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News Headlines For Tuesday 29th February 2000
Internet News
  • U.S. Governors Weigh In on Net Taxes
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Clinton, governors discuss; states remain split over sales tax for e-commerce.

    President Clinton and U.S. governors on Monday wrestled with whether states should tax online sales.

    "The digital marketplace must be mirrored in a new digital government," says a report on the Internet's impact on government, issued by the National Governors' Association Monday in conjunction with the group's meeting at the White House.

    After the meeting, governors remained split over whether online sales should be subject to state sales taxes. It's a crucial issue pitting states reliant on sales-tax revenues against those with booming Internet-driven economies.

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  • Lycos to launch free ISP
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Lycos is expected to launch a free Internet access service tomorrow, joining a market already populated by several of its main Web portal rivals.

    The Waltham, Mass., company is tapping CMGI-owned to run the service, alongside AltaVista and Excite@Home on the upstart's client list, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

    Lycos' move is in part a simple means of keeping up with the Yahoos, as several of its closest competitors have already attracted hundreds of thousands of users to their free Net access services. But the deal also underlines these services' new role as a critical piece of portals' business models, much as free email has now become commonplace on virtually every Web site with mass-market ambitions.

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  • Leap Day Glitches Embarrass High-Tech Japan
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Yahoo! Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Japan, one of the world's most high-tech nations, Tuesday suffered a series of computer problems due to the leap day rollover, including malfunctions in cash dispensers and weather forecast devices.

    The Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said about 1,200 cash dispensers at post offices across Japan went down due to Y2K computer bugs triggered by the Feb. 29 leap day. There have been concerns computers would not recognize February 29, 2000, a leap year that occurs once in 400 years.

    The ministry said it had sent scores of engineers to repair the dispensers and at least 830 machines have already been fixed. The ministry runs some 25,000 cash dispensers.

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News Headlines For Monday 28th February 2000
Internet News
  • PC prices rise for fourth month
    Time: 17:18 EDT/22:18 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Prices of computers sold at retail stores rose for the fourth consecutive month in January while the growth in sales slowed, according to a new report, an indication that the dizzying pace of the consumer PC market may be slowing.

    Still, consumers likely need not fret yet. The industry's hyperkinetic ability to manufacture components and computers continues unabated, so low PC prices will likely still be a main feature of the landscape.

    The price surge, which was predicted last October and started to be confirmed in December, is a result of a combination of factors, according to PC Data analyst Stephen Baker.

    Cooling customer interest in sub-$600 PCs, for instance, has driven average prices up. Another key aspect is growing consolidation among PC makers. With IBM gone, only Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Emachines, for the most part, define the retail market.

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  • Liquid Audio eyes in-store digital music market
    Time: 17:14 EDT/22:14 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The company, primarily known for its efforts to make music available over the Internet, today announced a new marketing effort for its Liquid Kiosk Network, software that allows customers to preview and purchase music as digital singles and create custom CDs.

    The campaign marks the first time the product will be marketed to U.S. retailers. International retailers including The Music Company in Seoul, Korea, and TopShop/TopMan stores in London already use Liquid Kiosk Network software.

    "We believe consumers entering today's stores have higher expectations and want a customized product and satisfying retail experience," Phil Wiser, co-founder and chief technology officer at Liquid Audio, said in a statement. "The Liquid Kiosk Network solution lets traditional retailers leverage Internet music to expand their product line while maintaining their current storefront real estate."

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  • Baan CEO says takeover possible
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Baan interim chief executive Pierre Everaert said he could not rule out a takeover of the troubled Dutch business-management software group.

    "If someone comes along and offers a good price and can assure further growth at Baan, how can I say no?," Everaert said in an interview at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, Germany.

    Money-losing Baan, Europe's second largest business-management software group behind Germany's SAP, is in a management crisis after staking its future on traditional applications while SAP and U.S. rivals such as Oracle offer their products via the Internet.

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  • Report: EBay to Bid for Sotheby's
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Online auctioneer eBay Inc. is set to mount a $1.6 billion bid to take over troubled auction house Sotheby's, The Independent on Sunday reported.

    The newspaper said eBay would take advantage of Sotheby's current turmoil to pounce after two senior executives resigned from the 250-year-old firm amid a widening price-fixing probe.

    Antitrust probes in Britain, Australia and the United States are investigating whether Sotheby's and its rival, Christie's International Plc, fixed sale commissions. Between them, the two companies control 95 percent of the world's $4 billion auction business.

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News Headlines For Friday 25th February 2000
Internet News
  • Suit: AOL Cripples Net Access
    Time: 17:50 EDT/22:50 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online, which seems to be spending a lot of time in court these days, is back in legal hot water.

    This time, it's the target of a class-action suit accusing the company of releasing its latest software, AOL 5.0, knowing that it could result in major changes to a user's operating system, making it unstable, even unusable. According to the suit, the software also prevents AOL customers from connecting to competing ISPs.

    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all AOL users in Washington state who have installed 5.0, said Steve Berman, a Seattle attorney who specializes in class-actions.

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  • Priceline gets gas
    Time: 17:47 EDT/22:47 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean Inc., the name-your-price specialist, is getting into the gas business.

    The company said Friday that it will launch a new service allowing consumers to set their own price for gasoline and fill up their tanks at specially selected stations.

    The announcement comes at an opportune time. Gasoline and oil prices have been jumping, and the Energy Department and the American Automobile Association have warned that low supplies could bump prices even higher in the coming months.

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  • Security aid on the way for colleges
    Time: 17:44 EDT/22:44 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Alex Vorobiev doesn't want to be embarrassed by a hacker, and he's got security vendors lining up to help him.

    Vorobiev, director of systems support for a mathematics program at Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, Pa., watched in horror this month as his colleagues in academia fell like dominoes to the now-infamous DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.

    University computer systems, open by their very nature, are often called the Achilles' heel of the Internet because of their thin security. In the wake of the DDoS attacks, computers at schools such as the University of California at Santa Barbara were found to be the unwitting dupes of the hackers.

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  • Just the ticket: seats for shows from ATMs
    Time: 17:38 EDT/22:38 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Coming soon to an automated teller machine at a bank near you: not only cash and account balances, but tickets to the latest shows., which sells event information and tickets online, said it will join with ATM Tix to launch the service in Las Vegas this month. The pilot plan to turn ATMs into virtual box offices--allowing consumers to collect tickets at any time--could later be extended elsewhere, the company said.

    "The ATM Tix partnership allows us to create another convenient and accessible ticket distribution point for consumers--their bank ATM machines," Thomas Gimple, chief executive of, said yesterday. "Consumers using these machines will no longer have to be dependent on the box office or retail outlet's operating hours to retrieve tickets."

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  • Stagnating WebTV offers free access for two months
    Time: 17:34 EDT/22:34 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    After years of low subscriber numbers, Microsoft now says it will offer its WebTV Internet access for free for a limited time, a move to bolster the service in the face of a huge threat from archrival AOL.

    The promotion offers two months of free WebTV Interactive service to customers who purchase a WebTV Plus set-top box, which are priced around $199. Customers who sign up for the service and send in a coupon will receive two months of the service, priced at $25 per month.

    Acquired by Microsoft in 1997, WebTV was the first company to offer Net access through the television. Despite the growing industry trend of accessing the Web through devices and appliances rather than the desktop PC, WebTV has struggled to turn initial buzz into steady growth.

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  • Yahoo will address alleged hate clubs
    Time: 17:32 EDT/22:32 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A day after issuing a public criticism against Yahoo, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the Web portal has vowed to work to remove alleged racist and anti-Semitic "clubs" from its service.

    The announcement follows a statement issued by the ADL yesterday that the Yahoo Clubs service contained sites that reportedly belonged to supporters of prominent hate groups. The ADL charged that the presence of these clubs was in violation of Yahoo's terms of service policy, which prohibits hate speech on its site.

    "We are pleased that Yahoo has responded to our concerns by pledging to work on upholding its terms of service against hate," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL's national director, said in a statement. "We hope to continue to work with Yahoo and other Internet service providers to monitor hate and deny extremists a platform at Web sites where user policies strictly forbid offensive material."

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  • Tandy expected to pick Excite for cable modems
    Time: 17:28 EDT/22:28 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Tandy is expected to pick Excite@Home as the provider of fast Internet service over cable, to be sold through its RadioShack chain of more than 7,000 U.S. electronics stores, analysts said.

    Tandy chief executive Leonard Roberts said he expects to have an agreement later this year with a company he didn't name to sell high-speed Internet connections using cable-TV lines. Excite@Home is the largest U.S. provider of the service that sells for about $40 a month.

    RadioShack could attract more customers by selling cable modems alongside a rival high-speed Internet service provided by NorthPoint Communications Group that uses phone lines, analysts said. More than 16 million U.S. homes, about one-seventh of all households, are expected to use fast Internet service by 2004, up from about 1.5 million today, researcher Yankee Group said.

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  • Study shows new Net appliances won't stymie PC sales
    Time: 17:27 EDT/22:27 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A recent report could give new hope to hardware makers working diligently to expand their businesses in light of increasingly ominous signs that the PC market is on its last legs.

    A research report released today claims that the recent boom in so-called Internet appliances--set-top boxes, handheld devices and other Web-enabled hardware--could help expand the sales of PCs and related technology in the next five years.

    Analysts and industry experts have for some time been predicting the death of the traditional PC, as consumers and corporations clamor for less-expensive, easier ways to connect to the Internet. As hardware prices have fallen--recent estimates point to a clip of 15 percent annually--leading PC makers have scrambled to find other strategies to keep their businesses afloat.

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News Headlines For Thursday 24th February 2000
Internet News
  • IBM plans a direct-sales assault
    Time: 17:58 EDT/22:58 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The tech giant is in the process of expanding its ambitions to sell and manufacture PCs more like rivals Dell Computer and Gateway. On Monday, the company will increase the number of products it sells directly to consumers and small businesses. IBM also plans to enter into a direct buying relationship with 14 of its largest customers.

    In addition, IBM is building up its "build-to-order" manufacturing capabilities, a crucial element in selling PCs and servers directly, and a new campaign to promote direct buying. Big Blue outlined its plans at its Personal Systems Group headquarters here.

    As with rival Compaq Computer, Big Blue is finally taking the inevitable steps toward direct sales. The cost advantages of selling direct--less inventory, no middleman mark-ups, etc.--have long been known in the industry. In the past, however, both companies concocted manufacturing and sales programs that sought to replicate some of the cost advantages achieved by direct sellers--without alienating their traditional dealers.

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  • Last hurrah for Y2K bug expected next week
    Time: 17:55 EDT/22:55 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Government officials will be on watch next week for any technology glitches related to what may be the last hurrah of the year 2000 technology bug.

    White House officials now fear that Feb. 29, 2000 may cause problems for computers that don't recognize 2000 as a leap year. They say systems could erroneously mistake the last day of February as March 1.

    But officials may have a tough time convincing corporate computer managers and consultants that the leap year problem is for real. The White House is still attempting to defend the billions of dollars spent to defend against a Y2K-related meltdown that never really happened.

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  • Professor allowed to post encryption program online
    Time: 17:54 EDT/22:54 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The United States will let a computer scientist put instructions for writing a powerful computer data-scrambling program on his Web site, but his high-profile lawsuit challenging U.S. export restrictions on encryption may continue, his lawyer said today.

    President Clinton in January dramatically liberalized once-strict U.S. export limits on encryption programs, which scramble information and render it unreadable without a password or software "key." The changes recognized that encryption, used in everything from Web browsing software to cellular telephones, has become essential for securing e-commerce and global communications.

    The move also followed a May 6 decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the old rules barring University of Illinois professor Daniel Bernstein from posting instructions for his "Snuffle" program on the Internet were an unconstitutional violation of the scientist's freedom of speech.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 23rd February 2000
Internet News
  • Panel works to bridge Net tax gap
    Time: 17:47 EDT/22:47 GMT News Source: USA Today Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Utah Governor Michael Leavitt and Virginia Governor James Gilmore III are exploring ways to compromise, at least on secondary issues, as a panel studying Internet tax policy moves to wrap up its work next month.

    Leavitt and other officials revised a National Governor's Association proposal that calls for simplifying sales taxes while allowing an expansion of sales collections to Internet and mail order sales. The new version of the Leavitt plan softens a controversial element involving private businesses collecting sales taxes for states.

    Gilmore, chairman of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, has proposed six resolutions that retain the heart of his anti-Internet tax message, yet seek to compromise on the timing. One Gilmore proposal, modifying a plan advanced by business leaders, would ban any sales and use taxes on consumers' purchases during a proposed five-year extension of the current Internet tax moratorium.

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  • Logitech Shrinks Mice Down to Size
    Time: 17:45 EDT/22:45 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Your notebook PC isn't the same size as your desktop PC--so why are you using the same size mouse on both machines? Soon, you won't have to.

    Logitech will debut a smaller mouse designed for portable PC users, as well as a wireless trackball, company executives stated on Wednesday. Both announcements will be made at the CeBIT computer show, which officially opens on Thursday.

    The Mini Wheel mouse is 20 percent smaller and sports a shorter cable than a standard mouse, and will be available in May with either a Universal Serial Bus or PS/2 connection. The company did not disclose pricing.

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  • Intel, Sony Team to Build an eHome
    Time: 04:45 EDT/09:45 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Some predict the Internet will diminish the role of the PC. But two industry giants are betting just the opposite.

    Intel and Sony are partnering to develop more connectivity and interoperability between PCs and Internet appliances such as digital cameras, music players, and video camcorders.

    "The role of the PC is actually going to expand in the home as more and more people get on the Internet and download music and video," says Kurt Sehnert, strategic marketing manager for Intel's desktop products group. "The PC is a flexible device that will let people do a lot of different things, including storing and cataloguing content and making it accessible to other devices in the home."

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  • Internet2 Team Seeks Speedy Apps
    Time: 04:40 EDT/09:40 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The consortium building the next-generation, ultra-high-speed Internet is looking for a few fast applications. Really fast applications.

    The Internet2 effort is sponsoring a Land Speed Record competition "for the most demanding end-to-end, bandwidth-intensive Internet applications in the world." Internet2 representatives will announce the winners at an Internet2 meeting March 29 in Washington, D.C.

    The title goes to the application that can prove (either through a live demonstration or verifiable documentation) that it has transmitted the most bits the farthest distance, says Greg Wood, an Internet2 spokesperson.

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  • Where America hangs out online: AOL
    Time: 04:35 EDT/09:35 GMT News Source: ZDNet World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Newest Media Metrix report says almost 40 percent of all time spent online in the U.S. last month was spent at AOL.

    America Online Inc. continued to dominate Internet traffic during January, accounting for 38 percent of the total time U.S. residents spent online.

    Survey firm Media Metrix said Tuesday that Americans spent 57.5 billion minutes online last month, an average of 13.2 hours per person.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 22nd February 2000
Internet News
  • AOL, tax sites make headway in traffic
    Time: 19:12 EDT/00:12 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Taxpayers rushed to the Net last month, driving traffic to personal finance and other tax services sites, Media Metrix said today in its rankings of the top 50 most-visited Web sites.

    The measurement firm's rankings for January came with two new metrics--average daily unique visitors and total usage minutes--that are believed to provide a more accurate portrait of how well a particular site is faring, Media Metrix said.

    In the category of time spent online, America Online ranked highest, with visitors spending a total of 21.6 billion minutes, or 38 percent of Internet time, on its sites in January. Microsoft was second, accruing 4.2 billion minutes, or 7 percent of all time online, Media Metrix's report said.

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  • Europeans uninterested in shopping online
    Time: 19:10 EDT/00:10 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Only a small number of Europeans who have access to the Internet actually shop online, according to a survey by a U.S. research firm.

    This is because people do not trust the Internet in general, and non-English speakers cannot always find sufficient Web sites in their language offering familiar products, Forrester Research analyst Reineke Reitsma said at a news briefing today.

    In France, companies trying to promote online sales have an additional obstacle in the form of competition from Minitel, the country's widely used teletext service, she said.

    The survey in July 1999 and August 1999 covered 17,000 households in Europe's three largest markets--Germany, Britain and France--as well as Sweden and the Netherlands.

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  • Color Palms: Worth the Price?
    Time: 19:04 EDT/00:04 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    This week Palm adds color to its line of personal digital assistants. But for $449, are 256 colors enough to make the jump?

    The Palm IIIc resembles the Palm III, but has a color screen. It runs on a 20-MHz Motorola Dragonball processor with 8MB of memory. Its bright display lets users view images, play games, and read text easily. PC World took a close look at it, along with the upgraded operating system (see "Palm Gets Color, OS Upgrade," link at right).

    The Palm IIIc offers 8-bit color with 160-by-160 pixel resolution, which is not great for photos. The IIIc's color range is limited by the fact that the device maintains the small unit size and long battery life typical of Palm products.

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News Headlines For Monday 21st February 2000
Internet News
  • FBI Mixes Traditional With New to Find Web Hackers
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: Yahoo! News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    FBI cybersleuths, hunting those responsible for the attacks on some of the World Wide Web's most popular sites, said on Friday they have combined sophisticated computer tracing methods with old-fashioned police work in trying to catch computer hackers.

    FBI officials said investigators attempt to gather evidence by tracing from the victim's computer, often through a series of complex intermediary steps, back to the hacker responsible for launching the attack.

    But in addition to the technical computer techniques, they said they also use traditional investigative methods, such as interviewing cooperating witnesses and victims, court-ordered eavesdropping on communications and executing search warrants.

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  • Spammers Forced to Tell the Truth
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A Colorado legislative committee has passed a bill that would require spammers to tag unsolicited email with a special subject line.

    "[Senders must] use the exact characters 'ADV:' ... as the first four characters in the subject line of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message," reads the so-called Colorado Junk Email Law, House Bill 1309.

    Colorado is the latest among a gaggle of states nationwide seeking to put a dent in the flood of commercial email flooding in-boxes. Internet service providers say junk email dumped onto their servers daily costs them massive amounts of money in bandwidth charges. Many email users, meanwhile, despise the unwanted messages piling up in their in-boxes.

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News Headlines For Friday 18th February 2000
Internet News
  • E-Mail Failure Hits UK's First Flat-Fee Net Deal
    Time: 20:36 EDT/01:36 GMT News Source: Yahoo! News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Britain's first flat-fee Internet service has suffered a major failure in its launch week, with operator Telewest blaming the collapse of its e-mail system on overwhelming demand for the 10 pound ($16.04) a month deal.

    Users of its Cable Internet service, including 15,000 subscribers to the unlimited access deal, were unable to receive e-mail from late on Thursday until 1100 GMT on Friday, Telewest said on its Web site.

    It blamed a storage problem triggered by the ``huge success'' of the deal launched on Monday, which it trumpeted as an example of the cheap Internet services promised by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on Wednesday.

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  • Warning: Add-On Web-Jacks Your E-Mail
    Time: 20:38 EDT/01:38 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A "free browser enhancement" from Internet portal may end up enhancing more than just your browser. According to Internet security firm Finjan, the browser enhancement, which is distributed through GoHip's Web site, uses Microsoft's ActiveX to automatically modify files on a user's PC.

    The small print in the agreement to download the video browser enhancement offered on the Web site states the program will also change the user's default home page and search default to pages. But it also makes other changes that it doesn't mention at all, according to Finjan representatives.

    When you accept GoHip's terms, the site copies an executable file to your system and executes automatically. In addition to modifying your default home page, the program also changes the default signature in your e-mail program.

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  • AdSubtract Blocks Ads, Cookies
    Time: 20:36 EDT/01:36 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean is trying to turn a heated privacy debate into profits. The company is giving away free software that blocks "cookies" and ads delivered by DoubleClick to Web browsers.

    The company has singled out DoubleClick because it is the "most aggressive Internet advertising firm identifying and tracking people surfing the Web," says Ed English, president of AdSubtract.

    As part of its marketing pitch, AdSubtract software (a 2.5MB download) comes preconfigured to block DoubleClick ads and cookies. But you can make the software block all Internet ads and decline all cookies, which are unique snippets of code that a Web site puts in a file in your browser, to "remember" you when you surf to that site. What's more, AdSubtract keeps a running scorecard on the number of items it blocks. English adds that while protecting privacy, the software also boosts download speeds of Web pages by removing banner ads.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 16th February 2000
Internet News
  • FTC probes DoubleClick user practices
    Time: 18:31 EDT/23:31 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Federal Trade Commission is conducting an informal probe into whether DoubleClick Inc. engaged in unfair or deceptive practices in collecting and maintaining data concerning Internet users.

    DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK ), the leading company placing banner ads on Web sites, said it received a letter from the federal consumer watchdog agency on Feb. 8 and is cooperating with the inquiry, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    DoubleClick's disclosure was found amid the details of a lengthy amended registration statement to sell 7.5 million shares of stock that was filed with the SEC on Feb 14.

    Controversy about the company erupted last month when DoubleClick revealed a new plan to track Internet user's movements on the Web and combine that data with people's real names and addresses.

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  • Users Feel Aftershocks of Web Attacks
    Time: 18:18 EDT/23:18 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Last week's hacker attacks on major Web sites have stoked widespread concern among home computer users. Almost half of U.S. online consumers will think twice before sharing credit card data over Internet, a poll released on Tuesday finds.

    But while 90 percent of home computer users surveyed in a PC Data Online poll express fear in the wake of the attacks, less than a third say they believe the government should take the lead in policing the Web.

    "Last week's Web attacks officially marked the end of our celebration with holiday e-tail. Reality set in," says Julie Oliver, senior manager of surveys at PC Data Online.

    "The attacks served as a wake-up call to all concerned that this brave new world on the Internet may be growing faster than our ability to protect it and its users," she says.

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  • Everything Hacked but the Budget
    Time: 18:17 EDT/23:17 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Justice Department and FBI officials Wednesday told a Senate panel that last week's denial of service attacks provide ample reason to give law enforcement bigger budgets and additional powers.

    Attorney General Janet Reno testified that the Clinton administration's fiscal year 2001 budget request would give agents the "capacity to trace and detect cyber criminals around the world."

    Neither Reno nor FBI Director Louis Freeh divulged details about suspects in last week's assault against prominent Web sites, except to say agents are interviewing people and reviewing records kept by the companies that were attacked.

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  • Study: Net users spend less time in "real" world
    Time: 18:14 EDT/23:14 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    As the Internet becomes more integrated with Americans' lives, people are spending less time with friends and family, shopping in stores, or watching television and instead are working longer hours by bringing their work home, according to a new report.

    The study, conducted by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, assesses the social consequences of Internet use among a large portion of American households, including Internet users and nonusers.

    The key finding of the study is that "the more hours people use the Internet, the less time they spend with real human beings," said Stanford professor Norman Nie, who was one of the principal investigators of the study.

    The crux of the study, that people who engage in heavy Internet use are increasingly isolated from others, runs counter to the assertions by some Netizens, who maintain that the Internet brings them closer to a greater number of people through electronic relationships. Net enthusiasts claim that they can find people with similar interests through discussion groups and communities and that they also stay in better touch with friends and relatives through email.

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  • Sega unveils digital camera for Dreamcast
    Time: 18:07 EDT/23:07 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Sega today unveiled a new digital camera for its Dreamcast gaming system, a sign that gaming consoles are gaining momentum as PC alternatives.

    Sega's Dreamcast machine has been at the forefront of the market for Internet devices, as the console offers both gaming capabilities and Internet access. Sega has painted the machine as the centerpiece of its digital entertainment and home networking strategy. With today's release of the digital camera, called the Dreameye, Sega is acting on its digital entertainment strategy.

    Digital cameras may just be the tip of the iceberg. Dreamcast-like television-based Net appliances are already proving among the most popular ways for non-PC users to access the Web, according to a recent report from International Data Corp. Although many homes still don't own a PC, most have a television that can be used as an alternate medium to access the Net, analysts have said.

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  • Tools help Linux make strides with new Intel chip
    Time: 18:05 EDT/23:05 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The effort to bring Linux to Intel's next-generation Itanium chip moved forward today with the arrival of critical programming tools, another key step for the upstart operating system.

    Linux distributor Red Hat today released the crucial software--called a "compiler"--that translates programs into instructions that can be understood by Intel's upcoming 64-bit Itanium chip. The move comes at a time when a similar development effort between Sun Microsystems and Intel has turned into an ugly spat.

    Itanium is the first member of a new class of more powerful processors from the chipmaker. Hardware maker SGI said it will release its compiler as well, promising that its version will result in faster programs.

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  • AOL, Kinko's in five-year promotion deal
    Time: 18:00 EDT/23:00 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online and copier company Kinko's said today that they will team to cross-sell products in a five-year, multimillion-dollar strategic alliance.

    The agreement, whose terms were not disclosed, calls for AOL and privately held Kinko's to develop Internet Solutions Centers in the copier company's more than 1,000 stores. The centers will provide computers featuring AOL interactive services, including access to the Internet, the companies said.

    The Ventura, Calif.-based Kinko's and AOL also will create a co-branded online destination for AOL members and small-business and home office customers. The sites also will be available on, Netscape and Digital City.

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  • Breach exposes H&R Block customers' tax records
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    H&R Block's Web-based tax preparation service, which is the premier sponsor of Yahoo's Tax Center, experienced a technical glitch that accidentally switched some tax filers' records, the company confirmed today. As a result, when some registered users signed on to the service to work on their tax returns, they instead received someone else's filing--including a social security number, home address, annual income and other highly sensitive information.

    "What we discovered was that some of our clients' data was appearing in other clients' data files," said Linda McDougall, vice president of communications for H&R Block.

    "We discovered a problem with our site on Monday and took it down. We're keeping it down until we're convinced that he problem has been corrected," she said.

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  • Apple upgrades iBook, PowerBook laptops
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Apple has announced a revamped line of notebooks for professional users, an upgraded iBook for consumers and faster chips in its professional desktop computers.

    Apple chief executive Steve Jobs made the announcements in Japan at the Macworld Tokyo trade show. Jobs has a penchant for providing surprises at U.S. Mac trade shows, and, for the first time in recent memory, Macworld Tokyo was the scene for the introduction of a number of pieces of new hardware.

    Apple added a new model to the iBook line that offers a 366-MHz PowerPC G3 chip, more memory and a larger hard disk drive.

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  • Major music suppliers team to promote digital downloads
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Two major music suppliers, Valley Media and, today announced that they will merge in a move that could hasten the adoption of digital downloading as a means of commercial distribution.

    A leader in its field, Valley Media distributes CDs, cassettes, videos and DVDs to more than 200 nationwide retailers, including the Wherehouse and e-commerce sites such as and CDNow. Amplified supplies more than 200,000 digital music tracks to many of the same customers' Web sites.

    Now the companies will combine their catalogs, allowing e-tailers or stores with kiosks to let consumers hear samples and read descriptions of all the songs in their database. The value of the merger was not disclosed.

    "This is a very exciting merger of the digital and physical worlds of music distribution," said Wayne Parker, president of "This merger will speed the availability of digital downloads and make it easier for people who want to sell music online and for artists and record companies that want to distribute music this way."

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News Headlines For Tuesday 15th February 2000
Net Auction Scams - Rambus - H&R Block
  • DoubleClick Moves to Quell Privacy Debate
    Time: 17:31 EDT/22:31 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Responding to growing criticism of its tracking of consumers as they make their way around the World Wide Web, DoubleClick, the Internet's leading advertising placement company, began a new service yesterday along with an educational campaign to help Web surfers protect their privacy.

    The effort was immediately denounced by privacy advocates as a weak attempt at crisis management.

    The campaign and the reaction to it are the latest point-counterpoint in the intensifying policy debate over when and how consumers should be given the option to keep their personal information personal.

    DoubleClick's "Internet Privacy Education Campaign" comes only days after a leading privacy group filed a formal complaint against the company with the Federal Trade Commission and on the heels of a survey showing that the company was collecting personal information from Web sites that claimed such information was not being shared.

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  • Law enforcement targets Net auction scams
    Time: 16:35 EDT/21:35 GMT News Source: PCWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Stuffed toys, computer systems and collectible lunch boxes are among the millions of items available at online auctions, one of the fastest growing areas of the Internet for both consumers and the con artists who prey on them.

    Federal and state law enforcement agencies announced a crackdown Monday against Web scammers who offer goods they don't have or accept payments and don't deliver.

    ''We want Internet auction users and the online auction industry to know that the e-con artists who capitalize on them are going, going, gone,'' said Jodie Bernstein, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. ''We don't intend to let a handful of rogues erode consumer confidence in Internet commerce or Internet auctions.''

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  • Rambus stock rockets on Intel support
    Time: 16:30 EDT/21:30 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Rambus shares rose almost 40 percent on expectations that Intel will reaffirm its support for the developer of chip technology at a conference that begins today, an analyst said.

    Shares of the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm climbed $44.19, or 39.65 percent, to $155.63 in near-closing trading. The shares have risen 46 percent in the past week.

    Intel, the giant chipmaker, is expected to make positive comments about Rambus' technology at the Intel Developer's Forum, said Mark Edelstone, an analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. The three-day conference in Palm Springs, Calif., will feature speeches by chairman Andrew Grove as well as other Intel executives including Albert Yu, Paul Otellini and Mark Christensen.

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  • H&R Block Web site overloaded by tax filers
    Time: 16:26 EDT/21:26 GMT News Source: CNet News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    H&R Block's tax preparation Internet site is down a second day as the U.S. tax season continues to heat up.

    Company spokeswoman Linda McDougall said the world's largest tax preparation company took the site down yesterday to upgrade software. This is the second time in two weeks the company's site hasn't been available for tax preparation.

    "We're currently experiencing difficulties serving everyone trying to use our online tax program," H&R Block said on its Web site. It expects to have the system running "within a few days."

    The shut down comes as more people file their returns electronically and file them earlier in the year. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service said 10.29 million taxpayers filed their returns online by Feb.12, up 17.7 percent from 8.74 million in 1998.

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News Headlines For Monday 14th February 2000
Internet News
  • RSA Security Site Defaced
    Time: 17:55 EDT/22:55 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Another Web attack, this time on encryption security firm RSA.

    Computer security firm RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS) had one of its Web sites effectively defaced by computer criminals apparently keen to make a point about the insecurity of DNS (Domain Name System) authentication. The affected site is an older RSA site, not its primary home page.

    According to security and encryption expert Brian Galdman, the culprits appear to have gained access to a high-level DNS server rather than broken into the server that hold the page itself.

    This latest high-profile attack adds to the argument that, as illustrated by the recent spate of distributed denial-of-service attacks, there remain major security issues -- even for the best-equipped Web sites.

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  • DoubleClick Tries to Come Clean
    Time: 17:51 EDT/22:51 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Privacy groups blasted Internet advertising firm DoubleClick Inc.Monday, after the company sought to better protect the privacy of consumers it tracks online and defuse a looming controversy.

    New York-based DoubleClick, which places advertising banners on thousands of Web sites and keeps track of who views them, ignited a firestorm of criticism last month when it said it would begin adding people's actual names and addresses to its tracking program.

    Privacy groups have previously attacked the tracking plan, which is not yet up and running, with one group filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and another starting a consumer protest campaign.

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  • AOL Changes Tune On Cable Open Access
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    America Online has ended its lobbying push in various states for legislation requiring cable companies to share high-speed Internet lines with competitors, officials at the No. 1 ISP said Monday.

    The move was expected after chairman Steve Case said last month that AOL no longer favors government-mandated open access to high-speed cable lines in light of its $120 billion acquisition of cable giant Time Warner.

    Nationwide, the battle over open access, which had pitted AOL, other ISPs, and consumer groups against the cable industry, could write the ground rules for fast-growing cable high-speed Internet services.

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  • Protecting Privacy on Your Desktop
    Time: 17:44 EDT/22:44 GMT News Source: PCWorld Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    New technology targets ads and PC support, won't reveal your identity.

    A small but discernible trend in the technology used to target consumers is focusing on protecting privacy rights rather than invading them. Companies are discovering that there is money to be made in offering privacy protection along with their much-prized one-to-one marketing model.

    The first products are bubbling up out of the PC online support industry., which sells antivirus and security products, will launch its offering in the second quarter. The technology, called Silhouette, creates a Personal Advertising Profile on the desktop with the user's participation. The profile holds data on the system configuration and resident software. On the server, advertisers specify rules that deliver only those ads which are based on the system configuration in the user's profile.

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News Headlines For Friday 11th February 2000
Internet News
  • Hunting Web attackers 'impossible'
    Time: 06:05 EDT/11:05 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The cyber manhunt for the denial-of-service attackers is 'very difficult' if not 'impossible,' security experts say. But can the offender resist bragging?

    The FBI might have vowed to bring the "packet warriors" responsible for taking down eight major Web sites to justice, but several Internet security experts remain doubtful the bureau can deliver on that promise.

    "It will be virtually impossible (to track the attackers down)," said a "white-hat hacker" who identifies himself as "Mixter" and who authored the Tribe Flood Network. TFN is a tool used to cause denial-of-service attacks such as those that hit Yahoo!, eBay,,, E*Trade,, and ZDNet earlier this week.

    "All providers have to scrutinize their router logs tracing back traffic," Mixter said, and that's a time-intensive process.

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  • Court Upholds PlayStation Rival
    Time: 05:59 EDT/10:59 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Sony has lost a key appeal in its lawsuit against Connectix, a computer products maker the entertainment giant accused of tinkering with Sony PlayStation game console software.

    In a ruling handed down Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Connectix's right to use a process known as reverse engineering to develop a product for playing PlayStation games on PCs.

    A lawyer for Connectix said the ruling set a new legal precedent for reverse engineering -- the process of taking apart and analyzing products to develop new applications with the technology.

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  • White House to convene Net security summit
    Time: 05:55 EDT/10:55 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The White House is organizing a meeting next week with the nation's top computer security experts and technology executives, and this week's Web attacks will top the agenda, the National Security Council said today.

    President Clinton and Sandy Berger, the national security adviser, will attend.

    Unnerved by a rash of hacker attacks on the world's leading Web sites, big Internet companies today rushed to strengthen their computer systems in a high-tech game of cat-and-mouse with the phantom perpetrators.

    Taking advantage of an apparent lull in major disruptions, big Web companies and government agencies stepped up training of technicians in detecting unusual activity. Others installed advanced software filters to detect and block delivery of suspicious electronic data.

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News Headlines For Thursday 10th February 2000
Internet News
  • will upgrade site behind closed doors
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean is taking the weekend to overhaul its popular books and music e-commerce site., the Net division of the Borders Group and the third-largest bookseller online, today said it will close its site beginning at 6 p.m. EST on Friday and will reopen sometime Monday morning. During that time, the company will upgrade its search engine and checkout process and complete a redesign of the site, the company said. also will increase its editorial content.

    "The enhanced site is based on the idea of customer choice," Tami Heim, newly appointed president, said in a statement. "Customer feedback, which we have aggressively solicited since the debut of, was a key driver of the changes we've made."

    The site redesign follows increased efforts by the book giant to integrate its offline and online business. In the last six months, the company has started to tie its 290 offline stores across the United States more closely to its Web site.

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  • Security Firms Lick Their Chops
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    While the media remains riveted by the devastation wrought in the e-business world by a group of unknown hackers, the electronic security industry has reason to smile.

    "Security researchers have warned for years that we are building a house of cards," said computer security expert Simson L. Garfinkel, part owner of a security counter-measures firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Companies spend far less on security than they should."

    Maybe companies have learned a lesson as a result of the attacks. But if they did, they'll probably be reaching deeper into their wallets for the protection they suddenly realize they need.

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  • Chase, Deloitte To Form E-Procurement Company
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Chase Manhattan and Deloitte Consulting on Wednesday unveiled plans to form a company designed to help businesses streamline procurement of such items as office supplies, temporary help, and computers.

    The companies said the venture, which has not yet been named, can wring as much as $350 million in annual savings from procurement costs for major companies, resulting in profit margin improvements of up to 25 percent.

    The company will provide electronic procurement, electronic marketplace, and payment management services to link customers' purchase and payment processes.

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News Date: Wednesday 9th February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Internet Tax Ban Extension Urged
    Time: 17:59 EDT/22:59 GMT News Source: Yahoo! News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Business members of a congressional Internet tax panel urged Congress on Wednesday to extend for five years the current ban on taxes that single out the Internet and to permanently ban taxes on access to cyberspace.

    On the question of state sales taxes, the six business representatives of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce said Congress should establish a new definition for what constitutes ``physical presence'' in a state. The Supreme Court has ruled that states can only collect taxes on remote sales - catalog or Internet - if a company has such a presence within their borders.

    Intended to head off multiple lawsuits from states trying to collect taxes, the proposal says states could not define ``physical presence'' through such things as an Internet service provider, a server, telecommunications equipment or a home page.

    In addition, the plan encourages state and local governments to draft a uniform sales tax law within three years that would simplify the system and remove collection burdens for remote sellers when compared with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

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  • Reno vows fed help in combating Net vandalism
    Time: 17:52 EDT/22:52 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Attorney General Janet Reno promised today that federal law enforcement authorities will do all in their power to combat a wave of Internet vandalism.

    Responding to a rash of attacks that disrupted several flagship Web sites, Reno said, "These cyberassaults have caused millions of Internet users to be denied services."

    She said the motives of the vandals are not known, "but they appear to be intended to interfere with and disrupt legitimate electronic commerce." "We are committed in every way possible to tracking down those who are responsible," she said.

    Ronald Dick, a Net security expert at the FBI, said the hackers could face a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine, or in some cases "twice the gross loss to the victim."

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  • Palm extends hand to Adobe document technology
    Time: 04:12 EDT/09:12 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Adobe developed and licenses the Portable Document Format, which is designed to speed the delivery and transfer of documents online. Integrating this technology into the Palm software would theoretically allow a Palm user to read any document stored in the PDF format.

    Although electronic book readers have not been big sellers, handheld computing companies have been working feverishly to include the technology to read e-books. Microsoft unveiled improved fonts and e-book technology for its Pocket PCs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, while Palm licensee Handspring has demonstrated an e-book add-on cartridge for its Visor device.

    The trend indicates the growing interest in expanding the features and functionality of handheld devices, as industry attention shifts from developing services and applications for the home computer to creating inexpensive, scaled down Internet-centric devices capable of performing a few limited functions.

    Palm, which is set to go public sometime this month amid its separation from parent company 3Com, has stacked up partnerships, alliances and licensees at a near breakneck pace in the last few months. In addition to high profile licensees like Handspring, Sony, and Nokia, the company has announced alliances with Motorola and America Online.

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  • hits back, sues RIAA
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Striking back against allegations that it violated the copyrights on thousands of CDs, is charging that the recording industry has engaged in unfair business practices to undermine the Net music firm., which offers digital audio by 50,000 artists, filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court yesterday alleging that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its president, Hilary Rosen, gathered technical information from the Net music company and spoke to analysts about its stock price just days before suing it for copyright infringement.

    The RIAA quickly countered today, calling's claims "ridiculous."

    In its lawsuit, which could garner billions of dollars in damages, the RIAA accuses of creating unauthorized copies of more than 40,000 CDs through its Instant Listening and Beam-it services, which were launched last month. argues that its services fall under the "fair use" exemptions in the copyright law, which permit consumers to make copies of works they own, but only for personal use.

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  • Distributed Denial Of Service Threat Grows
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    An apparent attack on the technology that supports the Yahoo website is a warning that security can not be taken for granted -- and that the information technology industry needs to work harder, experts said Tuesday.

    On Monday, a stream of millions of apparently untraceable data packets collided into the routers that connect to the servers hosting, one of the most heavily-visited websites on the Internet. The site was offline for approximately 3 hours, depriving users of services and costing the company from $200,000 to $500,000 in lost revenues from advertising and sales.

    The attack may be the most visible manifestation of what analysts call a distributed denial-of-service attack, a new form of sabotage designed to freeze a website by rendering it unable to manage a torrent of service requests. This data flood comes from a group of computers operated by remote control by people who have stealthily gained access to them.

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  • Baan Sells Accounting Software Division
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    As part of its reorganization due to financial troubles, Baan Co. said Tuesday that it is selling off its corporate accounting software division.

    Science Systems, a U.K.-based procurement and finance software shop and service provider, will pay approximately $50 million in cash for the assets and operations of Baan's CODA unit, the companies said.

    Baan said it expects to gain about $30 million on the deal, although the purchase price and reported gain are subject to finalization. The deal is expected to close before the end of next month.

    Baan, Herndon, Va., is trying to recover from a financially trying year. Last month, the company's stock plunged after the departure of CEO Mary Coleman, who joined an Internet holding company. Midday Tuesday, Baan stock was trading at 7 13/32 on the Nasdaq.

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News Date: Tuesday 8th February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • BofA Paid Big Bucks for Domain
    Time: 04:35 EDT/09:35 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Marcelo Siero, a computer consultant from San Jose, California, hit the jackpot last month when an unnamed buyer paid him $3 million for the rights to in an online auction.

    Well, the buyer is unnamed no more, and here's a shock: It's a bank. The Bank of America, to be precise.

    In a statement released Tuesday, BofA said buying was a strategic investment aimed at strengthening its position as the leading provider of loans in the United States.

    The prices being paid for domain names have skyrocketed in recent months. The largest known payment was for the domain, which fetched a tidy $7.5 million from eCompanies, a California venture capital firm.

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  • Yahoo Attributes a Lengthy Service Failure to an Attack
    Time: 04:35 EDT/09:35 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Yahoo Inc. blamed a "planned attack" by computer hackers for a service failure that lasted nearly three hours today, in a rare interruption of one of the most popular and best performing sites on the World Wide Web.

    The company attributed the failure to an attack in which one or more hackers flooded a network with a steady stream of data, causing the network to become clogged.

    The assault, which Yahoo called a "distributed denial of service attack," directed a flood of data from dozens, sometimes hundreds, of computers, making it impossible for the company to exchange information with its regular customers.

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  • AltaVista Goes Multimedia
    Time: 04:31 EDT/09:31 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In an effort to pave an easier path to all that the Web offers, AltaVista has upgraded its search engine to seek out specific video and audio files as well as text references.

    The new version, activated Monday, is designed to search more than 30 million audio, video, and image documents for specific content and display the results immediately. The hot areas are expected to be photographs, movie trailers, and, of course, MP3 files.

    AltaVista is now a wholly owned subsidiary of CMGI. The search engine was part of the deal when Compaq bought Digital Equipment Corporation, but the PC manufacturer soon sold off that part of the business. This is AltaVista's first major upgrade since the ownership change.

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News Date: Monday 7th February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Yahoo! Goes Kablooey!
    Time: 18:59 EDT/23:59 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Yahoo, the second most popular Web site on the Internet, was unreachable for three hours on Monday before being restored to full operation by 1:30 p.m. (PST).

    The company's highly visible,, and sites were down, although some other properties such as Geocitiesremained unaffected.

    A router owned by Global Center, a Sunnyvale, California-based company that provides connectivity to Yahoo, reportedly was the cause. Other Global Crossing customers, such as Ziff Davis,, and, did not seem to experience any glitches.

    "At this point we're just working with Yahoo to figure out what the problem is," a spokeswoman for Global Center said.

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  • Be to launch new operating system
    Time: 05:05 EDT/10:05 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Be Inc. (BEOS.O), the company founded 10 years ago by the flamboyant former Apple Computer Inc.(AAPL.O) executive Jean-Louis Gassee, may finally have found its niche in life.

    On Monday, the company will unveil at the Demo2000 conference a new operating system called BeIA, formerly code-named Stinger, which is targeted at the nascent but potentially hot market for Internet appliances -- a market where the ``WinTel'' alliance in personal computers of Microsoft software and Intel chips is not expected to dominate.

    Until now, Be has been known for its BeOS operating system, an alternative desktop operating system that has never taken off in the commercial market. It mostly has been used by software developers and computer enthusiasts.

    Last month, Be, which just went public last July, said it would give away its latest version, BeOS 5, for free, as it focuses primarily on the Internet appliance market.

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  • Cool gadgets make their debut at annual Demo conference
    Time: 05:00 EDT/10:00 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Information Appliance Era has been looming for some time. Maybe it's about to arrive for real.

    Consider, for example, a personal digital assistant and mobile-communications device that understands what you say to it and can talk back to you. Or a tabletop radio that pulls in stations from the AM and FM bands -- and the Web. Or a stand-alone screen in a frame that goes out to the Net, downloads and then displays photographs.

    Those are among the various connected and unconnected info-appliances to be unveiled this week at the annual Demo technology conference in Indian Wells. They come just four years after the spectacular Demo debut of the PalmPilot. The Palm, in many eyes, validated a new kind of market for digital devices that do one or a few things well and simply, and emphatically are not personal computers.

    Also on view at Demo, as usual, will be a variety of software, Web applications and other notions that stretch the boundaries of information technology. I'll tell you about some of these in Tuesday's column. Let's look here at some cool-sounding gadgetry.

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  • IBM: Will Show Designs for World's Fastest Chips
    Time: 04:58 EDT/09:58 GMT News Source: Yahoo! News Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Researchers at International Business Machines Corp. this week will show designs of computer chips that they say will be the world's fastest.

    IBM researchers will announce at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference that they have developed a new family of high-speed computer circuits that run at speeds of 3.3 to 4.5 gigahertz, up to five times faster than today's fastest Pentium III chips.

    The new design employs conventional silicon transistors, but uses only half the power of a standard high-performance chip.

    ``Not only are we in the gigahertz era of microprocessors, but we see our way clear to three to four gigahertz in the future,'' said Randall Isaac, vice president of systems, technology and science at IBM Research, in an interview.

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News Date: Friday 4th February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • DOJ looks at fair competition in eBay dispute
    Time: 13:51 EDT/18:51 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Justice Department has queried eBay about the company’s efforts to block third-party auction search engines from accessing items listed for sale on eBay, a company spokesman said today.

    The preliminary investigation by the Justice Department’s antitrust unit focuses on eBay’s dispute with auction portals Bidder’s Edge and AuctionWatch, the eBay spokesman said. The department is studying the online auction market and looking into whether eBay’s moves are anti-competitive.

    "Our dispute with Bidder’s Edge is a commercial one that concerns eBay’s right to prevent unauthorized intrusions into its computer system, and use of eBay content in a manner which confuses and misleads eBay users," Jay Monahan, eBay's senior intellectual property counsel, said in a statement. "We are confident that the court in the Bidder’s Edge matter will agree with our position and enjoin Bidder’s Edge from continuing its improper access."

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  • Palm slashes prices to make way for new models
    Time: 13:45 EDT/18:45 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Palm Computing has cut prices on all of its handheld computers, ostensibly in preparation for the release of new models, including its first device with a color display.

    As first reported by CNET, Palm will release the Palm IIIc with color display on Feb. 20, along with the Palm IIIxe, which will expand the memory of the Palm IIIx device. As is typical practice for the company, it is now cutting prices across its line of products in preparation for the new releases.

    The Palm IIIe has been marked down from $179 to $149. The Palm IIIx has come down to $229 from $299, while the Palm V is now $329 and the Palm Vx has an estimated retail price of $399. The Palm VII with wireless Internet access has been cut from $499 to $449.

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  • John Tesh regains cybername
    Time: 13:38 EDT/18:38 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Musician and broadcaster John Tesh got his name back Thursday when agreed out of court to relinquish the domain name

    Tesh had sued Celebsites for rights to the name under the Anti-Cybersquatting and Consumer Privacy Act of 1999. The law protects against misappropriation of domain names with obvious benefit to a certain group or person for commercial benefit. will likely redirect users to, the new age maestro's Web site.

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  • Ditch That Shabby Two-Year-Old PC
    Time: 04:35 EDT/09:35 GMT News Source: PC WorldPosted By: Matthew Sabean

    Any recent PC nails your basic tasks, but analysts say you should sell within two years. Why?

    "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." Kenny Rogers was talking about gambling, but he could have been talking about PCs. Choosing when to ditch a PC and buy a new one can seem like quite a gamble.

    And it's not getting easier. While any recent PC does a good job browsing and handling basic office or home productivity tasks, industry analysts tell us we are dropping them quicker than ever. Or we would, if we knew what was good for us.

    Ten years ago, you could buy a PC and expect to get at least five years of good quality work out of it. In 1990, the average lifespan of a typical PC for use in a home or office was between five and five and a half years, according to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University.

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  • PC's Vulnerable to Security Breaches, Experts Say
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Unless a home PC is placed in an isolation tank, computer security experts say, it is vulnerable to a panoply of potential intrusions.

    For that reason, it can be an extremely hazardous place to keep anything remotely confidential, much less the classified documents that John M. Deutch, the former director of central intelligence, had stored on his unsecured home computers in 1996.

    "The more software people have on their computers, and the more they are online, the more vulnerable they become to attack," said Avi Rubin, an Internet security expert at AT&T Labs Research in Florham Park, N.J. "All the factors that contribute to increased vulnerability are becoming more and more common."

    To be sure, general awareness of security vulnerabilities among home PC users was not very high in 1996, when people were beginning to explore the World Wide Web in increasing numbers.

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  • Ford Offers Workers PC's and Internet Service for $5 a Month
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: New York Times Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The Ford Motor Company said today that each of its 350,000 employees worldwide, from factory workers in India to car designers in Michigan, would be offered a high-speed desktop computer, a color printer and unlimited Internet access for just $5 a month.

    Employees' families will be encouraged to use the equipment, made by the Hewlett-Packard Company, and will be given e-mail accounts. The Ford offer, which executives said was intended to promote computer literacy, includes color monitors, speakers, technical support and ample capacity for workers and their families to create their own Web sites.

    Ford officials said they did not know how many workers would want the computers, but predicted that almost all would take them. Delivery of the Hewlett-Packard computers and ink-jet printers will start in the United States in April, and the price might be set lower than $5 a month for workers in lower-wage countries, said James Yost, Ford's chief information officer.

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News Date: Thursday 3rd February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • NetZero accuses @Home of infringing trademark
    Time: 04:10 EDT/09:10 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    NetZero, a provider of free Internet access and email with online advertising, accused rival @Home, a cable Internet company, of infringing its "Defenders of the Free World" trademark.

    Westlake Village, Calif.-based NetZero says in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana last month that it was awarded ownership of the trademark in December, 1999.

    NetZero says it discussed a possible collaboration last August with @Home's Excite@Home service, but never gave @Home permission to use its trademark. In January, @Home wrongly began advertising ''Free World Powered by Excite,'' NetZero alleges in the suit.

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  • SpotOn Shows Surfers What's Next
    Time: 04:08 EDT/09:08 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Free browser add-on eliminates the need to retrace your Web steps--but why?

    Say you're using a search engine and your query pulls up pages and pages of results. You want to look through them all, but by the second page you've found something else that piques your interest. Off you go, on a Web-surfing tangent, never to return to your list of search results. Right?

    Not any longer. A new free browser add-on from SpotOn could keep you on the right Web track, even if you're prone to making detours.

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  • McAfee Automates Aggressive Virus Protection
    Time: 04:05 EDT/09:05 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Antivirus software needs to become more proactive. In an effort to provide IT managers with more automated virus protection, McAfee has combined its antivirus software with policy management, reporting, and enforcement capabilities.

    McAfee, a unit of Network Associates, is releasing McAfee Active Virus Defense, an integrated suite of antivirus products. The software suite centralizes policy management and enforcement, and provides enterprise reporting, virus analysis, and distribution of updates.

    While archrival Symantec is moving in a similar direction with its Norton AntiVirus suite, adding more automated capabilities and providing links to its policy management tools, McAfee has integrated these features directly into its new release.

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  • Intel Buys Big Chip Plant
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Intel plans to buy a Colorado chipmaking plant from Rockwell International and invest $1.5 billion in it, in a move Intel sees significantly boosting its short-term manufacturing capacity.

    Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, expects to begin manufacturing flash memory at the Colorado Springs wafer fabrication facility by late this year. The facility is currently vacant.

    The company said it has signed a letter of intent with Rockwell, but did not disclose details of the agreement.

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News Date: Wednesday 2nd February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Reverse engineering could threaten RealNetworks, others
    Time: 19:32 EDT/00:32 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    While RealNetworks, Microsoft and other corporations battle for control of the streaming media market, efforts to provide open source alternatives to streaming media products are cropping up from groups ranging from lone university students to Internet behemoth CMGI.

    The products, largely developed under open source rules that make the end product available for use under a free, public license, have the potential to throw a monkey wrench into corporate streaming plans much the way the open source Linux platform has threatened Microsoft's grip on the market for computer operating systems.

    Groups working on free versions of streaming media products like those for sale by RealNetworks and others include, and Icecast, which was acquired by CMGI last month.

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  • Privacy Groups Eye DoubleClick
    Time: 04:59 EDT/09:59 GMT News Source: Wired Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    A leading privacy group on Tuesday started a campaign urging Internet users to keep their personal information and Web surfing habits away from DoubleClick, the leading Net advertisement placement service.

    The move followed DoubleClick's announcement last month that it planned to begin combining tracking of Web surfers' visits to about 1,500 Internet sites with people's actual identities.

    Currently, the New York ad firm puts unique identifying traces on the computers of people who visit many Web sites where it places ads and tracks what people are viewing. But the profiles are not linked to people's actual names and addresses.

    DoubleClick said that under its new program, not yet in effect, it would still use the information only to tailor advertising and direct mailings to desirable customers. And the company would also continue to exclude sensitive data about health and sexual matters along with "detailed" financial information from its profiles.

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  • Security gaps found in medical Web sites
    Time: 04:25 EDT/09:25 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Internet health sites are collecting and sharing with other companies detailed personal information about visitors, often without their knowledge and despite promises to protect privacy, according to a study released today.

    A survey conducted for the California HealthCare Foundation found several lapses from policies pledging to guard personal information and email addresses at 21 of the most popular medical Web sites.

    "The privacy policies of health Web sites do not match up with their own practices," said Janlori Goldman of Georgetown University's Health Privacy Project, which conducted the survey with Internet security consultant Richard Smith.

    For example, companies were sharing email addresses and other information when they promised they would not.

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  • Coca-Cola objects to fan site domain
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    In the latest David vs. Goliath dispute over Net name ownership, soft drink giant Coca-Cola has taken a hard-line approach with a fan site called "" that was established as a favor to a group of senior citizens.

    Web site administrator Randy Martin of said that the site originally was founded in a "goodwill gesture" as a place for Coca-Cola fans to display their collections of vintage Coca-Cola merchandise.

    But on Jan. 5, Coca-Cola sent Maxistore a cease-and-desist letter asking the site to discontinue using the Coca-Cola trademark and to either assign the domain name to Coca-Cola or abandon the name immediately.

    "I was completely shocked," Martin said in an interview. "Never in a million years did I dream they would be offended by a site that said great things about their products." He added that no merchandise was exchanged on the site and that no one was making money off the project.

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News Date: Tuesday 1st February 2000
Today's Top Business Headlines:
Internet News
  • Email marketers try new tactics for consumer attention
    Time: 17:55 EDT/22:55 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Is spam poised for respectability?

    Long considered the bane of the Internet, bulk email advertising is undergoing a quiet transformation as direct marketers implement more sophisticated techniques for better targeting messages to people who may actually want to see them.

    So-called one-to-one marketing is considered the Holy Grail for Internet advertisers. But the industry has faced harsh and persistent criticism for indiscriminately blanketing millions of email addresses with annoying and unwanted messages. Such excesses have sparked calls for the eradication of email marketing and have inspired laws imposing fines for spam campaigns.

    Now bulk emailers are starting to heed their critics, boosting efforts to gain permission from consumers before sending pitches via email. By most accounts, the new system has proven a win-win where it has been adopted.

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  • readies new site for extreme sports
    Time: 17:50 EDT/22:50 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Walt Disney's Internet network will introduce a new Web site devoted to "extreme sports" tomorrow, president Steve Wadsworth said.

    The new site will be called EXPN and focus on extreme sports, activities outside traditional sporting events, such as trick bike-riding. A beta version is set to be unveiled tomorrow, Wadsworth said. last week decided to narrow the focus of its general-purpose portal to concentrate on entertainment, lifestyle, recreation and leisure after struggling to compete with Yahoo, America Online and Microsoft.

    "We have fine-tuned and reformatted the portal to fundamentally capitalize on our strengths as a media and entertainment company," Wadsworth said during a presentation at the Banc of America Securities technology conference in San Francisco.

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  • Palm to tap color for next release
    Time: 04:12 EDT/09:12 GMT News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    The days of the colorless Palm screen are coming to an end. Sources expect hardware and an upgraded OS in February.

    The company, soon to be spun off from 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) as Palm Inc., is expected to begin shipping the latest version of its Palm operating system, as well as the first color Palm handheld, in February.

    Sources said Version 3.5 of the Palm OS will be preinstalled in some handheld devices, such as the Palm Vx, even before the new OS is formally launched in February or early March. Palm OS 3.5, released to developers last October, is significant to Palm users because it is the first Palm OS to support color.

    Aside from color, the new OS includes many smaller enhancements, including subtle user-interface changes. One source familiar with the OS said Palm may be taking advantage of the full 4-bit depth of the screens in its newest devices to a provide deeper and more crisp -- almost 3-D like -- quality to the way icons are displayed.

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  • Marimba Offers New Castanet
    Time: 04:08 EDT/09:08 GMT News Source: InternetNews Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Marimba Inc. Monday announced an updated version of its flagship product line, Castanet, which includes self-repair features, installation options and support for Windows 2000.

    Castanet is an enterprise solution designed to provide infrastructure by which companies can distribute, update, and manage applications and related data over corporate intranets, extranets, and the Internet. Version 4.5 features new application installation policies and self-repair options, as well as extensible inventory, subscription and reporting to automate and simplify the end-to-end management of e-business applications across the extended enterprise, the company said.

    "Castanet is empowering our customers to meet their core business objective of minimizing the time to market for key e-business applications," said Jacqueline Ross, vice president of marketing at Marimba (MRBA) . "With Castanet 4.5, we expect customers to see improved control over this process, resulting in faster installation, reduced downtime and a better user experience for their customer base."

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  • Intel Developing New Bus Design
    Time: 04:06 EDT/09:06 GMT News Source: TechWeb Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Intel is developing a new "quad-pumped" processorbus that is expected to reach a clock speed of 400 MHzwhen running in Intel's next-generation Foster and McKinley server microprocessors, according to industry sources.

    Sources contacted last week at the Platform 2000 Conference in San Jose, Calif., said the new frontside bus (FSB) will be common to both the 32-bit Foster and 64-bit McKinley, the latter of which is slated to succeed the Itanium processor.

    Foster is expected to be unveiled late this year or early in 2001, and will be available with up to a four-processor configuration per server. The device will be supported by the new Colusa chipset, which sources said also is in development.

    McKinley will debut next year as the full-production version of Intel's IA-64 architecture, after Itanium, formerly known as the Merced processor, is rolled out late this year. The new 128-bit bus will have double the width of Intel's highest current processor FSB, sources said.

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  • Sony Announces Improved VAIO PictureBook
    Time: 04:04 EDT/09:04 GMT News Source: PC World Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Sony generated serious buzz last year with its VAIO C1 PictureBook, a sub-three pound mininotebook with a built-in digital camera. The company hopes to thrill again with Monday's announcement of the new C1XS PictureBook that is smaller and faster and offers better digital images.

    The new PictureBook weighs just 2.2 pounds, a half-pound lighter than the original, says Mark Hanson, senior director of Sony's Personal Network Solutions Company. The unit's dimensions are 1.14 inches by 9.8 inches by 6 inches. Designers shaved off size and weight by going to a fully enclosed magnesium case, but somehow managed to squeeze in a larger, more comfortable keyboard than before, he says.

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  • Lawmakers propose permanent ban on Net taxes
    Time: 04:00 EDT/09:00 GMT News Source: Posted By: Matthew Sabean

    Two U.S. lawmakers proposed today making permanent the current 3-year ban on new taxes by states and localities on billions of dollars of goods and services sold over the Internet.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), and Rep. Christopher Cox, (R-Calif.), said they would introduce bills "soon" to set in stone the moratorium on new Web taxes enacted by Congress in October 1998 and due to expire in October 2001.

    The upcoming Cox-Wyden bill would solidify temporary bans on new "multiple" or "discriminatory" taxes on cyberspace, such as state and local levies on the monthly fees consumers pay to use Internet services.

    Many of those taxes probably will be recommended for repeal by most of a 19-member blue-ribbon panel appointed by Congress to study the nettlesome Web-tax issue.

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Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for December and January  News.

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