Internet Story: 06 Mar 1999
After a long delay, due to pressures of paid work, we now return...
E-commerce set to explode Latest figures for e-commerce look even more bullish than those before Xmas! An International Data Corporation report said the value of goods and services sold online could soar to $900 billion in 2003 from $40 billion in 1998 as the number of Internet users rises to 500 million from 150 million. "We're about to enter a period of growth where just the scale of Internet commerce and Internet usage is going to dwarf what happened in the last four years," Frank Gens of IDC told the Bloomberg Forum. "The leaders of today are at some risk. Today's number-1 guy could end up being number 10 or number 20." However, even as the US numbers increase, a more rapid increase is expected in the rest of the world, especially in Europe. While half of the world's Internet activity in 1998 was in the United States, that ratio will slip to a third in 2003, Gens said. One predicted result of all this explosive growth is that governments will finally start putting taxes onto as much as they can.
10,900 New UK Users a day That's the latest figures from the National Opinion Polls! Its research showed some 10.6 million adults used the Web, email, or other Internet services at least once in 1998. Britain's total population is 59 million. This can be compared with 9,900 in Germany, and 2,700 in France. "These findings suggest that Internet usage in Britain has undergone spectacular growth in recent months," read a statement from Rob Lawson of NOP Research Group. The biggest factor in this growth can be put down to the free ISPs, led by Freeserve. See the BBC article.
UK Government Ignorance
Yet again the UK government and police forces show their complete ignorance of the way
encryption technologies work. Unless the computer industry comes up with a
"solution" to the problem of crooks using encryption technology to hide their
activities by the end of this month then the UK government is likely to pass laws
requiring users of such technology to hand over the keys to their codes at the request of
the police (and other authorities). Why is this a bad move you ask, surely we want
to catch crooks? Of course we want to catch the crooks... BUT... which crook is
going to hand over their keys (they will have "lost them")? Which crook is
going to register that they are using encryption technologies? The only thing that
this type of law ("key escrow" and/or restricting keylength) will achieve is to
put the UK further behind the world in implementing trusted e-commerce solutions. If
the police can get the keys then the crooks can. There are all sorts of other
problems with this approach - see www.stand.org.uk
for further details. See the BBC
article also. An good piece by Ken Young at
You can then printout the labels.
One good thing about the site is that it's usable. Navigation is relatively straight forward and it works on most browsers. There is a Java app on the front page but you loose nothing if you have a non-Java browser. My only criticism of the site is that some of the lengthy text articles were written for print and not for the online audience!
Andrew Stringer, © Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999
Permanent Address: http://www.pendle.net/News/Inet19990306-1.htm