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 Your Mileage May Vary: Tapping the Zeitgeist of the Information Age.


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Thursday Afternoon, May 14, 1998 

Microsoft and DoJ In Negotiations
The world expected that the US Department of Justice and state Attorneys General would file suit against Microsoft today. Then, both sides announced that they had held off on their plans and were conducting last minute negotiations. (But is Microsoft already showing that it may not adhere to any agreement that is struck? The software giant claimed that it would not ship Windows 98 until negotiations were concluded, but reports are trickling in that some OEMs have disks now.) In any event, here's an update on the day's big story.
Texas Joins Other States After All
After waffling and almost backing out of the whole affair, Texas Attorney General Dan Morales has joined other AGs in the negotiations with Microsoft.
CMP TechWeb
Where Ya Gonna Call?
A Texas family may have done something slightly wrong when setting up their new computer for a free trial of Prodigy. They just got a long distance bill in excess of $3,000 because their computer dialed California instead of a local number! Neither Prodigy nor the phone company wants to pick up the tab; they say the faily is to blame. But we wonder if these novices were adequately warned. (We've found similar problems with other services; if you try to set up MSN in our town -- Laramie, WY -- your computer tries to make an intrastate toll call to Cheyenne, which can cost even more per minute.) At least, in this case, the situation seems to be the result of someone's innocent mistake -- unlike the infamous "Trojan Horse" program that intentionally caused users' machines to call Moldova.
San Jose Mercury News

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3Com Switches Have Security Bug
Want to break into an enterprise's 3Com switch? Just log in via Telnet as "debug" and the system is yours to control. This "back door" is being patched now.
PC Week
Quicken Sued Over Y2K Bug
A disgruntled Quicken user is suing financial software maker Intuit for insisting that users upgrade to eliminate a Year 2000 bug that cripples the program.
CMP TechWeb
AGIS Sues To Block Worldcom/MCI Merger, Saying Worldcom Already Is Predatory
AGIS, once renowned as a "spammers' backbone," has changed its ways but is complaining that Worldcom hasn't. It's accusing Worldcom of engaging in unfair business practices now -- before the merger -- and alleges that things will get even worse if Worldcom gets a larger chunk of the Internet.
Windows 98 Contains Features That Are Threatening To Many Businesses
This New York Times article points out features of Windows 98 that might be threatening to those in many businesses -- not just Internet browser makers.
The New York Times (Free registration may be required)
RBOCs Will Charge For Number Portability
The Regional Bell Operating Companies plan to charge telephone consumers for taking their numbers elsewhere. Our take: the new telephone company should absorb the cost, just as long distance carriers often reimburse customers for switching.
CMP TechWeb


Billy, Come Home
John C. Dvorak wonders if Bill Gates is spending so much time on the road that he has no time to ride herd on software quality back in Redmond.
PC Magazine Online
 Iomega: It's Turnaround Time
This Forbes article examines the plight of Iomega, which has all at once been plagued by too rapid growth, media cloners, and the Click of Death.
Forbes Digital Tool

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