News & Reviews

"News & Reviews" Continued...

Issue: "Chaos in Colorado," May 1, 1999
  • Sculptor Richard Knight's plan to erect an 18-foot-tall stainless-steel foot along the San Francisco waterfront was booted by city officials. The proposal named "Embark" would have featured a pulsing light coursing out at night over San Francisco Bay. Residents complained about the monstrosity, which would have cost taxpayers $500,000.
  • Eight-year-old Leung Man-Chun plunged 17 stories from a Hong Kong apartment-and lived. He hit four clotheslines along the way and landed on a canopy just above ground level. Police described his survival as a "miracle escape" after he was hospitalized with a broken arm and leg but no life-threatening injuries.
  • Former Waffle House waitress Tonda Dickerson, who won a $10 million jackpot with a lottery ticket left as a tip, must share the wealth with four co-workers who sued her. She denied that she had agreed to split any winnings, but her co-workers testified that they had a share-the-wealth plan. "It was always stated that if we hit, we split," one of the four co-workers, Matthew Adams, told the jury.
  • Wisconsin Attorney General James Doyle tried to name Publishers Clearing House's Robert H. Treller in the state's anti-sweepstakes lawsuit. Then he found out the spokesman didn't even exist. The company had given Treller a personality to fit whatever product was being pitched. The company claims he had flown combat missions in the Air Force and enjoys trains, sports cars, coins, stamps, the 101 Strings Orchestra, and kitschy porcelain figurines. Mr. Doyle says this is just another example of Publisher's Clearing House's misdeeds. hardware makers' loss, software makers' gain
    Profit Compaq(tor)
    Technology is hot right now, but not for Eckhard Pfeiffer. As CEO of Compaq, he saw the price of PCs fall sharply. Cheap computers are great for customers, but deadly for his business. Now that one in five PCs purchased in the United States costs less than $600, profits in the hardware business are hard to find. So Mr. Pfeiffer was forced to resign from the company he built into the world's largest maker of personal computers. The resulting shock wave on Wall Street even briefly shook high-flying Internet stocks. Compaq isn't alone. IBM and Hewlett-Packard are also sweating. Intel, whose chips supply the brainpower for 90 percent of the world's personal computers, saw its first-quarter revenues fall below expectations and reported that the future could be worse. Their competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), reported that its losses doubled because of production problems. The software world looks much brighter. Microsoft's profits jumped 43 percent in the first quarter to $1.92 billion. While some manufacturers suffered due to falling computer prices, increased PC sales bring more purchases of Windows 98 and other programs. safer surfing
    Oops
    Citigroup is suing the managers of a pornographic Web site that tried to hook its online customers. Webmaster Rafael Fortuny grabbed an Internet address that was a misspelling of citibank.com and shot it to his smut site. By ripping off corporate names, porn sites can lure in the unsuspecting. Bloomberg reports that Morgan Stanley Dean Witter has sued Mr. Fortuny and that PaineWebber has won an injunction against him. This is just one instance of countless sites that use innocent typos to direct users to pornography. Even kid surfers looking for sites about beanie babies or video games can get an unintentional eyeful. portion of communications decency act upheld
    Fight flame with flame
    While most pornography can be sent across the Internet without fear of prosecution, the Supreme Court ruled that smutty e-mail cannot be used to harass people in cyberspace. In a unanimous ruling, the high court upheld one part of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996. ApolloMedia, a San Francisco Web design firm, sued over the clause, saying it threatened its Annoy.com site. At that address, users can send nasty e-mail anonymously to public officials. The upheld provision of the law makes it a crime to transmit a "communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person." Back in 1997, the Supreme Court threw out most of the CDA, which banned indecent material from the Internet. white house reports on millennium bug
    Yankee stay home
    Only Americans traveling overseas will face major disruptions due to Y2K, according to a White House report. The upbeat assessment from the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion highlights U.S. efforts to fight the bug in some of the most important areas, including electricity, telephones, banking, broadcasting, and transportation. According to the council, the domestic food supply is likely to be safe because most large grocery chains already carry several weeks' inventory in case of delivery problems or bad weather. Oil and gas may only be affected by "minor disruptions which may impact consumers minimally." Overseas travelers may have their hands full, however. The administration expects that failures are all but certain in some foreign countries. "It now appears that a number of countries will experience Y2K failures in key infrastructures such as electric power, telecommunications, and transportation," says the report.

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