telecom headlines

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 08:37:33 -0800 (PST)

Title: FTC Plans Net Sweep To Check On Industry Self-Regulation
Source: Telecom AM---feb. 10, 1998
<http://www.telecommunications.com/am/>
Issue: Internet Regulation
Description: The Federal Trade Commission plans to survey more than 1,200
Web sites next month to
determine whether industry self-regulation is working, a top Commission
official said. Lee Peeler, FTC associate director of advertising
practices,
said that Commission staffers will examine the 100 most-visited Web sites
and 200 sites aimed at children. Peeler said the FTC sweep will be a way
to
determine the extent to which the online industry has kept promises it has
made over the last three years to develop policies on privacy and
information distribution. [See the FTC's website at <http://www.ftc.gov/>]

Source: New York Times (CyberTimes)
<http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/surf/021198mind.html>
Author: Ashley Dunn
Issue: InfoTech
Description: "The Brain," developed by Natrificial, based in Santa Monica,
CA, is the latest interface entry created to help us process through the
mass amounts of information on the Internet. The program is a
two-dimensional interface that gives users the ability to link pieces of
information to what Natrificial calls "thoughts." The thought can be a
word
processing document, a Web page or a topic point. When a group of thoughts
are connected, they make up the structure of your personal "brain." When
you
click on a thought, it moves to the center of your screen so all of its
immediate links are displayed. This design was created to be similar to
the
human mind. Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research
and
Development in 1945 and who wrote the ground breaking essay "As We May
Think", described the human brain as one which "operates by association.
With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is
suggested
by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of
trails carried by the cells of the brain." One of difficulties we
encounter
today is that our modern interfaces force a linear vision of information
instead of a true associative process for organizing information. "The
idea
behind The Brain is that the user constructs the organization of their
information as they work. Thus all the data on your computer and the Net
are
not lumped together by category or function, but rather by how you use
it."

Title: A Web Pioneer Does a Delicate Dance With Microsoft
Source: Wall Street Journal (B1)
<http://wsj.com/>
Author: Kara Swisher
Issue: Merger/Antitrust
Description: RealNetworks, who has popularized the use of real-time audio
and video on the Web, now stands squarely in the path of the strategy that
has drawn Microsoft into trouble with antitrust regulators: emulating
innovative products, integrating them into its operating systems and then
giving them away free. RealNetworks' daunting task is to prove it can do a
better job of outmaneuvering Microsoft than Netscape. Rob Glaser, owner of
RealNetworks, insists he and the software giant can coexist. "I learned an
amazing amount from Bill. We knew we could either compete head-on like
Netscape or do something a lot more interesting." His strategy is known
internally as "coopetition." He sold a nonvoting 10% stake to Microsoft
for
$30 million, and licensed RealNetworks' technology to Microsoft for
another
$30 million. Microsoft also agreed to bundle RealNetworks' software with
Internet Explorer.

Title: PolyGram Establishes Panel to Focus On Internet Effects
Source: Wall Street Journal (B6)
<http://wsj.com/>
Author: Charles Goldsmith
Issue: Internet Commerce
Description: PolyGram named a board-level panel to devise a strategy for
dealing with the Internet's nascent but potentially sweeping effects on
the
entertainment industry. PolyGram's move to formulate a comprehensive
Internet strategy underscores a new Internet focus for the world's $40
billion recorded music industry. The major record labels initially adopted
an arms-length approach to on-line technology but are now analyzing both
the
promise of Internet-based sales and the dangers of people skirting
copyrights by downloading music off the 'Net as digital compression
technology rapidly improves. "We take it as a very, very serious matter,"
PolyGram President and CEO Alan Levy said. While he expressed doubts that
consumers would abandon traditional record stores in favor of the
Internet,
"I wouldn't like to be wrong, because it could have very dire consequences
for the company."

Title: Kodak to Buy Stake in PictureVision In Bid to Lift Internet Photo
Business
Source: Wall Street Journal (B10)
<http://wsj.com/>
Author: Jon G. Auerbach
Issue: Merger
Description: Eastman Kodak, trying to energize its Internet-based
photography business, has agreed to purchase a majority stake in its
biggest
online competitor. Kodak said it plans to announce an agreement to acquire
a 51% stake in closely held PictureVision Inc. The move signals Kodak's
determination to stick with a strategy of developing a significant
Internet-based business. Mr. Gustin, Kodak's chief marketing officer said
that the service is "very appealing...to people who get really involved
with their pictures." Kodak's Internet strategy isn't without risks, as it
is widely believed that as computer printers grow better and cheaper,
customers will eschew the photo shop altogether and print Internet
pictures
at home. The company is betting that enough consumers will lack the
scanners, the printers, or the time, and would prefer to let someone else
do
the work.

Title: Apple Technology Picked by Panel To Be a Standard
Source: Wall Street Journal (B10)
<http://wsj.com/>
Author: Jim Carlton
Issue: Standards
Description: An industry panel selected Apple Computer's QuickTime
technology as a standard in a new multimedia specification for the
Internet,
providing a psychological boost to the beleaguered computer maker as well
as
a rare victory over rival Microsoft. The International Standards
Organization adopted a proposal to use the QuickTime File Format by a
group
of companies, comprised of Apple, IBM, Netscape, Oracle, Silicon Graphics,
and Sun. In doing so, the panel rejected a proposal by Microsoft to base
the
so-called MPEG-4 specification on that company's own Advanced Streaming
Format technology.

Title: Protect Children From Harmful TV Violence
Source: FCC
<http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Tristani/spgt803.html>
Author: Commissioner Tristani
Issue: Children's Television/V-chip
Description: FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani, in a speech to the Puerto
Rican Congress on Television Violence in San Juan, PR, said it is "First
and
most clearly...the obligation of the parents to protect their children
from
television and the tools to protect their children from material that they
believe is inappropriate...[and] can help make sure that parents have a
good
alternative to violent programming." While parents have the primary
responsibility to protect children from inappropriate programming,
Commissioner Tristani also noted the responsibilities of the entertainment
industry to acknowledge the importance of reducing the level of violence
on
programs that children watch, and of society to convey to the industry, to
children and to each other that harmful violence in such programming will
not be tolerated. [Remarks available in Spanish
<http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Tristani/spgts803.html>]

Title: In Next FCC Auction, the Wealthy Will Get the Discount
Source: Washington Post (D1,D4)
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-02/12/126l-021298-idx.html>
Author: Mike Mills
Issue: Spectrum
Description: Next Wednesday the Federal Communications Commission will
auction hundreds of the biggest chunks of radio spectrum ever sold. "The
licenses will allow owners to beam high-speed Internet, telephone and
video
services into homes and offices nationwide. The FCC tried to ensure that
small businesses and entrepreneurs get an advantage in the bidding,
through
rules that allow qualified winners big discounts off their winning bids.
But
an analysis of the list of bidders shows that the discounts will mostly
benefit wealthy venture capitalists, as well as companies that are already
well established in their business. Most of the small entrepreneurial
companies that pushed hardest for a place at the auctions were shut out of
the bidding because they could not borrow money to bid for licenses."

Title: Spectrum Reallocation Report
Source: NTIA
<http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/reports/bba97.html>
Issue: Spectrum
Description: The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and
Information
Administration released the Spectrum Reallocation Report. The report,
which
identifies 20 megahertz of radio frequency spectrum below 3 gigahertz for
reallocation from Federal to non-Federal use, was mandated by Title III of
the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The 20 megahertz identified for
reallocation is to be assigned by the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) to non-Federal users through the process of competitive bidding
prior
to 2002. Secretary of Commerce Daley signed the report on February 9,
1998,
in accordance with the statuatory requirements in the legislation.

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu