Y2K or Bust
People on the other side of the fence - those who know that life as we know it will continue for at least a few more years - however, are antsy about how the new year will affect the more touchy economy. Watching the business news these past few weeks, you'll have noticed a stock market feeding frenzy over the e-Christmas retailing season. Even DM News' monthly Portfolio column in last week's issue charted quite a jump over the previous month in DM stock prices. Although we're sure the IT professionals of the world have done their jobs eradicating the Y2K computer bug, there is a psychological worry that it all might come tumbling down. Yes, the Internet will take the economy into a new millennium, but the bubble has to start leaking sometime.
It's a pity to see Internet companies get all the attention, though, as many traditional catalogers have put up some of the best e-commerce sites out there and they're expected to dominate the online world for several years to come.
Access for the Chosen Few
How could the Supreme Court revive a California law that gives people with a "scholarly, journalistic, political or governmental purpose" access to arrest records yet deny marketers from the same information? The state's attempted justification - to protect the privacy of victims and arrestees - makes no sense, as Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in their dissension. Instead of getting an individual solicitation from a lawyer or an insurance company, the court says it's better to print the person's name and address in the newspaper for everyone to see. Oh, that's much better.