deep Thoughts of the Day: http://www.eecs.nwu.edu/cgi-bin/deepthought

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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
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*Seattle, WA; New York City, NY; and Silicon Valley, CA; were recently named in Wall Street Journal articles as the leading cities for Internet-related startups. The Internet industry is experiencing higher than average job growth and salary base in these locations as talent and skill gravitate toward eager investor dollars. Industry giants like Microsoft and Netscape play a major role in attracting young professionals searching for new opportunities. Many of these talented workers are lured to these locales by the stability and easy money of large corporations. At least some are willing to sacrifice financial stability for the opportunity to be the next Microsoft. For more information, members of WSJ Interactive can check out these articles:
http://interactive6.wsj.com/edition/current/articles/OnlineExtra.htm
http://interactive6.wsj.com/edition/current/articles/Online.htm

*Netscape has countered Microsoft in a bold move toward robust, open software solutions. Netscape has released a variety of packages including workgroup software that it hopes will woo corporate customers away from Microsoft and Lotus products. The new Netscape Communicator products, which cost $49 and $69, will add more robust e-mail, file sharing, group scheduling and audio software to Netscape’s 4.0 browser and server software. On another front, Netscape joined Progressive Networks to announce an alliance of 40 companies that support Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), a proposed open standard for delivering real-time media over the Internet. Netscape also announced browser support for ActiveX, Office Documents and BackOffice features in their new version of SuiteSpot, which now has some fairly compelling audio conferencing, encryption and collaboration capability available. Netscape also released the specification for the JavaScript language to ECMA, a Geneva, Switzerland-based standards body. This is in response to Microsoft releasing the ActiveX specification to The Open Group several weeks ago and their complaint that Java is a proprietary software development tool. For more information, be sure to check out:
http://home.mcom.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease260.html
http://home.mcom.com/comprod/announce/overview.html
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,4462,00.html

*A slew of new companies are combining Internet access with cable TV in an attempt to reach a currently untapped market of non-PC users. WebTV, a set-top Web browser box developed by Phillips, is the first to market with a product that makes surfing the Web more affordable. For $300, users can get connected to the Web via cable and a wireless remote control. While this technology has only been available for a few weeks, many manufacturers are following close behind. Now that the Web is available to a much larger audience, the issue of programming has arisen, much like the early days of the Information Superhighway. Following the trend to make the Web more like television, Internet service provider DIGEX recently announced a spin-off, ISP-TV, which will work with other Net access companies to deliver live video shows online. ISP-TV, which has been quietly running in beta on the DIGEX site, will distribute free live video over six other Internet service providers, using the CU-SeeMe video-conferencing software. Another new player, WorldGate Communications, has developed a cable television-based Internet access service that works without requiring PCs or revamped set-top boxes (like WebTV). Consumers will pay around $4.95 a month for the high-speed connection direct to their television screens, which will include hyperlinks to the Web sites of advertisers and television shows, chat lines, email, and an online community center of Web sites offering local events, entertainment options, and classified ads. Keep your eyes open for more startups of this nature. For more information, be sure to check out:
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,4478,00.html
http://www.digex.net
http://www.webtv.net/
http://futurenet-online.com
http://www.tvol.com/

*MedicaLogic, a leading provider of integrated medical software solutions, has recently debuted their new site at http://www.medicalogic.com. This content-rich site offers product and company information as well as white papers and technical support.
http://www.medicalogic.com

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DESIGN
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*In the war to control the desktop, Microsoft and Netscape continue to make technological advancements in multimedia offerings for the Web. Some of the most promising advances are included as new JavaScript-based features in Netscape Navigator 3.0. The new Navigator edges ever closer to becoming a complete multimedia client by bundling the LiveAudio and LiveVideo player consoles with 3.0. These enhancements allow site designers to use the <EMBED> command to integrate audio and video formats like AIFF, AU, MIDI, WAV, and AVI directly into an HTML page, effectively providing native support for these formats. Navigator 3.0 also comes complete with a QuickTime plug-in for Windows and Mac that finally gives streaming capabilities to the widely used video format. With technologies continuing to push toward the seamless integration of multimedia in Web pages, improved compression techniques emerging at a fast pace, and the promise of broadband connections looming on the horizon, one thing is clear: Web-based multimedia will continue to grow in maturity and popularity. For now, if your resources are limited, it’s wise to invest cautiously in future technologies and keep a watchful eye on the resources you already have in place.
http://www.microsoft.com
http://www.netscape.com

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HOSTING
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*The rush to develop corporate intranets and put Web browsers on every desktop is displacing proprietary services such as America Online, CompuServe, Prodigy and The Microsoft Network (MSN). With corporations busy installing T-1 lines and Web servers, CIOs are looking to Internet service providers (ISPs) that can offer value-added services such as Web hosting. On a related note, Prodigy will soon be launching their all-new look and feel as an ISP, rather than an online service. Time will tell if their new venture into hostile waters will succeed. For more information, be sure to check out:
http://www.pcweek.com/news/1014/14wri.html

*Internet security and reliability are hot buttons with today’s users.
With the threat of credit card number fraud and backbone brownouts looming ahead, major telecommunications players like MCI, AT&T are turning up the heat. AT&T recently introduced a suite of Internet commerce services headlined by SecureBuy Service, a Web catalog storefront and transaction processing package based on OM-Transact software from Open Market Inc. The important factor is AT&T’s standard guarantee to refund some charges for the service if a sales transaction is lost or not completed. This money-back promise implies that the Internet--or at least the part that AT&T will use to process transactions--is now reliable enough for commerce. MCI is currently including a clause in it’s contracts with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which will require minimum performance standards.
For more information, be sure to check out:
http://techweb.cmp.com/iw/601/01iutra.htm

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MARKETING
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*Many marketers and Webmasters are struggling to understand and communicate site statistics and what they mean. It is very important to understand that generating statistics from site traffic is an art, rather than an exact science. While there are many factors and variables to consider when calculating site statistics, some of which can be misleading, valuable information can still be obtained. The original method of judging number of visitors was with ’hits.’ This number can give a quick idea of traffic, it is also very inaccurate, as it only reveals the total number of successful requests for information from the Web server, of which there can be many for each page viewed. Factors affecting ’hits’ include the number of html files and graphics requested for each page. A site with frames will greatly affect hits, as each frame requires a separate file- usually between three and five files total for each page. A more accurate number has since been developed, ’pages viewed,’ which incorporates the number of hits divided by the number of information requests. While the ratio varies from site to site and page to page, the average hits to page views ratio is 2:1. While the pages viewed number cannot tell how many users are accessing how many pages, it has been adopted as the industry standard for measuring site traffic until better statistical packages are developed.
http://www.vivo-media.com

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TOP WEB PICKS
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*c/net’s news.com- http://www.news.com/
Superb resource for computer and online industry news and information. Simple but effective content delivery includes hotlinks to related stories, audio and video enhancements as well as a searchable article archive. Like other news delivery systems, there is a free customized news feature which requires registration, not to worry, they do not divulge the data to third parties. This site also includes links to cnet’s other sites: cnet.com, search.com and shareware.com, all very useful.

*Wall Street Journal Interactive: http://www.wsj.com
This fee-based subscription site, free until the end of the year via Microsoft Explorer 3.0 browser (available at http://www.microsoft.com). This is perhaps the most popular site on the Web for timely business and
World news. There is also a very handy customizable news and stock portfolio feature. Other free subscription sites available via Internet Explorer 3.0 include ESPN Sportszone and InvestorsEdge.

*TotalNEWS: http://www.totalnews.com/
A comprehensive directory listing with links to all news and information resources for various subjects, from entertainment to politics. This is a one-stop launch pad worth bookmarking.

*WorldPages: http://www.worldpages.com/
"The world’s largest electronic online business directory" with listings for Canada and the US, and many other countries in the near future. Features include mapping for directions and a built-in thesaurus for broad topic searches.

*Deep Thoughts of the Day: http://www.eecs.nwu.edu/cgi-bin/deepthought
A super resource for escaping daily stress. The site updates every ten seconds, providing new and interesting insights into daily life from Jack Handy.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK
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*A son begs his father to drive him to school in the morning after missing the bus.
"You should be ashamed, " the father told his son, " When Abraham Lincoln was your age, he used to walk ten miles every day to get to school."
"Really?" the kid said, "Well when Lincoln was your age, he was president of the United States."

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