Cross Purposes (5/31/98)

Looks like we may have announced BYTE's return a little too quickly, as we hadn't yet noticed ex-columnist Jerry Pournelle's take on this before our last broadcast. CMP Media's rosy press release about the buyout of BYTE claimed that the publication would be returning in a few months after a "refinement," but Jerry notes that he returned from a trip to Israel to find the whole staff sacked with one day's notice, and "few if any" employees offered positions with CMP. Yikes.

Apparently, Jerry's heard unofficially from a friend at CMP that they do plan to honor employee contracts, they do plan to ask several of the staff to sign back on, and those who were fired will apparently get "decent" severance packages-- though it seems that not all of them know that yet. A communication breakdown of that magnitude only goes to show just how little CMP appears to regard the BYTE staff, which it apparently fails to recognize as the life's blood of the magazine.

As faithful viewer Paul Constantine points out, "[CMP] may bring the name back, but it will not be BYTE... because the editorial folks who made BYTE are no longer associated with it." Good point. It kind of reminds us of the Velvet Underground without Lou Reed; the band bore little, if any, resemblance to the real VU.

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The above scene was taken from the 5/31/98 episode:

May 31, 1998: Up in the sky: it's a bird, it's a plane, it's... AltiVec! Meanwhile, Microsoft is either worried enough or distracted enough by its current antitrust entanglements to relax the tight anti-Netscape reins on its Windows licensees, and according to Jerry Pournelle, BYTE is apparently dead after all...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 753: Isn't It a Soft Drink? (5/31/98)   Confused by all the recent hype about AltiVec? Perplexed because you thought AltiVec was the site of that free Rolling Stones concert gone horribly wrong? Never fear-- there's a great overview of AltiVec technology available that can bring you up to speed...

  • 754: While the Cat's in Court (5/31/98)   Microsoft continues to bend like the willow once the government antitrust threat exhibits the potential to uproot them completely. You've probably heard about the recent concessions it's made to PC manufacturer Gateway-- Gateway is now allowed to ship its Windows 98 computers with a custom screen that allows customers of its "" online service to choose whether they'd rather use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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