27th > August > 2002 Archive

Music industry blames Net for all evil

Despite the music industry's heroic efforts to produce, promote and distribute the finest fruits of American artistic genius, sales of CDs fell seven percent in the first half of 2002, after falling 5.3 per cent overall in 2001, the Recording Industry Ass. of America reports. Because of the exceptional brilliance and innovation evident in today's pop offerings, discussions of dwindling consumer interest in vapid, predictable cliche products would clearly be out of place. No, the industry is doing everything right, so the only possible explanation for a loss of revenue has got to be the pestilence of Internet piracy. Or so the RIAA and its collaborator, consulting outfit PriceWaterhouse-Coopers, have concluded: "Illegal Internet downloading is displacing sales and helping explain a seven per cent drop in CD shipments and a 69.9 per cent increase in counterfeit/pirate optical disc seizures," the organization says. Now, hang on a second. How does an increase in downloads 'explain' an increase disc seizures? The implication here, twisted though it might be, is that seizures are a gauge of Internet trading. The more trading is going on, the more discs there will be to seize. But of course, if the contents are being disseminated electronically on the Net, counterfeit discs have nothing to do with it either a priori or a posteriori. The RIAA and PWC can shove that argument up their own posteriori. The increase in seizures is due to the RIAA's increasing aggressiveness as a crime-fighting paramilitary organization. But it is a good illustration of the desperate Sophism with which the industry seeks to lay the blame for its own failures on someone else's shoulders. The strategy is simple: criminalize a group of people, then blame them for the unpleasant outcomes of everything you do wrong. It works for governments; it will work just as well for mega-industries. Of course the US economy has been in the dumps since 2001 and spending on frivolous luxuries has been reined in, which might have an impact on music sales. But the RIAA has considered this possibility and determined that it's not a significant issue. "Though other factors like the decline in consumer spending have played a role, Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA, said that illegal music downloading was the main culprit in the drop in sales," the lobbying group explains. Clearly the RIAA knows its enemy, and has the numbers to 'prove' it. We just wonder who they'll blame if they ever achieve their government-mandated DRM copyright paradise, and sales continue to disappoint. ®
Thomas C Greene, 27 Aug 2002

NAI beefs up sniffer, surveillance with DragNet buy

Network Associates Inc reckons it has bought technology with the potential to give it a unique edge in the internet security marketplace, with the acquisition this week of privately held Traxess Inc of Lindon, Utah for an undisclosed sum, writes Kevin Murphy. Traxess's technology, currently in beta under the name DragNet, comprises a high-performance packet sniffer, storage system and analysis software that, the firm says, records all internet traffic at Gigabit speeds, allowing specific events or trends to be reconstructed and analyzed later. Sandra England, NAI's executive VP of business development and strategy, who closed the deal, said the company will spend the next nine months integrating DragNet into NAI's existing Sniffer network management system. The integrated product has an expected shipping date of the second quarter 2003. "Traxess's stream-to-disk technology captures all network activity and streams it into high-speed storage devices, then allows you to replay it," England said. She said the company believes the technology gives it a unique advantage over vendors of firewalls and intrusion detection systems. The system includes a purpose-built storage subsystem. NAI will initially target government and financial institutions. Users will be able to reconstruct activity based on criteria such as source or destination IP address and traffic type, or combinations. For example, a company would be able to replay an entire voice over IP phone call, revisit an employee's browser history for the day, or read their email. It appears that the Sniffer release planned for first half 2003 will be far more featured than the current network fault detection and analysis system. Under part of a broader partnership announced in May, NAI is to use Internet Security Systems Inc's RealSecure IDS software in future Sniffer releases. Now, with the Traxess acquisition, Sniffer seems set to evolve into a product that analyses traffic for faults and potential intrusions, as well as having surveillance and forensic capabilities. It was not immediately clear whether ISS will also get access to the new DragNet technology. NAI's England said details have yet to be worked out. The acquisition is the latest in a series executed by NAI and archrival Symantec Corp. NAI looks set to finally bring former unit McAfee.com Corp back into the fold in the coming months, after messy acquisition talks, while Symantec recently used capital generated by soaring sales to acquire four private companies in the managed security and IDS markets. NAI's England said Symantec does not have anything similar to the DragNet system in its portfolio. © Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 27 Aug 2002

DoubleClick pays up to end privacy probes

Online advertising systems maker DoubleClick Inc said yesterday that an investigation by ten US States Attorneys General into its privacy protection practices has been halted after the company agreed to a number of safeguards on its data usage and agreed to pay out $450,000 to offset the cost of the probe. The company has signed a settlement that forces it to maintain a privacy policy that also binds its partners and that ensures consumers' data is only used in a manner consistent with the privacy policy when it was collected, meaning the firm cannot change its privacy policy at a later date to sell data it has already collected. The deal also forces DoubleClick to store data over three months old offline and to develop a system that allows consumers targeted by its DART ad serving system to view the categories of advertising their cookie is associated with. Third-party auditors will be hired to independently review DoubleClick's compliance with the policies. The New York-based firm said the settlement does not amount to an admission of guilt. The attorneys general for the states of New York, which led the inquiry, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington were involved in the probe. © Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 27 Aug 2002

HP blades to skip Foster, go straight to Gallatin

As expected, Hewlett Packard Co yesterday unveiled updated blades for its "QuickBlade" ProLiant BL line of blade servers, writes Timothy Prickett-Morgan. The QuickBlades were announced in January and are one of the earlier entries in this nascent but interesting and growing segment of the server business. The first QuickBlade machines were called the ProLiant BL e-Class servers, and they supported uniprocessor blades that plugged into a 3U form factor chassis that holds up to 20 blades. With this design, up to 280 uniprocessor blades can be crammed into a standard 42U rack. The e-Class blades, which are still sold, are based on the 700MHz ultra low power Pentium III processors and the 440BX chipset from Intel Corp. Each blade has two 10/100 Ethernet links, a 30GB ATA disk drive, and two memory banks that support up to 1GB of SDRAM. The backplane in the QuickBlade box is an industry standard Ethernet network. The chassis are also equipped with redundant hot plug fans and power supplies. A single ProLiant BL e-Class blade server had a list price of $1,799 with 512MB of main memory, and a ten-pack of these blades sold $17,091. Back in November 2001, when Compaq was showing off the QuickBlades at industry trade shows but was not yet shipping product in volume and was not yet merged into HP, Compaq said that it would shortly roll out dual-processor blades and more sophisticated and peppy I/O for the QuickBlades. Compaq said then that it was working on low-voltage blades for front-end infrastructure jobs like web serving and on back-end blades with multiple processors and lots of memory so they could support heavier applications but still participate in the blade architecture, including 32-bit Pentium 4 Xeon and 64-bit Itanium processors. In mid-May, just after the Compaq acquisition was finished, Paul Miller, the former Compaq executive who is now in charge of all of HP's blade server initiatives, said that HP was on track to deliver dual-processor QuickBlades using Pentium III and Xeon processors in the middle of 2002, and said further that it would soon after that provide SAN connectivity for the QuickBlades so they can link into SAN fabrics. He said further that HP expected to have four-way blades available for the QuickBlade chassis by the end of 2002. Obviously, the two-way blades for the QuickBlades are running a little bit late coming to market. But the market is a little slow to absorb new products right now, so there is not a huge hurry in some regards. In any event, the ProLiant BP p-Class machines now include a two-way model called the BL20p, which has one or two 1.4GHz Pentium III processors. This blade comes with 512MB of main memory (expandable to 4GB) and has enough room in its 6U chassis to hold 144GB of hot-swap disk capacity. Each p-Class machine can have eight blades per 6U chassis, or 16 processors, and up to 48 blades per 42U standard rack, or 96 processors. This is obviously about a third less dense packaging compared to the e-Class QuickBlades, but the processors are running twice as fast so the p-Class machines have only about 30% less aggregate processing power per rack. This is a fair exchange for bigger memory and disk capacities, and makes these p-Class blades more suitable as application servers instead of infrastructure servers. A p-Class blade with a single 1.4GHz Pentium III processor, 512MB of memory, an 18GB disk drive, and integrated SCSI and LAN controllers sells for $2,858 at the Compaq store, but HP says that it is selling the p-Class blade for $2,539 and an empty QuickBlade chassis with licenses for eight instances of its Rapid Deployment Pack system management software for $2,999. A two-way blade with 2GB of main memory and 144GB of disk sells for over $10,000, including the chassis and deployment licenses. A fully loaded rack of these p-Class blades, with switches and other gear, would cost in excess of $400,000, not including operating system licenses. Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Red Hat Linux, and SuSe Linux are supported on the QuickBlades; Windows .NET Server will be supported when it becomes available. Microsoft's Datacenter Server is not supported on the QuickBlades, mainly because they do not yet support eight-way SMP blades. Sources at HP are now saying that two-way blades for the QuickBlade line using the current "Prestonia" Pentium 4 Xeon DP processors will hit the streets in early 2003, and that it will skip the current "Foster" Pentium 4 Xeon MP processors for four-way blades and instead use the future "Gallatin" shrinks of the Foster chips. There is also some talk in the press of supporting PA-RISC blades in these machines, although that was certainly not the impression HP was trying to create when it said that it was keeping its PA-RISC-based "Powerbar" blade servers alive and distinct from the former Compaq's QuickBlades. What HP has said it would do, and what seems more likely, is take work that it has done to create blades based on the 64-bit Itanium family of processors for the Powerbars and use that work as the basis of future Itanium-based blades for the QuickBlades. timpm@computerwire.com © Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 27 Aug 2002

AMD to target Intel 32-bit, not Itanium, with Opteron

Advanced Micro Devices Inc will steer clear of established 64-bit computing vendors when its launches its Opteron architecture later this year, and will instead aim its attack squarely at long-time 32-bit rival Intel Corp, writes Joe Fay. The vendor's Opteron architecture, previously codenamed Hammer, will offer customers the choice of 32-bit or 64-bit operation. The architecture will be the newest entrant to the 64-bit space after Intel, which launched its Itanium architecture in 2001, but which has yet to pick up steam in the market. Patrick Moorhead, AMD's vice president for customer advocacy, charged that Itanium does not represent an easy transition for customers moving from 32-bit architectures. The current depressed economy makes it even less likely that customers will take a gamble on an untried architecture, he argued. AMD claims that by offering the ability to run existing 32-bit applications, without tweaking, while also offering customers the ability to run more powerful 64 applications when they are ready, Opteron is a more palatable proposition for companies looking to make the leap to 64-bit. Intel's commitment to the platform is under question, he claimed, following rumors that Intel has its own hybrid 32-bit/64-bit architecture under development. For these reasons, claimed Moorhead, for all Intel's marketing muscle, Itanium is "an easy target." The fact that IBM's Power and Sun's Sparc platforms have well-established bases presumably also has a bearing on AMD's decision to concentrate its fire on Intel. While AMD itself does not apparently want to target Sun or IBM head-on, Moorhead said he expected Opteron will compete against the more established platforms. "There will be people who will produce systems targeted at Sparc." At the same time, Moorhead said the company was in conversations with Sun. The Solaris vendor recently launched its own x86-based Linux box, the LX50, which runs Intel made processors. Presumably AMD hopes to dislodge Intel from Sun's x86 line. Moorhead refused to comment on where its conversations with Sun were headed. Moorhead said the shift to 64-bit computing will come quicker than anyone expects. He said that gaming was one potential market for AMD, as both players and developers looked for ever more powerful platforms. The company expects half its shipments to come from Opteron by the beginning of 2004. Moorhead also said that Opteron would use the same naming convention for Opteron as it does on the 32-bit Athlon line. AMD uses model numbers which are designed to illustrate the relative performance of different processors in its line. This is in contrast to Intel, which puts the emphasis on the clock speed of its processors. © Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 27 Aug 2002

SCO lives! Caldera reinvents itself under the old brand

SCO lives again. Caldera International executives yesterday executed a massive corporate U-turn, distancing the company from its earlier acquisition strategy and glorious - if brief - Linux heritage, writes Gavin Clarke. Two years after Caldera acquired the SCO Unix operation, company president and chief executive officer Darl McBride opened his company's annual conference yesterday by dumping Caldera's Linux name for SCO's. McBride also placed SCO's products front and center of the strategy, downgrading Linux. The announcement makes Caldera the latest to re-assess the value of a high-profile, dot-com-era merger. Caldera's situation has been complicated by its inheritance of Santa Cruz Operation's (SCO's) renowned reseller and partner channel. Partners were hostile to the imposition of the Caldera business. McBride acknowledged while Caldera had a strong US brand, it was non-existent in Europe. "SCO is back from the dead," McBride announced to applause during an opening keynote speech to partners and resellers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Caldera International is now SCO Group Inc, pending a forthcoming shareholder vote. No date is set for the vote. The recently appointed McBride cited residual strength of SCO's brand and renewed interest in SCO products. He claimed sales of OpenServer grew in Caldera's most recent quarter in the US for the first time in five quarters. "What is it with the OpenServer phenomenon? We can't kill it," McBride said to applause from delegates. "One customer last month bought $4m in OpenServer licenses. The customers want to give us money for it. Why don't we just sell it?" he said. McBride told a post-keynote press conference OpenServer accounted for the majority of his company's revenue, followed by UnixWare. He did not provide figures. Hindering future sales, though, were Caldera's brand, which is regarded as weak, especially outside the US. "Employees talk to a customer and spend half their time trying to explain we are Caldera," Darl said. McBride was joined by senior vice president of technology Opinder Bawa who underlined the renewed SCO-focus. The UnixWare brand is back with version 7.1.3 and Caldera will kill off OpenUnix 8.0, which swallowed UnixWare. Version 7.1.3 is planned for release by December. In a concession to Caldera's Linux heritage, OpenUnix will offer binary application capability and Linux Kernel Personality for Linux applications to run on UnixWare. Bawa conceded to Computerwire, though, there has been very little interest in this technology from Caldera customers. "Customers are going for one operating system or another," he said. OpenServer 5.0.7 will ship in the fourth quarter with enhanced USB support, and support for Windows 98 and ME applications, with updates through next year. Caldera's OpenLinux Linux development has been kicked-out to the recently announced UnitedLinux effort. The OpenLinux core will be based on UnitedLinux. Bawa said future versions of SCO-products would appear more frequently with the launch of release packs, rather than rolling new features into full products on a slower cycle. Bawa claimed this would keep users current with technologies like latest USB and Java specifications. McBride and newly appointed senior vice president of corporate development Sean Wilson, also announced what some would call a dated business strategy. They unveiled an online web site hosting and e-business development tool for small and medium size businesses (SMBs), called SCO Biz. The company is targeting a potential 20 million SMBs, claiming just five million have a web presence, which McBride termed "brochureware". SCO claims SCO Biz can built a web site in just minutes, linking front-office and back-office applications running on OpenServer. SCO Biz uses XML, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL). SCO Biz is based on Vista.com's web site and e-commerce development software. SCO hopes partners and resellers will sell SCO Biz to SMBs whose infrastructure will be hosted on SCO's hardware in Bellingham, Washington. McBride claimed SCO Biz would grow SCO's business, adding he would expand the service through licensing and acquisition of niche, technology start-ups. "Two to three years from now we are going to have a much broader piece of the market," he said. As an incentive to partners, SCO will buy-out all or part of a successful partners' business. Acquisition depends on customer size and customer retention. McBride called it "living the American dream." © Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.
ComputerWire, 27 Aug 2002

MS plays volume licensing upgrade card against Naked PCs

Businesses wanting to deploy standard configurations across a number of machines frequently take out one of Microsoft's volume licensing programs, set up their own standard distribution then use it to hose whatever OS the PCs they bought came with. Frequently they are under the impression that this involves them paying for two Microsoft operating systems, and sometimes they'll buy (if they can) machines with no OS instead, in order to avoid wasting money in this way. However, it appears that the people who thought they'd been buying two licences per machine are largely mistaken, and the ones who thought they'd been saving money have actually been stealing Microsoft's. Just you wait for the audit, all you dirty software pirates running the IT departments of major corporations. The key factor we should all surely have been aware of, but which has escaped quite a number of us until now, is that: "Full operating system licenses are not available through any Microsoft Volume Licensing Program, Fact." So people who thought they were buying full operating systems via Microsoft volume licensing programs have actually been buying upgrades, and as Microsoft points out in a mailing unearthed by Linux and Main, "Some customers believe they can acquire full operating system licenses through their Microsoft Volume Licensing Program Myth." The text of the mailing, which appears to be yet another effort to exterminate the hated "Naked PC," can be found here, and is shrill even by the standard of the MS anti-piracy enforcers (who seem to be responsible for it). The volume licensing programs through which full licences are not available include Microsoft Open, Select, Enterprise, Campus, and School Agreements, it footnotes, but keep up, we've just told you they're not available through any such program. "OEM licenses for Microsoft operating system software are not transferable from one machine to another, even if the PC on which it was originally installed is no longer in use. The OEM license is tied to the original PC on which it was installed." Except, ahem, in Germany, we believe. For the hard of thinking, the document lists the three, and only three, cases where you can buy full OS product. You can get an OEM licence via a PC OEM or system builder (with non-peripheral equipment only, it stresses), or you can buy it at retail. So volume discounts are only available for upgrades, and you're really making problems for yourself and costing yourself money if you persist in buying machines that don't have a Microsoft OS onboard. Here's why non-Naked PCs are good for you, and you should eat them all up: "Preinstalled OEM software licenses can cost less!" Yes well they would, if Microsoft is going to insist on you buying retail. "Save time - No installation and troubleshooting is required to start using your software immediately." Stop fiddling with your machines - what are you, some kind of software pirate? "If there's a problem, the system builder fixes it. Your Microsoft System Builder is required to service PCs on which they've preinstalled Microsoft OEM licensed software. Why miss out on this vital technical support?" Lucky system builders dumped on again then... The widespread belief that volume licensing agreements do give you full operating systems can at least to some extent be put down to Microsoft not exactly front-ending references to upgrades in the text, and to the way it has stressed the amount you could save by going for them in the past, without obviously pointing out that it's talking about upgrades, or clearly differentiating the situation as regards applications from OS product. It's been trying to discourage small businesses from buying software at retail, and the "volume" schemes actually start at five PCs. You can boggle some more about the wondrous world of Microsoft licensing starting here, and you can find a hefty Word format product list here. This does indeed seem to specify upgrade for OS products and also, we note, consistently singles out the Russians for special attention. Why can't these poor people use volume license keys for Microsoft products? Not being experimented on, are they? ®
John Lettice, 27 Aug 2002

McAfee.com board accepts improved NAI offer

Network Associates on-off bid for the 25 per cent of shares in McAfee.com it doesn't already own looks to be nearing completion after McAfee.com's board recommended its approval. Shareholders in NAI's partially owned consumer ASP subsidiary are been offered $8.00 in cash plus 0.675 of a share of NAI common stock in exchange for each of their shares. This represents $17.86 per share (based on closing prices of August 21), or an increase of 81 per cent over NAI's original offer in March of $9.86 per share. But before any champagne corks get popped its worth reflecting that we've reached the stage of an offer been accepted by McAfee.com's board before. In April, an improved offer by NAI was accepted only for the offer to be dropped after it emerged that regulatory authorities were investigating NAI. Network Associates launched a fresh bid to acquire the remaining stake in McAfee.com in July which, even on improved terms, was rejected by 96 per cent of McAfee.com shareholders earlier this month. NAI's improved and "final" offer has now been put back to the vote and it remains to be seen whether McAfee.com board's recommendation is enough to sway McAfee.com shareholders uncertain about the ongoing SEC investigation of Network Associates. ® External Links McAfee.com recommends stockholders accept Network Associates' exchange offer and tender their shares Related Stories NAI ups offer for McAfee.com McAfee.com rejects NAI bid (again) NAI on-off bid for McAfee.com is off againNAI faces SEC probe All of McAfee, why don't you take...
John Leyden, 27 Aug 2002

Pipex punters in powwoe

Pipex has become the latest ISP to come under the spotlight from its users. Punters have created an online forum so they can share their concerns - and praise - for the ISP. Pipexwoe is the sister site of BTOpenwoe, which already keeps tabs on the woes and wows of BTopenworld. According to the blurb on the recently-launched site, Pipexwoe has been set up in response to the "growing number of problems facing Pipex as a Service Provider". Although there's very little content on the site so far, it seems these "problems" stem from users' frustration with Pipex's broadband service. Some of the postings complain about problems with the stability of Pipex's broadband service. Others refer to the lack of technical support and poor lines of communication from the ISP. In June, Pipex boss David Rickards, accepted that the ISP was experiencing problems with large numbers of people trying to contact the ISP. He also said plans were in place to address the issues. Today, Mr Rickards told The Register that things had improve dramatically and that he was "extremely happy" with the broadband business. "It's under control," he said. He also promised to keep an eye on the Pipexwoe site adding that it could provide useful feedback for the company. ® Related Story Pipex swamped by self-install DSL calls
Tim Richardson, 27 Aug 2002

Intel touts benefits of 2.8GHz P4

Intel yesterday, as expected, debuted a 2.8GHz version of its Pentium 4 processor and three other lower speed chips. The introduction of Intel's highest speed processors to date comes as its marketing battle with AMD steps up a gear with the debut of AMD's Athlon XP 2600+ last week. Intel's latest processors are: a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 with 533 MHz system bus, costing $508 per unit in batches of 1,000; a 2.66Ghz part (with 533MHz FSB) at $401; a 2.60GHz chip (with 400MHz FSB) again at $401 and a 2.5GHz Pentium 4 (with 400MHz FSB) at $243. All the processors are manufactured using Intel's 0.13-micron process. As usual the big question remains why does the world need such high-speed desktop processors? Intel's answer this time around refers not to gaming, but the benefits higher performance PCs bring in encoding digital media (such as music, pictures, and movies) and for collaborative applications in business. A computer based on the Pentium 4 processor operating at 2.8 GHz can convert more than five one-hour videotapes to MPEG-4 digital video in the same time a 500 MHz PC can convert a one-hour videotape, it says. But is this the sort of thing users will actually do at home? Compared to a 500 MHz PC, consumers can edit photos more than four times faster with a PC based on the Pentium 4 processor 2.8 GHz, Intel reckons. For businesses, Pentium 4 processor-based 2.8 GHz PCs provide almost four times faster performance than the installed base of PCs for XML-based Web services. Intel even postulates, heroically, that upgrading a firm's installed base of PCs to Pentium 4 boxes running Windows XP can save firms money on "capital costs, labour costs and help-desk calls". Which is nice. ® Related Stories AMD Athlon breaks through 2GHz mark Chip sector releases mixed figures
John Leyden, 27 Aug 2002

Broadband could generate $500bn a year

Broadband could prove to be a massive catalyst for economic growth, according to the latest pie-in-the-sky crystal ball gazing from Gartner Dataquest. Forget the broadband currently on offer - Gartner's talking about broadband with speeds starting from an eye-watering 10Mbps. Using an economic model from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), it reckons that the universal availability of 10Mbps broadband in the US could deliver an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of $500bn a year for the next ten years. Part of that growth would be created by the development of a new super-fast network, which would demand "continuous upgrade of communications equipment". In turn, this investment would drive years of growth in user devices as well as networking hardware, says Gartner - something that would be warmly welcomed in a depressed technology sector. However, there is a snag. Gartner reckons delivery of true broadband services to the home over the "last 200 metres" poses a sizeable bottleneck to achieving such a massive economic shot in the arm. And while there are "substantial rewards with a 'true' broadband environment", there are also risks, says Gartner soberly. The risks, to name but a few, would be the astronomic costs of such a massive undertaking and the time (bloody years, frankly) it would take to deploy such a network - that's assuming the project won the backing of absolutely everyone. Said Kathie Hackler of Gartner Dataquest: "The participants in today's economic activities cannot tolerate slow, unsophisticated narrowband communications without suffering a loss of productivity, just as participants of yesterday's industrial age economic activities benefited considerably by the availability of even a modicum of communications capability." You can read more of Gartner's musings of what's possible, but not probable, in its report Telecom Regulation Has Failed: Now What?. ®
Tim Richardson, 27 Aug 2002

Broadband – ‘We know you want it’

BT Wholesale began a four-week ad campaign today in a bid to raise awareness for its broadband pre-registration scheme. The scheme - launched earlier this summer - allows people to register their interest in broadband even if they are in an area currently not wired up for ADSL. The theory is that if enough people register their interest, BT will upgrade their exchange for broadband enabling them to hook up to high speed Net access. Currently, around a third of the UK is unable to access ADSL. The national campaign kicked off today with ads in the Times and Guardian with the headline "COME ON BRITAIN, WE KNOW YOU WANT IT." It also contains a list of almost 60 ISPs - from Activeware Consultants to Zen Internet - that sell BT-based ADSL. For more info check out BT's site workingwithyou.co.uk.
Tim Richardson, 27 Aug 2002

The Jagwyre Review

Using Mac OS X is like touring a land of fabulous ancient treasures - with a tourist authority that's still busy renovating them, and that hasn't quite completed the infrastructure. The sights can be breathtaking, but the roads are potholed and incomplete, and sometimes you have to get out and push. There are a few magnificent modern additions - Rendezvous, AppleScript Studio, for example - but in places the modern Apple archaeologists seem to have forgotten their ancestors techniques, and have resorted to inferior contemporary methods such as the Windows bodge of using three letter extensions for identifying the file type.
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Aug 2002

Samsung phone sales soar

Sales of Samsung mobile phones jumped by a huge 46 percent in the second quarter, as the rebounding industry saw the top four handset makers increase shipments. Overall, global mobile sales edged 0.8 percent higher in the April to June quarter, with 98.7 million units sold in that period, research company Dataquest said this week. The news follows a succession of falls in mobile phone shipments for the last several quarters, and according to Dataquest the modest growth is the result of increased demand in Asia and Eastern Europe. Industry leader Nokia held onto its massive lead over the competition as its handset shipments climbed by 5 percent to 35.1 million, giving it a 35.6 percent market share. In the year-ago quarter, the company shipped 33.4 million units to claim a 34.2 percent share of the market. Meanwhile Motorola held onto the number two spot and shipped 15.5 million phones in the quarter, about 200,000 more than last year. This small level of growth allowed it to keep hold of its 15.7 percent market share, which was flat year-on-year. According to Dataquest's figures, however, Samsung is hot on Motorola's heels, and the Korean firm now claims a 9.5 percent share of the mobile phone market, as its sales jumped by a whopping 46.4 percent to reach 9.3 million units in the quarter. This compares to 6.4 million units a year earlier, which equates to just 6.5 percent market share. Siemens also saw its share of the market grow slightly to 8.4 percent, compared with 7.4 percent last year. In the second quarter, the company shipped 8.2 million phones, 1 million more than in the second quarter of 2001. However, the number five phone maker, Sony Ericsson, saw its unit shipments dive by almost 30 percent as its market share slipped from 7.7 percent last year to a measly 5.3 percent, shipping only 5.4 million phones in the second quarter of 2002. Looking forward, Gartner's Dataquest said that replacement sales will be the key to boosting sales in Europe, and the launch of a flurry of new models that include cameras and colour screens could further boost sales. Still, the industry is facing the possibility of more delays in the rollout of 3G networks, particularly in Europe, and as such the market for handsets could grow slower than previously anticipated. For the full year, Dataquest said that sales will rise 5 percent to 420 million phones, which means that that the second half of the year will offer higher growth rates than the first half. © ENN
ElectricNews.net, 27 Aug 2002

Virus writers ‘obsessed with sex and computer games’

Virus writers are sados obsessed with sex and computer games, not the evil geniuses Hollywood and fear-mongering Washington politicians portray them as. That's the view of Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, who said "virus writers are much more likely to be teenage males than crack cyberterrorists bent on the annihilation of the internet." Cluley poured cold water on the notion that viruses might bring down critical systems, pointing out that most are spread by email and are relatively easy to defend against. Viruses are a nuisance but those who elevate their threat are actually doing a disservice to security by misstating their importance, he added. In anti-virus circles, Cluley is well known for describing virus writers (VXers) in less than flattering terms, once memorably saying they only wrote malicious code because they were spotty teenage nerds who couldn't pull. Now gaming, as well as salacious sexual themes (for example, the Anna Kournikova worm) are becoming mainstays among virus writers. These themes show the preoccupations of both virus writers and those they are targeting with their malicious code, Cluley reckons. The latest viruses, such as the DuLoad worm, which has the potential to infect PCs connected to the KaZaA file sharing network, and Surnova worm, have filenames related to gaming. For example, the DuLoad worm disguises itself by randomly using a pool of 39 filenames. These filenames - which reflect a preoccupation with sex, celebrity, computer games and hacking - include 'J. Lo Bikini Screensaver.exe', 'Kama Sutra Tetris.exe', 'Free Mpegs.exe' and 'The Sims Game crack.exe', as well as some pornographic references. Cluley's previous sociological analysis of virus writing has been less than favourably received among VXers themselves. Most notably he clashed with female virus writer Gigabyte (creator of the first virus that used Microsoft's C# language), who lambasted Cluley as sexist for his comments on Usenet newsgroups. Far from being sexist, Cluley told us, his remarks only reflected the idea the girls were generally "too sensible" to write viruses (patronising bastard - Ed). ® Related Stories Worm spreads through KaZaA network, again Sex starved virus writers go for revenge External Links Rob Rosenberger, of VMyths.com, debunks fears that Osama bin Laden is about to create an uber-virus
John Leyden, 27 Aug 2002

Cornwall gets even more broadband

A move to bring broadband to Cornwall using both public and private sector funding is to be expanded. More than 1,000 businesses and homes have signed up for broadband at six BT exchanges in Truro, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne, Newquay and Penzance since the ACT NOW scheme went live in April this year. With new orders being received at a rate of 50 a week, a further three more exchanges in Falmouth, Bodmin and Launceston are due to be converted to ADSL by September 19. Those behind the public/private sector initiative claim that if similar take-up levels are seen here, then exchanges in St Ives, Bude, Saltash and Penryn could also be singled out for broadband. ACT NOW is backed by European cash. Partners in the scheme include BT, Cornwall County Council and the South West of England Regional Development Agency. ® Related Story Cornwall online OK
Tim Richardson, 27 Aug 2002