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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Communications

Aired January 2, 2000 - 4:00 a.m. ET


BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: The party is over. Now it is back to business. Stock traders around the world check for bugs in the system.

JUANITA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: From the Eiffel Tower to Times Square, dramatic celebrations leave behind happy memories and large messes.

NELSON: And if you think cell phones are handy now, just wait five years. Some amazing features are in store. We will take an in depth look at the future of communications.

Welcome to our special continuing coverage of Millennium 2000. Hello, I'm Brian Nelson at the CNN Center.

PHILLIPS: And I'm Juanita Phillips. Thanks for joining us.

The new year's has come and gone without any reports of Y2K catastrophes and experts are now looking to the next big test of the world's computers, the opening of businesses and global financial markets. Japan is conducting test runs before the Tokyo stock exchange reopens on Tuesday.

CNN's Mike Boettcher tells us that so far no news is good news.


MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So far, so good. The only mess left behind was from one big party, not from computer glitches or terrorist bombs. War and poverty did not disappear overnight, but for the most part, the world awoke to find its power on, water running and people safe.

Expected terrorist attacks did not materialize although jitters remain. In New York, any suspicious incident draws a host of blue uniforms.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK: For all the things that people were afraid of we have to be very thankful that we got through all of it, not only got through it but got through it in a way in which I think it shows to the whole world what a great city this is. So I congratulate everyone.

BOETTCHER: Thankful, too, were the mayors of every other major city in the world, all potential targets, all peaceful. Peace prevailed in the cyber world, too. World governments and corporations spent an estimated $200 billion to $600 billion to protect their computers from the millennium bug, $100 billion in the U.S. alone. Officials were anxious to show it was money well spent.

DONNA TANOUE, CHAIRWOMAN, FDIC: I'm basically here to demonstrate what we said all along and that is that years of hard work by the banking industry and regulators is paying off and it's business as usual today for banks and their customers.

BOETTCHER: But, warn the experts, don't count your glitches before they're hatched.

BRUCE MCCONNELL, DIRECTOR, Y2K COOPERATION CENTER: But we don't think we're out of the woods yet. We may get some, I think we will see some business inconveniences, headaches, hiccups over the next few days.

BOETTCHER: But on 2000's first day, things, for the most part, are in their proper place. Planes remain safely in the air, missiles remain safely in the ground, phones still ring, computers still hum. Celebration was deserved and for once no one or nothing could crash this party.

Mike Boettcher, CNN, Atlanta.


NELSON: We turn now to France, which hosted one of the most spectacular new year's displays shown. However, as some residents were welcoming the new millennium, others were dealing with problems left over from the old one.

CNN's Paris Bureau Chief Peter Humi has a wrap-up there.


PETER HUMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the Champs Elysees, the first daylight of the new millennium brought with it the debris of the old one. Police say nearly a million people packed the Champs Elysees, Paris' main thoroughfare. And the hearty were out again on New Year's Day for another parade featuring marching bands, most of them from the United States. The night before had been memorable. The Eiffel Tower had exploded in a pyrotechnical display. The only hitch? The countdown to the new year on the tower's facade broke down just a few hours before midnight. Eleven huge wheels on the Champs Elysees took up the millennium celebrations seconds after midnight, each one the work of a different designer or architect and each representing a different facet of millenniums past or future.

And the crowds took it all in in style and in the manner one expects in the romantic capital of the world. Many people in France ushered in the new millennium in the dark. Six hundred thousand households were still without power following the devastating storms just a few days before. Almost 90 people were killed in France as freak weather conditions caused havoc across the country. But there was good news, too. The Y2K bug or boug (ph) as it's known in France, did not materialize, , not yet, as energy, telecommunications and banking industries reported few, if any, technical problems. And festive spirits in the capital remained just that. There were just a few arrests on the Champs Elysees as a family atmosphere prevailed over earlier fears of hooliganism.

Peter Humi, CNN, Paris.


NELSON: In Tokyo, 60,000 people turned out at Japan's Imperial Palace to hear a new year's message from Emperor Akihito. Flanked by his wife and other members of the royal family, the emperor wished everyone happiness. The palace grounds are open to the public only twice a year in Japan, for the new year's greeting and for the emperor's birthday.

PHILLIPS: Russia's campaign to seize the Chechen capital is entering a second week. Although greatly outnumbered, Chechen rebels have so far held Grozny against a fierce air and ground assault.

Well, CNN's Steve Harrigan joins us now live from Mosdok in Russia. Steve, what's the latest?

STEVE HARRIGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Juanita, this major battle for the Chechen capital of Grozny just keeps going on and on, fighting throughout the night and the day. It's noon here now in the Caucuses and artillery shells are exploding in the city of Grozny, smoke rising up over the city, fires burning as that fighting keeps going on.

We've seen two changes so far in the fighting in the past week. The first is there is now much closer contact between the two sides. For several weeks this was a long distance war, the Russians trying to keep their casualties low by relying on artillery. That has not been successful in the fight for Grozny. To take the capital the Russians are going to have to move in and they are moving in. We've see numerous tanks going into the city and it turns to building to building fighting. Of course that could mean higher casualties for the Russians and we've seen some evidence of that in Grozny. At the field hospital that we were at over the past few days we've seen several wounded and dead pulled out, as many as 40 to 60 wounded, surgeons say, from the hospital they're getting depending on the level of the fighting.

We also saw some terrible head and face wounds from Russian Interior Ministry troops. It is those troops now who are doing the bulk of the fighting, the army really hanging back and supporting with artillery as the Interior Ministry tries to "clean out," in their terms, the city. Dead and wounded are taken out to helicopters and then brought back here to the army headquarters in Mosdok.

The other change, really, that's taken place in this conflict in the past few days is when it will end, according to government predictions. We've heard that Grozny will be taken in one day or two days from top officials in Moscow, but it's looking more and more like a very tough fight. Just yesterday the acting president, Vladimir Putin, said there will be no rush to liberate Grozny.

Now, a few days ago Mr. Putin was saying the war is almost over, but that tone seems to be changing somewhat. Certainly that is supported by soldiers in the field. The people we spoke to who have been doing the fighting really speak with a lot of respect about the Chechens, about their fighting ability and about the massive preparations that they've faced in the capital of Grozny. The Chechens really have had time to make that capital a fortress and it's showing true as the fighting really has stalled in the Chechen capital.


PHILLIPS: And Steve, we're watching pictures now of the acting president, Vladimir Putin, visiting the troops. What was their response to his visit?

HARRIGAN: Well, really it took a lot of the people, the Russian troops in Dudermas (ph) where he went to were very enthusiastic. But a lot of the soldiers, the Russian soldiers on the front lines really don't have much of a source of news. They don't have television and newspapers. Most of them don't have radios. So it really has taken some days for the news that their president has changed really to filter through.

But the reaction from the Russian troops in the field has been extremely positive. When we told a group of them, informed them that Boris Yeltsin had resigned, they broke out into applause and they are very favorably disposed towards Vladimir Putin. He, of course, has been the driving force behind this military campaign really from its beginning. He's consistently said that all the rebels that Moscow considers terrorists must be destroyed. So it's really likely that the hard line set by Putin as prime minister is likely to continue and that's something that we've got a very favorable response from the soldiers in the field who we've spoken with.


PHILLIPS: Thanks very much, Steve. Steve Harrigan updating us there from Mosdok.

NELSON: The new year brought disappointment for more than 400 Haitians, Dominicans and Chinese who were trying to slip into the United States. The Coast Guard intercepted the group on a stranded freighter Saturday after it ran aground south of Key Biscayne, Florida. Officials spent more than eight hours trying to persuade the migrants to leave the ship, which was on the verge of capsizing. They were transferred to Coast Guard cutters and immigration officials are now deciding their future.

PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, the U.S. Customs officials in Florida have questioned and released a Louisiana man who flew a rented plane to Cuba on Saturday and dropped anti-Castro leaflets over Havana. The pilot was identified as 51-year-old Ly Vong, a U.S. citizen who emigrated from Vietnam in 1984. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into whether he broke any laws. NELSON: And the whereabouts of the five hijackers of that Indian Airlines plane remain a mystery at this hour. Pakistan says it is on high alert and has promised to arrest the hijackers if they do cross the Pakistani border. In the meantime, India is coming under fire for succumbing to the hijackers' demands.

Here with more on that now is CNN's Maria Ressa.


MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Celebrations for the millennium overshadowed for this family by the homecoming of a newlywed couple returning from their honeymoon in Nepal when Flight 814 was hijacked. Their eight day ordeal ended after India agreed to release three Islamic militants, something even the relatives of the hostages fear may send the wrong signal.

DR. SANJIV CHIBBER, RELATIVE: Three terrorists have been released. Our happiness is tinged with a shade of gray. But we feel it's worth it.

RESSA: Others in India disagreed.

RAHUL BEDI, ANALYST: It has been a blow to the fight against terrorism globally because it has really, by capitulating the Indians have shown that terrorists can and will hold out for high stakes.

RESSA: On Saturday, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh again blamed Pakistan for engineering the hijacking. He claimed all five hijackers were Pakistani nationals and that they were now heading for Pakistan. Pakistan's interior minister denies that and says if the hijackers enter Pakistani territory, they'll be arrested.

Another accusation from India, that the only casualty, passenger Rippan Katyal, could have been saved after the hijackers allegedly offered to release him and others when the plane was in Pakistan.

SHARAD YADAV, CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER: The hijackers had agreed to release women, children and the injured Cateo. But the Pakistan government refused to allow any passenger to get down in Pakistan.

RESSA: Pakistan has not yet responded to that charge, all this increasing tensions further between India and Pakistan. The world's newest nuclear powers, they have fought two wars over Kashmir since 1947.

BEDI: If the atmosphere is charged they're virtually fighting a daily, what's called a proxy war in the Kashmir state.

RESSA: Now the foreign minister for Afghanistan's Taliban forces says the hijackers and the freed Islamic separatists are headed for Kashmir.

(on camera): Some analysts here are now warning that the deal India cut could embolden Islamic separatists in Kashmir and mark India as a soft target for terrorism. Still, External Affairs Minister Singh says India will confront terrorism head on, vowing to seek justice and retribution at the right time.

Maria Ressa, CNN, New Delhi.


NELSON: And coming up, some new technology for a new millennium.

PHILLIPS: The future of communications is looking bright and brilliant. Learn more about the techno luxuries the 21st century may bring. That's next on our special coverage of the new millennium.


ANNOUNCER: Welcome to a world where everyone is talking, looking, working, playing and buying online. See how soon you'll be living in George Jetson's future.


SCOTT MCNEALY, CEO, SUN MICROSYSTEMS: So it's really create once, view anywhere, access anywhere.


PHILLIPS: Well, the old millennium brought us the printing press and later on the telephone and radio and television. So, what's next?

CNN's Greg LeFevre reports that as we enter the new millennium you may want to hold on tight.


GREG LEFEVRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're in for the communications ride of our lives. The coming year sees cell phones small enough to hide in your pocket, really, and to take anywhere in the world. The promise of video phones is coming true, tiny hand sized computers that know your favorite subjects and Internet everywhere.

Although Albert Brooks lampooned video phones in his movie "Mother," technologists believe 2000 will be the year of video messaging. See whom you're talking to. AOL's new software pushes video mail. A plethora of video cameras jack into your PC.

The technology is there to put you on camera all of the time. Some folks live their lives on camera already. Web cameras already check the surf, check the traffic. It may be just five years before we can chat on giant screens like "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk. Want words only? Breakthroughs in palm devices make it easy to stay in touch. Units you never plug in updated by radio waves. In the next five years, cell phones will sense their locations and feed you information about where you are.

PAUL SAFFO, INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE: You're walking down Center Street in San Francisco. Your phone chirps at you. A little message comes up on the screen and it's an electronic coupon from a Chinese restaurant a block and a half away in your direction of travel. And it says if you get here in the next 10 minutes, we'll give you half off a dinner.

LEFEVRE: The other coming breakthroughs make high quality video phones possible, even easy. Broadband wireless, rooftop boxes to take in enormous gobs of video data, games and conversations on one signal. The big winners here, rural areas or countries with little cable or telephone service.

GREG RALEIGH, CISCO SYSTEMS: Wireless offers a way, especially this type of wireless solution, for them to immediately jump into the new world in terms of the information economy very quickly, in a matter of months.

LEFEVRE: Can't speak the language? In another year or two it won't matter.


LEFEVRE: Oakland Police Officer Tam Dinn (ph) tests a new automatic translator. It knows Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese.


LEFEVRE: The translator comes in handy in medical emergencies, too.

TAM DINN: Where people are hurt, people are injured it's always important to try to get as much information as possible.

LEFEVRE: 2000 will be the year of e-mail everywhere. No computer necessary. These devices from V-Tech and Sidco (ph) plug into any phone line. One button that says "get e-mail," easy. Or press this gizmo from Sharp up to any telephone.

CONSTANCE HALE, AUTHOR, "SUN AND SYNTAX": I believe that e-mail has been an incredible boon to communication. People are writing today where they would have been telephoning yesterday. So people are engaging more with words than they have for the last probably generation.

LEFEVRE: Constance Hale says communication is getting better because people are writing more and reading more. E-books downloading into anything, your palm top, your rocket book.

HALE: If e-books take off and it means that people that people read more, great because the only thing that's really going to make us better writers is to read more and to write more.

LEFEVRE: In another five years we won't even worry about wires at all. Right now the norm is every computer has a wire out the back.

SAFFO: What the revolution is about in the short-term is cutting that tether.

LEFEVRE: Ten years out the Internet becomes the infinite connection, allowing you to connect and work anywhere. With the cards developed by Sun Microsystems, you plug in anywhere. The network knows it's you and puts up your work.

MCNEALY: So it's really create once, view anywhere, access anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED SCIENTIST: Or you're going to have the information bankers, people who are willing to take on your information, store it there and keep it safe and guarantee to you it's going to be there when you need it.

LEFEVRE (on camera): Twenty years from now we won't think so much about connecting to the Internet. If present research pans out, it will be with us always. Think about a topic. Brain waves make the request and the Internet, perhaps then called the Omninet, responds. Brain mail.

(voice-over): The information stream gets faster, faster, more and more high speed tonnage pouring into your brain. But is it all doing any good?

HALTON ADLER MANN, WRITER: You know, we have all this information but what are we doing with it and who is it reaching?

LEFEVRE: Writer Halton Mann says communications' great promise of the 20th century, peace, is yet unkempt.

MANN: Can we put human communication to work for humanity and even if we can do it, can we reach the recesses of the human psyche that will prevent things like Rwanda?

WALTER J. FREEMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY: Communication is not a matter of sending so many bits across so many linkages out to satellites and back again but rather it's the exchange of meaning.

LEFEVRE: Meaning that can produce a better understanding of one another. In the future we and the World Wide Web will chat, decide, ponder all at the same time. The next generation will be better at that. A recent study showed kids who play lots of video games get very good at receiving and digesting information from multiple sources, albeit in some cases multiple bandwidths.

(on camera): The Internet of the future will be less about people talking to each other and more about machines talking to each other. Example, the refrigerator reads the bar code on the milk carton, determines when it's time to replenish, adds the milk to the Internet shopping list and voila, new milk on the doorstep. Or the Web can wake you early for work.

BOB PARKS, "WIRED" MAGAZINE: Bob's future begins at about 6:45 A.M. and Bob is kind of mad because he usually gets up at 7:15 and likes to cut it close with his morning commute. But I looked at my radio and it says that there's a traffic jam on 101 South and I'm going to need an extra half an hour. MCNEALY: Our belief is that everything with a digital or electrical heartbeat will be connected to the Internet. Your light bulb will be connected back to General Electric and G.E. will have a Sun server that will fax out a little map of where the light bulb is that's going to burn out in the next 20 minutes and G.E. will UPS out a new bulb that fits exactly into the right socket.

LEFEVRE (voice-over): Predicting the future can be so much fun because we're almost never around to see that it usually doesn't come out that way.

FREEMAN: When you look at the predictions that people were making about the nature of digital computers about 1950, saying that well, you know, half a dozen would satisfy all our needs for the next century, that's the nature of technical or technological prediction that it almost always falls short of the mark.

LEFEVRE: Who could have predicted the Internet boom?

FREEMAN: And it's the unexpected which we have to expect.

LEFEVRE: We already use chips programmed to design better chips. In coming decades, the Internet will be able to diagnose its own problems and repair itself, growing and maturing on its own, perhaps even deciding who gets what information and who does not. Can you say open the door, Hal?

Greg LeFevre, CNN, in Silicon Valley.


NELSON: So what can we expect from this brave new world of technology? We'll talk with two guests, an entrepreneur and a writer on the cutting edge of communications. That's coming up as our Millennium 2000 coverage continues in just a moment.

ANNOUNCER: One of the most significant contributions to literature surfaced in 1008, the year the world's first novel was completed. "The Tale of Ginji (ph)" captures the colorful life of Japanese royal court and centers around the love life of Prince Ginji. The author, a Kyoto aristocrat whose real name is unknown, wrote under the pen name Hirosaki Shikibou (ph).



NELSON: As we saw in our last segment, amazing advances are in store in the way we communicate. And joining us now from Hong Kong to talk about that is Rob Kenny, the cofounder of Incubasia. This is a firm in Hong Kong that invests in Internet startups.

Mr. Kenny, thank you for being with us.

ROB KENNY, INCUBASIA: Thank you very much.

NELSON: Are we in the midst of a communications revolution and how big is it?

KENNY: I think bigger than we've even begun to imagine. I think we are in the very, very early stages of something that is going to be much larger than we can at the moment imagine. I think if you look back to, say, five years into the computer revolution, no one would have been able to predict where we are now and I think the same is true of the Internet.

NELSON: So why don't you put the walls on this for us and tell us what it's going to look like.

KENNY: I think it's going to be a lot more about people to people communication. If you think a bit about the kind of communications that there have been, things like broadcast TV and even the way the Internet works today, most of it is about companies, Web sites talking to the mass of consumers. I think we're going to see a lot more of consumers talking to consumers, individuals talking to individuals and we're going to see the start ...

NELSON: When you talk, when you say that Mr. Kenny, are you now getting into the field of gadgets as we know them?

KENNY: Gadgets will be part of it, sure. I think we're going to see a proliferation of gadgets for specific tasks rather than common devices like the TV and the computer through which we're trying to force a whole set of different kinds of uses and purposes. I think we'll see many more gadgets for particular purposes which will make them easier to use, just much more efficient and less confusing than the computer is today.

NELSON: OK, give us some concrete examples if you can.

KENNY: Yeah, I think the e-book is a good example. That was mentioned in your introduction as being a particular device for reading text that is going to be much simpler to use than the PC. I think we'll see the same, we may see a reverse in, for instance, to particular devices just for word processing rather than having that just be one of the many things that a computer can do for you. That enables you to get rid of a lot of the clutter.

If you think about an e-book, all you need is a button for turning the pages and maybe some simple devices, simple controls so you can download the right kind of book, much simpler than having a keyboard and a microphone and a mouse and all the things that are attached to a computer that make it a confusing device to use that is still pretty tough and confusing for most consumers.

PHILLIPS: Now, Mr. Kenny, you talk about that confusion. I guess one of the big down sides is that with all of this communication there's no escape from it and there's so much information, new information coming through for consumers to get on top of. Are we reaching a point of information saturation?

KENNY: Absolutely. And even the simplest Internet search produces generally about 50 times more results than you actually need. There's a whole load of clutter there. That's one of the ways in which I think this topic I mentioned earlier about consumers talking to consumers will help us. Consumers are going to be telling each other which are the best Web sites to visit, which are the best information sources. It's going to be very easy to gather that kind of information through the Net.

We're already starting to see that with things like E-pinions and Alexer (ph) and so on, which are ways for consumers to tell each other which are the useful sources and that'll help us weed out the clutter by having the less useful information sources be edited out for us through the choices we make.

NELSON: Mr. Kenny, what do you think is going to happen to some of our old legacy technologies and by legacy technologies I mean things like the telephone and the television? These are two things that we rely on right now. Are they going to disappear?

KENNY: I don't think they'll disappear overnight. I think the change will be gradual. When you think about the number of telex machines that are still out there still getting a lot of use even though by almost every measure faxes and, indeed, e-mail are much better. I think it'll be slow, partially because people like what they're familiar with. Nobody wants to be learning something new every time they want half an hour's entertainment at home. So we'll see them. But they're going to gradually change into newer, better devices.

TVs, for instance, I think will become Internet connected, will be plugged into interactive TV and that'll make those existing devices that are familiar in space into something better and something that delivers even more to people. So for instance in Hong Kong we have interactive TV, which means you don't need to go to a video store to get a new video, just press a few buttons on your remote control and the movie you're interested in starts then and there through your TV. But it's a pretty familiar interface. It's still the remote control, it's still the TV, but now doing something fundamentally better.

NELSON: So we're going to have more gadgets and we'll also have more people to people communication. Now, give me some thoughts, I'm sure you've thought about this, what do we have to gain from all of this and what do we have to lose?

KENNY: The gains are limited only by the imagination. There's one I quite like here in Hong Kong which is a mobile phone network called Sunday which has a kind of a real time dating service where you tell it you're interested in, I don't know, it might be a single white female. You enter in your preferences and then when you happen to be in the same building as somebody who fits that profile and your profile fits what they're looking for, both your phones ring and let you know that there's a potential mate right there in the building.

So that's the kind of people to people communications possibility. And there's not actually massively clever technology behind that. It's just a nice use of imagination. So there are all sorts of great possibilities from that. The down side is, I don't know, that example the possibility of more embarrassment, I suppose. Yet another opportunity to be rejected in the dating arena. NELSON: Thanks for the warning.

KENNY: Yeah. I'm married. I can be blase about these things.

The data privacy, of course, is a big issue. Again, you were talking about that earlier today. Do we necessarily want all this information stored about us? It's also intrusive. If you're somebody who is very geared up to the Internet these days, it's getting tougher and tougher to take holiday. Web-based e-mail is available everywhere, people sending you messages expect them to be answered. It doesn't matter that you're, you know, off on your birthday holiday somewhere. They still expect to get a real time response.

So there is a danger that the technology does swamp our lives. It's back to the early question about information overload, can you escape from it all? The good news is maybe you don't want to, maybe you always want it available but you're going to have to go further and further in the back woods if you really do want to escape.

PHILLIPS: And more bad news because Greg LeFevre's report was talking about brain mail, which is the scariest concept of it for the long-term. We've only just learned how to use e-mail.

Rob Kenny, thanks very much for joining us. We have to leave it there.

KENNY: My pleasure.

PHILLIPS: And when we return, more on communications, how the Internet is breaking down borders and bringing us together. But is there a price to pay? Our special million coverage continues in just a moment.


ANNOUNCER: What device, invented in 1876, is used I more than 500 million households around the world? In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, a 29-year-old professor of vocal physiology, discovered how to transmit sound waves to a receiver and turn them back into sound, inventing the telephone. Two years later, the concept of mounting both the transmitter and the receiver in the same handle was designed for use by telephone operators in New York City.

Today, the telephone is the world's most widely used telecommunications device.


PHILLIPS: Well, at the dawn of the 20th century most long distance communication was conducted by mail or telegraph. An explosion in communications technology has reduced the psychological barrier of distance and some say it's starting to erode political and cultural barriers as well.

CNN's Mary Kathleen Flynn takes a look.


MARY KATHLEEN FLYNN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Euro Disney in France, perhaps one of the most visible and controversial places to see the march of American culture across the planet. Julius Cesar may have conquered Gaul with Roman legions, the U.S. is doing it with Mickey Mouse and the Internet. The Internet started in the U.S. and so far that's where it's flourished. Almost two thirds of the world's Web traffic comes from the U.S. Japan is second, followed by Germany.

Spanish language Web sites, one of the fastest growing Internet segments, make up less than two percent, as do Web sites in the world's largest nation, China.

Even though the number of Web users from outside the U.S. is expected to grow faster than that of Americans, most of what you find on the Web is American and some countries find that threatening.

ESTHER DYSON, EDVENTURE HOLDINGS: There's a lot of government fears about American imperialism of all kinds, you know, whether it's our food or Internet. I think among the people, you know, people like McDonald's hamburgers and they also like the Internet. So it's kind of the government trying to control what people do.

FLYNN: (on camera): Here at the United Nations, delegates can follow the debate by listening to translators. That may stop the U.N. from turning into a tower of Babel, but you often miss the subtleties and nuances of a language. Hence that old expression something got lost in the translation.

(voice-over): Programs like this one on the Web called Free Translation from Transparent Language, can help you get the gist of a Web site in another language. But not everyone likes that idea.

DYSON: More French people will be reading non-French content because it's in French they can read it. And I think if you want to protect the sanctity of your culture the last thing you want is having the American stuff translated into your local language because that makes it more accessible and you're trying to keep people away from it.

FLYNN: Groups in France have been fighting for years to protect the French language and French culture from being swamped by English words and a culture that's predominantly American. France limits non- French language television, even the content of songs played on the radio.

Now the group Defense of the French Language has launched an effort to keep French Web sites French.

MARCEAU DECHAMPS, DEFENSE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE: It is the role of the Association to alert those Web sites that most of the time there are French words to replace the English and that it is unnecessary to use the English when there is an appropriate French word.

FLYNN: Despite efforts to limit the spread of the Internet by language, politics or economics, the Web continues to spread across borders. As more countries add Web sites in their own language, there will be more pressure to translate the Internet into other languages. But it will be some time into the new millennium before we'll see anything like the universal translator that "Star Trek's" Lieutenant Ohura (ph) used to help the crew of the Enterprise deal with the Klingons.

Mary Kathleen Flynn, CNN, New York.


NELSON: And we're now going to listen and speak to Larry Campbell, the Internet publisher of the "South China Morning Post." He joins us, too, from Hong Kong. Hello, good morning and welcome.


NELSON: Mr. Campbell, I understand that you have a prediction on the future of the cell phone in this new millennium so let's start there. What do you think is going to happen to that?

CAMPBELL: Oh, that, yes.


CAMPBELL: Just a little bit of imagination there. Actually, the technology that we see right now is pretty much obsolete already because phone companies in general pretty much only release something that they know that's going to be obsolete in a year just to keep the new products rolling out when it's invented.

I imagine that in the next five to 10 years the telephone companies are going to become your dentist. So your phone can be a tooth in your mouth essentially with no battery, kinetic energy keeping the thing going, and transmission based on vibrations from your voice.

NELSON: And how would you talk using this tooth phone?

CAMPBELL: Just like I'm talking right now. Just exactly the same way I'm doing it right now except people on the street won't see the wire going in my ear and I will be ...

NELSON: So you'll be talking to yourself?

CAMPBELL: Pretty much. I do that often anyway.

NELSON: All right. Well, they said that by this time as we entered the new millennium we'd be living the life of the Jetsons. That hasn't happened. So are we any closer to that lifestyle and do you expect to see that in this new millennium?

CAMPBELL: I'm sorry, I didn't -- which lifestyle? I didn't hear the last words.

NELSON: Oh, the lifestyle of the Jetsons. That is, we'd have our own backpacks and we'd be flying through space or through earth to get around. We'd be living the life of the 25th century, let's say, but in the last one. It hasn't happened. What are your predictions?

CAMPBELL: Well, unless cryogenic suspension really happens in my lifetime I'm not going to see it. But at some point, yes, everything that we can imagine will at some point happen. We just have to look back on history to look at how technological developments work out. I was just saying to my wife earlier this morning that I think Genghis Khan would have been the perfect user of the Internet because he practically invented packetized transmission in the 13th century with his Mongol horsemen sending packets of information back and forth to be collected by his various generals and made coherent.

And the same thing you can see today with electronic mail except it's a lot faster and using technology that science has allowed us to understand.

PHILLIPS: And Mr. Campbell, you're talking about the speed of change. I mean is it even possible to look 20 years into the future or do we really have to confine it to, say, the next two or three years because things are just changing so rapidly?

CAMPBELL: I think the only people who can with some level of accuracy predict this stuff are actually the science fiction writers, who have unbridled imagination and aren't afraid of making complete fools of themselves in public. So people like Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov might be treated as, you know, the Nostradamuses of the 20th century.

NELSON: What about the issue of privacy? And I don't mean security for our personal information so much as just being able to get away from all of this technology. If we have a tooth cell phone, if we have e-mail of the brain, it's like we're permanently connected to the world. We just can't tune out. What are your thoughts on that?

CAMPBELL: Well, I don't think that's necessarily true as in yes, you will always be connected or you will have the ability to be connected. But if mankind is smart they will always put in the on/off switch somehow some way so you can always turn it off. I have a cellular phone in my back pocket now and it's off.

NELSON: True, but it's off now. But I mean you know the way many people live in this 20th century, the 21st century now, excuse me. We just can't get away from e-mail and it seems to be progressing at such a pace that we will be strangled by all the technology unless something is done.

CAMPBELL: Well, if we allow ourselves to be, yes. So everybody's got to exercise a certain level of discipline and you have to make yourself turn things off and today, you know, that is what voice mail is all about, so you can take messages when you really don't want to stand around and, you know, talk to your grandmother or your boss or whoever. So you've got to exercise discipline and I think we have progressed enough to be able to do that if we really think about it. NELSON: All right. I guess a lot of people are also wondering about that, the beige box that sits on everybody's desk called the computer. How do you see that being transformed? Is that going to transform itself pretty quickly into a new device?

CAMPBELL: Pretty much. I mean we already are, we already see the wearable computer. We see full on computers with the processing power of that same box that sits on your desk in the size of a matchbox already, which you can pretty much build yourself. Places like Stanford University have already invented this stuff and put the specifications on the Web so you can go off and assemble all of this yourself. And this is now. So five years from now, you know, it may not just be the cellular telephone that's embedded in your tooth.

PHILLIPS: Larry Campbell, fascinating talking to you, particularly with the tooth telephone. We'll keep our eyes out for that one. Thanks very much.

CAMPBELL: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: And stay with us for more continued millennium coverage. We'll be taking a look at the weather after the break. Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: The earliest printing was done through engraved wood blocks in Japan and China during the 8th and 9th centuries.


PHILLIPS: And now here's a quick update of the headlines. Japanese financial institutions are checking their computers before the Tokyo stock exchange reopens on Tuesday. Experts say the start of the business week will be the next big test of the world's computers to find out if there are any latent Y2K glitches. There were concerns that computers would not recognize the year 2000 and crash but no major problems have been reported so far.

Well, Russia's acting president, Vladimir Putin, says he has no intentions of letting up in Russia's war against Chechen rebels in Grozny. Putin took over the reigns on Friday after Boris Yeltsin resigned. On Saturday, President Clinton called Putin to congratulate him on his new position. The Russian leader reaffirmed his commitment to democracy and promised to work to maintain good relations between Russia and the United States.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met with his cabinet on Sunday before departing for the U.S. for the next round of peace talks with Syria. The Israeli leader also visited an influential rabbi of the ultra orthodox Shahs Party, hoping to win his support for a land for peace deal with the Arab nations. Any deal with Syria would have to be approved both in parliament and in a national referendum.


PHILLIPS: Well, in the 1800s it took live performers to bring out the curtain at your local theater and the typical home entertainment center, as we call it today, would have consisted of a piano and maybe a bookcase. But, as CNN's Dennis Michael reports, times have changed.


UNIDENTIFIED INVENTOR: Hello, hello, hello. Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.

DENNIS MICHAEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The inventor of the electric light, Thomas Edison, placed the 20th century in its groove as early as 1877 by reciting Mary Had A Little Lamb into an early cylinder recorder and capturing sound for the first time. As demonstrated here, this modest piece of technology started a wide ranging revolution.


THOMAS EDISON: It is nothing else but a cylinder groove upon a shaft with a fly wheel and then a mouthpiece with a diaphragm and


MICHAEL: Edison also replaced the kinescope with a running strip of film and created one of the first movie cameras. As Edison was devising these curious gadgets, Guillermo Marconi was working in Italy creating a wireless communication system he called radio. That invention was ready in 1895, just in time to join the phonograph and the movie camera in changing the 20th century. But radio gave rise to improvements in recording sound and music and soon Edison's cylinder was replaced by a flat disk called a record.

As radio empires were rising on the east coast, the movie industry journeyed west to build its kingdoms and Hollywood was born. An even bigger technological combination was looming on the horizon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Television, I understand, is a combination of radio and pictures.


MICHAEL: Inventor Philoteeth Barnes (ph) television system was patented in 1927. A demonstration of television was done at the 1936 Olympics and it was displayed to the public for the first time at the 1939 World's Fair. By 1975, the concept of being able to watch films in the privacy of your own home was put into practice with the invention of the VCR. It was technology that rocked the television and film business to the core.

Hollywood's fears proved groundless. Home video became a financial mainstay of the movie business. Up to this point, all recording from the Edison cylinder to VHS tape was based on analog technology. But as computers moved into the mainstream, a number based system, digital technology, emerged. In fact, the final replacement for Edison's cylinder recorder may be no physical format at all. Century's end has devices that play from memory banks with no moving parts. Transistors followed by microchips made entertainment pocket sized. Now entertainment travels with its audience.

Movies may travel without film reels and exist only as digital video files moving from maker to viewer over the Internet with the actual film becoming obsolete. And with hundreds of entertainment channels and dozens of ways to access them the end of the century may be bringing the end of the mass media culture or the beginning of a new kind of mass culture.

QUENTIN TARANTINO, FILMMAKER: Today all our technology is stopping us from the shared experience. I actually think this might be the last gasp of movies or, you know, we might be saying good-bye to the art form.

MICHAEL: Perhaps it's good-bye to the art form but not to art.

JOHN LASSETER, PIXAR: What's exciting is the tools are getting in the hands of lots and lots of people but how they use the tools, that's the key to the future. That's been the key to the past and that's the key to the future. It's not going to change.

MICHAEL: If that's true, it may be the only thing that doesn't change.

Dennis Michael, CNN, Los Angeles.


PHILLIPS: Amazing times.

NELSON: That's the future.

PHILLIPS: And that's it for now. But stay with CNN for more Millennium 2000 coverage.

NELSON: And coming up next, the road to sainthood and one priest's unique story. Stay tuned as our special million coverage continues.


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