26th > June > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

URLs to become personal calling cards

Personal domain names could be about to become the latest hot property on the Web, valued as family heirlooms and passed down from generation to generation. Just like mobile phones, which originally developed as a business-only tool before gaining mainstream consumer appeal, the kudos of having a personal domain name is set to create a new wave of URL owners. But unlike phones and the seemingly endless string of available numbers, there are only a limited number of usable names available -- and that number is shrinking every day. Which means if you want yourname.com -- you'd better hurry because many will have already been snapped up. And if you don't have one it could certainly crease your street cred in years to come. People will be able to meet one another simply by tapping in a URL -- they may even court one another using this digital calling card. No longer would you have to scribble down a phone number on your sweaty palm -- all you'd need to remember would be a name. Tim Ashley, sales and marketing director at NetBenefit believes this could be about to be come the next boom area in domain name sales. Thequeen.com, tonyblair.com, williamhague.com and margaretthatcher.com have already been snapped up. Who knows, people may even decide on the names they give their children depending on the availability of a URL. ®
The Register breaking news

Netscape Online is AOL free service

So Netscape is going to be the brand name for AOL Europe’s new free ISP service in the UK and Germany. AOL wanted to announce the deal Monday, but Der Spiegel got there first. The German news weekly says Netscape Online could be up and running as soon as August. And it says customer service will be free -- unlike FreeServe where punters are hand-held through premium rate lines. So can AOL Europe avoid cannibalising its 1.6 million German and British fee-paying subscribers? This would be a remarkable feat, considering how content-rich Netscape is these days. Does Netscape really want to become another MSN? Hasn’t it got enough on its plate already? Which telco(s) is AOL Europe teaming up with for the Free ISP service? We’ll have to wait-see till Monday.® See also: AOL scare gives Freeserve punters the jitters Papers got wrong end of the stick, says AOL
The Register breaking news

Freeserve rolls out Internet telephony

Dixons is pumping up Freeserve pre-float with a $10 million investment in US Internet telephony specialist TelePost. TelePost technology will form the basis of Telserve, a new teleconferencing strand on Freeserve. Up to six Freeserve users can be linked up together by conference call. They can also pick up email, fax and voice messages, so long as they are transmitted over the Internet. Freeserve will retain exclusive UK rights over this technology. In return for its money, Dixons gets a loan note from TelePost and a warrant for 35 per cent of the equity of the privately-owned California company. ® See also: Cash conscious surfers back Freeserve model Freeserve blitzkriegs UK with charm offensive Freeserve adds share-buying