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TBTF for 1995-10-15: Gambling online; Siliconia

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Sun, 15 Oct 1995 22:05:57 -0400

>>From Weekly Recap (1995-10-08):

> The Government of Liechtenstein announced plans to introduce this month
> the world's first state-sanctioned lottery to be conducted exclusively
> via the Internet. InterLotto, a weekly drawing with minimum jackpots of
> US$1 million, will be playable by the more than 30 million estimated
> users of the Internet. The weekly drawings are for players over 18 who
> purchase "tickets" on the Interlotto WWW site using a credit card, with
> entries costing 5 Swiss Francs each (around US $5.80), and a minimum pur-
> chase of two entries. Drawings will be held in Liechtenstein under the
> supervision of Coopers & Lybrand.

It's open for business now at <http://www.interlotto.li/>. The Lichtenstein
Interlotto was covered in the Financial Times for Oct. 9. (If you're patient
see <http://www.lott.li/lott/press/ft.htm> -- they simply scanned the news-
paper article and posted the result as six .gif files totalling 250K. Wonder
if they asked the FT for permission? Naw...)

In an article in the October Wired, Evan I. Schwartz opined that gambling
will be the killer app of the Internet. Gambling is already a $40 billion
industry in the US and industry analysts (yes, this industry has its fol-
lowers at Smith Barney) say it could grow by $10B to $60B once it goes on-
line and global. Gambling over the wire -- any wire -- between states or
countries is illegal in the US, but the offshore operators don't seem wor-
ried. They have set up shop in Belize (<http://www.vegas.com/wagernet/>),
the Turks and Caicos (<http://www.casino.org/cc/car-cas.html>), and Antigua
(opening "soon" at <http://www.netaxs.com/people/sportbet/casino.htm>).

Most of these operations require cash up front to set up an account. What's
new in the Lichtenstein lottery is the ability to gamble by credit card.

Schwartz cites the historical waves of (in)tolerance for gambling in the US
to predict that the killer app will eventually come crashing down.

>>From The Internet Index (1995-10-15):

> Number of digits of pi available on the Internet: 3.2 billion
> Time taken to compute those digits: 37 hours
> Percentage of advertisements containing URLs, in the first 18 pages of
> the September, 1995, issue of Scientific American: 50
> Percentage of advertisements containing toll-free telephone numbers, in
> [the same issue]: 90
> Number of subscribers to Internet World magazine: 208,000
> Number of subscribers to Cosmopolitan: 2.3 million

Win Treese at Open Market publishes the Internet Index on no fixed schedule.
See <http://www.openmarket.com/info/internet-index/> for past issues and
source citations. (Alas, the current issue's sources are not out there yet.
I wondered if the 3.2 billion digits of pi were posted by the brothers
Chudnofsky in New York City, whose living room is surmised to be the
largest parallel computer ever constructed.)

Perhaps next time Mr. Treese will count the URLs in Cosmo ads. When that
index rises above 50% we'll know the era of online commerce is at hand.

Siliconia --

Below is an initial stab at what I hope will become the definitive col-
lection of Siliconia. Siliconia are appropriations of names beginning
with "Silicon" by areas outside Silicon Valley. A Siliconium can be pro-
moted by local boosters or it can be assigned to an area in a press ac-
count. An ideal Siliconium will capture something unique about the region-
al character and when first encountered will bring a fleeting smile.

Can you supply citations to pin down the earliest uses of these Siliconia?
Heard any others? Send to dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com. The list will live, for as
long as the trend does, at <http://www.tbtf.com/siliconia.html>.

Silicon Glen -- Scotland, the region around Livingston; also applied
more generally to the entire stretch from Edinburgh to Glasgow. [1992?]

Silicon Prarie -- Urbana-Champlain area of IL, home of NCSA. [1994]

Silicon Forest -- Seattle, WA. [1995]

Silicon Tundra -- Mineapolis / St. Paul, MN. [1995]

Silicon Seaboard -- Richmond, VA. [1995]

Silicon Alley -- NYC, Broadway from the Flatiron District to TriBeCa
[New York Times, 1995-10-08].

So called because of all the multimedia software and title development
going on in the area. This Siliconium is one of my favorites because it
evokes echoes of Tin Pan Alley, though the locale is far removed from
Times Square. (The San Francisco neighborhood south of Market St. has a
similar multimedia character -- Wired and Hotwired live there -- but
I've never heard a Siliconium applied to it.)

Silicon Plateau -- Bangalore, India [Edupage, 1995-10-08].

> Known as "Silicon Plateau" because of its 114 export-oriented soft-
> ware companies (many of them joint ventures with global corporations),
> Bangalore has been prospering because of its large pool of low-cost
> professionals, but the city's infrastructure has not kept pace with
> the growth and is in danger of collapse. Power cuts and voltage reduc-
> tions occur every day, and the managing director of one computer com-
> pany says that one in three phone calls fails to reach the switchboard.
> (Financial Times 5 Oct 95 p25)


>>Weekly Recap -- mail majordomo@case.wsgr.com without subject
> and with message: subscribe multimedia-list .

>>The Internet Index -- mail internet-index-request@OpenMarket.com
> without subject and with message: subscribe internet-index .

>>Edupage -- mail listproc@educom.edu without subject
> and with message: subscribe edupage <your name> .

TBTF alerts you twice a week to bellwethers in computer and communications
technology, with special attention to commerce on the Internet. See the
archive at <http://www.tbtf.com/>. To subscribe send the
message "subscribe" to tbtf-request@world.std.com.
Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.


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