Silicon Valley continues to batton down the hatches for stormy market conditions, as the London Evening Standard reports on falling house prices in Palo Alto, whilst the Wall Street Journal warns against blaming all market woes on the Asian economic crisis. If all this bad news is making you feel low then reach for the chocolate. The Times reports on an innovative use of mobile telphony, where you can dial a chocolate bar at Finnish railway stations. Did I miss something? If you come across an interesting item about computers or the Internet in the printed press - send it me, Eugene Lacey, at ZDNet.
WorldCom issues "world's biggest" $6.1bn corporate bond - Financial Times
WorldCom last week issued the largest ever bond. "The world's biggest investment grade corporate bond, is part of a $12bn refinancing of the company's debt following approval of the merger (with MCI Communications) by authorities on both sides of the Atlantic."
The Financial Times, August 7, 1998.
Two PC households common, but majority still not convinced - The Economist
Personal computer owners in the UK number less than thirty "per 100 persons" according to figures published in The Economist. "In relatively mature markets, such as North America and Western Europe, households increasingly have more than one PC: old models are used as Internet access devices. That said, the number of households with PCs is climbing only gradually in these markets. In America household pentration is stuck at around 40%."
The Economist, August 8th -14th, 1998.
Dial-a-choc - another Scandinavian mobile telephony coup - The Times
As Nokia and Ericsson go from strength to strength, Scandinavia adds another first to its significant achievements in mobile telephony - the chocolate bar vending machine you can call on your cellphone. "At Finnish railway stations, vending machines sell chocolate bars displaying their own mobile number. You dial the bar you want, the cost is billed to your phone and a signal is sent to release the chocolate."
The Times, Inter//face//telecoms extra, August 5, 1998.
Asia crisis too ready a scapegoat - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Asia crisis cannot be the cause of all of the recent nervousness on Wall Street. "Many of the stock market sectors that were hit hardest in the last two weeks are among the least exposed to Asia's economic turmoil... Technology stocks, particularly semiconductors, have been relatively unscathed after being shelled for the previous six months because of their exposure to slowing PC sales and Asia's crisis."
Wall Street Journal, August 6, 1998.
Silicon Valley heading for recession - Evening Standard, Business Day
London newspaper, The Evening Standard, reports on the threat of a slump in Silicon Valley, as tech stocks get the jitters on Wall Street. "House prices are falling and workers are being laid off or being given enforced holidays by major firms... The prognosis does not look good,' said Art Zafiropoulo, chief executive of chip-toolmaker Ultratech Stepper."
London Evening Standard, Business Day, August 6, 1998.
DVD "could still turn out to be a lemon" - Sounding Off, Sunday Times
David Hewson is impressed with the DVD hardware systems that can now be assembled, despite reservations about the cost. He is less impressed with the range of titles available though - "Where's Independence Day? Where's Men in Black?... DVD availability isn't just meagre, it's downright weird." He concludes: "The price of DVD equipment is going to fall too. But it could still turn out to be a lemon."
Sunday Times, Sounding Off, August 9, 1998.