The IT press has had its head turned once again by another set of extraordinary price rises in Internet stocks. The inexorable rise continues to defy gravity - but countless commentators from The Times to Business Week warn of a hard landing ahead.
Better news suggests that the Y2K bug may not be the international disaster it was first thought and an American university has developed a wireless LAN. Fun stuff - and an apology for the non-delivery of Paper Round last week. I had no time to monitor the press, as I was busy monitoring the progress of my new son, Ciaran.
"Buying frenzy overinflates most Net stocks" - Business Week
Business Week reports on the rise and rise of Internet stocks as Yahoo and Amazon sore to all time highs. But will it end in tears? BW quotes Banc America's Robertson Stephens, who thinks it will. "even the top companies are overvalued by his generous yardstick - selling for more than 50 times his estimate of their earnings per share in 2001".
Business Week, July 20, 1998.
Bubble will burst for hot Internet stocks - The Times
Anatole Kaletsky argues in The Times that established media companies will fight back successfully against wired newcomers such as Yahoo! "Internet euphoria can accurately be described as a bubble"..."It is almost inconceivable that any information or technology company, however successful, will sustain in the long run the sort of market valuation now attached to Microsoft".
The Times, July 21, 1998.
Wireless LAN for university campus - The Economist
The Economist reports on an experiment at Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. which will shortly provide an extensive wireless LAN for all students. "Merely by switching on their laptops, users are automatically linked to a whole network, just as if they had logged on to a desktop PC connected to an ordinary hard-wired LAN."
The Economist, July 18, 1998.
IT Skills shortage to continue after 2000 - Financial Times
The FT reports on a claim that the UK's IT skills shortage will continue long after Y2K problems have been fixed. The report is based on a survey by an IT staff agency, DP Connect, which spoke to 120 IT professionals. "77.8 per cent said they believed the skills shortage would continue indefinitely due to the pace of technological change."
Financial Times, July 14, 1998.
Y2K bug - a Western problem? - Wall Street Journal
The WSJ reports on two Asian countries who will not be panicking about the Y2K bug. "Many companies and government agencies in Thailand are sitting pretty. It turns out they use the Buddhist calendar, which is already at year 2541... Meanwhile, in 1989 Japanese retailers and banks switched over to a new year numbering "era" after Emperor Hirohito died, and many used the occasion to update their computers to handle four-digit years instead of the two-digit years at the root of the problem."
Wall Street Journal, July 17, 1998.