Cyber Ramblings - Aug 15, 2000

15 August 2000

Compiled by Emily DiFilippo

Truly Mobile
Qualcomm Inc. and Ford Motor Co. are teaming up to make the Internet literally mobile. The two companies plan to invest in a new organization, Wingcast Inc., that will equip Ford cars and trucks with Qualcomm's telematics technology (wireless voice and Internet connections). The San Diego-based operation will be headed by former Microsoft Corp. consumer appliances vice president Harel Kodesh. It is predicted that by the end of 2002, 1 million vehicles will be connected to the Internet, and up to 9 million by the end of 2004. The equipment needed to accomplish this will be affordable and will initially provide connection speeds of 144 kbits/s. Future models will be able to reach speeds of 2.4 Mbits/s. Nissan is also planning to create Internet connections in its luxury vehicles.

UK Biz Loses Battle for Domain Name
Jon Danzig, owner of the Watford, U.K. business LOOK-HEAR, has lost a domain name dispute with Oscar Music and Media Limited. LOOK-HEAR has provided customized TV and radio programs and publications under that registered U.K. trademark since 1983. In 1995, LOOK-HEAR registered under the domain name In 1999, Oscar Music and Media, a rival media company, registered under the domain name Danzig believes that, since he owns the registered U.K. trademark LOOK-HEAR, that Oscar Music and Media has stolen from him. He brought the case before the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which ruled that Oscar Music and Media had committed no crime. Their reasons were as follows: There is no proof that the owners of Oscar Music and Media knew about Danzig's company when they registered under Also, Danzig offered no sales figures or customer details to prove his reputation. He does not own the .com domain name, and, after all, "look" and "hear" are common English words.

European Commission Approves B2B Commerce Marketplace
For the first time, the European Commission has authorized the creation of a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace. "" was set up by two U.S. companies, United Technologies Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. Both manufacture and sell aerospace products and services. The new site will supply management functions for aerospace participants with software provided under a licensed agreement by U.S.-based company called ¿2. was presented to the European Commission on July 3, 2000. The Commission decided to approve the site since it did not seem to pose competitive threats and it promises to be a valuable tool for expediting aerospace operations and lowering costs.

... But Condemns US E-Biz Practices
The European Commission's most recent report defends the EU and states that the U.S. has violated global trading rules. The Commission alleges that the U.S, has excluded foreign nations from satellite communications, mobile phone, and digital TV markets. The Commission also finds U.S. cybersquatting and encryption laws to promote American monopolization of the technology industry. They also specifically attacked the U.S.'s 1995 refusal to allocate third-generation mobile communications to second-generation services. This decision created a lack of frequencies through which European companies could access the U.S. market. Americans retorted, saying that the type of third-generation communication services preferred in Europe exclude U.S. companies. The FCC also says that digital video-broadcasting (DVB-T) is exclusive to Europeans. The European Commission report has listed numerous restrictions regarding these subjects but has offered no corrective plans.

Judge Forces GeoCities to Cough up Member's ID
A California judge has ordered Yahoo!'s GeoCities publishing group to disclose personal information about one of its members. GeoCities allows its members to set up websites for free. One of these members, under the pseudonym of "worker bee," posted photos and information about Apple's new mouse and dual-processor PowerMacs before they were unveiled at the Macworld trade show last month. It is suspected that worker bee got this information from a disloyal Apple employee. Apple now wants the site operator's real name, email and street addresses, phone number, and Internet protocol address. In April, 2000, Yahoo! Inc. created a policy that they would only provide client information if legally bound to do so, and clients would be given 15 days to fight court orders before releasing personal information.

EU Will Likely Approve Identrus The European Union announced Friday that it expects to approve the proposed Identrus network, an agreement between major U.S. and European banks to create a network through which electronic signatures used in financial or e-commerce transactions can be authenticated. Identrus was first proposed to the European Union's antitrust regulators in April 1999. The EU says that it realizes the importance of the Identrus network to the development of successful e-commerce.

Singapore Looks to Get on the Highway
The Singapore government has announced a year-year plan to connect its offices, homes, and schools with high-speed cables or wireless links. The focus will be on promoting wireless and broadband technology following the Infocomm Technology Roadmap, which will be updated every two years. The government hopes to improve business in Singapore and to make transactions more convenient, and it is hoped that all schools will be connected to the Internet by the year 2002.