Crazy stockmarket valuations of internet companies makes the headlines again this week with the FT warning that the "crash will come". The firm that brought you the wind up radio, is working on a handful of other wind up devices, DVD hardware and software is finally selling in sufficient volumes to go mainstream in '99, David Hewson loves his new graphics card, and the mobile phone is soon to be heard ringing and annoying the hell out of people on London Underground tube trains. Did I miss something? If you spot an interesting item about computing or the Internet, send it to me, Eugene Lacey, Editor in Chief of ZDNet UK. I have an exclusive ZDNet pen to send out for every item published in Lacey's Paper Round.
DVD hardware and software sales increase sharply -- Financial Times
DVD is set to take off in 1999, according to the FT. "Arguably the best news for the electronics industry this year has been the steep increase in sales of DVD video hardware and software in North America and, more recently, in Europe"..."There are 2000 titles on sale in the US this Christmas but only 500 in Europe. However, the range of titles is increasing rapidly and it is now standard practice in the US for blockbuster films to come out on DVD at the same time as the video cassette.". Financial Times, December 18, 1999.
London Underground's status as a cellphone free zone to end -- The Daily Telegraph
For those readers who live in London I have either good or bad news, depending on your view of the use of mobile phones in public places. "London Underground is within days of signing a £1 billion contract with a consortium led by Racal Electronics which will allow passengers to use mobile telephones throughout its 106 miles of tunnels." The Daily Telegraph, December 9, 1999.
Millennium bug already creating problems for FTSE 500 firms -- Financial Times
According to a report in the FT last week, many big firms are already experiencing difficulties due to the millenium bug. "one third of the UK's larger companies had already suffered disruption as a consequence of the millennium bomb, the government agency charged with raising awareness of the problem said yesterday." Financial Times, December 17, 1998.
PC and good graphics card still better for games than consoles -- Sunday Times
The Sunday Times' David Hewson is uncharacteristically delighted with a new purchase, an 'Edge' graphics card for his PC. "in five minutes, I had a transformed PC. All three games (Actua Soccer 3, MS Combat Flight Simulator, and Star Wars -- Rogue Squadron) could now be played at maximum resolution, with no loss of performance...So,for less than the cost of a PlayStation and one overpriced console game, you get a new lease of life for your PC...For pure value, products like the Pace Edge blow average games consoles out of the water.". David Hewson, Sunday Times, December 20, 1998.
You've heard of the wind up radio -- now get set for the laptop -- Financial Times
The Financial Times' Meg Carter profiles the BayGen Power Group, owners of the wind-up radio technolgy invented by Briton, Trevor Baylis. "The company is developing prototypes of a broad rnage of other self-powered products including a mobile phone generator, a land mine detector, a global positioning system and a mobile computer"..."We want to build a new industry for portable, self-powered consumer electronics products," says Rory Stear, BayGen chairman and chief executive.' Financial Times, December 21, 1998.
Internet insanity -- "a crash will come" -- Financial Times, Lex Column
The FT's Lex Column comments on continuing "Internet insanity" which it says "no longer has anything to do with fundamentals -- if it ever had -- and everything to do with liquidity. These stocks have been driven up by private "high tech" investors, who buy and sell through the internet and treat the stockmarket like a computerised game of chicken...But a crash will come. And it would be ironic indeed if it were the reluctant institutional buyers, rather than the gung-ho private punters, who were left holding the baby." Financial Times, Lex Column, December 21, 1998.