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June 6, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:04pm

ELLISON AND TED TURNER HAVE DEMO NIGHTMARE BLUES

By CBR Staff Writer

As reported yesterday (CI No, 3,175), Time Warner Inc’s Cable News Network (CNN) duly rolled out details of its alliance with Oracle Corp to provide a free, customizable personal version of CNN’s web site, whose sections are claimed to receive more than 25 million page views a week. CNN Custom News (https://www.cnn.com/customnews) uses Oracle’s Web Application Server (which delivers the content to the browser) with its ConText text search option (which does the thematic searches) and so-say Universal Data Server (the database). Oracle is very excited that this is all based on its Network Computing Architecture, to boot. CNN Custom News (https://www.cnn.com/customnews) allows users to build their own personalized web site, and uses Oracle’s Web Application Server (which delivers the content to the browser) with its ConText text search option (which does the thematic searches) and so-say Universal Data Server (the database). Oracle is very excited that this is all based on its Network Computing Architecture, to boot. Users get the top two news stories from CNN and CNNfn (Financial Network) in each main category so users are also aware of the day’s lead stories; then they can sift through what they want to see in U.S. and World News, Business, Your Money, Weather, Sports, Lifestyle, Show Business and Science and Technology, within which there are a total of 300 possible subsections. However, Wednesday’s Atlanta first live demo – a location chosen presumably since it is CNN’s home base, and also provided the milling throngs at the always lackluster Spring Comdex something to gape at – did not, however, quite go to plan. A number of published reports detail some stumbles as the two mighty executives, Time-Warner vice-chairman and CNN founder Ted Turner, and Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, tried to use the allegedly ready-for-prime-time service. Ellison tried to create a customized stock profile by adding Apple Computer Inc (!), but that didn’t work, then he couldn’t get current stock prices either. Ellison then tried to give his sports-mad stage chum the latest on his Atlanta Braves baseball team, all he could get was the previous night’s score against San Diego’s Padres, which Turner said he already knew. You’re not doing a very good job [demonstrating the technology], Turner is said to have chided Ellison. We should have practiced. We keep this up, Larry, and both our stocks are going to fall. Unfazed, Ellison then claimed the main problem was his pesky Windows machine didn’t work but that his NC (network computer) on stage did, with an Oracle flak later claiming the actual problem had been with Netscape Communication Corp’s browser, Navigator.

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