The Null Device

Signs that the dot-com bubble has burst: Not that long ago, Australian mining (what else?) company Timor Sea Petroleum decided to ditch the rustbelt old-economy stuff and become a shiny, high-tech dot-com, and so sold off its mining interests and changed its name to escape3d, no doubt impressing investors already. No word what they actually wanted to do on the Internet, though back then a snazzy name and a cool-looking web site were enough to make you a mint (at least on paper). Now that the bubble has burst and nobody in their right mind would put money into anything that ends in '.com', they've sheepishly reinvented themselves as "Methanol Australia" and gone back to archaic business models which involve extracting actual atoms from the ground.

I don't think Timor Sea were the first Australian mining company to ditch their existing business and reinvent themselves as a dot-com either; I recall that some mining company reinvented itself as '' and bought up a number of startups (including to go with the name. (''? What on earth were they thinking? And to think that if the NASDAQ had not so fortuitously crashed through the floor, we'd be seeing Yet Another Web Portal companies named,,, and other equally silly attempts at coat-tail riding.)

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