The next Net battle: Time.

The next Net battle: Time. The UK government wants to create a universal Internet time standard based on Greenwich Mean Time. They’re giving it a new name: “Get,” for Greenwich Electronic Time — although it’s not clear how Get differs from GMT.

To get Get accepted as a standard, of course, the Brits will have to go head-to-head against Swatch, which is touting their own Net time standard. Swatch’s standard is based not on hours, minutes, and seconds, but on a day of 1,000 “beats,” each one about a minute and a half long. I guess you’d need to buy a new watch to keep track of *that* time, now, wouldn’t you?
Greenwich could mark web time

Here’s an interesting review of

Here’s an interesting review of the year in Internet access appliances, from a site devoted to news about Net devices. As the review points out, wireless access to the Web really started to take off in 1999, with Sprint PCS introducing a Web phone service, and Nokia selling WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) cell phones like hotcakes.

The review predicts that 2000 will see a boom in non-PC Net devices, but errs (I believe) in predicting that boom will start with fixed appliances such as set-top boxes connected to TVs. These appliances haven’t experienced a boom yet; why should 2000 be any different? Clearly, Internet-enabled phones offer people something they want and can use — while the set-top box manufacturers still haven’t figured out a compelling way to integrate TV and the Net. That’s why I think the coming year’s boom in Net appliances will focus on wireless devices, starting with cell phones and handheld organizers.

Net Dreams Turned Into Reality In 1999

Red Herring has a nice

Red Herring has a nice piece on the “unsung heroes of the Internet” — the ordinary working folks who make e-business happen through their decidedly un-virtual jobs. Profiled in the story are a DSL installer, a Webvan warehouse worker, a call center employee, and a manager at an Exodus data facility. Kudos to Red Herring for taking a moment to look at where the work is really getting done.
Unsung heroes of the Internet – 12/24/99

The U.S. Postal Service is

The U.S. Postal Service is in fact working on an “e-post office box,” as I suggested last month. This article has few details about the proposed service (the explanation of how it will work is a little confused and the article doesn’t say when it will be available) but it does indicate the service will target businesses as well as consumers, and will include bill presentment and payment features.
Postal Service delivers online

Online merchants may be throwing

Online merchants may be throwing away 25% of their business this holiday season, an Andersen report suggests. In the study, Andersen employees made 480 orders on 100 different e-commerce sites this month — and only 350 of those were completed. Web site crashes, buggy forms, and other problems familiar to Web surfers blocked transactions in the rest of the cases. If anything, the Andersen study problem *underestimates* the sales lost due to poor Web sites, since it doesn’t account for the times when would-be customers give up out of frustration, before the e-commerce site even has a site to crash.

Web bugs crash zip of online buying