Cyber Ramblings - Sep 12, 2000

12 September 2000
Compiled by Paul Thompson

Voice E-Mails?
A new service from EuroVoice Pro lets Europolitan's voice mailbox customers listen to their e-mails instead of reading them. E-mails are translated into speech and customers can use telephones to retrieve their e-mail messages just like regular voice messages. All that’s required is mobile or regular touch-tone telephone, and EuroVoice Pro, Europolitan's Unified Messaging service. Customers call their voice mailboxes in the regular fashion, then choose to listen to the e-mail messages. The system translates text into speech, recognizing and reading e-mails in both English and Swedish.

Yahoo! Leads Internet Advertising Woes
Shares of Yahoo! fell last week with word from analysts that Internet advertising may be permanently slowing down. SG Cowen analyst Scott Reamer said Friday that online advertising growth may be coming down permanently. Yahoo! dropped 3.38 to 103.56. The company began to turn downwards last month on ad revenue concerns, after Lehman Brothers analyst Holly Becker issued a "neutral" rating on the stock. The troubles facing Yahoo!--the owner of the world's most popular Web site and one of the few profitable Internet businesses--could spread to other companies whose fortunes are tied to online advertising. "If Yahoo! has a cold, then other Internet companies could get the pneumonia,"' Rick Kimball, general partner for Technology Crossover Ventures, a Palo Alto, California, venture capital firm told the Associated Press.

E-Fridges Tested in Denmark
For a five-month trial period, 50 Danish homes outside Copenhagen will test the world's first intelligent refrigerator, the Electrolux Screenfridge. The field test, conducted by Tele Danmark and e2 Home, will test the "intelligent living" concept and study customer reaction to electronic household services. Screenfridge is the communication center of the networked home concept, with a built-in touch-screen on the refrigerator door that provides always-on, interactive, broadband communication technology, Internet, television and radio. "I enjoy the online Internet access in the kitchen, as it is the place we spend most of our time," said mother Rikke Clausen, soon a mother of two. "I believe I'll use the Screenfridge for everyday information, like looking up phone numbers, finding bus schedules or getting dinner ideas."

Interactive TV Venture Underway
In the latest development in the interactive television field, Microsoft and Viacom Inc.'s CBS Television have announced a joint venture to deliver interactive television programming. Under the arrangement, Microsoft subscribers will be able to access enhanced content and interact with programs and other viewers while watching CBS programs. The service is expected to debut shortly.

Japanese, US Firms Team up for E-commerce
Japanese trading house Itochu and BroadVision, the US software developer, and three other companies are planning a joint venture to provide e-commerce software for mobile phones and handheld digital organizers.

'Cutting Edge' Program Launched
Senator Richard Alston, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, has launched the Advanced Networks Program (ANP), which will place Australia at the cutting edge in the development of next generation high capacity networks. "This groundbreaking program, which will help lay the foundations for the future of the Internet, has only been made possible through the partial sale of Telstra," Alston said. The ANP will provide a revolutionary leap in the use of the Internet for advanced research and product development and is a key element of the Commonwealth Government $158 million Building on IT Strengths (BITS) Program, funded from the proceeds of the partial sale of Telstra. The program will provide $40 million to support the development, trial and demonstration of advanced communications networks, experimental networks and test beds.

Secure Debit Cards Tested
NYCE Corporation and GlobeID have conducted the first live Internet transaction using SafeDebit--a debit payment solution that enables secure online purchases. The SafeDebit transaction was routed through multiple global touchpoints in the USA, France and Australia, via GlobeID`s @PayIIP (Internet Interceptor Processor) platform. SafeDebit from NYCE Corporation, one of the largest electronic payment companies in the US, is a CD based solution which captures the cardholder’s encrypted personal financial data. It is the first portable payment alternative for making PIN-secured Internet purchases using funds withdrawn directly from a customer’s bank account.

Radiate Internet Roundtable Set
PC Data Online is joining Radiate, AltaVista, Motorola, MediaMetrix, Nielsen Media Research, OgilvyOne, Arbitron, DoubleClick, AdForce, Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive, and Aberdeen Research Group for the second Radiate Internet Roundtable (RIR), which will be announced this week. The RIR seeks to resolve issues concerning the rise of the "digital customer," a term that represents the evolution of the Internet from the standard Web property metric to one that includes various mediums served through Internet technologies. Those mediums include software, cell phones, PDAs, music, books, and video. RIR is a leadership panel formed to address the policies of the Internet industry and provide guidance, policy recommendations and promote an understanding on leading edge issues. The roundtable is open to all interested parties.