3rd > December > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

Hong Kong to build techno town

The Hong Kong government is to build the country's first technology town, where up to 15,000 people are expected to live and work by 2014. Building work on the first phase of the 22 hectare science park at Pak Shek Kok will start in February. The venture aims to boost the country's technology industry, including helping to create start up IT companies. The government is aiming to grab multinationals as well as young companies in four main areas -- IT and telecommunications, biotechnology, electronics, and hit-tech manufacturing. Offices will be rented at between $6 and $9 per square foot, the South China Morning Post reported. It is estimated that Phase 1 will take 15 years to build. It will have 330,000 square metres of offices, shops and houses. The first offices will be ready by late 2001. The park, originally proposed in the mid-90s, will have to compete for businesses with similar projects from the private sector. ®
Linda Harrison, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

New chiefs for old at Palm

3Com subsidiary Palm Computing is adding three directors to its board. The company said it was to make Carl Yankowski its next CEO. The former CEO of Reebok will join Palm on 13 December. Yankowski also worked at Sony Electronics in the US for five years, where he was president and COO. Palm also said it would make Eric Benhamou and Susan Swenson directors. Benhamou is currently already chairman and CEO of 3Com. He will keep his position at the parent company. Benhamou is also president and COO of Leap Wireless International and CEO of Cricket Communications. ®
Linda Harrison, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

High spec games PC outfit to ship Red Hat

High-performance PC specialist GamePC is to offer Linux as an OS option on its machines. Initially the company will be shipping hardware with Red Hat 6.1 installed, but it says it is also considering other distributions, including Caldera and Debian. GamePC specialises in 'no-compromise' custom-built systems designed for the high end of the gaming market, and although Linux games are starting to appear, the OS isn't what you'd expect to be a good fit for GamePC's customer base. According to company VP Phil Chiang, however, the move to Linux is being made in response to customer demand, and GamePC will be shipping machines with Linux only, or dual boot with Windows 98 or NT. ®
John Lettice, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

We know where you surfed last night – cookies and privacy

A group of privacy advocates led by security expert Richard Smith and Junkbusters president Jason Catlett is lobbying the Federal Trading Commission to force software companies to close a cookie security loophole that allows Web surfing habits to be tracked by the use of email. Smith, whose previous scalps include security 'issues' involving RealPlayer and Microsoft, has as usual provided a convincing explanation of how the loophole can be exploited.
Team Register, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Round one to Amazon in 1-Click fight

Amazon.com won the first round of its court case against Barnsandnoble.com over the online retailer's 1-Click technology this week. US District Court Judge Marsh Pechman granted a preliminary injunction late on Wednesday to stop rivals copying and using the technology, which is a checkout system that stores information so users do not have to re-enter personal details when re-visiting Amazon's site. Barnesandnoble.com said it was disappointed with the decision, but was confident that it would win upon appeal. The defendant also said the move would accelerate the launch of its Express Checkout service, which will replace the existing Express Lane service and does not use the disputed 1-Click technology. Express Checkout had been due for launch next year, but would now be in place in a matter of days, it said. Amazon filed the suit in federal court in Seattle in October, accusing Barnesandnoble.com of illegally copying its 1-Click invention, to which Amazon won the patent on 28 September. The US cyber giant is gunning for damages worth three times a 'reasonable royalty' for the technology, plus legal expenses. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, claimed it took nearly six months and 3500 hours to program the 1-Click system. ® Related Story Amazon sues Barnes and Noble over checkout system
Linda Harrison, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

DoJ appoints financial remedies advisor

MS on Trial The Department of Justice has appointed Greenhill & Co, a New York firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, to advise it on the Microsoft case. A DoJ spokeswoman blocked questions as to whether this reflected well or badly on the mediation effort, saying that "the firm's advice will be useful in ongoing processes". No information was forthcoming as to the length or cost of the consultancy. Jim Cullinan for Microsoft said "it's far too premature to discuss remedies in this process - there's a long way to go". Greenhill has been retained as "a financial advisor to assist in analysing financial aspects of the full range of potential remedies". The firm was established by Robert Greenhill, former president of Morgan Stanley, two years ago. The firm ranked 24th in the US merger and acquisition advisers during the first eight months of 1999, according to Thomson. Greenhill has good but limited experience in technology deals, and it would be wrong to characterise the firm as a high-tech specialist. Its main IT client has been Compaq, which it advised on the sale of the AltaVista stake, the offer for shopping.com, and the purchase of Digital and Tandem, plus some smaller deals. Its other experience consists of smaller deals with Misys, Wang (not the Getronics acquisition), and Warburg Pincus. On the telecoms front, it has advised Cable & Wireless and Hughes Electronics. One problem for the DoJ was of course to find a firm that had not worked with Microsoft in the past, although it does not escape our notice that Greenhill's web site displays an Internet Explorer download icon and no other. It'll be interesting to see if it stays there. The partner expected to be most involved is Jeff Williams, who was previously head of Morgan Stanley's telecoms & media group before moving to McGraw-Hill. He's an architect by training. We have no comment on Greenhill's appointment and the fact that its London office is just around the corner from The Register. In a sense, Greenhill's job is to advise how to do the very opposite of what it is normally called on to do: it is being asked to put a governor on illegal business practices and to restore competition to the industry, rather than to help Microsoft. It is good that the DoJ is seeking advice, but it has made it clear that it will not be bound by any suggestions. It is not clear whether the appointment was made to help with the mediation talks, or in preparation for the next rounds in Judge Jackson's court. Of course, it is just possible that the suggestion came from the mediator, Judge Posner. We suspect however that the appointment is being used by the DoJ as a lever so far as the mediation talks go, and that the major purpose is preparation for the next round when remedies will be discussed, after the findings of law. ® Complete Register Trial coverage
Graham Lea, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Toshiba gets China syndrome

Taking advantage of significantly lower capital and labour costs, Toshiba has announced it will open a factory in China. China has been identified by the colossus of the notebook world as a potential goldmine, and is moving its manufacturing facilities close to the market. The new plant will be sited near Shanghai and although no opening date was announced, Taiwan's Eurotrade reported that production would start in April, with targets set at around 110,000 units per year. According to Toshiba, the Chinese notebook market is set to grow from this year's 260,000 units shipped to 1.3 million units shipped in 2004. The factory will be jointly owned by Toshiba and the Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone Development company. Toshiba China will own 10 per cent, as will the Chinese company, with the remaining 80 per cent held by Toshiba's parent group. ®
Sean Fleming, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

DVD Video crack delays DVD Audio roll-out

The release of DVD cracking tool DeCSS last month has apparently prompted the consumer electronics industry to delay the release of DVD Audio by up to six months. According to Dow Jones, Matsushita's Panasonic and JVC divisions have both put back the release of DVD Audio systems from pre-Christmas December dates to May next year. The reason: to develop a rather better copy protection system than the one that DVD Video currently uses, Content Scrambling System (CSS). Cryptography specialists have already noted that the 40-bit CSS was a fatally flawed encryption system and would have been broken sooner or later anyway -- the Norwegian coders who wrote DeCSS were saved all the really hard work when engineers at RealNetworks subsidiary Xing Technologies failed to encrypt their software's decode key, as required by the DVD technology license. DVD Audio proponents would have had to come up with a more secure system anyway, but DeCSS has forced their hand, at the behest of the music industry, according to a Matsushita spokesman. A spokesman for Nippon Columbia, a division of Sony, said that the company had been forced to trash 10,000 discs readied for the DVD Audio launch. That said, does it really matter? DVD Audio is a nice idea, but it's questionable whether we actually need another audio format right now. DVD Video makes sense because the quality is so much better than VHS -- all DVD Audio appears to offer is room to get Pink Floyd's The Wall onto a single disc (not that the music biz will charge you for a single disc). Oh, and space for all those dull rock star interviews the fanboys get off on. ®
Tony Smith, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

C2000 sees Web sales triple

Computer 2000's online sales have tripled since it started offering free delivery on orders using its InTouch 2000 Web service. The distributor said the number of resellers asking to be registered for ordering over the Web was also up six-fold since the offer's launch in mid-November. Its online ordering business was originally started two years ago, but by last month it was still brining in less than ten per cent of C2000's sales in the UK. In November C2000 had 8700 users signed up, representing 4500 registered resellers. But despite the site getting 1500 users a day, the distributor was concerned that most resellers were only using the service to check price and availability and build quotes, rather than actually ordering online. In the US, 40 per cent of the company's sales are via the Web. The free shipment trial, an average saving of £15 per order, was designed to combat reseller reservations about using the Web to order. Andy Gass, deputy MD at C2000, said: "InTouch 2000 is easy and cost-effective for the reseller. It does not tie up scarce resources and therefore directly benefits the reseller's business by decreasing costs, ensuring accuracy and speeding up the ordering process." The Basingstoke distributor was predicting that a third of its orders would be via the Web in 2000. ® Related Story C2000 cuts delivery charge from online orders
Linda Harrison, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

InterX: from distie to Net VC vehicle?

So what now for InterX, the London stock market-quoted group that announced its intention this week to demerge or sell off Ideal Hardware, a British storage distributor and its main asset? A demerger -- which could take up to six months to complete -- would see InterX shareholders receive new shares in Ideal Hardware, while retaining their InterX stock. A sale would see InterX shareholders receive new shares in a distributor -- probably overseas and probably American -- while retaining their InterX stock. Either way, it looks unfeasible for InterX, as an entity, to book any profits from the Ideal Hardware transaction. The Big Idea is to unlock the value in what's left in InterX -- two promising, but cash-hungry Internet properties. These are an IT product search engine, part of the IT Network (yeah, you've seen the buttons here at The Register), and 34 per cent of Cromwell Media, developer of a Internet personalisation and tracking software called Bladerunner. Ideal Hardware is one of the UK's most profitable IT distributors, but right now most of this is funnelled into the development and distribution of the IT Network. However, this week's soaring share price -- up 150p -- puts InterX in a strong position to tap existing institutional investors for more cash. Bladerunner is described by insiders as the "nearest thing to Broadvision". We're talking functionality here as opposed to market reach. Cromwell completed the productisation of Bladerunner (which began life more as a development tool) only comparatively recently, and it can count its customers on two hands. Also, there is work to be done on making its interface Internet-friendly. More importantly, this business will require tens of millions of pounds to build a global marketing and distribution machine. But we guess Cromwell and its new heavyweight management team will raise the money. The question for InterX now is whether it will raise fresh capital from outside investors and adopt the New Media Spark quoted-VC vroute. Typically, big British investors -- pension funds and insurance houses -- are barred, either by law, or by rules of their making, in making speculative equity investments. Non-quoted Internet start-ups fall into this category. This means the institutions get their chance to invest in the Net only at the point of IPO, a time of huge asset inflation. As a quoted company, InterX offers the opportunity for institutional investors to take a risk-spreading punt on two pre-IPO Internet start-ups. It would appear to make a deal of sense for InterX to incubate some more Net businesses. There's plenty more upside in this stock.® Related Stories Ideal to split from parent group Cromwell Media There's more Net finance news at Cash Register
Drew Cullen, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Microsoft drops J++ for XML-based alternative

Microsoft has finally dropped its Visual J++ Java development system. However, it appears to be focusing instead on XML and not the Cool tool it had originally envisaged as the successor to J++. For the time being, J++ isn't going away. While there's a strong likelihood that it will be pulled from the Visual Studio suite, according to Microsoft sources cited by Computing, J++ itself has been licensed to tools developer Rational Software, which will continue its development. Of course, Microsoft has been mulling the end of J++ ever since it lost its legal row with Sun over the 'purity' of its Java support. In April, Visual C product manager Jeff Ressler said of J++: "We continue to sell it, and apps built with it will not be subject to any limitations, but its future is not [definite]." Immediately after that, Microsoft began touting an alternative to Java of its own devising, news of which emerged back in February. Codenamed Cool, the anti-Java system was a programming framework providing series of extensions to C++ providing hooks into Windows 2000's COM+ (Common Object Model). The idea was to make C++ as easy to code as Java. According to the Computing report, however, the upcoming Visual Studio 7 relies heavily on XML, and uses a mix of extensible mark-up language and HTTP to invoke methods and objects remotely. How much of Cool will make it to Visual Studio 7 remains to be seem. Cool was to have been officially released earlier this autumn, but it seems likely that the increasing shift in the Internet industry towards XML may well have persuaded Microsoft that Cool's time is past. ®
Tony Smith, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Infineon claims hacked chip code poses no security risk

An Infineon representative has dismissed as groundless fears that a hack of some functions of its SLE44 processor could compromise security. That follows the posting of a hexadecimal dump of some code from the SLE44 on a German bulletin board some days ago. According to Infineon, it is true that some details of the processor, which forms the basis of German digital signature security, have been obtained. But, he said, those details will not allow people to gain access to private keys, nor will it affect the Geldkarte scheme. He said: "My understanding is that there are some details of the chip available." He said that the code that was posted allows people to check the security of the card, but there is no way that people can use those particular functions to breach security or to get further information from the chip. Nevertheless, Infineon is currently involved in an investigation to discover how the information leaked into the public domain. ® Related Stories Faces will go red over digital signature crack Siemens German digital signature chip cracked
Mike Magee, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

ZD pre-announces Gateway Athlon

Earlier this week we reported that Gateway is shipping samples of PCs using the Athlon processor, and now confirmation has come from an unlikely source. ZD Net has posted a guide to buying PCs on its Web site, and a Gateway machine, called the Select, is listed as shipping with a 600MHz AMD Athlon processor and costing $2,499. Although it is not certain from the piece whether the products are already for sale, this information, coupled with other reliable information, suggests that Gateway, along now with IBM and Compaq, is serious about second sourcing processors for its machines. The page on ZD Net can be found here. ®
Mike Magee, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Big Q sells its three millionth server

Compaq has shipped its three millionth server and is claiming the lead in the race for hardware dominance. The machine, an 8-way ProLiant server, was bought by UK-based ISP Planet Online. Big Q claimed the three million figure was greater than the server shipments of rivals IBM, Hewlett Packard and Dell combined. By which, we guess it means PC-based servers -– although Compaq was a little vague on that point. Rather than call them PC-based servers, it has taken to using the term "industry standard". Compaq started shipping servers in 1989 -- the first million sales took seven years. The second million took two years to shift with this latest million being snapped up over the last 13 months. While three million is a very big number, in terms of the overall server market, it is only a drop in the server market ocean. An IBM representative described the Compaq figures as very interesting, but said it was far from impressive. "This shows that Compaq is still just a PC vendor trying to play with the big boys. They haven't even included sales of DEC Alpha servers, have they," he said. He dismissed Compaq's assertion that it holds the dominant position in the server market. "According to IDC's research figures, IBM is the number one server vendor in western Europe, with 30 per cent of the market. Worldwide, we have 25 per cent of the total server market and around 70 per cent of the world's business data sits on IBM servers." The server market is set to become increasingly important over the next five years. Intel believes that massive growth is around the corner, with only four per cent of the servers needed for the Net infrastructure of 2005 have already shipped. ®
Linda Harrison, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

AMD likely to beat Intel, Alpha to 1GHz punch

It now seems highly unlikely that Intel will be able to produce a 1GHz chip based on its IA-32 architecture before AMD, and possibly even before Compaq rolls out a 1GHz Alpha processor next summer. According to information from a source close to AMD's plans, it can, as we have said before, produce an air-cooled Athlon K7 running at the magic 1GHz spot early next year, if it wants to. The fabrication of the processor has gone more smoothly than anyone could have anticipated, and the only reason for holding back on producing a 1GHz Athlon early next year is that AMD can maximise its profits by gradually rolling scaled processors out of its fabs. Compaq, meanwhile, is unlikely to produce a 1GHz Alpha before the middle of next year, according to analyst Terry Shannon. Although Intel will demonstrate a 1GHz IA-32 chip at a conference in early February, its roadmap shows that the highest clock speed on the Coppermine track is likely to be an 866MHz Pentium III at the end of Q1, 2000. However, Intel will introduce 750MHz Pentium IIIs early next year, but will not equal AMD's performance even with this introduction. AMD can roll out an 800MHz or a 900MHz Athlon just as easily as it can a 1GHz part. ®
Mike Magee, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Teleworking will destroy society

Futurologists fall into two camps: the insanely optimistic or the suicidally depressing. Professor John Adams, of University College London, subscribes to the latter, Dystopic school of forecasting. In a report commissioned by the OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development), he conjures up a "nightmare vision of a polarised, car-dependent Britain, locked into ever sprawling crime-ridden suburbs". These are, admittedly, not Adams' words but a Guardian summary of his report Teleworking. That's right, teleworking. Prof Adams' thesis runs like this: 1. Teleworkers are so busy getting on with their colleagues online that they have less time for getting on with their next door neighbours. This will harm social cohesion. "If we spend more time interacting with people at a distance we must spend less time with those closer to home, and if we have more contact with more people we must devote less time and attention to each one," Adams says. 2. Teleworking will unshackle workers from their daily commute, enabling them to move deeper into the suburbs, areas where public transport is unfeasible. The typical worker of the future will actually spend more time travelling and will travel further distances than the worker of today. By 2025, the average worker will travel 56 miles per day, twice as far as today, and eleven times further than in 1950. 3. With the middle classes and rich fleeing to the suburbs, disparities between poor and rich will become greater. 4. Less social cohesion means more crime. 5. Car dominated streets means communities become less and less child-friendly. Children have to be accompanied to school 6. The upshot of all this is the wilting of community spirit. "It means," Prof Adams told The Guardian, "that few of us can attach names to our next-door neighbours; it means the streets are too dangerous to allow children out any more because the volume of traffic makes them more dangerous and because they are more and more filled with strangers." In other words, Britain will see the way of life as currently experienced in the great cities exported to the suburbs and what little there is left of the countryside. So guys, get off the phone and get on the train. You could be saving Civilisation as we know it. ®
Drew Cullen, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Freeserve deal lets SMS Genie out of the bottle

Freeserve is taking SMS (short message services) to the masses with a deal which sees its customers able to receive emails on their mobile phone. Or the first 140 characters of each email, to be more precise. The company, Britain's biggest ISP, is teaming up with Genie, a mobile phone ISP/portal and BT Cellnet to deliver the service. Genie will supply the technology, while Freeserve will supply content and customers. No money is changing hands between the two bedfellows, but it looks like Freeserve will be NotFreeserve with this service. According to The Guardian, this is "likely to be offered on a monthly subscription basis with customers billed direct to their credit cards". The Freeserve/BT Cellnet tie-in looks a good deal all around, delivering a huge boost for SMS services in the UK. But is it really worth a 30 per cent jump in Freeserve's sh ares, up 82.5p yesterday on the news? Freeserve is now valued at £3.7 billion, 160 per cent more than its July issue price. It won't take too long for other providers -- mobile phone companies and mass-market ISPs -- to get in on the SMS act. And it won't take too long after that for some foolhardy soul to offer email by mobile phone for free. ® Locust also lets you email by phone too. And it's cheap, too. Free services include www.one2one.net, Excell andGenie! Can The Guardian be right about the monthly Freeserve SMS subscription? As reader Mike Bisson writes "people are getting a bum deal if Freeserve is planning to make a charge". Quite. Feel like recommending any more SMS services? Post your comments on The Register Forum.
Drew Cullen, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Pentium III-800 benchmarks pop on Web

Intel's Pentium III-800 is now slated to arrive in the first quarter of next year but benchmarks, or putative benchmarks, have already appeared on the World Wide Web. The set of benchmarks compare a series of Intel Pentium III Coppermine processors with i820 and BX chipsets, and include the 800MHz part. A Chinese reader emails us to tell us that the site overclocked an unlock-clock Pentium III 733MHz chip to get the results. Neverthless, it gives an idea of what the performance of an 800MHz Pentium III will be like. Intel is probably some way away from providing samples of the 800MHz Pentium III, which it has, however, brought forward. The next fastest Pentium IIIs will be 750MHz parts, with 100MHz buses, due to be released in early January. Go here to see for yourself. ®
Mike Magee, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

MS reorg downscales Millennium as focus shifts to CE

Microsoft president Steve Ballmer reinvented a reinvention earlier today, and Redmond-watchers can safely conclude that this latest reorganisation of Microsoft's High Command comes perilously close to winding up the Millennium consumer Windows project. Consumer Windows, it now seems likely, will be making its debut instead on the CE platform. The big winners from today's reorganisation are Jim Allchin, custodian of the Microsoft Windows Empire, and Bob Muglia, heading the Business Productivity Group. Big loser is the Consumer Windows Division, which is no more, and that's a crack Millennium seems destined to vanish down. Exquisitely, the Consumer Windows Division was formed in March of this year when Ballmer announced "a sweeping reorganisation, designed to refocus the company on the needs of customers." Referring back to that reorg without going into the detail, Steve now tells us: "Today's moves build upon and accelerate the reinvention of Microsoft announced earlier this year by deepening our bench of management talent." Deep-sixed on the bench of management talent, apparently, is David Cole, who was running Consumer Windows, but has now been promoted to senior VP and made head of the Consumer Services Division, one of seven divisions which will report to Rick Belluzzo. Belluzzo was head of the Consumer and Commerce Group, but this has now been "renamed and realigned" as the Consumer Group. The chopping-off of the commerce bit would seem to suggest that at least some of this function is now seen as more appropriate in Muglia's Business Productivity Group, but Belluzzo still seems to have plenty of other balls to keep in the air. Despite the promotion, Cole's new job doesn't immediately look like an automatic route to stardom. The Consumer Services Division's mission, it says here, "is to provide an intuitive and empowering consumer experience, world-class communication and collaboration services, and high-quality Internet access that consumers need to access the Everyday Web [note the caps - do we see a TM coming on?] any time, anywhere, and on any device." But it's not necessarily the lead-filled sock behind the ear the words make it sound like. Belluzzo has been demonstrating the forthcoming MSN Web Companion, a simple, CE-based Web (OK, MSN) access device that'll tie in nicely with combination hardware and access deals along the lines of the one Microsoft has with Tandy. Consumer Services will be running in parallel with John DeVaan's TV Services and Platform Business within the Consumer Group, and these two are the most appropriate units for dealing with consumer access devices and the associated software. Which brings us to a thought The Register has been mulling for a few weeks now. This year we've seen the Millennium consumer Windows initiative downscaled from a projected radical rewrite to little more than a service pack. The latest reorganisation quite possibly signals that it has now arrived completely in service pack land, despite the release of Beta 2 towards the end of last month. With the removal of Millennium from the consumer fray, and with the next (traditional) Windows-based consumer project, Neptune, still a couple of years down the trail, there's a consumer hole which could usefully be filled by CE. Coincidentally (?) Microsoft started noising around earlier this week that future versions of CE devices would instead be sold as "Windows Powered." Producing the fabled legacy-free OS out of CE, which doesn't have much legacy anyway, is surely going to be a lot easier than doing so from Windows 9x, which is full of the stuff, so go figure. It's at times like this you miss the subpoenaed emails, but the likelihood is that Allchin has had a lot to do with the short and sad independent life of the Consumer Windows Division. Despite trial-related butterfingers incidents, Allchin is the safe pair of hands that's been ushering Win2k to RTM, and official custodian of all things Windows. He's now got the consumer Windows efforts firmly back in his fiefdom, and can major on further development based on Win2k, downplaying the old two-track development route. But presumably Allchin will have a think about how games players are to be supported before he kills off 9x entirely. Belluzzo is also likely to have been influential in the moves, in that he needed more appliance-like platforms for his consumer efforts, but didn't obviously need the more overtly PC aspects of Millennium. As far as delivering email plus some Web browsing to the kitchen table, CE no doubt fits his bill admirably. ®
John Lettice, 03 Dec 1999
The Register breaking news

Israeli lawyer mounts $120m Y2k suit against MS

Israeli lawyer Yehuda Ressler has started a class action suit against Microsoft over a Y2K issue, and is seeking 500 million shekels (about $120 million). Ressler's claim is that he had to upgrade his hardware to be able to become Y2K compliant, and that Microsoft hadn't warned him about this. The local Microsoft chief, Arieh Skup, pointed out that Microsoft's Y2K fixes were free. A CD with the fixes in Hebrew was available, said Skup, but this wasn't good enough for Ressler. "Do I know what to do with a CD? Do I know where to put it?" Ressler said, according to an AP report. Skup apparently replied that there would always be lawyers chasing riches, and that it couldn't be stopped. We find all this rather strange, because we had always thought that the Jewish calendar would make the current year 5760 (based on the creation being in 3761BC). Perhaps Skup should point this out. ®
Graham Lea, 03 Dec 1999