2000: THE INTERNET YEAR IN REVIEW
¤ U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules Microsoft violated antitrust laws by leveraging its monopoly position in operating systems to capture other software markets. Microsoft orders partners and customers not to accept the ruling because it wasn't written using Microsoft Word®.¤ In midday trading April 4, the unsinkable H.M.S. Nasdaq strikes reality, which shaves off 574 points. It comes back to close down 74, prompting Bear Sterns chief economist John Ryding to actually declare: "I don't think this is anything more than a correction in the technology sector."
¤ After using the courts to keep Napster and MP3.com from freely distributing music over the Internet, the Recording Industry Association of America asks a federal judge to stop people from humming or whistling copyrighted songs in public.
¤ Internet giant Yahoo!, which soundly beats analyst estimates, reportedly isn't satisfied and beats their dogs as well. Some analysts even report getting wedgies.
¤ Genealogy Web site Ancestry.com abruptly suspends its joint venture with TimeTravel.com after an audit of family trees on its site reveals more than a dozen registered users have become their own grandparents. "It's icky," says Ancestry.com spokesperson Arlene Murphy.
¤ The world's poorest nations react with elation after learning the G-8 economic powers have pledged to bring them into the digital economy by wiring their countries. "With access to stock quotes, entertainment news, and streaming video pornography, I will finally be able to feed my family," says Jamil Jurawa, who lives near a contaminated well in a small east Gambian village. "This is a great day and I hope not to die of dysentery before it ends."
¤ A two-year M.I.T. study of unsolicited email, or "spam," concludes that you can earn $50,000 in the next 90 days by sending e-mail from your home, which is located near a college where sex-crazed coeds are anxious to meet you. Researchers also learn that there are two ways to get a million dollars -- win it or work for it -- and email@example.com has information that can help you with both.
¤ The International Society of Computer Hackers blasts the media for continually using the word "virus" when referring to the "Love Bug" email is infecting computers. The program is more accurately a "worm," not a virus, says the hacker group, adding that "ignorant journalists" should check their facts. In response, the Society of Professional Journalists thanks the hackers, who it says will now be referred to by the more accurate term "slovenly misanthropic twits."
¤ John Mracek, President of Internet advertising firm AdKnowledge, announces that while his name is only slightly longer than that of Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Case (AOL), and Jim Clark (Netscape/Healtheon), it is considerably more difficult to pronounce.
¤ The Recording Industry Association of America asks for $300 million in damages from the estimated 22 million drunken men who think banging out the opening drum beat to "Wipeout" is a good way to impress women in bars.
¤ Online music seller CDNow is awarded a patent for "an Internet business model in which expenditures permanently exceed revenues." According to CDNow CEO Jason Olim, the company plans to vigorously defend its patent by going after blatant violators. "For starters," he says, "we are going to sue the shit out of Amazon.com."
¤ Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules that Microsoft must be split in two because it plays dirty and cannot be trusted. Microsoft lead attorney Bill Neukom denies the charges, and kicks the judge in the nuts when he's not looking.
¤ The FBI discloses that it has been systematically reading and deleting email messages sent to and from paranoid people. According to a Bureau spokesman, the FBI has been pursuing the strategy for "exactly as long as those people think we've been doing it."
¤ Inktomi and Yahoo each rise to $134, and InfoSpace jumps to $57 as Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget, played by Capt. E.J. Smith, actually says they are good stocks to own.
¤ More than 80 percent of respondents to a new LGI/Gallup poll admit they do "some" or "a lot" of work while at work, but almost all insist they never let business-related matters interfere with personal Web surfing at the office. According to the survey, an overwhelming 86 percent of respondents say doing some work during the surfing day has no negative impact on their personal Web surfing. In other survey findings:
¤ The anti-spam bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives is sent to the Senate, where the Senate's spam filtering software automatically determines it is junk mail and deletes it.
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