Internet: 14Jan1999

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Internet Story: 14 Jan 1999

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In this issue:

More MP3 Devices

Net Microwave

Oftel Skint?

Online Shopping in France

UK Online Pizza Ordering

More MP3 Devices  Last week Samsung, the Korean consumer electronics company, launched 3 models of MP3 players at the 1999 International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.  These credit card sized devices come with a 40Mb Flash Ram and as well as downloading MP3 files from the Net (or from your PC), they also support FM, voice recording, and provide an optional recording station (unlike the Rio - see 03Dec1998 article).  You can see the Yapp, as it is known, at it's own web site.


Net Microwave  Also from Samsung comes a first in home network devices (see 30Nov1998).  Samsung has developed the first-ever "intelligent" microwave, complete with Internet connection which it demonstrated at the International Housewares Show in Chicago this week.  Apparently it usefulness lies in integrating a bar code scanner directly into the microwave.   This scanner adjusts the heat and time to pre-set levels determined by the manufacturer, or communicates with the company's Web site to determine the optimum cooking time.  "The intelligent microwave oven is one of the most exciting developments in home appliance technology in a long time," said Dennis Joyner, Samsung's marketing manager for microwave ovens and room air conditioners, in a statement.

Oftel skint?  Are Oftel (the regulator for UK telecoms) really too skint to afford to pay their Intenic fees ($70 for 2 years), or just as inefficient as BT?   According to the Internic record for Oftel.Net they are.  They appear to be up to date with their Oftel.Org registration, so what gives?


Online Shopping in France   Internet shopping has really taken off in France, where an international institute (the National Electronic Trade Institute) has been created to bring together communications and IT professionals to further evangelize ecommerce.  This is a complete revolution from the state of play in France at this time last year!   According to a recent survey there are over 50000 online stores in France and around 10% of French surfers have made an online purchase.  "The change is considerable. However, there is still very much a general sense of great fragility," said Philippe Lemoine, the co-president of the Galeries Lafayette Group, an online store.  However, the high cost of using the Internet in France is pushing consumers toward holding an 'Internet strike'.  The often quoted reason for this upsurge in French use of the Net is that the French have taken to the Internet because they are accustomed to having an electronic information system in their homes in the form of Minitel.


UK Online Pizza Ordering   Here's one I missed from last year!  Domino Pizzas went live with first Net pizza delivery on 21 October 1998 in the Milton Keynes area.  If all goes according to plan the service will be rolled out to its 175 stores nationwide this year.


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999


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