The schedule of the Microsoft antitrust trial looked set to derail yesterday, following a ruling that depositions to be given by Bill Gates and other Microsoft executives should be in public. And this time the judge and Microsoft seem to be singing from similar, concerned, hymn sheets. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson accepted arguments put forward by the New York Times, Seattle Times and Reuters that a US law, the Publicity in Taking of Evidence Act, covered the situation, and that they ought therefore to be allowed to report the depositions. The judge didn't say so, but it would seem that the deposition-taking will now contain all of the essential ingredients of a classic US media circus. Microsoft is concerned as always that the presence of reporters could endanger its trade secrets, and the judge has specifically given the company leave to appeal his ruling. Microsoft hasn't yet decided whether or not to do this, but Bill Gates' deposition, which was due to start this week, will certainly be delayed while the arrangements for coverage are worked out. If Microsoft does appeal they - and the 8 September trial date - will undoubtedly be delayed again. The Department of Justice takes the view that public depositions are acceptable, and that Microsoft can be protected by sensitive questions being taken in camera. But even agreeing what these are could cause delay, and the trial may be tottering on the brink of messy farce.
Broadcom and its Accelerated Deployment Partners (ADPs) are committing to an effort to produce Gigabit Ethernet products designed for the installed base of Category 5 copper cabling, which is currently widely-used for Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. The Company's ADPs include 3Com, Alteon Networks, Bay, Cabletron, Cisco, HP, Jato Technologies and Packet Engines - which we think is a quorum. The use of existing cabling infrastructure will accelerate Gigabit Ethernet uptake by reducing migration costs drastically. The products will use Broadcom's Giga-PHY transceiver technology and will conform to the Gigabit Ethernet standard for copper-based cabling as proposed by the IEEE802.3ab Task Force. This proposed standard will enable Gigabit Ethernet to extend to distances of up to 100 metres over existing installed Cat 5, rather than havcing to use enhanced Cat 5 or Cat 6.