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  Anvil Issue Seven

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*Welcome to 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
*COMDEX Best of Show
*Challenges Ahead for Apple
*Microsoft Unveils Windows CE OS and Office 97 at Comdex

DESIGN
*Information Push Continues

HOSTING
*TV Web Access Heats Up
*Online Merchant Standard

MARKETING
*Surprising Internet Revenue Projections

TOP WEB PICKS
*The Electronic Library
*SoundAmerica
*SPAM Haiku
*Urban Legends Archive
*ZooWorks


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TOP INDUSTRY NEWS
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*COMDEX Best of Show
Las Vegas recently survived yet another COMDEX this week. I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the event, along with 200,000 plus computer industry enthusiasts. Instead of boring readers with a detailed summary, I have decided to focus on show highlights via prestigious awards. Anvil’s First Annual Best of Show awards go to the following: Silicon Northwest (best event), Samsung (best booth), WebTV (best hardware), and Ifusion’s Arrive (best software). The Silicon Northwest press reception, held Tuesday night at the Alexis Hotel Resort, offered a viable alternative to the noisy show floor for the forty or so companies seeking to build relationships with key press and analysts. Around 500 press and analysts cycled through the event this year, and the sponsors I talked to found great value in the event. Samsung’s booth combined technology with aesthetic architecture. Their fashion show combined the latest fall fashion with the latest technology in a fun and innovative way. WebTV made a big splash, and could be seen at many booths including Philips and Sony. Ifusion’s Arrive offers a promising alternative to current broadcast/narrowcast Internet services like PointCast. WebTV and Arrive are covered in greater detail in articles below.
http://www.silicon-nw.com
http://www.samsung.com/
http://www.ifusion.com/

*Challenges Ahead for Apple
Only one week after discussions of a possible deal with Be Inc., Apple Computer is back in the news regarding their Mac operating system (OS). Industry rumors and speculation point to a breakdown in talks between Apple and Be. Instead, Be is working with Apple Power PC clone manufacturers to make BeOS the OS of choice for all new Power PCs. To further complicate matters, head of Apple Computer’s Applesoft division, announced his resignation this week. Isaac Nassi headed the OS division for two years, and spent more than seven years with Apple. Apple is gearing up to make a major announcement about its Mac OS
in January.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0%2C4%2C5471%2C00.html?nd

*Microsoft Unveils Windows CE OS and Office 97 at Comdex
Adding to the noise at Comdex in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced two new products: Windows CE OS and Office 97. CE will run on handheld computers starting around $500 and weighing less than 16 ounces. Manufacturers supporting the new OS include: Casio, Compaq, Hitachi and Philips. The highly portable devices supplement desktop PCs and can fit into a shirt pocket or purse. Microsoft also announced the availability of Office 97 which will be available Jan. 16. Beyond the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access applications, Office 97 will have these features: Microsoft Outlook, a new integrated communications application and Office Assistant, which provides personalized help and tips. Users will also be able to save documents in HTML, insert hyperlinks into documents, or publish documents directly to intranet servers. Office 97 retail pricing is estimated at $209 for the standard edition, with price breaks for current Office users.
http://www.merc.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=548337-3c4
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0%2C4%2C5463%2C00.html?nd
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,5485,00.html


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DESIGN
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*Information Push Continues
Competition continues to heat up in the personal information delivery industry. The latest player to enter the game, Ifusion, recently announced their flagship product, available in January. Similar to Intermind, BackWeb, Marimba and NetDelivery, Arrive allows users to schedule the type of information they want to receive from various information providers through their Web browsers. Ifusion recently announced partnerships with the following content providers: Epic Records, GolfWeb, KPIX, Showtime Networks, Ski News from AMI, USA Today, The Weather Channel and Yahoo. After reviewing the product at Comdex, I can say the ActiveX-based product has huge potential for Web developers. The interface works within Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator (with an ActiveX plug-in). ActiveX allows for streaming multimedia much like PointCast, yet offers additional flexibility PointCast cannot. In related news, AirMedia enhanced their Live Internet Broadcast Network, a service that delivers news and other information from the Internet to users via a wireless network. Unlike the delivery services mentioned above, The AirMedia Live system delivers information to users via pager or through Global Village’s NewsCatcher FM receiver. AirMedia will offer headline news from CNN in the near future. Watch for bundling deals with handheld devices and portable PCs. Netscape also plans to enter the Internet broadcast arena with Constellation, which allows users to automatically receive information channels from ordinary Web servers into browsers. Interestingly, Netscape will also announce deals with two pioneers in the area of Net broadcasting, PointCast and Marimba. I’m interested to see how Netscape can unite competitors in this growing market.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,5480,00.html

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HOSTING
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*Online Merchant Standard
Along the lines of Internet standards, a group of merchant Web sites have formed a new logo program, called shop.org, for merchants whose sites meet minimum requirements for security, product quality and merchandise guarantees. Participants, reviewed by The Public Eye, include GardenEscape, GolfWeb, Internet Shopping Network, iVillage, and Virtual Vineyards. This program should help instill a degree of confidence with Internet consumers.
http://www.news.com/

*TV Web Access Heats Up
WebTV is turning up the heat on TV Internet access competition with low prices and service upgrade including RealAudio 2.0. In response, Bandai Digital Entertainment has delayed the release of its much-touted Pippin@World Internet appliance to December 1, and has lowered its price from $599 to $500. Analysts believe Pippin@World, may flop due to competitive pricing from WebTV, Net TV and Sega as well as upcoming products from Sanyo Electric, Samsung Electronics, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony and Zenith.
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,5199,00.html


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MARKETING
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*Surprising Internet Revenue Projections
As Internet-related companies try vigorously to succeed in a decidedly noisy industry, analysts and CEOs debate over where the real money will be made. Hambrecht & Quist recently released revenue projections for various market segments for the year 2000. The numbers are somewhat surprising. Currently, the client software market is valued at $185 million, and is estimated to increase to $500 million. While this is a large increase, it is small compared to the burgeoning marketing and publishing segment, currently at $2 million, is projected to be $800 million by 2000. Two other strong market segments include security and multimedia, both estimated at $500 million. The server, system, tools, search, content management and enterprise are all projected at $300 million.
http:www.zdmag.com


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TOP WEB PICKS
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*The Electronic Library
The Electric Library makes it possible to conduct quick and easy research, using a deep database of reliable sources. With The Electric Library, any person can pose a question in plain English and launch a comprehensive, simultaneous search through more than 150 full-text newspapers, nearly 800 full-text magazines, two international newswires, two thousand classic books, hundreds of maps, thousands of photographs, as well as major works of literature and art. Originally designed as a pay-per-use service, the site now relies on advertising revenue.
http://www2.elibrary.com/

*SoundAmerica
Looking for a favorite cartoon or movie sound to put on your computer? SoundAmerica is the solution for you. This comprehensive directory offers complete sound archives including cartoons, comedy and movies.
http://www.link-net.com/sounds/

*SPAM Haiku
Poets and SPAM fans will love the SPAM Haiku archive, which contains over 5,000 contributed haikus on this country’s most famous, least understood meat-like product. I recommend reading the first 100, then submitting your own.
http://www.naic.edu/~jcho/spam/archive.html

*Urban Legends Archive
According to this site, an urban legend appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society’s conventions), makes good storytelling, does not have to be false, although most are. Urban Legends often have a basis in fact, but it’s their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest. Read up on some of the most interesting stories anyone has ever told.
http://www.urbanlegends.com

*ZooWorks
Tired of losing track of valuable information with confusing bookmarks? ZooWorksPE ends the frustration and inefficiency by automatically recording every keyword on every web page you visit. Once Web sites are registered, a quick search will bring up desired information from previously visited sites. The easy to use interface allows you to easily view, search, and manage this captured Web information with any popular browser supporting HTTP 1.0 and HTML 2.0. Be cautioned that the search is only as accurate as the information registered by the user.
http://www.zoosoft.com/zooworks/

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