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AltaVista is to axe 200 jobs - a quarter of its workforce - in yet another attempt to prop up the dotcom.

That's on top of the 250 jobs that were lost in September. If it carries on like this, El Reg estimates there won't be anyone left by the end of the year.

According to AltaVista, the job losses "primarily" affect employees at AltaVista's headquarters in Palo Alto, California. However, this suggests that there could be job cuts elsewhere in the dotcom's global operation.

A spokeswoman for AltaVista UK declined to comment on the future of staff here. So we don't know if employees of AltaVista UK pitched up this morning to be given brown envelopes, bin liners and 30 minutes to clear their desks.

In a statement, Peter Mills, executive adviser to AltaVista and managing partner of CMGI @Ventures, said: "AltaVista has not been immune to the softness in advertising. These are challenging times for most Internet and technology companies, but we are confident in the steps we are taking to remain strong."

Whatever. But just say, for argument's sake, you wanted a copy of this latest announcement. You wanted to see for yourself exactly what AltaVista has done, and why. What would you do?

That's right, go to AltaVista's Web site and find the press release for yourself. Couldn't be simpler.

Except...

The most recent press release at the "Press Room" on Altavista.com is dated 15 December 2000 and is entitled: "Put some Holly-wood in your holiday's with AltaVista's shopper to the starts, Allana Baroni."

That's all very cosy, but are the executives at AltaVista in denial? They sack 200 people yet gloss over it by simply pretending it never happened.

Obviously, "providing holiday shoppers with a taste of what celebrities are searching for this holiday season" is far more important than 200 former employees. ®

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