17 syllables
    bm 1998



October 1999 Archive


The U.S. government is expected to lobby for a "permanent global ban" on Internet taxation at next month's controversial WTO summit in Seattle. [10.01.99]

When scientists set out to develop an AI that could design a bridge, they started the way any good architect does: with Legos. [10.01.99]

Don't forget: The new film adaptation of Animal Farm (featuring Babe-style talking animal wizardry from Jim Henson's Creature Shop) premieres Sunday night on TNT. [10.01.99]

Increasingly, tech industry terminology is gaining mindshare among "ordinary people". [10.04.99]

After the security of its Web site was repeatedly compromised, one company decided nobody would bother trying to hack a site that looked like it had been hacked already. "If they wanted to make us look stupid, we decided to help them out," the marketing guy said. [10.04.99]

You know those special calling cards that only let you call a certain number so teens can always call home? UPS is offering the same sort of thing to companies without Internet access -- a dial-up account that only lets you access one site. [10.04.99]

Reading reviews of the recent movies Happy, Texas and Mystery, Alaska makes me want to go back and watch Vernon, Florida, Paris, Texas, or even Truth or Consequences, N.M.. (However, Feeling Minnesota and Raising Arizona don't count.) [10.04.99]

Despite what the flight attendants tell you, the prohibition of cell phones on airplanes has nothing to do with preserving your safety -- and everything to do with preserving airline and phone company profits. [10.05.99]

With great power comes great responsibility: Police departments are testing out web shooters to stop evildoers in their tracks. (Also, cop buzzwords seem to be just as brain-twisting as tech jargon: watch for phrases like "non-pain-compliant" and "outside the reaction gap".) [10.05.99]

Can improved information design help investors make more money? [10.05.99]

Money magazine's annual ranking of the best places to live in America is out. San Francisco, of course. New York, sure. But where the hell is Rochester, Minnesota? [10.06.99]

Disney's Go Network is jumping into the online auction business -- but they may be limiting their own growth potential with their policy of manually screening every auction for content that doesn't meet Uncle Walt's standards. [10.06.99]

Worried about coming down with that nasty Y2K bug you've heard so much about? Just take a pill. [10.06.99]

Sure, it's easy for eBay to pick on the little guy when it comes to trying to shut down auction site content aggregators. But locking horns with Apple may prove somewhat more challenging. [10.07.99]

At least they didn't call it iKnife: Victorinox is introducing a new Swiss Army Knife featuring 34 of the tools computer hardware technicians need most. And you can tell it's a product for techies because of its translucent styling. [10.07.99]

Not only will cell phones give you cancer and cause planes to fall from the sky, but they'll also cause objects in your vicinity to spontaneously combust. Also, I hear that if you drop one you get seven years of bad luck. [10.07.99]

According to the Pez people, my use of the word Pez in this sentence is a violation of Pez trademarks and makes me subject to prosecution by Pez Candy in defense of the Pez name. Pez Pez Pez. Pez. [10.11.99]

Oingo is a new search engine that seems to actually do what Ask Jeeves merely claims to do. (Danny Elfman could not be reached for comment.) [10.11.99]

Okay, you're on a family theme park vacation. Which would you rather do: ride the rollercoasters or watch some hapless wage-slave fiddle with AOL? [10.12.99]

Scientists report promising results from tests aimed at treating depression with the neurological equivalent of a pacemaker. [10.12.99]

I guess it's not too surprising that somebody would use the Web to aggregate information about the dangers of cigarette smoking. But it is surprising when that somebody is Philip Morris. (The company is spending $100 million to come clean about the risks associated with its products.) [10.13.99]

Items considered harmful for children to have in school: guns, drugs, and Harry Potter books. [10.13.99]

On last night's episode of Nova, it was suggested that getting objects bigger than a photon to exhibit the quantum wave-particle effect could unlock the secrets of time travel. In today's New Scientist, one research team says they've gotten buckyballs to do exactly that. [10.13.99]

Will systems like Epinions' Web of Trust be able to protect us from corporate flacks posing as unbiased consumers? [10.14.99]

Tonight, witness another milestone in the evolution of broadcast television. [10.14.99]

Ticketmaster-CitySearch has issued a formal statement defending its prohibition of deep links into its Web sites. [10.15.99]

A lawyer in one tobacco industry class-action suit says Philip Morris's new web site is in violation of the court's gag order and is asking the judge to order the company to take it down. [10.15.99]

Just the other day, as I was looking at my watch, my alarm clock, my VCR, and my computer, trying to figure out which one to trust, I was bemoaning the fact that there was no authoritative source on the Web I could rely on to find out what time it really is. Well, now there is. [10.15.99]

If you want to know the resolution to last week's cliffhanger episode of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, you'll have to submit the winning bid for the ending on eBay. [10.18.99]

Neiman Marcus is jumping into the e-commerce fray just in time for the holiday buying season. But where's the cookie recipe? [10.18.99]

As the authorities stumble and fumble, and the auction site absolves itself of any responsibility, defrauded eBay users take matters into their own hands. [10.18.99]

Hail, Britannica! [10.19.99]

On Monday, georgewbush.com migrated its server platform from Unix to NT. On Tuesday, it became the first presidential candidate's site ever hacked. Draw your own conclusions. [10.19.99]

Fail, Britannica! [10.20.99]

In their eagerness to exploit Internet grass-roots marketing after the success of The Blair Witch Project, studio publicists are discovering it's a double-edged sword. [10.20.99]

Voice chat is primed to become the CB radio of the 21st Century. [10.21.99]

Okay, Nike's selling shoes online. Great. What I want to know is: Did somebody really think Air Famished was a clever name for a shoe? [10.21.99]

With established sites now scrambling to assimilate every new bit of functionality that comes along, does the proverbial tiny startup with a big idea stand a chance? [10.22.99]

I thought there was something familiar about that creepy, surreal new commercial for Micron -- turns out it was directed by Terry Gilliam. [10.22.99]

Somebody stop these people before they brand something else! [10.22.99]

The MPAA is joining forces with Corporate America in pressuring Congress to allow them to take domain name speculators to court. (Update: It worked.) Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has ruled that trademark holders can't sue registrars for allowing such domains to exist in the first place. [10.26.99]

Is Excite's acquisition of greeting card site Blue Mountain Arts really adding value for consumers -- or just a high-stakes ploy to exploit weaknesses in the Media Metrix ranking system? [10.27.99]

Tired of watching all their friends get rich, the folks at Feed are putting the word out that they're looking for similarly beleaguered sites to join them in creating an IPO-worthy indie zine network. [10.27.99]

This Web thingy just keeps getting better and better. First Britannica jumped in (though they're still too popular for their own good), and now you can get all of National Geographic's maps online. [10.27.99]

Add Hollywood stunt double to the list of occupations soon to be made obsolete by digital technology. [10.28.99]

While everybody else is jumping into e-commerce, Levi's is jumping out. [10.29.99]

Today's Salon documents how Paramount's bungling is killing the Star Trek franchise. [10.29.99]

It's not the witches in the woods the residents of Burkittsville, Maryland are scared of -- it's the tourists. [10.29.99]