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Existing companies that move to the Internet typically have a large base of COBOL applications that support thousands of users or millions of customers. Integrating that legacy with Web storefronts is the next hot area for Y2K and mainframe programmers, as newbie Java programmers able to put up simple websites really can't cut it. There are still some 200B-5T lines of COBOL code out there. [Inter@ctive Week, 26Jan00. NewsScan.]

Bill Gates says he is planning "a new generation of applications that will look better, look different than the existing applications" over the next three years, in much the way that Windows differed from DOS. "I think the evolutionary approach won't get us where we really want to be." Internet integration and XML semantic tagging are part of his plans. [Financial Times, 31Jan00. Edupage.] (Steve Ballmer is now CEO of Microsoft, with Bill Gates as board chairman and chief software architect.)

A federal judge has reinstated a 1998 preliminary injunction prohibiting Microsoft from distributing a Java that is incompatible with Sun's version. [LA Times, 26Jan00. NewsScan.]

Be Inc. will offer its latest operating system free to individuals for non-commercial use. The company is still "aggressively pursuing Internet appliance opportunities," according to CEO Jean-Louis Gassee. [ZDNN/MSNBC, 18Jan00. NewsScan.]

Apple has awarded CEO Steve Jobs a $40M Gulfstream V jet plus options on 10M shares of stock as a bonus for the past 2.5 years. The company's value has risen from under $2B to about $17B. [SJM, 20Jan00. NewsScan.] (But he still gets paid only $1/year.)

AT&T will invest $250M in services for businesses that rent software to others over the Internet. Sun and HP are also partners in this "Ecosystem for ASPs" venture. [LA Times, 28Jan00. NewsScan.]

One way to reduce IT costs is to outsource data storage. StorageNetworks has raised $103M to expand its current 12 US sites to 60 worldwide. Customers pay about $600K/year, saving 25%-30% over operating their own disk and tape farms. Data access can be faster than internal LANs. Storage utilities could handle most of the world's data management business within 15-20 years. [WSJ, 27Jan00. Edupage.]

When startup eToys couldn't buy the www.etoy.com domain from a long-established European group of "hacker artists" for about $500K (in cash and stock), it tried to take the domain by legal action -- making false claims to a judge and to Internet domain registrars, according to opponents. 1400 "Toywar soldiers" supporting etoy joined an online campaign against eToys, creating an amazing amount of publicity. Now eToys has backed off and is paying court costs, and the negative PR may pop up any time shoppers do a search for the eToys name. There is even talk of a lawsuit against eToys managers for mismanaging investors' money, with lost stock value of 70% and perhaps $4B. That's what you get when you go to war with an art group "best known for a piece called the Digital Hijack, which made sophisticated use of technology to playfully attack users' browsers." , . [RTMark , 26Jan00. Brian Murfin.] (RTMark is an activist group that brokers funds for "sabotage projects" that fight alleged corporate misuse of courts and democratic processes.)

"The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End Of Business As Usual" (Perseus, 190 pp., $23) is a new book by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. It was developed around the original 95-point Cluetrain Manifesto -- available online -- about the Internet's influence on the world of business. . [Business Reader Review, 24Jan00.] (The first chapter of the book is free at .)

----- "Invisibility is freedom. At first it feels awful that no one can see you, that nobody's paying attention. Darn! But you get used to it. We've had two hundred years to get used to it. Then one day you find yourself on network, networking, and it dawns on you that it's like walking through walls. Wow! Like some comic-book-mystic Ninja warrior! That's pretty cool. You can get away with saying things you could never say if anyone took you seriously. Dilbert is just a comic strip. Ha-hah. Beavis and Butthead is just a cartoon. Heh-heh. And if anyone comes sniffing around and wonders if this Internet stuff could be maybe dangerous, culturally subversive, it's 'Oh, hey, never mind us. We're just goofing off here on the Web. No threat. Carry on. As you were.' But we aren't just goofing off. We're organizing: building and extending the Net itself, crafting tools and communities, new ways of speaking, new ways of working, new ways of having fun. And all this is happening, has happened so far, without rules and laws, without managers and managed. It's self-organizing. People by the millions are discovering how to negotiate, cooperate, collaborate -- to create, to explore, to enjoy ourselves." -- Christopher Locke, "The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of business As Usual," . [NewsScan, 27Jan00.] -----