PC-hungry girls love science – true

But boys just wanna have fun

Europe in Brief A recent study from Norway among 600 tenth graders reveals an interesting gender split: among youngsters who use PCs intensively, girls see their study results steadily improve, while those of boys slip. Researchers believe that for boys the PC is more of an escape from reality.

The study also shows that girls who use PCs more frequently often develop an interest in science and technology, while those that use the PC less do not.

Germany: O2 and E-Plus to launch 3G networks

Two more German mobile phone operators have set dates to launch their much-anticipated 3G services. They will follow Vodafone, whose UMTS network went live earlier this year.

O2, the German operation of Britain's MMO2, starts next month, while E-Plus, part of KPN, is set for a June kick-off. Because there are no 3G handsets yet, both companies will initially offer just data communications for laptop and palmtop computers equipped with special wireless cards.

Switzerland: antispam law pending

Moves are underway in Switzerland to ban all spam, Swissinfo reports. Microsoft joined forces with Swiss politicians to draft legislation which has already been rpesented to the Swiss parliament. The new law would make it illegal for Swiss companies to send unsolicited messages to individuals unless they are a customer, or have given their permission.

The law will not only target those who are sending the spam, but also the companies benefiting from the mail. The Swiss federal administration says it spends SFr2m blocking and eliminating spam every year.

Germany: shut off idle computers please

The German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) warns that idle PCs and other electronic equipment like loudspeakers with built-in amplifiers consume a considerable amount of enenrgy - no less than €3.5bn each year in Germany alone.

The steady trend in CPU power supplies over the past decade has been towards using lower voltages, but the UBA says a significant amount of energy can be saved if users turn off their computers during long periods of idleness. ®

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