NetWatch

Issue No 6

19 February 1997


GLOBAL VILLAGE

Killen Associates Internet Penetration Table

The Number of Hosts in Selected Countries (and associated proportions) population Per Host (excluding North America and Transnational), as of 30 Jan 1996 extract from Source: Network Wizards (host count data), Killen & Associates

Country


Hosts


Pop(M)


Pop./Host


India

788

936.5

1188452

China

2146

1203

560578

Singapore

22769

2.8

123

Taiwan

25273

21.5

851

Japan

269327

125.5

466

Indonesia

2351

203.5

86559

Hong Kong

17693

5.5

311

Thailand

4055

60.2

14846

Korea

29306

45.5

1553

Malaysia

4194

19.7

4697

New Zealand

53610

3.4

63

Australia

309562

18.3

59

Fiji

52

0.772

14846

Country


Hosts


Pop(M)


Pop./Host


Israel

29503

5.4

183

United Arab Em

365

2.92

8000

Iran

271

64.6

238376

Kuwait

1233

1.81

1468

Morocco

234

29.1

124359

Zimbabwe

93

11.1

119355

Tunisia

82

8.87

108171

South Africa

48277

45

932

Country


Hosts


Pop(M)


Pop./Host


Venezuela

1165

21

18026

Brazil

20113

160.7

7990

Argentina

5312

34.2

6438

Colombia

2262

36.2

16004

Jamaica

164

2.57

15671

Chile

9027

14.1

1562

Germany

452997

81.3

179

United Kingdom

451750

58.2

129

Sweden

149877

8.82

59

Finland

208502

5.08

24

Netherlands

174888

15.4

88


SERVICES ON-LINE

Real people - novel Internet search solution.

If you have used the Internet extensively particularly search engines you will agree with former Prodigy and MCI executive Scott Kurnit when he says there has got to be a better way. And he's gone for a novel solution, real people. He has set up the Mining Co., which aims to put a human touch into Internet navigation.

Kurnit is going to assemble an army of about 4,000 part-time workers, called guides, who will each be responsible for developing and maintaining a content area on The Mining Co.'s Web site. In return, the content providers will receive a $250 monthly stipend and receive 40 percent of the advertising revenues generated on their sites. launching April (CNN fn network)

Proletarian uses of the Internet.

Companies are plowing right into the Internet but how are the workers faring. How do they use it to better perform their tasks. Salespeople are getting the feel of a market through the Internet, accurate prices, cost in other countries for complex equipment, company backgrounds and philosophies. People who travel to new areas for sales trips get better up to the minute information on local affairs from chamber of commerce sites, newspapers.

Communications on the r0oad are much simpler on the Internet than by phone or fax. People working from home who need to know about a company can visit their web site, quicker than a visit to their premises, the library or a phone enquiry. If you are selling items there is no longer any argument for paper catalogues

If you are selling a zillion things at once then it must go on the Internet? It can be constantly updated and is available 24 hours a day world wide. And you can ask for more information on the spot so to speak.

I heard it on the radio

Perhaps more use to US Internet users but ABC Radio news has gone with Progressive Networks (PN) to provide 24 hour radio news on the Internet.

Progressive is the seller and owner of the Internet favourite Real audio. web audio Realnews on audio. RealAudio's Internet Hourly News will update hourly at 10 minutes after the hour. Internet users will be able to access the latest ABC news when needed without having to "tune in" at a specific time as required for receiving traditional radio news broadcasts.

Since its April introduction, 220,000 RealAudio Players have been downloaded from the RealAudio website and more than 60 websites on the Internet are offering RealAudio content.

And now they do pictures as well

Real Audio is now delivering RealVideo to the Internet. According to Jae Kim, research analyst, Paul Kagan Associates, the real video program will deliver "high-quality audio and video over the Internet and Intranets enables entertainment, publishing, broadcast companies and corporations to deliver highly compelling images and sounds to audiences over personal computers and web devices,"

RealVideo delivers 'newscast'-quality video over 28.8 kbps modems, full-motion-quality video using V.56 (56 kbps) and ISDN (56/64 kbps) modems, and near TV broadcast quality video at LAN rates or 'broadband' speeds (100 kbps and above). On the client-side, RealVideo delivers easy-to-use interactive features, such as video seeking and scanning, clickable video regions, and 'buffered play' for greater video quality using slower 28.8 kbps modems.

The ultimate valentines gift

If you had searched the Internet you could have got a cow. Well one tenth ownership. In Belgium. No kidding. How you would get to your 1/10 of the cow or even which tenth is shrouded in mystery.

Personalised news - news the way you want it.

Every search engine and its search dog is now getting into the act. Personalised news by e-mail Pointcast was an early starter pumping your hard disk full of every football score in the American league if you asked for it.

BusinessWire, which supplies news stories to journalists and other professionals, has "Personal Web Box," which delivers personalised daily news from 31 different industries direct to the user's e-mail box. Users can sign up on the BusinessWire home page, and will be given a Web address to click on, with items stored for 30 days. The service costs $14.95 a month. to consumers and corporate users but is free to journalists.

Excite just announced a new product called NewsTracker, allowing users to search a database of more than 300 publications and follow up to 20 news categories. Users utilise "intelligent agent software" to customise the service. This one's free. Individual Inc., Time Warner's Pathfinder, and a new three-way partnership between Dow Jones, The Financial Times, and Knight-Ridder all now offer or plan to offer similar services.

The Intra in your net.

While the fuss and falaver has centred on the Internet the real action in most of the commercial world is focused on the Intra net. The setting up of a web site internal to the company.

On it can be all the companies correspondence, databases and practice manuals. With the Internet set up in house the advantages of the Internet for the outer world can be duplicated. Communication for all ends of the enterprise.

One element coming to the fore is online training in house. Online learning on corporate Intranets will double in the first quarter of this year, said an industry think tank. An analysis by the Masie Centre, a group that describes itself as vendor-neutral and focused on technology and learning, said: 71 percent of major U.S. corporations have a 1997 objective of using their Intranets to deliver training. Intranet administrators view online training as a top application for their networks.

A new industry of "learning integrators" are surfacing to help companies set up training on Intranets. A majority of classroom-based training companies, such as like CBT Systems Group PLC, will launch online products this year. "The emergence of the corporate Intranet and the popularisation of the Internet has birthed an amazing investment and development frenzy in the new segment called online learning and training," said Elliott Masie, president of the Masie Centre.

"We have tracked 24 new online learning ventures since Jan. 1, 1997." (CSS Internet News, 9 Feb. 97 Randy Barrett)

Thomas Cook it

Thomas Cook's new Virtual trading desks, first user is Netscape. The Virtual Trading Desk is designed to enable Thomas Cook to offer online, real-time foreign currency exchange over the Net.

"Thomas Cook's Virtual Trading Desk will enable us to make business transactions, such as an international payment to a supplier, from Internet-ready computers world-wide," said Dana Stalder, Director of Financial Planning at Netscape Communications Corporation.

"The Virtual Trading Desk responds to present workplace trends that dictate more time away from the office by enabling our customers to make secure international payments from any Internet-ready computer in the world," said Yasser El-Riffaey, Thomas Cook's Senior Vice President Corporate Financial Services, North America. (From Netday news)

Never mind the force get the edge

Stock brokers PaineWebber new Internet product the EDGE provides clients with full access to account information; potential investments using innovative portfolio tracking software; and provides stock quotes, market summary data, and customised news coverage from Reuters. "In addition to our highly regarded research and professional investment advisors, PaineWebber EDGE is a tool our clients can use to continually review and evaluate their portfolios and stay informed about significant changes in the marketplace," said Lauren Mascitelli, senior vice president and director, Electronic Marketing, for PaineWebber's Private Client Group.

World agreement on liberalisation of telco regimes.

GENEVA (CNN) Negotiators from about 70 countries concurred Saturday on a new global agreement to open telecommunications markets. The deal is expected to lower the cost of phone calls and improve technology. The agreement was reached at the World Trade Organisation only hours before a midnight deadline.

The deal would phase out monopolies and restrictions on competition that have allowed telephone companies to overcharge for calls and given them little incentive to improve services. "We have reached an accord which will open the $750 billion world telecommunications market to American companies," U.S. Representative Tom Bliley said in a statement.

Flat out on the flat rate problem

160,000 Internet users have ``bombed'' the Federal Communications Commission with e-mail protesting proposed phone rate increases on Internet service providers that many consumers believe will be passed on to them in the form of higher connection costs. The agency is expected to rule on the issue in May after considering formal comments from phone companies, Internet providers, and other interested parties, including consumers. In December the FCC tentatively decided not to impose ``access'' fees on Internet service providers.

Access fees are among the most controversial elements of several sweeping telephone regulatory reforms being developed by the FCC that will affect how rapidly competition will develop in the local phone business. Access fees were instituted after the break-up of the old AT&T telephone monopoly in 1983.

Management library.

The Internet is bringing a new view of some cities and what they offer the world. Bradford no less is home to Management Express the official journal of the Anbar Management Library on-line (400 journals / 40,000+ abstracts) Thirty day free guest access is available to the library. Every week the latest content is drawn from the Library and made available on-line to all.

An e-journal for managers and management researchers. Every week a team of reviewers bring you the most significant new ideas and practice from over 400 of the worlds top management journals. Readers can use our reviewers judgements to determine whether or not they need to know more, then order the full-text document for those articles which are absolutely essential to their work.

Documents are available by fax or mail from The British Library. Areas of coverage::- Accounting & Finance - Asia Pacific Management - Information Management & Technology - Marketing & Logistics - Personnel & Training - Operations & Production - - Management of Quality - - Strategic Management

Comment

Taxing the Internet -
Is It even possible

There has never been a human activity that has not been the subject of a governments wish to tax it.

From the urinal laundries taxes of Rome to the window taxes of the middle ages the onward march of governments grasping fingers has been triumphant.

The result today is that through wholesale taxes sales taxes financial taxes, petrol taxes income taxes, the earners of society count themselves lucky to get home with maybe 20% of their income.

The wondrous thing is that they acquiesce so much in the politicians whims for their money. But that's another story.

So the movement of a great deal of commerce to the global market is presenting National governments with a problem. The transactions once located in a specific time and place are now geographically free.

That's an enormous change. But notice that what has happened is that the Internet has enabled a change. It is partially the cause of it. But it is not the change itself.

For instance the making of trainer shoes to first Korea and then Indonesia. It will be the Internet that will enable the marketing of those shoes direct from there without the movement to the wholesaler, the retailer.

But if you have no control over the place of production, the temptation is then to tax and control the communications that made it possible.

What then are government to do for the slice of revenue that is extracted form the exchange of goods.

In my view nothing.

Take that shining example of the free market the supermarket. The governments sticky fingers only appear in the form of a cascade of sales taxes wholesales taxes. What if the government did not get these taxes.

We would still eat. There would be a shortage of taxes in the government coffers. Is this a bad thing. It might bring an examination of the spending side of the government equation.

Why wreck commerce to pay billions to a railway system that needs sold. Why not let subsidies become voluntary. We could all gather outside our gates and gaily throw our money into large cages on trucks.

These to be driven to the losing industries across town or out in the country and pitchforked into the feeding troughs of the lame duck industries.

The billions spent on maintaining people in welfare might even be spent on getting them off it into a dignified self-supporting existence.

Some local efforts at taxing the Internet providers for the traffic they generate have been shelved for impracticality.

The easy part would be to pass a bill that taxes Internet commerce, the impossible bit would be to collect it.

Consider that if say south Australian wine was taxed on the Internet the seller would as easily shift to selling Californian product or ship it to a warehouse in Singapore and sell it to Finland from there.
With the removal of the usual intermediaries such as resellers, wholesalers who is going be the entity that stays around to be taxed.
Basically as commerce goes into the wires which lead here and there it will become like the worlds capital markets, not subject to regulation or capable of taxation. Here now 10 seconds later in Kansas.

The sales of CD s in Australia are hurt because of the high sales tax. The usual inside the square argument is to run around trying to tax the Internet sales.
Does it take the wisdom of Solomon to remove the sales tax and protect the local retailers.
The general trend in prosperity for countries is that low taxes, low welfare and high productivity leads to prosperity. High taxes high welfare can cripple even a productive and prosperous economies such as Germany and Sweden.
If in three years time economies such as Hong Kong UK, New Zealand and the US have unemployment at 4% and the socialist countries such as Australia Germany Sweden and Canada have rates at 9 to 12% extraordinary debt and internal deficits of extraordinary proportions then it will be because of a love of regulation and tax.
The Internet will be a test case. If the government restrains itself from trying to do the impossible at a prohibitive cost and instead attacks the removal of most of the countries wealth to the spending indulgence of the politicians it may be a ray of common sense.