23rd > February > 2000 Archive

The Register breaking news

Viral marketing adds a taste of spam to your mail

A Web portal called Gohip wishes to offer you a "free video browser enhancement" which does nothing to enhance your video viewing pleasure, but does secretly enable Gohip to advertise using your e-mail signature. Not exactly a threat, but certainly an annoyance. Call it 'viral marketing'.
Team Register, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Electronic conveyancing takes house buying online

Buying a house could soon take days rather than months, thanks to plans afoot for electronic conveyancing. The Government has put forward proposals to eliminate the need for every stage of conveyancing - the legal process of transferring land from one owner to another - to be signed manually. It aims to publish new rules later in the year that will make possible electronic contracts, transfers and mortgages. It also has plans to create an online national database of properties and land information. The proposals form part of the Electronic Communications Bill, which is due for its second reading in the House of Lords this afternoon. "Under our proposals, all the conveyancing information needed to sell or buy a property could be made available quickly and simultaneously to everybody concerned," said Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor. "This should enable problems to be identified and resolved at the outset rather than much later on." Lord Irvine said the moves should allow professional conveyancers to offer a "speedier, better and even cheaper service".® The current Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 dates back to 1845 and 1677. Related stories: Tesco and RBS launch Net bank
Linda Harrison, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Compaq likely to use Via's Joshua chip

Via took the wraps off its Cyrix III (Joshua) processor in California yesterday and sources close to the firm suggested a deal with both Compaq and E-machines are likely to be the earliest wins for the chip. The company is also beginning to yield 466MHz Cyrix IIIs, although it is likely that Via will continue to use the pesky PR rating, which confuses many. The microprocessor supports three front side bus speeds, at 66MHz, 100MHz and 133MHz, and the 256K level two cache includes a fuse repair technology which can potentially double yield. Average selling prices for the microprocessors are likely to be in the $80-$85 dollar range, according to sources close to the firm. The Cyrix III uses a socket 370 package, and is compatible with a range of motherboards already in the market, according to Via. It supports the 3DNow! technology used by AMD, which is a non-Intel version of the famous Screaming Sindie extensions. The microprocessor uses a .18 micron process technology, and also has a redesigned core, the company said. The ability of Via to sell the microprocessors is likely to be better than Cyrix's stab at this. Via bought Cyrix last year but has the advantage that it is on very good terms with other Taiwanese companies. An ASP of $80 is likely to make the processor an attractive option for smaller system builders. ®
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Judge rejects MS copyright case, mentions Rockefeller

MS on Trial Microsoft's last-ditch copyright defence was blown out of the water by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson as the antritrust trial reached closing arguments on finding of facts yesterday. Faced with the judge's conclusions that Microsoft was a monopoly and that it had harmed consumers, Microsoft's lawyers had gone for the copyright bolt-hole. Under the circumstances, and as we said when the MS defence documents were filed, this was a desperate throw, and the judge's repeated interruptions of Microsoft lead attorney John Warden yesterday bears this out. "Copyright does not protect the conduct with which your company is charged," said Jackson. Nor will the judge's reference to John D Rockefeller have cheered Microsoft up. Rockefeller's Standard Oil was the seminal US monopoly, and was broken up for it. Jackson observed that Rockefeller "had fee-simple control over his oil." This seems to have been an observation rather than a clear statement of his intent to tar Microsoft with precisely the same brush as Rockefeller, but considering the context it can't be viewed as just an observation. Warden's response was in itself interesting, because he attempted to head-off any comparison by saying that copyright was conferred by an act of Congress, while Rockefeller's rights over oil weren't. Given that the judge has made it clear that the copyright argument is, as far as he's concerned, a total loser, Warden is either stupid (it's possible...) or he's already working on the appeal, hoping this pitch will play better in higher courts. The copyright argument itself is one we've been bashing on about round these parts since long before Microsoft promoted it to the front line of the defence. A year ago Microsoft OEM chief Joachim Kempin doggedly argued that the introduction of the Windows Experience was simply an assertion of the copyrights Microsoft held already, rather than an extension of them. Simply put, Microsoft argues that the whole of Windows can be viewed as a single, copyrightable entity, and that anything it puts into Windows is therefore covered. This includes IE, but it also includes the look and feel presented to the user when they boot the machine first, the various items of real estate on the desktop, the install sequence, the initial boot sequence, and so on. Microsoft OEM agreements in their rawest and most restrictive form impose specific conditions defined by Microsoft on the OEMs, and prohibit the running of any non-Microsoft software during the boot sequence. All of these things are what some people (including, almost certainly, Judge Jackson) would call illegal tying in a monopoly situation. But if Microsoft can just get a court somewhere to agree with it on copyright, then all of these things are permissable under copyright law. Of course, if Microsoft's case were to triumph, the bottom line would be that Microsoft could do anything it liked, provided it called it Windows. Except in Korea. ® Related stories: MS exec in shock Windows is Great White Whale claim What MS OEM agreements really say
John Lettice, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

American heartland votes for uncensored Net content

Presidential ambition wasn't the only contest on voters' minds during the Michigan Republican primary last night. A small, conservative Michigan town put the issue of Internet censorship in public libraries on the ballot as a referendum. Voters in Holland, Michigan defeated a proposal to install filtering software on Web-enabled library computers, urged by some lest sprouts be subject to pornography and violence and other forms of political incorrectness on line. Had the proposal passed, it would have cut off public funds to the library. Holland is the first US municipality to put Internet censorship to a referendum, but the issue is on the front burner in thousands of towns and cities across the US, and often hotly contested. The library board took a bold stand, indicating it would close the facility rather than install the software. Fortunately, common sense prevailed over child-protective hysteria, and the good citizens of Holland will be able to keep their library open, and their information free from government filtering. We wish it were always this easy. ®
Thomas C Greene, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

CeBIT Preview: a peek through the keyhole

Providing CeBIT lets us in, we'll be reporting on the news spewing out of the Hannover Messe as the week unfolds. Here's a taster of what you can expect: Hello boys 3dfx has blown the budget and is promising to have the "real life" Lara Croft parading around its stand. Dutch model Lara Weller, of FHM magazine fame, will be pulling in the crowds while the company launches its Voodoo 4 and 5 graphics cards in Europe. The company will also have the first demo of its first Voodoo cards running on an Apple computer.
Linda Harrison, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Dow Jones, Excite JV bids for Web IPO gravy

Dow Jones & Co, publisher of Dow Jones Newswire and The Wall Street Journal is bidding for Internet gravy via joint venture business-to-business portal with Excite@Home. The two will merge Excite's Work.com portal with Dow Jones' free business news site dowjones.com in a 50-50 venture, and intend to IPO it. Trebles all round? Almost certainly, if the climate doesn't turn nasty in the interim. The two see it as a marriage made in heaven, and hope the analysts will as well. Excite@Home already aims Work.com at small businesses, and already supplies Dow Jones news content to them via the portal. By reversing dowjones.com itself into the equation Work.com should get greater impetus, and Dow Jones' apparently not totally successful attempt to pitch itself at small businesses can be brought to a graceful end. How many small businesses do you know that automatically think Dow Jones Newswire when it comes to news? Exactly. And Dow Jones' announcement specifically refers to its own Wall Street Journal Interactive as "one of the few successful subscription-based Web sites," while conspicuously failing to comment on the success or otherwise of dowjones.com. Where, however, is the beef? Work.com may turn out to be more successful as a branding exercise, and will have the advantage of Excite providing it with an entry in far broader markets than are penetrated by Excite@Home, which is a US-only cable-based service. In the short run the move is probably a better plan than the dubious Web strategy most wire services have blundered into, basically over-distributing their content to anyone who'll have it, and thus eventually sending their own margins south. But the move might well cannibalise WSJ Interactive readership, and might cause problems with Dow Jones' ability to sell feeds to Excite rivals. Work.com also needs more in the way of content and services for small business if it's to succeed, but there are signs that it intends to get that. According to Dow Jones it will "meld front-office and back-office applications, including Web-site hosting, payroll services and accounting aids, with file sharing, e-mail services and business news from selected Dow Jones sources." That is, it intends to pitch into the ASP business as well, which begs some interesting questions about who the software development partners are going to be. Excite@Home parent AT&T is of course an ally of Microsoft's in the US cable business, but only sort of, as it inherited a lot of Sun baggage and allegiances when it was buying up franchises. Still, the IPO should work. ®
John Lettice, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Hardware Roundup AMD to can K6-2+?

At this site, there is a report that AMD has decided to scrap the K6-2+, and some more information on Chimpzilla's chippy plans for this year. There's a review at Anandtech of Creatve Labs Annihilator Pro. Our pals at BX Boards have posted a review of the Epox EP-7KXA motherboard, which uses the Via KX133 chipset. Ars Technica, over at its Wankerdesk, has posted a piece about Intel being on the road to erewhon. Don't think after reading this that Michael Dull of the Dull Corporation is going to leave Intel off his list of enemas -- we understand that Fortune magazine will soon deliver an interview with the man where he lays into Chipzilla (overheard at a bar in Palm Springs last week). Tempted to dabble with them-thar Slockets (we understand Intel may well make one too)? Go, then, to Hardware One and consider the ways of this wicked world of ours. There's a contrast and compare piece there... Sick of all that silicon? Get thee hence to Hardware, where there's an attractively priced sandblaster.. ® 22 February 2000 The IT Network awards a big pat on the back for the Athlon 850MHz, primarily for its better floating point performance, compared with its 800MHz little brother. The new processor is "ideal for high-end desktops and single processor workstations - and is also cheaper than the fastest Pentium III currently available". The full Athlon 950MHz review is at http://www.itnetwork.com/article4301. There's a review of the extremely sexy Yamaha CRW8424 IDE CD-RW at Hardware One which is well worth a gander. Do names make a difference to bits of hardware? Yamaha don't think so... At Tech Report, there is a review of six of the best Athlon overclocking cards on the market. Wacko! as Jimmy Edwards no doubt said... Athlon heatsinks? Who needs'em when the beast runs so cool? Here, at Anandtech, there's a review of ten sinks. At IDF last week we saw some v.interesting designs for some Pentium III heatsinks...and maybe even for Willamette. Overclocker Kyle Bennett at Hard OCP has neatly summarised a stash of announcements from Abit. Boris Babaian of Elbrus has more stuff to say, according to this piece here. And at Hardware Com there's a cordless circular saw, which no doubt will prove useful if you need to chop the head off of these skyscraper style chips Intel was talking about last week....oops, wrong kind of hardware. ® 20 February 2000 Back from Intel's Developer Forum and now able to update this page a little more regularly... JC has posted some info suggesting that AMD will yawn when Intel releases its 866MHz Pentium III on 27/28 February. It probably can afford to wait a while, we and he reckon, before it unleashes its infamous 900MHz Athlon... Sharky Extreme has some benchmarks on a GeForce which uses DDR (double data rate) memory here. DDR is the technology which senior Intel executive Albert Yu claims he has never heard of. At Overclockin there is a review of seven memory modules which takes an exhaustive look at performance, for those of you who want to get that extra spurt out of your PC platform. This is part II of a series testing memory which is well worth a look. There's an in-depth look at the Asus K7 board here at CPU Review. ®
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Hacking hysteria invigorates insurance industry

The dividends of this month's DDoS attacks against high-profile sites Yahoo, eBay, Amazon and others just keep multiplying. Now it seems the insurance industry is going to hand the security industry a tidy windfall. Hewlett-Packard last week began offering reduced-rate hacker insurance. Meanwhile, online security outfit Network Associates is now enthusiastically recommending such insurance, Reuters reports. And we can see why they would. Surely a policy is going to require routine security audits, providing heaps of lucrative contracts for security firms. Garrett Koehm, an executive vice president for Tri-City Brokerage, says losses to hack attacks are not always covered in a company's primary insurance package, and that Internet businesses are taking a closer look at what their existing coverage includes. Tri-City, which offers coverage through Lloyds of London, also advises Internet companies to protect themselves against corporate espionage and sabotage to their systems by disgruntled employees. "I'd say activity is up four or fivefold this month," Phil Hart, vice president of technology underwriting at American International Group, reckons. In January AIG began offering insurance for losses of up to $25 million resulting from hacking incidents, but initially got a lukewarm response. Now things are looking up thanks to the DDoS media frenzy. We're just surprised it's taken this long for the high-tech insurance and security industries to start scratching each other's backs. Surely, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. ®
Thomas C Greene, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Intel readies move into Bangladesh

Wednesday evening, and Intel is hosting a party called Route 66 down at the Hilton, a block or two away from the convention centre and the scene, earlier on of AMD's Cheapzilla presentation. Unusually for Palm Springs, it's pelting down, so we sheltered under an awning which seemed to be, by some coincidence, remarkably close to the bar. We like these IDF parties because, after all, you get a chance to chat to some real developers, rather than just listening to what Intel wants to tell you. The spinolas came and tried to round us up to go to the Village Pub, but we shook them off. Got chatting to a Bangladeshi chap from a company which will be nameless, and he had a story to tell us about how he and Intel had attempted to set up a joint venture in Bangladesh, only for both parties to duck out when they were told they couldn't do so without a big fat bribe... That was a couple of years back, but in the meantime neither Intel nor this guy's company had given up and we can reveal that in just a few month's time, there will be a JV set up, this time in conjunction with the Bangladeshi foreign ministry. That, apparently, is the only way to do business there unless you're willing to fork out vast wedges of dosh just to scrape together a living. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Bangladesh has a population close to 130 million in an area which is only slightly larger than Wisconsin. So it sure does need that inward investment. ® Intel Developer Forum Q1 2000
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

SuSE deal puts SCO in driving seat

SCO is ready to burst out of its chrysalis as a fully formed Linux company, thanks to a deal with SuSE to help with installation projects. The deal means SCO consultants will now push SuSE Linux services and offer planning advice to corporate users looking at possible Linux roll outs. There's nothing quite like hoping on a bandwagon to keep your own momentum going, but analysts are praising SCO's volte face, according to a report on CNET's news.com. Where once SCO was Linux-hostile, it now has agreements with three key distributors of the open source OS: Caldera, TurboLinux and now SuSE. Mind you, as an investor in Caldera and TurboLinux (and also in LinuxMall) SCO can be expected to not just hop on the bandwagon, but to take a turn at the wheel too. ® See also: SuSE, MandrakeSoft to promote Linux NC architecture SCO unleashes Tarantella for Linux Sun, SCO, Novell, Citrix put bucks into Caldera
Sean Fleming, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Brown takes heat off BT

Chancellor Gordon Brown failed to deliver the knock out punch to BT yesterday despite reports he was set to take another swipe at the monster telco for the continued high cost of Net access in Britain. Speaking in New York, he only made one highly camouflaged reference to this sensitive subject. He certainly didn't refer to "foot-dragging" or of bringing forward local loop unbundling. Instead, he made a passing reference to the cost of Net access entwined within a number of other issues. So much so, it's difficult to spot, but if you look hard enough, it's in there. "This [meaning for Britain to become the world's best environment for electronic commerce] is an agenda that will touch on every aspect of the economy, including government itself, schools, universities, new infrastructure, government and access to the Internet itself," he said. "Our competition policy is opening up the market to new players and allows existing players to benefit from new opportunities." Spot it? It's a far cry from the panic that was caused following an interview in the FT last week which suggested he was to introduce plans to speed up local loop unbundling in a bid to cut the cost of Net access. The Register still maintains that there was very little substance in this now infamous speech to have caused such market mania. But the issue is so emotive the slightest sniff of change can cause widespread hysteria, and last week is certainly proof of that. Nonetheless, BT will remain very sore about the Chancellor's intervention for a long time to come. And on the evidence of Brown's speech yesterday, BT could at least feel it has scored a partial victory over the Chancellor. It seems Brown heeded the advice of Sir Peter Bonfield by minding his own business and keeping his nose out where it wasn't wanted. ® Related stories: UK Chancellor gives BT another good kicking BT shares tumble on false Brown Net cuts story BT shares tumble on false Brown Net cuts story
Tim Richardson, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Win2000 brings justice to a stop

Local US newspaper Tulsa World reported at the weekend that a version of Windows 2000 supplied to the Oklahoma Court Information System has so many bugs in it that the entire justice system has ground to a halt. According to the newspaper, the system was installed just before the end of last year in order to minimise disruption from the Y2K bug. It was intended to be the first integrated statewide court system in the US, and mainframe computers were thrown out to be replaced by the new system. Microsoft supplied the software early to the courts, but the newspaper reports that the system is down for days, throwing the entire due process of law into chaos. System errors regularly crash the system, stopping work for hours at a time. Tulsa World quoted judge David Peterson as saying: "The whole thing's a mess." ®
Adamson Rust, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

UK gov't targets cyber terror

The British Government has called for international co-operation to help beat cyber terrorism. Margaret Beckett, Leader of the House of Commons and Cabinet Minister, said that infrastructure protection -- keeping the country's phones, power, financial and transport systems safe from hackers -- was the new challenge for the Millennium. Speaking at a conference yesterday she said the lessons learnt from tackling the Y2K problem should be employed to combat a "new type of cyber threat". "In the Millennium Bug work we saw unprecedented international co-operation to solve a common problem," said Beckett. "Countries were naturally rather sensitive to the specifics of their own national situation and vulnerabilities. But this did not prevent a free exchange of information both about potential problems before they arose, and about actual incidents over the year end period. "The Government hopes that that this very positive experience of international co-operation can itself be a model for dealing with malicious computer attack -- whether through using and developing existing bilateral relationships, or bodies such as the High Tech Crime Group of the G8," she said. Last month US President Bill Clinton said he would seek $91 million to help combat cyber terrorism. ® Related stories: Clinton's Big Plan against cyberterror FBI wants to snoop on private networks
Tim Richardson, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Alcatel/Newbridge merger confirmed

Less than a year since the first rumblings that Newbridge Networks was a prime take-over target, the Canadian networking giant is to become part of French mobile phones to metallurgy company Alcatel. Talk of the merger started to break over the weekend and now the boards of both companies have agreed the deal should go ahead. The final details of the agreement were thrashed out late last night and the announcement was made this morning. Alcatel is offering to convert each Newbridge share into 0.81 of an Alcatel share. Based on closing prices of just over US$48 for Alcatel and US$34.38 for Newbridge, this values Newbridge shares at US$38.68 and gives the deal a value of around US$7.1 billion. Newbridge become part of Alcatel's Carrier Data Division (CDD) which will be renamed as the Carrier Internetworking Division. Prior to deal, CDD was expected to record revenues in excess of US$1 billion in 2000. The new CID is expected to have combined annual sales of more than US$2.5 billion, according to a Newbridge statement. Pearse Flynn, Newbridge president and COO will become president of CID, which will be based in Canada. Despite its size, all has not been plain sailing for Newbridge. 1998 was dogged by a string of profit warnings that saw its share price fall to below US$30 and gave rise to the first rumours of impending takeover. The picture improved last year and for its third quarter, ending 30 January 2000, Newbridge recorded revenue of $521 million. Which was more than eight per cent up on the previous quarter. Newbridge shareholders have yet to approve the deal. ® See also: Alcatel snaps up Newbridge Take-over talk targets Newbridge
Sean Fleming, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Oracle does the wireless portal me-too two-step

Have portal project, will IPO? It's not exactly original, and Larry Ellison had a stash of me-toos to announce when he rolled out Oracle's OracleMobile.com project yesterday. Bizarrely, even the name was a me-too, as the domain in question is currently occupied by, er, somebody else.
John Lettice, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Symbian rolls out Quartz design for communicator

In Hanover today Symbian unveiled Quartz, the first of its EPOC-based reference designs for what it calls Wireless Information Devices (WIDs). Quartz is a Communicator-footprint design, effectively a Psion-like device based on EPOC 6, ready and waiting to be be produced and shipped by Symbian licensees. Symbian had Ericsson and Motorola at the rollout as supporting acts, but only Motorola is committed to a ship date for a Quartz-based platform - Q2 2001, and according to Psion CEO David Levin, Motorola is going to be the first out of the traps. We'd doubt this, particularly as Symbian waved a Communicator concept product around in the company of NTT DoCoMo last year, but Levin, who recently got into a co-development deal with Motorola, surely ought to know. But you can spot the gag, can't you? Quartz is a pen-based device, and Symbian also has Crystal and Pearl designs on the stocks. So Motorola's firstness is only going to be in one area. Other Symbian licensees can therefore be expected to major on the smartphone and larger-format keyboarded communicator designs. Quartz is quarter VGA format, and includes jotter, contacts, PIM, email, fax, SMS, telephony, and Web and WAP browsing. It also integrates Bluetooth, and EPOC 6 adds integrated Java and IMAP support. ®
John Lettice, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

AMD, Via, Intel chipsets – FIC's future view

A presentation of First International Corporation (FIC) of its motherboard offerings during the year 2000 has cast light on future technology arriving from Intel, Via and AMD. According to the document we have seen, AMD has just started sampling an Irongate 4 chipset, which will start to be produced in volume in June of this year. In the second quarter of this year, Via will go into production of KM133 chipset, and start providing samples of its Apollo FX266M chipset, with Solano production, which supports PC133, IGT and AGP4x, starting in April. Via is also releasing a Pro Media 2 product late in this quarter. In the second half of the year, Camino II (the 820e) will go into production, supporting ATA100 and 2, 4 and 6 channel audio. The Via FX266H production will start in the same time period, and so too will Solano II, which again is ATA100, and supports 2,4, and 6 channel audio. In the last quarter of this year, the Via PM266H will start to sample, and will be in production in the first quarter of next year. FIC will roll out a large number of motherboards during the year, including the FC15, the AM11, the AD11, the AM31, the FX11, the FG31, the FS33, the FR31 and the FT31. The SD11 will support Irongate 4. Many of these mobos willl support FIC's Novus technology, which sends you useful audio messages during setup including: "Caution! No CPU detected. Please check your PC" and "Caution! No VGA detected. Please check your PC". FIC's own Overclock Partner is a feature which allows processors to be overclocked from the BIOS, and is combined with a single jumper and a dipswitch which allows the system to return to default speed if any problems occur at power on. According to FIC, the system hardware is completely protected from any changes that are made at BIOS level. ® See also Intel's chipset roadmaps more like roadworks Intel's Y2K server, desktop, mobile roadmap
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

AMD tells resellers Athlon story

A presentation AMD made to its resellers last month has revealed the extent of its penetration into world markets. Although there is not much hard info about future technology in the Powerpoint slides we saw (they know how leaky the channel can be), at the same time the presentation is a glimpse into how the chip company is positioning its Athlon products. As of January, AMD listed 13 suppliers of systems in the Americas, including Mexican company Mexmai, and Brazilian firm MicroTec. Gateway was not yet on the list, but is by now. In Europe, system resellers include German firm Lion, Packard Bell, Centerprise, Transtech, Olidata, SPC, Evesham and Datagrossisten, giving a total of 15 system suppliers. In Asia-Japan, there are 16 system suppliers listed including Thai firm Atec, NEC, Biostar, Australian firm Edge, and three Singapore firms -- RFC, Systech and Amcom. AMD advises its resellers to target the following segments: Ultimate, Enthusiast and Performance. For example an ultimate system would have the top end Athlons, and over 256MB of memory, high end graphics cards, etc. According to the document we saw, the Athlon product family will grow across all segments with "improved and differentiated features" during those year. The Athlon Value will pitch against Intel in the, err, value segment, while the Professional and Ultra will include on chip full speed L2 cache, DDR memory, multiprocessor chipsets and other features "which will allow AMD to penetrate the commercial desktop space along with the workstation and server markets". AMD will be exhibiting at CeBIT and we will pop along there tomorrow to see what the score is. ®
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Intel re-tells 1.5GHz story at CeBIT

Senior executives from the Intel Corporation have outlined their view of the future at massive German trade show CeBIT, but much of the information is a reprise of last week's Developer Forum. John Davies and Mike Fister demonstrated the up-and-coming Willamette chip running at 1.5GHz, and also demoed the Itanium -- which according to Intel -- will debut at 800MHz and is actually running, at the moment, at around 500MHz. Intel's own road map, however, suggests we'll see a 733MHz version of Merced-Itanium first. At the same time, Davies and Fister talked about the so-called third generation of the Internet, which is essentially a business-to-business model. However, and as it is Hangover, and as it is CeBIT, the two execs showed MySAP running on the Itanium, and wheeled in Gunther Tolkmit, a be-suited SAP, to give support for the 64-bit chip. Some other highlights included Microsoft Digital Dashboard running on the Willamette, and a Kenworth Workstation truck demo using a dual Pentium III Xeon. The company also showed an eight way server running Personalized Internet Business with Vignette. CeBIT starts tomorrow in the vast Messegelande, and staff from The Reg will be there to cover the show in as much detail as we can. So if it starts tomorrow, why was Intel doing its press conference today? And we can now report that The Register has already gained ingress to the press facilities at CeBIT, with roving Microsoft tracker Grahame Lea up-and-running. ® See also Intel Developer Forum Q1 2000 CeBIT preview: a peep through the keyhole
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Rambus share price goes ape banana-ballistic

Updated OK, so Intel will put quarter of a billion greenbacks into Infineon when it floats away from parent Siemens in mid-March. Then something happens in the depths of Wall Street, and Rambus shares, already artificially inflated because of the myth that Intel's Willamette processor will only work with Rambus RIMMs, flies sky high from $137 to $178. That was yesterday's close. The price has already soared to over $200 at the time of this update, so maybe it will go to $250 tomorrow. This particular share price is like a white-knuckle ride, and we can only think that some sort of collective madness has descended on Wall Street and punters for the price to fly so high. What are we missing here? Intel said at its Developer Forum last week that it is continuing to back Rambus, despite being forced to climb down because of a) lack of RIMMs, b) non-working motherboards and c) because the PC vendors didn't want to be bumped into using it, and preferred SDRAM. Further, even Itanium, Intel's flagship 64-bit processor, will use synchronous memory. Then again, Foster, the server/workstation version of Willamette, will use supposedly inferior double data rate (DDR) memory rather than Rambus... If the share price gets much higher, one share might just cover one 128MB RIMM... Just a few weeks back, at the Platform 2000 conference in San Jose, a couple of analysts said that Rambus memory was unlikely to make a big splash in the PC market, and Intel itself revised downwards its estimates of RIMM market share. The phenomenal rise in shares in Rambus since IDF is probably due to people "shorting stock". There is an explanation of this practice here at the Motley Fool. And that was definitely happening in the Intel press office at IDF last week. As we reported last week, we were sitting near to a New York financial analyst when Albert Yu was demoing the Willamette processor and heard her get on the blower straight away saying: "cover me"... ® See also Intel to plunge $250 million into Infineon Intel Developer Forum Q1 2000
Mike Magee, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Get off your horse and use the Net

British businesses must stop viewing the Internet like a game of cowboys and Indians. This was the message from today's "Protecting Reward Against Risk" forum, organised by mi2g Software. Speaking to journalists at the event held at Lloyds of London, Catrin Turner, a partner with e-commerce lawyers Henry Hepworth, said: "The Internet is not the Wild West." Turner warned that non-legalled Web sites were a lawyer's dream, but could be very expensive for the company concerned. "Get legal issues dealt with while the Web site is being designed," she said. Turner's advice to companies was as follows.
Linda Harrison, 23 Feb 2000
The Register breaking news

Evesham drops the Micros for dot com

Evesham Micros is renaming and revamping itself to get in tune with the dot com age. From 17 March the system builder will trade as "evesham.com", selling only to home users via the Web and telephone, as well as through its six existing shops. There are also plans afoot to spin off a separate division called "evesham" to deal with its business, education and public sector customers. The moves follow a boom period in Web sales for the Midlands-based company. Evesham's online sales for January accounted for 20 per cent of its business over £1 million, and seven times higher than this time last year. It said the Internet would play a key role in its future, but stressed there were no plans to become 100 per cent cyber company. It also denied that the company aimed to float and cash in on the Internet stocks frenzy. ® Related stories: Evesham bundles free Net access with PCs Pentium-killer PCs are go Evesham sings song of south with London office
Linda Harrison, 23 Feb 2000
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MS software censors anti- censorship theatre

Nannying software has struck in the heart of London's radical theatreland, today's Guardian tells us. Well, maybe it's stretching a point to call the Royal Court radical these days, but it has a long, heroic history at the forefront of anti-censorship, and as a pioneer of on-stage bad language and sundry profanities. It fought the Lord Chamberlain's censorship (now long since abandoned) in the 60s, claims credit for the first use of the F-word on the British stage (by Sir John Gielgud, no less), and more recently presented the play Shopping and Fucking. But that ceased, at least temporarily, with the opening of the refurbished theatre, the implementation of a new computer system and the arrival of somebody we suppose we have to call the Blinking Operator From, er, Hove. The new email system, Microsoft-related, we are told, included anti-sexual harassment settings that stopped staff sending one another scripts with naughty words in them. All of them? Not quite. The Reg has fond memories of a Court production of Hedda Gabler starring the late, great, Jill Bennett which didn't, as we recall, have any profanities in it. But it did have a nascent piece of sexual harrassment which, among other things, drove Hedda to blow her brains out in the final scene. We digress. In reality, there's not a lot of the Court's output that would get past an email system with nanny set to ten. The BOFH (not our BOFH, the real BOFH, obviously, although we're sure he'd jump at the consultancy) is now busily disengaging the stuff and making the Court safe for the scandalisation of Tory matrons once more. In only tenuously related news, we note that Microsoft is again busily changing the wording in Encarta to edit out the description of Bangkok as a commercial sex centre. It had to do this first in 1995, but the description has reappeared. Only in the Deluxe version of Encarta 2000 - a special, value-added MS service for top execs? Surely not... ®
John Lettice, 23 Feb 2000