5th > April > 2000 Archive

The Register breaking news

TFN author ‘Mixter’ sentenced

The German author of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack tool known as Tribal Flood Network (TFN) has been convicted of unrelated hacking charges by a court in Hannover and sentenced to six months' youth probation. The young man, who uses the alias 'Mixter', was convicted of computer trespass and "data spying", but not of creating the TFN tool, since no evidence exists that he ever used it to carry out a DDoS attack. Mixter's utility programme was among those used in the headline-grabbing DDoS attacks against Yahoo!, eBay and CNN back in February. He's lucky he's not an American. His sentence is extremely light compared with those handed down in the US for similar offences, and no doubt the US Department of Justice will complain that the German court sets a bad example, especially when they're working so hard to impose ruthless punishments on teen-aged threats to Truth, Freedom and the American Way. Mixter's most recent Web site is currently inaccessible, possibly as a result of court requirements, but an older mirror is still up here. ®
The Register breaking news

MS judge: sentence in 60 days, go straight to Supreme Court

MS on Trial The judge in the Microsoft trial moved into action quickly yesterday, proposing that the remedies phase of the trial (the 'sentence,' as it were) be conducted in 60 days, and raising the possibility of fast-tracking the appeal straight to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson also wants both sides to produce the last offers they made for a negotiated settlement before talks collapsed, and told them to come back today to start making decisions. Microsoft's lawyers don't seem to have been happy about most of this; chief trial lawyer John Warden said they weren't prepared to agree the 60 day period or to put forward their position until they knew what the government side wanted. Warden also resisted the notion of putting Microsoft's previous final offer into the pot, even under seal. In a bid to achieve a settlement Microsoft, he said, had offered more than the government would have achieved via an imposed settlement. So effectively, Microsoft is now trying to downgrade its proposals, maybe even to wipe the slate clean, for the remedies phase. All of the concessions, or half-concessions (depending on who you hear it from), even that extra mile, are off the agenda again. Warden does of course have a point, and for the government the DoJ's David Boies was civil enough to agree with him "a bit," saying that during negotiations different kinds of offers from those likely to be made before a court would be thrown in. This however bodes ill for the judge's 60 day schedule, and if Microsoft's lawyers succeed in being able to hold off until they hear from the other side, slippage will look even more likely. Nor is it certain that the judge will succeed in getting the appeal heard straight away by the Supreme Court. He said yesterday that he'd ask the government to move a motion under the expedition act to provide for "direct review in the Supreme Court." But neither he nor either side's lawyers were sure if the law allowed this, so it mightn't work. One change that should move things along is Judge Jackson's decision that he'll allow the states and the DoJ to make separate remedies proposals, if their positions turn out to differ. He'd previously been determined to get them to agree on a single proposal, so his change of mind speaks volumes about the alleged 'unity' of the government side. Even so, he'll have his work cut out in trying to get the case finished, once and for all. One of Microsoft's best shots is to try to spin the case out for as long as possible, buying time for changes in the market to make the government's case ancient history and the remedies pointless. And if it can be strung out for long enough, a Bush administration may ride to the rescue. Warden's been slapped down by the judge before for excessively stately progress, so we could be in for some interesting transcripts. ® Related stories: Judge uses verdict to torpedo MS appeal chances Complete Register Trial coverage
The Register breaking news

BT mulls wireless, satellite broadband delivery

BT is looking to develop different platforms to deliver broadband services other than across copper wires. A source within BT said the monster telco was toying with different technologies, including wireless and satellite systems. He wouldn't commit further or go into any more detail about the plans, but said that the investigations were prompted by BT's cast-iron pledge to provide everyone in Britain with phone access. The reason for BT's dabbling is that ADSL technology will only cover some 80 per cent of the British population once it is fully installed up and down the country. The remaining 20 per cent, people who live more than a stone's throw away from their local exchanges, would be left broadband-less... or not, as the case may be. ®
The Register breaking news

Third-party mobo offers flip-chip FICs

The lack of motherboards for Coppermine Pentium III chips using the FC PGA flip chip packaging is beginning to ease as third party manufacturers announce products supporting the platform. First International Computer (FIC) today formally announced its FA31 board, which uses the Via Apollo Pro 133A chipset and both 100MHz and 133MHz front side buses. The board includes Sound Blaster Pro compatible audio built into the South Bridge, support for AGP 4X, and 1.5GB of 133MHz synchronous DRAM, supported in three sockets. According to FIC, the board also supports VCM (virtual channel memory) and ATA 66. FIC also includes its Novus software feature, which lets system builders tweak machines' BIOS features and uses Windows software to interactively overclock the mobo. The BIOS (basic input output system) can also be adjusted to include personalised logo at system start up and Novus also has anti-virus features. The chips supported by the mobo include FC PGA Pentium IIIs at speeds between 500MHz and 1GHz and at 66/100/133 bus speeds, as well as 433MHz and 533MHz Celerons. The Via Joshua chip is also supported. ® Related Stories FIC's motherboard roadmap Leak! Intel's desktop mobo plans slip out... and slip
The Register breaking news

Rambus share price dives again

The share price of Rambus (RMBS) fell by a precipitous $47.9375 on Wall Street yesterday, to end the day's trading at $209. That followed a sharp decline on the share price the previous day, when the price dropped by $37.5625. Although tech stocks on Nasdaq declined in general, following the declaration that Microsoft was guilty of antitrust action two days ago, the drop in the price of Rambus shares was far steeper than of other, comparable high tech companies. AMD managed to buck that general trend, with its price closing at an all time high of $61.125. During the day, AMD's stock price managed to reach $64.5 during one point. Intel (ticker INTC) also managed to buck the trend, and moved up by $2.125 to close at $132.75. At one point, on March 14th last, Rambus stock hit $471, and the way its stock has slumped continues to show the see-saw way effect that has had investors in a tizzy for months. ® See also Tom's Hardware gives Rambus fresh kicking Rambus faces antitrust allegations Morgan Stanley's vote for a $500 Rambus
The Register breaking news

CHS seeks bankruptcy ring-fence in Web firm womb move

CHS Electronics has filed for bankruptcy protection whilst revealing plans to become a corporate incubator for Web businesses. The failed distributor yesterday said it had filed a voluntary petition for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code. This would give it protection while it seeks approval for its reorganisation. If the plan gets the go-ahead, it will give creditors equity or debt securities of a new Danish company, Europa IT, formed by ex-CHS CEO Mark Keough. In exchange, CHS' European subsidiaries will be sold to Europa IT. Creditors representing around $275 million in claims against CHS have agreed to support the move, CHS said. It will only work if total claims against CHS are not bigger than $500 million, and it must also get approval from the court overseeing the Chapter 11 filings – US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida. Claudio Osorio, CHS chairman and CEO, said: "The reorganised CHS will emerge as an incubator and holding company for Internet companies engaged in business-to-business electronic exchanges, primarily within the IT industry." According to Keough: "The proposed plan offers the best solution for all parties. It allows the European operations to focus on the future as a new company, and it provides the highest value for creditors." Last November it emerged that CHS was under investigation in the US for money laundering.® Related stories CHS quizzed over money laundering claims CHS hit by foreclosure action CHS losses unveiled in full Northamber snaps up CHS' Electronics customers
The Register breaking news

Oftel names the local loop breakers

Fourteen operators have been selected to start moving their kit into BT's local telephone exchanges as a precursor to unbundling the local loop (ULL), Oftel announced today. The ULL trials -- which will begin in January 2001 -- will provide a taster for what is to come when BT is finally forced to open the doors to all its exchanges in July 2001 and allow other telcos to compete with the monster telco. Battersea in London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Belfast are the four areas that will trial the new open door strategy. The 14 operators involved are: Colt, CWC, Easynet, Eircom, Energis, Fibernet, First Telecom, Global Crossing, Kingston Communication, MCI Worldcom, NTL, Telewest, Telinco and Thus. According to the winged watchdog, operators will submit requests shortly to install equipment in the relevant exchanges. In September, they will be able to place initial orders to rent space to co-locate equipment in BT's exchanges. Once the orders have been placed, BT will start to build the necessary facilities within the exchanges to house operators' kit. And when this work is complete, operators will be able to install their equipment in the exchanges and, from July 2001 at the latest, deliver services to customers. Oftel says it will monitor progress against these targets, and if BT and the industry make sufficient progress, it may be possible to agree an improved timetable. In prepared statement David Edmonds, Oftel's DG, said: "The significant progress made in a wide range of areas is a reflection of the strong commitment by the industry and Oftel to introduce local loop unbundling as soon as possible." Simon Preston, World Online UK CEO, welcomed his company's involvement in the trial. "We need to determine what is the right technology to deploy and I would rather learn about that from taking part in the trial," he said. He also signalled World Online's intention to become a national provider of broadband services once other operators had full access to the local loop next year. Last month Oftel published a consultation document outlining the legal framework for ULL. On adoption, this will deliver the legal force to open up Britain's phone network to competition. ® Related Story Oftel hails BT moves to unlock local loop
The Register breaking news

Embrace technology or go out of business, warns Gates

There was irony a-plenty at Microsoft's third annual Government Leaders Conference in Seattle yesterday, which Bill Gates keynoted just hours after the judge threw the book at his company. The list of attendees included an impressive cross-section of the world's police, security services and armed forces; but hadn't Microsoft just been convicted of, er... Fortunately DI James Tozer of the West Mercia Police, the director of China's Ministry of Public Security (brr - they make you buy your own bullets), the reps from the Australian Police and the Mounties et al refrained from snapping on the cuffs. But considering the lamentable performance of the Seattle Police during the WTO meeting they may have had other things on their minds. And prudently stashed in their hand luggage. What Bill had to tell them was also deeply ironic, considering. The government sector had been slower in moving towards digital than business, but this was for understandable reasons. "In the business sector, companies are faced with lower profits - or even being put out of business - if they don't rise to the standards that are being set by the very best companies." Lower profits? Being put out of business? Wasn't the judge saying something about this just the other day? But it's with some regret we note that Bill doesn't seem to have turned over a new leaf when it comes to embellishing history. "Microsoft was started 25 years ago based on providing software for the very first personal computers," he told his audience in a borderline, could be true, depending on how you look at it sort of way. For one of the very first personal computers, that should be, because the Altair was not exactly the first. Then even this foothold in reality crumbles away, as Bill visionarises retrospectively. In 1981 "IBM entered the personal computer market. And based on a standard that Microsoft created, IBM and hundreds of other companies made compatible machines." Microsoft of course "created" this standard, MS-Dos, by buying QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Bill Paterson of Seattle Computer Products. And all of those other companies didn't initially make compatible machines, partially because Bill was telling them that MS-Dos was the standard at the time, not the IBM PC. This cost a lot of companies a bundle, until they figured out IBM PC clones were where it was at. So maybe Bill should admit that Compaq was really responsible for the revolution. Tsk. ®
The Register breaking news

Microsoft takes UK TV soap offensive

In a bid to stamp out piracy of its operating and application software piracy, Microsoft UK is hoping to persuade TV companies to include its message in popular soap operas. Julie Philpot, anti-piracy manager at Microsoft UK, revealed the plans at a meeting of the Personal Computer Association in Elstree last night. Philpott explained to the audience of system builders, distributors and PC companies that using pirated software not only cost Microsoft revenues but put money into the pockets of organised crime syndicates. Stealing software was not a trivial matter, she said, with organised crime choosing to counterfeit branded Microsoft markets rather than sell cocaine or heroin. Criminal gangs would rather make money from doing that than face the kind of prison sentences drug dealing attracted. For these reasons, Microsoft would try and re-inforce its anti-piracy message by getting popular TV soaps to include warnings in episodes of their programmes. She refused to be drawn on whether Microsoft was targeting Coronation Street, Eastenders, Brookside or Emmerdale. Philpott faced a lively debate after members of the trade association, faced with declining margins on PCs, asked her whether Microsoft could not publish recommended retail prices on its software so that they could have a better idea of whether products they were offered were grey market or possibly counterfeit products. Buying official product through established Microsoft channels sometimes meant that the software, particularly at the low end of the market, cost more than the entire system box. Philpott introduced a scheme for PCA members which would allow them to call a special 0800 free phone hotline to report possible distribution of pirated software. The scheme is intended to streamline the process of investigation, seizures and possible prosecutions. ®
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Site uncovers dull man trapped in a young woman's body

It comes as no surprise that US site dullmen.com has struck a chord with many British men. What is unnerving is the discovery that in every fiery, hip young woman, there seems to be a dull middle-aged man trying to get out. Dullmen.com promises to free lads from the modern shackles of having to be 'in and trendy', and to "let them enjoy instead the simple, ordinary things of everyday life". Current delights include: Things To Do With Marmite and a list of luggage carousel rotation worldwide – clockwise in Boston and Manchester Terminal Three, anti-clockwise in Guam and San Diego. For women unsure of what to give the dull man who has everything, there's a gift list. Suggestions include a video tape of corn growing, a CD of elevator music, or a simple can of spam. And what testosterone-rich site would be complete without a smut section? In this case, no page three – instead, X-rated pictures of a parasitic fungi called smut that attacks flowering plants. I could feel the site growing on me, so checked out the Are you (or someone you know) a Dull Man? test. Spookily, it turns out that I am. I love airplane food, and macaroni; grey is one of my favourite colours, and I can definitely list more than one dull book I've read in my life. The discovery, which makes me one of 100,000 dull-as-ditchwater visitors to the site every day, prompted a look at the calendar for dreary men. It turns out that we're in the midst of Egg Salad Week (5-11 April), and about to embark on National Folding Road Maps Week (11-17 April). Sadly we've missed National Bath Safety month (January), but don't worry because national baked bean month (July) is just around the corner. ® Related Stories Heat is on to find the world's most boring Web site We are no geeks, say IT users
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Whale meat again on the Cyrix web site

Obviously bored with making chips and chipsets, Cyrix and VIA are now inviting visitors to their web sites to travel to Puerto Madryn in Argentina. Check out Viatech.com or Cyrix.com. It sounds like a jolly nice place. The Patagonian City of Puerto Madryn offers a pleasant climate with a maximum summer temperature of 35 degrees centigrade, and five degrees in winter together with a low annual rainfall. Visitors will also get the chance to adopt Mario the whale. It is indeed refreshing to see leading IT companies taking an interest in South American tourism and ecological issues. Why not pay a visit now? We feel that the offer will be open for a short time only. ®
The Register breaking news

Netscape: change your user name now!

Netscape WebMail boasts an impressive six million plus account holders. Slightly less impressive is the fact that 480,000 of them are being forced to change their usernames following "improvements" to the service. Netscape is combining the CompuServe, AOL and Netscape databases and almost half a million users have been notified that they will have to change their mail addresses to avoid duplicates. To add insult to injury, a software glitch has also shut some people out of their email completely. The upgrade is aimed at making the mail system faster, building in spam protection, and integrating email with Netscape instant messenger. Some users trying to pick new usernames got error messages telling them to try again after 24 hours. But it is claimed that many of them still couldn't get into their mail the next day. Netscape told customers about the upgrade by email on the day it took place, but rather unfortunately, some customers didn't receive the notice at all because, er, um, they were locked out of their accounts. "Those of us mandated to make this change are locked out of our email for at least 24 hours by an arbitrary, badly planned, unannounced decision by some executives that don't give a damn how much we depend on our email," spits one angry user. "So, my advice to all WebMail users is this: Get out while you can!" ®
The Register breaking news

3dfx licenses Intel's Real3D patents

3D graphics chip pioneer 3dfx has entered into a pact with Chipzilla to secure access to the chip giant's extensive 3D graphics patent pool. Intel acquired the IP last year when it bought up the mortal remains of failed graphics hardware developer Real3D. Unfortunately, in the process, it also picked up Real3D's pending litigation, including a legal fight with 3dfx. In exchange for the Real3D patents, 3dfx will cease legal action. It will also provide Intel with access to its own technology. The deal comes even as Intel's one-time favourite 3D chip company, S3, is negotiating to sell its 3D chip development operation, most likely to Intel rival Via Technologies. "We believe the combination of our patent breadth and technical expertise, the intellectual property and technology gained through our recent acquisition of Gigapixel, and this agreement further enhances our ability to deliver leading-edge products to market in a timely manner," said 3dfx president and CEO Alex Leupp. That's 'timely' as in 'the six-months late Voodoo 4', we presume... ® Related Stories Real3D dead -- Intel buys bones Real3D targets ATI with patent suit 3dfx to grab Gigapixel for $186m
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Intel's Timna to have triple mobo support

Leak Central The low-end system on a chip processor which Intel will introduce in the third quarter of this year will be supported by three motherboard platforms, The Register can reveal. The chip, codenamed Timna, is intended to displace the Celeron microprocessor from its position as an entry-level product, and will target ultra-inexpensive PCs. A source at Intel Europe, who showed us internal motherboard roadmaps last week, said that there will be three offerings from the firm, none of which have Rambus memory support. The Lawton will be a micro ATX form factor board, supporting synchronous memory (SDRAM), the ICH2 chipset, and will include CNR. Dunellen will be a FlexATX motherboard, again supporting SDRAM, using the ICH2 chipset, and supporting PCI/CNR. The last motherboard is codenamed Telluride, and according to the documents we were shown, will be a "highly integrated" solution, again using the ICH2 chipset, supporting SDRAM and coming in a FlexATX form factor. The FlexATX form factor is part of Intel's drive to create so called Concept PCs, which rid machines of the need for serial ports and other "legacy" support from the past. ® More Intel leaks Desktop motherboards Itanium Lion project Server board strategy part one Server board strategy part two Server board strategy part three Bitter war breaks out inside Intel
The Register breaking news

Intel's Garibaldi takes the Rambus biscuit

Leak Central Although the word on the street is that chipset manufacturers are scurrying to produce a motherboard for Intel's up-and-coming Willamette IA-32 processor, the firm's own offering will, as promised, support Rambus and its RIMMs. The boxed motherboard, codenamed Garibaldi, is slated to ship towards the end of this year and, according to roadmaps we have been shown, appears to be the only offering so far available to system builders and PC companies from Intel itself. Garibaldi, which will be based on the Intel Tehama chipset, will use Socket W, the special 432-pin socket for the Willamette processor. It will have 4x AGP connectivity, incorporate CNR and USB version 2.0, and will come in an ATX form factor, we can reveal. Intel said at its Developer Forum in February that while it wishes Willamette to use Rambus memory, the server and workstation version of this microprocessor, codenamed Foster, will use double data rate memory (DDR). Later, we will take an in depth look at Intel's server board strategy, and show its reliance (geddit?!) on ServerWorks chipsets. ® More Intel leaks from Leak Central Intel's Timna to have triple mobo support Desktop motherboards Itanium Lion project Server board strategy part one Server board strategy part two Server board strategy part three Bitter war breaks out inside Intel
The Register breaking news

SGI to enable 64-way Linux multiprocessing with ccNUMA

SGI is to port a version of its ccNUMA shared-memory multiprocessing technology to Linux to boost efforts centred on solve the open source OS' inability to operate efficiently on machines with eight or more processors. SGI's contribution will focus on improving Linux installations that will run on Intel's upcoming 64-bit Itanium chip and allow it to work on up to 64 of the next-generation processors. Right now, Linux scales readily to four processors, but getting it to run well on eight is rather trickier. The company's vice president of systems engineering and chief scientist, Eng Lim Goh told Infoworld that in order to many-way multiprocessing with Linux feasible, it's necessary to add a shared-memory capability to the OS, and that's what ccNUMA will provide. Goh said SGI is currently working on an improved ccNUMA architecture for its MIPS-based, IRIX-running servers, and it will then be moved across to its Intel-based, Linux-running line of machines. He wouldn't say, however, when this would actually happen, though with shipping Itanium-based systems still a way off, there's clearly some time available to get the work done. It's also not clear whether SGI will open the technology to the wider Linux community. While the company has embraced Linux and offered to release other technologies - most notably IRIX's journal file system, XFS - into the open source world, that may not be the case this time. SGI described its addition to Linux as an 'overlay', in other words not technically part of the OS itself, and since SGI doesn't want to harm its MIPS/IRIX business, it might well be tempted to retain full control of ccNUMA. ®
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Get ready for the Net-ready photo booth

With the ubiquitous chant of 'if people touch it, connect it to the Net', it was only a matter of time before photo booths got wired. Sounds like a daft idea - who's gonna sit in a curtained light box to surf the Net? - but PhotoPlanet is on to a winner here. Don't expect to see many of the e-booths (1000 countrywide by the end of the year), but where they crop up, there will be queues. They trash traditional booths siimply because you can keep scanning your face until you're happy - which could mean that this the end of the dodgy passport photo. Then, print it out (one, four or 12 copies - £3), email it (50p), shove it on a postcard (£1) or print your mug on some stickers (£2). If you want, you can surf the Net for 10p a minute (they reckon you can also build Web pages, but we'll keep quiet about that one). It's easy-to-use, keenly priced, fast - just a shame one of them crashed during the demonstration (it was just the video link a PR reliably informed me). Presuming they keep working and remain fully loaded, the BT/Photo-Me booths could even spark off a new culture of emailing daft photos - problem is that most supermarkets are shut by pub closing time. And in case you're wondering, yes, this story was sent from one such booth and cost £1.27. Bargain. ®
The Register breaking news

AP spills VIP contact details on Lycos.de

Hats off to the Vienna bureau of the Associated Press. Hard working hacks there published a list of VIP telephone number on the Web by mistake yesterday in what can only be describe as a 24 carat gaffe. Names included far right Austrian politician Joerg Haider and the direct line of supreme NATO spokesman Jamie Shea. Of course, it could have been a hoax, so The Register called a couple of the numbers just to see if they were for real. Shea, we were told in both French and English, was away for the week on business in the US. A UN soldier told us we had dialled into the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). And what was supposed to be the number for the foreign desk of the New York Times turned out to be a theatre. Still could have been a wrong number. The list also contained IDs, passwords and numbers to dial in, one assumes, to AP's computer system in Vienna. And under the heading "PREPAREDNESS" it gave details of a 600-word story profile on former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for "when he surrenders or is arrested". Mr. Carrotdick will be pleased. So how did this information appear on lycos.de? AP says it was a "computer glitch". Even so, you'd think with the headline "NOT FOR PUBLICATION ON ANY WIRE" someone would have figured it out. ®
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Nintendo Gameboy delay confirms Palm profit fears

Palm Computing's warning that its Q4 income will be hit by a component shortage induced sales shortfall was brought home today when Nintendo rang a similar alarm. The problem identified by Palm and announced last week when company bosses reported Palm's Q3 results is an industry-wide shortage of small form-factor LCD units and related display components as manufacturers struggle to fulfil orders from mobile phone companies. The same deficiency will hit Nintendo, the company said, to the extent that it may be forced to put back the release of the next Gameboy. Nintendo's schedule calls for the device to go on sale in Japan in August, with a worldwide roll-out later in the year, probably in time for Christmas. The shortage is also hitting Nintendo's ability to ship existing Gameboy models, the company admitted. Nintendo's news came after Palm's shares fell yesterday to below their original IPO price, though they closed just 25 cents above it, at $38.25. Most technology stocks have been dropping in price this week, thanks in part to the uncertainty in the market engendered by the guilty verdict in the Microsoft trial. However, the downturn hasn't been helped by Palm's profit warning last week. The downturn and the component shortages won't come as welcome news to Palm-licensee Handspring, which announced its plan to IPO last Friday. ® Related Stories Palm founders' latest enterprise to IPO Palm profits surpass Street 'spectations
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Galaxy spins round AOL class action

AOL has been slapped with another lawsuit alleging that its AOL 5.0 software meddles with PCs and blocks attempts by users to subscribe to other Internet service providers (ISPs). This latest legal action was filed by ISP Galaxy Internet Services Inc of Newton, Massachusetts in the federal court in Boston. Like all the other outstanding lawsuits against AOL it alleges that the AOL 5.0 software is anti-competitive. According to Reuters, the suit alleges that AOL "attempted to eliminate competition in the Internet Service Market". Galaxy is keen for other ISPs to follow its lead and have a pop at the monster service provider. AOL has denied all charges to date and claims the allegations have "no basis in fact or law". ® Related Stories More class action grief for AOL AOL hit by second class action AOL scoffs at class action
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AMD to bust $1 billion quarterly barrier

AMD will produce revenues of over $1 billion in Q1, the first time it's turned over a ten-figure sum in a single financial quarter. Speaking in Japan, CEO Jerry Sanders III said the firm will show a ten per cent growth in revenues over its previous quarter, when it reports its results on 12 April. Growth in sales of AMD Athlon and Flash memories accounted for "new records" in revenues and units sold, he said. AMD's share of the Japanese market for microprocessors is over 20 per cent, a figure that exceeds sales in its other geographies, according to Sanders. Although no official figures for market share are available, AMD insiders reckon that the firm holds around eight to nine per cent in the European market, and about two to three per cent in the US market. AMD has stated publicly that it wants to grow its share in the corporate sector. Much of its Athlon growth has, so far, been fuelled by power hungry gaming enthusiasts. ®
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Gates and Ballmer vow to continue fight at appeal

MS on Trial Microsoft has published an open letter from Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer to "customers, partners and shareholders" reiterating the company's intention to appeal against Judge Jackson's verdict, but stressing that "we will continue to look for new opportunities to resolve [the case] without further litigation." They "respectful disagree" with Jackson's ruling, and promise that "innovation will continue to be the No 1 priority at Microsoft," which translates means the threat of judicial retribution and/or roadblocks isn't going to be allowed to derail the integration process. In line with what the two MS chiefs said immediately after the verdict, they regard the 1998 Court of Appeals decision overturning Judge's Jackson's preliminary injunction as the key plank of their appeal case. That decision, they say, "affirmed Microsoft's right to build Internet capabilities into Windows to benefit consumers." In his Conclusions of Law Judge Jackson went to some considerable lengths to narrow the scope of the Appeal Court decision, and to secure the support of Supreme Court precedents to justify the line he was taking. So depending on how the Supreme Court sees it, Microsoft's case may not be as strong as Gates and Ballmer think. Their claim that they will continue to pursue a negotiated settlement may however turn out to be more important. If, as seemed to be the case at the first of Jackson's post-verdict meetings yesterday, Microsoft's lawyers can slow the progress of the remedies section of the trial, the company could buy time in which to cobble together a deal. The judge's willingness to take separate remedies proposals from the DoJ and the states could help Microsoft too; the two parties in the government camp want to try to work together, but it's in Microsoft's interest to perpetuate and expand the split. ® Complete Register Trial coverage
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MS spinmeister offline till November, cites ‘hardware’ fault

David Gregory, formerly Microsoft UK's enforcer and anti-piracy Tsar and now head of spin to the hapless local press, is clearly a switched-off kind of guy. How do we know? Well, we presume he's an avid (if sometimes would-be) reader of The Register Daily Update. He's certainly on the mailing list, because every now and again we get an automated message from him. Not unusual - no matter how many tweaks we make to the filter rules, every day we get a bunch of holiday auto response messages we have to delete manually. But David's is different. He wasn't able to read yesterday's issue, because "Thank you for your email to David Gregory in Corporate Public Relations at Microsoft Ltd. "His PC has a hardware fault. Could be Friday 12th Nov before it's back on-line." We can't help wondering whose software you're running there, David. ®
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Cyber Patrol ban list published on the Web

Anyone eager to know which Usenet newsgroups and Web URLs are blacklisted by Mattel's Cyber Patrol censorware application, but too lazy to compile and run the cphack utility which decrypts the list, is welcome to visit the Cyber Patrol Block List Web site. The site exhaustively lists all of the 64,523 IPs named in the Cyber Patrol cyber.not file, except those for which a hostname could not be resolved, as of 16 March. The list is organised according to IP ranges. We were relieved to learn that The Register is not among the Cyber Patrol blacklisted URLs, but any of our readers who have Web sites might find it amusing to look up their own and discover whether or not they are regarded by Mattel as a threat to the proper development of children. ® Related Coverage ACLU appeals Mattel ruling Bizarre Language in Mattel Ruling Mattel sues hackers, wins injunction Mattel buys copyrights to Cyber Patrol crack