8th > March > 2001 Archive

This story is why Cyber Patrol banned The Register

Cyber Patrol, lame-brain developer of filtering software, is blocking The Register to protect children, according to Janet Erickson, of the CyberPatrol division of Surfcontrol (thanks to the dozens of readers who forwarded us her letter). Interesting how well Cyber Patrol's commercial interests are served by protecting children from The Perfidious Register. Here is Erickson's letter and also the article by John Leyden, published on December 19, 2000, responsible for CyberPatrol's decision to ban us. (Incidentally, The Register has published more than 18,000 stories.) The Register is a blocked website in Cyber Patrol as they have published information on their website providing details on how to hack into the software and render it ineffective. It makes sense for this information to be blocked so that Cyber Patrol customers are protected from the possibility of their children having access to methods of circumventing the software. If you would like access to this site you will need to add it to your personal allowances list or see your system administrator for assistance. Janet Erickson, of the CyberPatrol division of Surfcontrol Porn-filter disabler unleashed An anti-censorship group Peacefire has released a program which disables porn-filtering programs. This software, which only works on personal computers, is being released in response to the passage of a bill by the US Congress that requires the use of blocking software in schools and libraries that receive federal funds. Peacefire.exe, which is available as a free download, can disable popular Windows censorware programs, such as SurfWatch, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, CYBERsitter, X-Stop, PureSight and Cyber Snoop. However it is ineffective against "server-level" blocking programs, including AOL Parental Controls and many applications used in schools. The program is only known to work on Windows 98 machines. In essence, the program automates instructions for disabling filter that Peacefire has had on its site for months. But with the program users do not have to input lines of code - making it far more user friendly. Peacefire explains its motives on its site: "This Web site was created because we don't accept the excuses for treating minors with fewer rights than convicted felons. "Smut on the Internet - you're going to be harmed more by eating a hamburger than by seeing a picture of two people having sex," it adds. The group argues that it is acting on principle, and that many sites such as those affiliated to human rights organisation, Amnesty International, are blocked by filtering software. It makes the case that many sites are blocked in error or for questionable motives. ® Related story Cyber Patrol bans The Register
Drew Cullen, 08 Mar 2001

Demon in cloak and dagger upgrade

Demon Internet appears to be in a bit of a tizz. Earlier this week we learned its paying customers were going to be on the wrong end of a network upgrade that could disrupt their online communications. At the time a Demon spokeswoman claimed it sent out the statement to all its customers so they were aware of it. Fine - nothing controversial in that. In fact, a model approach to keeping customers informed and up-to-date. However, a number of hacked off Demon punters have contacted El Reg to say they'd heard nothing from the not-so-saintly ISP - yet they've all experienced significant disturbance and downtime over the last week or so. So today, we asked Demon to clarify exactly how many punters weren't told. The answer is most of them. A spokeswoman for the ISP now claims the notice didn't go to all customers - only to the small number of people Demon believed would be affected by the network upgrade. If that's true, why tell us that all customers had been notified? After all, it's only an upgrade for pity's sake...or is it? Has Demon something to hide? ® Related Story Demon upgrade hits users
Tim Richardson, 08 Mar 2001

AMD site in big punchup with Asus

HWRoundupHWRoundup At AMD MB, there's a big cafuffle because Asus don't like what the boys and girls say about its kit, and don't want to play with this hardware site any more. Look at AMD MB's forum for the meat. --------------------cut here------------------- For those of interested in seeing how thermal grease affects this story, get over to Overclockers.Com, for its take on this ruckus, which it calls Asus-ops fables. --------------------cut here------------------- How does AMD's Afflatus scale? That's a question Dr Pabst explores at this page on Tom's HW. He points out that because of what we call the Megahurts Wars, new machines lose value pretty rapidly, so that you need to decide exactly what you're going to use your PC for. Tom's advice is good, and can be contrasted with our own view on what's happening to PCs in 2000, which you can find in our archive called What PC should I buy next. Remember that Intel wants to wave bye-bye to the Pentium III family on the desktop, so there's some good bargains out there. --------------------cut here------------------- JC points to this piece at The Temple of Tech which talks about memory bandwidth in some detail. Later today, we're taking another look at DDR and Ramboid memory for the PC, there's so much smoke and so many concave mirrors on the subject that your average geezer or geezerette on the Clapham Omnibus is bound to be confused. This piece looks at one of the nastiest weapons the marchitecture boys and girls have in their fear, uncertainty and doubt armoury, viz. Latency. --------------------cut here------------------- The Anandtech site takes a look at Gigabyte's Apollo Pro 266 mobo over at this spot. DDR memory and the Pentium III is a "match made in heaven" according to the report. We thought a match made in heaven was a lucifer... --------------------cut here------------------- At Bar Feats, there's a benchtest between a G4/733 and a G4/533 Dual system for the Mac fans that read La Registra. Thanks to Arstechnica for the link. --------------------cut here------------------- Thanks to AMD Zone for pointing us to Asus' (yes, it's that company again) "virtual booth" it has on its Web site. This seems to be a cunning ploy for the Asus boys to avoid having to actually freeze their balls off at the Cebit show in Hangover, later on this month. Maybe they don't like Munchen Halle or the vast crowds, either... Cheers! ® Don't get frozen in the neo-Arctic wastes of Cebit with a terrible Hangover. Just go to our Virtual Hardware Booth and check out the archives
Mike Magee, 08 Mar 2001

Boffins make silicon shine

Scientists at the UK's University of Surrey have figured out how to make silicon generate light at room temperature. It may not sound much - however, the discovery paves the way not only for better optical-to-electrical connections of the kind that connected computers to optical networks, but to give Moore's Law - that chips double in performance and and halve their size every 18 months - a push beyond the limits of micro-electronic circuitry. The Surrey team, led by Professor Kevin Homewood, have created a silicon light emitting diode. While semiconductor LEDs have been around for ages, ones made out of silicon - the same material used to make microprocessors - haven't. The team's breakthrough centres on inserting extra silicon atoms into a chip creating loop-like flaws within the silicon that makes up chip's circuitry. The process of confining the chip's electrons alters the material's properties, allowing it to emit light. The loops, called dislocations, constrict the electrons to such a degree that they emit light efficiently at room temperature. Building light-emitting silicon that's efficient enough for optical networking devices is a long way off - intra-chip optical communications are even further away. However, it is the first step in connecting silicon chips directly to optical data links and eliminating all the kludgy optoelectronic circuitry needed to interface the two domains today. That, said Homewood, will allow optical connections to shrink at the same pace as microprocessors, making them more efficient and more practical for small-scale networks and possibly even buses within computers themselves. Ultimately, the technique might be used even within processors once current chip technology reaches the point where electronics no longer operate. Intel claims to have prototype chips whose gate lengths - the effective size of their component transistors - are down to the width of three atoms, promising processors capable of running at 50GHz. Optical processing techniques could theoretically allow for even higher clock speeds in much smaller and smaller chips. ® Related Link The University of Surrey's work is detailed in the current issue of Nature here
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

Yahoo! victim! of! real! world! economics!

Yahoo! is feeling the heat from a cooling US economy after it again revised downwards its revenue forecasts for Q1. The news followed a turbulent day for the yodelling dotcom that saw its plummeting shares suspended amid speculation about the future of the company. Despite what some commentators thought, Yahoo! didn't announce that it was to be acquired. Instead, it now expects first quarter 2001 revenues to come in between $170 million to $180 million - a substantial cut on earlier forecasts. In January, Yahoo! said it expected Q1 revenues of about $220 million to $240 million - less than analyst estimates of more than $300 million. Yahoo! also announced that Tim Koogle would step down as CEO although he would remain as chairman of the company. Explaining Yahoo!'s actions, Koogle said: "All businesses in the United States are facing challenging economic conditions that have weakened further in recent weeks, and as consumer confidence and spending has deteriorated, a broad range of customers have delayed their spending across all media formats until their economic outlook improves. "As a result, we expect revenues and profits to be reduced most significantly in the marketing services area of our business in the first quarter. "We remain confident that Yahoo!'s strong set of core assets will enable us to manage and execute through this short-term environment and emerge from it even stronger in the long-term," he said. Anyone interested in the CEO's position should get in contact with recruitment outfit Spencer Stuart & Associates (spencerstuart.com). Related Stories Yahoo! shares! suspended! Yahoo! slashes forecasts
Tim Richardson, 08 Mar 2001

Microsoft not on the ball with XP

Microsoft's eyes really aren't on the ball at the moment. How else could you explain the fact that the Beast of Redmond still doesn't own the domain for its new, exciting OS WindowsXP? The domain www.windowsxp.com is currently owned by Network Solutions. It registered it on 27 December, presumably under Microsoft instructions because the company didn't want people to suss out its new OS name before the official launch on 5 February. Of course, news of the name leaked a few weeks earlier than that. But it's now 8 March, XP is in beta and MS still hasn't got around to transferring the name across or putting anything on the site (it owns Windows95, 98, NT and ME). Bit sloppy? Well, yes. Maybe the boys are too busy trying to persuade everyone that they shouldn't be split up. Or perhaps they're using FrontPage to build a site for it. Maybe they just plain forgot (there is a tendency for that to happen when faced with difficult questions). Is Microsoft getting a bit doddery in its old age? ®
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2001

Is CompUSA stopping selling Athlon PCs?

CompUSA has run out of AMD-based Hewlett-Packard PCs, prompting speculation over the future of the chipmaker at the US computer store. The rumour sprang from a discussion this month on investment analysis Website Clearstation.com from someone calling themselves "thark57" and claiming to be a CompUSA sales person and AMD shareholder. "I recently read an internal CompUSA e-mail that stated CompUSA is not going to offer the Hewlett-Packard PC's [sic] with Athlon processors, only PIV," the posting claimed. "A week later I saw the HP rep and mentioned it to him. He confirmed it and expressed disappointment in the fact because AMD has the better processor. He also stated that he thought the Compaq line was going to be under the same 'guidelines' soon," it continued. thark57 said CompUSA felt the P4 had been outselling the Athlon 1.2 gig in its stores, hence the decision. CompUSA telesales staff yesterday confirmed they were only able to offer HP machines with Intel processors. They were unable to say when they would get their next shipment of Athlon-based HP PCs. A CompUSA representative was unable to confirm or deny any such decision regarding AMD. ® Related Link thark57 posting Related Stories Notebook slump hits America PC give-away from CompUSA CompUSA bans obscene IT publication
Linda Harrison, 08 Mar 2001

NSA and FBI big winners at Big Brother awards

The great and the good, when it comes to privacy invasion, have been "honoured" for their efforts to mess up life for the rest on us online. Privacy International last night handed out "Big Brother" awards to government agencies, companies and initiatives which have done most to invade personal privacy. The National Security Agency, the US government's signals intelligence arm, took a lifetime menace award for "clipper, Echelon and 50 years of spying". In a separate category, the FBI's Carnivore email surveillance system was judged the most invasive proposal of the year. Among the more recipients of prizes was the city of Tampa which earned its gong for its efforts to spy on all of the fans at this year's Superbowl. ChoicePoint, which sold personal records (sometimes inaccurate) to cops and direct marketers, was the final recipient of an "Orwell" trophy. The trophy depicts an image from George Orwell's book "1984" and shows a boot stamping on a human head, representing human privacy and liberty being crushed for all eternity. This dystopian world is controlled by a mythical supreme ruler, called Big Brother. Among the firms that narrowly avoided getting the award were IBM, for lobbying in favour of anti-privacy laws, Nortel Networks and VeriSign's Network Solutions subsidiary, for selling its WHOIS database. Shame! The awards weren't all doom and gloom and Privacy International also honoured those who have championed the cause of privacy. The recipients of this award were Evan Hendricks, for 20 years of publishing the Privacy Times and Julie Brill of Vermont Attorney General's Office. ® External links Privacy International 3rd annual Big Brother awards Related stories Big Brother awards rock the LSE IT workers expect Big Brother-style snooping at work Feds use biometrics against Super Bowl fans CIA patching ECHELON shortcomings How Carnivore works
John Leyden, 08 Mar 2001

Geeks penalised by Budget

We warned that the finer points of the Budget may bring a few nasty shocks to people (like IR35 did last year), but we didn't expect such a grotesquely focussed attack on those that will make the e-revolution a reality in Britain. Yes, we're talking about geeks. While consultants, experts and analysts fart on about computer and networking and leverage and "spaces" and then tuck wads of tenners in their pants, it's the geeks that will actually make it possible. And the government repays them with a malevolent stealth tax. Yes, from July this year - for the first time - the full weight of VAT will be placed on spectacles, adding about £10 to every pair. Leader of the "Opposition", William Hague, flagged it up as a tax on eyesight but it's worse than that - it's a tax on the IT industry. Estimates already point to a shortfall of two-and-a-half million IT workers in the next few years. This crazy tax on the poorly sighted may cause young computer enthusiasts to shun their computer screens in preference to less optically damaging pasttimes like playing sport or talking to people face-to-face. These young saviours should not be allowed to have a life - we need them, damn you, Gordon! And just think of the knock-on effects on the spot cream market. Boots shares will plummet and drag down the FTSE100 with it. A new mindset among teenagers will develop - computer games will be relegated in preference to football, social skills will wipe out technical skills. We'll be left in a technological backwater with nothing but healthy, emotionally rounded citizens. This error needs to be corrected immediately. The VAT must remain the same - because no one likes speccy twats* and they should be made to suffer financially as well as socially - but an exemption form should be provided. Anyone that can demonstrate adequate computer skills should receive free eyesight tests, reduced-cost glasses and as much pizza as they can scoff. ® * Some of our readers have been offended by the term 'speccy twats'. Here's what they've said.
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2001

Handspring's Palm V clone debuts on Web

Handspring's slimline rival to Palm's V line of PDAs has made an unexpected appearance on Palm fan site PDA Buzz. Dubbed the Visor Edge, the new PDA will ship with what looks like a brushed aluminium case, though insiders at US retail chain Sparco claim that Handspring will offer a blue version too. The source who leaked the pic claims that the Visor Edge will ship with 8MB RAM - a Visor standard - PalmOS 3.5, monochrome display and, like the Palm V and Vx, a built-in rechargeable battery. To accommodate the Visor's patent Springboard expansion module interface, the Edge will bundle an adaptor unit that slips onto the back of the device. It sounds not unlike Compaq's iPaq 'sleeves', which allow that device to connect to a number of add-on modules. The Visor Edge is expected to ship late next month for around $399, sources claim. Handpsring has certainly registered the Web address VisorEdge.com, so it obviously has something of that name in the works, though it's not necessarily what PDA Buzz is showing. That said, US retail chain Staples recently listed the Visor Edge on its Web catalogue, so this is one rumour that has legs. ® Related Stories You can view PDA Buzz' Visor Edge pic here
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

Novell bans The Register

Yesterday, Cyber Patrol mouthpiece Janet Erikson said her company had blocked The Register because we "published information on their website providing details on how to hack into the software and render it ineffective". Today, we learn that Cyber Patrol is also blocking us as a sex site, among "several categories", Novell tells us. So how does Novell know? The networking software firm embeds Cyber Patrol technology in its Border Manager product. Which means that corporate customers of Border Mismanager could be unable to read The Register. Likewise, corporate customers of Watchguard, who use this company's WebBlocker (another Cyber Patrol OEM) filters are also unable to read The Register. Novell's product marketing managers are happy to make a submission to Cyber Patrol to have The Register unblocked. But they suggest we ask Cyber Patrol first. Which is nice. But an entirely inadequate response. We are minded to ban all coverage of Novell, while it blocks us from our readers. Restraint of Trade The Register is conducting an ABCe audit in March. The purpose of this is to verify our internal statistics and keep our advertisers happy. Half our readers are in the US, and a third work for large companies, the sort of firms which use filtering software to protect their employees from subversive material. By blocking us from adult readers working in business, Cyber Patrol is restricting our ability to trade. The filtering/blocking technology of choice for many corporates is supplied by Cyber Patrol, the lamebrain self-appointed censor of The Register, even though its owner, British-based Surfcontrol, says the firm's products is unsuitable for this purpose. Surfcontrol bought Cyber Patrol last year and positions its subsidiary at the retail sector, targeting home and educational users. The company recommend that businesses should use Surfcontrol's SuperScout, a filtering technology which places us on its recommended list for computing and Internet sites. ®
Drew Cullen, 08 Mar 2001

Palm Canons into Japan

Canon will sell Palm's PDAs in Japan through its chain of 700 Canon Sales stores. The deal will strengthen Palm's push into the Japanese handheld arena. Long dominated by the likes of Sharp and Casio, Japan is the most recent major handheld market to fall to Palm. The US vendor now claims a marketshare of over 50 per cent from next to nothing just a few years ago, according to Reuters. ®
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

Sun sets date for Serengeti

Sun Microsystems has set a date for the launch of mid-range systems based on its UltraSPARC III microprocessor. Press and analysts are being invited to New York on 21 March for the event. The UltraSPARC III has been the subject of reports concerning delays and difficulties in meeting demand. For its part, Sun maintains that it remains on track to roll out products based on UltraSparc III, which began with the introduction of a workstation and low-end server last September. Our sources in the Sun user community tell us the March launch will be for Serengeti servers, which will replace its existing enterprise server range for systems up to 24 way. The release of 72 way (UE1000 replacement systems) will probably not arrive until September, and will likely coincide with the delivery of Solaris 9. He added that the ability to domain (or partition) a system, which is available in the UE10000, will not come with UltraSparc III mid-range servers until the delivery of Solaris 9. Industry observers, like Gartner, see the UltraSparcII processor as "long in the tooth" and believe Sun will have to accelerate the roll-out of machines based on its UltraSparc III processors if it is to face down stronger competition from rivals. Sun's competitors, such as Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, have revamped their product lines and pose a greater threat to its current leadership in the Unix market. ® Related stories Lights go out on UltraSPARC III supply Sun debuts UltraSPARC III and embraces copper Sun suffers UltraSparc II cache crash headache
John Leyden, 08 Mar 2001

Yahoo! rumour! mill! in! a! spin!

So Yahoo! didn't announce yesterday that it is to be acquired by another outfit despite fevered speculation that something was in the offing. Never mind. Still, that hasn't stopped Net users from hedging their bets about the future of Yahoo!. A rack of prospectors has already bought up domains just in case Yahoo! decides to tie the knot with another operator. Individuals have already bagged disneyyahoo.com, ebayahoo.com, microsoftyahoo.com and vivendiyahoo.com. Interestingly, aoltimewarneryahoo.com has already been snapped up - but it's registered to AOL Inc in Dulles, Virginia. Does this mean the giant Internet and media group has its eyes set on Yahoo!? Not quite. "I'm utterly mystified," said one bemused AOL UK spokesman earlier today. However, he called back later to say that AOL did own the Web address but that it acquired it last year when the dotcom clamped down on cybersquatters. The cybersquatter in question was forced to hand over the goods - which is why AOL now owns the address. Mystery over, OK. ® Related Stories Yahoo! victim! of! real! world! economics! Yahoo! shares! suspended!
Tim Richardson, 08 Mar 2001

The daftest anti-Napster story so far

Lovely bunch the music industry. While Napster was walking home, they waited at the end of the underground pass, surrounded it and starting heckling, pushing and shoving. Napster offered its wallet, but it wasn't money they were after. No, Napster was going to get a kicking. Having tripped it up, they're now taking it in turns to kick it while down. How else can you explain the Grammy bosses response to the Eminem/Elton John duet? Apparently, thanks to Napster allowing people to download the song, it's not worth them releasing it as a single. Just look what Napster and its freak mate Internet has done to us, they cry, while cracking another rib as the boot goes in. The Elton/Eminem duet was shamelessly hyped by the Grammy organisation. It not only brought hundreds of thousands of more viewers to its awards ceremony but its also boosted Eminem and Elton John's profiles and sold a fair few albums. Since the song was also publicly broadcast, to blame Napster for the song's dissemination is ridiculous. But then Napster is persona non grata at the moment, so it can be blamed for anything. And what about the central belief that it's not worth releasing the single? Absolute nonsense. The song will be released - either singly or as part of a Grammy album - and it will sell possibly in even greater numbers than previously. Besides, the copies we've heard aren't of a very good quality. If someone was ever going to buy the duet, he/she will still buy it. And not only does it want to eat the cake but it's after a liqueur in the form of compensation for money lost. What money lost? It reckons millions of dollars. The major problem with the music companies is that they can't understand the concept of someone listening to music before they buy it. This is how most albums are sold. Record companies like to think that their marketing etc etc is what makes best-sellers, but the truth is that most albums are sold on the back of people hearing songs elsewhere and friends recommending albums. Because people like the music. For a while it looked like the music industry would have to rethink it's approach to music due to the "MP3 revolution", namely make far less out of far more artists. But with Napster's fall from grace, the status quo has been reinstated. Let's hope that this is only the first battle in the war to make music more accessible to the general public. ® Related Links Napster gets a break
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2001

KPMG rocks the world… Not

International business consultancy KPMG has hit the pop charts running. Actually, make that 'limping'. In a desperate bid to encourage its employees to attend its Consultants' Conference next July, to be held in Frankfurt, the $13.5 billion organisation has decided to stir their corporate passions with a rousing company song. 'Rousing' may have been the idea, but we reckon the result is better described by the word 'soporific'. KPMG - We're as strong as can be is no let-me-see-your-hands-in-the-air pumpin' rock anthem, but a dire, drippy 80s ballad of the Chris De Burgh school. You can almost smell the Hai Karate, almost see the flouncy perms and moustaches - and that's just the girls... And to think decent IT companies trust these people to tell them how to run their business. KMPG employees - and anyone else for that matter - can trip along to the company's Consulants' Conference and sample KPMG - We're as strong as can be in all its hideous glory. Curiously, employees are not allowed to listen to the ditty - available as a stream or an MP3 download - via the KPMG's internal network. The site says this is for "security reasons", but we reckon it's so banal it can bring down happy and healthy servers. We listened to all IQ-lowering four minutes, 34 seconds of it, but you don't have to. Here are the words, in all their ghastliness: KPMG - We're as strong as can be Chorus KPMG - We're as strong as can be, We dream of power and energy, We go for the gold, together we hold Onto our vision of global strategy. Repeat Chorus First Verse We create, we innovate, We pass the worms that are laid [Not sure about this one - might be 'ones that are late'] A global dream... this our dream of success that we create. We'll be number one, we're [something] and fun Together reach the bus and run For gold - that shines like the sun in our eyes. Chorus Repeat Chorus Second Verse The time is now to lead the way, We share the same the idea That may win by the end of the day. Our strength is here to stay. Indentity, one energy, One strategy, with sympathy. These are the words that will lead us into a new world. Chorus Repeat Chorus Repeat Chorus (again) Kay-Pee-Emm-Geee - we got the power... Ooooh-oohh... Enough already! ® Related Link KPMG's dire warblings
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

Hyundai renames and dumps everything but chip business

Hyundai has announced a massive restructure that will see it dump everything apart from its semiconductor business, and trade under the new name Hynix Semiconductor. Hyundai has had a terrible time of late and wants to rebrand itself as a hi-tech company, away from the perceived stigma of the Hyundai name. It has already got rid of its computer manufacturing, image solution, and satellite arms and now plans to finished the job by spinning off its LCD and telecoms sections by May, reports the Korea Herald. This new chip-only company will be called Hynix Semiconductor which "connotes both 'high electronics', putting an accent on its cutting-edge image, or 'hi, electronics' stressing technology's intimacy with everyday life". "By the second half of this year, we'll only be operating the semiconductor division," a spokesman said. So it would seem that they're serious. Unfortunately, the announcement of this bold reconstruction coincided with a drop in the company's credit rating from B to B-minus. The company hasn't got any cash - something that will be resolved by selling off its various businesses, presumably for cash. ® Related Link Korea Herald story
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2001

Cracks appear for latest WinXP protection tech

Was Microsoft only kidding about Product Activation, or is the company just playing its cards close to its chest? As previously advertised, the latest external build of WinXP, 2446, introduced compulsory Product Activation with no official workaround, but within 24 hours of the build leaking out onto the Web, cracks for the protection system were being published. The methods used so far to secure the Product Activation process in the beta program have been, frankly, trivial, and it would appear that 2446 includes only a minor escalation. This isn't even beta 2 of course, far less gold code, but if Microsoft wishes to stop more than the proverbial child of five with the shipping product it must surely have something entirely different and entirely more fiendish in the locker. But given the constraints, that's a tricky one, and there's one glaring reason why the effectiveness of the protection in XP may not matter anyway. Microsoft proposes to include Product Activation in consumer versions of the product, but not in corporate versions. In the latter case companies buying multiple copies of XP will have to go through an unlock process once, but then will be able to install as many copies as they like. Inevitably copies of the corporate version and any associated codes will provide a source for pirated software. It's difficult to see how this represents even a slight improvement over the current situation, from Microsoft's point of view. Tackling commercial piracy is not however the stated intent of Product Activation - casual copying is the target, according to Microsoft. But this is where you have to start scratching your head about the technology, and thinking about the constraints - which are largely self-imposed. Right now the protection has just a couple of levels. First of all there's the product key issued with the software. It's long, but it's no defence unless Microsoft does something it has said it won't do with the shipping version. There is, as the company told The Register a while back, no phone home, and activation will be a single, once only process. So right now there are quite possibly several thousand people using the same three product keys on leaked copies of XP beta code, and when the full product ships "casual" copiers (playground swaps, multiple installation among friends etc) will no doubt just use the single key that came with the product they're copying. You could stop that if the software checked in regularly with a central database, but Microsoft says it's not going to do that. Activation itself is the next level of defence. XP is intended to generate a code from the local hardware configuration, and this code is then validated over the Internet or by phone, with the customer then being given the real unlock key. In principle it's a pretty effective system that ties a single copy of the software to a single machine, but it obviously only works like that if you have to go through the Product Activation Process. Which right now, you don't. Although 2446 escalates the level of protection very slightly, avoiding the process still seems to be a matter of flipping around a couple of registry switches, disabling a wizard and killing off a system file (that's the new bit in 2446). We know how you do this, Microsoft knows how you do it, it's not rocket science, and it surely can't be what's going to ship with the gold code. But what will? Product Activation can no doubt be made harder to disable, but impossible is a different matter. And so long as it's a one-off process with no phone home system built in, the obvious route of using the Internet to check for duplicate IDs is closed to Microsoft. Of course if it all does fail, next time around maybe Redmond will be a little less scrupulous... ® Related stories: New MS protection tech did go live in latest WinXP beta MS gears up for public WinXP beta with interim external build MS opens up on Whistler copy protection
John Lettice, 08 Mar 2001

AMD, Intel fight wars using memory chips

Yes, we know that AMD will use Rambus memory "if the market demands it" and we know that Intel will use DDR (double date rate) memory if "the market demands it". But, behind the scenes, these two firms have little intention of getting out of their trenches and meeting in no-man's land for a little festive footer like the Germans and the Brits in World War One. And when they say "if the market demands it" they both mean "if we're forced to". That fact is underlined by AMD's decision, last month, to trademark the logo "Powered by DDR Memory" (US trademark application serial number 76204636). An AMD representative explained to The Register: "This logo is not an AMD logo but is owned by a DDR consortium (for want of a better word). We encourage our OEMs to use it as well as our logo to show that the PC uses high performance memory and therefore is faster than an equivalent PC that only uses standard SDRAM." Further, DDR memory, which is based on synchronous memory, is cheaper and faster than Ramboid memory. "The cheap nature of manufacturing DDR is the reason why Intel have a hard time with Rambus and why they are madly developing a DDR chipset (Brookdale I think) so that they can get to use the cheaper DDR memory. The fastest Rambus memory available now is actually slightly slower than the slowest DDR memory (PC1600) and it uses more power - Intel really did bet on the wrong horse this time." What is true is that it took intense pressure from its own PC customers, some meory manufacturers (the so-called Dramurai), a battery of analysts, and the press, before it would agree to support firstly PC-133 memory and then DDR memory at all. Intel used to be in a position to virtually dictate which kind of memory was used in PCs, and indeed did so when the PC-100 SDRAM standard was introduced. However, it would be disingenuous to think that Intel's rivals in the CPU business, AMD and Via, are looking dispassionately at what customers need, and for that noble reason have decided to put their weight behind DDR and not support the cohorts of the Evil Empire of Rambus. In reality, Via and AMD are engaged in marketing which could be regarded as deeply cynical as anything Intel can manage, and which ultimately benefits their bottom line. That, of course, is good for shareholders in both firms and has also had a knock-on effect in being good for consumers. Via, in particular, by pushing chipsets which supported PC-133, allowed Taiwanese OEMs to have a choice when designing motherboards, and, in so-doing, eventually persuaded Intel of the errors of its ways. AMD, which doesn't really want to be in the chipset business at all, is very happy that Via is flying the PC-133 and DDR flag for it and its customers. Intel's deep cynicism on the subject of Rambus and the Dramurai is well-documented in the cyber pages of this organ. So is Rambus memory any better than DDR memory, as far as your average punter is concerned? This is where things get murky. Techies will pound on about latency, about graphics bench tests, about bottlenecks and what have you, and, if you're non-technical, eventually your head will begin to slowly gyrate and your knees get weaker. The price and availability of Rambus appears to be getting better, but that is true for DDR memory too. Intel is still committed by inclination, by contract and by obstinacy to push Rambus for all it is worth. AMD and Via will take the opposite view. As consumers, we may well benefit from the ding-dong battles that ensue. Finally, the law suits over whether Rambus owns patents on DDR and synchronous memory begin this month, and by the end of this year we should have a better idea where we are on those. If Rambus wins these cases, all bets are off. ®
Mike Magee, 08 Mar 2001

Gameplay HQ flooded

Gameplay's HQ in London has been washed out due to a flood. Staff - what's left of them - were ordered to abandon ship earlier today. All calls to the London office are being redirected to Leeds where an operator there said the premises won't be re-opened until Monday at the earliest. The fear is that Gameplay's techie kit might be suffering from rising damp. So far, its Web site seems OK. No doubt plumbers are probably round there at the moment messing about with flanges, ball cocks and U-bends in a bid to save the drowning game-playing dotcom. No one was available to comment on whether this flood was the result of a burst water pipe or a sewage leak. Hey ho - shit happens. ®
Tim Richardson, 08 Mar 2001

Secondhand Office 97 seller to sue after MS pulls eBay auction

A Brit has threatened to sue Microsoft after it pulled his auction from eBay. Justin Mowle put his copy of Microsoft Office 97 Professional on ebay.co.uk earlier this month. The ten-day auction went quite well for Mowle, starting at £1 and drawing a top bid of £70. However, no sooner had the sale ended than Mowle received an email from eBay saying it had removed his auction, number 1216594085, from the site "at the request of Microsoft". According to the message, which was also sent to the top bidder, Microsoft had "filed a sworn statement that it [the auction] offers a product or contains material which violates their copyright, trademark or other rights." "In the interest of protecting all eBay members, we remove such auctions from eBay to avoid any association with potentially infringing or unlawful items," eBay told Mowle. Microsoft said it believed the software offered for auction was "not genuine Microsoft product or that the proposed transaction otherwise infringes Microsoft's intellectual property rights." Mowle denied he was a software pirate, and told The Register he merely wanted to shift the full copy of Office Professional because he had bought a full copy of Office 2000 as a replacement. "If I cannot sell my old software, why should I upgrade to Office XP when that is released?" he asked, adding he had threatened to sue Microsoft for accusing him of being a pirate. "I was pretty shocked really. I don't see why you can't sell an old copy of your software." Microsoft seemed to agree, and yesterday the software giant changed track, informing eBay it had no problem with Mowle's auction being reinstated. According to Julia Phillpot, Microsoft UK anti-piracy manager, the auction interference was normal procedure. "If customers buy illegal product they blame the auction site," she said. "If something looks suspicious we ask the auction site to take it down." Sellers who query auctions being taken down have to prove to Microsoft that the software is genuine - this could either be by providing a serial number or proof of purchase. ® Related Stories Auction software pirate signs public confession Online auctions top Net fraud complaints list SIAA sues auction site pirates Novell stings pirate for $600,000
Linda Harrison, 08 Mar 2001

Sacked Telewest man wants second chance

The blueyonder helpdesk operator who was sacked for posting "inappropriate comments" on a newsgroup has asked for his job back. In a contrite email to El Reg Shaun Pears wrote: "At the present moment I am at a loss of what to do, in terms of what action I can take. "All I want is a second chance (my job back). "I know what I did was totally stupid, as you are well aware text has no tone. "I really didn't mean to cause offence, as I have already said it was only meant as banter, a wind up if you like. "Ok it was done in company time, although I wasn't just sitting there and not doing my job this was happening in between calls," he said sheepishly. Telewest has yet to confirm that Pears was dismissed but admitted it was conducting an internal investigation. Here's hoping some good comes out of this. ® Related Story Telewest sacks employee
Tim Richardson, 08 Mar 2001

Police spin doctor sacked over porn downloads

A police PR chief who wrote an anti-sexism guide for officers has been sacked for groping colleagues and downloading porn. John Williamson, deputy PR director for Greater Manchester Police, had been suspended since January after allegedly putting his hand up one female colleague's skirt and down another's trousers. The married 35-year-old was also accused of making lewd comments at the staff Christmas bash and asking women about their underwear in the office. After a police investigation uncovered thousands of sexual images on his computer at work and he lost the £35,000-a-year job. Williamson, who claims he is innocent, played a key role in producing a 16-page guide on how to avoid sexist expressions. The Power of Language advised the force to avoid terms like "love", "pet" and "dear". ® Related Stories Porno blond wins tribunal Porn case heralds UK cyber case VNU in porn sack shock Porn cartoon sackings fight to keep jobs
Linda Harrison, 08 Mar 2001

Seven-line program beats DVD crypto

The Motion Picture Association of America is taking a closer look at a seven-line Perl script claimed by its authors to show just how "trivial" DVD encryption really is. The algorithm was written by Keith Winstein and Marc Horowitz - one an MIT undergraduate, the latter a former student at the Institute - as part of a two-day course into the implications of the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA makes illegal any attempt to circumvent a copyright protection system. The pair wrote the code to prove to course attendees just how easy it is to fall foul of the law. Of course, by doing so you'd think Winstein and Horowitz put themselves in hazard. Not so, they claim, the pair are protected by the First Amendment. Their free speech is guaranteed because the code was not created to crack DVD's Content Scrambling System (CSS), simply to illustrate copyright issues. Good luck, we say. They may need it. The MPAA said it is looking into the code, which was published on the Web last week, courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University professor David Touretzky, having escaped from Winstein and Horowitz' course. If it doesn't like what is sees, the MPAA might pursue the coders through he courts as it has done with authors and distributors - even one company that printed the code on a T-shirt - of the controversial DVD-on-Linux DVD decryption utility, DeCSS. The movie industry has been able to keep a lid on DeCSS - just - but it's hard to see it preventing the spread of a seven-line chunk of code that, according to Winstein, "you can write these seven lines of code on a piece of paper and give it to someone". It's certainly an elegant piece of programming, and is apparently efficient enough to enable realtime decryption and playback. ® Related Link Horowitz and Winstein's Perl code Related Stories DeCSS makes the funny pages DoJ sticks its nose in 2600.com DeCSS appeal Boffins back 2600 over DeCSS ruling Clothing company hit by anti-DeCSS suit
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

MS leaked memo whips up anti-piracy ‘national cause’

Microsoft France is plotting to manipulate "public authorities and large institutional players" to make piracy enforcement, implementing copy protection and product activation technology, and the fight against hacking a "national cause" in France, according to a leaked internal memo obtained by The Register. The memo, from Euro-MS exec and anti-piracy specialist Guillaume Tostain to MS's European anti-piracy group and several company individuals, is dated 5 March and urges that "Microsoft, alone or jointly with [trade] associations, must approach public authorities to persuade them to support our efforts, which should culminate in a governmental television campaign this Autumn." Regarding existing pirates, Tostain recommends a multi-pronged attack, starting with the velvet glove treatment and progressing as needed to firmer tactics. He urges "a progressive pressure, beginning with two letters then a telephone contact, with an increasingly (firm?), but non-aggressive, message, to preserve the new image of the BSA (Business Software Alliance)." Another initiative will be a road show for OEMs and other 'partners', engineered to make everyone comfortable with Microsoft's product activation scheme. This will of course be a difficult sell, as users are bound to loathe it, and OEMs will be the ones stuck trying to assure consumers that its ominous potential for phone-home functions and machine identification schemes are, despite appearances, really splendid new features. But perhaps the most interesting task for MS's Eurominions is that of "influencing public officials," as Tostain calls it. "Microsoft and/or the BSA will meet with public authorities in order to sensitize them to the problem of hacking, and to explain the burden to industry in defending its intellectual property." Politicians, civil servants and law enforcement officials must be made to understand the grave economic consequences of hacking, Tostain says. Finally, he recommends that the press be conscripted to put out the word, and thus help everyone become comfortable with MS's dreaded new product activation and copy protection schemes. The MS France anti-hacking team consists of Guillaume Tostain, Christine Kechichian, and Alain Ecuvillon. ® Note: The foregoing translations are unlikely to be perfect, but the general sense is probably correct throughout. My French is decent, though not brilliant --TCG Related Link The original full text
Thomas C Greene, 08 Mar 2001

UK game coders form trade body

The Government today attempted to stress its computer culture credentials by sending e-minister Patricia Hewitt along to the launch of a trade organisation for British games developers. Dubbed Tiga, the non-acronymic shorthand for the Independent Games Developers Association, the body was by formed by well-known small games company bosses - including Argonaut's Jez San and Elixir's Demis Hassabis - to provide support to fellow coders in an industry dominated by big name publishers like Eidos, Electronics Arts and Infogrames. One of its stated aims is to lobby government for "support and assistance", so it was handy that the e-Minster was around to show how much Blair and co. supports the industry. "The UK games development industry is expanding and maturing into a key sector in the economy. We have a world-class reputation as a creative and technical centre of excellence in games development," she said. That's not quite the commitment to "tax breaks similar to those available to the UK film industry", that Tiga is looking for. "Bigger than Hollywood," is one way Tiga describes itself. The games biz sure is. Given how vastly more lucrative the games business compared to the movie industry, it's questionable whether they really need such support, but hey, there's no harm asking. Microsoft's European Xbox chief, Sandy Duncan, was on hand to give the Beast of Redmond's blessing to the venture. "Developers are, by their nature, creative people and the risks they take day to day should be creative rather than commercial," he said. All those games developers starving in garrets, struggling to get their art seen by the public will no doubt be pleased with that vote of support. Provided, of course, they're writing stuff for Xbox... Another Tiga aim is to "represent the sector in a positive light to government and the public", the next time a senior public figure criticises game violence or a bunch of 14-year-old American boys shoot each other. Still, Tiga should help persuade the wider commercial world that the games business is a significant one, something often hidden by the higher profiles of less lucrative industries, such as movies and music. Britain has been a hotbed of good games development since the early 80s, and it's about time the coders themselves - as opposed to the publishers, who already have the European Leisure Software Publishers Association to watch out for them - began to promote their efforts. ®
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2001

Cyber Patrol sends press release to The Register

SurfControl sent us a press release today announcing the release of Cyber Patrol 5, the "Most Sophisticated, Customisable and Full-Featured Filtering Software Ever Available". Cheeky monkeys. Cyber Patrol is currently blocking The Register, because we have "published information on [our] website providing details on how to hack into the software and render it ineffective." Incidentally, Reg hack Kieren McCarthy was asked this week to give an interview concerning Harry Potter by Nickolodeon, the children's TV channel. Thank goodness we turned them down. Think of all the damage we could have caused to the impressionable children. ®
Drew Cullen, 08 Mar 2001

WildTangent goes multiplayer

Webgames specialist WildTangent today announced that it will be showing off their Web Driver system's new multiplayer capabilities at the Game Developers Conference later this month, claiming that it is "opening the door to a new level of immersive media content". As the company was co-founded by Microsoft's former DirectX evangelist Alex St John, it's perhaps no surprise that Web Driver uses DirectX and "takes full advantage of hardware acceleration, scaling content to an optimal level for each user's machine". Response from the gaming industry has apparently been rather positive, with several companies quoted in the press release as supporting Web Driver and its new found multiplayer functionality. Sony Online Entertainment "feels that Web Driver will allow us to further expand our core base of multiplayer games into broader markets", while Barbie manufacturer Mattel "is enthusiastic about the upcoming launch and how it could enhance the interactivity our audiences experience". Even Rune developer Human Head got in on the orgy of mutual back patting, gushing that "WildTangent is poised to deliver the future of game entertainment and their multiplayer capabilities are just the beginning". Heady stuff indeed. If you want to see WildTangent's technology in action for yourself (sans multiplayer capabilities), check out their own games page, which includes a selection of fun little webgames ranging from Pacman and Arkanoid clones to motor racing and golf games. They only take up a few megabytes once you have installed the latest version of Web Driver, and most can be played directly from your web browser. ® Copyright © 2001 Eurogamer.net, all rights reserved.
Eurogamer.net, 08 Mar 2001

Bush out, Gates in

If the US was run by a company, Microsoft would get the job. That's according to a report by PR firm Brouillard Communications, which surveyed 1,000 random Americans on who they would trust to put in charge of the country. Many based their decision on Microsoft's strong financial performance, and also liked its corporate character. But though it was seen as creative and innovative, few described it as honest or trustworthy. The software giant was four times as popular as second choice IBM. General Motors and General Electric also got into the top four. "Microsoft - for all its faults - is perceived as a highly effective, can-do company," said Brouillard CEO Bill Lyddan. "Although brand recognition, size and longevity matter, most Americans seem to be asking: 'What have you done for me lately? On that basis, Microsoft scores over IBM." In the UK the choice to take over Number 10 would be Virgin - largely due to its strong performance and the popularity of its chief Richard Branson. Not surprisingly, Railtrack and British Rail were voted least favourite to take over the British government. ® Related Stories Gates: The earth moved for me Bill Gates Sr fights Dubya's estate-tax ban Tony Blair accepts 'first' email petition
Linda Harrison, 08 Mar 2001

Are Christian games better than secular shoot'-em-ups?

Christian e-tailer Newday has got in touch with The Register to see if we could help it with some background research. It is preparing to go on a church lecture tour warning about the dangers of video games to the nation's youth. We're not booking our seat. It's not a new line, or one we believe for a second, but Newday partner Derek Clare is of the opinion that Doom played a big part in the Columbine tragedy, and Carmageddon copyists caused deaths in Swansea, Wales. Regarding the Columbine shooter, Clare said: "He was playing a game, and then he went and played it for real." Interestingly Newday is offering an alternative to secular violent video games. And it has a one title it reckons is a match for anything in the market, and it includes a bit of killing but no gore. Newday gives the impression the game is right up there with Quake III, and every kid who's had a go on it has been hooked. "Graphically it's as good as anything in the secular market," said Clare. "It's very playable without the violence." The game, a platformer, is called Catechumen. The plot is requires you to nobble some Roman soldiers who've been possessed by demons. It is set in the days when Nero ruled the Roman Empire and the Christians were being persecuted. In fact, "A darkness was settling over Christianity, evil in nature, that threatened to destroy the Christian religion only a few centuries after Christ founded it at the cross. " The Reg would be interested if Christian games are every bit as good as their secular counterparts, so download the demo and let us know what you think. A downside for some gamers out there might be that Newday's titles don't feature any gaming stereotypes. These include "fourteen-year-old Japanese girls with huge bosoms," says Clare. ® Related Link Newday's Catechumen page
Robert Blincoe, 08 Mar 2001

MS leaked memo original text

From: Guillaume Tostain Sent: Mon 05/03/2001 10:51 To: MS SARL Anti-Piracy Group Cc: Veronique Etienne-Martin (LCA); Raissa Lamrani; Olivier Lanilis; Florence Flipo; Philippe Pretat; Carine Berdoati; Olivier Lagrange; Camille Mazo; Manuela Levy-Bensoussan Subject: Point sur les actions Anti-Piratage H2 Bonjour, Vous trouverez ci-dessous un point sur les actions H2 de l'equipe Anti-Piratage. Nous repartissons nos actions suivant quatre grands axes, afin de concilier une action determinee vers le channel et vers les entreprises, tout en preservant l'action de fond que nous menons aupres des pouvoirs publics et des grands acteurs institutionnels pour faire de la lutte contre le piratage une "cause nationale" : * Les campagnes de communication/sensibilisation vers les entreprises (en general a travers BSA, mais on travaille egalement en approche Microsoft directe) avec un message progressif 1/ faites un audit de parc 2/ mettez vous en conformite * Les actions de sensibilisation et/ou de repression du channel * Le travail, Microsoft seul ou conjointement avec les associations, envers les pouvoirs publics pour les amener a soutenir nos efforts, qui devrait etre couronne par une campagne gouvernementale televisee a l'automne. * L'implementation de technologies Anti-Piratage dans les produits Microsoft. AXE 1 : ACTIONS VERS LES ENTREPRISES Microsoft : 2eme vague de campagne "auditez votre parc logiciel" (owner: Chriske) Dates: du 1er fevrier au 1er mars Cible: * CoreMe : 2295 contacts Smorg : 2590 contacts Principe: * Operation de telesales ayant pour but d'apporter un conseil Audit en introduisant le message antipiratage * aux entreprises appelees et puis selon leur niveau de reponse : -> leur proposer un prestataire Audit -> leur proposer OSL/Open comme "solution" d'equipement si le parc n'est pas a jour. Moyens: Collaboration Morg - Sorg * Une equipe de 8 teleacteurs Teleperformance supervisee par Raissa Lamrani * Un partenariat avec Softsecure qui prendra contact avec les societes demandant un prestataire * Une remontee des leads dans la mecanique habituelle resultats a mi parcours: Contactes: 2.676 (sur total de 4.885) Contacts Argumentes : 1.033 (39%) Detections de projets: 445 (17% des contacts, 43% des contacts argumentes) L'association de message Audit/Solutions Licences fonctionne bien (Projets detectes vs Contacts argumentes), mais l'operation se heurte a un fort taux d'appel hors cible, principalement sur le Sorg (27% au total) BSA : Campagne de Printemps (Owner: Alainec) Dates : Du 15 mars au 30 juin Cible : * 100.000 PME-PMI de 20 a 200 salaries Principe : * Amener graduellement les entreprises qui sont pirates "a leur insu" a regulariser leur situation a travers un inventaire de parc. Moyens : * Une pression progressive, soit deux lettres puis un contact telesales, avec un message de plus en plus directif, mais non agressif (pour preserver la nouvelle image de BSA => campagne gouvernementale a venir) * Call to action : renvoi d'un questionnaire de qualification a BSA (l'ex. certificat de conformite) avec date butoir : 30/06/2001 * Approche regionale : Seminaires en regions co-organises avec des CCI * Renvoi des clients vers une liste exhaustive et regionalisee de partenaires ayant des competences et/ou des outils d'inventaire de parc * Implication du channel prealable a la campagne : courrier d'invitation a etre present sur la liste BSA; presentation de la campagne BSA pendant le Roadshow Channel Anti-Piratage / OEM / LCA * Campagne Online pour generer du trafic sur le nouveau site BSA AXE 2 : ACTIONS DE SENSIBILISATION ET / OU DE REPRESSION DU CHANNEL Plan d'equipement en logiciels Microsoft (Owner :Alainec+ Camillem) Dates : Du 15 mars au 30 juin Cible : * L'ensemble du channel de Microsoft France Principe : * Relais francais d'un plan EMEA pour amener les partenaires a etre equipes en logiciels Microsoft grace a OSL * Regularisation du parc largement pirate des partenaires * Formation in-situ a OSL permettant la creation d'un channel competent OSL. Moyens : * Accord contractuel signe avec les partenaires * Seuil OSL ramene a 5 postes et limite a 50 postes * Prix special partenaire a 50% du prix normal sur les 3 annuites, avec sur-remise de 50% la premiere annee pour les PC deja equipes d'une version N ou N-1. * Option serveur incluse Roadshow Anti-Piratage / OEM / LCA partenaires (Owner : Alainec) Dates : Du 21 mars au 5 avril Cible : * L'ensemble du channel de Microsoft France Principe : * Roadshow de 7 sessions d'une demi-journee co-anime par l'AP, l'OEM et le LCA * Presentations de : * Microsoft Product Activation * Plan d'equipement OSL des partenaires * Presentation de la campagne BSA de Printemps * Cas juges et gagnes contre des revendeurs pirates * Actualite OEM * Office XP pour les System Builders Moyens : * Animation conjointe par les equipes AP et OEM * Sessions dans les locaux MS sauf Paris, session a l'Espace Elec du CNIT AXE 3 : INFLUENCE AUPRES DES POUVOIRS PUBLICS "Influence" (Owner :Chriske) Dates : Action recurrente Cible : * Les pouvoirs publics Objectif: * Microsoft et/ou le BSA rencontrent les pouvoirs publics afin de: * sensibiliser ceux ci au probleme du piratage * expliquer l'engagement de l'industrie a defendre la propriete intellectuelle * passer quelques idees sur la situation de l'industrie et ses perspectives, faire connaitre le meconnu. Principe: * selon les interlocuteurs et les messages, soit le BSA, soit MS s'exprime. Actions: identification des cibles "utiles" * preparation des contenus (propriete intellectuelle, copie privee/taxes...) * RDVs CNIL, Ass. de consommateurs, gendarmerie, police, douanes sur MPA * contact senateur sur la thematique propriete intellectuelle * La plus belle realisation du semestre, l'engagement de Jospin au Milia.(cf. campagne gouvernementale) Campagne Gouvernementale (Owner :Chriske) Contexte : le Premier Ministre annonce en debut de mois son engagement a mener une campagne nationale d'information sur le piratage.... Pourquoi ? * depuis un an un groupe de travail - Microsoft - BSA - SELL - A & D travaille d'arrache pied a une proposition d'action permettant aux pouvoirs publics de : * comprendre la problematique du piratage * prendre la mesure des consequences economiques du piratage * s'approprier l' action et la communication => en bref une campagne cle en main est proposee au ministere de l'industrie qui achete et etend le champ a tous les secteurs du numerique (Logiciels + Videos + Musique) en impliquant donc en plus le Ministere de la Culture... puis recemment de l'Education Comment en est-on arrive a cet engagement au plus haut niveau ? * une loi sur la Societe de l'information tant voulue par le gouvernement a du mal a naitre * un contexte politique, ou chacun recherche "une grande cause" * l'opportunite d'un salon, pour une communication forte Modestement nous ne comptabilisons pas * les pages de redactionnel * les reunions preparatoires * les RDVs ministeriels ... Union des Fabricants (Owner : Chriske) Dates : 2001 Cible: * Presse et Grand Public Principe: * Sur l'initiative de Microsoft et en s'inspirant de la campagne interne Microsoft "Pour une entreprise Exemplaire", les membres de l'Union des Fabricants montent des campagnes de sensibilisation a la contrefacon dans leurs entreprises afin de permettre a l'association une communication presse et grand publique sur la mobilisation citoyenne sur la problematique du piratage a l'occasion de la Journee Mondiale contre la Contrefacon du 28 juin 2001. Moyens: * l'union des fabricants propose le projet a l'ensemble de ses membres * l'union des fabricants recueille les differentes experiences * l'union des fabricants propose a ses membres une mecanique evenementielle mettant en valeur cet engagement pour "l'authentique" * Le musee de la contrefacon relayera egalement les differentes campagnes AXE 4 : IMPLEMENTATION DE TECHNOLOGIES ANTI-PIRATAGE DANS LES PRODUITS MICROSOFT MPA - Microsoft Product Activation (Owner :Chriske) Dates : Action continue sur H2 Cible: * Interne et Externe Principe: * L'antipiratage est "Champion" sur cette mise en place et son role est: * d'informer l'interne * de participer a l'adaptation des outils MPA, ecran d'accueil, mecanique, lettres clients, etc... * former et informer les influenceurs (CNIL - Ass. Consommateurs - Gendarmerie, Police, Douanes) * informer les medias * organiser les formations des equipes customer satisfaction, PSS, Service clients... Moyens: * Collaboration avec EHQ, EOC, Corp., les equipes produits, LCA. * Action proactive de BDDP Corporate sur la presse info et la presse eco * Petit-dejeuner presse organise en fevrier N'hesitez pas a nous contacter pour plus de precisions. L'equipe Anti-Piratage: Guillaume Tostain Christine Kechichian Alain Ecuvillon dans le cadre de ces operations, nous travaillons bien sur etroitement avec les personnes suivantes LCA : Veronique grouard OEM : Sophie Thiberge Corporate Afffairs : Veronique Etienne-Martin MPA : Olivier Lanilis Relai Com. de toutes les campagnes : Edith Fregere PR : Guillaume Tourres
Thomas C Greene, 08 Mar 2001

5000 jobs to be axed at Intel as slowdown hits

When can we officially declare the demise of Intel as a growth stock? Today the chip giant issued a profits warning which showed that it may already be a prisoner of a cyclical market. "The economic slowdown affecting PC demand has," the company says, "continued and spread to the networking, communications and server sectors." This seems to cover just about the entire Intel landscape. Intel reckons that Q1 sales will be 25 per cent down on Q4's $8.7 billion, rather than the 15 per cent down it forecast on January 16. In its earlier sales forecast, Intel noted the 15 per cent fall was "10 per cent worse than normal". So this new assessment shows the company is really down in the dumps right now. Gross margins are expected to be 51 per cent, and not the 58 per cent previously forecast. per cent on Q4 The company aims to shave expenses by 15 per cent during the quarter (previously they were supposed to stay flat) "primarily due to lower revenue and profit-dependent (what's that - stock options?) expenses as well as cost cutting measures". And over the next nine months, the company aims to lose 5000 staff, mostly through "attrition". ® Related Story Intel warns of tough times in Q1
Drew Cullen, 08 Mar 2001