Internet Story: 07 Dec 1998
In-car PC launched Clarion, the US car radio maker, has announced the 1st in-car PC, called AutoPC. This is a Windows CE device with a voice-activated, customizable, high-end, digital, audio system including AM/FM tuner and CD player, personal contact information, email, navigation system - and the capability to synch up with a Windows CE-based Handheld PC or Palm-size PC. It is in limited supply in the US at the moment and is expected to be more widely available in mid-January 1999. However, at prices ranging from $2,200 to $2,500 it's quite expensive. The entry level model (no GPS, etc.) comes in at $1,299. This is just the start of a whole new market of in-car devices.
UK Libraries get £3M Libraries in England are to get another £3M to buy computers and help turn them into "street corner universities", according to a BBC report today. £2M is to come from the Wolfson Foundation and £1M from the government.
Website for Finding Missing Kids A pilot scheme website being run by Scotland Yard's Missing Persons Bureau and Hertfordshire Police will go live on the 18th of December 1998. Police will monitor the number of visitors to the site, and if it proves a success, the scheme could be extended nationwide, and also expand to show details of missing adults. See BBC report for more details.
Shrinks Online It had to happen; psycho analysis online. Dr. Russell Razzaque from Birmingham (no, not Alabama, in the good 'ol midlands of the UK!) has opened his door for business called, the "CyberAnalysis Clinic" . He's not your garden variety of Freudian analyst, he primarily practices Cognitive Analytical Therapy, though he also states he practices, "a combination of the most effective elements of several schools of psychotherapy: Cognitive Analytical Therapy, Client Centered Therapy, Freudian Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Transactional Analysis and Personal Construct Therapy". Dr. Razzaque's therapy typically involves one preliminary session (55 minutes for $65), followed by more intensive sessions booked in groups of four (50 minutes each, $250 for the four) and punctuated by strategic emails containing specific analytical tools and perspectives. His aim is not just to analyze people but to help them analyze themselves. Click here for a description of the process.
UK will follow the US into E-commerce hypergrowth Forrester Research predicts that Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany will follow the United States into hypergrowth in rapid succession. In their "Commercial Threshold" report they estimate that global Internet commerce sales will reach $3.2 trillion in 2003 if governments and businesses collaborate (as the UK government is promising to do). If there is no collaboration they predict that sales will only reach $1.8 trillion. Forrester noted that each country interested in pursuing Internet commerce will face a threshold - a window of opportunity in which the public and private sectors must act in order to grow rapidly. Forrester also assessed the readiness of 53 countries for Internet commerce, projecting the time it would take to achieve market saturation, and estimated the impact of e-commerce on business revenues. The study took into account the quality of the infrastructure, the likely level of demand, and the existing regulatory environment. Based on Forrester's analysis of current technology, the long-term impact of Internet commerce will fall between 7.5 percent and 17.5 percent of total sales in an industrialized economy. The report also noted Japan, France, and Italy will lag behind, held back by structural rigidity, inadequate Internet infrastructure, and relatively low Internet commerce demand.
Gecko - The new Netscape Engine The rumors were true. It was announced a few hours ago at the Builder.Com conference, and it's called Gecko (those lizards are everywhere at Netscape :-)). "The analogy we use is the television set: The heart of the TV is a picture tube; that's similar to the browsing engine we've created. We're not trying to create a device or an operating system; we're just providing the engine that lets you access the Web from any application, running on any operating system on any device." (Chris Saito, director of product marketing for client software at Netscape.) At 1.4 megabytes, Gecko is the most compact browsing engine Netscape has delivered so far. Saito added. "We think it's going to usher in an era of 'Write once, browse anywhere.' " This is a preview release for developers only and the full release is slated for early 1999.
Andrew Stringer, © Pendle.Net Ltd, 1998