By far the best story of the week, is The Economist's detailed examination of the rise, and rise, and imminent fall of Internet stocks. Not to be missed. Other gems were Lex's comment on the success of ARM, the Wall Street Journal's report on a potential Y2K-triggered drugs shortage and the FT on the rise of green computing. Did I miss something? If you spot an interesting item about computers or the Net in the printed press drop me an email and tell me about it. I have an exclusive ZDNet pen for all entries published.
ARM has flourished despite "stuffy" Cambridge -- Financial Times
The FT's Lex Column praises ARM for establishing a thriving business in the face of tough competition from abroad. "Acorn, however, has sprouted one such oddity: a successful UK-based chip design company. Note the double disadvantage: stuffy Cambridge versus gung-ho California" Financial Times, Lex Column, February 3, 1999.
Internet retail worth only 5% of total retail sales by 2004 -- The Economist
Plenty of sharp pins are being stabbed at the Internet bubble in the press these days. The Economist dipped its spike in some sharp facts before jabbing. In the cover story published on 30/1/99, it quotes Forrester who "predicts that by 2003,Internet retail sales will hit $108 billion as 40m American households make purchases online."... But, and it is big but, "The total value of American retail sales in 1998 was around $1.7 trillion."..."the Internet will five years from now account for no more than 5% of total retail sales.". And even early front runners are not certain successes - "Amazon could yet become a $10 billion business with the profits of a corner shop." The Economist, January 30, 1999.
EU directive places "green computing" top of the agenda in 1999 -- Financial Times
The FT reports on the growing interest in green computing. "The European Commission is expected to ratify the Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the first quarter. This will require individual states to pass legislation that will oblige manufacturers to take responsibility for collecting old computers for recycling. Financial Times, February 3, 1999.
Drug companies fear hoarding as Y2K approaches -- Wall Street Journal
According to the Wall Street Journal drugs "Manufacturers say they are hearing reports of doctors advising patients to stock up as January 1, 2000, approaches"..."A surge in demand could quickly tax capacity." Wall Street Journal, February 3, 1999.
BT will invest £5bn for high speed Internet links into the home -- Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph reports on a BT's "realignment of our investment away from narrow band strategy...The really important thing is that we don't have to dig up the roads again, because we started laying the right type of cable five years ago: as the technology changes we will just change the boxes at the end of the fibre." The Daily Telegraph, February 4, 1999.
Don't write off Microsoft yet in DoJ trial -- Business Week
As a bad week for Microsoft in the DoJ trial draws to a close, Business week advises against writing off the software giant prematurely. "Does Judge Jackson order a company to pull apart its product - one used by millions of consumers? And is he really ready to dictate what should be in an operating system? For these reasons, Microsoft may still come out with Windows fully intact." Business Week, February 15, 1999.