18th > June > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

Intel gets Coppermine cobble-wobbles

The overflowing coffers of Intel generally garners are likely to be one coin short of a lottery win this year, a major analyst group is warning. Analyst group Credit Suisse First Boston is lowering earnings estimates because it is predicting problems with Coppermine coupled with too high sales of Celeron processors. The group thinks that Coppermine will be delayed until back endish and is not delivering the speed yields Intel expected, as revealed here earlier. The same group expects Merced samples to leave Intel's doors in August. However, the real hit to Intel earnings is expected to be caused by higher sales of the Celeron than expected. AMD has always maintained that Intel would feel pain if it continued to ship the low profit products in such quantities. Intel will make more price cuts on the Pentium II family next week. Last weekend, it slashed prices on its mobile parts by over 40 per cent. As the world and its dog knows but as Intel always downplays, a Celeron is a kind of emasculated Pentium II. Droves of people have now realised that and have been snapping up the bargain-basement chip. ® See also Coppermine delay could give Intel aid Celeron trashes PII in new RegMark tests
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

3Com, Aether form wireless data ISP

3Com has formed a joint venture with wireless comms specialist Aether Technologies to offer wireless data solutions to corporates, according to the Wall Street Journal. Called Open Sky, the company will focus on providing wireless access to the Internet and corporate networks via handheld devices -- essentially we're talking a wireless data ISP here. The link with 3Com's Palm subsidiary and its Palm VII wireless-enabled organiser is clear, but Open Sky will also develop solutions based on pagers and smartphones. Curiously, the company will support Windows CE as well as PalmOS, so it clearly wants to play it safe as far as corporate America goes. It's not clear whether Open Sky also has an open door policy on Symbian's EPOC32, but presumably if it can't persuade customers that PalmOS is a better option, it will go with the British product. Still, the Palm is likely to be the company's preferred solution. Terms of the deal between 3Com and Aether were not disclosed, but the two companies said they are seeking other backers. Open Sky is currently putting together deals with several wireless network providers, and said it hopes to have its service up and running before the end of the year. The deal follows hard on the heels not only of 3Com's commencement of public trials of its Palm VII-based wireless service in the US, but of this week's deal with NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile comms company, to roll out a similar service over there. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

HP veteran Ann Livermore tops CEO shortlist

Hewlett-Packard has come up with a shortlist of three candidates for the job of CEO, sources close to the company have claimed. The list comprises one internal candidate, HP long-timer Ann Livermore, and two others from outside the company. The sources, cited by Reuters, refused to identify the other two candidates, suggesting the leak was made to promote Livermore's chances of getting the job or to signal she effectively already has it. She is currently president of HP's enterprise computing division, and has been with the company for 17 years. And, in a male-dominated industry, it would be a major statement of change on HP's part to name a woman as CEO. About time, too, really. Reuters' sources also said the appointment could be announced any day, but that the naming will happen by early July at the latest. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

MS pushes write to congress campaign via Windows Update

Updated Back in May 1995 Bill Gates signed off his Internet Tidal Wave document with: "Customers will come to our 'home page' in unbelievable numbers and find out everything we want them to know." (Full analysis) This is one of our all-time favourite Bill Gates quotes, and this week its meaning became even clearer, when Microsoft added a 'write your congressman' feature to its Windows Update site. An exquisite piece of integration, don't you think? Windows Update is the Windows 98 feature that integrates the Web into the software update process, and as far as Microsoft is concerned it's the way forward. As it's implemented and extended in other Microsoft operating systems it will allow Microsoft to build direct links between itself and all Windows users, to exercise absolute control over the feature set of the software those users are running, and to allow those users "to find out everything we want them to know." The Windows Update site figured heavily in last week's courtroom wrangles, but strangely enough it didn't then have anything about Microsoft's battle with the DoJ on it. Now it has a button that takes you through to Microsoft's "Freedom to Innovate" section, which gives you details of Microsoft's take on the trial, and tells you how to write to lobby elected officials on Microsoft's behalf. Justice department lawyer David Boies suspects nefarious intent, but Microsoft says it was just a routine update (as opposed to a Windows 98 Update?). The DoJ reckons this update was deliberately kept back last week so the judge wouldn't see it, and accuses Microsoft of using its monopoly to "propagate a political message." Putting it on a site which is allegedly intended simply to provide an easy mechanism for keeping your software up to snuff is certainly dubious, but then that wasn't really the point of the Windows Update site at all, was it? If you pull in the audience then you're going to want to sell them stuff while they're there, aren't you? But actually, Windows Update doesn't seem to be pulling them in. Windows Update reportedly got 3.5 million visitors last month, accounting for a third of Microsoft's corporate online traffic. As a percentage of total Windows 98 users this isn't particularly impressive, and suggests that most users of 98 probably only visits the site once, during the installation process. That means Windows Update is a failure so far, but we exclusively predict that that also means that bells and whistles involving far more frequent visits will be added in future OS revs. You read it here first. Swiftly following on the above story, a reader writes: "Yup, hit MS update to get a plugin, biggest blurb was about my ability to let my Washington Carpet Bagger know how much I loved MS. That I could write anything I pleased, not like 'some' of those petitions that were prewritten. Soo... I wrote mine and said to nail them to the cross. "God, I've wanted to do that ever since MS insisted I use IE to register Money... P.S. Today's download failed after 15 minutes." The Register your interactive friend in the media. ® Complete Register Trial coverage
John Lettice, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Novell slashes SCO stake

Novell ditched over 80 per cent of its shareholding in the Santa Cruz Operation yesterday, and looks set to get rid of the rest. The networking company sold 1,363,750 shares, leaving its stake at just 300,000 common shares. And SCO CFO John Luhtala said he plans to buy the remain shareholding as soon as SCO has released its earnings figures, due on 20 July. Novell's early interest in SCO and its line of Intel-based Unix products clearly made sense when it was trying to beat back Windows NT. But with Linux now spearheading the competition with Microsoft's product, SCO has moved further away from the limelight -- though it's management remain as bullish as ever -- and Novell's waning interest comes as no surprise. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

EMI selects Liquid Audio for digital music system

Britain's biggest music label and one of the world's 'big five' recording companies, EMI, has chosen Liquid Audio's Liquid Tracks as its digital music format of choice. Details of the deal emerged from Liquid Audio's IPO filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to US newswires, but hints that EMI was keen on Liquid Tracks began to surface last week when the recording company announced it had taken a 50 per cent stake in online custom CD seller Musicmaker.com. In addition to providing customers with CDs, Musicmaker.com also offers digital music downloads, and its secure format of choice is -- surprise, surprise -- Liquid Tracks. EMI's deal with Musicmaker.com, which also provides the latter with access to the label's massive back catalogue of recordings for a five-year period, is essentially about giving EMI access to the expertise it needs to set up its own online music service. Meanwhile, Liquid Audio's IPO filing also revealed the company has won the support of Tower Records for its own online music retail programme. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Life not so fab at Intel

Analysis This writer, on his Vespa zooming to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester in the 1960s, well remembers the time when fab meant something really ace. But life is far from being fab at Intel, it appears. After a relentless and ruthless round of price cutting throughout the first six months of this year, it now appears that the strain is beginning to affect the gravy train. Add to that the lukewarm reception given to the (late) Merced chip, problems with the Coppermine process, the lateness of the Camino 820 chipset and the whole cafuffle over Direct Rambus, Intel is not having the greatest of years. It's perfectly clear why Intel took the pricing decisions it made with the Celeron for the first six months of this year. It was losing market share to rival AMD because the original Celeron was a disaster and it was late to enter the sub-$1,000 arena. But in choosing to slash prices on the Celeron, Intel found itself between the horns of a dilemma. The Celeron is a cut down Pentium II. The Pentium II cost far more than the Celeron. This is not to say that Intel loses money every time it sells a Celeron. According to senior Intel VP Paul Otellini, when he visited London a few weeks ago, the company makes money on all of its microprocessors. The question is how much money Intel makes on these processors, given that its whole existence depends on high (50+) gross margins. The .18 micron Coppermine process is a different kettle of fish. At the Intel Developer Forum earlier this year, Pat Gelsinger, another senior VP at Intel, made it clear that the company would be moving to a .18 micron process as quickly as possible. By February of next year, Gelsinger estimated that three or four of its fabs would have made the move. It is a tricky matter moving from .25 micron to .18 and you can't do it all in one go. Intel certainly managed to keep to its promise and introduced its first .18 micron mobile processor last week. And Gelsinger at IDF noted that such technology switches always meant mobile processors would arrive before desktop processors. The Camino and the Direct Rambus affairs are a different matter. Last week Craig Barrett, Intel's CEO, admitted for the first time that the firm had a back up plan which could include the PC-133 standard. That's a humiliating climbdown, but even huge multinational corporations have to eat humble pie from time to time, whether they be Intel or Coca Cola. We have faithlessly pursued the Merced story for some years now, and we were the first to report that the processor was delayed some two years back. Intel has invested a huge amount of money in its IA-64 project and it has to make it work. Whether it will or not, is a different matter. Otellini told The Register a few weeks back that its IA-32 Willamette process is still firmly on track. Earlier this year we managed to obtain some inside information on the architecture and it looks funky. Being the liquid corporation it is, Intel has very deep pockets and has such a dominant place in the market that it would be astonishing if it did not continue to do well in the future. But it needs to keep the Andy Grove ethos in mind if it wants the gravy train to keep delivering golden doubloons to its shareholders. It's already seen off Cyrix and IBM Microelectronics, IDT and Rise pose little or no threat, and AMD has its own set of problems. Maybe Intel should be worried about the PlayStation II, which is far more likely to pose a threat than the x.86 cloners. Now that really is a fab machine, man. ®
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Packard Bell looks to iMac clone for survival

Packard Bell NEC has beaten Dell to release a Wintel-based clone of Apple's iMac, and is almost certainly the PC company's last chance to turn its financial situation around. Dubbed the Z1, the machine sports an all-in-one design centring on an 15in LCD screen. It also features an 8.4GB hard drive, 96MB RAM, 56kbps modem, four USB ports, S3 Savage 4 graphics card, DVD-ROM player and 450MHz Pentium III CPU. In fact, for all the comparisons with the iMac, the Z1 actually more closely resembles Apple's ill-fated 20th Anniversary Mac, a svelte LCD-based all-in-one that was launched a couple of years back at too high a price, with a spec. way below Apple's other Power Macs. And price could be an issue with the Z1. With the PC market increasingly turning to sub-$1000 machines, even the $1199 iMac is beginning to look pricey. However, the Z1 will retail for $2499 when it goes on sale in the US in August. That suggests Packard Bell NEC is aiming the machine more at the executive market than the consumer arena it's known for. And the move had better work. Two weeks ago, NEC president Kouiji Nishigaki said his company will "sell, merge or close" Packard Bell unless there is a turnaround. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Major MS Web Server security hole exposed, plugged

Security outfit eEye has roused Microsoft's ire and garnered itself some cheap publicity by going public with information on what it says is a serious security flaw in Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0. The move hasn't helped the company's relationship with Microsoft any, but it seems to have triggered the appearance of a swift patch, full fix to follow. According to eEye the flaw allows arbitrary code to be run on any web server running IIS 4.0, and by using a buffer overflow bug in the software attackers can remotely execute code to enable access to all data on the server." So it's a serious one, although Microsoft says it hasn't had any reports of the security hole being used so far. eEye accuses Microsoft of failing to give the problem the attention it deserved. The company claims to have hassled MS for days, but "after the fifth day of reporting the bug to Microsoft, they stopped responding to our emails." So the company went public with the problem three days later, as an attempt to force Microsoft's hand. Microsoft swiftly posted a patch, but accuses eEye of irresponsibility in publicising a problem before a fix had been found. There's some justification in that, but there's also some in the view that being able to announce "we've found a hole, but we fixed it" is better than having to confirm "Yike, there's a huge security hole in our product." ®
John Lettice, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Register storms on to new heights

We have just received our independent audited readership for the month of April from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). The figures show that during April we had over 2,418,000 page impressions. That shows a dramatic rise over our previous audit in February, which showed that we had 1,400,000 page impressions. The figures do not include proxy server figures from large corporations like Intel, STMicroelectronics, IBM and others, which probably account for a good deal more. So that's OK then, isn't it? ®
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Intel confirms mobile price reductions

As predicted here some months ago, Intel made a set of price reductions on its mobile processor parts last weekend. The new prices are as follows, for thousands of units. The new 400 MHz costs $530. The 366 MHz part was $530 and now costs $316, a 40 per cent decrease; 333 MHz was $316 and is now $187 a 41 per cent drop; the 300 MHz stays at $187, meaning it enters the chip gulag; the same is true for the 266 MHz, meaning it's dead; while the 266MHz (LV) part drops to $187, a 15 per cent decrease. Here are the prices for the Celeron Mobile parts. The new 400 MHz part costs $187, the 366 MHz part drops to$144 a 15 per cent decrease; the 333 MHz part now costs $106 a 33 per cent decrease; the 300 drops to $85, a 20 per cent decrease. The 266MHz part stays the same at $85. The 266 MHz (LV) costs $106. ®
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Cisco fall-out sees ilion sue Ciscom

ilion is seeking "substantial damages for losses... in connection with an irregular transaction" from its customer, Ciscom, a Cisco reseller At the same time it is making 15 people -- ten per cent of its UK workforce -- redundant, following the loss of its Cisco contract earlier this month. The new executive management team led by Rob Johnson remains in place. Cisco represented 18 per cent of ilion's UK turnover, but a much smaller percentage of profits. ilion UK was stripped of its Cisco franchise, after the irregular transaction was uncovered by the networking vendor. The UK sub has been the weak link in the group for some time -- last year it issued three profit warnings. Serge Van Gorkum, ilion group CEO, said the UK subsidiary had been well supported by other networking vendors -- which see the loss of Cisco as a major opportunity to drive more sales through the company. But he noted aggressive competition. "When you are sick, all the guys try to kill you," he said. ilion UK is a turnaround company, under its new management, he said. ilion UK had lost focus, following the departure of managing director Roger Paul in 1997, according to van Gorkum. Weak management, poor organisation and too much emphasis on low-margin box-shifting were at the root of the company's problems. ilion UK had tried to win market share with "prices, not with value-added solutions," van Gorkum said. "When you give away profit margin, you can never get it back." Back to basics Now, ilion UK has reined in stock levels (down from £18 million in January to £8 million this month and fast moving items up from 30 per cent to 80 per cent over the same period). ilion uk has now come to grips with its Tolas ERP system, following its original poor implementation which resulted in many expensive mistakes. The company has restructured its sales teams to ensure better account-handling with customers and to promote better co-ordination, internally. And it is returning to its roots as a "value-added" distributor. Mature product lines will be abandoned, once they reach cost plus one or two per cent status. In other words, ilion UK will become more like the rest of group. High ticket van Gorkum is keen to see ilion UK take on more high ticket, high margin Unix and DBMS lines. And he is seeking to bring new early lifecycle franchises on board. ilion UK has not won a single new franchise for two years, a symptom of previous lack of focus, he said. Currently, the company is negotiating with Landesk. ilion subsidiaries in France, Benelux, Austria and Spain are all profitable and performing well, according to van Gorkum.The company's majority-owned joint venture with Garmhausen GmbH in Germany, is also profitable, he said. The company had solved its "Swiss problem", by shutting it down. ®
Drew Cullen, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

‘Cooked’ MS memo II – DoJ chases missing emails

MS on Trial The Register has now obtained copies of the DoJ's motion covering Microsoft's attempts to enter a fabricated Bill Gates memo as evidence (Cooked memo I) - and it doesn't look good for the defence team. Discussion of the motion was originally intended to take place this week, but will now probably happen next. Ominously, as proceedings closed on Wednesday, the judge said of the matter: "We could do it anytime. We'll have a general cleanup day with respect to all items that everybody has to make sure has been nailed down." Cleanup? Nailed-down? Oh-oh. A helpful reader mailed us some useful dope on legal nailing the American way: "In American jurisprudence tampering with/forging evidence during an investigation with an intent to mislead is considered obstruction of justice. Which can carry severe legal penalties including possible jail time if proven true. If Microsoft in fact did what appears to be the case thus far, they could and should face severe fines and legal sanctions." So there. The DoJ motion deals with documentation surrounding a document which Microsoft's lawyers on Monday described as "an email from Bill Gates to his executive staff dated December 1 1998." This is of course the email crowing about the AOL-Netscape deal which was deliberately cooked up by Bill in cahoots with his PR spinmeisters in order to be leaked to the press via AP. As the DoJ motion says, "the email is a self-serving summary of Microsoft's arguments in this case relating to AOL and other matters." Did the lawyers know? Now, here's the first juicy bit from the motion: "In fact, as Microsoft counsel was aware from documents produced by Microsoft, [our italics] the December 1, 1998 email had been prepared for the purposes of this litigation and had been distributed to the press the day it was dated." That's a nasty one, because if the attorneys knew the email was "cooked" (in the delightful parlance of MS spinmeister Greg Shaw) by trying to use it as evidence they were trying to mislead the court. But the audit trail is at the moment patchy, because although Microsoft has had some of the email associated with Gates' made-up email wrung out of it (via a DoJ subpoena of 1st April), tantalising slices were carved out of the sequence before it was delivered. So the DoJ motion asks for Microsoft to be forced to produce the balance of the documents, at least for an in camera inspection. But clearly the DoJ suspects that the missing bits are incriminating rather than company-confidential. Who was that masked attorney? Here's one of the reasons why: "Microsoft counsel," says the motion, "indicated that the material redacted from GX2245 [one of the email sequences] was an email from a lawyer." This is a little bit interesting, as GX2245 consists of the original Gates email, and traffic between Gates, Greg Shaw, Paul Maritz, Tod Nielsen and Mich Mathews. It's the company high command talking to the company PR high command. The stuff that has been released shows Gates taking a close interest in the distribution of the "leak," and discussing the matter with Shaw. So if the DoJ is right about there being a lawyer in that gap, the smoking pistol could be pretty close to Gates himself. The other email sequence referred to in the motion again includes the "leak" (boy, are we getting bored with it), and casts an interesting light on cooking emails according to corporate spinmeister Greg Shaw. In what appears to be an alert to the next tier of managers, Shaw writes: "The following email was sent to executive staff this morning from Billg. I have provided this to Ted Bridis of AP who has been working on a story about pricing and browsers… Reporters will likely be upset that we just gave it to AP. Calls should go to Adamso. He will explain that it's an internal email not intended for broad distribution, but he will give it to reporters if they ask for it and have some use for it." Anybody smell rotting fish? Ted Bridis can't have been terribly impressed by this process, which in Brit parlance looks remarkably like a stitch-up. It's possible Shaw sent him the leak anonymously, certainly. We've run down a copy of his original story and it treats the document as genuine, and refers to it as "obtained by The Associated Press." Later AP versions of the story use the terminology "given to reporters," presumably indicating they smelled the fish shortly after Ted fired his original. The redoubtable Mr. Bridis, incidentally, seems to have been pretty active more recently on the subject of the "settlement talks" between the DoJ and Microsoft. These turned out to be bollocks as well, and we wonder if perchance the matters may in some way relate? ® Complete Register Trial coverage
John Lettice, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Corel predicts Monday's Q2 results announcement

Corel today said that it expects to report revenues of $70.5 million on Monday when it posts its financials for its second quarter, ended 31 May. The company also said it expects to post a profit of 14 cents a share. That compares with the 14 cents a share loss on revenues of $63 million it posted for the same period last year. For the first quarter, Corel reported a loss of $14.6 million on revenues of $40.5 million. Corel has been cutting costs, but you have to wonder how it has turned that loss into profit during the quarter. Can it really be selling so many more copies of WordPerfect Office and Corel Draw? Corel CFO Michael O'Reilly said the announcement had been made "in recognition of what appears to be recent speculative trading" in Corel shares. That ties in, perhaps, with the frequent bouts of vigorous trading Corel shares have undergone, often under the possibility of a hostile takeover, something Corel has apparently been trying to guard against for the last six months or so. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

AMD-Alpha collaboration firmed up

Samsung subsidiary Alpha Processors Inc (API) will next week demonstrate a one gigahertz system which will arrive in volume this time next year. The system will not be cooled by Kryotech and runs at room temperature, we can confirm. Our source saw the system demoed at Kiheung, in Korea, this week, and the firm will transport the system over the weekend. API is positioning the system against a 400MHz Xeon. In graphics rendering, the application was four times faster -- 34 seconds versus two minutes 10 seconds, our source can confirm. The gigahertz chip is an EV67 using .18 micron transistors. And next week, at PC Expo, API will demonstrate Slot B technology. As we revealed earlier this year, AMD and API are in cahoots. Next week, API is expected to show a commodity motherboard which will run at 750MHz and is already being produced in volumes. The 750MHz system will be available for shipment next week, along with a commodity motherboard, which, we understand, will be named the UP2000. API is firmly positioning its Alpha technology with its motherboards against Intel technology, our source said. "The level of collaboration between AMD and API is high," she confirmed. Although API will drive the new systems into the Intel high space marchitecture arena, its roadmap, as already revealed here earlier this year, includes volumes for the desktop market. "These systems will go into commodity cases," she said. "They will use standard graphics cards and PC-100 SDRAM modules." The UP2000 motherboard will use an extended ATX form factor and while API is aiming its initial offering at the high end, more will follow later. Compaq has to remain committed to the Alpha platform, despite the bind it has got itself into with Intel over Merced, as reported here many times before. At this point, we have to consider Microsoft's part in this convoluted story. It has dedicated itself to producing a 64-bit OS for the Alpha platform, despite grief from Intel. Alpha will therefore run Winapps, but also supports a whole slate of other OS including every flavour of Unix/Linux, including Compaq's own version. We have the roadmap and will publish full details tomorrow. ®
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Intel denies allegations on K7 mobo pressure

Reports from the Asian Pacific region that Intel was putting pressure on Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers to delay their K7 implementations were firmly squashed today. The reports, which we have been unable to confirm, suggested that the select Big Five Taiwanese firms were being asked, nicely, to hold up their production of K7 motherboards. But an Intel representative said today that because of the ethical stance and reporting procedures in the company, such a position would never be taken. AMD said it would be very surprised if such a thing was happening. At press time we were awaiting calls back from the Taiwanese Big Five. Earlier this year, senior Intel VP Paul Otellini said he would fire anyone on the spot who used unethical techniques when selling. ®
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Strike a light! Philips sells off semi division bit

Dutch company Phillips said today it will sell its CoolRunner line to Xilinx. It didn't say how much it will get for the transaction, but the letter of intent says the deal will be a done deal by July. The Philips semi people will be kept on by Xilinx, the Dutch company said. But Philips will keep Fast Zero Power technology and will manufacture CoolRunner products at its fabs in Europe and use the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) to fab them out. And Xilinx and Phillips will work on system-on-a-chip stuff. ® Register Fact from Eindhoven Whatever Philips does or not do, its future in lightbulbs is assured. It is a market leader in Europe. And coincidentally, Tulipomania, as originally reported here, is also a Dutch phenomenon. Strike a light.
Mike Magee, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Motorola offers royalty-free M-Core licences

Motorola today announced it is licensing its M-Core embedded processor architecture to Japanese OEMs free of charge. The move was predicted by The Register back in March. Under the terms of the deal Japanese companies can license Motorola's technology free of charge for products that will ship only into the domestic Japanese market. Exported products will require a royalty payment -- under "attractive" terms, claimed the chip vendor -- so essentially this is a simply a 'buy one market, get another free' kind of deal. When The Register spoke with Kyle Harper, Motorola's manager for wireless markets on the M-Core team, he hinted that a new, upcoming licensing programme would offer a low barrier to entry, and zero royalties certainly are low. Targeting the Japanese market makes sense given that country's vigorous adoption of wireless communications technology, the market for which M-Core was designed for. And M-Core is one of the processors of choice for the Symbian alliance, of which Motorola is a member, so the deal could provide a boost for the EPOC32 operating system as well as the M-Core architecture itself. Indeed, it appeared today that Motorola is including EPOC32 among the "menu of key software" for M-Core it is making available as part of the licensing deal. The deal also includes sub-licences for Motorola's KJava virtual machine, licensed from Sun. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Iomega predicts huge Q2 loss

Just a week after insisting to members of the UK IT press that it has turned the corner and is well on its way to rude health, Iomega today warned that it will post a loss for its second quarter. It also said it was shutting two US manufacturing plants. Job losses there and at other US locations would total 450 redundancies, Iomega said. The cuts will lead to a $18 million restructuring charge, but other charges will take the final figure to $45 million. And Iomega expects to post a loss of five to ten cents a share on top of that charge. The company blamed the loss on poor sales of its Jaz removable hard drive system and Jaz media, and its ongoing problems getting the new Clik drive out of the door. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

AMD and Intel meet in lavatory

It was our first year anniversary party last night. Don't ask most of us why, we're actually five years old in August, and we moved into Maddox Street in March last year. But a party's a party. Sure enough, folks from AMD and Intel tipped up but try as we might, we couldn't get them to stand together in a photograph. Imagine our surprise, then, when a Reg staffer found himself between two suits, one from AMD and one from Intel, in the lavatory at Cy in Maddox Street. Our staffer said he said: "Why don't you two just shake hands?" Trouble is, the hands were otherwise occupied... ®
Cy Berspace, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Geologist indicted for sending, receiving child porn via Net

Yale University geology and geophysics professor Antonio Lasaga was today indicted on multiple charges of disseminating kiddie porn via the Internet. The charges stated Lasaga had received thousands of images of child pornography over a one-year period, and that he was in possession of floppy disks, a hard disk and two videotapes containing that kind of offensive material. The charges stemmed from an FBI investigation begun after the agency received complaints about Lasaga. The investigation culminated in Lasaga's arrest last November. Lasaga's case must now go to trial, where he will plead innocent. If convicted, however, he is likely to be banged up for a total of 75 years, followed by three years' supervised release and fines of up to $2 million. Lasaga is 49 years old. ®
Team Register, 18 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Geologist indicted for receiving child porn via Net

Yale University geology and geophysics professor Antonio Lasaga was today indicted on multiple charges of disseminating kiddie porn via the Internet. The charges stated Lasaga had received thousands of images of child pornography over a one-year period, and that he was in possession of floppy disks, a hard disk and two videotapes containing that kind of offensive material. The charges stemmed from an FBI investigation begun after the agency received complaints about Lasaga. The investigation culminated in Lasaga's arrest last November. Lasaga's case must now go to trial, where he will plead innocent. If convicted, however, he is likely to be banged up for a total of 75 years, followed by three years' supervised release and fines of up to $2 million. Lasaga is 49 years old. ®
Tony Smith, 18 Jun 1999
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Congress at your Fingertips – how MS lobbies via the Web

MS on Trial Microsoft's addition of a write-in campaign facility to Windows Update (Earlier Story) is interesting enough, but if you check out how the campaign is being run, who's running it, and what the objectives are, it gets even more interesting. You don't need Windows 98 or even Internet Explorer to play, because the Microsoft Freedom to Innovate campaign is also accessible from the front door of microsoft.com. Go there and you can do a couple of things. One is subscribe to the Freedom to Innovate newsletter, but even here Microsoft doesn't seem able to stop compiling lists of people to sell things to. Try to subscribe and you get the message: "Microsoft has created a new level of security that requires you to establish a Registration ID. You will be using your Registration ID to obtain many Microsoft products or services." Not just get a newsletter, apparently. Never mind, move on to the next choice, write to Congress. This takes you through to a page tagged "Powered by Capitol Advantage," and it's external to the Microsoft site. We should stress at this point that Capitol Advantage includes a link to its home page here, where it's perfectly open about the kind of organisation it is. Essentially, it has been retained by Microsoft to run a Web-based write in campaign. The company says it is largest publisher of Congressional directories, and in addition it is the developer of CapitolWiz, "a grassroots legislative action tool in use on hundreds of corporation, association, and media organisation Web sites." It has over 250 online clients, has the humorous (considering the name of one of the clients) slogan of "Congress at your Fingertips," (Linux sites get busted for this sort of thing, not retained), and it gives star billing to three clients, AOL (more irony), Yahoo and Microsoft. Via CapitolWiz, Capitol Advantage is essentially engaged in an online implementation of grassroots advocacy. This form of activity involves marshalling support for clients by identifying favourable individuals, giving them a thorough-going (and usually somewhat spun) briefing on the subject in question and then firing them up to make their views known to legislators. Congress at your Fingertips, as they say. Capitol describes CapitolWiz: "This award-winning grassroots legislative action tool allows you to notify your web site's visitors of important legislative events and mobilise them to take action (i.e. contact their congressional representatives by e-mail, phone, fax or letter). Users are even able to check the status of specific legislation and see recorded vote results in the Votes Library." In the case of the Microsoft-Capitol arrangement, Microsoft's site handles the softening-up and spinning process, and is effectively sifting readers - given the nature of the content only committed Freedom to Innovate partisans are likely to click through to Capitol. The company's system provides you with an easy mechanism for identifying your congress representative, and for writing a letter, and sending by email or snail. Disappointingly, although CapitolWiz allows the clients to "customise the site with your pre-written letters, legislative alerts, votes or bills of interest and more," Microsoft seems not to have taken the risk of writing sample letters and then having us take the mickey out of them. This may of course turn out to be a mistake, considering the link is now on Windows Update. People who don't cheer for Microsoft aren't likely to go anywhere near Freedom to Innovate, but as one reader pointed out to us earlier today, people who're at the Update site because they're trying to fix a broken installation are more likely to want to send Congress 'string him up!' letters. All this lobbying activity of course is perfectly legal, and perfectly respectable. Capitol is simply provided tools to its customers, and the tools are neutral, even though the customer will always use them to grind axes. By the way, if you want an exquisitely timed explanation of grassroots advocacy from the Masters, here's what the NRA has to say about it.But strangely, the NRA doesn't seem to have fully graduated to a Web equivalent yet. ®
John Lettice, 18 Jun 1999