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TBTF for 1995-07-25: Privacy on MSN; Apple's innovating again

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Tue, 25 Jul 1995 23:02:42 -0400

>>From Edupage:

A Forrester Research report predicts that revenues from the Internet access
business will top $4 billion annually by the end of the decade.
Internet-related software sales will reach close to $3 billion at the same
time. The company anticipates that the expanding World Wide Web will act
as a catalyst, with sophisticated "SuperWeb" software products emerging in
the next few years that will enable companies to directly link customers
and suppliers to corporate information and transactional systems,
leapfrogging the "home page" process entirely. (Telecommunications, July
'95 p.18)

[Don't have to wait. Net sites that issue you a userid/password already have
caught onto various ways to let subscribers jump right into the content, or
into the database query. Examples are HotWired, InfoSeek, Information Futures,
and the Bradford Robotic Telescope.]

The design of Microsoft Network incorporates the new data-privacy rules
that reflect the European Union's strict rules about consumer consent and
notification for data gathering, confidentiality, security, transnational
data flows, etc. (see URL: < http://www.epic.org >). Whereas America
Online sells its lists and CompuServe rents them for one-time mailings,
Microsoft promises to never sell to or share with outside companies any
personal data about its customers. Each MSN content provider will be
required to ask you whether you want to be on its marketing list and to
give you a simple way to remove yourself from such a list. (New York Times
1995-07-24 C4)

[By golly, give the big M credit for getting this one right. When I first saw
the alpha version of Ziff's network software, standing up on a show floor in
June 1994, I had a long conversation on the subject of privacy with the person
demoing it. He could only guarantee me that Ziff was committed to subscriber
privacy. At that time rumors were already circulating about the dismemberment
and sale of Ziff's magic kingdom. Would the purchaser of the online service make
the same guarantee? At least we can be pretty sure that Microsoft won't sell
MSN anytime soon.]

>>From TidBITS:

**Makes You Want To Shout** -- Cypress Research Corporation
announced last week that Apple plans to bundle a version of its
MegaPhone screen-based telephony software with new Performa 5200CD
and 6200CD. MegaPhone works with the Global Village TelePort Gold
internal modems installed on these machines to provide an
answering machine, a full-duplex speakerphone, a contact manager,
Apple event support, and automatic arbitration between incoming
voice and data calls. Users of MegaPhone for Performa will be able
to upgrade to the full version of MegaPhone for $50, which has
advanced features and integration with PowerTalk, popular contact
managers, and applications like FileMaker Pro.

[This is the sort of leap two-to-five years ahead of the field that Apple
used to do routinely. It gives me hope that maybe they can hold onto their
10% share. (Thanks to the PowerMac that number hasn't slipped -- two million
have been sold since introduction.)]

**Stormin' Norman** -- Apple recently tapped Apple Fellow Don
Norman to serve as vice president of Apple's Advanced Technology
Group, which is responsible for researching and managing future
Apple technologies and product designs. Dr. Norman was previously
working as Apple's "User Experience Architect," and is a widely-
recognized expert on human interface design. He'd previously led
UCSD's Psychology and Cognitive Science departments, and has
published several books, including The Design of Everyday Things,
Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles, and
Things That Make Us Smart, all of which we recommend highly if
you want to get a sense of where Don's thoughts and interests lie,
and thus what he might be talking about within Apple.

[Yee-hah. More joyous news for those of us whose online lives are inex-
tricably intertwingled with Macintoshes. TidBITS goes on to review three,
count-'em, list-server software packages now available on Macintosh, where
at the beginning of the year there were none. Apple has not done all it
could, perhaps, to dance away with its early lead in Internet software;
but there's still a lot of vitality in the Mac Internet market.]

[And we finish today with a word from Windows 95. Bill Gates recently called
it a zero-market-share OS feeding the subscriber base of a zero-market-share
online service -- so, Justice Dept., what's the big deal?]

>>From Netsurfer Digest:

Unless you've been buried head first in a wolverine burrow for the past
year or so, you probably know about the rapidly looming unveiling of
Windows 95 (which went golden on July 14). The media is full of glitz and
hype, but here at Netsurfer, we'll just point you to a couple of truly
useful links. Mike Dixon's (Unofficial) Windows 95 page has the lowdown on
every aspect of the new operating system: bugs, rumors, installation
instructions, Microsoft Network, Windows 95 myths, and even some modest
humor. Real beta testers with real comments. Those interested in Windows
95 Net connectivity will probably want to check out Stroud's Windows 95
Winsock page. It tells you all you need to know about setting up your Net
feed on that platform. Dixon: <http://www.whidbey.net/~mdixon/win40001.htm>.
Win 95 Winsock: <http://www.netppl.fi/consummate/win95.html>.

TBTF alerts you twice a week to bellwethers in computer and communications
technology, with special attention to commerce on the Internet. To
email me at either address below.
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.