The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on August 3, 1999 · Page 25
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia · Page 25

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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Tuesday, August 3, 1999
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Page 25
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 1999 www.smh.com.au BIZ.COM 25 ondl rs safe with 4. v "- ! BigP paddle ffidz. CHILD PROTECTION By KATRINA NICHOLAS Telstra Big Pond will market and distribute a child-friendly Web access service following an agreement with children's Internet network Kidz.net Kidz.net, which is owned by miner turned Internet player Walhalla.com, sells a service that allows children access to 500,000 Web sites with content deemed to be suitable for them. It is the second move into children's online services for Telstra, which last year launched Kahootz, an online club for children. Under the latest agreement, Kidz.net will be offered as a value-added product to Telstra Big Pond Home customers. Kidz.net is now available in the US through Internet service provider ISDN.net and in Australia through various small Internet service providers. A spokesman for Walhalla. Telstra CONVERGENCE By KIRSTY NEEDHAM Telstra has hired Australian music industry stalwart and former managing director of Mushroom Records Mr Warren Costello as an online music consultant. Mr Costello said yesterday he was joining Telstra to "find out" about the digital music revolution, in return for bringing the Powerlan chief to reap $llm from float IT SERVICES By KIRSTY NEEDHAM The founder and managing director of IT services company Powerlan, Mr Theo Baker, will reap $11 million from the $25 million float launched yesterday. Powerlan is offering 25 million shares at $1 each, of which 15 million are being sold by existing shareholders including Mr Baker and 10 million are new shares. The 25 million shares equate to 38.4 per cent of the $65 million company. The seven-year-old Powerlan has seen strong growth in recent years through its systems integration, IT training and consulting service. It is predicting earnings before interest and tax of $5.9 million for the year to June 30, rising to $9.8 million in this year. The company expects to pay a dividend next June of 5c a share. "At no time will growth be at the expense of the bottom line," Mr Baker said. He will hold 49.6 per cent of Powerlan after the float, which is being fully underwritten by KTM Capital. Mr Baker said while some future Powerlan revenue would be derived from selling technology products over the Internet, most would come from implementing Internet business solutions for clients. An e-commerce Web site, launched last week and selling 30,000 products, would be used as a vehicle to market Powerplan's services to small to medium-sized businesses. Mr Baker admitted there was "plenty of competition out there" in the IT services market The prospectus outlines the risk of the information technology skills shortage in Australia, and says Powerlan is experiencing a high turnover of network systems engineers. An American-style employee share option plan will see around 3 million options awarded on a performance basis. Mr Baker said employee options would not exceed 5 per cent of the capital value. net com said the agreement was intended to expand Kidzjiet's customer base. The general manager of Telstra Big Pond Home, Mr Rowan Munchenberg, said Kidz.net gave parents confidence that their children would not gain access to undesirable Web sites when surfing the Internet The service would complement Kahootz, a closed environment which allows children to create their own Web pages and send visual content to other members. Although Kahootz runs on the Internet, it is not connected to the World Wide Web, so children using it have no access to public Web sites and can only e-mail other Kahootz members. Kahootz product manager Ms Sonia Bijelic said about 1,000 subscriptions had been sold since its launch. Another player offering a censored version of the Internet is fledgling firm TeLNet Media. Tel.Net, which plans to list on Nasdaq by the end of the year, appoints telecommunications company closer to the music industry. Mr Costello said in regard to the future delivery of music, "the phone companies have got everyone over a barrel". Mr Costello left Mushroom Records, the Australian record label founded by Mr Michael Gudinski, following its sale to News Corporation last September. He said that although major record companies were now keen to Star power to drive new multimedia same site ENTERTAINMENT By KATE CRAWFORD Software company Macromedia, best known for its graphics programs, is negotiating to sign up Hollywood stars such as Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and the creators of South Park for an Internet entertainment portal that will operate out of one of its Web sites. The company is leveraging the popularity of its software brand, Shockwave, to attract people to the site, which will be called Shockwave.com. Shockwave is a program that allows Internet users to see animation and other special effects. The company was looking for ways to better capitalise on the user base of its Shockwave software, which has reached some 100 million people, said vice-president of marketing for Shock-wave.com, Ms Deirdre Poison. Macromedia noticed that its Shockwave Web site, which was used to distribute and demonstrate the software to developers, had become immensely popular with consumers. The result is Shockwave.com, a company of 50 people based in San Francisco, which aims to create an entertainment destination for consumers on the Web. "We're providing a combination of cartoons, comics, games and eventually music on the Internet, which people can save and then share with their friends," said Ms Poison. Shockwave.com has developed new audio-visual technologies for playing entertainment content on the Net: Shockwave Remote, which is free and Shockmachine, a fully-featured version selling for $US 19.95 ($30.70) The software lets users find full-motion video and sound files on the net and save them for repeated use. The revenue streams for Shockwave.com are expected to come from online advertising and the sales of the Shockmachine player. But there were other opportunities for e-commerce, such as the sale of entertainment merchandise, Ms Poison said. The big surprise is that Hollywood stars, who are usually Goggles on . . . Big Pond will let children dip their toes in cyberspace without plunging into the darker reaches of has developed Internet Sheriff new technology that can be used to screen out various categories of Web sites. The technology runs within the infrastructure of ISPs' telecommunications companies, allowing them to on-sell the service to users. TeLNet chief executive Mr Mushroom maestro to online music arm become involved in online CD retailing by supplying product, the global nature of the Internet meant decisions would increasingly be made at an international level. "No longer can you make a decision based on your market. It has to be based on the world. "The people in New York are in a position to do that, and the other territories are being led by those decisions. "Previously, you were running a J S j . . KVY, ' .1 I Shockwave.com content will include wary of technology companies, are seeing the potential of talking to the technology set in San Francisco. "We're getting a lot of attention from celebrities in Hollywood who want to be involved with this we've worked with Jay Leno, WTioopi is considering an animated talk show and the South Park boys are planning a wide range of new things. We're acting as the bridge between LA and San Francisco." The focus on consumer entertainment is evidenced by the choice of the new CEO, the Disney veteran, Mr Stephen Fields. Shockwave.com plans to develop its role in online entertainment by putting up Mr Fields's contact book and forging partnerships with entertainment companies. Current partners include Comedy Central, Fox Interactive, Sega and Hasbro Interactive. nv i TT1 I t X s -f : : . J ' Alan Jones said the Internet Sheriff was used by about 350,000 customers. It could be used by companies to stop employees from accessing share trading or pornography sites, or by church groups to create a "suitable" Internet environment "Research from Forrester predicts that the number of porn company for the Australia and New Zealand market," he said. Mr Costello joins Telstra as a project manager and will bring contemporary Australian acts online through Webcasts and look for concert sponsorship opportunities. He brings extensive experience in marketing and , promoting music. "I know about content," he said. Telstra's manager of music services, Mr Craig Reardon, said the South Park. Shockwave.com will offer content from these partners, and prides itself on its range of animations from the likes of South Park, Peanuts and Dilbert, as well as animated games and music content However, the company puts an emphasis on encouraging development of new entertainment properties and hopes to find the next big thing in animated entertainment. "We're actively in talks with Mike Judge creator of Beavis and Butthead, Matt Stone and Trey Parker who made South Park as well as the creator of Ren and Stimpy to develop their next project," Ms Poison said. "The Internet is the perfect medium for these cutting-edge animations and for breaking a new brand. You don't have to spend a lot of money shooting a TV pilot and hiring focus groups when you can put it online and easily track the audience reaction." To have and to hold If you don't have great customer service, clients will leave you for a company that does. A decent bit of software added to your call centre operations can make the difference. Today's I.T. fiftout in the Herald shows you how. I.T. ' j i sites on the Internet will triple within a year and so issues like 'corporate duty are becoming important," Mr Jones said. "For corporations, it's like giving all employees access to Fox cable television and then telling them to only watch CNN foreign affairs and no movies." With Internet Sheriff, Mr Phone cards for online PARTNERSHIPS By KATRINA NICHOLAS Online travel group Travel.-com.au has added long-distance phone cards to its range of travel-related products available for purchase over the Internet. The company will promote the cards following an agreement with Australian communications company eKorp.com. EKorp.com's eKno travel kit, launched in June and already marketed in Australia by Lonely Planet, offers a range of communication, information and assistance services including budget long-distance phone calls from more than 40 coun Sun says chip lights way for others COMPUTERS Sun Microsystems has released details of a new microprocessor design which the company hopes could become a standard for computing in the post-PC era. Scheduled to be formally introduced at Stanford University later this month, the new chip design called Microprocessor Architecture for Java Computing (MAJC) is intended to be used in computing applications beyond the standard desktop personal computer market, which is dominated by InteL A brainchild of the company's chief scientist, Mr Bill Joy, Sun's MAJC chip is already audaciously referred to by Sun officials as "the most important semi-conductor architecture of the next 20 years". "It will be much, much easier to build media capabilities into commonplace devices and networks," Mr Joy said. Sun has made a number of attempts to develop processor standards that are independent of both Intel and Sun's rival, Microsoft, but neither of these designs Sparc and Pico Java have gained broad market acceptance beyond Sun's products. However, the computer industry is widely believed to be at a crossroads, because the Internet has opened the possibility of extending computing to many new applications, including everything from television set-top boxes to navigational systems for cars. A wide range of new chip designs -- i '. the Net Photograph by louise kennerley Jones said, companies could prevent . employees from wasting time on the Internet by allowing them access only to selected Web sites. While Mr Jones said the market potential for Internet, censoring software was large, he said Tel.Net's Internet Sheriff was not in competition with appointment of Mr Costello was in line with Telstra's commitment to becoming more of a content player. Mr Reardon said Telstra had a long-term licence with Sonic Net, a US Web site that was taken over by MTV Online last month. The licence had covered Telstra's core music Website, Addicted to Noise, but the company would now look to bring more content to Australia. "The material we have licence tries, a global voicemail box accessible by phone and Internet, a free Web-based e-mail account, the capability to listen to messages via the Web and a US number allowing non-members to leave messages free of charge. New services soon to be added to eKno include the ability for travellers to reply to e-mail messages by phone, a service that allows travellers to receive faxes to their e-mail address, secure personal travel document storage and emergency medical assistance. To use the service, travellers purchase a "virtual card" with a minimum value of $US20 ($30.76) - from the Internet and receive a personal eKno number and PIN. are now on the horizon, ranging from Sony's Emotion Engine for the Playstation II to a variety of specialised chips for a new generation of hand-held computers. Many industry executives expect such consumer computing applications to require alternative processor designs than those that have been standard for the computing industry until now. That belief has touched off a race towards new types of processors that are better suited for demanding content such as video, voice and animation. The new Sun MAJC chip is also intended to run modern programming languages more quickly than today's microprocessors, and as such will be viewed as a competitor with Intel and Hewlett-Packard's new IA64 chip design, which is initially aimed at the market for high-end corporate computing. If Sun is to be successful this time, it will be because the most significant features of the chip are what computer designers refer to as "scaleable" in other words they are able to be expanded and created in a modular fashion to permit it to be used across a range of computing applications. "This is an architecture that is designed to allow you to make good use of all the transistors that will be available in the future," said industry analyst Mr Tom HalfhilL Sun's new design project was started four years ago by a group led by Mr Joy. "We were able to take a clean Walhalla.com's Kidz.net. "Kidz.net is a tailored solution for nine- to 12-year-olds and it caters for a special market segment," he said. "Our vision is much broader." Walhalla.com's shares were suspended from trade yesterday at 74c pending announcement of the Telstra agreement. access to is growing more quickly than we have been able to integrate it locally," Mr Reardon said. He said Telstra would be looking to further expand its Webcasting business. "These new areas don't belong to a traditional group," he said. Mr Costello became involved with the Addicted to Noise Website through the Telstra Webcast of Mushroom's 25th anniversary concert last year. travellers EKorp.com's chief executive, Mr Bryan Rowe, said there were now 2000 eKno users worldwide. He said he hoped the marketing arrangement with Travel.-com.au would see a further 10,000 users attracted to the service within two months. Travel.com.au's chief executive, Mr David Tonkin, said the company chose eKno over various other phone cards available in the market because it offered travellers more than budget-rate calling capability. "We want out customers to engage in a hassle-free travel experience before they leave home and be assured of having worldwide access to one communications system," Mr Tonkin said. sheet of paper and start over," said Ms Marge Breya, vice-president of marketing and business at the company's microelectronics division. Intel, the world's biggest computer chip manufacturer, said it was planning to invest SUS50 million ($77 million) in Pacific Century CyberWorks, a telecommunications equipment maker, to supply chips and services for set-top boxes used in Asia. Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Group is acquiring a controlling stake in Tricom Holdings and renaming it Pacific Century CyberWorks. Pacific Century Group's primary businesses include digital-media development and Financial services. Intel, which will have a 13 per cent stake in Pacific Century CyberWorks, including an earlier investment, will supply computer chips and services for the company's set-top boxes and satellite systems to deliver broadcast and Internet services in Asia. "Our goal with these agreements is to speed the deployment of broadband Internet-based services to Asia," Mr Claude Leglise, general manager of Intel's Home Products Group, said. Pacific Century CyberWorks will acquire Intel and Pacific Century Group's joint venture, called Pacific Convergence, which was formed in March 1998, to bring high-speed Internet services to Asia. These services will be available early next year. The New York Times and Bloomberg ISIS OFFER Isis Communications, an Australian media communications and Internet company, is seeking to list on the Australian Stock Exchange by raising $55 million via a public share offer. The offering, equal to 39pc of Isis's issued capital, has a provision for a further $5 million in oversubscriptions. Managing director Mr Adam Radly said he expected the company's total market capitalisation to be around $141 million after the public offering. Isis wduld use the new capital to develop joint-venture partnerships and to acquire equity in other companies. BPAY SITE Electronic bill payment company BPay, has launched a Web site to provide information for customers, billers and banks and to promote online bill payment. BPay said 20 per cent of BPay bills are now paid online. ISP NAME CHANGE Shareholders in Golden Tiger Resources yesterday passed all resolutions related to the acquisition of a 55 per cent stake in Internet company, AusISP, the change of company name to ISP Ltd, the appointment of three new directors and the issuing of share options to those directors. OPENING COMMENT The Federal Information Technology Minister, Senator Alston, said e-commerce should be recognised as a business issue, not a technology issue. Senator Alston, opening Internet World '99 in Sydney yesterday, said e-commerce projects should be initiated by senior management. SENIORS' DISCOUNT Pacific Internet says it is the first ISP to offer a discount for older users. The ISP will offer a 10 per cent discount to two million Senior Card holders Australia-wide. About 11 per cent of Internet users are aged over 55 years. NET RADIO NetFM, which claims to have been the first Internet radio station when it launched www.netfm.net in November 1998, says it has 20,000 Web listeners per day. Spike Networks launched a similar venture, Spike Radio, last Sunday. TURNING JAPANESE Spike has won a contract to relaunch the M&M confectionery brand in Japan, through an alliance with l&SBBDO. The online environment will be Spike's first fully Japanese Web site. GIVEAWAY MACS FreeMac.com, says a million Apple iMac computers will be "given away" in the latest PC and Internet access bundling scheme. Customers will have to sign up for a 3-year Internet access contract, at$US20amonth. Y2K BUGS RUSSIA Five months before the Y2K bug strikes, Russia's atomic power ministry has adjusted only 450 of its 6,000-plus computers. Only $US187 million ($288.58 million) is left in the organisation's budget to cover work estimated to cost $US2 billion ($3.09 billion). 08BOSSCB mm mmm i mm

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