20th > June > 2001 Archive

e-Net goes into receivership

Bristol-based reseller e-Net has gone into receivership. The company is one of the UK's biggest resellers for Oracle and Sun and is still widely known by its former name - Relay Business Systems. It is also an ISP and an ASP (application service provider). The company's last set of accounts, filed for the year to March 2000, show sales of £24.8 million and a net worth of £647,000. It had 45 staff at the time. 1999 turnover was £28 million and there were "120 skilled staff, located in our new HQ in Bristol and five regional offices throughout the UK", according to information posted on the company's site. Which gives some idea of the swift decline. Or perhaps over-expansion. e-Net is wholly owned by e-Medsoft.com, which bought the reseller in 1997. Apparently the company looked for support from its US parent, but none was forthcoming. Robert Birchall of PricewaterhouseCoopers is the receiver. ® Related Link e-Net's web site
Robert Blincoe, 20 Jun 2001

UK channel goes board crazy

German graphics board maker Elsa has signed up Microtronica, the components distie, to improve coverage into the UK system builder market. Microtronica will also wholesale Elsa's datacomms product lines into corporate VARs and resellers. Elsa has around 12 per cent of the UK retail graphics board market; Guillemot has nearer 40 per cent. It has a toehold in the UK system builder market and now also wants to spread its wings into the UK corporate and SME sectors. Jackie Seear, Guillemot UK marketing manager, said the company is close to signing a distie to take the brand into these markets, but declined to say who in advance of contract sign-off. DFI, the Taiwanese mobo maker, has signed up Watford-based Aventi to rep its entire product range into the UK. Aventi will build up a UK distribution network and will run a national ad campaign for DFI. Aventi says it hopes to emulate the success DFI has "already gained in the other main European markets, namely Germany, France, Spain and Italy, can be emulated here".
Drew Cullen, 20 Jun 2001

Two channel takeovers

Micro P, the mass market distie, has bought storage distie AGP for an undisclosed sum, CRN reports. TFB claims it is the UK's biggest VAR for the legal sector following the takeover of Avenue Business Systems for an undisclosed sum. TFB (Technology For Business) is a pre-IPO firm with post acquisition revenues of £12m. This takes it ahead of Axxia and Tikit, according to Legal Technology Insider, a specialist newsletter. Other big players in the UK legal sector include: CMS, owned by Australian accounting software firm Solution 6; Scottish-based Pilgrim Systems; US-based Elite and AIM-quoted Keystone. ®
Drew Cullen, 20 Jun 2001

Intel axes 300 Danes

UpdatedUpdated Intel has sacked 300 employees at its Danish networking products R&D operation. Staff were told of the plan yesterday afternoon, reports Danish paper Jyllands Posten, though the decision to make the redundancies was taken on Monday. The R&D operation was built out of the acquistion of business from Case Technologies, Olicom and, more recently, NKT-Giga. The latter operation will be retained - it focuses on network components - Intel having only had it for a year. It paid around Kr10 billion ($1.15 billion) for the business. The cuts are believed to be part of Intel's plan to eliminate 5000 jobs this year around the world. A couple of months ago, the company's Online Services division laid off 600 workers. And, indeed, Intel has now confirmed that the cuts are part of the 5000. ® Related Story Intel Online Services 'redeploys' up to 600 Related Link Jyllands Posten: Redundancies at Intel Denmark (in Danish)
Tony Smith, 20 Jun 2001

Eagles have their wings clipped

The Eagles have lost a trademark infringement lawsuit against the American Eagle Foundation over the ornithological use of the www.eagles.org Web site. Don Henley and his legendary rock band launched legal proceedings against the not-for-profit conservation site in 1998 claiming that its Web site address, "800-2EAGLES" phone number and its "American Eagle Records'' compact disc and video distribution label was treading on the band's talons. The suit also alleged that the Foundation's eagle-themed trademarks confused the public and harmed the band's record sales and famous name. However, a judge has finally ruled that the band is bang out of order. The American Eagle Foundation hopes it can recover legal costs and may even seek damages. Al Cecere, president of the Eagle conservation site which is dedicated to save the US' threatened national symbol, the Bald Eagle, said: "It took four years of defensive legal fighting to stop the rock band's frivolous litigation. We've always viewed their claims as completely baseless and their demands for damages unreasonable. "Considering the nature of our conservation cause, it's obvious why we use the words 'eagle,' 'eagles' and 'American eagle' in promoting our public education and fundraising activities," said Cecere. "The words 'eagle' or 'eagles' have been associated with the USA's national symbol for over two hundred years now. Since the founding of our nation and the time of George Washington, those words have been used by tens of thousands of commercial companies to promote products and business. "In fact, eagle-themed words have been used in hundreds of songs and many entertainment enterprises, some long before the Eagles rock band was born. The fame and popularity of these words in history and folklore certainly precedes the band," he said. Earlier this year ageing rocker Bruce Springsteen lost his battle to gain control of the domain brucespringsteen.com. ® Related Story Bruce Springsteen loses cybersquatting dispute
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2001

Infineon Q3 sales slump 30%

Infineon expects to report a pre-tax loss as high as $512 million (600 million euros) for its Q3. Chip price crashes, excess inventories, and slow mobile-phone sales have caused its sales to fall by 30 per cent in the quarter ending 30 June. Infineon will slash capital expenditure by one billion euros ($850 million) in its next financial year. It is also freezing recruitment and not replacing any staff when they leave. Chief Executive Ulrich Schumacher said he expects the company will make a loss in Q4 as well. ® Related Story Chip gloom deepens - sales may now fall 28% this year
Robert Blincoe, 20 Jun 2001

Women.com sued over plagiarism

Women.com is facing a 1,000,000 euro (£600,000) lawsuit from Euregio.net, which claims the company secretly cut and pasted copyrighted features on its InternetHoroscopes.com site in order to improve its search engine ranking. Euregio - a Belgian ISP and content provider for women's interests - claims Women.com copied text from its EasyScopes.com and pasted it in white on a white background. This meant people visiting the site wouldn't actually see the text but search engines would pick up the content and up Women.com's search engine rating. Euregio is claiming an abuse of its copyright on the text and wants one million euro in payment. In the text, the company claims, the word EasyScopes was replaced by InternetHoroscopes but the rest of it was repeated as is, including spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. When it received a complaint, Women.com removed the offending text but Euregio says it has no idea how long the site had been using its text and that the company didn't give an assurance it wouldn't do so again. The suit was filed after Women.com failed to reply to further correspondence. A copyright infringement is very easy to find if someone is minded to do so. You simply need to search on segments of your text or on your trademarks and the same method that will boost a company's search engine rating will also reveal any abuses. There are a number of companies throughout the world whose job it is to do just this. A corporate pays the company to trawl the Internet and write a report on any trademark abuses. The report is then either used to force Web sites to remove the content or it is retained as a backup for future disputes. ®
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2001

Sun challenges Intel to arm wrestling competition

Computing benchmarks might give vendors bragging rights but they hardly provide users with a straightforward answer of whose technology is superior. Mindful of this, Sun Microsystems has thrown down the gauntlet to Intel and last night challenged Chipzila to an arm wrestling competition. Sun is putting forward workgroup server product marketing manager, Matthew Keep (said by colleagues to be a "bit tasty") against the finest Intel can field for a best of five tournament, to take place in an East End pub by mutual agreement. Of course the arm wrestling competition isn't exactly a scientific way of deciding the relative merits of UltraSPARC III and Itanium but at least it'll reveal a clear winner - and won't involve making sense of statistics. Like many good ideas the arm wrestling challenge was thought up over a beer in a curry house and we reckon the idea is a real winner. As well as an "alternative" to TPC benchmarks, arm wrestling could become a part of the competitive tendering process. This is an idea that could run and run... ® Related Stories Compaq Alpha box steals 9i benchmark laurels Itanium cranium drainium
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2001

WinXP server goes .NET – so good they named it twice

Bill Gates yesterday christened the server edition of Windows XP "Windows.NET Server," the goldfish in the marketing department having apparently forgotten that Microsoft had already christened the product Windows 2002 Server a little over a month ago. And while we're about it we might as well note that today's big "Windows XP ready PCs" announcement is of something that's been kicking around Microsoft's site since April. This one is just as dull as it was two months ago, although this time around Microsoft is claiming 100 PC models have received WinXP ready certification. The re-rechristening of XP Server, however, is more than just a foul up and/or Microsoft attempting to milk publicity out of a non-announcement. If you cast your mind back to the original .NET announcements you'll recall that the product that was to become Windows XP was being slated to include some early elements of .NET technology. But the real thing would be later. At the time you may also recall The Register floating the notion that .NET quite probably wasn't so much a set of technologies (or indeed an OS) as a huge pile of everything Microsoft owned, content very much included, linked together by a kind of Grand Unified Theory the Redmond marketing department had cooked up and christened ".NET". But actually, most of the stuff Microsoft was calling .NET existed already, so it wasn't so much a question of shipping .NET as of making a marketing decision as to when to call it .NET. Microsoft has variously declared that both Whistler/WinXP and Blackcomb will be the first .NET operating systems (it may even have been Bill both times), but as Bill has now actually nailed the name to the product, then the first one will indeed be XP Server. In his speech (at Teched), incidentally, he also confirmed that what is now Windows.NET Server will ship next year, not this. The next question is, why is it .NET Server? What is it about the software that makes it .NET Server while Win2k Server is not a .NET product? What bits are stuck on that can't/won't be stuck on to Win2k server? Marketing decision. ®
John Lettice, 20 Jun 2001

Data Protection Registrar on UK data swapping plans

The Information Commissioner Elizabeth France – formerly the Data Protection Registrar says data swapping proposals won't require major changes to existing DP legislation. According to the Daily Telegraph, the UK government is to permit data exchanges between government agencies. New legislation will be introduced in the form of a 'Data Sharing and Privacy Bill' allowing Whitehall departments to pool departments individual silos of personal data, the Telegraph reports here. According to the report, the think tank responsible for the proposals has considered and rejected a central unique identifier for citizens - the equivalent of a digital identity card. France was a member of the Cabinet Office advisory group on the forthcoming legislation and said the Telegraph report contained speculation. "You don't increase consumer confidence by reducing the information available," she told The Register. "It recognizes the dual objectives of privacy and data sharing and suggests ways those might be achieved." "Citizens can already check what personal data is held about them, who's holding it and how they are processing it - that's a fundamental of the Data Protection Act. New legislation can't do anything to alter that. The Act will always require holders to notify what sharing is taking place." She denied that UK Data Protection Legislation would need to be revised. Some Whitehall departments have their own frameworks governing the extent of data sharing, such as the Inland Revenue. But the same safeguards would apply to the Bureaucratic panopticon envisaged in the new bill. "No doubt one needs to revisit the basis for the collection of citizen data - some citizens would like data to be shared, the classic example being 'Do I have to tell everyone I've moved house?' But citizens must know what is being held, and it must completely transparent." "Departments aren't allowed to exchange now, and are usually so incompetent they couldn't do it anyway," lawyer Donald Ramsbottom told us. He thinks major changes to existing Data Protection legislation are inevitable, and condemned the use of secondary legislation as a vehicle for the proposals. "Secondary legislation is where an act spells out what the Government wants to achieve, but doesn't say how it's going to be achieved. The minister or secretary of state will do that later, typically by statutory instrument, and that's usually a rubber stamp job." Related Link The Daily Telegraph: Whitehall plans new checks on citizens
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2001

Alba's Net TV is a dog

TV maker Alba has sold just a third of the integrated Internet-TVs it expected to shift. Only 180,000 punters, out of a forecast 500,000 coughed up for the device. The price has been cut to £99, down 33 per cent, to shift the things. But the company is sticking with the product. The Guardian quotes chief executive Daniel Harris saying "We've done nothing wrong except maybe marginally over-estimate sales." Alba's Net TV cost it £17.9 million in the last year, and did its bit to reduce the group's pre-tax profits from £18.5 million to £2.7 million. The company now expects to shift another 200,000 units by the end of the year. Virigin.net is a 20 per cent shareholder in the product. ®
Robert Blincoe, 20 Jun 2001

Gharlane of Eddore is dead

Near legendary Usenet poster Gharlane of Eddore has died, prompting a search for his true identity. His death was announced on a sci-fi newsgroup, appropriately enough, and quickly received messages from a large number of saddened users. However, when something of his real-life persona crept into dedications made on the group, a search for his identity began. Gharlane was fiercely protective of his identity, which a friend said was in response to him being approached in real life by people he didn't know. Despite a number of details about Gharlane being published, his identity has been hard to pin down. The man who lived in Sacramento but held Nevada to be his true home, who was good friends with sci-fi legend EE Smith, was a published author of sci-fi stories and a TV and film critic, who apparently spoke Russian and Arabic (although not very clearly), was a scout leader, did a tour in Vietnam and who passed away last Sunday leaving an 11-year-old son. He is something of an enigma. The friend who announced his death has offered to accept any gifts to the man at his own address, extending people's natural inquisitiveness all the more. Gharlane of Eddore was named after a character created by sci-fi legend EE Smith. He asked EE Smith for permission to use the name before embarking on a Usenet career that saw hundreds touched (and enraged) by his frequent postings. He was extremely witty with a wide-ranging and extensive knowledge - particularly anything sci-fi. His absolute hatred of poor acting, writing or flimsy attention to detail caused many a spat with other users. His frequent grumpiness didn't help much either. But most of those offended at his remarks soon made up with the man. His death has come as a sorry blow to many Usenet posters. ® Related Link Gharlane's death announced
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2001

RSA is bumflap of online insurers

Insurer Royal & SunAlliance is in the doghouse after its missing pooch marketing campaign designed to promote its new Web site upset small children and council officials. Parts of London were splattered with posters asking if people had seen "Lucky the Dog" (an Airedale/collie cross) who was reportedly missing. RSA's call centre received more than 20,000 calls and the whereslucky.com Web site received many more visitors in response to the plea. But many were upset when they found out this was just a stunt. Some parents even complained that their children were distressed by the posters of the "missing" mutt, admitted a spokeswoman for the insurer. And it gets worse. Officials at Westminster City Council have got the huff with RSA for fly-posting - an act that can carry a fine of £1,000 per poster if the offending items aren't removed. The actions of RSA were branded as "irresponsible back-street tactics" by Westminster City Council, according to This Is London. A spokeswoman for RSA said the posters were already being removed and that the campaign was merely a teaser for the start of a TV ad campaign for its new batch of online insurance services. Oh, just in case this story wasn't techie enough for you, here's something to lift the spirits. "MORE TH>N", the typographically eccentric name for RSA's new retail Web site is based on the InterX Net2020 content management software platform. Apparently. Back to corporate stunts: in April IBM was caught tagging the streets of San Francisco. And Last year boo.com received a slap for littering London with little stickers advertising its Web site. In fact, after we ran the story a whole load of stickers mysteriously appeared in Maddox Street, the home of Vulture Central. Bless. ®
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2001

GPS used to spy on rental drivers

A driver is suing a car hire firm, which charged him $450 for allegedly speeding in a van fitted with a hi-tech device for spying on drivers. According to the New Haven Advocate, James Turner is taking Acme Rent-A-Car to court over penalties levied on him for "going at speeds in excess of 90 mph on three separate occasions." The van was fitted with a system based on GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite technology whose primary purpose was to monitor drivers rather than help them with navigation. Acme uses technology from wireless application service provider AirIQ called OnBoard which "keeps track of where the vehicle is, what direction it is going, what speed it is travelling". OnBoard, which uses an on-board computer with integrated GPS (Global Positioning System) and wireless transceiver, can even be used to disable a vehicle or lock its doors with the "point and click of a mouse". In the case of Turner, the technology reportedly recorded him speeding while he made a journey through seven states last October. Tuner had been a regular customer of Acme and didn't notice the small print in his rental agreement, which said, "vehicles in excess of posted speed limit will be charged $150 fee per occurrence". Acme levied the "fines" on Turner through his debit card; it had nothing to do with any police action. The company has defended its business practices and will contest Turner's claims when they come to court. Six other claims have also been filed against Acme. Quite apart from whether the technology proves someone is speeding and whether due process of law was followed by Acme we reckon that the car hire firm has scored an own goal when it comes to customer management. However you feel about speeding, would you be happy hiring a car knowing that the car hire firm can spy on you? This is a use of technology that deserves to be left in the lay-by. ® External Links AirIQ GPS: Gotta Pay for Speeding (from New Haven Advocate Related Stories Eye in sky plan to control UK cars' speed Boffins improve GPS to half a centimetre accuracy Rat-killers use GPS
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2001

Red Hat moves Into the black

Red Hat has moved into the black for the first time since going public - a significant psychological milestone for the company. The company reported a profit of $3.7 million with revenue up by $4m, almost all attributable to subscription services, from the previous quarter. As Red Hat was within a whisker of profitability in its last quarter - reporting a loss of $600,000 - that isn't a great surprise. The company managed to cut marketing and general expenses in the period, while increasing spending on R&D. Cost savings of $6m bring the company into the black. Red Hat will also take cheer from the fact that it appears to have weathered the worst of the tech recession, with revenue down a mere 4 per cent from the last quarter of 2000. Unfortunately two typos in Red Hat's own financial statement make reading the figures more difficult than it should be. In two sections of the detailed release, both columns - containing different numbers - are headed 'May 31, 2001', where they should read 'February 28, 2001'. We think... ® Related Story Red Hat stems Red Ink
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2001

Govt unveils new legislation in Queen's Speech

After a difficult last term with regard to technology, the Labour government has announced its intention to ignore it and hope it will all go away in the Queen's Speech today. If you don't know, the Queen's Speech consists of Liz II, having opened Parliament in her role as the monarch, saying what "her" government intends to do in the next session. Despite it being called her speech, the government writes it for her and she just reads it out (beautifully, mind). However, having scoured the speech, we have failed to find one proposed Bill that involves the IT industry or the Internet. It's not a complete search - we haven't had time to go through all the Bills and, besides they aren't available at the moment. There is, for example, the Home Office's intention to bring in its daft anti-Net paedophile legislation - that'll be in the controversial new criminal justice Bill, but in what form? In fact, it's worse than that because the legislation about creating super-regulator Ofcom will only be produced in draft form, so won't be punted through this time. In fact, it's even worse than that: they've also dropped the Bill to extend licensing hours - the only issue, incidentally, that Labour targeted at young voters in its text message mail-out. Bastards. So what will be the main legislation from now until Autumn 2002? Well, there were 20 bills in total. The main ones were regarding schools and the NHS. Controversial ones will be welfare changes and more criminal justice. New home secretary Blunkett proposes to (retrospectively) get rid of the rule that you can't be tried twice for the same crime. Good news for cases like the Stephen Lawrence murder. Bad news for hundreds of years of tradition. The House of Lords reform will continue - killing off the rest of the hereditary peers (a sad loss really considering the ones remaining from the last cull stayed on because of their contribution to the Lords). Hunting with dogs is due to be banned. That'll kick off. And then some changes by Gordon Brown who wants to encourage small businesses more. We don't know yet whether this is by tax breaks or grants. The government also intends to make all-women shortlists for political seats legal in the interests of equality. One thing we can all be sure on is that the government will get most of its Bills through with ease thanks to its huge majority. All the more reason to study the legislation carefully as the opposition's traditional deals for aiding (or rather, not preventing) a Bill's progress will be ineffective (again). Incidentally, the BBC has done a very good at-a-glance summary of the speech here. Bootnote Amusingly, on the government's busiest day of the year for announcing its intentions, it has put out five of the most tedious press releases we have ever seen. They are as follows: New hope for threatened Albatrosses and Petrels; Your local strategic partnership needs you!; FCO Family Bulletin; Cargo vessel rolls over fishing vessel; and Wigan is a good LEA, says Ofsted. Fascinating stuff. ®
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2001

Toshiba is having summer chip plant shutdown

Toshiba is to temporarily cut chip output this summer because of weak demand and growing inventories. Output at a chip memory plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, is to be slashed by 30 per cent. This will be partly achieved by suspending some of its older production lines. The Mie plant produces DRAMs and SRAMs. There will also be a 19 day shutdown of a major transistor plant in Hyogo Prefecture that supplies cell phone makers, and a 13 day closure of a plant in Fukuoka Prefecture making commodity-grade integrated circuits. The summer cutbacks will be implemented from late July to mid-August. ® Related Stories Infineon Q3 sales slump 30% Chip gloom deepens - sales may now fall 28% this year
Robert Blincoe, 20 Jun 2001

Phreaking cheap calls on offer

Telecoms firm Komtel is offering calls to selected international locations at UK national phone rates. Users of the service dial into an international call gateway using an 0871 national rate number. They then receive a dial tone and can call countries in North America, Australia and certain European states. The International CallSaver Gateway service can be used by mobile users to dial overseas even if their phone bars international calls. More details on the service are available here. National rates at capped at 10p per minute so the service halves the cost of US calls and slashes costs to European countries by two thirds. Initially we thought there must be a catch but Oftel assured us what Komtel was doing was a recognised way of providing services. A spokesman said the only limitation on this kind of service was whether firms could sustain a profitable business model operating such services. Steve Thorpe, services manager at the Telecommunications Users Association, said a firm called Comxo provides a similar service. He said that companies bulk buy telecommunications capacity in order to offer cheaper rates than BT to their customers. Using voice over IP can also be used to reduce costs, he added. ®
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2001

GPL Pacman will eat your business, warns Gates

Microsoft's latest shot in the anti-GPL war comes from His Billness himself and - bizarrely - likens it to a small yellow blob that starred in 1980s arcade games. Mike Ricciuti of Cnet should be given due credit for extracting this BillBlurt, in an interview conducted this week at TechEd. Protesting that Microsoft's views on open source have been "misunderstood," Gates comes up with something not so much misunderstandable as only marginally comprehensible: "But if you say to people, 'Do you understand the GPL?' (then) they're pretty stunned when the Pac-Man-like nature of it is described to them." Think hard about that one - it's a little thing that runs around gobbling up everything it comes across, like alternative GUIs for Dos, disk compression, independent TCP/IP stacks, the browser market, email clients, instant messaging, digital audio and CD burning... No wait, that's something else entirely. What Bill really means is that the GPL is the Borg/bodysnatcher de nos jours, tainting everything it comes into contact with and assimilating it to The Hive. Which takes us back to previous Microsoft claims that it's a cancer, un-American, a virus, communism. One does puzzle about why these claims could be deemed to have been misunderstood. Widely-mocked, yes... Aside from his weird new image, Gates seems largely to be peddling the current Microsoft line on the GPL, claiming that it makes it impossible for a commercial company to use any of that [i.e. GPL] work or build on that work." This line is of course almost entirely untrue, the small nugget of veracity being that you can't just lift GPL code and shove it straight into Microsoft Bloat 2002 without there being some kind of come-back. Whereas you're perfectly free to swipe any of that source code that Microsoft is so busily sharing, amend it as you wish then resell it as part of your own product line. Well all right, you can't do that either but presumably these two situations are entirely different for reasons that Bill Gates can, but we cannot, fathom. Bill adds that what happened with Sendmail and TCP/IP couldn't have happened under the GPL; we could at this juncture conjure with the notion that not being able to swipe things and run off with them would inconvenience certain large commerical developers greatly, but on reflection we fear we'd better not. Meanwhile, Microsoft's latest tack in the anti-GPL FUD war is a document authored by the "Shared Source Initiative" (presumably the Redmond Green Beret team on this particular case) and aimed at 'explaining' the issues associated with GpL software to businesses. One of the highlights of this wondrous document is that "Because the GPL is so frequently misunderstood and because it attempts, under certain circumstances, to impose significant obligations on licensees and their intellectual property rights, no responsible business should use GPL software without ensuring that its lawyers have read the license and explained the business’ rights and obligations." We at The Register shamefully neglected our fiduciary duties to our shareholders by letting our techies shove Red Hat onto the server without first commissioning a detailed legal analysis of the implications And now we're going to get sued, die and go to hell, oh dear oh dear. Much more similar hilarity can be downloaded in Word .doc format here, while Professor Eben Moglen mounts a counter-blast in LinuxUser here. Thanks to LinuxUser for drawing the document to our attention. Much more information about the wonderful world of shared but not touched or interfered with in the slightest source code can be found here. Delightfully, the "licensing" link at the top of the page simply leads to an explanation of how to give Microsoft money in volume. But obviously you don't need a lawyer to read a Microsoft licence anyway, because they're so straightforward - just remember it's not yours, you have no rights, and your rental period is up soon. ® Why GPL software strangles babies and leaves stains on the carpet: Ballmer: Linux is cancer Microsoft torches RMS, RMS torches Caldera Microsoft co-opts Caldera, Torvalds in Shared Source offensive
John Lettice, 20 Jun 2001

HP shows off home entertainment centre

Throw away your Frisco-Disco solid state home entertainment centre - Hewlett-Packard is entering the market. According to the HP press release the Digital Entertainment Centre will enable customers to: Record music to CDs with a built in CD-writer Transfer music to select MP3 players, handhelds and memory card readers Download music and artist information and access streaming video through dial-up, DSL or cable connections; Store, manage and automatically catalogue up approximately 9,000 tracks View music selections and other product features through an on-screen TV display and simple remote control Access RealNetworks' RealPlayer and RealJukebox services Connect to stereo and TV components. The Digital Entertainment Center will go on sale in time for Christmas 2001. Pricing's not been set yet. If you want to see a pic click target="_blank">here. The device will be on show at the Tech Expo in New York, June 26-28. These kind of devices have been touted as the next big thing for a while. We'll see. It'll be interesting to see if the HP brand can cut it in the consumer home entertainment world. Sony will probably be better placed to do it. In the UK Time Computers and Tiny Computers have both entered the digital home entertainment field. Tiny has its Takami box - a PC, TV, DVD player, video, and MP3 player. Time has its £499 'Player' which it has described as a 'powerful PC, hi-fi music centre with CD-player, Games console, DVD video player, powerful Internet terminal and connects to your TV.' ® Related Link HP press release Related Story Time follows Tiny with home entertainment box
Robert Blincoe, 20 Jun 2001

ADI MicroScan i610

ReviewReview Flat-panel prices are falling across the board, and this month ADI beats the competition by offering the MicroScan i610 for just £349. The i610's sleek styling looks the part, while the commendable set of hardware specifications (which include a viewing angle of 160 degrees and a contrast ratio of 300:1) wouldn't look out of place on a model costing twice as much. Hardware pivot support (allowing you to rotate the screen through 90 degrees) is a boon to anyone working regularly with Web or text documents. Although there are no USB facilities as standard, the optional hub – costing £29 – will give users a full complement of ports. The i610's built-in speakers maximise desk space and provide solid audio output for the average home or office user. Should you not want such facilities, you can save money by investing in the i600. You will have to put up with a slight reduction in hardware features (only 262,144 colours are supported, while the viewing angle and contrast ratio are brought down to 120 degrees and 250:1 respectively), but the lower £349 price tag could prove a persuasive argument. While price isn't everything, the MicroScan i610 finishes the job with its impressive image quality. The picture is incredibly sharp, the text output clear and the colour scheme, though a little light at times, is always pleasing to the eye. Try as we might, we couldn't identify the flaw that explains the MicroScan i610's low price. All we can do is advise you to suspend disbelief and replace that bulky CRT monitor with this sleek and slimline alternative. ® Info Price: £349 Contact: 020 8327 1900 Website: www.adieurope.com Specs Dimensions: 389x63x405mm Weight: 5.0kg Screen Size: 15.0in Dot Pitch: 0.297mm Viewing Angle: 160 degrees Max Refresh Rate: 1024x768@75Hz This review is taken from the June 2001 issue. All details correct at time of publication. Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.
PC Advisor, 20 Jun 2001

Palm looks to Intel for next CPU?

Rumours have resurfaced that Palm may be planning to use an Intel ARM-based processor over Motorola's new ARM chip, announced t'other week. So, at any rate, says an item over at Palm Infocenter that cites no sources for the rumour, and doesn't offer much to back the claim up. Nevertheless, the site reckons Palm may choose Intel's XScale processor, derived from the StrongARM technology it acquired off DEC some years back. That Palm is moving its OS to ARM is now well established. So too is Motorola's desire to retain Palm's business, hence its move, announced late last year, to license ARM's processor technology. Both chips have something to commend themselves to Palm. Motorola has its integrated support for colour LCDs, USB and add-in systems like Sony's Memory Stick. That should win it Sony's support even if Palm looks elsewhere. Intel's XScale offers few, if any, of these advantages, but does offer a potentially higher clock speed than the Motorola chip. The Dragonball MX1, as the ARM-based part will be called, maxes out at 200MHz. XScale can go higher, but certainly not up to its maximum speed of 1GHz, not on batteries, at any rate. Palm's choice is likely to be based on finances rather than specs. On one side there's Motorola with has enjoyed a long relationship with Palm and wants to keep it, and on the other is Intel, which would probably cut Palm a very good deal to win its business. And since Compaq's iPaq is Intel-based, Palm might go that way to eliminate as much of a hardware differential between it and its main rival. Palm may have no intention of going to Intel, but dropping a few hints here and there might well act to concentrate Motorola's mind on getting its ARM-based chip out quickly and at a cost favourable to Palm. The ARM-based PalmOS is some way off yet, so Palm probably doesn't have to decide which processor partner to choose just yet. Expect it play both sides against each other in the meantime. however. ® Related Stories Motorola unveils 200MHz ARM-based Palm processor Palm processor to incorporate Sony Memory Stick Motorola ARM-based Palm chip to go 0.13 micron in 2002 Related Link Palm Infocenter: Palm going to pick Intel instead of Motorola
Tony Smith, 20 Jun 2001

Email on the way out

Email is on the way out when it comes to communicating with people, at least according to Which? Online. The consumer group says that only one person in 20 sees email as their preferred method of communication. Amazingly, people have become more human since last year, when the figure was one in seven. Instead, folk prefer to - get this - actually meet people face-to-face. Twice as many said they most preferred to actually see their friends/associates than last year. It's radical but it might just work. Which? puts this worrying trend down to the overuse of email - information overload and all that. The survey also reckons that two-thirds of Internet users spend less than five hours a week online and the number of sites they visit has fallen 12 per cent. This, Which? complains, is because of the fear of being ripped off online or being subjected to unpleasant material. That sounds a bit far-fetched, especially considering that people being ripped off or offended is Which? core business. Unsurprisingly, more people are connected to the Net than last year, the percentage of women online has grown and we are spending more on e-commerce. ®
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2001

Intel CEO takes on Postman Pat

Intel CEO Craig Barrett admitted today that he had been "wound up" by claims that use of email and the Internet is waning. Indeed, he reserved special vitriol for British institution Postman Pat - and, by extension, the Post Office itself - chosen by the UK's Guardian newspaper to illustrate a feature asking whether the email bubble has burst? "Postman Pat's days are numbered," the leader of the world's largest chip company threatened. Perhaps he knows too much.... Whatever, 'Uncle' Craig was in town to address a select audience - ie. customers - and present his vision for the future of the company in the post-dotcom era. Repeatedly, he stressed that the Internet remains the most important business, communications and entertainment medium and thus a key driver for Intel's sales. He also made it clear that the driving force behind this vision of the Internet is broadband networking. The implication: broadband Internet access will drive the adoption of the high-end PCs needed to create and access the kind of "rich content" (to use Barrett's words) that broadband makes it possible to deliver. We have the client and server technology, said one of Barrett's colleagues during the show. "The only missing piece is the bandwidth." Broadly, we'd agree with Barrett, but the question remains: when will this broadband world he envisages come to pass? Intel isn't sure. Said one staffer running one of his boss' demonstrations: Broadband is "inevitable... hopefully." Barrett did at least criticise pay-per-minute Internet dial-up as "archaic" and went on to praise the UK for its early adoption (among European states) for flat-rate dial-up charges. We'd suggest he take a look at our FRIACO coverage before making such a claim again. Equally, he might like to listen to many of our readers' tales of life with ADSL before claiming the UK is one of the broadband leaders. Actually, we reckon Barrett knows where the problem lies - as he himself said: "I've told Mr [not, you'll note, 'Sir Peter'] Bonfield that several times." He was also remarkably honest about the dotcom bubble - in a spin-doctored kind of way, mind you - and tacitly admitted that Intel's stock was overvalued at the peak of dotcom mania. Speaking of tech stocks such as his own, Barrett noted that the "tide rose with the [dotcoms'] valuation... a bit early and out of proportion". But despite the bursting of the bubble, he said, the Internet continues to grow around the world - he cited India, China and South America as opportunity markets - and that will provide expanding markets for client, server and infrastructure hardware, even if the US and European markets stagnate. ® Related Story Intel will pursue processor price war - Barrett
Tony Smith, 20 Jun 2001

Stealth detection system disappears from screens

UpdatedUpdated A British research and development company, which claims to have invented a method to detect stealth aircraft, has clammed up on details about its technology. Roke Manor Research has decided not to speak to the press after UK national the Daily Telegraph ran an article on the detection system. Roke claims the Telegraph misquoted the company's head of projects. [The truth or arse covering? - you decide, Ed] The system uses a traditional mobile phone network to detect stealth aircraft as they pass silently through the ether. Although the aircraft have advanced coatings which absorb conventional radar signals, they apparently still reflect back enough radiation emitted from mobile phone masts to be detected by special ground receivers. The receivers are linked to a central computer which - in sync with a GPS satellite - is able to position the aircraft to within 10 metres. The central computer could conceivably be a simple notebook operated by ground troops. Once exposed, the stealth aircraft would be easy prey for convential ground-to-air missiles. Disabling the system would require the complete destuction of a target country's mobile phone mast network - in reality, an impossible task. Considering the potential of this system to completely undermine the US's stealth aircraft programme, it might be reasonable to assume that the military there is taking a close interest. Not so, according to Roke Manor Research, despite claims by the Daily Telegraph. According to the Telegraph Peter Lloyd, head of projects at the laboratory's sensor department, said: "I cannot comment in detail because it is a classified matter, but let's say the US military is very interested." Lloyd today denied ever having said that the project was classified, or that the US military has expressed an interest. He added that the article was a "gross distortion of the truth", and that he was under instructions not to talk to the press. Details on the project have been removed from Roke Manor Research's website. Despite the company's assertions, it is indeed unlikely that the US military has not taken a degree of 'interest' in this project. After all, the US is the only country currently actively deploying stealth aircraft - the F-117 and B-2. It also has the F-22 'Raptor' in development. The Telegraph article claims that, according to 'military sources', the Serbs may have used a crude version of the same technology to shoot down an F-117 during the Kosovo crisis. If this is true, then the US will be keeping a very close eye on an ingenious idea which could, at a stroke, render its multi-billion dollar stealth programme obsolete. ® Update - 21 June Roke Manor may have removed the links to the original article on its site, but it's still available here. Worth a look. Bootnote Another Roke Manor Research product recently made the news. The company's 'Hawk-Eye' system has been tested in a cricket match between England and Pakistan. The technology is able to accurately track the path of the ball from bowler to batsman in three dimensions. It is hoped that this will eventually lead to the umpires being able to call upon an impartial technological 'third umpire' to resolve borderline lbw decisions. Perhaps the company might like also to consider a device which can detect meetings between cricketers and bent bookies - now that would be a breakthrough. Related Links Roke Manor Research Roke Manor's Hawk-Eye The Telegraph article
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2001

Thomas C Greene ties the knot

Our Washington correspondent, scourge of Feds, Reds and tech-heads, Thomas C Greene went and tied the knot yesterday at 3pm. Here at Vulture Central, we only met his Malaysian bride Eeleng Ong briefly when she came over with Thomas last summer and we wish them all the best for the future. Ideally for Thomas, he met Eeleng on IRC three years ago before embarking on a tour of France and the good old UK with her. And for a further techie angle, Thomas' best man was none other than SecurityFocus scribe Kevin Poulsen, whose lovely girlfriend, EFF legal beagle Lauren Gelman, stood up as Eeleng's bridesmaid. As for compatibility, Thomas had this to say: "I reckon travel brings out the worst in people, and if a couple can enjoy each other's company in those circumstances, they're likely to be well matched." "As for shared interests, we despise each other's book and music collections; I tend to laugh at movies that make her cry and vice versa; she's brilliant with numbers while I can hardly remember my own birthday -- but we're both hopelessly enthusiastic foodies, and I, luckily, am a gifted cook. Ya gotta love a woman who can savour good whiskey and Cognac without water, dig the hell out of an acidic, mineral-laden white Burgundy on a hot afternoon, or tear into foie gras swimming in a cream reduction without giving a single neurotic thought to her dress size." He then cheekily asked for the day off. He's currently incommunicado -- if that's what you call it. ®
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2001

Bookham axes 100 workers

Over-hyped optical networking vendor, Bookham Technology plc, is to cull 12 per cent of its workforce amid plummeting sales and little sign of any immediate upturn in demand. One hundred jobs will be lost at the London Stock Exchange- and NASDAQ-listed company as it reported today that sales for the quarter ended July 1 would be down 45-55 percent on the previous three months, although still up around 15-35 per cent on the same quarter in 2000. Shares in London tumbled 49p (17.6 per cent) to 230p by mid afternoon - a far cry from the £55 a share it recorded last year. The company blamed declining "market conditions" for the job losses and revised figures. In a statement, Giorgio Anania, president and CEO, said: "Near-term visibility in our market place remains poor." "We continue to look carefully at our cost structure, especially in manufacturing. "At the same time, there is plenty of work ongoing with customers to design in our new products, and we are seeing good progress in this area. Therefore we are continuing to invest heavily in R&D, which we are able to maintain because of our strong cash position," he said. ®
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2001

Mitel founder honour enrages Canada

The phone lines between Canada and the UK have today been hot with invective after it was announced that Welsh-born business supremo Terry Matthews has been bestowed a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours. Canadian prime minister Jean Chrieten has been on the blower to Tony Blair to express his displeasure at the news. It seems that Mr Matthews' knighthood will breach Candian protocol which prevents Candian citizens from accepting foreign honours. Matthews holds dual British/Canadian nationality. Although he is based in Canada, he does, however, still retain a modest estate in the land of his fathers. Indeed, Matthews meteoric career began in Wales. He entered telecoms at the humble age of 16, working for British Telecom Research labs. He went on to found Mitel Corporation in 1972 and Newbridge Networks Corporation in 1986. His success has made him the world's only Welsh billionaire, or, if you prefer, the world's foremost Welsh/Candian billionaire. Whatever your stance, it's clear that the man is basically as Welsh as a cartload of leeks. With a few maple leaves and seal pelts mixed in, it's true. But why the Candian PM expects to be consulted on this matter escapes us. ®
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2001

Intel will pursue processor price war – Barrett

Intel CEO Craig Barrett today pledged to maintain the company's "aggressive" price war with AMD. Speaking in London, Barrett denied the chip giant's rival any quarter in the fight for processor marketshare. Well, all but 20 per cent of the market, at any rate. "We have had 80 per cent plus marketshare," he said. "We intend to stay at that level or move upward." To do so, Intel will maintain its "aggressive" pricing policy, he said. The sentiment won't surprise AMD, which has made 30 per cent marketshare its goal. Barrett also said that the company's support for Rambus memory was no barrier to sales of its processors. As evidence, he cited the arrival of sub-$1000 Pentium 4-based PCs. He also said there were no problems with the supply of Rambus RDRAM. He did, however, admit that the current economic climate had hit P4 sales. ® Related Story Intel CEO takes on Postman Pat
Tony Smith, 20 Jun 2001

Kournikova suspect to stand trial in September

The alleged author of the infamous Anna Kournikova worm is to face prosecution, according to reports by a Dutch news service. OnTheFly will face charges of for spreading information over a computer network with the intention of causing damage in a hearing set for September 12. WebWereld Netherlands reports that if convicted he faces a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 100 000 guilders. If sent to a higher court a sentence of up to four year in jail might be imposed, but this seems unlikely. Dutch law does not allow the full name of a suspect to be released prior to trial and the 20 year-old is referred only as Jan de W (not his full name, which we have, but won't publish in deference to Dutch customs). Andre Post, a senior antivirus researcher Symantec's Antivirus Research Center (SARC), said that he doubted whether de W. would be convicted of intentionally spreading the worm. Because OnTheFly co-operated with the police he's likely to only be convicted of lesser charges, Post added. OnTheFly printed a confession-come-apology for spreading the virus prior to turning himself in to police in his hometown of Sneek. He became something of a local celebrity and the town's mayor even offered the suspected Internet vandal a job on the strength of his non-existent computer expertise. Thankfully for Sneek's municipal computer department, nothing came of this misguided offer. The Anna Kounikova email worm using a Visual Basic Worm Generator, written by [K]Alamar. After it was released onto the Internet in February it spread rapidly and provoked a number firms to shut down their email servers as a precaution. Whilst it caused a great deal of inconvenience and irritation its effects were far less severe than early reports suggested and it caused nothing like the damage caused by the Love Bug. Post said only three or four people have ever been convicted of writing viruses. He suggested prosecutors would do better to target the creators of virus toolkits rather than s'kiddies who use them but admitted there was little sign of effective action on this. ® External Links Dutch report Related Stories Dutch police arrest Anna Kornikova virus suspect Anna-bug author OnTheFly 'fesses up Anna Kournikova bug drops harmlessly onto the Net Anna Kournikova virus spreading like wildfire Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug Reports of death of email viruses greatly exaggerated? Rise in viruses within emails outpacing growth of email
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2001

Sign up here for a trip to Mars

Let's face it, none us has much chance of ever standing on the surface of the Mars. In truth, the Reg hacks have enough trouble making the 30-yard trip from the pub to the office without mishap. A quick trip to the red planet is - frankly - out of the question. Nevertheless, you can participate in NASA's 2003 Mars rover mission. The administration has come up with the ingenious idea of letting people sign up online and having their name recorded on a CD which will accompany the mission. According to Dr. Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Science, "Everyone on Earth who has ever dreamed of being an explorer on an alien planet will want to go along for the ride as we explore the surface of Mars." Admittedly, the whole thing's aimed at kids, but all you space cadets out there who should know better might be tempted to show that they have the 'right stuff.' So, if you'd like to send your moniker into the great beyond, proceed directly to NASA's sign-up page and plant your flag in alien soil. ®
Lester Haines, 20 Jun 2001

Trading Standards – the anorak of the wired world

Trading Standards officers - the workhorses of consumer rights in the UK - have called for a massive investment in technology and training to deal with the rise in e-commerce. A new report Surfing the Big Wave launched on Wednesday at the annual conference of the Trading Standards Institute in Cardiff said the investment was necessary to boost consumer confidence and reassure them that the same protection they receive in the high street is available online too. Currently, many trading standards offices are ill equipped to access the Net. Many officials also lack the skills to navigate the Web and prepare a legal case using information from the Net. If the recommendations are adopted it's hoped that consumers will be more confident about buying online and reporting Web-based scams. Among other proposals it's been suggested Trading Standards creates a national Internet enforcement team. The report is a response to concerns that Trading Standards has fallen slightly behind the times and become unable to protect consumers in the wired world. ®
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2001

VIA Pentium 4 chipset will undercut Intel's

VIA has pledged to beat Intel on price when it ships its Pentium 4-based DDR SDRAM chipset. VIA said yesterday it will price the P4X266 at no more than $35. According to Taiwan's Economic Times newspaper, that's between ten per cent and 20 per cent below Intel's own P4 chipsets, the RDRAM-based 850 and the single data rate 845 (aka Brookdale). The paper puts the 850 at $43 and the 845 at $40. It also notes that Taiwanese industry sources claim VIA's alternative performs "almost" as well as the Intel parts. VIA can make the claim, says the paper, because it requires only a four-layer motherboard, compared to the six-layer mobo Intel's 845 necessitates. Intel says the 845 requires only four layers, but even so, it may still prove more expensive than VIA's product. VIA has been courting mobo makers to win their support for the P4X266, even though the part lacks Intel's official sanction. Intel, of course, claims that VIA has no right to ship the part because it hasn't licensed the chip giant's the relevant parts of Pentium 4 technology. VIA, on the other hand, says it has licensed said technology through its acquisition of licence-holder S3's graphics chip operation. At Computex earlier this month, VIA said it would ship the P4X266 without Intel's blessing, though that hasn't stopped it trying to win over the chip giant over the last few months. Indeed, the Economic News piece suggests it may still be talking to Intel in the hope that a settlement can be reached. The P4X266 is set to ship sometime next quarter, ahead of other third-party P4 DDR chipsets from SIS and Acer Labs, and certainly before the DDR version of Brookdale, which isn't scheduled to ship until Q1 2002. If the VIA chipset ships in August, as anticipated, it will even come ahead of the SDR versiong of Brookdale, which isn't expected to ship before September. ® Related Stories VIA preps August launch for Pentium 4 DDR chipset Intel poo-poos VIA Pentium 4 chipset
Tony Smith, 20 Jun 2001

Sun Hardware Roadmaps rain on The Reg

ExclusiveExclusive Dr Doolittle talked to the animals. But in the land of the rising Sun, all the animals talk to the Vulture. According to a snake in the long grass, Sun Microsystems' long overdue update of its workgroup servers is almost upon us. The 4-way server codenamed Cherrystone and 8-way server codenamed Daktari will be first to appear. Both use UltraSPARC III processors starting at 750Mhz. Cherrystone and Daktari systems will appear under the monikers SunFire 440R and 880R, and boast hot swapping PCI and dynamic reconfiguration . It's not clear whether Daktari will ship with a model of Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion, but we very much hope so. Sun's existing range of SunFires (3800, 4800 and 6800) was enameled with UltraSPARC IIIs late last year. The Serengeti* 'midframe' servers that we told you about here last September finally debuted earlier this year. That leaves the beast of the jungle, the E10000, looking high and dry - but not for much longer. The E10000's eventual overhaul will begin with the the 72-way StarCat, to be christened the SunFire 15000, according to a terrified gazelle who has witnessed its birth. StarCat will follow on not too long after the launch of Daktari and Cherrystone. The firstborn StarCat just happens to have three times as many CPUs as the 24-way Sun Fire 6800, whose 'Safari' chipset is designed to scale very well to 24 CPUs but no further. It doesn't take a wise old monkey with a stick to remind us about Sun's COMA architecture, which has been used to glue several big boxes together in a prototype called Wildfire. SunFire 6800s have been a laboratory for evil StarCat jungle experiments. COMA is used to improve scalability by making sure everyone has a copy of commonly used memory, which will hardly cause StarCat to go weak at the knees, with it being able to take up to 2TB of main memory, more than a herd of elephants can manage. StarCats can support up to 18 system domains. Safari, so good. But temperatures will really begin to rise with the next annual revision of UltraSPARC III processor and chipset. A flock of flamingos flying south spells out the word 'Cheetah+' (Cheetah was the code name for UltraSPARC III), signifying a New and Improved Core (tm) and better external cache, timed for the Fall.". The economics are really quite interesting, if you follow the fortunes of doomed oceanliners or their sister ships. And it's timed nicely for the release of Solaris 9, currently in beta. * Register Shoestring: Sun is dropping its aitches. Preferring 'Serengeti' to 'Serengheti' - although our dictionaries tolerate both. Related Link Ace's Hardware on big Sun kit Related Stories The VAX of Life: Sun's cluster guru talks Full Moon COMA chameleons: The Reg goes inside Sun's Serengheti [sic] Lights go out on UltraSPARC III supply SunFire servers to trash HP by Friday, says McNealy
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2001

Yahoo! execs should do time for Kiddie! Porn!

The executives of Yahoo! belong in jail as kiddie porn kingpins, former US Department of Justice (DoJ) prosecutor turned family-values crusader Patrick Trueman says. "A search of Yahoo!'s Clubs and GeoCities sites, which are available to anyone including children, indicates that a seemingly endless number of the sites contain pornography, depicting children in a variety of sexual poses and involved in sex acts," he declared in a recent American Family Association (AFA) press release. (emphasis original) Trueman is urging US Attorney General John Ashcroft to launch an investigation in hopes that Yahoo! principals can be made examples with criminal penalties under federal obscenity laws. Ashcroft has long been on the record as a pornography opponent, though he's not taken any independent action against it in his role as Attorney General. The AFA is betting he'll buckle to publicity which implies that he's not living up to expectations, though we have to point out that he's obligated to prosecute the law impartially, not according to his personal agenda or that of a few like-minded activists. Trueman claims that anyone can find on Yahoo! such areas as the "Pic Club of Preteens," the "Preteen Pics up the Wazoo" Club, and references to other sites where child pornography can be found. One Yahoo! Club offers the "Complete Lolita Hookers Guide," he says. In spite of recent cutbacks in digital hardcore porn on offer, Yahoo! continues to be "a magnet for pedophiles and those seeking all varieties of hardcore pornography," he warns. We tried a simple, brief search at Yahoo!, confining our results to Yahoo! groups, on the term 'preteen pics' and came up with nothing. A search outside Yahoo brought up zillions of sites elsewhere, chiefly in Japan and Russia. A search on just 'preteen' confined to Yahoo! brought up a large selection of harmless areas for children, and no porn. We think Trueman is blowing smoke for media consumption, and has next to nothing to back it up. Even if he did find several KP-ish site or group names at Yahoo!, most Web sites with names like the ones he lists are nothing more than mouse-trapping popup dungeons trying to sell hardcore pics of retired sex workers frolicking in school uniforms. Trueman now serves as AFA's director of governmental affairs. He served as chief of the DoJ Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section During the Bush Senior Administration. ®
Thomas C Greene, 20 Jun 2001

Transmeta transmittas profit alert

Here comes another profit warning, this time from Transmeta, designer of the low-power Crusoe CPU. Sales in Q2 (ending June 30) will be 40-45 per cent down on Q1's $18.6 million turnover. The company is also transitioning in the second half of the year to 0.13 micron production. The upshot will be an inventory charge - amount so far unspecified. Transmeta blames a slowdown in Japan - most of its customers are Japanese hardware vendors and, presumably, most of their customers are Japanese also. Transmeta points to design wins and Crusoe-powered notebook launches in the US and Europe. It also says it is well-placed to resume growth as per forecasts when the economy picks up. Even so, this profit warning reminds us once again just how small this company is. ®
Drew Cullen, 20 Jun 2001

World Bank faces online sit-in

Cyber activists are threatening to disrupt a World Bank online conference. Today's Guardian reports that the Washington-based organisation decided to hold the conference on the Internet in order to avoid demos. The event, which will focus on looking at Globalisation, Poverty and Wealth, was originally scheduled to take place next week in Barcelona. Sessions during the Internet conference will be interactive, allowing people to submit questions via email to presenters; it this feature that activists will reportedly seek to exploit. The Guardian article does not say who the protestors are or what other hacker techniques, such as distributed denial of service attacks, they might employ. The Guardian article is headlined: "Cyber war declared on World Bank" but nothing in the piece really justifies such a strident headline. A spokesman for the World Bank told The Guardian: "We've taken reasonable precautions but if there is a major effort to close us down, I can't promise that the computers will hold up". ® External link The Guardian gets in a right old tizz about cyber protests
John Leyden, 20 Jun 2001