17 syllables
    bm 1998



February 1999 Archive


There have been a lot of theories about the origin of AIDS over the years -- from government conspiracy to scientific experiment gone awry -- but the latest evidence indicates the real cause is people eating monkeys. (Genetically speaking, isn't that 99 percent of the way toward cannibalism?) [2.1.99]

You never know where a typo will take you. [2.1.99]

Advertising Age rates the Super Bowl ads. Dvorak's got his tech-ads-only analysis, but he saw a bunch I didn't. (Must be a Bay Area thing.) [2.1.99]

When just one portal simply won't do: From Sweden comes Metaportal. [2.1.99]

You've got MovieFone! [2.1.99]

SJ Merc columnist David Plotnikoff skewers self-important Web awards. [2.2.99]

As pressure on Microsoft to ship an operating system -- any operating system -- in 1999 grows, are they backing away from their ambitious NT migration strategy? [2.2.99]

It hasn't changed much in approximately forever, but what the hell: Go spend some time with SpinnWebe. It'll make you a better person. [2.2.99]

Games in which players blast defenseless animals aren't that much fun when the shoe's on the other foot, are they? [2.3.99]

Andrew Leonard reviews SC3K for Salon. [2.3.99]

As coverage from Wired and Salon sends bids for eBay's CSotY award through the roof, the seller decides to give the final bid amount to charity. [2.3.99]

Peacefire's still fighting the good fight, providing filtering software hack-arounds for the masses. [2.3.99]

Can this be possible? A cross-platform, net-centric, cutting-edge-3D space combat game -- think QuakeWorld meets Wing Commander -- and it's freeware?!? [2.3.99]

As much as I support Rykodisc's move to MP3, I think it just won't be the same without those green jewel cases. [2.4.99]

File under "be true to your school": Less than six months after repositioning MacWEEK as the cross-platform eMediaweekly, the publishers shut it down altogether. [2.4.99]

I'm reserving judgment on this one, but it's hard to imagine a Microsoft patent on key Web technologies being a good thing for the medium. [2.4.99]

Pepperidge Farm wins the latest round in the fish-shaped-cracker wars. [2.4.99]

The judge says no to Sony's attempt to stop Connectix from shipping Virtual Game Station. [2.5.99]

Plastic transistors could mean silicon's days are numbered. [2.5.99]

Pressure is building for online publishers to come up with an ethical standard regarding the line between content and advertising. [2.5.99]

So if you get seven years of bad luck for dropping a mirror in your house, how much bad luck do you get for dropping a giant space mirror into the Earth's atmosphere? (Not that Russia needs any more bad luck...) [2.5.99]

Whatever you might expect to find at www.mammals.org, this probably isn't it. [2.8.99]

"We'll give you a computer and free Internet access if you let us track your every move." [2.8.99]

Betcha never thought Suck and "Silk Stalkings" would be part of the same family. Lycos finds its sugar daddy in -- ewww! -- USA Networks. [2.9.99]

Stephen Kings of the world unite! [2.9.99]

It just goes to show you there's no such thing as an original idea. I thought of this one a couple of weeks ago. [2.9.99]

Everywhere you look, legal experts who once supported Microsoft are now saying the company has bungled its case so badly that it deserves to lose. [2.9.99]

Someone finally put a site at one of my most common typos: www.enws.com. (Beware: Porn and pop-ups galore.) Can www.scirpting.com be far behind? [2.9.99]

Noah Wyle I'm not too sure about, but Anthony Michael Hall unquestionably was born to play Bill Gates. [2.9.99]

When you think of a Web server, you think of a hulking machine in a refrigerated room somewhere, right? Think again. [2.10.99]

If harassing random strangers over the telephone in their homes and offices has become old hat, liven things up with this massive database of payphone numbers. [2.10.99]

Battle of the Cringelys. This must be what it's like when the various actors who played Dr. Who run into each other at sci-fi conventions. [2.10.99]

Would you pay to be included in Yahoo? [2.10.99]

Playboy takes issue with search engines selling its trademarked keywords to the highest bidder. [2.11.99]

When Steve Jobs first envisioned Macs in colorful plastic cases, I don't think this is what he had in mind. [2.11.99]

In today's Feed Daily, Steven Johnson asks the musical question, "Can a web publication attract an audience on the strengths of its links?" Hmmm... I've been wondering that myself lately. [2.11.99]

As Nintendo tries to stop distribution of an N64 emulator for Windows, a devious programmer releases the source code to the world. Update: Looks like that wasn't really the source code at all. [2.11.99]

Everybody hates getting them, but they can be cool in their own way. [2.11.99]

After months of holding out, a speculator finally sells his highly coveted domain name. The price: a lifetime supply of roses for his wife. Now don't get all mushy on me! [2.12.99]

Slate gives it away. [2.12.99]

Today's the day when Linux users worldwide try to get Microsoft to honor its license agreement and give them a refund for Windows. [2.15.99]

Microsoft's Cool project (not to be confused with Project Cool) looks like another attempt to steal Java's thunder. [2.15.99]

Just be careful opening it: The Unabomber's autobiography is on its way. [2.15.99]

Watch the skies over Area 51, Roswell and other UFO hotspots. [2.15.99]

While Mac users wait for Opera, a German upstart jumps in with the impressive-looking iCab, featuring full HTML 4.0 support, the ability to bookmark entire framesets, and nifty HTML debugging features. (An English version is due soon; in the meantime, you may need Babelfish to read about it.) [2.16.99]

Reality Distortion Field in full effect: Does anybody honestly believe that Steve Jobs is about to sell both Apple and Pixar to Disney -- and then take Michael Eisner's job? Update: AppleInsider now says the rumor "may have been part of a misinformation campaign." [2.16.99]

The "deep linking" lawsuit between Ticketmaster and Microsoft Sidewalk seems to have been settled quietly out of court. In the absence of a legal precedent, the issue for the rest of the Web -- how much control sites can have over inbound links -- remains unresolved. [2.16.99]

Not only is Lycos's pending merger with Ticketmaster-CitySearch on shaky ground, but its acquisition of Wired Digital may be coming apart as well. [2.17.99]

I'm probably not the only one surprised to discover that Geoworks is still in business. I had GEOS on my Commodore back in the day; now it runs on cell phones and PDAs. [2.17.99]

Note to Wired News copy desk: Intel's CEO is named Craig, not Greg. Update: They fixed it. But it said Greg before, I swear! [2.17.99]

To combat creative stagnation in their industry, a group of independent game developers has put together a showcase modeled on the Sundance Fim Festival. [2.18.99]

Well, it took them long enough. GoTo.com is finally suing Disney over the similarity between the Go Network's logo and their own. [2.18.99]

Apparently some people are having trouble with one of Apple's new monitors. The official fix: Give it a good whack. "Using moderate force will not damage your display." [2.19.99]

Two new class-action suits against Microsoft could force the company to cough up the refunds it refused to provide earlier this week. [2.19.99]

The new speed of light: 38 miles per hour. [2.19.99]

Adam Hinkley has his day in court as he tries to regain ownership of the Hotline source code from his former business partners. [2.22.99]

"I dare you to bundle an operating system other than Windows." [2.22.99]

Disney calls the Go Network's high ranking in the Media Metrix top 25 "a great testimony to the success of the network." I call it a great testimony to the inherent flaws in current Web traffic measurement techniques. [2.22.99]

PC e-commerce roundup: Compaq out, Acer in. [2.23.99]

Somebody made off with over $100,000 worth of Thin Mints in what I'm sure Hollywood will call The Great Girl Scout Cookie Heist. [2.23.99]

One from Slashdot: The customized Hummer Taco Bell gave away in conjunction with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition is now for sale on eBay. [2.23.99]

Americans consume over five times as much Ritalin as the rest of the world put together. [2.23.99]

Alan Greenspan fans are known for their irrational exuberance, but only true fans would shell out 85 bucks for this creepy lithograph of the good doctor. [2.23.99]

File under "coulda been funnier than it was": Apple Employee Fired For Thinking Different in the Onion. [2.23.99]

The Wall Street Journal reports (via Evil MSNBC) that the average cost of a banner ad continues to decline. But as the spread between highly targeted niche publications and mass-market sites widens, this particular number becomes less and less meaningful. [2.24.99]

Some amusing platform bias in today's Salon, as Hotline's CEO proclaims Mac users "more knowledgeable" than their PC counterparts, and PC users get the blame for turning the Hotline community into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Update: Part two covers the "highly emotional" legal feud over the Hotline source code. [2.24.99]

Wired News mourns the end of the line for the Satellite of Love. [2.25.99]

Web publishers in need of revenue streams are now experimenting with premium content services as an alternative to banner ads and subscription fees. [2.25.99]

EarthLink tried to use eBay as a free advertising vehicle, "auctioning" Net access. For once, eBay got smart and pulled the plug. [2.25.99]

Links to a News.com article on Apple's ongoing domain-name dispute with a group of Canadian teenagers now point to a retraction. The original story seems to have vanished altogether. [2.25.99]

In the shadow realm between rigid commercial licenses and open source software lies Sun's Community Source scheme. [2.25.99]

Wouldn't it be nice if you could use the same query syntax across all Internet search engines? The Search Engine Standards Project aims to accomplish just that. [2.25.99]

It is pitch black. Your popcorn is likely to be eaten by a grue. [2.26.99]

One thing that always puzzled me about these companies that make filtering software: Why don't they play both sides against the middle? If you leave out the obvious political biases, Cybersitter's list of banned sites would make an excellent smut portal. (Thanks Peter.) [2.26.99]

With a government victory in the Microsoft trial increasingly being seen as a foregone conclusion, speculation now turns to how the company should be punished. [2.26.99]