"An alternative hypothesis to `the Internet makes you depressed' is that Pittsburgh makes you depressed. Both are equally valid." -- Vanderbilt University professor Donna Hoffman, objecting to a Carnegie Mellon study about the InternetEDITED BY ROBERT McNATTReturn to top
SO WHY ISN'T THIS MAC GOING TO MARKET?
THE NEW 366 MEGAHERTZ G3 Macintosh minitower, made with a speedy Motorola 366 MHz chip, is Apple Computer's fastest PC yet. The high-end, $3,000 computer should be a coup for Apple and its founder, Steve Jobs. The only problem: It has been yanked from production, with no explanation, after resellers sent out mailings about it and put it on catalog covers.
Announced on July 27, the PC was canceled by Apple on Aug. 14, says Mark Bradley, a senior vice-president at The Mac Zone, a cataloger that sent out 2 million mailings. Other resellers also got notice of the withdrawal. The nonexistent 366 is also on the cover of the most recent MacMall catalog, among others. Apple gave no reason for its action, although G3s with slower chips are available.
A Motorola spokesman said of the 366 MHz: "Any time you start a new product, the fastest speeds are the most difficult. It takes a while to ramp up production." He would not say whether enough 366 MHz chips were yet available.
So far, customers are being understanding, according to Dan DeVries, a sales executive at MacMall. But for how long?EDITED BY ROBERT McNATTReturn to top
RUSSIAN PROGRAMMERS: WILL CODE FOR DOLLARS
YO, COMRADE! RUSSIA'S economy may be hitting the skids. But Moscow-based software house ArgusSoft wants to help us Americans with our software labor shortage by offering the services of 120 programmers back in the motherland--via the Internet.
Think of the many advantages of this plan. First, it will help ease the scarcity of programmers. Second, it circumvents the need to get around the 65,000 visa-per-year ceiling on H-1B visas granted to those with special skills. Third, it will get money into Russia. Soon.
As Peter Oykhman, ArgusSoft's Frederick (Md.)-based rep, describes the problem: "If we had depended only on [Russian government] budget money, we'd have been dead by now." The company has yet to be paid for work for Russian state ministries. However, ArgusSoft does collect paychecks from U.S. clients--although payment is in rubles. U.S. customers have included Olimpex International and Agilis Corp., both of Maryland.
Why not just come to America to work? ArgusSoft's own lawyers advised it to forget about it, noting the H-1B problem and the likelihood that programmers would leave ArgusSoft for greener pastures.EDITED BY ROBERT McNATTReturn to top
THE NEW HAPPY PILL ON THE BLOCK
THE FIERCELY COMPETITIVE market for antidepressants in the U.S. is about to get a new entrant. Forest Laboratories is expected to launch Celexa in mid-September. And some analysts say the drug, which has been sold for years in Europe by its Danish developer, H. Lundbeck A/S, could be a big moneymaKer.
Part of a class of antidepressants that includes Eli Lilly's Prozac and Pfizer's Zoloft, Celexa has certainly lifted spirits at Forest. Even after the recent markeT slide, Forest's stock has risen sharply in 1998. Cowen & Co. analyst Stephen Scala says that by grabbing 10% of the market, Celexa should generate $500 million in sales in the fiscal year ending March, 2002. Forest's total fiscal 1998 sales were $427 million.
But rivals may make an issue out of 12 overdose deaths involving the Forest compound outside the U.S., says Scala. Forest officials and outside experts, including Scala, say there is no evidence that it is easier to overdose on Celexa than on similar antidepressants. And Celexa, says Forest, is also less likely to cause bad interactIons with some other medications-an advantage for older patients.EDITED BY ROBERT McNATTReturn to top