24th > March > 2003 Archive

Samsung 1GB DDR 2 DIMM enters mass production

Samsung announced this morning that it is now producing a 1GB DDR 2 DIMM in volume. The announcement follows Micron's shipment last week of the first 4GB DDR DIMM. The Samsung part is based on the company's 512Mb DDR 2 chips, which it began sampling almost a year ago. The chips operate at 1.8V a deliver data at a rate of between 533Mbps and 667Mbps. ® Related Story Micron touts first 4GB DDR DIMM
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Why the Dogs of Cyberwar stay leashed

OpinionOpinion As the U.S. and U.K. campaign to "shock and awe" the Iraqi leadership and population continues, as "bunker buster" bombs hit the Iraqi Presidential palaces and coalition forces attempt to disrupt the command and control of the Iraqi military, one widely-reported offensive capability is nowhere in sight: the United States has not yet officially used the tools of cyberwarfare. The U.S. military has reportedly developed impressive offensive cyberwar capabilities, including the ability to use microwave or other electronic impulses to disrupt or destroy electronic components. If this is true, why have we not yet seen an all out cyberwar? That's not to say we haven't seen any action in cyberspace. Sometimes individual citizens use hacker-style techniques to attack accessible sites associated with an opposing country's regime -- like "patriotic" U.S. citizens hacking Iraqi government sites. But a wartime military cyber attack would look completely different from these amateur efforts, and may use entirely different tools. The goal of a cyber attack might be not mere disruption -- but destruction. It may be massive misinformation. It may be cooption. Thus, a cyber attack may go after DNS servers and spoof official government sites, as a propaganda mechanism. It may take the form of the mythic HERF (High Energy Radio Frequency) guns, or microwave bombs, or truly malicious polymorphic viruses or worms designed to destroy networks. Conventional defenses may not prevent such attacks -- although good backup and disaster recovery practices may minimize damage. Much of the hand wringing over the legality of these tactics has revolved around their use in the absence of armed conflict. Is a cyber attack an act of war? Is cyber espionage likewise an act in violation of international law? But as the bombs fall, and the shooting war (declared or undeclared) begins, these questions are ultimately left behind, and the same rules for armed conflict govern cyber attacks. These rules are much clearer, but, paradoxically, they probably make cyber attacks illegal. This may seem counterintuitive. If it is okay to bomb an infrastructure into the stone age, why can't you "logic bomb" them out of the information age? The answer lies in the nature of the targets and the weapons chosen. Under the law of armed conflict, the use of force -- and all out cyberwar is likely a "use of force" -- must follow particular patterns. A warrior may not deliberately target non-combatants for attack. The use of force must be "proportional" to objectives, and reasonable efforts must be taken to minimize collateral damage. Glass Houses For cyberwar, this presents problems. First, the vast majority of the vulnerable infrastructure (electrical generation and distribution, water, transportation, financial services, telecommunications) are likely owned or operated by the private sector -- noncombatants, by definition. And the vast majority of this infrastructure is used by noncombatants as well. The same telecommunications system that carries military command and control communications probably supports civilian emergency medical services as well. It may not be possible to launch cyber attacks that are effective against the military that don't also have dramatic consequences for noncombatants. Attacks of so-called "SCADA" systems -- those that control things like dams, nuclear power plants, air traffic control systems, and even street traffic lights -- could result in thousands of deaths to civilians. There are other reasons why the U.S. may forgo a cyber attack in Iraq. It probably serves U.S. and U.K. interests to keep as much of the infrastructure intact for the time being. For tactical reasons, U.S. forces want to maintain lines of communication, and minimize disruption of the civilian population in the opening phases of this conflict. And in the long run, anything that is destroyed will have to be rebuilt. Finally, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt the U.S. The U.S. and Western nations are much more dependent on electronic infrastructures than lesser developed countries, so they are rightly reluctant to establish a legal precedent that permits cyberwarfare. Cyberwar is asymmetric, which means it benefits lesser military powers as much as, or even more than, military goliaths. Nobody expects Iraqi B52's to fly over Washington, D.C., but a handful of Iraqi computer scientists (or scientists bought with Iraqi oil money) could launch a cyber attack -- at least to some degree -- against U.S. targets. There is an old saying about a can of worms -- the only way to close it, is to use a bigger can. Unleashing a cyberwar anywhere would leave us with a can of worms the size of Texas. ©SecurityFocus Online SecurityFocus columnist Mark D. Rasch, J.D., is the Senior Vice President and Chief Security Counsel at Solutionary Inc. He lives in McLean, Virginia.
Mark Rasch, 24 Mar 2003

Argos to retain Cube following massive sales increase

After suggesting that it would follow Dixons Group in dropping the GameCube from its range, UK retailer Argos has seen a surge in interest in the cut-price console and has confirmed that it will continue carrying it. The retail chain slashed the price of the console to £78.99 (including a free game and memory card) last week, and the consumer reaction was instant. Sales of GameCube hardware jumped from an average of around 100 units a day to a stunning 5000 units last Saturday. "The demand has been unbelievable," according to Argos marketing director Paul Geddes. "We've struggled to keep up and cleared out most of our overstock. It's been an unbelievable increase in demand." The increased demand - unbelievable or not - points the way forward for Nintendo in Europe. Consumers are clearly interested in the GameCube, but not at the current price point, which they may consider too expensive for what is widely perceived as a "second console". For now, however, Nintendo has Argos back on side just in time for today's crucial Metroid Prime launch, and the retailer says that it has already placed an order for additional hardware and software. It is unknown if this will affect the decision of the Dixons Group to clear its stock of GameCube. © gamesindustry.biz
gamesindustry.biz, 24 Mar 2003

Elpida licenses Rambus Yellowstone

Memory maker Elpida has licensed Rambus' Yellowstone high-bandwidth interface technology, the pair announced today. Elpida joins Sony and Toshiba as Yellowstone licensees. Sony and Toshiba are believed to want the technology for the Playstation 3. Elpida wants it for its high-end offerings. Rambus expects the first Yellowstone-based memory products to ship late 2004/early 2005. Yellowstone takes memory throughput to 3.2GBps, but the technology has room to expand that to 6.4GBps, enabling 50GBps to 100GBps of memory system bandwidth. It leverages Rambus' FlexPhase system to ensure each bit arrives almost perfectly aligned with the clock cycle. Differential Rambus Signaling Level, which enables low-voltage, low-power, differential signaling, and ODR (Octal Data Rate), which allows eight bits of data to be transferred on each clock edge, form the core of Yellowstone. Rambus claims Yellowstone lowers system cost through pin-count reduction and support for low-cost, high-volume PCBs and packages. "We evaluated a number of different advanced memory interface technologies and concluded that the Rambus Yellowstone memory interface is one of the best the market has to offer," said Elpida's chief strategy officer, Hidemori Inukai, said in statement, though you'll note that it's not exactly a ringing endorsement: "one of the best" doesn't mean the same thing as 'the best'. "We believe Yellowstone will have a promising future in applications that need very high bandwidth," he added. ®
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Eircom sets wholesale DSL price

Esat BT has described Eircom's new wholesale price for DSL as positive, with both firms now set to roll out retail services at dramatically lower prices. Earlier this year, Eircom said it planned to introduce a retail DSL Internet service for about €50 a month (€45 excluding VAT), about half the price of the company's existing retail service. The move infuriated rivals, particularly Esat BT, which is paying Eircom €55 per line for wholesale DSL services. It is understood that Eircom has now submitted a new wholesale price to Irish communications regulator ComReg and will begin selling cheaper DSL services to entrant telecoms like Esat BT and UTV Internet for €27 per line per month. This price is for a 512Kb/s rate adaptive service, which means that certain factors could reduce the connection speed, although Eircom says a minimum of 256kb/s is guaranteed. Although the prices have been published, and ComReg is said to have approved them, Eircom has passed little comment on the move, with a spokesperson simply saying, "We are glad to get this underway." Most other charges that relate to DSL are set to remain the same, including connection fees, which on a wholesale basis will be €150 per subscriber. Eircom did, however, say it hoped to introduce a "self-install" DSL product in the coming months. East BT, meanwhile, said it is happy with the prices. "At EUR27, it's a positive development and it's something we certainly think we can work with," said Una McGirr, communications director for Esat BT. McGirr said that Esat BT was "crunching the numbers" to come up with a proposed retail price for its own service, and it is expected that Esat BT's new product will be launched in late spring or early summer at "competitive" prices. The move is sure to be welcomed by the government, industry and consumer groups such as Ireland Offline, which has long lobbied for affordable broadband for consumers. Similarly, Communications Minister Dermot Ahern has led the charge for low-cost DSL, and last month he launched a new commission to investigate ways to encourage take-up of the service and make rollout as affordable as possible. The most recent figures from ComReg show that only around 3,300 DSL lines have been ordered in Ireland since its launch nearly a year ago, and the current €100 per month retail price is often blamed for the poor uptake. Recent research by market analyst Datamonitor estimated that there were 10 million broadband lines in Europe at the end of 2002, but the company predicts there will be 41 million by 2006. However, Datamonitor says that retail prices will eventually need to fall to as low as €24 per month in order for the technology to become widespread. © ENN
ElectricNews.net, 24 Mar 2003
DVD it in many colours

F5 starts patent litigation bunfight

Application switching firm F5 Networks this week filed suit against three rival firms after securing a patent on a key aspect of its technology. The ink was barely dry on F5's patent on a Method and System for Storing Load Balancing Information with an HTTP Cookie (U.S. Patent No. 6,473,802), before the company filed patent infringement lawsuit against rivals Array Networks, NetScaler, and Radware in the U.S. District Court in Seattle. John McAdam, President and CEO of F5 Networks, issued a statement explaining the legal move. "Although F5 does not like to resort to litigation, it cannot allow the unauthorised use of its intellectual property," he said. According to allegations in the complaint, all three companies are infringing upon F5's Cookie Persistence patent. F5 Networks is seeking permanent injunctive relief and damages for its patent infringement claim. Radware has not yet been served a writ but has obtained a copy of the complaint and the patent. It's the first to respond to the allegation of alleged patent infringement, which it vows to contest. "Upon our preliminary review, we believe that the lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously defend it. Further, we believe that the claims do not affect any technology that is core to our business," said Roy Zisapel, chief executive officer of Radware. So what the heck is Cookie Persistence technology? F5 says the technology is a key aspect of any traffic management and load balancing product, and provides the following explanation: "F5's patented Cookie Persistence technology uses an HTTP cookie stored on the customer's computer to allow the customer to reconnect to the same server previously visited at a Web site. This is important, for example, where a customer adds items to a shopping cart at a Web site, then leaves the site before completing the transaction. When the customer returns, Cookie Persistence allows a traffic management device to direct the customer to the server that has stored the customer's shopping cart information, allowing the customer to complete the transaction. Without Cookie Persistence, the traffic management device could direct the customer's request to a different server, which may not know about the customer and his shopping cart status. F5 introduced Cookie Persistence capabilities to the traffic management market in 1999." So there you have it... The application switching market is one of the most keenly contested segments of the networking market, even though its much smaller than the router market (for example). Analyst firm Infonetics Research reports that the Layer 4-7 Switch/Load Balancer hardware market reached $127 million in 4Q02 with its cousin in application switching, the dedicated SSL hardware market hitting $9.4M. F5, Array and Radware are significant players in both these markets, as an analysis by Gartner explains. ® Reg Factoid In a previous incarnation, Radware invited me to Israel in 1999 to learn more about its technology. It was a memorable three day trip the only difficulty in which arose when I tried to leave the country. Immigration officers quizzed me on the purpose of my trip for more than 90 minutes. I was asked to expand at length on my knowledge of the server load balancing market. Whether it was the concept of a press trip or the slight similarity of my name to a certain notorious personage that caused this interest, I never found out. Anyway I made my plane, only just, and was bumped up to business class by BA. Which was nice.
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2003

Iraq war architect in Global Crossing conflict of interest

Among the neo-conservatives advising US President George W. Bush on matters military and imperial, Richard Perle looms large as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an unpaid policy brain trust appointed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Perle, a former Reagan-Administration Assistant Defense Secretary, is associated, through numerous radiating lines of Washington patronage, to a gaggle of Reaganite and Bush Senior re-treads moving and shaking in Washington today. These include members of neo-imperialist organizations like the American Enterprise Institute and Project for the New American Century, which bring together such ambitious America-uber-alles luminaries as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol. They urge military policies engineered to make the Middle East US-friendly by force, and have been instrumental in inducing Bush Junior to serve up Saddam Hussein as a convenient scapegoat for the maddeningly elusive Osama bin Laden. "Saddam Hussein is at the very core of the war against terrorism. There can be no victory in the war against terrorism if, at the end of it, Saddam Hussein is still in power...because he is the symbol of defiance of all Western values," Perle asserted during an interview a scant four weeks after the 9/11 atrocity. So what's this got to do with the technology industry? Nothing, one would hope; but unfortunately, financially-dessicated telecoms outfit and former giant Global Crossing is looking to get bought by bargain-hungry foreigners, and the Department of Defense deems this rather a poor idea. The US government uses the company's pipes, so its sale to Hutchison Whampoa, owned by a Hong Kong business tycoon, and Singapore Telemedia, a phone company owned by the local government, raises rather obvious national-security difficulties and doubts. Thus Perle has been retained by Global Crossing to work his persuasive magic with stubborn DoD skeptics. He's being paid US $725,000 for his lobbying efforts if they succeed, a mighty sum when one considers the company's slide from a $4 billion behemoth to a $400 million pipsqueak with gargantuan debts. The regulatory organ Perle has been hired to 'persuade' is called CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the US), and it has the legal power to block the sale. The problem is that Perle appears to have been assigned the task of using his position with the Defense Policy Board to benefit a private client, something frowned upon in Washington. Because $600,000 of Perle's anticipated reward is contingent on the sale going through, it's hard to deny that he's motivated to bend perceptions on his client's behalf. "As the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, I have...intimate knowledge of the national defense and security issues that will be raised by the CFIUS review process that is not...available to the other CFIUS professionals," Perle wrote in an affidavit. Perle told the New York Times that this extremely suggestive language was inserted due to a "clerical error". He said that he had seen it in a draft and had struck it out. He later said that after striking it out, it mysteriously re-appeared in the final copy, which he signed without noticing the error. He rejects any notion that there could be influence peddling going on. "I'm not using public office for private gain because the Defense Policy Board has nothing to do with the CFIUS process," the NYT quotes him as saying. And of course that's strictly correct; but he has something to do with it, and his position with DPB is a major reason why he's been chosen. We might question the wisdom of a high-level defense advisor who sees nothing wrong with selling a network used by Uncle Sam to the Chinese, and wonder if his advice on re-structuring the Middle East is of any better quality. Perle has also been in the news recently for other reasons. Displeased by a piece on him in the New Yorker by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, Perle moderately told CNN: "Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly." Then for good measure followed it up by telling the New York Sun that the New Yorker piece was " all lies, from beginning to end," and that he was launching a libel action in London. Says the Sun: "He said he is suing in Britain because it is easier to win such cases there, where the burden on plaintiffs is much less." Nice. The Register's local spotters feel that Perle may have got slightly the wrong impression about the UK libel process, but nevertheless look forward to seeing him there in the witness box. Alongside, we trust, Adnan Khashoggi and a galaxy of stars from recent and not-so-recent Republican administrations. ® Related links: Hersh's article Perle adds Hersh to axis of evil Shock and Awe rolls in the New York Sun
Thomas C Greene, 24 Mar 2003

Europe judges Hynix rescue funding illegal

The European Commission wants punitive tariffs of 30-35 per cent imposed on all Hynix chip imports after it found the world's third largest memory maker guilty of receiving aid from the Korean government. Such aid is banned by the World Trade Organisation and illegal in the EU. The demand, reported by the Financial Times this past Friday, follows an eight-month investigation into Hynix's relationship with the Korean government. That enquiry was prompted by complaints made by rival memory maker Infineon. Infineon's complaint centred on financial assistance rendered to Hynix by its creditor banks. Since the Korean government holds major stakes in many of those banking organisations, that assistance was tantamount to illegal government intervention, Infineon claimed. Micron, another Hynix rival, filed similar complaints with the US trade regulatory organisation, the FTC. Micron, of course, attempted to buy Hynix early last year. Hynix rejected its advances. The banks provided financial aid to Hynix in order to keep the loss-making company afloat. Such institutional creditors have continued to pour bailout money into Hynix to prevent its collapse. The most recent rescue loan took place late last year. Hynix has racked up net losses of some $7.6 billion over the past three years. Micron claims some $11.9 billion that was allegedly received by the semiconductor company amounts to illegal government financial intervention. In the EU, the punitive duties on Hynix shipments to Europe ere expected to be agreed on or before 24 April. However, levying the duties could take a lot longer to implement. The proposed duty of 30-35 per cent would likely make Hynix's products uncompetitive. In the US, Hynix faces an import ban. Its North American fab, in Oregon, would be safe from the import ban. While Europe is not one of Hynix's core markets, a US ban could topple the highly unstable memory maker. Which is, of course, exactly what Micron and Infineon would like. ® Related Stories Hynix rescued for third time (to the tune of $4bn) Hynix slams Micron 'double talk' Micron calls for US penalty tariffs on Korean DRAM makers Infineon runs to EC over Hynix subsidies Micron to Hynix: you don't call, you don't write Micron walks away from Hynix Hynix board snubs Micron bid Hynix and Micron agree to agree Hynix chief calls for patience as Micron talks drag Hynix to re-open Oregon plant Micron, Hynix confirm talks
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

The price of failure: $35m

EDS is to take a $35 million charge in Q1 to cover the severance package of Dick Brown, the CEO and chairman who was fired last week. No wonder his valedictory email to the EDsers was so touchy-feely. Brown is to receive $12.4 million cash, vested stock options worth $5.4 million; retirement benefits - currently worth $19.6 million - to be paid in monthly instalments; continuation of certain other benefits and acceleration of unvested stock options. Thirty-five million bucks: is that all? We must question Dick Brown's negotiating skills. After all he had the whip-hand in 1998 when EDS was tempting him away from Cable & Wireless PLC. And CEOs, like bananas, do not grow on trees, as we are continually reminded by, err, CEOs. Mr. Brown has suffered enough humiliation already: Top Bananas deserve top dollar. Give that poor man a raise! ® Bootnote Dick Brown says he will always be an EDser, prompting this letter from Reg Reader Kaal Alexander: As soon as I read your piece on the EDSer I was put in mind of a Spike Milligan limerick: There was a young soldier called Edser, Who, when wanted, was always in bed, Sir. One morning at one they fired a gun, And Edser, in bed, Sir, was dead, Sir! Related stories Dick Brown: Action, urgency, excellence! EDS fires Dick Brown
Drew Cullen, 24 Mar 2003

Affinity Internet shares suspended

Shares in Affinity Internet Holdings PLC were suspended on the London Stock Exchange this morning. The company did not give a reason for the suspension but said that an announcement "would follow". Two weeks ago Affinity Internet flogged its loss-making Internet operation to an outfit called Cleverview Investments Ltd for £250,000. Affinity said it had sold the business so that it could concentrate on its profitable mobile and fixed line telephony business. ® Related Story Affinity Internet flogs ISP operation
Tim Richardson, 24 Mar 2003

Amazon iPaq imbroglio moves Reg reader to song

Reg reader Paul Smith (no relation) was inspired to verse by last week's Amazon iPaq pricing gaffe. The online retailer's UK wing inadvertently offered two cut-price HP PDAs for £7.23 and £23.04, respectively, prompting - we dare say - thousands of orders, all of which will go unfulfilled. Says Paul: "I've been following this story closely, and even ordered myself some. Not getting them, of course, but I thought I'd vent my spleen in the best way I knew how. The old 'write a silly song about it' ploy." And here, in all its gory (given the tune) glory, it is. GIT CHORE IPAQs, THEY'RE LUVERLY (sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic) TTTO BHotR (oh, come on)... Mine eyes have seen the cock-ups on the automated site, With a look of stunned amazement - was the price of that thing right? And I ordered several vanfulls while Jeff Bezos' face turned white, From that crazy Amazon! Chorus: (if you really want to) Get your iPaqs now, they're lovely, Get your iPaqs now, they're lovely, Get your iPaqs now, they're lovely, Super cheap at Amazon. Yes, that really was an iPaq for just £7.32, And they even sold a bigger one for silly money too, Would you look at all the features - all that Bluetooth just for you - In the sale at Amazon... A chatroom told me this was true - I quickly went and looked, Then I clicked the confirmation and I saw my order booked, And I emailed all my colleagues - soon the office staff were hooked, By that crazy Amazon! Then straight away the Register, and then the BBC, And Silicon, and Slashdot, and the main sites for IT, Began to spread the news about this tiny little fee For iPaqs at Amazon. But two or three hours later - yes, there had to be a catch - We saw the company spokesmen try to crawl out of it (natch) "The contract isn't binding yet - it has to reach dispatch", Said the drones from Amazon. OK, upon reflection, time is all that we have lost, But lawyers, please locate the bin in which our rights were tossed; 'Cos when you advertise a price, you'll have to count the cost; Sort your lives out, Amazon. ® Related Stories No legal recourse for buyers as Amazon rejects £7 iPaq pricing Amazon offers sub-£10 iPaq
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Hulme exitsTadpole

Bernard Hulme has resigned from Tadpole as CEO and director with immediate effect. He's available to the board for six months thereafter for advice. Hulme used to run SCO's European ops. There's nothing in the Tadpole statement released to the London Stock Exchange today to indicate the cause of departure, so one can but speculate. But a CEO leaving immediately indicates typically that he or she was at the losing end of a boardroom argument. David Lee, non-exec chairman, is stepping into the breech to become executive chairman. And Keith Bigsby, CFO, will assume responsibility for the company's Endeavors software line, upon which the hopes of the business is based. Their CVs can be found here Once upon a time, Tadpole was a niche maker of SPARC laptops and sundry hardware; now it is a niche designer of enterprise software apps through its Endeavor business unit and mapping through its Cartesia division. The challenge now for the company is to start winning some serious business and making some serious profits. ®
Drew Cullen, 24 Mar 2003

End in sight for UK IT tax holiday

A treasury initiative to give small and medium-sized businesses 100 per cent tax relief on IT purchases runs out at the end of the month. There is no sign from Chancellor Gordon Brown that he will extend the gig in the next Budget, accountancy firm Hacker Young warns. Introduced in 2000, the scheme is designed for businesses turning over less than £2.8 million, with assets of less than £1.4 million, and fewer than 50 employees. Says Roy Maugham, tax partner at Hacker Young: "Many SME's have taken advantage of this scheme, but there are many more that are not even aware of it. IT spend is a necessity so it makes sense for any small business looking to buy IT in the next two years to invest now while they can still escape tax." Thanks for the advice, Roy. But a bit late, maybe? ®
Drew Cullen, 24 Mar 2003

Yellow Pages launches new DQ service

Yell - the outfit behind Yellow Pages and the online business information service, Yell.com - has launched its own-brand directory enquiries (DQ) service. It joins a clutch of other operators who have entered the market following the decision to deregulate the UK's DQ industry. The outfit reckons that its 15-years experience at running its "Talking Pages" service - plus its brand - will give it an edge over its rivals. The "118 247" (pronounced "one-one-eight, twenty-four, seven" - geddit?) service costs from 40p a throw. Said John Condron, Yell chief exec, in a statement: "The deregulation in the UK of 192 directory enquiries provides us with the opportunity to widen our already successful phone-based classified directory service and enhance what we offer our callers and advertisers. "The key difference between us and other 118 operators is the depth of our classified business data. The launch of Yellow Pages 118 24 7 marks our most important step forward on the telephone information front since the launch of Talking Pages in 1988," he said. Last week independent DQ service Conduit launched its 118 888 service by bathing BT Tower in the heart of London in emerald green light. Conduit reckons its service will be cheaper than many rival services with calls costing from 20p a throw, compared to nearer 40p a go. ® Related Stories BT Tower in St Patrick's Day green light stunt UK's 192 service opened up
Tim Richardson, 24 Mar 2003

Apple WWDC delay prompts PPC 970 speculation

Apple's decision to postpone its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) from mid-May to mid-June might at first seem nothing more than panic caused by too few pre-registrations. Certainly the new, juicier carrot being dangled in front of developers - a "more complete" preview of Mac OS X 10.3, codenamed Panther - makes it appear that Apple is more concerned about bums on seats than anything else. But there may be more to the change than meets the eye. It's important to note that WWDC is also moving venue, to the far swankier and media-friendly San Francisco Moscone centre. San Jose Convention Center is where the IT industry talks to members of their own tribe; the Moscone is where they go to reach a wider audience. Then there's the 'carrot'. Developers would have undoubtedly been given a glimpse of Panther at a May WWDC and received a copy into the bargain. No one expects previews to be complete or of ship quality, so while the provision of a "more complete preview release" is nice, it's hardly a good reason to move location. Everyone will get a copy of Panther, says Apple. Could Apple have something more exciting in mind? A very tempting answer is IBM's 64-bit PowerPC 970 chip. Certainly the rumour mill has it that IBM's Peter Sandon, the guy who unveiled the chip at last autumn's Microprocessor Forum, will be called on stage to demo the processor. Even if his presence - assuming he'll be there, of course - isn't connected to a specific hardware announcement, it would be tantamount to Apple admitting it will be using the new processor, something it has refused to discuss to date. The rumours continue to the effect that Apple is brushing up 64-bit OS X development tools and a 64-bit version of the OS. In his Microprocessor Forum speech, Sandon admitted 32-bit PowerPC-based operating systems would need a few tweaks to run on the processor, which supports 32-bit PowerPC apps natively. Might 10.3 incorporate such modifications? Other rumours claim Apple has completed the mobos for 970-based Macs and has been touring Taiwan looking for a manufacturing partner. It's also suggested that a prototype 970-based Mac might make it to WWDC. Crucially, the 970 is scheduled to sample in Q2 2003 before going into volume production sometime during the second half of the year. The WWDC shift could have been made to accommodate IBM's internal delivery plan, and sample chips would allow Apple to demonstrate a machine. Could be... could be... Alas there's little or no evidence to back any of this up. Sources are silent, and what information we have is circumstantial. "Call that evidence? You couldn't hang a hat on that." Indeed, it might simply be that Apple is delaying in order to offer a better glimpse of Panther, and the San Jose Convention Centre is all booked up - which it is: the Clusterworld Conference and Expo are scheduled to take place in the week Apple has moved WWDC to, which the Moscone has a that week free in its schedule. Nevertheless the Moscone arguably gives Apple a bigger stage on which to make a joint 10.3-970 announcement. We shall see. ®
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Hacktivists DDoS 10 Downing St site

UK government website 10 Downing Street (also at this URL) was briefly rendered inaccessible yesterday after a co-ordinated denial of service attack protesting the Prime Minster's role in the conflict. The site, which runs IIS on Win2K (according to Netcraft), is back on-line. Unconfirmed reports suggest hackers went one step further with the Whitehouse site, reportedly spraying it with anti-war graffiti. Defacement archive, Zone-h.org, links to a record of this supposed defacement, although its report contain a strong caveat that it wasn't able to capture and confirm the attack itself. Zone-h's affiliate ZATAZ Magazine provides an archive of the brief defacement of Whitehouse.gov. The site, which uses an Apache on Linux platform, is now up and running. Separately, defacement group Carders defaced 3,000 (seemingly random) Web sites, again over the weekend. Its motives in this attack remain unclear, though it likely that these sites were also attacked as part of an anti-war protest. ® Related Stories Why the Dogs of Cyberwar stay leashed Hackers claim NSA breach VX writers latch onto Gulf War II tricks to spread worms
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2003

Leeds Uni, MS teach undergrads to write secure code

Microsoft has teamed up with the University of Leeds to develop the UK's first undergraduate computer security module to focus on the skills which developers need write secure code. The course kicks off in January 2004. Students will get hands-on experience of writing secure code and will learn to appreciate the fundamental role of security in software engineering. In addition to standard security topics, the module will cover threat modelling and basic security analysis of code, teaching students to identify potential weaknesses within their programs that could be exploited by unscrupulous crackers or virus writers. Microsoft UK Chief Security Officer Stuart Okin said: "We are working with the University of Leeds because until now Computer Science graduates in this country were not obtaining adequate theoretical or practical experience. For instance, the module will educate students about buffer over-runs and how to avoid the pitfalls such as those exposed in the recent Slammer virus outbreak." Professor Tony Cohn, Head of the School of Computing at the University of Leeds said he hoped the module help students to write better code while helping to give them an edge in the employment market on graduation. John Harrison, an executive committee member of SAINT (Security Alliance for the Internet and New Technologies), has been working closely with the University of Leeds to promote information security within the curriculum. "This is a very important step towards introducing security engineering into mainstream computer science and software engineering," said Harrison. "It is a serious omission that we have been training the next generation of software developers without this emphasis on security design principles and I hope other universities will follow this lead." Microsoft is partly funding a Fellowship at the University. It is also working with the University of Leeds to develop the curriculum's content, which will "highlight the lessons learned from Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative". The company hopes to team up with other colleges and universities to offer similar courses worldwide. Microsoft's recently announced a deal with Hull University to develop the UK's first postgraduate course in .NET. ® Related Stories Win a computer science bursary at Queen Mary Cost of securing Windows Server 2003? Nearly $200m Trustworthy Computing does Moon Walk (but not yet) Microsoft outlines 3D progress to Trustworthiness Open and closed security are roughly equivalent
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2003

France Telecom sells €15bn in new shares

France Telecom today began its much-touted €15bn today, flogging new shares at €14.50 apiece to existing shareholders. According to Bloomberg, investors are flocking to buy the stock, which represents a discount of 28 per cent on Friday's closing price of €20.20. The French government will stump up 60 per cent of the new money (in line with its shareholding) and will underwrite the rest of the offer in tandem with France Telecom's banks. The proceeds from Europe's biggest ever rights are to be used to pay down debt at the heavily indebted company. France Telecom currently owes €68bn and is aiming to cut this by 40 per cent by the close of 2005. ®
Drew Cullen, 24 Mar 2003

Samsung readies Nexio ‘super PDA’ for Europe

Samsung is due to ship its Nexio S160 PocketPC "super PDA" into Europe later this year, during the third quarter. Recently launched in Korea and Hong Kong, the S160 falls between the classic PDA palmtop form factor and that of a tablet PC. Based on a 400MHz Intel PXA250 processor and running Windows CE .NET, the 128MB S160 has a typically PocketPC spec. However, it also sports a 5in 800x480 landscape-orientation 16-bit colour screen, accommodated by a 6.1 x 3.6 x 0.5in (15.25 x 9 x 1.25cm) case. It weighs 8.8oz (250g). The s160 also offers built-in 802.11b wireless networking. A Compact Flash slot is included for expansion. The front of the device sports a Tungsten-T style navigator wheel/button. A built-in speaker and microphone, and ear/microphone headset socket provide audio in/out. A VGA port supports external display devices - Samsung has its eye on the presentation market. The S160 ships with a USB synchronisation/recharge cradle which also supports the S160's optional plug-on 53-key keyboard. The keyboard doubles as a screen hard-cover, giving the S160 a look not unlike Psion's NetBook device. Samsung also offers a plug-in PC Card Type I/II adaptor, which connects via a proprietary port. The S160 sells for around 7180 Hong Kong dollars (£589, $920). ®
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Intel Xtends Xscale

UpdateUpdate Intel is growing its Xscale family with the addition today of two new chips: the PXA260 and 263. And it officially announced the PXA255. The PXA26x line's USP is stacked Flash memory - the memory chips are built into the processor packaging. The 32MB PXA263 joins the current 261 and 262, which contain 16MB and 32MB of Flash, respectively. The 260 has no Flash memory. The new parts are smaller than the 261 and 262, allowing manufacturers to build smaller devices. The new parts are nearly 53 per cent smaller than the 261 and 262 (13 x 13 x 1.4 mm compared to 17 x 17 x 1.75mm). The 260 and the 263 will be offered at 200, 300 and 400MHz. The 255 supersedes the PXA250, providing a faster, 200MHz system bus while consuming less power than the 250. The 255 runs at 1.3V. It too runs at 200, 300 and 400MHz. The PXA255 shares the 263's more compact design. Together its architectural improvements should ensure the 300MHz 255 outperforms the 400MHz 250 - and deliver better battery life. Intel says it offers more than 30 per cent lower power consumption than the 250 in run mode and more than 60 per cent lower in idle mode. The PXA260 and 263 chips should go into volume production in Q2. The 200MHz version of the PXA263 is priced at $42.35 in quantities of 10,000 units, while the 200MHz PXA260 costs $22.85 in 10,000 unit quantities. Intel has already begun shipping the PXA255 to customers. ®
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Last post for BT's trumpet bloke

LogoWatchLogoWatch Telecoms monolith BT has decided to ditch its infamous and much-ridiculed "prancing piper" logo. Long-suffering customers have for 12 years endured this preposterous piece of rebranding, which provoked much tabloid ire on its unveiling in 1991. The Sun, as we recall, was moved to emblazon its front page with "BT blows £5m on trumpet!", or words to that effect. In fact, the eventual cost of the discordant fanfare was a cool £50 million and heralded mass redundancies at the company, as The Daily Mirror recalls. The logo will be phased out over three years, and it is with great anticipation that we await its replacement. This will doubtless be a majestic and synergistic celebration of BT's corporate paradigm shift, courtesy of the market realignment team at a leading UK strategy boutique. Anyone care to speculate on the eventual cost? ®
Lester Haines, 24 Mar 2003

IT worker burnout gets critical

Morale among IT workers is at rock bottom, with workers struggling to cope with increased workloads. That's the main conclusion of Meta Group's annual IT Staffing and Compensation Guide. It found the majority of managers believed their techies are close to breaking point. Increased pressure, due to recession-induced staff cutbacks, is increasing the workload of remaining workers who are beginning to show the strain. Among IT managers surveyed, more than 71 per cent indicate that IT employee burnout is currently a serious issue in their organizations. Unless the problem is addressed, turnover, productivity, and shareholder value will suffer, Meta warns. "Working through this prolonged recession, which has seen budget cuts across the enterprise, numerous staff cutbacks, and general sector uncertainty, has definitely taken its toll on IT employee morale. Unfortunately, it is those same budget cuts that are impeding managers from combating the problem by way of making concrete improvements," said Maria Schafer, programme director of Meta Group's IT Human Capital Management Strategies, and author of the guide. The picture is not entirely black, with Meta noting that many firms are rolling out staff training programmes and other measures to boost worker morale. More than half (55 per cent) of companies surveyed by Meta have begun implementing skill development programs as a means to boost employee morale, while 24 per cent have created better overall retention programmes. Monetary rewards still register as a viable "Plan B" for many firms, according to Meta. One in ten (11 per cent) of surveyed companies raising salaries, a similar number hired more staff, and 8 per cent offering cash incentives to prevent employee burnout. According to Meta, only a few IT organisations with remote locations relied on a "change of scenery" to attract more talent and retain good people. Just one in 20 moved the company to a new location altogether in an effort to lure skilled workers and reduce employee malaise. Meta suggests that, at a minimum, firms should keep lines of communication with hard pressed workers open. Employee surveys, performance reviews suggestion boxes and the like can all help in this, it suggests. Meta released preliminary conclusions of the survey last week, ahead of the publication of the its IT Staffing and Compensation Guide later this year. ®
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2003

AMD roadmap slots 400MHz FSB Athlon XP launch in April/May

Japanese Web site PC Watch has posted what it claims is the latest iteration of AMD's roadmap. Essentially, AMD will launch the Barton-based Athlon XP with 512KB of L2 cache and a 400MHz FSB late April/early May. Performance ratings will range to at least 3200+. AMD has already announced it will launch the 64-bit Opteron (aka Sledgehammer on 22 April). Barton-based uni- and dual-processor Athlon MPs will a appear sooner: we should see them before the end of March, the roadmap suggests. Late Q2 should see the arrival of Thorton, the successor to the Duron's Morgan core. Thorton appears to be a renamed Throughbred, sporting as it does 256KB of L2 cache and 0.13 micron fabrication. It may not be a long-lived upgrade to Morgan - today's Barton-based 333MHz FSB Athlon XP will slide into Duron territory in Q4. By then the Athlon 64 will have arrived - September, we hear; and so do others, including PC Watch. Mid-Q4 should see the launch of a mid-range Athlon 64, codenamed Paris, with a mere 256KB of L2 on board. It will supersede the 3200+ Barton. Come 2004 and Paris will evolve into a 90nm part possibly codenamed Victoria - PC Watch isn't sure. By then Clawhammer, the first Athlon 64, will also have shrunk using a 90nm process to become San Diego. The 90nm uni- to eight-way Opteron, codenamed Athens, will ship in the same timeframe. PC Watch's roadmap says nothing about how soon Duron will go 64-bit. ® Related Link PC Watch's AMD article (Japanese - copy the link to translate at Babelfish)
Tony Smith, 24 Mar 2003

Public Records Office to preserve digital documents

The Public Records Office (PRO) is to reveal at a conference next month how it intends to preserve electronic documents for the future. As the PRO makes clear, it is necessary to maintain the software and hardware needed to read those documents. This is easier said than done when software viewing applications can become obsolete very quickly, and storage media, such as disks and tapes, are, all too often, unstable. Unless these are preserved, the PRO warns that future generations may miss out on a significant part of their heritage. That's why more than a hundred delegates are expected to attend a conference in early April charged with discussing practical experiences in the preservation of digital documents. At the same time the PRO will outline its digital archive system which will store electronic government records. Said David Ryan, Head of Archive Services at the Public Record Office: "As the world is becoming more technologically advanced, it is claimed that the average life span of a web page is around 100 days, while the software required to view digital information can become obsolete within five years. "Digital information cannot be left for 20 years in the hope that it will remain readable for our grandchildren." Of course, one way to preserve the documents is to print them off and file them away. No? Just a thought. ®
Tim Richardson, 24 Mar 2003

Sun adopts Write Once, Revise Anywhere license

Tired of outrageously restrictive software licenses? Sun Microsystems can help. It's posted a most lenient license for its JavaBeans Development Kit (BDK), which lets users set any terms they like for a download of the software. A quick click on the continue button from this download page reveals a terms and conditions screen that allows users to replace Sun's terms with their own text before continuing. Simply select the text, cut it, and insert the terms and conditions that seem compelling at the moment. Sun has a tidier license up for version 1.0 of the JavaBeans BDK, but feel free to entertain yourselves with the platform independent 1.1 code. Many thanks to a sharp eyed reader for pointing us to this. Try pasting in the entire text of Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury just to see if the Sun legal staff can figure out what the book means. ®
Ashlee Vance, 24 Mar 2003

Met police use spam to warn against 999 timewasting

The Metropolitan Police Service is to reinforce the message that 999 calls should be made in the event of an emergency - by spamming up to 250,000 Londoners. Scotland Yard has signed a deal with messaging outfit Buongiorno to state the bleeding obvious to the capital's residents. Non-urgent calls to emergency service personnel are a problem but serious questions should be raised about whether the Met is getting its message across in the most effective way. From the press release (below) we learn that email will be the "sole means" to communicate this message. Recipients of the email are encouraged to pass it on to friends and family. A spokeswoman for Buongiorno said the emails will be targeted at people nf the company's database. Only people who had opted to receive permission-based marketing communication would receive the initial email, she told us. We put it to her that radio adverts, tube posters or adverts on newspaper sites might be preferable to communicating via bulk email, so avoiding the possibility of copy-cat hoax messages or other risks. Not a bit of it, she said. "Email is a very effective way of getting message to a targeted audience," Buongiorno's spokeswoman told us. ® PRESS RELEASE: Metropolitan Police and Buongiorno tackle '999' time-wasting The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has selected Buongiorno, the leading European provider of interactive mobile services to implement its first online marketing campaign. Buongiorno will target over 250,000 Londoners by email to drive home the message that '999' is for emergency telephone calls only. The initiative was planned and instigated through MediaCom and tackles the two million non-urgent calls currently received each year by the Met on its '999' number. The integrated campaign operates in two stages. An initial email encourages Londoners to consider several situations and reinforces that none are worthy of a 999 call. Selection of the London borough they live in then provides a pop-up prompt displaying the specific police station in their area and its telephone number. Londoners who want to provide their mobile phone number will be delivered the local police station number via SMS which can then be stored on their mobile for future use. Participants are also given the opportunity to opt-in for further information from the Met Police and encouraged to forward the email to friends and relatives who they believe would also benefit from the service. Says Nikki Redmond, head of the MPS publicity Branch: "Non-urgent calls to '999' are a serious issue for the MPS - they use valuable resources that should be helping those that really are involved in an emergency. Targeting Londoners via email and SMS offers an alternative way of reaching our audience over our more conventional methods. It provides awareness of the problem and an innovative approach to tackling the issue around misuse of the 999 facility." Jonathan Smyth of Buongiorno comments: "It is fulfilling to use our marketing and technical capabilities and experience on a project that has the ultimate objective of improving community life. The recognition of the power of new media is also very positive - both the Met and MediaCom understand that delivering a fully integrated marketing campaign is an ideal way of reaching the target audience." Gema San Miguel, email marketing planner at MediaCom says: "Buongiorno was selected due to the strong relationships that it has built up with its members, who will be more receptive to the Met message as a result. Buongiorno also offers the unique technical capabilities that we required for the campaign - integration of email marketing, SMS, data capture and viral activity. Such is the strength of the medium that email is the sole channel of communication for this vital message."
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2003

GNOME, KDE get their kicks from XFree86

Leading GNOME and KDE developers have borrowed a leaf from the Hans Blix diplomacy manual in a joint statement on the XFree86 schism. Last week a leading XFree86 developer, Keith Packard, was expelled in an acrimonious dispute which put the project's fundamental goals and architecture in the spotlight. Sixteen GNOME and KDE developers, including Miguel de Icaza and Dirk Mueller, have issued a statement supporting XFree86 that declines to comment on the Packard episode. Frustrated by what he cites slow development progress and an unaccountable board, Packard was soliciting help for a breakaway project. Blixed However the diplomatic language does include a very delicately worded call: "We would like to have a frequently-released, robust, stable, open source implementation of these APIs, specifications, and features." Which is a polite way of saying, "get moving". You can read the statement here or here. Register readers have contributed their thoughts on the future of X11. Reader Allen Crider points out that taking out the network capabilities would deprive us being able to use cheap, low cost (and silent) terminals: "People who want to take X Windows out of the socket model are generally ill-informed. For instance, my own computer (running an XP 1800+) can generate 45,021 socket packets per second. "Also, Xterminals are NOT slow (unless you are 3-d gaming). I always use one. My noisy XP 1800 is in the closet doing all those server things and I use a homemade Xterminal on a 10base100 net. It feels like I'm one a dual-CPU machine. "Xterminals are a very good idea if people think they want Linux in the workplace. PCs with their disk drives and autonomous operating systems are a ridiculous headache. The only reason Xterminals lost their market in the olden days were their price exceeded standalone PCs. Try it out for yourself sometime. As long as you have a cou[ple of Linux boxes sitting around, you can run any X program off one machine and have the display show up on another. "Shifting the problem, not solving it" A graphics developer who says he's "firmly on the fence on this one" has many good observations. "Wexelblat article is right in many respects. "The remote stuff is less of an issue as he says, but that's all transparent and slow anyways because it's over the network. X can actually run in two modes now, direct rendering and networked and it must support both. As he says, networked display is largely unused for desktop stuff, and when it is used it's SLOW, because your graphics bus becomes the network. It's the old "thin client" philosophy, support for which is built into every single X server. "As for supporting a new card like Radeon, I can't help think that Packard is making too much of this. There's the DRI (direct rendering infrastructure) that pretty much lets you plug in your own 3D support. "The 2D support is less of an issue having several levels of support possible and there's plenty of code you can lift. All the stuff to transport calls over the network is already implemented and would wind up calling through the DRI. So updating the DRI implementation for a new card it seems to me is akin to what he's talking about anyway. "Graphics is naturally more complex and difficult so I think he'd just be shifting the problem not solving it. Instead of the DRI you'd end up with some other direct rendering fubar and you haven't really moved the problem with regards to the 3D implementations. You've got to implement OpenGL and provide a common interface and provide X API support at least natively on the desktop. So you eliminate the indirect rendering networked stuff? How does that help anyone? "That code is just lying there already written, it's just a network protocol "tranceiver" for want of a better word. It took people ages just to fix the OpenGL ABI on Linux so software would be portable between drivers. This is standards work, it's boring it's mundane, but you can't throw it away. "You're stuck with that, it's a GOOD THING, so what are you eliminating, some network baggage you largely don't have to look at but may not like for aesthetic reasons? In reality, implementing 3D stuff can be done at the DRI level adding new stuff takes messing around with specs and protocols and that's possibly a good thing in a heterogeneous hardware environment, but lacks the purity some hackers crave." Thanks for your comments. One more: an anonymous poster at gnome.org comments that GNOME and KDE should drive assume responsibility for the project. Along with Apple, they're the main customers and therefore, rely the most on this implementation of X11. So, would this be bad thing? ® Related Story XFree86 dust-up questions X11 model
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Mar 2003

Is this the end of the domain transfer nightmare?

An end to the frustrating, illogical and frequently abused system of transferring domain names between registrars may finally arrive this week at the ICANN meeting in Rio de Janeiro. In meetings today and a council tomorrow, a report enticingly named "Policies and Processes for Gaining and Losing Registrars" will seek to bring some common-sense to the system of moving a domain from one registrar to another. If adopted - and it remains an "if" - competition in the market for global top-level domains such as .com, .org and .biz will receive a huge boost and domain owners will be granted rights they have long been denied. The report should ensure that domain registrars will no longer be able to abuse the system and prevent paying customers' efforts to move to a cheaper competitor. The most important phrase in the report states that the transfer process "should be easy, fluid, transparent and inexpensive". The report removes the losing registrar's current ability to stop any transfer by simply failing to acknowledge it. Instead, it will have to give good grounds for stopping a transfer. A transfer will thus go ahead if both the domain owner and the winning registrar agree and there is no complaint. Until now, some registrars have deliberately implemented an over-complex system for renewal - and occasionally nonsensical conditions - in order to either delay a transfer to beyond its expiry date or to make customers give up in frustration. And even though the report has been watered down from its far-sighted initial standpoint, this basic handing over of power from a registrar to the actual owner of the domain is retained and is vitally important to the future of competition in the Internet market. Of course, nothing to do with ICANN is ever that simple and the entire report could be thrown out if the ICANN Board so decides - and there is reason to believe it might do just that. There are, however, two very good points in the report's favour: It has - unusually - managed to jump all the procedural hurdles and as such is actually supported by important elements in the ICANN system It is so bloody obviously a good thing Before you get all excited about the Internet being run in a normal efficient manner however, a brief bit of background. In early 2001, a lot of registrars (the people that sell domain names to members of the public) started complaining that requests by domain owners to transfer their domains to themselves were being blocked or purposefully sabotaged by the company that currently owned them. The companies that owned the bulk of domains were unwilling to see much of their business and profits float away to others simply because they were cheaper or more efficient. VeriSign had had a monopoly on selling domains until 1999 and so had the most to lose by domain transfers. It was also, unsurprisingly, the registrar most complained about. In fact, VeriSign openly admitted a policy of not acknowledging requests for domain transfers because, it claimed, it wanted to reduce the number of fraudulent transfers - something it knew all about having wrongly transferred the Sex.com domain to con-man Stephen Michael Cohen years earlier. A mistake that may end up costing it $100 million. Other registrars' complaints were sufficient for ICANN to suggest that a new policy be drawn up. It duly was and it was duly ignored by the very people it was aimed at. This is when the full glory of the ICANN decision-making process was unveiled. In October 2001 (six months after the first complaints - or, alternatively, after a quarter of the world's domains had come up for renewal), a "fast track" Transfers Task Force was created by ICANN in order to come up with ways to sort the situation out. The Task Force is one of seven that current exist within the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). The GNSO comprises six constituencies and is one of three main supporting organisations to ICANN. Over the course of the next 14 months, this vital reform by the Task Force went through the Joint Constituency, the Registrar Constituency, the Cross-Constituency, the DNSO Names Council, the DNSO General Assembly, back to the Task Force, back to the Registrar Constituency and the DNSO Names Council and then out for open consultation. After this consultation had been finished and accounted, the Implementation Committee then had a good look at it and finally, incredibly, the report was born on 12 February 2003 - two years after it had all started. Since it has the backing of the GNSO, it may get through and a major loophole in one of the fundamental systems of Internet usage will be shut down. How long it would take then to become a reality is anyone's guess. However, it remains distinctly possible that VeriSign will use its unique relationship with ICANN to delay the report still further or even get it thrown out. We calculate that each year of delay is worth around $500 million to VeriSign. Which is quite a lot of impetus. Either way, we should know by the end of the week. ® Related links ICANN's Rio meeting The final report Related stories Where the hell is my website? California High Court refuses to interject in Sex.com case
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2003
Cat 5 cable

EMC chief cashes in on losses

EMC's chief executive officer Joe Tucci was rewarded handsomely last year with a gutsy salary and piles of options even though the company lost ground to the competition. Diamond Joe was awarded a US$675,000 bonus on top of his million dollar salary, according to a Friday SEC filing. The EMC chief also received 2 million shares in stock options for his storage savvy. This smashing package came as EMC coughed up $119 million in losses for 2002. Chairman Mike Ruettgers fared almost as well with one million in salary and $650,00 in bonus but only half the options. Ruettgers' salary has fallen since the 2000 and 2001 boom years, while Tucci has received fairly equal packages all three years. Toni Sacconaghi, a rare reservoir of sanity in the financial analyst community, shows EMC losing a whopping 10 percent of market share in the second half of 2002 as compared to the first half. His recent Sanford C. Bernstein & Co report notes that IBM wooed most of these defectors, and Hitachi also made gains. Hitachi has piggy-backed on HP and Sun, who resell its high end systems, and tied with EMC atop the high end storage market, with both companies taking 39 percent share. Still, Diamond Joe is a charming fellow with a rich New York accent and charisma to match. CIOs must be a callous breed to deny this man a storage sale. In the long run, technology buyers may warm to EMC again. Tucci has spearheaded the company's push to round out its software arsenal and ship code wherever it can. By all accounts, EMC appears to have some of the best management products around for multivendor data centers. This code could be the key to EMC's defense against IBM and Hitachi and boost revenue once again. At least, that's what Tucci is banking on. ®
Ashlee Vance, 24 Mar 2003