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NewsWatch - April, 2000

NewsWatch - April, 2000









New Privacy Act Protects Children on Web Sites

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) came into effect April 21. COPPA means that Web sites must get parental permission before collecting personal information from a child known to be under 13 years of age.

The act, passed in 1998, requires sites to provide highly visible links to privacy policies and to obtain parental consent — by e-mailing their consent, dialing an 800 number, or signing a form — before collecting information about users aged under 13.

The law, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, is intended to protect children's personal data from marketers and molesters.

The law will affect hundreds of sites offering online games and contests to children.

Compliance with the law may be a costly investment for some sites as they must establish and maintain a system of obtaining verifiable parental consent. FreeZone, a site for kids ages 8 to 14 with more than 600,000 registered users, says that complying with COPPA will cost the company $96,600 a year.

But privacy advocates contend the cost of compliance won't be prohibitive even for small online businesses.

"If you're going to do business with children, there have to be some rules of the game," said Kathryn Montgomery, president and cofounder of the Center for Media Education, in Washington. CME and consumer groups conducted a survey of kids' sites in 1997 that found 90 percent of the sites, such as Toys R Us, collected information without verifiable parental consent.

At that time, "kids were told that 'productspokesperson Geoffrey [the Toys R Us giraffe] would like to send you a special gift online for your birthday,'" said Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America. "The kids had no clue that the information might be used for secondary purposes. And that's one of the principles: You shouldn't collect information for one purpose and use it for a second purpose."

Reuters reported that AOL has deleted the profiles of anyone who listed an age under 13. "Instead, AOL wants children under 13 to use profiles that do not give their ages and are monitored under AOL's parental controls system," said Reuters' Eddie Evans.

COPPA is the first online privacy law passed by Congress, but it may not be the last. Public opinion seems to favor more laws: based on random national telephone surveys conducted by research firm Odyssey, 47 percent of online household heads strongly agree that the government should regulate the use of personal information gathered online, and another 35 percent agree at least somewhat with the concept.


Allaire Reports Record Q1 2000 Results
Revenues increase 206%; Sequential Revenues increase 45%

The Allaire Corporation on April 18, reported record financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2000.

Q1 2000 Q1 1999 Growth Q4 1999 Growth
Revenue $26.6 million $8.7 million 206% $18.3 million 45%
Reported Net Income $1.0 million $(2.6 million) N/A $248,000 303%
Diluted EPS $0.03 $(0.13) N/A $0.01 200%
Adjusted Net Income $1.1 million $(2.6 million) N/A $478,000 130%
Adjusted Diluted EPS $0.04 $(0.13) N/A $0.02 100%

Key 1Q 2000 Allaire Financial Results
and Comparisons With Prior Quarters

[For comparison purposes, all diluted earnings per share are based on pro forma shares outstanding which gives effect retroactively to the conversion of preferred stock and other restricted stock changes that occurred upon Allaire's initial public offering. Adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS excludes amortization of goodwill and other intangibles and merger costs.]

"The first quarter was a record breaking quarter for the company," said David Orfao, president and CEO of Allaire. "During the quarter, we reported record revenues worldwide, reflecting strong momentum across all areas of our business. Fueling this growth was the rapid adoption of the Allaire Business Platform, including impressive win rates for Allaire Spectra, both within our installed base as well as with new customers. This has allowed us to secure more enterprise-class customers working on complex e-business projects, including major advancements in international markets," Orfao said.

In addition to its base of 10,000 customers worldwide, Allaire reported adding a substantial number of new customers during the first quarter of 2000. The Company attracted business from over 25 Fortune 500 companies including Kmart Corporation, MCI Worldcom and Ford Motor Company. Additionally, high-profile Internet companies like, Cambridge Incubator and have selected Allaire's technology to bring their businesses online. New customers in the International market included the ANZ bank, Bertelsmann Andsold GmbH, and First Choice Travel.

Allaire customers worldwide include the American Medical Association, American Power Conversion,, Bank of America, Bayer Inc., Be Free, Inc., Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., Broken Hill Properties, Carlson Companies, Inc., CellularOne, Cisco, Citicorp North America, CSC Ploenzke (GR), Cummins Engine Company, Inc., FAO Schwarz, FedEx, Fujitsu Computer, GE Power Systems, GE Medical Systems, Goss Interactive, Hartford Life - National Service Center, Hitachi Semiconductor, Hyundai Electronics, i2 Technologies, Inc., Investorworld Community Concepts AG, Merrill Lynch, NEXTEL, Nintendo of America, Inc., Parametric Technologies, Quaker Oats, Random House, Raytheon, RR Donnelley & Sons, Sallie Mae, Salomon Smith Barney, Shopko Stores, Inc., Sprint Paranet, State Street Bank & Trust Co., T. Rowe Price Investment Technologies, Universal Music France, UUNET Technologies, Inc., Virtual Communities, and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Allaire Appoints Two to Board of Directors

Allaire Corporation announced on April 17, that Ronnie Ward, former vice president and general manager of the AltaVista Company, and Dr. Frank King, former president and CEO of PSW Technologies, had joined the Allaire board of directors. Alaaire said that Ward, a private investor, would bring strong expertise in acquisitions and working with growing companies. King, also a private investor, would bring expertise in technology development and integration.

As Vice President and General Manager for AltaVista's local portal services, Ward led key Compaq acquisitions to fortify the AltaVista Internet destination site, including and Ward also served as vice president and general manager of the enterprise solutions division of Compaq Computer Corporation, driving the group's server solutions business.

Dr. King, former president and CEO of PSW Technologies, Inc., has more than 25 years of high-technology experience. At PSW, Dr. King was responsible for developing an innovative business strategy for partnering with leading software development firms to gain early knowledge of emerging software technologies and then providing systems integration and application development services to these partners' customers. Additionally, Dr. King led the Company through a successful IPO.

"Ronnie and Frank bring a wealth of knowledge in technology development, management and company growth that will facilitate Allaire's continued expansion into the Internet business platform marketplace," said David Orfao, president and CEO for Allaire. "We are thrilled to have them both join our board and help us to continue to grow our company and increase our momentum as a market leader."

Allaire Certified Professional Program Preview

The Allaire Certified Professional Program (ACPP) will be available in the early summer of 2000. To help you prepare, Allaire is offering a sneak preview of the program benefits and prerequisites.

If you're an experienced ColdFusion developer, the ACPP can validate your status as a professional Web developer and increase your marketability by promoting the knowledge and skills used to effectively develop and deploy ColdFusion applications.

ACPP Preview

ColdFusion 4.5.1 Update

Download the update which adds Windows 2000 compatibility and iPlanet 4.0 configuration support.

Allaire strongly recommends the update for all users of ColdFusion Server 4.5: Enterprise NT, Professional NT and ColdFusion Studio 4.5. It requires an installed, registered copy of 4.5 for installation.

Download 4.5.1 Upgrades

Allaire Developer Conference 2000

The second annual worldwide Allaire Developer Conference is being held November 5-8, 2000 in Washington, DC. The event is designed to keep Allaire customers and partners on the leading edge of Web application development.

The conference will include a wide range of in-depth technical sessions, sneak previews of new Allaire technologies, and opportunities to exchange information with your peers in the Allaire development community.

Conference Details

Allaire Teams With Cisco - Load Balancing

On April 11, Allaire Corporation announced that it is shipping technology that integrates with Cisco Systems' load balancing solutions.

Allaire said it had integrated the high availability clustering features with Cisco's LocalDirector load balancing solutions to deliver increased Web site reliability and performance.

"Customers today are demanding increased performance and reliability from their mission-critical Web applications and Allaire is dedicated to delivering a highly performing, reliable Web platform for the enterprise," said Jeremy Allaire, chief technology officer for Allaire. "Allaire's clustering capabilities integrate with Cisco's network-based load balancing solutions to provide increased Web application performance and availability. This integration provides customers with a proven Internet infrastructure that can scale to meet high-volume demand by enhancing application level awareness within the network and Web application."

Robust clustering capabilities enable the communication of ColdFusion server load and availability directly to a Cisco Local Director using Cisco's Dynamic Feedback Protocol (DFP). The DFP is supported in all of Cisco's load balancing solutions including LocalDirector, the Catalyst 6000 switch family, and Cisco IOS.

Allaire's technology and DFP enable Local Director to receive all inbound traffic to a single IP address and domain name. Server selection management is based on available load-balancing schemes offered by Cisco and utilizes the added intelligence provided by Allaire Clustering running locally on each Web application server.

This integration is an important step in Allaire's continuous scalability strategy and offers customers the opportunity to combine the industry's leading independent Web application technology with the market leading IP traffic management technology for increased performance and reliability.

"Allaire is enabling customers to utilize the content-level intelligence in a Cisco network by dynamically communicating Web application availability to Cisco's load balancing solutions," said Krish Ramakrishnan, Senior Director of Cisco Systems. "Dynamic Feedback Protocol is a cornerstone of Cisco's load balancing technologies, enabling optimized access to web applications. With Cisco's LocalDirector DFP and Allaire's ColdFusion Web application server, customers can leverage a dependable solution to successfully conduct business on the Web."

Key benefits include:

  • ColdFusion application based load management
  • ColdFusion application availability awareness
  • ColdFusion Server recovery
  • Automatic email alerts for ColdFusion server issues
  • IP load balancing (http, ftp, smtp)
  • Single domain name/IP address (no redirects back to the browser)
  • Scales to large numbers of servers

Allaire Announcement


A Belated Welcome to

A little late, CF Advisor welcomes to the ColdFusion community.

Rey Bango, CFnewbie's founder, says that the site's v1.0 release incorporates as many features as possible. These include: Newbie articles, Daily Tips, a Site of the Week, Threaded Discussion Groups, Real-time Chat, ColdFusion Resources, The Book Matrix (locates the best prices for CF books), and an Archive of past articles.

Ray says the features aren't going to stop there and that v2.0 of the site, currently under development, will include an interactive event calendar, many more CF-related links, and, possibly, article syndication via Allaire's XML technology, WDDX.

The principal aim of, says Ray, "is to help out the beginning ColdFusion developer. Every aspect of the site will be geared towards giving these individuals a leg up."

It's a wonderful site — technically, graphically and contentwise. CF Advisor highly recommends a visit.


Mounties Bust Mafiaboy for February DoS Attack on CNN

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced April 19, that they had arrested a 15-year-old script kiddie known as Mafiaboy for allegedly attacking the Cable News Network's Web Site. He was released on bail and barred from using a computer except for school work under a teacher's supervision.

He is the first to be charged in a series of widespread Denial of Service (DoS) attacks in February on some of the largest World Wide Web sites including e-Bay, Amazon, Excite and Yahoo.

While US Attorney General Janet Reno said she thought Mafiaboy should be punished to prevent other kids from thinking that they could get away with computer mischief.

Children, she said, must learn "cyber-ethics." Although she said cyber-attacks on commercial sites would no longer be treated as schoolboy pranks, she did not say what the penalty for committing such crimes should be. Under Canadian law, Mafiaboy faces up to two years of detention if convicted.

Computer security experts quoted in a ZDNet article urged leniency and questioned whether the attcks were the work of only one person. Their consensus: What Mafiaboy did wasn't all that heinous, and imposing jail time would be like swatting a fly with a Buick. "I think these people should be prosecuted," said one security pro, "but I worry about overreaction. What they did is akin to cow tipping."

"Yeah, right" said Wired News, demanding the evidence and reporting hacking community doubts that Mafiaboy was the perp. An article on, however, complained that, "Despite the severity of his crime, the fact that 'Mafiaboy' has been charged in Canada ensures that he will serve no more than three years in jail — and perhaps not even that."

"Is Mafiaboy Real or a Creation of the Media?" asked offering a highly skeptical analysis of the media's coverage of and the arrest of Mafiaboy.

"When the name 'mafiaboy' was first mentioned months ago..." says, "we dropped a few [false] clues that the person was in a country with snow and at one point 'accidentally' spoke French to imply the province of Quebec. We were amazed when the blame actually landed on someone from Montreal...."


Latest Site Ratings

In the March Nielsen/NetRatings Web user ratings announced April 20, AOL and associated properties were the most visited sites by home connections while Yahoo! and its sites were number one among work users. A total of 48.5 million unique users came to AOL from home for an average of approximately 29 minutes. Yahoo! received 22.4 million unique work users, with an average visit of one hour 49 minutes.

Top 5 Sites Visited by at-home Internet users
  1. AOL Websites 48,500,000 - 0:28:57 minutes
  2. Yahoo! 45,772,000 - 1:06:02 minutes
  3. MSN 32,783,000 - 0:56:25 minutes
  4. Lycos Network 24,941,000 - 0:18:28 minutes
  5. [email protected] 23,645,000 - 0:27:45 minutes
Top 5 Sites Visited by at-work Internet users
  1. Yahoo! 22,398,000 - 1:49:10 minutes
  2. AOL Websites 20,272,000 - 0:47:49 minutes
  3. MSN 18,247,000 - 1:27:48 minutes
  4. Microsoft 13,501,000 - 0:16:26 minutes
  5. Lycos Network 13,409,000 - 0:20:34 minutes

The CyberAtlas Top 25 Web Properties of March 2000

Upswing in Wireless Content Delivery

There has been a sharp upswing in wireless content offerings for Palm-based PDAs, pagers, and cellular phones.

Editor and Publisher reported that Cox and Belo have recently launched special wireless versions of their newspapers. The Washington Post told Editor and Publisher it will have special wireless updates from the party conventions this August.

The Encylopedia Britannica has launched Britannica Traveler, software that will allow users of the Palm VII to access the encyclopedia wirelessly. The free service will allow users search the entire encylopedia's database and then view relevant articles.

In Britain, WAP fever seems to have taken a firm grasp.

Tesco, Britain's leading supermarket, is set to sell mobile phones with Internet access directly from its supermarket. More than 10,000 Phillips C12 phones equipped with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) — which allows Internet access — went on sale Thursday, April 20, priced at $155 each.

Tesco, claiming to be the first supermarket to sell WAP enabled cellular (mobile) telephones, hopes that making the phones available in a supermarket will make customers less fearful of high technology.

"It's just the start of the supermarket WAP revolution," said Tesco manager Steve Garton. "Being able to buy these phones in the same place as your fruit and veg means that customers no longer fear high technology." Tesco is also the UK's leading online supermarket.

Also in Britain, the UK's first commercial independent WAP portal — Bob Geldof's WapWorld, — coupled with Sky and BT Cellnet could herald a dramatic increase in the choice of WAP content.

WapWorld — a joint venture between Bob Geldof's Amicus Digital media company, Brian Moore's content partnership company and the new media company, Jingo Communications — will offer WAP telephone users free content, including news, weather, horoscopes, and jokes.


Ben Forta/Ashley King CFUGoRama In Washington DC

TeraTech, Figleaf and Allaire are sponsoring a free Ben Forta/Ashley King CFUG meeting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, May 17, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC.

Ben Forta and Ashley King, two of the hottest names in the ColdFusion universe, are well published and bring excellent insight into the world of ColdFusion for both users and non-users.

The site also provides free registration — which is required to attend and to be eligible for the free product give aways.

The address is:

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Grand Ballroom
Washington DC

Wednesday May 17, 2000 at 6:30 pm

More Stories By Rod Bicknell

Rod Bicknell is an ex-newspaper journalist who entered the technology field on Wall Street in the early 80s.

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