March 10, 1997

Mind The Gap
Some unusual questions for Internet World attendees
By Jim Louderback

  Well, it's time for Internet World again, and this time I'm going. So, in honor of the Net, here are 14 questions I plan on asking during the show this week:

  1.) If "push" is what happens when my computer goes up to your server on a regular basis and extracts information of interest to me, and "pull" is what happens when I go up to your server and get information of interest to me, will "suck" be what happens when I realize your content is irrelevant and throw it in the bit bucket?

2.) So the technology exists for me to upload a virtual three-dimensional rendering of my body, so that I can order custom-made clothes over the Net. Exactly how real does this scan have to be? Do I really want the world to know about that fatty deposit on my lower rib cage or the extruded belly underneath? Will these identi-scans be required for entry into certain, ahem, "restricted" chat groups?

3.) If your program is written in Microsoft's Visual Java and my program is written in Symantec's Visual Café, can they both be made with Java Beans? Can they be converted into Latté? Can anyone see where this is going?

4.) If Internet addiction is becoming such a big deal, will Hillary Rodham Clinton open a chain of Clinton-Net rehab clinics after Bill gets out of office? Will the detox tank be a reproduction of the Lincoln bedroom?

5.) OK, so no one wants to pay for content, and those silly banners don't provide nearly enough revenue to support the staffs of hundreds being assembled by all the best and brightest in Silicon Valley. Isn't this more like the '90s version of the "Airplane" Ponzi scheme than the '90s version of CB radio?

6.) So my phone company wants to charge me extra fees for using its lines to connect to the Internet. Will the next step be a special surcharge for any voice calls that last longer than 15 minutes, on the grounds that I'm tying up the company's precious network?

7.) Did those nice people on The Spot ever find a good local dry cleaner to take care of those hard-to-handle stains?

8.) Now that the URL has replaced the alligator and polo player for truly hip designer clothes, is the next step tattooing your home page on your butt? What if your ISP goes out of business?

9.) If Internet usage patterns are forcing heavy users to log on during the relatively uncrowded hours between midnight and sunrise, will Warner Brothers do a remake of the movie "C.H.U.D." and call it "C.H.U.I.D."? Will the next Anne Rice novel feature the debut of the Vampire Lestat's home page?

10.) Will the logarithmic growth rate of E-mail cause Oracle to invent the NC shower caddy?

11.) If, as studies show, heavy Internet users are sleeping less, should the FDA regulate the Net as a stimulant?

12.) Didn't the information superhighway metaphor go out of favor about the time that AOL put up the equivalent of metered on-ramps but forgot to change the lights occasionally from red to green?

13.) Do you ever dream fondly about 1995, when you had an actual life?

14.) Will the main response to my questions be, "You ask a lot of questions for some guy who doesn't even have his own home page"?

Got any annoying questions of your own? Send them to

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