Stories by Jimmy Guterman

Out with the Old

The most common affliction among media executives, even more common than insufficient sleep and attention deficit disorder, is hubris. Over the past year or so, when old-media execs made their high-profile, well-funded new-media moves, the idea they tried to convey was that you can stop worrying, the grown-ups have arrived: Internet-based entertainment is now legitimate, we know what we're doing.

Catch-2000 in China

China doesn't want its citizens using the Internet to spread information? The media is shocked!

Should Govt Regulate Dot-Coms - or Become Them?

Despite an unexpected snowstorm - so much for Web-based weather models -Washington plowed on in its attempts to shape the Internet Economy. The big news covered by most outlets was that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has exempted companies whose customers telecommute from any health or safety violations that occur at their employees' home offices. So you can keep working on the dining room table, even if you haven't cleaned up from breakfast.

What Do You Want to Give Away Today?

If you're Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates or his wife Melinda, it's 'Another day, another $5 billion.' The transfer of wealth makes the snappily named Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the most highly endowed foundation in the world, with $21.8 billion.

Are Net Deals Better Than Viagra?

Monday was a fine day if you were part of the Net health business. Despite a lousy session for the markets as a whole, some companies moving to the forefront of Web-based medicine (or, in the case of Drugstore.com, the forefront of Web-based Q-Tip and cotton-ball sales) scored impressively. Amazon.com increased its investment in Drugstore.com, throwing in another $30 million to gain 28 percent of the online pharmacy, although the money will flow both ways: Drugstore.com will pay $105 million to Amazon during the next three years to get better placement on the e-commerce giant's site. Perhaps Jeff Bezos wants to be balanced and have cash in both his front pockets.

Let's Get Small

Personal computers are dinosaurs: They were the most powerful creatures of their time, but their time is coming to an end. Computers, whether they run Windows, Mac OS or some flavor of Unix, have developed into formidable general-interest machines - but they've become too complex because they're pulled in so many directions at the same time. It's inevitable that single-purpose or few-purpose devices proliferate as more and more people look to new devices to perform specific tasks.

Tool Time

Vignette officials claim they're all about "e-relationships," whatever those are. But the company's real business is developing, selling and supporting StoryServer, a leading high-end production system for building and maintaining Web sites. Wall Street is sold on the company, which recently announced a stock split after a tenfold rise from its IPO price.

Market Place