The Top Net News in July and August 1999
Hewlett-Packard expanded its notebook line by introducing a faster, Pentium II-366 version of its OmniBook XE2 and a new unit supporting Chinese characters designed for globe-trotting users. The new OmniBook XE2 includes 64MB of SDRAM, a 6.2GB hard drive, a 128-bit graphics controller, a CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, modem, plus a choice of Windows. HP's new Chinese edition notebooks include character recognition software from Synaptics, which analyzes each stroke on the touchpad, listing a choice after every two or three characters of the most likely corresponding Chinese characters.
Entrypoint, formerly LaunchPad Technologies, acquired Pointcast--the automatically-updated news and information source--and eWallet--an automated and secure online credit card payment system--and is re-christened to position itself as the premier doorway to the Net. The EntryPoint itself is a tool bar that permanently resides on your desktop and offers icons for Net resources such as news, the stock market, sports, weather, shopping, travel, and search functions.
America Online will appeal a federal judge's decision that it doesn't have an exclusive claim to the phrases "You've got mail," "buddy list," or "IM," for Instant Messaging after AOL's claim was rejected by a US District Court. AOL (AOL) sued AT&T after last year's release of the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie "You've Got Mail." The company had contended nobody else could use the phrase "you have mail" to notify e-mail users that they have mail. AOL's claim was rejected after a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia concluded those phrases are generic and common expressions belonging to no one and available for use by all.
K-tel International (KTEL) said it will provide free downloads of oldies over the Internet from its site at http://www.ktel.com. The files are intended to promote visits to its Web site and the purchase of CDs. K-tel Chairman Philip Kives said the company owns rights to more than 35,000 music titles from the '50s through the '80s. The radio station is accessible on the K-tel site and as part of Microsoft's WindowsMedia.com.
In federal a district court in Delaware, the Seattle-based e-tailer Amazon.com said Greece residents Greg Smith and his wife deliberately copied its Web site and then offered to sell Amazon a controlling interest in it for $1.6 million. The Amazon.com (AMZN) complaint calls the Smith's offer a "thinly veiled shakedown," and said they attempted to trade of Amazon.com's success by calling their site, at http://www.amazon.gr, Greece's Biggest Bookstore. An Amazon spokesman said that with this lawsuit, Amazon is putting other Amazon.com copycats and cybersquatters on notice: You can run, but you can't hide. The Smiths' site now prominently displayed a notice saying "We are not affiliated with: Amazon.com, Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment acquired Emazing (http://www.emazing.com), a Web-based service which distributes news and information by e-mail. One of its products is Startomatic, which delivers pages that give a snapshot of headlines from Web sites. Earlier this year, Sony Music Entertainment acquired Infobeat (http://www.infobeat.com), another e-mail publisher and distributor of news and information. Sony Music new technology president Fred Ehrlich said additional "themed" e-mail services will be developed.
Expanding its offerings into toys, auctions and electronics appears to have paid off for Amazon.com (AMZN), at least in terms of Web traffic. The number of people visiting the Amazon.com domain in June rose almost 12 percent to 11.2 million, making it the 13th most popular site, according to monthly ratings released by Media Metrix (MMXI). That was the largest traffic gain reported among the top 20 Web sites. The top three Web sites were Yahoo.com (YHOO), with 32.8 million visitors, a rise of 6 percent; AOL.com (AOL), with 29.889 million and a gain of 3 percent from May, and MSN.com (MSFT) which had 22.852 million visitors, which was also 3 percent more than last month. The New York-based Web research company also said that during its June measurement, the average Internet user logged in 13.5 days, spending 49.8 minutes a day online and a total of 11.2 hours logged on during the month.
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