At last something other than the Internet or e-commerce has captured the imagination of the IT press. That new computer, the iMac, is what they have all been writing about this week. Paper Round selects one mention, from The Independent which reports that the sleek design for iMAc is the work of British designer Jonathan Ive. You don't get rid of the Net totally these days though - and sure enough the Sunday Times is urging everyone to go shopping online, while the FT reports on a Web surfing strike in Spain.
"Repeat after me: Online shopping is safe...online shopping is safe' Sunday Times
"Repeat after me: online shopping is safe," says the Sunday Times. "Shopping online via a secure server is safe already and about to become even safer with the imminent arrival of stronger forms of encryption." Trouble is the general public still don't believe it. According to a report by NOP: "Only one-in-10 web users - about 500,000 people - have shopped online, and numbers are rising slowly." Sunday Times, September 6, 1998.
Spanish Web surfers urged to down mice and modems and strike - Financial Times
The FT reports on a Spanish bid to force down phone prices for Net users by striking for a day by not using the Web. Internet users in Spain are facing sharp increases "as part of deregulation plans, the government set a new scale of charges. As a result, a one-hour daytime connection, previously Pta139 (92 US cents), has gone up 126 per cent to Pta314 ($2.07). There's never been a strike like this' said Vicente Robles, editor of PC Magazine's Spanish edition". Financial Times, September 3, 1998.
Apple's iMac - British designer says PC industry is "incredibly conservative" - The Independent
Jonathan Ive, the 30 year old British designer responsible for the sexy new Apple iMac says the PC industry has become "incredibly conservative from a design perspective". The iMac looks set to change that, with its sleek good looks appealing to people all over the world. Sales now stand at 400,000 units with Apple factories at full capacity churning out iMac's. Independent, September 5, 1998.
Microsoft re-writes history, as "browser" becomes a non-word - Sunday Business
Bill Gates is pretending the word "browser" doesn't exist as part of his defence in the dispute with the American Department of Justice. "Witnesses claim they don't know what a browser is. What used to be browsers are simply 'bits' of 'browsing technologies'. Mr Gates testimony appears to be part of a pattern of Microsoft attempting to rewrite history." Sunday Business, 6 September, 1998.
Psion still needs wider industry support for Symbian - Lex Column, Financial Times, September 3, 1998.
Reporting on the latest set of results from Psion, Lex observed: "Competition at the lower end of its range is biting and that will continue despite Psion's new products." Of Symbian: "What the venture will need over the next year is the vote of confidence from other industry leaders willing to become licensees." Lex Column, Financial Times, September 3, 1998.
Search engine firms cross swords as "insults are being hurled on all sides" - The European
Accusations are flying in the search engine wars as The European reports that "many search engines are believed to sell rankings to large multinationals, which pay to ensure that their site appears first on the list of results whenever a user enters certain keywords". Others resort to "straight forward trickery... word stuffing (cramming "tags" for a web page with keywords that do not match the site's actual content) or "fontmatching" (when keywords are repeated dozens or hundreds of times by setting the text colour to the colour of the background; this renders the words invisible to users but indexable by the search engines)". The European, August 31, 1998.
Sanity returns (sort of ) to stock market valuations of Internet firms - Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal reports on a "flight to quality" in the stock valuations of Internet firms. "Looking back at this summer, investors were buying almost anything Internet," says Banc America Robertson Stephens analyst, Keith Benjamin. Now "we'll see the recovery primarily in the leading franchises, starting with the franchises making money, like AOL". Wall Street Journal, September 3, 1998.