28th > October > 2000 Archive

Original ICANN board members won't quit as promised

Four of ICANN's founding "interim" board members who were due to resign when their terms expired have been granted another extended period in office, the organization announced today. In 1998 ICANN promised that that all members of the original "interim" board would have been replaced by September 30 elected members this year. Now the appointed members Frank Fitzsimmons, Hans Kraaijenbrink, Jun Murai and Linda Wilson will be in place for another twelve months. "We knew this was going to happen," newly elected At Large board member Karl Auerbach tells us, "We just didn't know who it was going to be". "Staying on past your original term says you are a Board Squatter," notes Michael Froomkin of the University of Miami law school in a sharp rebuke. He told The Register today: "This is not about the directors personally: but that ICANN promised in their bylaws to have an election for all of them by now. They voted to amend that, and the amendment was drafted on the spot and passed on the spot." In fact, he points out, ICANN not only promised that all of the original board would have been replaced by elected members by now - in the end only five positions were made available in the At Large Membership elections - but ICANN specifically mandated that the outgoing members would have to serve a two-year "cooling off" period before they could be eligible to return for board duty. The rules were changed, notes today's ICANN statement, at meetings in Cairo and Yokohama in March and July this year. The reasoning hasn't been published according to Froomkin, although Auerbach has seen a printed statement and describes it as "totally incomprehensible." And the "ghosts" who will sit alongside the elected members could be around for some time to come. As Froomkin points out, the "interim" appointed members could be there after elected members such as Auerbach and Andy Mueller-Maguhn have served their terms of duty. "Hans Kraaijenbrink has been anti-election and anti democratic process for so long now. I'm really ticked that they're doing this," says Auerbach. ICANN had not replied to our request for comment at time of posting this article ® Related Link Beware the ICANN Board-Squatters Related Stories Anarchist hacker voted onto ICANN board J'accuse: ICANN's 'Government sponsored extortion' unconstitutional
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2000

Transmeta talks benchmarks … and 10 hour charges

Transmeta didn't sound like it was on the warpath when we caught up with executives this week to talk benchmarks. Director of Marketing Ed McKernan points out that the ZD Battery Life benchmark takes no account at all of LongRun, and simply hammers the machine until the battery gives out. A more realistic working set that allows the machine to take advantage of LongRun, can add 30pc to battery life by throttling back the voltage. "There's a disparity between what the benchmarks say and what the users experience," says McKernan. "The Winstone benchmarks shows us as being more like a P1 [Pentium] class machine. But if you're a P1 class machine, you wouldn't be able to play DVD." However Transmeta says that rather than fight old benchmarks with new benchmarks, it intends to encourage OEMs to provide reviewers with sample machines for longer. McKernan points out that Business Week reviewer Stephen Wildstrom used a Crusoe powered PictureBook for several weeks, and found that it indeed lived up to Transmeta's claims. Transmeta says that Hitachi's larger machine - boasting a much larger battery - can stretch to over 10 hours life, including 3.3 hours of DVD playback. That's just long enough to see all of Celine and Julie Go Boating (192 minutes), but you'd miss the last half hour of the extended edition of Dances with Wolves (224 minutes), for example. Hitachi itself claims 8.4 hours battery life for the 10.4 inch screen model, or 7 hours, or 3.1 hours of DVD playback, for the 12.1 inch version of Flora 220TX. Models use either the 533Mhz rated TM5400 or the 600Mhz rated TM5600 Crusoes. The first two permutations ship in Japan on Monday, with the rest following on November 27. These models vary in weight from 3 to 4.1lb. It apparently uses a lithium polymer battery, but we couldn't confirm that. HP had heralded, then withdrew a li-poly notebook a couple of years ago, and although li-poly is common enough in phones now, this would something to shout about. If you know more, drop us a line. ® Related stories Transmeta speed debate - damned lies and benchmarks? Hitachi plans Transmeta Crusoe notebook for November
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2000

Intel spin doctors have taken over the asylum

Craig 'Five Speeches' Barrett has been at it again. Speaking to hacks in Taipei on Friday, he claimed that Pentium 4 was launching ahead of schedule. According to Barrett, P4 was originally scheduled for launch "at the end of the year". Craig, please read your own company's roadmaps. Willamette/P4 was originally to appear in 2H 2000. This was then refined to Q3 2000. Later still, October 30th was earmarked, finally slipping to November 20th to allow a graphics glitch with the Tehama chipset to be rectified. If the chip was originally billed as shipping sometime between June and December, and later changing to October to December, the original plan must have included the possibility of a launch between June and September. And it's interesting to note that almost exactly a year ago The Register ran an apology for getting the launch date wrong. On October 29, 1999, we wrote: "Yesterday, Intel's CEO, Craig Barrett, showed a slide to analysts that has Willamette, clocked at over 1GHz, slated for the second half of next year." Forgotten about that, eh Craig? For Intel to now claim that year-end was the target all along shows either that Intel believes world+dog are complete imbeciles, or that Chipzilla's monstro PR machine has now taken over and is operating Barrett by remote control. Please give us credit for some intelligence. Barrett says: "Pentium 4 is launching early." The Reg says: "Who do you think you're kidding, Craig?" ® Related stories Willamette won't launch at 1.5 GHz this Autumn Pentium 4 launches a little late Pentium 4 to launch in October Major Intel roadmaps ahead - please keep left Willamette due 2H 2000
Andrew Thomas, 28 Oct 2000

MS hacking scandal: details of stolen items

FBI agents based in St Petersburg have identified the ten most critical items appropriated in last week's hack of Redmond. "They can be yours, comrade - sorry, buddy - for the sum of ten million roubles or the equivalent in potatoes," special agent Eliot 'Sergei' Ness, told The Reg. That list of stolen items in full: 1. Bill Gates' credit card details 2. Source code for Bob 3. Cheat list for Solitaire 4. Online application form for donations from the Bill and Melinda foundation 5. Wish list for enhancements to MS-DOS 3.3 6. Complete set of MP3s of Steve Ballmer rocking out 7. Original code for Linux 8. Discarded Office Assistants including Penfield the crazy Judge and Linus the toad 9. Contents of Bill's desktop trash folders for the last five years 10. Contact details for Bill's personal stylist More stolen items are expected to come to light over the next few days. If any readers have more information on what was taken, please let The Register know. ®
Andrew Thomas, 28 Oct 2000

Hold the front page

A hack from that respected UK business daily, the Financial Times, had occasion to ask a Reg staffer for help this week. Answering the phone at his palatial country residence, our vulture was asked for some background information on a press release that had been sent out by his PR bunny partner. "OK, I'll look it up," he offered, helpful to a fault. "When was it sent out?" "Er, March," replied the highly-paid national journo. So look out for some hot breaking news in the Pink 'un next week. ®
Andrew Thomas, 28 Oct 2000